After a lot of speculation about whether the season would actually go ahead, the NFL has got the all clear and the first game of the 2020-21 season will take place on Friday morning (AEST). As usual, the Super Bowl Champions will get the season underway so the Kansas City Chiefs are set to host the Houston Texans from 10.20am!
See our full preview and betting tips for our favourite matchups in Week 1 of the NFL season, and remember to head to our NFL Betting Tips page for weekly articles throughout the season!
Friday, 10.20am (AEST)
The reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs will get their title defence underway on Friday morning as they face the Houston Texans. It was a quiet off-season for the Chiefs, and rightly so because why would you change a winning formula? They’ll go into the season with a similar looking core to the one that lifted the trophy last season, led by star quarterback Patrick Mahomes alongside a litany of offensive weapons.
The Texans were active in their off-season. They traded away arguably their best player in wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for Arizona running back David Johnson and also acquired the services of wide receiving duo Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks. The new trio of offensive weapons, when paired with receiver Will Fuller V, should make for a more well-rounded collection of talent for quarterback DeShaun Watson.
The Chiefs start as heavy 9.5 point favourites here and while it’s always hard to get a read on Week 1 and we aren’t willing to play that line one way or another, we do think the total of 54.5 is way too high for the first game of the season. The Texans in particular are probably still figuring a lot of things out on offence and Thursday night games in the past have regularly resulted in lower than expected scores. Back the under on night one.
Monday, 6.25am (AEST)
There’s no doubt that this will be the most anticipated matchup of Week 1 of the NFL season. The face of the NFL, Tom Brady, will play his first game in a uniform other than that of the New England Patriots when he lines up for the Buccaneers on Monday morning. Joining him will be old teammate Rob Gronkowski in a completely new look Tampa Bay offence that has real Super Bowl aspirations.
Standing in their way in Week 1 is the New Orleans Saints, who have been the powerhouse of the NFC South division for the last few seasons and are shaping up to be a Super Bowl contender again this season. The Saints went 13-3 last year but were bounced in the first round of the playoffs and there’s no doubt they’ll be seeking revenge this season.
The Saints start as 3.5 point favourites here and we love them at that line. As we mentioned, they have made a mockery of the NFC South division over the last few seasons and while there’s no doubt the Buccs will be a much improved side this season, it’s always a big ask going into the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
Tuesday 12.15pm (AEST)
A great AFC matchup rounds out the Week 1 action as the Titans head to Denver to take on the Broncos. Tennessee made a miraculous run to the AFC Championship game last season and will be looking to build on that momentum in 2020-21. They will be relying heavily on the play of the Derrick Henry, who announced himself as arguably the best running back in the league in the playoffs last season.
The Broncos were busy in the off-season, making one of the best moves of the summer by acquiring the services of Chargers running back Melvin Gordon as well as a host of core defensive players. The quarterback position remains the key concern for the Broncos, with unproven 23 year old Drew Lock currently holding down the starting job. Expect the Broncos to have a pretty run heavy offence this season on the back of talented duo Gordon and Phillip Lindsay.
The Titans start as the slightest of favourites on the road, which seems about right given their run in the playoffs last season. Always hard to bet against the home team in Week 1 though and Denver have traditionally had such a strong home field advantage in the altitude. Back them to win this one.
Friday September 11th
Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs - See Above
Monday September 14th
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team - Eagles -5.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills - Bills -6.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Indianapolis Colts at Jacsonville Jaguars - Under 45.5 Total Points ($1.86 at Sportsbet)
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots - Under 42.0 Total Points ($1.86 at Sportsbet)
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens - Ravens -7.5 ($1.85 at Sportsbet)
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons - Falcons +1.5 ($1.99 at Sportsbet)
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions - Under 43.5 Total Points ($1.86 at Sportsbet)
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings - Vikings -2.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Las Vegas Raiders at Carolina Panthers - Panthers +3 ($1.95 at Sportsbet)
Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals - Chargers -3.5 ($1.96 at Sportsbet)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints - See Above
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers - Under 48.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams - Cowboys -3 ($2.00 at Sportsbet)
Tuesday September 15th
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants - Giants +4.5 ($1.95 at Sportsbet)
Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos - See Above
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