NFL Betting Matchups for Week 1

Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2013 NFL betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 1!

Baltimore Ravens (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Denver Broncos (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Denver -9, Total: 48

Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO – Thursday, September 5th, 8:30 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

Normally speaking, the Super Bowl champs open up at home, but this year, they are going on the road for a rematch of one of the best games that we have ever seen in the history of the NFL. That Broncos/Ravens game last January had everything. It had some great defense. It had a heck of a lot of offense. It had the drama of a Hail Mary and the even bigger drama of not just one, but two overtime periods. And in the end, it had QB Peyton Manning unceremoniously bowing out of the playoffs. Denver enters this season having covered four of its last five games, but the Ravens have covered five straight season openers. Baltimore is 8-2-1 ATS in the last 11 in this series as well, but this is as big of a number as you’ll see in this series for the most part. This is a game that Denver badly wants so it can open up its season in dominating fashion.

New England Patriots (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Buffalo Bills (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: New England -11.5, Total: 49

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY – Sunday, September 8th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

What a mighty interesting game this one is… Assuming that QB EJ Manuel ends up not being ready to go for this one, QB Jeff Tuel is going to become the first man in the modern era of the NFL to suit up as a starting quarterback in Week 1 as an undrafted rookie free agent. His nemesis? QB Tom Brady, a future Hall of Famer and one of the best quarterbacks that the league has ever seen. If it seems like a bit of a mismatch to you, you’re right, and that’s why New England is one of the biggest road favorites we have ever seen in Week 1 of a campaign. That said, the Patriots have gone 0-3 ATS in their last three against Buffalo when they are laying more than 10 points. They are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 on the road and are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games here in Orchard Park, though. New England is 19-8-1 ATS over the course of the last 14 seasons in this rivalry.

Oakland Raiders (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Indianapolis Colts (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Indianapolis -9, Total: 47

Lucas Oil Field, Indianapolis, IN – Sunday, September 8th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Colts took a huge step from being the worst team in the NFL two seasons ago to one that was in the playoffs last year. Their task this year is tougher to stay at the top of the mountain with everyone gunning for them again. QB Andrew Luck is starting his sophomore season in the NFL, and he has tremendously high expectations this year. Oakland meanwhile, only has the expectation of challenging for the #1 pick in the NFL Draft, something that it appears to be doing well after keeping four quarterbacks and two punters on its initial 53-man roster. The Raiders have gone 2-7 ATS in their last nine games overall. Indy has failed to cover five season openers, but it did cover its final six home games of last season. The snag? The one time that it didn’t win last year at home was early in the season against Jacksonville, another one of the worst teams in the league.

Cincinnati Bengals (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Chicago Bears (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Chicago -3, Total: 41

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL – Sunday, September 8th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

Head Coach Marc Trestman is expected to come into the Windy City and bolster the Bears’ passing game right away. It’s going to be tough against a Cincinnati defense which was one of the best pass rushing teams in the league before adding LB James Harrison to the fold. The Hard Knocks boys are expected to once again get into the postseason this year, and anything less would be a huge disappointment. Cincinnati closed out last regular season by covering its last four games on the road, and it covered seven of its last eight in the regular season as well. The Bears only went 1-4 ATS in their last five overall and 1-5 in their last six at home. That obviously isn’t going to cut it when push comes to shove, but it is clearly a dawn of a new day at Soldier Field, and Bears fans have to be thrilled about it.

Atlanta Falcons (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ New Orleans Saints (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: New Orleans -3, Total: 54

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA – Sunday, September 8th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

There aren’t two teams out there that hate each other from the south more than these two, and there is a lot of bad blood here that is going to spill over in the opener on Sunday. The storylines from New Orleans’ standpoint are numerous. The last time these two teams met, QB Drew Brees was shockingly held without a touchdown pass, and he tossed five interceptions. It was arguably the worst game of his career in the worst season he has had in New Orleans, and he is going to want to eradicate all of that from his memory banks with a big time game on Sunday. It’s also the first game on the sidelines in quite some time for Head Coach Sean Payton, who was suspended for the entirety of the 2012 season for his role in the Bounty Gate scandal. Atlanta has gone 5-2-1 ATS in its last eight games on the road, but it is only 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings in this series. To make matters worse for the Dirty Birds, the Saints are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games at home, and that’s after a horrid start to the season last year at the Superdome.

Minnesota Vikings (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Detroit Lions (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Detroit -4.5, Total: 46.5

Ford Field, Detroit, MI – Sunday, September 8th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

One glance at the spread in this game, and you wouldn’t know that Minnesota was the one of these teams that made the playoffs last season. Most are figuring that Detroit will be on the rise this year, while the Vikes are due for a plummet for sure. In fairness to the Minnesota defense, the team did only allow 37 points in two games last year against the Lions, and that’s a heck of an accomplishment considering just how good this unit really was. The Vikes are 3-0-1 ATS in the last four in this series and are 5-1-1 ATS in the last seven, going 6-2 SU in those outings as well. This is a vastly different Lions team this year though, and that 5-16 ATS mark in their last 21 games against NFC foes and 2-8 ATS mark in their last 10 against NFC North teams are probably going to disappear when push really comes to shove.

Tennessee Titans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Pittsburgh -7, Total: 42

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA – Sunday, September 8th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

This isn’t going to be the easiest home opener that we have ever seen from the Steelers. Yes, they are probably the better of these two teams, but the margin might not be as big as you would think. There is still no ground game working for Pittsburgh, something that you can’t say for the Titans, who have revamped their offensive line in hopes of rejuvenating RB Chris Johnson for the season. The Tennessee defense is what really stinks, and that’s what led the team to a 2-7-1 ATS mark in its last 10 road games and a 6-13-1 ATS mark in its last 20 games overall. However, when you really sit down and look at the Steelers of late, you’ll see an underachieving team that is just 4-10-1 ATS in its last 15 games played in conference, including going 1-3-1 ATS in its last five games of last season here at Heinz Field.

Seattle Seahawks (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Carolina Panthers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Seattle -3.5, Total: 45

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC – Sunday, September 8th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Seahawks had a great end of the season last year, and they were able to cover both of their playoff games on the East Coast against the Redskins and the Falcons. In fact, the argument could be made that last season turned on its head for Seattle when it came on the road and beat the Panthers 16-12 in an ugly battle. The Panthers however, covered their last four games of last season, and they are hoping to parlay that into a great start this year. They have failed to cover four straight season openers, and that could prove to be problematic for sure, but they do have the benefit of getting to watch Seattle travel all the way East and not the other way around. The home team is 5-1 SU and ATS all-time in this series with last year being the exception.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Kansas City -3.5, Total: 41.5

EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL – Sunday, September 8th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

A game between the teams that had the top two picks in the NFL Draft and combined for just four wins last season might not seem like that much of an intriguing game, but alas, these two clubs are both going to be better than they were last year. Jacksonville is a team that very well could win six or seven games this season thanks to a suspect schedule, and it starts with this one on Sunday. The Chiefs have a new coach (Andy Reid) and a new quarterback (Alex Smith), and they combine with six Pro Bowlers from last year’s squad to try to get the job done in this one. The Jaguars are a whopping 12-2 ATS in their last 14 seasons in Week 1, and that’s a tremendous stat to follow. KC failed to cover its last four games last season, though this year’s team looks a lot better than last year’s really ever did.

Miami Dolphins (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Cleveland Browns (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Cleveland Pick ‘Em, Total: 41

FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH – Sunday, September 8th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

Could the Dolphins and the Browns both get into the playoffs this year? It might seem farfetched, but the winner of this one is going to feel particularly good about logging a win against the other. Cleveland added two big pieces to the defensive puzzle in LB Paul Kruger and LB Barkevious Mingo in the offseason, and that parlayed with the fact that QB Brandon Weeden has looked good in the preseason and RB Trent Richardson has another year under his belt have Browns fans excited. Miami went on a spending spree in the offseason, bringing in a bunch of new free agents, highlighted by WR Mike Wallace, a real speedster on the outside. Four of the five all-time meetings between these two have failed to reach the total, and three of those four have only gotten to 23 points. The one ‘over’ game in 2007 reached 72 points. We don’t expect to see anything in either of those extremes come Sunday.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ New York Jets (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Tampa Bay -3, Total: 39.5

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ – Sunday, September 8th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

There have only been eight meetings all-time between the Jets and the Bucs, and the truth of the matter is that this has been as one-sided of a series as there ever has been in the history of the league. Tampa Bay only owns a 1-7 ATS and SU mark in those eight games, and the last win came near three decades ago. However, there is some drama here for sure. QB Geno Smith is making his pro debut as a starter in this game, while the Bucs are bringing back DB Darrelle Revis to the place that drafted him. This has the potential to be one of the uglier games on the docket in Week 1, and there’s a reason that it is the only game of the 16 on the board to have a ‘total’ of less than 41. This one might not even remotely get close either with Smith and QB Josh Freeman tossing the pigskin all over the place.

Green Bay Packers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ San Francisco 49ers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: San Francisco -4.5, Total: 48.5

Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA – Sunday, September 8th, 4:25 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

There is no doubt whatsoever that the Packers are tired of seeing the 49ers. They started their season with San Fran last year, and their season came to a close in the playoffs with San Fran. Now, this is very likely to be a third straight loss at the hands of the boys from the Bay. The 49ers have had as much success without winning a Super Bowl as you could possibly have, as they have been in the NFC Championship Game twice, hosted it once, and made it to the Super Bowl once. The Packers are going to try to get back to the Mecca of football this year, but they have a lot of work to do with their ground game with rookie RB Eddie Lacy and their defense to get the job done. The good news for Green Bay in this one? The team is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven visits to the Stick, and it is 9-3-2 ATS in the last 14 games in this series overall in spite of those two woeful games last year.

Arizona Cardinals (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ St. Louis Rams (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: St. Louis -4.5, Total: 41

Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO – Sunday, September 8th, 4:25 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Rams swept this series last season in convincing fashion, beating the Cards by 14 points in both of the two games. These two teams are both considered relatively sharp teams when it comes to the odds to win the Super Bowl, even though they are both considered to be second rate teams in relation to the 49ers and the Seahawks. It is clear that this is an important game for both QB Sam Bradford and for Head Coach Bruce Arians. Bradford is trying to hang onto his job. Arians is trying to prove that he was the right man to try to resurrect this franchise. QB Carson Palmer is set to be making his debut for the Cards on Sunday. Interestingly enough, this is going to be the seventh straight game between these two which has featured a spread of 3.5 points or fewer. The games couldn’t be more evenly poised either, as both teams are 3-3 SU and ATS and the underdogs are also 3-3 SU and ATS.

New York Giants (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Dallas Cowboys (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Dallas -3, Total: 48.5

Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX – Sunday, September 8th, 8:20 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

This is an iconic rivalry in football, knowing that both the Cowboys and the Giants are always seemingly in the thick of the fight for the playoffs regardless of what else is going on around them. These two kicked off last year on a Wednesday, of all nights of the week in Week 1, and the game was not surprisingly a great one with an unexpected hero in WR Kevin Ogletree, who was largely never heard from again after that. The G-Men have the weight of the world on their shoulders, knowing that they are essentially hosting the Super Bowl this year in East Rutherford, and they would love nothing more than to be able to hoist their third Lombardi Trophy in the QB Eli Manning era in front of their own hometown fans. New York is 7-2 ATS and 6-3 SU over the course of the last nine games in this series, and you have to go back to 2008 to find the last time that Dallas won a game at home in this series.

Philadelphia Eagles (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Washington Redskins (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Washington -3.5, Total: 51

FedEx Field, Landover, MD – Monday, September 9th, 7:10 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Redskins and Eagles make very strange bedmates in the first week of the season. It’s not odd that the two NFC East rivals are squaring off with each other, but what is strange is the fact that we have an entirely new offense of the Eagles facing off with what could be an entirely new offense in DC as well. Will QB Robert Griffin III be allowed to play with a full playbook coming off of ACL surgery and playing in his very first game? Or are there going to be training wheels on? Will Head Coach Chip Kelly run 80 plays or more in this game? All of the ATS trends are pointing to Washington in this one. The favorite is 5-0 ATS in the last five games in this series. The Redskins are also 3-0-1 ATS over the course of the last four seasons in Week 1, and they are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 games against NFC East foes. Philly meanwhile, is coming off of one of the worst ATS seasons in NFL history at just 3-12-1 ATS.

Houston Texans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ San Diego Chargers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Houston -3.5, Total: 44

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA – Monday, September 9th, 10:20 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Texans are getting almost 80% of the betting action early in the week in this game, and if you look at the history of these two teams, you wouldn’t know why. The Texans are 0-4 SU and ATS lifetime against the Chargers, and they don’t have a great history of playing games on the West Coast in their history. San Diego is starting off the Head Coach Mike McCoy era with a very tough game, and it is going to be made worse if the team has half of its wide receiving corps out injured. DE Antonio Smith is suspended for this one. If you’re a believer in the fact that the Chargers won’t be a playoff team this year, this stat is for you. Houston went a perfect 9-0 SU and 6-3 ATS last season when taking on teams that didn’t get into the second season, including beating a few on the road like the Bears that the team wasn’t necessarily expected to blow away.

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Adam Markowitz

Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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