San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions
September 12th – 1:00 pm ET – Ford Field
The Detroit Lions sent quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in a blockbuster deal that saw Jared Goff move to Detroit. However, it remains to be seen whether it can actually help them return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. After picking up just five victories last year, fans remain pessimistic that this will be the season their team finally turns things around.
Despite their issues though, the Lions will like their chances against a San Francisco 49ers side who also disappointed last year with a 6-11 record. The 49ers looked like a completely different team to the side that went to the Super Bowl in 2019 and will be looking to try get back to the promise they once showed.
Even after their struggles last season though, bookmakers have the 49ers as massive favorites coming into Sunday’s game at Ford Field. The 49ers should come away with a crucial week one victory, but do not expect them to cover by more than a touchdown. Go with the Lions to cover the spread and the under on Sunday.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills
September 12th – 1:00 pm ET – Highmark Stadium
The Buffalo Bills ended their playoff win drought last season as they went all the way to the AFC Championship Game, where they ultimately fell short against the Kansas City Chiefs. This year, they are looking to go all the way as one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
The Steelers started off last year 11-0, before fading down the stretch and being eliminated in the Wild Card Round by the Cleveland Browns. Pittsburgh have lost to the Bills for the last two consecutive seasons and will be eager to prove they are still legitimate contenders in the AFC despite an aging Ben Roethlisberger running the show.
Nonetheless, we should be in for an entertaining affair on Sunday afternoon between two of the best teams in the AFC. The Bills enter the contest as favorites by a touchdown, which may seem like a lot given their opponents. However, considering the Bills’ performances at home last year the spread seems fair. Go with the home team and the over in a crucial week one game.
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs
September 12th – 1:00 pm ET – Arrowhead Stadium
The Cleveland Browns took a massive step in the right direction last season when they eliminated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the opening round of the playoffs. They needed a victory in their final regular season game to reach the postseason to begin with and were able to get the job done in that game against Pittsburgh as well. They are hoping to make even more progress this season by winning the AFC North.
The Kansas City Chiefs will not be intimidated by their opponents though and will still be haunted by their loss to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl. They remain as dangerous as ever and have a legitimate shot at reaching the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season.
Kansas City are six-point favorites at home and should cover without any issues. They have been nearly unbeatable at home and while the Browns will present them with quite the daunting challenge, go with the Chiefs to win big in their first game since the Super Bowl.
PICKS: Kansas City
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
September 12th– 4:25pm ET – Gillette Stadium
The New England Patriots decided not to continue with quarterback Cam Newton, opting to start rookie Mac Jones instead and release the veteran. The Patriots selected Jones in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but few thought that he would be named the starter so early in his career.
The Miami Dolphins will look to put pressure on Jones immediately on Sunday as, they hope to build on the successes they had last season. While they finished with a respectable 10-6 record, they still missed out on the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
Miami enter Sunday’s game in New England as the underdogs, which may be surprising to many. But considering how good Bill Belichik has been at home over his career it is easy to see the bookmakers’ thinking. However, the Dolphins could easily escape with a victory. Miami should cover the spread and if you are feeling risky, take them to win outright as well.
Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints
September 12th– 4:25 pm ET – EverBank Field
The New Orleans Saints would much rather be playing in their own stadium against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon, but Hurricane Ida has made that impossible. It’s not exactly how they imagined the start of the post-Drew Brees era in New Orleans.
Green Bay have had their own issues this offseason though, mainly with starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers who looked to be on his way out. However, cooler heads prevailed in the end and the 37-year-old is back with the only NFL team he has ever played for.
The Packers are favorites on the road and with good reason. If they can manage to stay on the same page throughout the campaign, they could be Super Bowl-bound. They have one of the most talented rosters in the entire NFL and could do some real damage in the NFC. Expect them to come away with a big week one win in Jacksonville while covering the 4-point spread. The over also looks like a lock.
PICKS: Green Bay
* All odds are via Play Gun Lake Sportsbook MI.