The new NFL season is here! On Thursday night, US time, the Dallas Cowboys will head to Florida to take on the Super Bowl winners Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the opening game of the season.
This will precede a full weekend of action across the NFL as the other 30 teams across the AFC and NFC get their regular season underway.
We’ve a lot to get through this week, so we’re not going to beat about the bush! If you would like to enjoy a wager on these games and you’re based in the United Kingdom, then check out all the wide range of bets available both pre-game and In Play at bet365 Sport.
Remember to check if you have any Bet365 Credits remaining from your introductory offer too as this is a great opportunity to use up this bonus.
If you are tuning into the action from the United States (and why wouldn’t you?) then there is fantastic NFL betting all season long at the excellent BetRivers Sportsbook, which is available across multiple states.
Let’s get straight down to previewing each of the 16 games this week, giving you our prediction for the game and the best bet to make on it from the Spread betting market at bet365.
All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of Wednesday 8th September 2021.
NFL Matchday 1 Preview & Tips
Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A great game to start the season, the Cowboys offense looks stacked but that Bucs defense is top quality and with Tom Brady at the other end of the field, I expect the home side to get their season off to a winning start.
Score Prediction – Dallas Cowboys 17-35 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Best Bet – Buccaneers (-8.0) – 10/11
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills
I was a bit worried by how poorly the Steelers tailed off last season and with TJ Watt’s future still not resolved, I think they could be up against it here against a very strong Buffalo Bills team who should be very strong in the AFC this season.
Score Prediction – Pittsburgh Steelers 21-28 Buffalo Bills
Best Bet – Bills (-6.5) – 10/11
Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans
This game should see plenty of points scored, but I feel the Titans offense is just scary and they should put up plenty of points this season. The Cardinals should be able to keep pace initially but I think the Titans will just edge it in the later stages of the game.
Score Prediction – Arizona Cardinals 24-38 Tennessee Titans
Best Bet – Titans (-3.0) – 20/21
Seattle Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts
This should be a close one. You can never rule the Seahawks out with Russell Wilson under center, but I feel the Colts have a very strong defense and if they can keep this tight then I think they will do just enough on offense to clinch the win.
Score Prediction – Seattle Seahawks 17-21 Indianapolis Colts
Best Bet – Colts (-2.5) – 20/21
San Francisco 49ers @ Detroit Lions
I don’t hold out much hope for Lions fans this season, I don’t know how often that has been said over the past couple of decades but it is true this season too. The 49ers should be ready for another tilt at the Super Bowl and I think they win this one very comfortably indeed.
Score Prediction – San Francisco 49ers 35-13 Detroit Lions
Best Bet – 49ers (-7.5) – 20/21
Los Angeles Chargers @ Washington Football Team
I think this game is a tough one to call. I think whoever wins the battle between the Chargers offense and the Washington defense wins this game and with their upgrades on offense this season, I am backing the Chargers to come away with a big win.
Score Prediction – Los Angeles Chargers 24-15 Washington Football Team
Best Bet –Chargers (-1.0) – 20/21
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons
I think Eagles fans are in for a tough season and I think it will start here. Matt Ryan may not have Julio Jones to pick out any more, but the Falcons still have more than enough on offense to earn a solid victory in their opener.
Score Prediction – Philadelphia Eagles 10-28 Atlanta Falcons
Best Bet – Falcons (-3.0) – 20/23
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Two of the weaker teams in the NFL meet in an all-AFC South clash. I think the Jags have made enough of an improvement to get the better of a Texans team in disarray after some awful decisions by Bill O’Brien and the issues surrounding their quarterback.
Score Prediction – Jacksonville Jaguars 28-21 Houston Texans
Best Bet – Jaguars (-2.5) – 20/23
Minnesota Vikings @ Cincinnati Bengals
I am predicting that by the end of the season, the Bengals will be one of the more improved teams in the NFL, although it may not show in their results given the tough division they are in. However, I think for this one, the Vikings will have too much on offense with Dalvin Cook the major threat here.
Score Prediction – Minnesota Vikings 31-17 Cincinnati Bengals
Best Bet – Vikings (-3.0) – 4/5
New York Jets @ Carolina Panthers
Two teams that will be hoping for a much improved season this time around. In truth both are something of an enigma as we start the season, but I feel that in terms of being the finished article, the Panthers are further along in their journey and as such, may land the win here.
Score Prediction – New York Jets 10-21 Carolina Panthers
Best Bet – Panthers (-5.5) – 10/11
Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints
It was a story of quarterbacks for both these high-powered offenses. Drew Brees retired for New Orleans with Jameis Winston taking over, but Aaron Rodgers remains in Green Bay and in what should be a high scoring game, I think Rodgers does enough to give his team the win in a close one.
Score Prediction – Green Bay Packers 38-35 New Orleans Saints
Best Bet – Saints (+4.0) – 20/21
Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Browns are a team I think will be very strong if they can keep their star men healthy. At the moment, I still feel the Chiefs are the team to beat in the AFC and I expect them to win this game well, but the Browns will be a team to watch this season regardless of this result.
Score Prediction – Cleveland Browns 24-45 Kansas City Chiefs
Best Bet – Chiefs (-6.5) – 20/21
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
The AFC East will be a really intriguing division this year and while I think the Bills win the division again, I think these two teams will be really close for second spot in the division. As such, I am expecting a very tight game between these two teams with the Patriots just nicking the win.
Score Prediction – Miami Dolphins 21-20 New England Patriots
Best Bet – Dolphins (+3.0) – 20/23
Denver Broncos @ New York Giants
Two teams who I think will probably be stronger on defense than offense this season, so I can’t see too many points being scored here. However with home advantage and with the Broncos offense still looking a bit toothless at QB, I am backing the Giants to land a narrow win here.
Score Prediction – Denver Broncos 10-13 New York Giants
Best Bet – Giants (+3.0) – 20/23
Chicago Bears @ Los Angeles Rams
Can the Bears expect to get anything against the Rams here? I’m not so sure. It’s a big ask for their rookie quarterback Justin Fields and with Matt Stafford expected to make the Rams Super Bowl challengers, I am backing them to land a big win on the opening day here.
Score Prediction – Chicago Bears 10-28 Los Angeles Rams
Best Bet – Rams (-7.5) – 10/11
Baltimore Ravens @ Las Vegas Raiders
The Ravens have added more passing firepower to their run-heavy offense in the pre-season period and as such, they should be a much more balanced side which spells danger for the Raiders who can beat anybody on their day. I just feel this won’t be their day.
Score Prediction – Baltimore Ravens 41-21 Las Vegas Raiders
Best Bet – Ravens (-4.5) – 10/11