NFL Week 1 Preview and Picks

Andrew Dixon
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Saturday, September 11, 2021

Home teams and favourites dominate the opening week picks

It’s time to take a look ahead to Week 1 of the NFL season.


Thursday Night Football

Opening night has come and gone and my Buccaneers over Cowboys selection came to fruition. You can take a read through the game preview and recap after you take a look through the rest of Week 1’s picks.

Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers


1:00 PM Eastern Time Slot


Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

The Jaguars enter this one as -3.0 (-120) favourites over the Texans at +3.0 (+100). 1st overall selection Trevor Lawrence will be making his first NFL start, going up against Tyrod Taylor, and I think he pulls out the win.

Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars


Los Angeles Chargers at Washington Football Team

This is one of the more difficult games to pick in the opening week. Reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert and the Chargers (+1.0, -110) will face one of the best defensive units in the league. Washington (-1.0, -110) is destined for erratic QB play with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, so whether we see Fitzmagic or not will likely decide the outcome of this one.

Pick: Los Angeles Chargers


Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts

Seattle (-3.0, -110) and Indianapolis (+3.0, -110) are both teams that I see making the playoffs, but I see the Colts taking a bit to find their groove with new QB Carson Wentz taking snaps for them.

Pick: Seattle Seahawks


New York Jets at Carolina Panthers

Sam Darnold doesn’t have to wait long to go against his former team. On top of that, his Panthers are -4.0 favourites (-110). The Jets (+4.0, -110) made some nice moves over the offseason, but Darnold gets his revenge.

Pick: Carolina Panthers


Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati offensive line will have a tough challenge in their first game of the year. Many projected them to address the group early in the 2021 Draft, but they opted to get Joe Burrow his former teammate in Ja’Marr Chase. I’ll take the favoured Vikings (-3.0, -110) over the Bengals (+3.0, -110) until I see how the Bengal offense looks.

Pick: Minnesota Vikings


Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans

Tennessee’s (-3.0, -105) power offense got even more powerful with the addition of Julio Jones this offseason while Arizona’s (+3.0, -115) defense added players like J.J. Watt and Zaven Collins. Give me the Titans in a close one.

Pick: Tennessee Titans


San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions

The biggest spread of the week finds its home in Detroit (+8.0, -105) when the 49ers (-8.0, -115) come to town. Detroit has made some culture changes, namely in onboarding Dan Campbell, but the roster is still missing superstar talent.

Pick: San Francisco 49ers


Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills

Buffalo (-6.5, -110) should be able to take care of business against the Steelers (+6.5, -110), but I think it’ll be closer than people might expect. The Steelers defense, headlined by the highest-paid defender in the league, should give the Bills some trouble.

Pick: Buffalo Bills


Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons

This game, and the Eagles’ season, will come down to Jalen Hurts’ play. Philly (+3.5, -115) will get a defense that has historically been soft to open up the year, but the Atlanta (-3.5, -105) offense should be able to exploit the Eagle defense just a bit more.

Pick: Atlanta Falcons


4:25 PM Eastern Time Slot


Browns at Kansas City Chiefs

I won’t be picking against the Chiefs (-5.5, -110) too often this year, but Cleveland should give them a great fight. These underdogs (+5.5, -110) nearly took down Kansas City in the playoffs last year. In a close one, I’ll take the reigning AFC Champions.

Pick: Kansas City Chiefs


Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints

The Packers are -3.5 favourites (-110) over the Saints (+3.5, -110) in a game that will actually be played in Jacksonville. I expect a solid season from Jameis Winston, but I think that season is opening up with a loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Pick: Green Bay Packers


Denver Broncos at New York Giants

The Broncos (-3.0, -105) and Giants (+3.0, -115) have some of the deepest and most explosive receiver rooms anywhere in the NFL, but Denver’s defensive backfield is better. That’s enough for me to pick them in Week 1.

Pick: Denver Broncos


Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

A new era in New England (-3.0, -120) kicks off with Mac Jones at QB while the Dolphins (+3.0, +100) continue to build around Tua Tagovailoa. Winning in Foxborough isn’t easy, and Tua is still young, so I’ll take the Pats in a low-scoring affair.

Pick: New England Patriots


Sunday Night Football


Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams

The Rams (-7.5, -110) are my Super Bowl pick and I think they open up the season with a win against Chicago (+7.5, -110). Don’t be surprised if fans of Da Bears are chanting for Fields to take over if the Los Angeles defense dominates this one.


Monday Night Football


Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders

The Ravens (-4.0, -110) are going to enter this one with a bit of a mystery backfield, but the Vegas (+4.0, -110) defense has been quite weak over the last few years so they could still rack up some yardage. The Vegas offense is quite capable, but I think their defense lets them down.

Pick: Baltimore Ravens


Let me hear your Week 1 picks on Twitter. I’ll be keeping track of my picks on the season in each of my Weekly Previews, here on


All odds and lines are subject to change.