It’s finally here! The 2021-22 NFL season kicks off this week and Week 1 boasts a fantastic slate of 16 games! We will be bringing you one weekly article with our preview for the key matchups of the week as well as betting tips for EVERY game throughout the regular season and playoffs.
Total Sports Picks had a fantastic year in the NFL last season, finishing with a 137-113-5 record throughout the regular season and playoffs with a profit of 17.3 units. It was our first season picking every game and using a staking plan, which is a great result and we’ll look to continue our momentum this season.
If you want to stay up to date with our results and check back on last years, you can view our results spreadsheet HERE!
NFL Week 1 Betting Picks
Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Thursday September 9th, 8.20pm (ET)
As always, the regular season opens up with the reigning Super Bowl Champions on Thursday night football. The Buccs will host the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night, who will come into the season with a lot of unknown after a disappointing 6-10 finish last year. They start as 7.5 point underdogs on the road, and while the distraction of hoisting the Vince Lombardi makes us want to bet against the Buccs at home, I really like the look of the unders even more here.
The Cowboys will still be finding their feet offensively, with starting quarterback Dak Prescott finally making his return after a horrific broken leg last season. The Buccs showed that they have one of the best defences, if not the best in football, last season when they held the Chiefs to just 9 points in the Super Bowl.
I have no doubt that, as usual, it will take both teams a little bit of time to find their groove offensively in the new season. Over the last 11 sseasons in the NFL, the opening Thursday night game has resulted in an average of 47.1 points. Back the unders here for a small stake as we feel out the NFL season.
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams
Sunday September 12th, 8.20pm (ET)
For the first time, the brand new SoFI Stadium in Los Angeles will host fans as the Rams take on the Bears in their season opener Sunday night. Both teams will have a new look at quarterback as Andy Dalton and Matt Stafford make their debuts for Chicago and LA respectively. If things went to plan in the off-season for Chicago, they would have likely been unveiling Aaron Rodgers or Deshaun Watson at QB this week, which we assume is why this matchup was given the marquee Sunday night time-slot.
The two new QB’s enter vastly different scenarios, with Stafford’s the much more desirable. The Rams are a top-tier side in the NFC and a real Super Bowl contender in our eyes. Their defence is incredibly strong and their major weakness over the last few seasons has been at quarterback, a flaw which should be rectified by the arrival of Stafford.
I think there’s a chance that Stafford’s abilities allow coach Sean McVay to play a much more aggressive style on the offensive end, which should have them competing against the best sides in the NFC. Back them to get their season off to a winning start on Sunday night.
Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders
Monday September 13th, 8.15pm (ET)
If one stadium unveiling wasn’t enough for your weekend, then Monday night will see the Raiders hosting the Ravens in Allegiant Stadium’s first ever game with fans in attendance. The Raiders are expected to be a greatly improved side this season after an 8-8 season last year and they’ll get a massive test in Week 1 as they face the Baltimore Ravens.
The Raiders have increased their win total in each of theJon Gruden’s three seasons at the helm so far, so I expect them to continue to improve this season. The Ravens start as 4.5 point favorites on the road, which is probably accurate given they won 12 of their last 13 games last year.
Lamar Jackson has played just one game against the Raiders in the past, in which the Ravens won. In fact, the QB has a identical record at home on the road at 17-6, so it looks unlikely that the Week 1 cross country trip will bother him too much. Back the Ravens to win this one on the road.
The Trevor Lawrence reign in Jacksonville kicks off this weekend against the Texans. It’s tough for me to pick this one, as I’m predicting both of these teams to be pretty poor this season. Have to side with the home team in Week 1, but only for a small stake.
I know they are at home, but what exactly did the Colts do in the off-season to inspire any sort of confidence in their fans? The Seahawks start as 2.5 point favorites, which is really a 5.5 point line brought down a few points because they are on the road. They are just a better team and should win this one by 3+.
Arguably the best matchup in the early time-slot sees two AFC contenders doing battle in the Steelers and Bills. I think the Bills take the next step this season, with QB Josh Allen a ligitimate MVP candidate. Shouldn’t drop this one at home.
Jared Goff skated by on the back of some outstanding skill position players and an even better defense in LA. I think he gets exposed to a degree in Detroit, and I expect them to be one of the worst teams in the competition this year. Couldn’t like the 49ers more here, even on the road.
Sneaky great matchup here in the 1pm timeslot as the Chargers travel to Washington. I think Washington’s defense was a tiny bit overrated last season due to beating up on their weak division, they get a real test against a strong offense in Week 1. Washington should have a revitalised offense with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm. I think 44.5 is low here.
Sam Darnold will face his old team in his first game in Panther colors on Sunday afternoon in a game that I expect to be very run heavy, with not much exhilarating offence on either side of the ball.
What would have been a mouthwatering Week 1 matchup just a few years ago now has the makings of a bit of a stink fest leading into this season. The Falcons and Eagles won 8 games between them last season and I expect the Falcons to improve slightly this season, which is the only reason I’m picking them in this one, for a small stake.
Joe Burrow returns to the Bengals line-up this week after going down with a season ending injury in Week 10 last year. He will give the Cinci fans something to cheer for, but I still can’t see them challenging for much this season. Do like them at home this week though against a Vikings team that was just 6-10 against the spread last year.
Super interesting matchup here between two sides that should be challenging for playoff spots this season. The Titans added another monster offensive weapon in Julio Jones in the off-season to give them arguably the best reciever in the game to go along with the best running back in Derrick Henry. I think a time does come late in this season when all of those miles that Henry has racked up over the past few seasons catch up with him, but I don’t expect it to be in Week 1.
What a monster matchup we have on our hands here! Could this be a potential AFC Championship preview? The Browns have all of the wraps this season while the Chiefs are a known powerhouse. These two offenses are high powered but interestingly, their last three matchups haven’t resulted in a lot of points, just an average of 42.3 to be exact.
Denver Broncos at New York Giants
Sunday September 12th, 4.25pm (ET)
The Broncos will begin life with Teddy Bridgewater on the weekend as they travel to New York to take on the Giants. Both of these teams have been largely off my radar in the off-season, so I’m not willing to wager anything on this unknown.
Two former Alabama QB’s will square off in what will likely be the first of many divisional battles for years to come as Mac Jones makes his debut for the Patriots against Tua Tagovailoa of the Dolphins. Expect the Pats to be much better than their ‘down’ season last year, with a lot of key players back from the COVID sitout season and some extra key weapons on offense.
The Brees era is done and dusted in New Orleans and Jameis Winston will take the reigns in what will largely be a new look Saints side. At home though, I expect them to be competitive against a top Packers side. I think both of these offenses are talented and under the dome, I like this to be a high scoring game.