NFL Predictions, Week 1

The 2021 NFL season is kicking off tonight, therefore, myself and my fellow PFP contributor Lukas Briggs will make our picks for the first slate of games against the spread.

Thursday Night Football

Line: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-9.5)

Lukas’ pick: Dallas Cowboys cover

Cam’s pick: Dallas Cowboys cover

In the most anticipated matchup of week one, the defending Super Bowl Champions face the Dallas Cowboys. Both Lukas and I believe Tampa will win this game, however, the high-powered offense of Dallas keeps the deficit within the 9.5 point spread.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons

Line: Atlanta Falcons (-3)

Lukas’ pick: Philadelphia Eagles cover

Cam’s pick: Atlanta Falcons cover

As you can see, we are split on this one. Lukas sees Atlanta as not anything more than it was last year, which was a worse team than Philadelphia. I disagree, as I believe Atlanta’s defense will make some moderate gains and Arthur Smith is a huge net positive at head coach.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills

Line: Buffalo Bills (-6.5)

Lukas’ pick: Buffalo Bills cover

Cam’s pick: Buffalo Bills cover

This game was extremely easy to call. The Bills are just clearly the better team, and the Steelers don’t even get a full touchdown in the line.

Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals

Line: Minnesota Vikings (-3)

Lukas’ pick: Minnesota Vikings cover

Cam’s LOCK: Minnesota Vikings cover

This was another easy game to predict. The Vikings are much better than Cincinnati and this line is far too low. I am making it my lock of this NFL game week.

San Francisco 49ers vs Detroit Lions

Line: San Francisco 49ers (-7.5)

Lukas’ pick: San Francisco 49ers cover

Cam’s pick: San Francisco 49ers cover

The 49ers are playoff contenders, the Lions are #1 overall pick contenders.

Arizona Cardinals vs Tennessee Titans

Line: Tennessee Titans (-3)

Lukas’ pick: Tennessee Titans cover

Cam’s pick: Tennessee Titans cover

The Tennessee Titans are truly on a path to title contention. A team that was already great added Julio Jones in the off-season. The Cardinals can surely score points, but Tennessee is truly an elite team.

Seattle Seahawks vs Indianapolis Colts

Line: Seattle Seahawks (-3)

Lukas’ pick: Seattle Seahawks cover

Cam’s pick: Indianapolis Colts cover

This is going to be a very interesting matchup between two top-class head coaches. Lukas thinks that the better team on paper wins, however, I think that the Colts cover at home while controlling the clock and game.

Los Angeles Chargers vs Washington Football Team

Line: Washington Football Team (-1)

Lukas’ pick: Washington Football Team covers

Cam’s pick: Los Angeles Chargers covers

This is quietly one of the best games going into the first week of NFL action. This game could truly go either way. Lukas believes that the stout WFT defense will be more than enough to complement a surging offense and beat the Chargers. I believe the Chargers can be deep playoff contenders, and they will beat Washington with a new quarterback in town.

New York Jets vs Carolina Panthers

Line: Carolina Panthers (-4.5)

Lukas’ pick: New York Jets cover

Cam’s pick: Carolina Panthers cover

This is likely going to be a game that is forgotten by next week. However, the debut of Zach Wilson is noteworthy. Lukas sees this as a battle of mediocre at best clubs and with a spread north of four points, he’d take the points. I believe the Panthers are better than that and will cover their points.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans

Line: Jacksonville Jaguars (-3)

Lukas’ pick: Houston Texans cover

Cam’s pick: Houston Texans cover

This game is truly between two of the lightest weights in the NFL. A Jaguars team with a rookie quarterback and a bad roster and a Houston team that is just plain bad and without Deshaun Watson. Lukas and I both agree to just take the points here, I wouldn’t watch this game.

Cleveland Browns vs Kansas City Chiefs

Line: Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5)

Lukas’ pick: Cleveland Browns cover

Cam’s pick: Kansas City Chiefs cover

This matchup could easily be an AFC championship game preview. In what should be a spectacle, Lukas believes that Browns will at least cover the spread and perhaps win. I think in Arrowhead this will be a tough task.

Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots

Line: New England Patriots (-3)

Lukas’ pick: New England Patriots cover

Cam’s pick: New England Patriots cover

This is a very interesting week one matchup pitting Bill Belichick against his former assistant and two former Alabama teammates dualing at quarterback. Lukas and I both believe New England will just be better prepared, and Belichick’s record against young signal-callers like Tua Tagovailoa is stellar.

Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints

Line: Green Bay Packers (-3.5)

Lukas’ LOCK: Green Bay Packers cover

Cam’s pick: Green Bay Packers cover

This game may look juicy on paper, but it truly isn’t. The Saints aren’t even playing at home due to Hurricane Ida, and their roster is not necessarily what it once was. New Orleans is down Michael Thomas, thus they may field the worst pass-catching corps in the NFL. Lukas and I both see a comfortable win for the Packers and he has made it his lock.

Denver Broncos vs New York Giants

Line: Denver Broncos (-3)

Lukas’ pick: New York Giants cover

Cam’s pick: Denver Broncos cover

This is a pretty mediocre NFL matchup, to be honest. Lukas believes the Giants have the potential to be a sleeper team this year, and I feel the same about Denver. Both teams likely will not do too much damage this year.

Sunday Night Football

Line: Los Angeles Rams (-7.5)

Lukas’ pick: Los Angeles Rams cover

Cam’s pick: Los Angeles Rams cover

The Rams are one of the best teams in the NFL and are very likely to contend for the Lombardi Trophy. The Bears are in a transition period and the roster is worse than it was last year. This should be a comfortable win in Matthew Stafford’s Rams debut.

Monday Night Football

Line: Baltimore Ravens (-4.5)

Lukas’ pick: Baltimore Ravens cover

Cam’s pick: Baltimore Ravens cover

The Raiders are a pretty mediocre team. The Ravens despite having what is now a crisis at running back after the season-ending injuries to JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards should get it done as their roster is still very good.

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