NFL Week 1 Picks: Prop Bets, Vegas Lines, Over/Under Predictions and Advice
Featured Columnist September 4, 2019 Comments Comment Bubble Icon
The first week of the 2019 NFL season is here, football fans! The offseason is almost officially over, as is the wait for a little good old-fashioned side action.
Whether you’re a wagering veteran or ready to take the plunge, Week 1 will bring plenty of betting opportunities for you. From straight-up wagers and over/unders to playing the point spread and prop bets, you’re sure to find something to suit your style.
Here, we’ll examine the latest lines and over/unders from Caesars along with some score predictions for the opening week and season-long prop bets.
Week 1 Lines, Over/Unders and Predictions
Thursday, September 5
Green Bay Packers (+3, o/u 46.5) at Chicago Bears: Chicago 23-20
Sunday, September 8
Los Angeles Rams (-2.5, o/u 49.5) at Carolina Panthers: Los Angeles 29-24
Washington Redskins (+9.5, o/u 45) at Philadelphia Eagles: Philadelphia 33-24
Buffalo Bills (+3, o/u 41) at New York Jets: Buffalo 24-22
Atlanta Falcons (+4,o/u 47.5 at Minnesota Vikings: Minnesota 27-25
Baltimore Ravens (-7, o/u 38) at Miami Dolphins: Baltimore 27-17
Kansas City Chiefs (-4, o/u 52) at Jacksonville Jaguars: Kansas City 28-24
Tennessee Titans (+5.5, o/u 45.5) at Cleveland Browns: Cleveland 28-25
Indianapolis Colts (+6.5, o/u 44.5) at Los Angeles Chargers: Chargers 30-22
Cincinnati Bengals (+9.5, o/u 44) at Seattle Seahawks: Seattle 33-23
San Francisco 49ers (even, o/u 50) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tampa Bay 27-24
New York Giants (+7,o/u 45) at Dallas Cowboys: Dallas 26-20
Detroit Lions (-2.5, o/u 47) at Arizona Cardinals: Detroit 22-19
Pittsburgh Steelers (+5.5, o/u 50) at New England Patriots: Pittsburgh 30-28
Monday, September 9
Houston Texans (+7, o/u 52.5) at New Orleans Saints: New Orleans 30-21
Denver Broncos (even, o/u 43) at Oakland Raiders: Oakland 22-20
Nick Chubb Over/Under 1,073.5 Rushing Yards
Making season-long prop bets ahead of Week 1 is a fun way to add a little excitement to the season. It creates a sort of fantasy-football atmosphere when you’re rooting for or against players on a weekly basis, depending on which side of the prop you pick.
At first glance of an over/under of 1,073.5 rushing yards for Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb , this may seem like an easy over after Chubb amassed 996 yards in 2018 despite not starting a game until Week 7. However, there are plenty of folks who expect the Browns to be a passing team in 2019, and there’s the eventual return of 2017 rushing champion Kareem Hunt to worry about.
The over is still the safe bet here. Once Chubb took over the starting job, he averaged 82.3 yards per game on the ground. Over a 16-game season, that would put him at 1,316 rushing yards.
Keep in mind that even after he got the starting gig, Chubb was still splitting time with receiving back Duke Johnson Jr. With Johnson now out, that complementary role will be filled by Dontrell Hilliard early in the season and likely by Hunt once he does return from suspension.
As long as Chubb stays healthy, he should hit the over.
Ben Roethlisberger Over/Under 4,305.5 Passing Yards
This is a season-long over/under that is a bit trickier. The Pittsburgh Steelers parted with No. 1 receiver Antonio Brown in the offseason, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has only passed for more than 4,300 yards twice in his career.
However, it’s important to look at Roethlisberger’s performance last season. He passed for 5,129 yards, partially because of Brown, but not entirely. JuJu Smith-Schuster emerged as an elite pass-catcher, amassing 1,426 receiving yards .
Smith-Schuster will be Roethlisberger’s new No. 1 target. As long as another receiver can step into the No. 2 role, Big Ben’s production shouldn’t dip that far below where it was last season.
Second-year wideout James Washington, who averaged 20.8 yards per reception in the preseason, could be that guy.
“There is no doubt in my mind he’s going to be doing that during the season. Super excited to watch him,” Smith-Schuster said of the second-round pick out of Oklahoma State, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
If Washington can approach 1,000 yards receiving and the Steelers can get the same production out of the rest of their receiving corps as last year, Roethlisberger should top 4,306 yards.
Marlon Mack Over/Under 999.5 Rushing Yards
With this prop, you’re essentially betting whether Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack will have a 1,000-yard season. Because of the retirement of quarterback Andrew Luck, there are two ways to view this one.
Without Luck, the Colts will lean on Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. Either Mack’s production (908 rushing yards in 12 games last year) will suffer because teams will focus on stopping the run, or it will thrive because the Colts will run more to make Brissett’s job easier.
Go with the over here. Brissett may not stretch the field like Luck, but he’s a capable passer with a little running ability of his own (he threw for 3,098 yards and ran for 260 in 16 games two seasons ago). Opposing defenses may key in on the run a bit more, but they’ll also be focused on keeping Brissett in the pocket. This should open up more room for Mack.
The Colts also upgraded their receiving corps, adding Devin Funchess and Parris Campbell in the offseason. These additions should help prevent defenses from stacking the box, and let’s not forget that Indianapolis has one of the best offensive lines in football.
Even while splitting time with receiving back Nyheim Hines, Mack should hit 1,000 yards.