Professional football is back – and it’s back strong.
The superbowl the favorites are on the road this week against the defending champions. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Our staff of NFL Betting analysts have you covered on all fronts. We have a pick on the spread, one on the total, two player props, and even a pick with an eye toward Sunday of Week 1.
NFL odds and picks
simon hunter: What better way to kick off the new season than with defending champions taking on Super Bowl favorites?
The public love the Bills, but got this line as a pick’em. Luckily for us, the money flowed into Buffalo, moving that line significantly.
The Rams defensive line is built to give the Bills offensive line, which has plenty of question marks, a run for its money. Josh Allen doesn’t have many weaknesses, but pressure down the middle and outside blitzes have been his biggest issues. Los Angeles has many ways to get him in trouble.
Sean McVay is 5-0 in the first games of the season as Rams head coach. I would bet this game up to Rams +2.
The Great Foosini: Last season, the Rams’ regular season game with the then defending champion Buccaneers closed at 55, a season high, and the game ended in threes. The following week, the Rams played the Cards at home to a 54 total – their second-highest of the year – with that game also topped by a field goal.
As the season progressed, the Rams’ totals gradually dropped to around 47-48, but there’s a general trend with their game results. The total points scored were over 50 points when they played elite offenses like the Bucs, Packers Where Cardinals. Needless to say if the Bills’ offense is elitist.
Looking at the Bills on the road last year, their games topped all sets over 50, which happened against the TitansBucs and twice against the Chiefs (once in the playoffs). If we focus on similar opponents, bettors peg the Bills vs Bucs total at 53 and Bucs vs Rams at 54. In most books, this game is 52.
We have solid data on Bills road totals, Rams vs elite offenses and very similar game design to Bucs vs Rams in 2021. Market View and Results Analysis of each team in these scenarios presents a valuable entry point into the game, and I’ll play the most at 51.5 on FanDuel and play it at 52.
Charlie DiSturco: The Allen Robinson Revenge Tour officially begins Thursday night. After being stuck in purgatory – er, Chicago – Robinson joins a high-powered offense with which I expect a big season opener from the 29-year-old.
If there is a weakness in this Bills team, it is at the cornerback position. Star Tre’Davious White remains on the PUP list to start the year, leaving behind a thin depth chart.
Regardless of who takes the majority of the shots, Robinson has the biggest lag on Thursday night. All attention will be on Cooper Kupp – you can’t leave the star on an island – often leaving the veteran 1-on-1 with the aforementioned rookie cornerbacks.
We saw Robert Woods thrive as the No. 2 behind Kupp last season, scoring touchdowns in four of nine games before suffering a season-ending injury. He was WR13 in fantasy at the time of the injury. Enter Odell Beckham Jr. as a replacement, and he finished with seven touchdowns in 12 games.
With Van Jefferson also out of this game, Robinson should see a heavy workload in his Rams debut. I think he’s exploding against this young Bills secondary and would also play his touchdown prop at +160. If you want a longshot to add to your roster, consider him the game leader in receiving yards (+600) as well.
Buy your early season Robinson stock before it’s too late.
Malstrom Codes: The Bills come into the season with the best defensive DVOA in the NFL coupled with an above average offense. Buffalo won’t be 100% going into this game as they await the return of cornerback Tre’Davious White from a torn ACL suffered in Week 12 last year.
Until then, the Bills have a mystery in one of the most important positions with potential replacement rookie Kaiir Elam.
It’s Buffalo’s offense that gets me thinking, considering it’s probably struggling against this Rams defense. Josh Allen is a star, but his tendency to rush early or hold the ball too long sets them back. He regressed to the middle of the pack in EPA and Turnover Rate last season, a statistical image of his bad habits.
Combine that with a weaker offensive line that will be abused by the Rams’ constant pressure up front, and we could see Allen struggle again.
The Rams have more question marks this season than last, but they’re still an elite team. Losing Odell Beckham Jr. and Robert Woods hurts, but Allen Robinson steps in to soften the loss and forces Sean McVay to balance the offense with a capable running backs committee.
While I’m never a fan of taking an underdog at +2.5, I’ll throw them in a Wong Teaser with Dallas to give me both teams at +8.5. If you want to play them straight instead, I’d wait to see if the silver pushes it to +3.
Sam Farley: We’re expecting a tussle between these two offensive powerhouses, and as you’d expect, the numbers for TD counters at any time aren’t the most important. Still, Dawson Knox jumps off the screen at +180.
The tight end reportedly agreed to a four-year, $53.6 million extension, showing just how highly rated he is by the Bills coaching staff. Last year, he broke with 49 receptions for 587 yards and – important for this bet – nine touchdowns. He was a key part of their red zone offense and at 6ft 4in he is a big threatens.
The Rams’ defense was good against tight ends last year, allowing just two touchdowns at the post. But with the confidence the Bills front office has placed in Knox, as well as his performance last year, he’s a high-value game to score here.