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Jordan Love tosses a pass versus the Bengals.

Aug 11, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) throws a pass against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

  • Week 1 NFL picks against the spread are live, with the Packers headlining our top three selections
  • Green Bay opened as a 2.5-point underdog at the Bears, but the line is moving in the Packers direction
  • Check out our favorite Week 1 NFL picks against the spread below

As children, we counted down the days until summer vacation. As sports bettors, there’s no time of the year we look forward to more than Week 1 of the NFL season.

All 32 teams will kick off their 2023 campaigns this week, and the oddsboard is littered with opportunities to start the season off on a profitable note.

The two most anticipated contests of Week 1 are arguably the Lions-Chiefs season opener, and the Bills-Jets Monday nighter, but in between are a handful of games that offer plenty of value against the spread.

Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread

Matchup Spread Pick Units Risked
Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears CHI -1 GB 1
Tennessee Titans vs New Orleans Saints NO -3 TEN 1
San Francisco 49ers vs Pittsburgh Steelers SF -2.5 PIT 1

Among those is the latest chapter in the Packers vs Bears rivalry, which will mark the beginning of the Jordan Love era. Green Bay opened as an underdog in the NFL odds, but don’t be surprised if this game is a pick’em by the time it kicks off.


Odds as of September 3rd at BetMGM. Get a BetMGM promo code to bet on NFL action this week.

NFL ATS Pick 1: Packers Over Bears

When Week 1 opening lines were released, the Packers were 2.5-point underdogs. Now, the line sits at Green Bay +1. So what’s changed? For starters, the Packers were extremely impressive in the preseason. Green Bay was one of the highest graded teams on both sides of the ball, and Love’s performance exceeded expectations.

There was always going to be a drop-off going from Aaron Rodgers to Love, but NFL experts are suddenly very high on the Packers new starter. Love has shown excellent chemistry with his young pass catchers throughout training camp and the preseason, while Green Bay’s defense is littered with All-Pro calibre players.

Expectations are also high for Justin Fields and the Bears, but there’s some major question marks. The offensive line is extremely raw and banged up, and Fields still has plenty to prove as a passer.

He’s one of only three QB’s since 2000 with a career sack percentage north of 14%, while he ranked dead last in expected points added (EPA) per drop back last year if you remove scrambling. The addition of DJ Moore should help, but until we see Fields take the next step as a passer, we’ll be picking on him as a favorite all season.

Pick: Green Bay Packers (+1) 1 unit

NFL ATS Pick 2: Titans Upset Saints

Our next target is another road ‘dog, as we’re backing the Titans in New Orleans. Tennessee is currently a 3-point underdog, which is exactly the zone you want to target Mike Vrabel led teams in. Vrabel’s Titans are 22-9 ATS when catching 3 or more points during his tenure, with 19 outright victories.

Tennessee is returning the majority of their roster from a season ago, and added DeAndre Hopkins in free agency to boost their pass game.

Oldest Rosters in NFL

Team Average Roster Age
NY Jets 27 yrs, 4 mos, 2 day
New Orleans Saints 27 yrs, 2 mos, 23 day
Las Vegas Raiders 26 yrs, 11 mos, 20 day
Buffalo Bills 26 yrs, 11 mos, 17 day
New England Patriots 26 yrs, 10 mos, 4 day

The Saints meanwhile, upgraded their QB position with Derek Carr, but feature the second oldest roster in the NFL. With the exception of Chris Olave, the bulk of their key starters are on the back nine of their careers.

To make matters worse, Coach Dennis Allen has a history of struggling against the spread. He’s posted an abysmal .396 cover rate over 43 games.

Pick: Tennessee Titans (+3) 1 unit

NFL ATS Pick 3: Steelers Shock 49ers

Last, but not least, take the Steelers as 2.5-point underdogs versus the 49ers. Pittsburgh has pulled off massive upsets in its opener in back-to-back seasons, knocking off Buffalo in ’21 and Cincinnati last year.

Mike Tomlin teams thrive in the underdog role, especially at home. His squads are 15-4-3 against the spread as home ‘dogs since 2007, and 8-2-1 ATS since they drafted T.J. Watt.

Kenny Pickett has reportedly made major strides since last season, while the Steelers offensive line has also been significantly upgraded.

As for San Francisco, they’re just one Brock Purdy hit away from putting their season in Sam Darnold’s hands. Online sportsbooks are begging you to bet the 49ers at this short number. Don’t be fooled, back the Steel curtain.

Pick: Steelers (+2.5) 1 unit

Rest of Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread

  • Chiefs (-6.5) vs Lions: Patrick Mahomes has led his team to 33+ points in all five of his Week 1 starts. Detroit won’t be able to keep up.
  • Ravens (-10) vs Texans: A terrible landing spot for CJ Stroud’s debut. Expect him to struggle, and the new look Baltimore offense to feast.
  • Cardinals (+7) vs Commanders: If there’s one game destined to ruin survivor pools it’s this one
  • Falcons (-3.5) vs Panthers: Carolina struggled in the preseason averaging just 12 points per game, and the growing pains continue in Week 1 for Bryce Young.
  • Buccaneers (+6) vs Vikings: Minnesota outperformed their win expectation by over four games in 2022. Regression is coming their way.
  • Colts (+5) vs Jaguars: Home underdogs in Week 1 divisional games are 15-2 ATS since 2012.
  • Browns (+2.5) vs Bengals: Joe Burrow is banged up and 1-4 all-time versus Cleveland
  • Patriots (+4) vs Eagles: New coordinators on both sides of the ball cause Philly to come out of the gate slow
  • Seahawks (-5.5) vs Rams: Matthew Stafford might be healthy, but Cooper Kupp is not. The offensive talent behind them isn’t strong enough to match Seattle’s.
  • Dolphins (+3) vs Chargers: This game has shootout written all over it. Expect it to go down to the wire with Miami squeaking out a cover.
  • Raiders (+4) vs Broncos: Jimmy G is 14-7 straight up and 16-5 ATS as an underdog in his career.
  • Giants (+3) vs Cowboys: Brian Daboll and the G-Men were 10-2 ATS as underdogs last season.
  • Bills (-2.5) vs Jets: This game has already moved a point in Buffalo’s favor. Bettors are expecting a rocky start to the Rodgers-New York era, and so am I.


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Chris Amberley

Sports Writer


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