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Week 1 NFL Computer Picks: New Chapter in Bears-Packers Rivalry

The NFL returns for the 2023 season with a Week 1 schedule that is 50% division rivalry games, including both Sunday night (Cowboys-Giants) and Monday night (Bills-Jets) games. But the best value picks may be in the Sunday afternoon slate. 

Using the NFL computer picks found at OddsTrader, we are picking some of our favorite bets for this week’s lineup. Using OddsTrader, you can always find which top sportsbook is offering the best price and number for each game.  

Picks Summary


Bears vs. Packers Has New Quarterback Matchup

Since 1992, the Chicago Bears have had to deal with their rival Green Bay Packers always having a quarterback advantage with Hall of Famers Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, who have won 7 MVP awards between them. Now the 2023 Bears hope to write a new chapter in this rivalry in the first matchup between Justin Fields and Jordan Love. 

The Bears are a 1-point home favorite with a total of 43 points.


Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears

Sunday, September 10, 2023 – 04:25 PM EDT at Soldier Field


The NFC North was not a division for defense last year. The Bears allowed a league-high 463 points, and the only team to allow more points than the Vikings and Lions (427 each) was Arizona.  

Surprisingly, the Packers had the best defense, which tied for 17th with 371 points allowed. The Packers only allowed Philadelphia to score more than 28 points last year. 

But the last time the Packers played in Chicago, it was a 28-19 win after the Packers rallied with 18 points in the 4th quarter. Christian Watson put things away with a 46-yard touchdown run, one of his many big plays as a rookie. 

The Love Train

With Jordan Love taking over for Aaron Rodgers, this is a defense the Packers are very used to scoring on and beating under coach Matt LaFleur. The Bears only made some marginal moves to improve the 32nd-scoring defense for Matt Eberflus’ 2nd season, so it is hard to imagine the Bears will get back to being a classic Chicago defense in 2023. 

But the Bears are hoping more than anything that Justin Fields looks the part of a franchise quarterback as a passer this year. We know he can run dynamically from the position, but his passing was the least valuable in the league last season, a year where he should have expected to improve. 

“Da Bears” 

Bears fans are excited after a strong preseason showing for new wide receiver D.J. Moore, who was acquired via trade for the No. 1 pick that Chicago sent to Carolina. Moore should definitely help Fields, though it is hard to say he will make him a great passer.  

But with the Packers not being a defense that was tested much through the air last year, this is a great opportunity for the Bears to keep running on them with Fields and Khalil Herbert, who is now the lead back after David Montgomery went to the Lions. 

The Pick

Love also had an impressive preseason, and he was sharp off the bench against the Eagles last year. There is just a lack of meaningful snaps for his career, but the outlook for Love looks optimistic as the Packers are building around a very young group of skill players. 

Both quarterbacks getting off to a good start in an exciting, high-scoring game would be a great new chapter in this very old, recently one-sided rivalry. Take the over and hopefully enjoy something different from Packers-Bears. 

OddsTrader NFL Final Score Prediction:  Packers 26 – Bears 23  

NFL Total Pick: Over 43 (-110) at BetRivers


Ravens Look to Spoil Debuts for Houston’s Rookies   

The 2022 NFL season was the first time since 2007 that no rookie quarterback started in Week 1. There will be 3 rookie starters this Sunday, and Houston’s C.J. Stroud has arguably the toughest matchup with a road trip to Baltimore. 

The Ravens are a 10-point home favorite with a total of 44 points.  


Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, September 10, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at M&T Bank Stadium 


The Ravens are excited to welcome Lamar Jackson back from injury, and he should be thrilled to have his contract extension from the team. He also has a new offensive coordinator (Todd Monken) and more skill players than ever before, including wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and 1st-round rookie Zay Flowers

What to Expect?

We did not see Jackson play a snap in the preseason, though that is not new for him. He did not play any snaps last preseason and still got off to one of the best starts of his career before things cooled down for this offense after too many injuries even before Jackson himself was lost for the year. 

But this should be an ideal opponent for the Ravens in Week 1 as the Texans have a rookie coach (DeMeco Ryans), a rookie play-caller at offensive coordinator (Bob Slowik), a rookie quarterback (C.J. Stroud), and the strength of their pass rush this year may be a rookie defensive end (Will Anderson).

Mismatch 

It is a big experience mismatch, and the Ravens are usually tough at home under John Harbaugh. But with Ryans hoping to bring a defensive reputation to the Texans, this may not be a big scoring game for the Ravens as they try to work out their new-look offense under Monken.  

The Pick

But with a far better team on both sides of the ball, the Ravens have a good chance to blow this game open even more than the predicted score from the computer suggests. Even a 30-13 win would still hit the under 44 in this matchup, and that feels like the safest pick as Houston’s lack of strong receivers and Stroud’s inexperience should make for a tough debut for the passing game. 

Trust the Ravens to keep the score down here. 

OddsTrader NFL Final Score Prediction: Ravens 22 – Texans 14  

NFL Total Pick: Under 44 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook


Can the Saints Give Derek Carr a Defense?

The Titans ended last season on a 7-game losing streak, but they will welcome quarterback Ryan Tannehill back from injury. The Saints are moving forward with Derek Carr, who hopes he can duplicate what Tannehill and Matthew Stafford did by finding more success after changing teams. 

The Saints are a 3-point home favorite with a total of 41 points.  


Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints

Sunday, September 10, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at Caesars Superdome 


When Derek Carr was with the Raiders, they were annually one of the worst defenses for most of his 9-year tenure. Carr’s average defense ranked 26.8 in points per drive allowed, easily the worst among his peers. The closest comparison was Matt Ryan with an average ranking of 21.7.  

Average Defenses

Even Ryan Tannehill, who has played for the Dolphins and Titans, has enjoyed the most average of defenses with a ranking of 16.5. But Carr is hoping to get an above-average unit after joining the Saints, who ranked No. 10 last year, but they were lacking a quarterback who can put up points. 

That may not be Carr’s strong suit either, but he is an upgrade over Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton. The final score prediction here is low, but that is because this could be an ugly offensive game with the Titans showing a real lack of scoring on their way to losing the final 7 games of the season. 

Tough Matchup

Now they face a 2023 Saints defense that ranked No. 2 to only San Francisco in points allowed in the final 8 games of 2022, never allowing more than 20 points in any of those games. The Titans scored more than 16 points just once during their 7-game losing streak. 

These teams do not come into this game with any real chemistry on offense: 

  • Carr will make his first start for his new team, and you never know how disastrous that can go after what happened with Matt Ryan (Colts) and Russell Wilson (Broncos) last year. 
  • Alvin Kamara is suspended for the Saints and running back Jamaal Williams will be playing his first game for the Saints. 
  • The Titans are working with a new offensive coordinator (Tim Kelly). 
  • Titans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins hopes to be the new No. 1 wideout in Tennessee after joining the team this summer. 
  • Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas is trying to make his way back after playing in just 3 games since 2021 due to injuries. 

The Pick

The computer score (17-15) has the largest difference from the total line (41) this week, so we will trust the ugly one-score game finish here and back the under in the Superdome.  

OddsTrader NFL Final Score Prediction: Saints 17 – Titans 15   

NFL Total Pick: Under 41 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook


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