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Week 1 NFL Top Matchups: Best Bets for TNF, SNF & MNF


The NFL kicks off the 2023 season in style with a trio of interesting prime-time matchups:

  • On Thursday night, the Chiefs start their title defense at home against the Lions, who are the outright favorite to win their division for the first time since 1982.
  • On Sunday night, Dak Prescott looks to improve to 11-2 as a starter against the Giants, who have not beaten the Cowboys with Dak since his rookie year in 2016.
  • On Monday night, the Bills look to establish their AFC East dominance by handing Aaron Rodgers a loss in his debut with the Jets.

We have our best bets for each prime-time game in Week 1, which you can always find at the top-rated sportsbooks.

Picks Summary

  • New York Giants Under 21.5 Points (-115) at Caesars Sportsbook
  • New York Jets Over 13.5 2nd Half Points (+165) at Bet365
  • David Montgomery Anytime Touchdown Scorer (-117) at BetRivers


Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets

Monday, September 11, 2023 – 08:15 PM EDT at MetLife Stadium


Josh Allen and Aaron Rodgers Duel in AFC East Battle

Is it not great to watch an AFC East where Tom Brady is not the only franchise quarterback? The Jets are hoping they found their guy in 4-time MVP Aaron Rodgers, but he will try to hand a loss to Josh Allen, who has led the Bills to 3 straight AFC East titles since 2020.

The Jets are a 2.5-point home underdog in Rodgers’ debut, but could we be in store for a classic finish as this rivalry starts a new chapter? We are looking at the 2nd half total for the Jets (Over/Under 12.5)

The last time the Bills and Jets met, it was almost a scoreless game going into halftime. However, Allen finally found Dawson Knox for a 24-yard touchdown with 26 seconds left and Buffalo led 7-0. The game finished 20-12 with Buffalo winning, but that still means 25 points were scored after halftime, and this was with the Jets starting Mike White and Allen only passing for 147 yards.

A Revamped Jets Offense

The Jets should have a much stronger offense this time as Breece Hall did not play in that game, and he is back after tearing his ACL. Even if he has lost a step in explosive play ability, the team added veteran Dalvin Cook from the Vikings.

Oh, the Jets also have this guy named Aaron Rodgers throwing the football now. He should have a big impact on Garrett Wilson, the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year who overcame lousy quarterback play to win that award last year. Rodgers also has Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb from Green Bay. He also has his old offensive coordinator in Nathaniel Hackett, who just may be the kind of coach who works better as a coordinator than the guy in charge of everything.

The Jets have a more complete offense than they’ve had in many years, but they also could have a little rust and miscommunication to get out of their system in the start of this game. The Bills also have some issues to overcome like the Jets holding Allen to under 6 yards per pass in the last 3 meetings. Rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid is also making his NFL debut, but he will play behind Knox. The Bills also have a running back change as Devin Singletary is gone.

Jets Eyeing a Strong Second Half

With new pieces but familiar schemes, the game may not get off to a hot scoring start, but give Allen and Rodgers time to warm up, and we might see some more fireworks after halftime, which is the edge the Jets lacked for years. Rodgers does not have the greatest comeback record, but it improved greatly in the 2nd half of his career. The Bills can score with the best of them, and this should not be a 20-12 game again.

This could already be a statement game for Rodgers in his debut. Producing against a top opponent is why the Jets made this trade. You can find a game prop for the Jets to score Over 9.5 points in the 2nd half with -140 odds at Bet365, but we like the value of an alternate line of Over 13.5.

NFL Pick: New York Jets Over 13.5 2nd Half Points (+165) at Bet365


Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants

Sunday, September 10, 2023 – 08:20 PM EDT at MetLife Stadium


Will the Giants Struggle to Score Again?

It feels like ages ago when a rookie named Dak Prescott made his NFL debut on Sunday Night Football in a 20-19 loss to the Giants. The Giants also beat Dallas 10-7 later that year, but Prescott has not lost to the G-Men since (10-0). Now, Dallas looks for another win over the team it has swept in 5-of-6 seasons since 2017.

The Giants are a 3.5-point home underdog with a total of 46 points. We are focusing on their team total (over/under 21.5).

Scoring has been an issue for the Giants for many seasons, but scoring is an even bigger issue when facing Dallas. The Giants have failed to crack 21 points in 11-of-14 meetings since 2016.

Two of the times they did were in 2020, one of the worst defenses in Dallas history. That led to Mike McCarthy hiring Dan Quinn to be his defensive coordinator in 2021. The move was met with some ridicule as Quinn is infamous for his blown Super Bowl leads against Tom Brady and the Patriots, but so far, he has proven to be a fine coordinator.

The Cowboys led the NFL in takeaways in 2021 and they did so again in 2022, a rare feat. In 4 meetings with the Giants since 2021, Quinn’s defense has surrendered 20, 6, 16, and 20 points to produce a 4-0 record.

Giants’ Offensive Changes

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones got help last year with the hiring of Brian Daboll, the Coach of the Year. However, it would be unfair to say Jones had a breakout year as Daboll’s decision to deal with him was to allow him fewer pass attempts per game than any season in his career.

It was running back Saquon Barkley who saw the big bump in his statistics early in the season when the Giants were winning close games, but even Barkley saw his numbers drop dramatically in the 2nd half of the season.

Jones has not had great weapons at all with the Giants, but it is hard to say the team found him immediate help for 2023. Tight end Darren Waller would have been a bigger signing before a pair of injury-plagued years, which is the last thing the Giants want to hear after dealing with Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney. Sterling Shepard and Wan’Dale Robinson also tore their ACLs last year.

The Giants also drafted Jalin Hyatt as a burner from Tennessee in the 3rd round, but good luck to him in his debut if he thinks he will roast the Cowboys as a reserve wideout. The Giants have a lot of slot receiver types with Parris Campbell, Isaiah Hodgins, and Shepard.

Cowboys’ Defensive Strength

The Cowboys have great players at each level of defense, led by Micah Parsons. They also added corner Stephon Gilmore, who should make the secondary better and allow Trevon Diggs to gamble for more picks.

Jones has never been able to throw for 230 yards in any of his career meetings with Dallas, and he has just 4 touchdown passes on 188 attempts, a 2.1% touchdown rate. Jones still has the lowest touchdown pass rate (3.4%) among active starting quarterbacks in the NFL.

The Dallas defense should still be a significantly stronger unit this season than the New York offense. Trust the Cowboys to hold New York under 21.5 points once again at the NFL odds.

NFL Pick: New York Giants Under 21.5 Points (-115) at Caesars Sportsbook


Detroit Lions vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Thursday, September 07, 2023 – 08:20 PM EDT at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium


Lions Bring New Backfield to Kansas City

The Kansas City Chiefs may be without Travis Kelce (knee) and Chris Jones (holdout), but the Detroit Lions are still going to have to outscore Patrick Mahomes on the road.

Jared Goff threw 23 touchdowns at home and only 6 on the road last year, the largest split in NFL history for a season with at least 25 touchdowns. He will have to bring his A game against a team he beat 54-51 back in 2018, his only meeting with the Chiefs when he was with the Rams.

Exploiting Detroit’s New Backfield

The Chiefs are down to a 5-point favorite with a total of 52.5 points, but our best bet is a prop pick that will take advantage of Detroit’s new backfield.

Last year, the Lions were a very good offense with great production in the backfield. Jamaal Williams became almost automatic at scoring from the goal line as he reached 17 touchdowns after only scoring 13 times in 2017-21 combined. He also had his first 1,000-yard rushing season.

D’Andre Swift also contributed as the receiving back. Between Williams and Swift, the Lions got 2,070 yards from scrimmage and 25 total touchdowns from their top backs.

But Swift was traded to the Eagles and Williams went to the Saints, leaving spots to fill in this backfield. The Lions made a surprising pick with the 12th selection in April’s draft when they took Jahmyr Gibbs, who mostly everyone had ranked as the No. 2 back in the draft behind Bijan Robinson, who went No. 8 to Atlanta.

Gibbs is one of the favorites for Offensive Rookie of the Year, but the Lions are talking up his receiving ability and how they may create a “new position” for him to play this year.

The Key Running Back to Monitor

For simplicity reasons, David Montgomery is the back to watch in this matchup. He comes over from run-heavy Chicago and is listed as RB1 on the depth chart for the Lions. He should get most of the carries and could take the Williams role in this offense while Gibbs does more to mimic Swift.

Williams scored most of his touchdowns from inside the 3-yard line last year. When the Lions got down that far, he is the player they wanted to give the ball to, and that should hopefully not change with Montgomery.

Chiefs’ Red Zone Vulnerability

Despite all of Kansas City’s Super Bowl success, this defense ranked 31st in allowing touchdowns in the red zone last year. With so many young players and stud defensive lineman Chris Jones holding out, the Chiefs may be under attack from the Lions’ running game in what should be a high-scoring matchup.

When it comes to a touchdown scorer prop in this game, look past the Gibbs hype, don’t rely on Kadarius Toney to stay healthy for the Chiefs, and take the safe player prop bet with Montgomery finding the end zone in his team debut for your NFL picks.

NFL Pick: David Montgomery Anytime Touchdown Scorer (-117) at BetRivers


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