The start of the 2023/24 NFL season is just around the corner and with just a few days before the first matchup between the Chiefs and Lions, fans and bettors are beginning to flood the sportsbooks with their favourite moneyline wagers. But with so many sportsbooks to choose from, it's almost impossible to know whether you're getting the best bang for your buck.
Well, that's where we come in...
Today, we'll be finding all the best moneyline odds for Week1 of the 23/24 NFL regular season and breaking down the schedule with our predictions for the winners of each game. There's plenty to get into, so let's get started.
Detroit Lions vs Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs and Lions are set to face off in the NFL Kickoff Game next week, and it's sure to be a battle. KC have dominated the league for some time now, while Detroit are looking to finally end their playoff drought.
To no one’s surprise, the reigning Super Bowl Champions, Kansas City Chiefs, are favourites in their first matchup of the season. Patrick Mahomes shows no signs of slowing down and will probably continue to be the most electrifying quarterback in the NFL. He's capable of making any throw on the field, and despite having limited talent in the receiver core, he still has Travis Kelce to lead the air raid offense.
Meanwhile, Jared Goff is at the helm in Detroit and will be hoping to bounce back from a rollercoaster season in 2022. Every unit of the Lions roster, but especially the defense, will need to be far more consistent if they want to beat the Chiefs, let alone see the postseason.
Carolina Panthers vs Atlanta Falcons
While being in arguably the weakest and most wide-open division in the league, the Panthers and Falcons are looking to send a message to their foes in the NFC South in Week 1. Both sides expected to be improved in 2023, but their seasons will likely be decided by their quarterbacks.
Carolina drafted Bryce Young with the first overall pick, and he is expected to start right away. Young is a talented quarterback, but there's a good amount of scepticism on whether his college success will transfer to the NFL.
Atlanta are sticking with Desmond Ridder, who struggled in his four starts last season. However, they have added plenty of talent around him, including running back Bijan Robinson and linebacker Jessie Bates III.
The sportsbooks believe Ridder can get things done, while perhaps expecting Young to have a slow start in his rookie year. Carolina are the better team on paper, but the Falcons could certainly walk away with a win. This one will be close...
Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns
The Bengals have firmly positioned themselves as top-tier contenders in the AFC, with the potential to challenge for the Super Bowl in the next few years. They advanced to the AFC Championship Game last season but narrowly lost to the Chiefs on a last-second field goal.
The Browns had a less successful season in comparison. They ended the year with a 7-10 record and failed to reach the postseason. Both their offense and defense struggled, ranking in the lower half of the league in scoring. And despite their substantial investment of $230 million in Deshaun Watson, his performance ranged from mediocre to poor after returning from his suspension.
It'll be a challenging Week 1 for Cincy as slight favourites on the road, with Burrow aiming to improve upon his performance from last year's opener. While the Browns have historically dominated the rivalry, the Bengals have a solid chance of victory, relying on their solid defense if the offense stalls.
Houston Texans vs Baltimore Ravens
The Texans vs. Ravens Week 1 showdown features two teams at entirely different points in their winning cycles. Houston, having gone through three head coaches in as many years, is eager to establish a stable offense after selecting C.J. Stroud the second pick in this year's NFL Draft.
John Harbaugh is embarking on his 16th season as Baltimore's head coach, boasting just two losing seasons and a Super Bowl Championship to his name. Lamar Jackson has firmly solidified his role as the franchise quarterback after securing a mega $260 million deal.
Jackson will be looking to use his dual-threat talents to expose Houston's poor run defense that ranked in the bottom 5 for almost every category last season. Meanwhile, Houston will have to see what their rookie QB is made of.
There are still plenty of questions surrounding the Texans roster despite multiple top-tier draft selections. It's no surprise to see Baltimore as heavy favourites here. I fully expect Jackson to find the win column in Week 1.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts will host the Jacksonville Jaguars to Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday in Week 1 of the regular season.
The Jags are aiming to build on their 2022 playoff appearance, which was the franchise's first taste of postseason action since the 2017 season. The fanbase has high hopes that QB Trevor Lawrence can consistently guide them to winning seasons for the foreseeable future. Jacksonville ended the previous season with a 9-8 record, with head coach Doug Pederson leading the way in his debut season with the organisation. They are currently the favourites at -155 to secure the AFC South title for the second consecutive year and are favourites to find the win column early.
Meanwhile, the Colts made a significant move in the offseason by selecting QB Anthony Richardson with the 4th overall pick. Despite Richardson having high expectations, the spotlight has shifted to the situation surrounding RB Jonathan Taylor. The star running back was caught up in a contract dispute during the offseason, resulting in his placement on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list at the beginning of the season. This means he will be sidelined for at least four games before he can return to action.
Richardson has a high ceiling as one of the best athletes in his class, but with minimal experience as a starter in college, there are plenty of questions surrounding his success in the NFL. On the other hand, Lawrence has established himself as a reliable QB with plenty of weapons at his disposal. It'll likely take a few weeks for Indy's new star quarterback to get settled. Expect Jacksonville to take the victory here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Minnesota Vikings
Tampa Bay had an 8-9 record last season, but they still managed to clinch the NFC South championship. Despite the offense averaging just 18.4 points per game (25th in the NFL), the Buccaneers defense took them to a postseason where they were eliminated from the playoffs in the opening round.
Meanwhile, the Vikings hit an impressive 13-win mark for the second time in the past six seasons, finishing the 2022 campaign with just 4 losses. They secured the NFC North title but saw their postseason hopes dashed by the New York Giants in the NFC Wild Card round.
The biggest factor in this matchup will be the quarterback change in Tampa. Following the retirement of Tom Brady, the Bucs settled on Baker Mayfield for the 2023 season. Mayfield is on the verge of becoming a journeyman in the NFL, he has always shown flashes of top-tier quality, but consistency is the issue.
It's likely the Bucs will struggle moving the ball through the air and without a game-breaking running back, it could be rare to see them in the end zone. I'm predicting Cousins and Jefferson to lead Minnesota to a win.
Tennessee Titans vs New Orleans Saints
Last season, the Saints recorded their first record with more than 10 losses since 2005. Meanwhile, the Titans started strong but ended poorly, losing seven games in a row after a 7-3 start, blowing their third division title in a row. Both teams are now gearing up for a new season. They've only played each other five times in the past fifteen years, with each team taking turns in the win column.
The Titans are returning with a very similar roster, but that may not be a good thing after such a rough end to the 2022/23 season. Mike Vrabel, Ryan Tannehill, and star running back Derrick Henry are back, but they also picked up veteran wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to improve the lacklustre passing game. Hopkins has had some injury and suspension problems, playing in only 19 games over the last two years with Arizona. He should provide more options for Tannehill, but don't be surprised if Henry continues to carry the offense.
Meanwhile, the biggest change in New Orleans is the signing of Derrick Carr to a four-year contract, reuniting him with his former coach, Dennis Allen. The Saints have been struggling with quarterback issues since Drew Brees retired. Alvin Kamara will miss the first three weeks of the season as he serves a suspension, meaning Carr will need to quickly establish chemistry with breakout WR Chris Olave if they want to have any offensive success.
Both sides are on the fringes of the odds to make the postseason, so every game counts. Expect Henry to have his work cut out, and the Saints to rely on their brand new QB to make plays. It's tough to call but I'm going for the Titans here.
San Francisco 49ers vs Pittsburgh Steelers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is gearing up to start the season after recovering from UCL surgery. Purdy's only defeat as a starter came with the NFC Championship game against the Eagles, where he exited early with an arm injury. Apart from that setback, the 49ers have enjoyed plenty of success with the former Mr. Irrelevant at the helm. Currently favored by -2.5 in the point spread, I'm expecting the '9ers to cover this easily. They return with the same star studded roster that took them deep into the playoffs last year and will likely do the same this season.
Pittsburgh could pose a stronger challenge than the sportsbooks predict, with a young but developing offense and strong defense to back them up. Kenny Pickett and George Pickens both enter their second year in the league and show signs of becoming star players in the coming years. While Joey Porter Jr. was added to an already talented secondary. Not to mention, Mike Tomlin is one of the most consistently successful head coaches, with 16-consecutive winning seasons.
This game could be closer than the odds suggest. Pickett and Pickens have had their first full offseason and could shake up the league. But there's no denying the star-studded 49ers roster will continue to do their thing. It's tough to bet against San Fran, but don't underestimate the Steelers this year.
Arizona Cardinals vs Washington Commanders
This game provides a great opportunity for the Commanders to start on the right note. With a sold-out home stadium, they'll have the city behind them as they face perhaps the worst team in the league. Their success will depend largely on Sam Howell's performance and whether the o-line can win in the trenches. But all signs point to a victory for Ron Rivera.
The Cardinals are such huge underdogs in the odds following a 4-13 season last year. Kyler Murray has failed to find the production that was expected of him with receivers like DeAndre Hopkins, and with his star wide-out now in Tennessee, there are even fewer options in the passing game. They may have invested in more protection for their QB this offseason, with 6th overall draft pick OT Paris Johnson, but this alone is unlikely to turn the tides in Arizona.
Expect Washington to take full advantage of a struggling Cardinals roster and leave week 1 with a win.
Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears
The Bears haven’t beaten the Packers since 2018, but now, with Aaron Rodgers out of the picture, this could be the year they flip the script in this age-old rivalry. Justin Fields is 0-4 against Green Bay, so he has lots to prove in what could be a pivotal game right out of the gate. Fields may have run all over defenses last season, but after logging a 3-14 record, he still has a lot to prove as a passer. He now has a new star receiver with the signing of DJ Moore, so fingers crossed he isn't forced to scramble 90% of the time this season.
Meanwhile, the Packers have a brand new QB at the helm with even more to prove. Jordan Love is taking over in Green Bay after three years under the wing of a veteran quarterback. We don't really know what to expect from his first season as a starter, other than a drop in offensive success from the Rodgers era.
If Justin Fields has made significant progress as a passer this offseason, we should have a Bears victory in Week 1. But if he relies too much on his rushing ability, sure, he could still get the job done, but Jordan Love may have more of a chance to keep things close.
Las Vegas Raiders vs Denver Broncos
Both the Raiders and Broncos fell short of expectations in the 2022 season, and the result is a series of changes set to turn those losses into wins.
In Denver, Nathaniel Hackett is out and Sean Payton is in as head coach. For a team that hasn't made the playoffs since winning Super Bowl 50, Payton should bring some stability to the Broncos. Russell Wilson pretty much solidified himself as a bust, after costing Denver an arm and a leg to only log 5 wins last season. With no significant changes to the offense, Wilson will need to seriously up his game to have any shot at a winning record.
On the other hand, the Raiders underwent a change at quarterback this offseason, releasing Derek Carr and signing San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, reuniting him with Josh McDaniels. Clearly the sportsbooks consider this a downgrade, and it's tough to disagree, but there's no knowing whether Garoppolo could be a successful system QB in Las Vegas.
I can't put my finger on exactly why the oddsmakers are favouring Denver so heavily in this matchup. I completely lost faith in Wilson as a top-tier QB last season, so the only reason I would bet on the Broncos is if Payton has completely reinvented the offensive playbook. But for now, I'm backing the Raiders.
Miami Dolphins vs Los Angeles Chargers
The Dolphins are placing their hopes on QB Tua Tagovailoa staying injury-free this season. In 2022, he missed five games due to multiple concussions, including the playoffs. As a result, despite going 8-5 with Tua at the helm, Miami ended with a 9-8 record and exited the playoffs in the Wild Card round, falling to the Buffalo Bills.
On the other hand, the Chargers are entering the season with hope for a deeper playoff run following their 10-7 performance last year. Despite taking a commanding 27-0 lead in the Wild Card round, Los Angeles suffered a defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. Trevor Lawrence proved he's capable of top-tier play, especially in the postseason, which has set particularly high expectations this year as he now works under the guidance of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
This will be one of the closer matchups of Week 1. If Tua is at full health, the explosive Miami offense is hard to stop. But I fully expect Lawrence & Co. to give them a good run for their money.
Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots
Patriots QB Mac Jones is aiming for a comeback campaign this season, as he looks to forget a challenging year under makeshift OCs Joe Judge and Matt Patricia. Despite a hoard of new receivers, including Juju Smith-Shuster, the team's success will ultimately hinge on Jones' performance. New England is in a tough division and is predicted to finish dead last in the AFC East. This doesn't bode well for their matchup against the Philadelphia team, which is not only favoured to win the NFC East but the entire NFC as well.
While the Eagles' roster remained largely the same during the offseason, there have been some changes in the coaching staff. Sean Desai takes over as defensive coordinator from Jonathan. And on the offensive side, Shane Steichen moved to Indy, leaving Brian Johnson to take over the role after two seasons as the quarterbacks coach.
If QB Jalen Hurts can maintain his dual threat ability, there's a strong chance that the Eagles will remain the top team in the NFC and secure a spot as the conference representative in the Super Bowl. If they're set for this kind of season, beating New England shouldn't be an issue.
Los Angeles Rams vs Seattle Seahawks
Almost everybody is backing the Rams to flop once again this season. If Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp are at full health for the bulk of their games, they could surprise us all. But there's no denying the defense has taken a huge step back and even if Aaron Donald has a monster year, their secondary may be the worst in the NFL following the loss of Jalen Ramsey. There are very few sides that will struggle against LA this season.
While the Rams fall down the odds year by year, the Seahawks are on the rise. Nobody expected Geno Smith to perform like he did last season - putting together a campaign that earned the Comeback Player of the Year award. Kenneth Walker solidified himself as a reliable running back, DK Metcalf continued to make plays all over the field, and a sound defense helped bring Seattle close to a complete roster.
I expect Smith to maintain the same standards he set last season, while injury concerns in LA and their seriously patchy defense give me very little hope for a winning record. The Hawks should walk away with a win in Week 1.
Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants
Last season, the Cowboys took victory in both clashes with the Giants, but both teams fell short in the second round of the playoffs. As the Giants aim to capitalise on their momentum, the question remains: can they kick off the 2023 season with a win against their division rivals?
Last season, the Giants surprised the entire league by finishing with a 9-7-1 record and finding their first playoff win in several years. Brian Daboll takes most of the credit but Daniel Jones had his most impressive year yet, shocking us all as a dual-threat QB. The issue could be maintaining this element of surprise. Besides picking up Darren Waller, there were no big changes in New York.
The Cowboys return with a very similar roster, including star wideout CeeDee Lamb who will likely be the biggest issue for the Giants defense - rookie Deonte Banks will have his work cut out. Although Ezekiel Elliot's move to the Patriots seems like a big loss at first, Tony Pollard has proven himself as one of the most efficient backs in the league. For the first time in his career, he'll now take on the leading role in the ground game. Expect big things from number 20.
This matchup will be one of the closer games in Week 1, but I expect Prescott & Co. to hold the lead while they keep the Giants mediocre receiving corps at bay.
Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets
Perhaps the most anticipated game in the opening week is the Bills vs Jets at MetLife Stadium.
Putting aside a few preseason looks at Aaron Rodgers in the green and white, this will be the first team we really see what the new Jets side is made of. There are very high hopes in New York this season, following the addition of Rodgers and all-new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Alongside the offseason moves, both the Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner are back for their second season. Not to mention, running back Breece Hall who is looking to bounce back from an ACL-tear last October and undoubtedly has the talent to be a top-5 running back if he can stay healthy.
On the other hand, we have Buffalo. There's no reason to think the Bills will fall short of their usual expectations as they bring an almost identical roster into the new season. Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis and more have been a dominant force for some time. While the defense includes the likes of Leonard Floyd, Tre'Davious White and Micah Hyde.
The Bills are almost always a solid bet, but I'm strongly on the Jets train this year and I'm backing them to steal a win in their first game.
Which matchup are you most looking forward to? Is there an underdog you're backing for the season?
(Header Image Credit: Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports)