Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season.
There are plenty of interesting storylines throughout the league this week, including several opportunities for quarterbacks to get revenge against their former teams (Hello Baker Mayfield).
Aside from the Los Angeles Chargers game against the Las Vegas Raiders, there are also several intriguing divisional matchups to keep an eye on, as well.
Just about 24 hours to go! Of course, all odds below are via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Let’s get into the picks!
Sunday Morning Games
Ravens (-7) vs. Jets - O/U 44
Prediction: Ravens - The Jets will be without a starting-quality left tackle against a Ravens defense that has seemingly been an elite unit for as long as any of us can remember. Joe Flacco will get the start against his former team but he’ll be hard-pressed to find breathing room while getting chased by Calais Campbell and company. With or without starting running back J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore should be able to run all over this unit.
Colts (-7) vs. Texans - O/U 46
Prediction: Colts - Behind the legs of Jonathan Taylor, the Colts should roll over a Texans team that’s still being quarterbacked by Davis Mills. He may have had some moments a year ago, but I just don’t see it. Brandin Cooks is an excellent receiver, but he needs more than Cooks and a rookie running back to beat a team built like Indy.
Eagles (-4) vs. Lions - O/U 48.5
Prediction: Eagles - The Eagles had one of the best offseasons of any team in the league and truly look poised to have a dominant season, as long as Jalen Hurts can take care of business. The defense looks great. He’s got AJ Brown now as his WR1. This could be a scary squad in 2022.
I love Dan Campbell, but his team isn’t ready yet to beat a team like Philly.
49ers (-7) vs. Bears - O/U 40
Prediction: 49ers - I want Justin Fields to find major success as much as the next person, but I don’t see that happening in week one against a really physical 49ers defense. The Bears have one of the worst roster in football right now which makes me truly feel for Fields and his short-term success in the Windy City. Niners should win this handedly.
Steelers vs. Bengals (-6.5) - O/U 44
Prediction: Bengals - Simply put, I think the Bengals are too talented to fall to a Steelers team with Mitch Trubisky starting at quarterback. This isn’t your father’s Steelers so I actually believe this one could end up pretty lopsided in favor of Cincy.
Browns vs. Panthers (-1.5) - O/U 42
Prediction: Browns - All the hype in this game may be behind Baker Mayfield to earn some revenge over his former team, but I can’t bet against a Browns squad that has a lot more talent surrounding Jacoby Brissett, and I mean on both sides of the ball. That defense should be able to wreak some havoc on Mayfield and a middling Panthers offensive line which leads me to believe Cleveland comes out on top here.
Saints (-5.5) vs. Falcons - O/U 43
Prediction: Saints - The New Orleans defense has been one of best in the league for the better part of the past decade. Maybe even longer than that. With that fact in mind, I just can’t see how the Matt Ryan-less Falcons will be able to score enough to overcome a Saints offense that still figures to put up points behind the arm of Jameis Winston and their solid offensive line.
Patriots vs. Dolphins (-3.5) - O/U 46.5
Prediction: Dolphins - A lot of news came out of Patriots training camp in regards to their offense being extremely inconsistent. If that’s any sort of true, the Dolphins should be able to capitalize by simply outracing them on the scoreboard via the duo of Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. Chase Edmonds looked ready for a starting role in Arizona a year ago and apparently Miami believed that, as well. I just don’t see how New England can keep up if Miami’s offense plays up to its’ potential.
Jaguars vs. Commanders (-2.5) - O/U 44
Prediction: Jaguars - I’m not terribly confident in this pick. The Commanders defense has some real gas up front and that could be an easy way to make Trevor Lawrence uncomfortable early. The second-year pick should benefit from the coaching of Doug Pederson and the return of running back Travis Etienne and those two things make me confident enough that Jacksonville can steal one here if everything can click out of the gate.
Sunday Afternoon Games
Giants vs. Titans (-5.5) - O/U 44
Prediction: Titans - Even with Brian Daboll orchestrating the offense, the Giants will need some more time to gel on offense before they can compete against a Mike Vrabel-coached offense. The Titans will ride Derrick Henry and play their efficient style of offense en route to a convincing win over New York.
Packers (-1.5) vs. Vikings - O/U 47
Prediction: Vikings - Without Davante Adams, on top of his best returning receiver (Allen Lazard) being unavailable for Sunday, Aaron Rodgers could struggle to find playmakers against a Vikings defense that beefed up their front seven over the offseason. The pass rush duo of Danielle Hunter and former Packer Za’Darius Smith should have a day against a Green Bay offensive line that could also be without All-Pro left tackle David Bahktiari. I predict the Vikings squeeze out a close one at home.
Chiefs (-6) vs. Cardinals - O/U 54
Prediction: Chiefs - I predict this game to feature a ton of scoring due to each team’s high-flying passing attacks, but only one side features a notable defense and that’s Kansas City. Kyler Murray will be an absolute pain to chase down throughout this game but they’ve got the dogs to get the job done. Without DeAndre Hopkins on the field, Murray will have to be a real lie superman to pull out a victory on Sunday.
Sunday Night Football
Buccaneers (-2.5) vs. Cowboys - O/U 50.5
Prediction: Buccaneers - I’ll just never feel right picking against Tom Brady. Both of these teams have major injuries along their offensive line while employing two of the best and most-athletic defenses in the NFL. So at the end of the day, the quarterback matchup decides it for me and that’s obviously going to be Brady over Dak Prescott.
Monday Night Football
Broncos (-6.5) vs. Seahawks - O/U 45
Prediction: Broncos - Russell Wilson was the missing piece for this underrated Broncos roster. With a well-built defense and exciting skill position players, they really were just a quarterback away. On the other side, the Seahawks losing Wilson may very well be the beginning of the end of the Carroll era in Seattle unless he can find a serviceable quarterback in next year’s draft. This should be an easy win for Denver.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.