Finding Value in the Early Week 1 NFL Lines
June 19, 2023

Now that the NHL and NBA seasons have concluded, the MLB and WNBA will have more of an

opportunity to grab the attention of sports bettors. But for most sports bettors, the countdown to

the NFL season has long begun!


It’s never too early to talk about football, so let’s take an early look at some of the Week 1 lines

worth jumping on early.


Bengals at Browns (+2.5)

The Bengals have taken in 80% of the tickets early, according to, but the Browns

have taken 42% of the cash and some early sharp money. The Browns have a reputation for

being a disappointment, but not so much against the Bengals. Cleveland head coach Kevin

Stefanski comes into this season under alot of pressure but is 5-1 straight up against the

Bengals in his career. Also, Cincinnati has not won its first road game of the season since 2015.

The “Battle of Ohio” is usually competitive, and the early value here is on the Browns.


Jaguars (-3.5) at Colts

The Jaguars have had the Colts’ number over the years, even when they have appeared to be

the inferior team coming in. Jacksonville is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against the Colts,

including four outright wins as an underdog over that period.

The Jags are favorites in the AFC South this season, coming off just their second division title

since 2000. With the Colts led by rookie head coach Shane Steichen and possibly rookie

quarterback Anthony Richardson, I love the Jaguars in Week 1.


49ers at Steelers (+3)

Mike Tomlin did it again in 2022, leading the Steelers to a winning record despite key injuries, a

rookie quarterback, and low national expectations. Expect the Steelers to be an improved team

this season, with quarterback Kenny Pickett taking a leap forward. The 49ers made it to the

NFC Championship last season, but I don’t trust them as a road favorite here, with Sam Darnold

possibly being the starting quarterback.

The Steelers are a tasty Week 1 home dog.


Packers at Bears (-2.5)

The Packers are 19-5 ATS in their last 24 trips to Chicago, but the good news for the Bears fans

is that Daddy (Aaron Rodgers) has a new home in New York! At most sportsbooks, Green Bay

has the worst odds to win the NFC North this season, and this is an excellent spot for an

improved Bears squad to get some revenge against their division rival.


Rams (+6) at Seahawks

After a disappointing season, the Rams have parted ways with several key defensive players,

including Jalen Ramsey and Bobby Wagner. As for the Seahawks, they were one of the

brightest surprises in the NFL last season, but it will be harder for them to sneak up on the

opposition in 2023.


The Rams have covered the spread in their last five meetings against the Seahawks, and they

are also 5-1 ATS in their last six Week 1 games. After spending the offseason hearing about

how bad they are expected to be, Sean McVay will have his troops ready to compete and cover

this number in Seattle.