NFL Week 1 Predictions: Niners and Bengals look hot

Kyle Shanahan San Francisco 49ers

The 2022 regular season is now hurtling towards us at high speed and it is time to start thinking about NFL Week 1 predictions (check out the latest Week 1 lines here).

On Thursday September 8 the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams will host the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills in a mouthwatering season opener at SoFi Stadium.

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Then on Sunday September 11 we get our first full slate of regular-season games, complete with Scott Hanson and Redzone. We’ll have parlay picks and player props for all of the major matchups.

Sunday Night Football gets a second bite at the cherry too (it has the Bills @Rams as well) when Tom Brady and the Bucs visit the Dallas Cowboys for a terrific primetime matchup.

Then finally, last but absolutely not least, Russell Wilson makes a very swift return to the Pacific Northwest as his Denver Broncos visit the Seattle Seahawks. Nice start to Monday Night Football for Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.

There is nothing like making some way too early predictions, so here is our take right now on what the lines mean and what your thinking should be.

As we are weeks out, we reserve the right to amend our thinking and we will update these thoughts regularly in the countdown to kickoff. This is all about finding value at a given moment and putting the dollars down.

NFL Week 1 Predictions for 2022

Here were our thoughts as it stands on every game from a juicy Week 1 schedule – all posted July 8:

Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Rams

Date: Thursday September 8, 2022

Kickoff: 8.20pm Eastern/5.20pm Pacific

TV and live stream: NBC (Sunday Night Football)

Betting Line: Bills -2.5, Rams +2.5

Prediction: Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime must wait until Week 2, but we do have a beauty of a game kicking off the season ON a Thursday night. This one is as close to pick em territory as you can get, even the online sportsbooks cannot take a view on this one. Two stellar rosters go to war in front of a national TV audience and right now we’d take Buffalo. The signing of Von Miller takes a crucial piece away from the Rams – he is the ultimate big-game player and the lights will never be brighter…

New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific

TV and live stream: FOX

Betting Line: Saints -5.5, Falcons +5.5

Prediction: Tough call this. We are absolutely not sold on the theory that New Orleans is still a contender, while the Falcons are headed for full rebuild mode after trading Matt Ryan to Indianapolis. If you forced us we’d take the Saints, but giving up 5.5 on the road is no easy task. If you bet now, do it with low stakes.

Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific

TV and live stream: CBS

Betting Line: Ravens -7, Jets +7

Prediction: The Jets will be much improved from 2021 after a terrific offseason, but it will take them time to gel as a unit and those rookies will likely need time to adjust to the pro game. The Ravens meanwhile aced the Draft yet again (Kyle Hamilton AND Tyler Linderbaum in Round 1!) and we expect them to be at full health and off to a winning start. Take them to cover.

Cleveland Browns @ Carolina Panthers

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific

TV and live stream: CBS

Betting Line: Browns +2.5, Panthers -2.5

Prediction: It’s almost like the NFL schedule algorithm knows just where players are headed, right? Baker Mayfield locks horns with his old Cleveland teammates right away after his summer trade for a bag of beans.

The line here (of course) changed bigtime with that 11-game suspension for Deshaun Watson and now Carolina is the favorite. Take the Panthers to keep pounding and cover the spread in Charlotte.

San Francisco 49ers @ Chicago Bears

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific

TV and live stream: FOX

Betting Line: 49ers -7, Bears +7

Prediction: The Bears have had the most meh offseason possible, trading Khalil Mack and losing Allen Robinson in free agency, and doing little of anything to bring in fresh talent. We expect them to be pretty bad in 2022 and even giving up 7 San Francisco might rate as our banker of Week 1 right now.

Philadelphia [email protected] Detroit Lions

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific

TV and live stream: FOX

Betting Line: Eagles -4, Lions +4

Prediction: The Eagles should be really good in 2022, but will only go as far as Jalen Hurts can take them. We saw in that playoff drubbing by the Buccaneers that a ground game will only work for so long in the NFL. Against elite QBs you just gotta have more. Right now our advice is to steer clear of this one – we loved the Lions and their attitude in 2021 and they should be improved again after a good offseason.

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific

TV and live stream: CBS

Betting Line: Colts -8, Texans +8

Prediction: Another game where we suggest you wait a little while longer before making any picks which involve dollars. The Texans are a long way yet from relevance but the Colts have to give up 8 on the road and they have Matt Ryan adjusting to a new offense with a pretty underwhelming set of weapons. Feels risky to us.

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific

TV and live stream: CBS

Betting Line: Patriots +3, Dolphins -3

Prediction: Tough to bet against Bill Belichick and New England, but Miami had a really good offseason, highlighted by the trade for Tyreek Hill. There is no excuse now for QB Tua Tagovailoa and the pressure is on for him to prove he is the longterm answer for Miami. We believe he’ll at least answer the first questions as the Fish cover en route to a Week 1 win.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Washington Commanders

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific

TV and live stream: FOX

Betting Line: Jaguars +3, Commanders -3

Prediction: The Jags made some questionable offseason signings – at least in terms of price. But we expect them to be much improved on 2021, partly thanks to the replacement of the awful Urban Meyer with Doug Pederson. One of Doug’s priority tasks will be to get Trevor Lawrence back to the generational potential he advertising coming out of Clemson. Washington meanwhile is pinning its hopes on Carson Wentz – good luck with that.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific

TV and live stream: CBS

Betting Line: Steelers +6.5, Bengals -6.5

Prediction: The Steelers just always overachieve with Mike Tomlin as Head Coach, but this one feels like a huge task on the road in Cincinnati. Whether Kenny Pickett starts at QB or Mitch Trubisky is pretty irrelevant, playing catchup to Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase will be too tough. Last year our concern would have been Burrow spending most of the afternoon on his back but Cincy did a great job of retooling that leaky offensive line. Bengals to cover.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Arizona Cardinals

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 4.25pm Eastern/1.25pm Pacific

TV and live stream: CBS

Betting Line: Chiefs -4.5, Cardinals +4.5

Fantastic matchup in the desert with Patrick Mahomes vs Kyler Murray locking horns in a battle of MVP hopefuls.

Both teams have a ton of questions to answer, but we really like what the Chiefs did in the offseason. Tyreek Hill may be gone but Mahomes should have plenty of weapons to throw the ball to as well as the unstoppable Travis Kelce. They will need those weapons too in a crazy AFC West arms race.

Arizona meanwhile continue to baffle in terms of personnel decisions. They traded a first-round pick for Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown (to keep Kyler happy?), have about 800 tight ends on their roster and an overpaid running back in James Conner.

Take the Chiefs to cover and get off to a winning start.

Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 4.25pm Eastern/1.25pm Pacific

TV and live stream: CBS

Betting Line: Raiders +3.5, Chargers -3.5

Prediction: An immediate replay of that epic Week 18 showdown last season which had ‘win and you’re in’ playoff ramifications.

The Raiders somehow won that one and progressed to postseason play while the Chargers were left highly disappointed.

Los Angeles went all in this offseason on that rookie window for Justin Herbert, trading Khalil Mack and signing the best free agent CB J.C. Jackson in a slew of aggressive moves. The Chargers expect a deep postseason run and it should start with a comfortable victory here.

New York Giants @ Tennessee Titans

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 4.25pm Eastern/1.25pm Pacific

TV and live stream: FOX

Betting Line: Giants +5.5, Titans -5.5

Prediction: The Giants were truly awful at the end of 2021 after Daniel Jones was lost for the year, but we expect things to be different under the Brian Daboll regime.

Tennessee, brilliantly marshaled by 2021 Coach Of The Year Mike Vrabel, overachieved pretty much every week in 2021 but it is not built to win games by huge margins. Instead it relies on the punishing ground game anchored by Derrick Henry, allowing Ryan Tannehill to manage a game rather than win it with his arm.

Throw in the almost inevitable growing pains for Treylon Burks as he tries to replace A.J. Brown and we expect this one to be a little closer than the sportsbooks believe. Take Big Blue to cover with that 5.5-point start.

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 4.25pm Eastern/1.25pm Pacific

TV and live stream: FOX

Betting Line: Packers -2, Vikings +2

Prediction: The Packers will undoubtedly go into 2022 with a terrific defense and as favorite to win the NFC North again, but what about the offense? While the Pack did re-sign Aaron Rodgers to a league-best deal worth $50million APY, they were forced to trade Davante Adams to the Raiders while Marquez Valdes-Scantling bolted to Kansas City in free agency.

We expect Rodgers (eventually) to be pretty good again but remember that they started 2021 horribly with that rout at the hands of New Orleans.

Minnesota meanwhile start the Kevin O’Connell era full of hope that their slew of offensive playmakers will now at last maximize their potential.

These games are always classic, and we expect the Vikes to make the most of that 2-point start here.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys

Date: Sunday September 11, 2022

Kickoff: 8.20pm Eastern/5.20pm Pacific

TV and live stream: NBC (Sunday Night Football)

Betting Line: Buccaneers -1.5, Cowboys +1.5

Prediction: An absolute beauty at JerryWorld as the unretired Tom Brady and the Bucs start their bid for another Super Bowl trip against ‘America’s Team’.

Dallas played Tampa Bay very close in last year’s opener in Florida, and we expect another shootout here. But with the Cowboys likely to be undermanned at WR until Michael Gallup is back from that torn ACL, and LT Tyron Smith down with a knee fracture, Brady and the Bucs appear to hold all the aces.

Take Tampa to cover with ease.

Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks

Date: Monday September 12, 2022

Kickoff: 8.15pm Eastern/5.15pm Pacific

TV and live stream: ESPN/ABC (Monday Night Football)

Betting Line: Broncos -6, Seahawks +6

Prediction: Another fascinating opener as Russell Wilson returns to Seattle immediately after his blockbusting offseason trade to Denver.

The Seahawks are in full rebuild mode while the Broncos are now fully locked and loaded to make a Super Bowl run.

Russ and all those weapons vs Geno Smith or Drew Lock? Yes please – take Denver -6.

What are the odds for NFL Week 1?

We have all the latest for you – updated every day. You can find point spreads, moneyline and over/under details right here.

Who are the favorites to win the NFL?

Well if you mean the Super Bowl, that would be the Buffalo Bills right now. Check out all the latest odds.

Is the NFL schedule out for 2022?

Absolutely, the entire schedule is now set (bar Week 18 when flex comes heavily into play, we know who plays but we don’t know the TV details yet. Check out the full schedule here.