At least 13 games this week are only separated by seven points or fewer on the point spread according to NFL odds. That can lead to a dicey week of betting or a lucrative one if you pick the right teams. We’ll look at three teams who are looking like great bets against the spread while crowning a “Lock of the Week”.
NFL Week 1: Three Teams, One Lock
Second Runner-Up: Carolina Panthers
When: Sunday (1 p.m. ET)
Spread: Carolina -4 (-110)
The Carolina Panthers as being a constantly underestimated team via the NFL picks against the spread. But not by us. Quarterback Sam Darnold could be the worst starter in the league and the offensive line is a bottom-five unit. But everything else checks out.
The Panthers will have a ferocious defense this season. This young team may have just ranked 18th last year, but considering it went up against offensive juggernauts like Kansas City, Green Bay, and Tampa Bay twice, we’ll give them a pass.
The Jets have a top-notch front four, but its back seven leaves plenty to be desired. Even if they win the trenches, the Panthers can break out big plays, especially with running back Christian McCaffrey back and healthy.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 7, 2021
Carolina went 9-7 ATS last season and was 3-7 in single-score games. That was Matt Rhule’s first season as coach while the team dealt with injuries and inexperience. With more chemistry and confidence, the Panthers should start the season strong.
First Runner-Up: Washington Football Team
When: Sunday (1 p.m. ET)
Spread: Los Angeles Chargers +1 (-105), Washington -1 (-115)
We have the Football Team in another bet and they’re the NFC team we’re most confident in this week, never mind the spread.
Ron Rivera is 9-1 in Week 1 regardless of his team’s record. As one of the hardest working coaches, he’s studied the heck out of the Chargers and should have his top-three defense ready to wreak havoc.
The Chargers’ defense will be better with safety Derwin James returning. And they rebuilt their offensive line, which features tackle Rashawn Slater. But sophomore QB Justin Herbert is due for some regression and he has yet to play a “real” road game in a hostile environment.
The Football Team should also be better on offense with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and wideout Terry McLaurin set to have a breakout year. Pick Washington when betting online.
Lock of the Week: New England Patriots
When: Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET)
Spread: Miami +3 (Ev), New England -3 (-120)
And our official “Lock of the Week” is none other than Bill Belichick and his New England Patriots. When push comes to shove, turn to coaching. Belichick and the Patriots stunned the NFL world with a spending spree in the offseason and whether or not that pays off, the Patriots are at least significantly better on paper.
Rookie Mac Jones will lead the offense, which will feature two solid tight ends, a reliable stable of running backs, and one of the league’s best offensive lines. Miami went 10-6 last season and Brian Flores is a stud of a coach, but they have too many holes all over the team.
Tua Tagovailoa remains a shaky option as Miami’s quarterback and their offensive line, rated as the third-worst by Pro Football Focus, isn’t going to make things easier for him. The Dolphins have only one win in Gillette Stadium in their last 12 visits and it came in a not-too-serious game in the 2019 regular season’s end.
The sportsbook offering the Pats at just three points is an early gift. So don’t think twice and take it while the line stays.