NFL Best Bets: Week 1

by Ahaan Rungta · Betting & Props

We are so back. Welcome to the 2023-24 NFL season and this article series. Here, we provide our best game line bets for the Sunday-Monday NFL slate each week on sportsbooks.

Each week’s article will feature two to three picks on either the moneyline, spread, game total, or team total. For each bet, we will provide a wager size recommendation (note: 1 unit = 1% of your gambling bankroll). Keep the exposure disciplined and stick to the recommendations. Additionally, it is always worth line-shopping at the time you place your bet so that you can get the best value available online.

Without further ado, these are our picks for Week 1. These are the best odds provided as of Wednesday.

1 Unit: Packers ML (+100, FanDuel/BetMGM)

The Chicago Bears have been one of the most hyped teams in the NFL this offseason. One of the most public longshot bets on the sportsbooks was Justin Fields to win MVP. That is why we are getting good value on the better roster as small underdogs in Week 1.

Although lead Green Bay Packers wideout Christian Watson missed practice on Wednesday, there are no bright red flags yet that would lead us to believe that he is a serious threat to miss the opener in Chicago. That is all I need to think that this Packers offense will be good enough to take advantage of a Bears defense that was around middle-of-the-pack in pass rush win rate and run stop win rate last season. Additionally, this Bears defense has to line up against a Packers offense line that ranked top-ten in pass block win rate and run block win rate last year.

Mediocre QB Play

There is a reason Jordan Love was drafted in the first round with Aaron Rodgers still in town. The standard for quarterback play in 2022 wasn’t very high anyway. Rodgers was simply not efficient. It was a big reason the Packers missed the playoffs altogether.

As for the Bears offense, they made one of the headliner moves of the offseason. They made a blockbuster win-now deal to acquire wide receiver D.J. Moore. Although this should help Justin Fields over the course of the season, this is a tough draw for a passer who ranked No. 20 in accuracy under pressure, No. 23 in accuracy rating in a clean pocket, No. 32 in true completion percentage, and No. 46 in catchable pass rate.

Although the arm talent of Fields provides a great ceiling, we have yet to see evidence that he can maximize this improved pass-catching room. Green Bay’s defensive core is also well-prepared for mobile quarterbacks like Fields. Last year, they went 3-2 against the spread against quarterbacks with great rushing upside. This included a sweep of the Bears. In those games (against Fields, Josh Allen, Daniel Jones, and Jalen Hurts), they allowed an average of 24.6 points per game.

Take Green Bay as one of this weeks NFL Best Bets. They will be able to temporarily shut down the Chicago hype and take the road win.

1 unit: Seahawks -5.5 (-110, Caesars)

One of the best ways to take stances on rosters you are high on is to catch them early in the season before the public and market adjust to their potential. It feels like we are getting that type of a discount on a Seattle roster that could be serious division contenders in 2023.

Last year, with Geno Smith in his first full season as starting quarterback in nearly a decade, Seattle was just 4-5 against the spread. However, in Pete Carroll’s career, he is 5-0 straight up and 3-2 against the spread at home in Week 1. The Rams are getting respect with the close spread here because Sean McVay is 9-4 against the spread against Carroll (8-1, including the playoffs, over the last four years).

Depleted Roster

However, this weekend, McVay will be with a heavily depleted roster. This roster is nowhere near the Super Bowl contender they have previously been in the Matthew Stafford era. Los Angeles will be without one of the best wideouts in the NFL, Cooper Kupp. Additionally, they have a defense that is starting a slew of inexperienced players without an established draft pedigree. If there is any silver lining to the team the Rams will put out on the field this Sunday, it is that Hall-of-Famer Aaron Donald is active. However, the Seahawks already ranked No. 8 in pass block win rate last year and profile as fully healthy to kick off the season. This fact mitigates some of the issues Donald causes with his pass-rushing ability.

As explained in a previous futures betting article, Seattle also padded their defense with the additions of cornerback Devon Witherspoon and edge rusher Derick Hall in the draft. They also signed interior defenders Dre’Mont Jones and Jarran Reed and linebackers Devin Bush and Bobby Wagner in free agency. They should be able to stifle a Rams offense led by tight end Tyler Higbee and wide receiver Van Jefferson. Neither Higbee or Jefferson are efficient at their position. Seattle should dominate this game early and use their strong rushing duo of Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet to control the tempo of the game and hold that lead. This gives us extreme value on asking them to get the job done by less than a full score.

Take Seattle as one of your NFL Best Bets this week! You can track all of our NFL Best Bets on PlayerProfiler all season long!