If you ask us, it is NEVER too early to get those Week 1 NFL picks in! In fact, there are huge advantages to be had with the early lines before the offseason shakes out and everything bounces around. 




I’ve found this especially true when betting underdogs, who have historically done well against the spread in Week 1. Moneylines are fun and all if you have a great feeling but maneuvering the spreads over the course of the summer offers a lot of room for both hedging and arbitrage. 

NFL Picks & Week 1 Predictions

Well, that’s the type of gamblers we are. And here, we’ll lock in some early NFL best bets for the 2024-25 season in May that we believe in and monitor them along the way to see if we need to double down, or possibly even cash out. 

These odds below are all from DraftKings Sportsbook, but make sure to check the lines from different betting sites and take advantage of our special offers along the way!




Cardinals vs. Bills Prediction: Arizona +7 (+100 at DraftKings)

Let’s start our Week 1 NFL predictions with the Buffalo Bills. I don’t care who you are – if you lose a player who has led your team in targets and first downs for four straight seasons, you have a hole to fill. Those first downs are especially crucial and Stefon Diggs would get them even when everyone knew the ball was coming to him. 

Curtis Samuel, Mack Hollins, and Keon Coleman are interesting additions, but that is a massive hole to fill. The Brandon Beane “Infusion of Youth” philosophy is interesting, but it has a lot of outlets wondering if they did enough.

On the other side, the Arizona Cardinals went out and added the top WR off the board in Marvin Harrison Jr. as well as the second RB drafted in Trey Benson. This is interesting considering the offense was pretty good once Kyler Murray returned. 

We actually already did a full write up on why we like Kyler Murray for fantasy football but, from a point-scoring standpoint, the Cardinals were averaging 22.4 points per game once he got back; higher than the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Now, we aren’t saying that the Cardinals win this game outright. They don’t need to. They just need to lose by less than a touchdown. With a full NFL offseason for Kyler Murray on an ascending team vs. one that sputtered, I could see that happening this year. Plus, Week 1 underdogs have covered over 53% of the time going back to 2000. Betting on the dogs to bark to kick off the season has always been the play.




Texans vs. Colts Prediction: Houston -1.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

The Houston Texans were already a good team – in fact, they were a playoff team with a rookie QB. They then were able to retain Dalton Schultz as well as offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik (for one more year, at least). They added weapons like Stefon Diggs and Joe Mixon. And then they dedicated their draft to the offensive line and defense – about as solid of an offseason as you can have. 

The Colts mostly spent their offseason maintaining what they have. They brought back buys like Michael Pittman, Grover Stewart, and Kenny Moore. They added edge rusher Laiatu Latu in the draft which is a big piece, they likely upgraded over Alec Pierce with WR Adonai Mitchell, and added some offensive line help. 

But my real question here is whether Anthony Richardson in his very first game back is as big of a boost in the win column over Gardner Minshew as some might think. We know he’s obviously an awesome fantasy football asset given what he does, but he did miss some key developmental time. I simply think the Houston Texans are more complete with a safer bet at QB right now.

Typically, we would side with the divisional home dogs here, as historically, they have been solid bets in Week 1. But the spread is only 1.5, making this one closer to a pick’em than it is a true underdog situation for the Colts. Every year is different of course, but it’s also worth mentioning that the Indianapolis Colts specifically have failed to cover the spread in nine straight season openers now. We’ll bet on C.J. Stroud to bring that total to 10. 




Patriots vs. Bengals Prediction: New England +9 (-110 at DraftKings)

At first glance, this one seems pretty obvious, right? Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals beat the lowly New England Patriots. But the Patriots (as well as their rival Jets) were really only terrible on one side of the ball last year. 

Both teams had solid defenses finishing in the top half of points allowed. And the Patriots did so without key players like Matthew Judon and Christian Gonzalez. The defensive-minded new head coach Jerod Mayo might be able to keep things in check. Especially since the Bengals lost offensive coordinator Brian Callahan to the Titans this offseason.

Also, there are some realistic rumors out there that Jacoby Brissett will start the season for the Patriots (as well some less realistic rumors regarding a Tee Higgins trade or issues with Joe Burrow’s wrist). If Brissett is named the Week 1 starter, I would not be shocked to see that line come down, so I’m locking it in now. Plus, who knows – maybe Drake Maye is the next breakout star anyway?

There’s also a trend to keep in mind here. There were no spreads of eight or more points in Week 1 or 2023 but, since 2003, Week 1 underdogs of eight or more are 25-9 against the spread. 

As the season progresses, it’s a lot easier to predict blowouts (and which team will be on the winning side of them), but Vegas does not have a great track record of predicting them for the first week of the season. We’ll take all those extra points in this one to finalize my early NFL predictions for Week 1.