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NFL Week 1 Picks: Chiefs hold off Lions, Steelers upset 49ers

The NFL season is finally here! After a long off-season and entertaining preseason, we have finally made it to the opening week of the National Football League. As fans get ready to watch football every Sunday for the next 17 weeks, many wonder who has the best odds to win their first game of the season. Using trends, statistics, and all my football knowledge, here are my NFL Week 1 picks and predictions.



Thursday Night Kickoff Game

Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5)

Last year at this time, the Bills-Rams kickoff game looked like a Super Bowl preview. Buffalo lost in the divisional round while LA had an injury-filled season and finished 5-12. This time around, the hype is built around Detroit, who finished 9-8 and had a winning record for the first time since 2017. But the defending Super Bowl champions should take care of the Lions in Arrowhead Stadium.

Pick: Chiefs 34, Lions 24


Sunday Stretch

Carolina Panthers (+3.5) at Atlanta Falcons

Both these teams finished 7-10 last season and yet each of them has bright expectations in 2023. The Panthers traded up for the first-overall pick to select quarterback Bryce Young and look to compete in a weak NFC South. They also added running back Miles Sanders and hired head coach Frank Reich. Meanwhile Atlanta reaffirmed its commitment to young quarterback Desmond Ridder and upgraded its defense. In this Week 1 duel, the more experienced and home field advantage Falcons take a close one.

Pick: Falcons 24, Panthers 21


Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (+1.5)

The Browns finally ended their Week 1 losing streak last season and now could they win back to back? After star quarterback Joe Burrow had a scary training camp injury, he should be available to play vs the Browns. But that doesn’t mean he will be fully healthy. It’s make or break year for the Browns as despite having one of the best rosters in the league have only made the playoffs once under its current leadership including back-to-back losing seasons. Cleveland will look to start the season strong at home. Pick: Browns 30, Bengals 27


San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5)

Fresh off their second straight NFC championship loss, the 49ers will look to run it back with Brock Purdy behind center. After sending away former third overall pick Trey Lance to Dallas, they are banking on Purdy to stay healthy and lead the team. Meanwhile the Steelers missed the playoffs by one game and they had a good offseason. Although the 49ers are the better team, Pittsburgh could steal a win like they did last year as heavy underdogs vs Cincinnati.

Pick: Steelers 26, 49ers 21


Green Bay Packers (+1.5) at Chicago Bears

The Bears have not beaten Green Bay since the 2018 season. Now with Aaron Rodgers gone, it's Chicago's time to shine, right? Former 26th overall pick Jordan Love is under center for the Packers and after an impressive showing this preseason, can he fill the shoes left by the future Hall-Of-Famer Rodgers? Although the Bears have added a lot of new players this offseason and got a new logo, this team only won three games last season. Many are buying into the Justin Fields hype, but the Pack should take care of business and end their recent Week 1 losing streak.

Pick: Green Bay 23, Chicago 17


Primetime Picks

Buffalo Bills (-2) at New York Jets

The New York Jets fans are probably the most excited fan base in the league. They have Aaron Rodgers, one of the NFL’s best defenses and hope for a playoff run. But their first test is a home date with Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo is eager to get back into shape after falling short of their revenge game with Kansas City. For NY, there will be growing pains and it will be a tough duel on Monday Night Football. Buffalo takes a fun one.

Pick: Bills 35, Jets 31


Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) at New York Giants

Once again, the first Sunday Night Football game belongs to the Dallas Cowboys, but this time they head to MetLife Stadium for a battle with the New York Giants. Both these teams have big aspirations this season but the Cowboys have had the Giants’ number for a while. It should be a fun game to watch, but America’s team comes through. Pick: Cowboys 28, Giants 14



The Rest Of The Games


Jaguars (-4) 34, Colts 17

Commanders 27, Cardinals 21 (+7)

Vikings 30, Buccaneers 25 (+6.5)

Titans 24 (+3.5), Saints 19

Ravens (-10) 35, Texans 23

Seahawks (-4.5) 27, Rams 21

Broncos (-4.5) 20, Raiders 13

Eagles (-4.5) 31, Patriots 17

Chargers 26, Dolphins 23 (+3)


As we look back at previous Week 1 games, note that it is the hardest week to predict because there’s so much uncertainty. Remember last year when the Titans lost to the Giants and everyone was shocked? Or when the eventual 7-10 Panthers vs 7-10 Browns was the game of the week? In 2020, the 1-15 Jacksonville Jaguars got their only win of the season vs Indianapolis Colts and proceeded to lose every other game.

Be happy! Football season is finally here and every team is undefeated… for now. Stadium Rant has you covered the entire football season and more! And for me… well I hope you look forward to more predictions throughout the season.

 

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