The 2019 NFL schedule was released Wednesday, April 17, and the sportsbooks were quick to follow with the Week 1 NFL betting lines.
The books set the moneyline, spread, and over/under for all 16 games based on how they project roster battles to unfold throughout summer camps and where they expect the public money to go as a result of offseason hype.
Week 1 NFL Betting Lines
Thursday, Sept. 5 (8:20 p.m. ET)
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-3.5)
The Bears will open the NFL’s 100th season as favorites at home against the NFC North rival Packers. The two sides split last year’s series, but the Packers project to have a healthy Aaron Rodgers and shouldn’t be the underdogs if they do.
Sunday, Sept. 8 (1 p.m. ET)
Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings (-4)
The Falcons should enter the season with a healthy defense for the first time since Week 1 of 2018 and are expected to add another top defensive player in Thursday’s first round of the draft. Both teams fell below expectations last season, but Atlanta’s return to health would mark the biggest addition for either side.
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) at Miami Dolphins
The Ravens and sophomore QB Lamar Jackson open as road favorites over a Dolphins team in the midst of turmoil following the release of QB Ryan Tannehill and signing of Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Ravens underwent plenty of their own changes on either side of the ball and the Dolphins may be able to do just enough with a little Week 1 magic.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-3.5)
The Bills will get the first crack at the new-look Jets. RB Le’Veon Bell was the marquee addition, but GM Mike Maccagnan added on both sides of the ball and is equipped with yet another top-3 pick to potentially secure the Jets as one of 2019’s most improved teams.
Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Chiefs overhauled their defense following a record-setting year from the offense in 2018. Jacksonville took the offseason’s biggest risk by inking former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles to an $88-million contract as the rest of the team hopes to return to 2017 form.
Los Angeles Rams (-3) at Carolina Panthers
The NFC champion Rams opened as slight favorites on the road. It’s likely best to jump on L.A. now in case their odds decrease in the event of a setback for QB Cam Newton following January’s shoulder surgery.
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (-5)
The Browns are poised to enter 2019 as betting favorites for the first time since 2013, as they come off their best season since 2007. The Mayfield factor and acquisition of WR Odell Beckham Jr. have the Browns at the peak of their hype; so it’s ok to wait to see if the home team gets a better number once the shine fades.
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-8)
The Philadelphia Eagles parted ways with Foles this offseason, and in the process lost their insurance policy for starting QB Carson Wentz. Washington’s Colt McCoy and Case Keenum will battle to replace the injured Alex Smith in Week 1, making the Eagles the largest favorites on the opening lines.
Sunday, Sept. 8 (4:05 p.m. ET)
Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5)
The Seahawks are one of the biggest favorites of the opening week. Cincinnati missed the playoffs for a third straight year and then parted ways with head coach Marvin Lewis after finishing 2018 in the bottom half of the league in rushing and passing yards, and points.
Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5)
The Colts predictably didn’t make any big splashes in free agency despite an abundance of cap room, so they’ll trust several key sophomores to lead the team to further success this year. Tight end Eric Ebron‘s touchdown regression is likely the biggest concern for Indianapolis, while the return of TE Hunter Henry will boost the Chargers.
Sunday, Sept. 8 (4:25 p.m. ET)
Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals (-1)
The Cardinals opened as favorites for Week 1 despite the fact they hold the No. 1 pick on Thursday night as a reward for 2018’s worst record. The Lions didn’t impress in head coach Matt Patricia‘s first season at the helm, but QB Matthew Stafford deserves respect over either Josh Rosen or Kyler Murray.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-7.5)
No team will be under greater pressure than the Giants in Week 1 after trading Beckham. The addition of WR Golden Tate can be considered a lateral move at best and the Giants pose little threat to the Cowboys’ reign atop the NFC East.
San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5)
The tightest spread is between the post-hype 49ers and a Buccaneers team that fired its head coach. This seems like a tremendous value and the odds are likely to plummet closer to September.
Sunday, Sept. 8 (8:20 p.m. ET)
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (-6.5)
The Super Bowl champion Patriots aren’t playing in the season opener, but have the spotlight of Sunday Night Football. The line will likely narrow between two public betting favorites.
Monday, Sept. 9
Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints (-7.5)
The Saints are favored at home after being robbed of a trip to Super Bowl LIII. The Texans lost by seven points once last season but the Saints’ home-field advantage will be immense.
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (-3)
Oakland’s favored following a busy offseason and ahead of a draft in which it has three first-round picks. The Broncos’ biggest move was the acquisition of Joe Flacco, so the Raiders will likely start better in Jon Gruden‘s second year.
Week 1 NFL Betting Lines: Things to watch
Of course, there’s plenty left to unfold before those first kickoffs of the 2019 season. The 2019 NFL Draft runs from Thursday, April 25 through Saturday, April 27 in Nashville, Tenn. Rookie camps are held in early May, training camps begin in mid-July, and preseason runs through August. All the while, players will be signed, released, or traded.
These events will cause the Week 1 NFL betting lines to fluctuate. Always be on the watch for an edge to be gained from injuries, free-agent signings, or depth chart changes.