The first weekend of the 2021 NFL season is here.
With 14 games on Sunday's slate, there are plenty of betting opportunities. Our VSiN experts Adam Burke, Wes Reynolds, Scott Seidenberg, Dave Tuley, Jonathan Von Tobel and Matt Youmans, along with Ben Brown from Pro Football Focus, combine to give their opinions on every game.
Note: Lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday night.
Here are our Week 1 best bets:
Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (-6.5, 48.5)
Seidenberg: The Bills come into this season with Super Bowl aspirations. Coming off a season in which Josh Allen had a 20-6 TD:INT ratio at home, expect the Bills to continue to dominate on their turf. The Steelers have a weakness in the secondary and the trio of Stephon Diggs, Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders will be too much to handle. The Steelers are also transitioning to a new offensive line, and as much as I love Najee Harris, he won’t be able to carry the Steelers to a win.
It’s going to be loud in Orchard Park and the Bills defense is going to get after Ben Reothlisberger. Buffalo beat Pittsburgh last December 26-15, and eight of its last nine wins for the Bills have been by double digits. Take the Bills.
Pick: Bills -6.5
Von Tobel: Last season, Buffalo won at home against Pittsburgh 26-15, but struggled to find consistency on offense. The Bills only put up 4.7 yards per play and 27.8 yards per drive. Allen posted one of his worst passing grades of the season by PFF standards (61.2) while averaging just 5.5 yards per attempt and 55.8% completion percentage. Despite the questions in the secondary for Pittsburgh, it is possible that this team is capable of yet again limiting this offensive attack yet again with the talent in the front seven. Pittsburgh’s offensive line looked better than expected in the preseason as well. Buffalo does not have a dominant pass-rushing front by any stretch, and this front finished 17th against the run by DVOA standards in 2020 and PFF graded their run defense as the fifth-worst unit in the league (42.5).
If the Steelers get above-average play from their line and play similar to what Roethlisberger did in the preseason, the Steelers will be very live here.
Pick: Steelers + 6.5
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers (-4.5, 44.5)