NFL Betting Preview: Week 1

Story posted September 11, 2021 in CommRadio, Sports by Evan Popalis

For football enthusiasts, it is the most wonderful time of the year. The 2021 NFL season initiates on Sunday, containing must-see matchups.

Why not enjoy all of the action and make some money as well. This is the NFL betting preview for Opening Day.

New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers -3.5

This game feeds the souls of New York fans, hoping that new quarterback Zach Wilson will outperform his predecessor on the other sideline, Sam Darnold. Darnold is refreshed and prepared to prove himself. He freed himself from the dysfunctional Jets organization and Adam Gase in the offseason.

Wilson has shown signs of brilliancy at points in the preseason. However, New York is still a bottom-five roster in the league. His abilities and dissection skills against the defense will be on display Sunday afternoon.

Darnold meets up with a previous receiver he had in New York in Robby Anderson. That connection was quite successful on an abysmal team. Expect Darnold to prove his worth in the season opener against his former team, who happens to be rolling out a new head coach.

Jacksonville Jaguars -3 vs. Houston Texans

A battle between the lower echelon teams in the AFC South will provide definite entertainment factors. The No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, begins his career against the worst team in all of professional football.

Houston is starting a complete rebuild, and fans should plan on settling in for the long haul with this team. The Texans have no dynamic players hitting the field in the opener. Their best player, Deshaun Watson, will not play due to his current status of over 20 sexual assault allegations against him.

In his debut, Lawrence could throw for over 300 yards, leading the papers to declare him on a Hall of Fame career trajectory. Let’s hold off on that front. The Jags are victorious by 10 in this game.

Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs -5.5

The schedule makers were not holding back to kick off this campaign. These are two franchises that many believe could meet up in the AFC Championship game. That is a possible outcome of this season, but one thing is for certain, this is Kansas City’s game.

The Chiefs are 16-1 in September games, dating back to 2016. Plus, head coach Andy Reid is 8-0 against the Cleveland Browns in his career. This prediction is not a knock on Cleveland; they are a great football team. This pick resembles Kansas City’s play in September.

Also, this entire staff of the Chiefs remembers the embarrassment of the Super Bowl defeat in February. They will be out to prove they are still the king of the hill.

Las Vegas Raiders Money Line vs. Baltimore Ravens

The current injury debacle the Ravens face plays right into the hands of Vegas. The Raiders host Baltimore with fans in Allegiant Stadium for the first time in its history. The decibel level in the Black Hole will be through the roof.

Derek Carr is a quarterback capable of leading this Raiders squad. Tight end Darren Waller should see a heavy dose of targets, and he has been unguardable the last two seasons. Supplementing the passing game will be running backs Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake.

Baltimore may need to rely on Lamar Jackson’s arm more than they would like. The raucous crowd will be the reason the Raiders pull off this Monday night upset against a ferocious Ravens team.

Aaron Rodgers over 279.5 passing yards

Christmas came early this year. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers seems fit to be a lock for 280 yards through the air. He has more targets heading into this season than he did last year. The league’s MVP a season ago will sling the ball all over the field against the New Orleans Saints in a neutral site game in Jacksonville because of tropical storms.


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Evan Popalis is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

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Evan Popalis

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Evan Popalis is a third-year from Lititz, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a writer, analyst, and play-by-play commentator for the CommRadio sports department. His writings include weekly NHL betting previews along with power rankings for the NHL and NFL. He appears weekly on the NHL Podcast as a host and analyst reviewing the previous week’s action. If you would like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).