NFL Week 1 Early Value Picks Include One Side, One Total and Two Props

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Just under six months ago the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals to win the Super Bowl and Aaron Donald and Sean McVay said after the victory that they were “thinking” about retiring.

Of course, neither did and now we just have to wonder about if there is marital strife in the Brady household and who to use for NFL picks in Week 1.  

Here are our early week value picks and props before we get started.

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Cleveland Browns vs. Carolina Panthers

Sunday, September 11, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Bank of America Stadium

All Eyes on Bayer Mayfield

When Cleveland decided to trade Baker Mayfield and Carolina was the main partner, somebody in the front office immediately told the Browns coaches, “You know our first game is at Carolina?”

It wasn’t known at the time Mayfield would beat out Sam Darnold to be the starting quarterback or that Deshaun Watson would be officially suspended, but both were at least presumed.

No matter how you look at it, this doesn’t seem like a good spot for Cleveland to face a peeved Mayfield with much to prove against his former team. No doubt the Browns defense knows Mayfield’s tendencies and weaknesses, yet he knows theirs also.

With Christian McCaffrey back from injury, that gives the Panthers a more versatile attack, and whatever Mayfield’s frailties are, he’s still better than Jacoby Brissett.


Trust the Panthers

Carolina is up to a 2.5-point home favorite betting odds and you can bet an angry Baker has something to prove to his old and new teammates. Cleveland comes in 6-15 ATS playing in Week 1.

NFL Pick: Carolina Panthers -2.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Carolina Panthers -2.5 (-108)
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Sunday, September 11, 2022 - 08:20 PM EDT at AT&T Stadium

Tampa Bay Is Not Settled

The first Sunday night confrontation is loaded with storylines and intrigue. Tom Brady missed an extended period of training camp for the first time and while that should not be usual for a player his age, rumors have run rampant on social media and we are just waiting for TMZ to get the details.

Tampa Bay’s offensive line had been a key strength to the Buccaneers' success with Brady and that looks less so coming into the season opener. Center Ryan Jensen will miss a good chunk of the season. He’s been the person handing Brady the ball.

Tristan Wirfs, Robert Hainsey, and Nick Leverett are all ‘questionable’ for Week 1. All could play but reports have them expected to be well less than 100%. That really breaks up the potential continuity of the running game for Tampa Bay.

Dallas Is Not Settled Either

While this should help Dallas, the Bucs’ defense appears extremely strong to begin 2022. Tampa finished 3rd in run defense and that was only because of injuries late in the season, otherwise, they would have been 1st.

Everyone that matters on that side of the ball is back, while Dallas and Dak Prescott have to rework the passing game and replace outstanding left tackle Tyron Smith.


Go for the Total

Put this together where the defenses could control the play and the Under is looking good unless it falls in the 40s.

Dallas enters 7-2 Under vs. the NFC and Tampa Bay 6-2 Under against the same type of conference competition.

NFL Pick: Under 50.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Under 50.5 (-108)
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Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Rams

Thursday, September 8, 2022 - 08:20 PM EDT at SoFi Stadium

Take These Prop Picks for Week 1

Because the rest of the player props won’t be released until later in the week, we focused on the ones for Thursday in a perfect matchup to start the year. Two props stand out to us having excellent value.

Cooper Kupp

Let’s face it, for the most part, Cooper Kupp is always open, especially when the Rams need a first down or a touchdown. With almost every team expected to have a few defensive breakdowns in the opener, Kupp finds the end zone.

Dawson Knox

The other we like at the latest NFL odds is Buffalo tight end Dawson Knox catching a TD from Josh Allen. Knox quietly totaled nine scores a year ago and Allen likes his big body in the red zone or if they can get a bad matchup with a linebacker having to guard him down the field.

NFL Pick: Cooper Kupp Any Time TD (-140) at Heritage Sports

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Cooper Kupp Any Time TD (-140)
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NFL Pick: Dawson Knox Any Time TD (+170) at Heritage Sports

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Dawson Knox Any Time TD (+170)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.