2024 NFL schedule release, Week 1 odds, picks: Aaron Rodgers, Jets keep it close vs. 49ers in prime time



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While football may not exactly be on the mind in May, soon enough the NFL will be right back at the forefront of our lives. A reminder of that fact came on Wednesday with the league releasing its full 2024 regular-season schedule, which you can find right here. In this space, we’re going to specifically keep the focus on Week 1 and take a look at the betting odds to provide some early leans. Of course, it should be emphasized that these are early leans with these games not being played for months and plenty to still be determined between then and now, but it’s always a fun offseason exercise.

With that, let’s get right to it. Below, you’ll find the early odds for the opening slate and our early picks for how we see each Week 1 game unfolding.  

All NFL odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

The Chiefs will unveil their latest Super Bowl championship banner to open up the 2024 NFL season and then we’ll get a tasty AFC Championship rematch with the Ravens at Arrowhead Stadium. Last year, when K.C. was in this same exact spot, they fell to the Lions in the opener. That game was marred with a number of poorly executed plays by their receivers, and I don’t think Patrick Mahomes will be caught sleeping for a second time in a row. The Chiefs have revamped their wide receiver room this offseason, headlined by Marquise Brown and first-round pick Xavier Worthy. Meanwhile, the Ravens should be a threat in the conference yet again, but it remains to be seen how much of an impact losing defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald will be in 2024. With this being under a field goal, we’ll roll with the Chiefs, who were 5-4 ATS as the home team in 2023. 

Projected score: Chiefs 23, Ravens 20
The pick: Chiefs -2.5

Packers at Eagles (-1.5), Friday — in Brazil

The NFL’s International Series kick off early in 2024 with the league setting up a Friday game between the Packers and Eagles in Brazil. Philly is technically the home team, but this is a neutral site game, which has impacted the line. The question for this game comes down to Jordan Love vs. Philadelphia’s secondary. Love was stellar down the stretch in 2023, completing 70% of his passes and had 18 touchdowns to just one interception in his final eight regular-season games. Meanwhile, the Eagles allowed the second-most passing yards in the league. They did add Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean in the draft, but if they are not ready out of the gate, I could see Green Bay coming back to the U.S. 1-0. 

Projected score: Packers 23, Eagles 21
The pick: Packers +1.5

The Falcons made some of the biggest waves this offseason headlined by signing Kirk Cousins in free agency. On paper, they are slated to be much better than they’ve been in recent seasons, but the jury is still out on how Cousins will fare on the field as he returns from his season-ending Achilles injury. That makes me a little weary of laying a full field goal, especially against a stout defense like Pittsburgh’s that features T.J. Watt. There’s also a revenge narrative here for the Steelers offense, which is being run by former Falcons head coach Arthur Smith. Whether it’s Russell Wilson or Justin Fields, I can see the Steelers — who were 5-4- ATS on the road in 2023 — keeping this within the number.

Projected score: Falcons 23, Steelers 21
The pick: Steelers +3

The Cardinals were feisty in 2023 and went 9-8 ATS. That was without Kyler Murray for a chunk of the year, which isn’t a concern coming into 2024. Not only does Arizona get a healthy Murray to begin the year, but they’ve also given the offense a massive boost by drafting wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. in the NFL Draft. Pairing him with fellow receiver Michael Wilson and tight end Trey McBride might be enough firepower to keep up with Buffalo. After all, the Bills completely overhauled its wide receiver room and the offense may need to work out some growing pains before getting into full rhythm. I can see the backdoor being wide open for Arizona to cover in this spot against a Bills team that was 5-5 ATS at home in 2023. 

Projected score: Bills 27, Cardinals 21
The pick: Cardinals +7

Expectations are quite high for Caleb Williams and the Chicago Bears, who are favored to go over their 8.5 win total this season. The No. 1 pick oozes with top-tier talent, but it may be just a touch too early to back him as a 4.5-point favorite. Tennessee spent the entire offseason building around second-year quarterback Will Levis, adding the likes of Tony Pollard and Calvin Ridley in free agency. They also injected talent in the secondary with L’Jarius Sneed. Tennessee may be more of a polished product out of the gate, so we’ll lean toward first-year head coach Brian Callahan getting his first win early in the season. 

Projected score: Titans 23, Bears 20
The pick: Titans +4.5

If we were to guess right now, Jacoby Brissett is starting for the Patriots over No. 3 overall pick Drake Maye in Week 1. If we’re being honest, it doesn’t matter as it relates to the outcome of this head-to-head. So long as Joe Burrow is healthy, this should be a game that the Bengals dominate. New England is a team in transition while Cincinnati, when firing on all cylinders, is a Super Bowl threat.   

Projected score: Bengals 30, Patriots 16
The pick: Bengals -7.5

The Texans are going to be the sexy pick to come out of the AFC this season based on the sensational rookie season C.J. Stroud put together. Factor in the offseason addition of star wideout Stefon Diggs, and Houston could be on the verge of something special. Meanwhile, the Colts did add some intriguing pieces this offseason and Anthony Richardson flashed when he was on the field, but Indy is a tier below at the moment. 

Projected score: Texans 27, Colts 20
The pick: Texans 1.5

The Dolphins started off hot last year winning five of their first six games, and there’s reason to believe that it could happen again in 2024. Miami was 6-3 ATS last season at home and boasts one of the fastest offenses in the NFL. As for the Jaguars, they are reeling from a late-season collapse that ousted them from the playoffs. They were 4-3 ATS on the road in 2023, but I could see Miami’s offense simply being too overpowering to keep up with. 

Projected score: Dolphins 30, Jaguars 24
The pick: Dolphins -3.5

Not exactly the most thrilling game on the Week 1 slate, but one with some intrigue nonetheless. Carolina has made solid strides this offseason in building a better system around Bryce Young, including bolstering the offensive line and giving him some pass-catching weapons like Diontae Johnson and Xavier Legette. The Panthers were a league-worst 1-7-1 ATS on the road last season, but that should improve slightly in 2024, and could come as early as Week 1. The Saints aren’t a world-beater by any stretch and were 3-5 in the Superdome in 2023. Feels more like an ugly field goal game, so I’ll take the points here and lean slightly on the upset. 

Projected score: Panthers 20, Saints 17
The pick: Panthers +4.5

It goes to show you where the Giants are in their franchise history when they are home underdogs in the opener against a team that we don’t even know who’ll start for them in Week 1 between Sam Darnold and rookie J.J. McCarthy. Given the talent surrounding whoever is under center, however, Minnesota is right to be looked at as the favorite. Really, this game could come down to Brian Flores unleashing his flurry of blitzes on Daniel Jones, who is coming back from a season-ending ACL injury. 

Projected score: Vikings 24, Giants 17
The pick: Vikings -1.5

The big issues for the Chargers in recent seasons have been poor unorthodox decisions in key moments of the game, which ultimately led to defeats. That’s unlikely to happen now that Jim Harbaugh is running the show and will make them a much more difficult out in 2024. On top of that, Justin Herbert vs. Gardner Minshew is a sizable mismatch after the Raiders were unable to land a quarterback early in the draft. Las Vegas — who went 4-4 ATS on the road last year — will play hard behind Minshew and head coach Antonio Pierce, but their talent won’t be able to keep up in the end.

Projected score: Chargers 27, Raiders 20
The pick: Chargers -3

I’m bullish on Seattle in 2024. The Seahawks have fantastic weapons for Geno Smith and will get a boost defensively with head coach Mike Macdonald taking over. Meanwhile, the Broncos are a team in transition after selecting Bo Nix in the first round of the draft. Sean Payton likely hopes that Nix’s loads of experience in college will help him translate to the pros quickly, but probably not as soon as Week 1.

Projected score: Seahawks 28, Broncos 17
The pick: Seahawks -4.5

The Buccaneers brought the band back together this offseason, re-signing Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans. One of the big questions will be how the offense differs from last year as Liam Coen takes over as offensive coordinator, but Mayfield does have a prior history with him with the Rams. Washington is breaking in a new regime from top to bottom, including head coach Dan Quinn and quarterback Jayden Daniels. Expecting them to go on the road and pull out a win seems too tall of a task.

Projected score: Buccaneers 28, Commanders 20
The pick: Buccaneers -4.5

Arguably the biggest storyline in this game will center around the broadcasting debut of Tom Brady. That said, both the Cowboys and Browns are in interesting positions entering the year. Both Mike McCarthy and Dak Prescott are playing out the final year of their contracts, while Deshaun Watson is trying to finally live up to the massive deal the Browns gave him a couple of years ago. He’s coming off of a season-ending shoulder injury in 2023, but if he’s even serviceable the Browns should be competitive. Cleveland was 8-1 ATS at home last season, which was the best in the NFL. Meanwhile, Dallas was 4-5 ATS on the road. I think those trends bleed into this game and make the seat under McCarthy even hotter coming out of Week 1.

Projected score: Browns 27, Cowboys 20
The pick: Browns +1.5 

Rams at Lions (-3.5)

We are treated to quite the “Sunday Night Football” showdown to put a bow on the first Sunday of the season. Months after returning for the first time and being eliminated by his former team, Matthew Stafford is back at Ford Field to take on the Lions. Both of these teams have hopes of a deep playoff run in the NFC, especially Detroit, which seems to be pushing all of its chips in the middle with this core. This should be a remarkable game that is probably determined by a field goal, so we’ll go ahead and take the hook with the Rams. L.A. was 6-3-1 ATS on the road last season, which ranked in the top third in the league. 

Projected score: Lions 27, Rams 24
The pick: Lions -3.5

Jets at 49ers (-6.5), Monday

The NFL is wrapping up its opening week on a spicy note. Aaron Rodgers is making his return to the Jets on the same stage that he went down just four plays into his season a year ago. Meanwhile, he goes up against his hometown team — and the club that famously passed up on him — in the 49ers. This is also a reunion for many on the Jets staff who came over to New York with former defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. As for San Francisco, the club is coming off a loss to the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. That historically sets them up to take a loss in this spot. Since Super Bowl XXXIV, the Super Bowl runner-up has gone 9-14 SU and 5-18 ATS in Week 1. The Eagles (-3.5) were able to win and cover in the opener to the Patriots last year, but by the skin of their teeth. I think we see New York come out blazing with its team finally intact with Rodgers under center and keep this game close.

Projected score: 49ers 24, Jets 21
The pick: Jets +6.5





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