Aug 17, 2020; Owings Mills, Maryland, USA;  Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) looks to throw during morning practice at Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 Early Games

Ravens, Packers Best Bets

Cleveland has won one season opener in 21 seasons and Aaron Rodgers has been unbeatable recently as a Week 1 visitor. These two factors nudge fading the Browns and backing the Packers to the top of our list of best bets for Week 1 early games.

Cleveland @ Baltimore – Take Ravens -7.5 (BetRivers Sportsbook)

The Browns and Ravens square off in Week 1 and both are legitimate contenders in the AFC. SugarHouse has the line at -7.5, a tempting number for Cleveland backers but its a bad temptation. The Browns are 1-19-1 SU in 21 season openers and they failed to cover six straight road games to end 2019.

The Ravens on the other hand are 9-3 ATS in their past 12 openers and 7-1 ATS in their past seven divisional games. They were favored big the past two seasons in Week 1 and won by a combined score of 106-13 – yes, those were easy covers.

Browns never win in Week 1

Cleveland is looking for redemption after a tough 2019. Expectations were sky-high for the Browns last season, and they crashed back to earth rather quickly. After a 2-6 start to the season, it was all but done by Week 8. Baker Mayfield struggled behind a very shaky offensive line, consequently the Browns addressed that this offseason.The Browns signed veteran Offensive Tackle Jack Conklin and drafted Alabama Left Tackle Jedrick Wills to shore up their tackle positions.

Baltimore had a terrific season last season, led by the story of the 2019 season, Lamar Jackson. He looks to build upon his impressive 2019 MVP season, and lead the Ravens past the Divisional Round.

Cleveland struggled against the spread last year, covering just one out of their last five games. Baltimore on the other hand covered the spread in their last four games. Cleveland struggled against the run last season, which will definitely be something to watch in this one. Baltimore  led the NFL with 205 rushing yards per game in 2019 and Jackson can easily shred a defense..

Prediction: Ravens -7.5 

Green Bay +2.5 @ Minnesota – Take Packers +2.5 (BetRivers Sportsbook)

This NFC North matchup should be one of the better games in Week 1 and Packer backers love the opportunity to get their team as a small road dog here. According to SugarHouse Sportsbook, the line was sitting at Vikings -2 – a risky number given the fact Green Bay has won outright the past three times they were Week 1 road underdogs.

There are also some intriguing UNDER trends here with the UNDER prevailing the past six times these teams met here in Minnesota and 9-2 overall. The UNDER is also 15-6 in Minnesota’s past 21 divisional games.

After a 27-10 loss to the 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs, the Vikings will look to bounce back and go further in the playoffs. The loss of Stefon Diggs could be detrimental to this offense, however they still have weapons in Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen. With Mike Zimmer returning as head coach, there is no doubt the Vikings will be in the mix in the NFC.

After a blowout loss to the 49ers in the NFC Championship, the Packers will need to prove last season was an anomaly. Aaron Rodgers will have to be special this year, as the Packers did not provide additional top-tier talent.

Division matchups of this caliber are always tough to predict. Both teams are worse this offseason and will take a step back. I am taking the Packers with the points here and expecting a motivated Rodgers to work some magic in Week 1.

Prediction: Green Bay +2.5

Brenden Deeg is from Ajax, Ontario and has been an NFL writer for over 5 years. Brenden has contributed to FanSided and 4th and Jawn. Brenden also played Defensive Line at York University, in Toronto Canada. Brenden is a Philadelphia Eagles fan, and active in the Philadelphia Eagles twitter community. You can follow his personal account here @ BrendenDeegNFP   He can reached at Brenden.Deeg@NationalFootballPost.com

Recent Posts