Dallas Cowboys (0-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0)
The Cowboys drew the short straw with a brutal Week 1 matchup against the defending Super Bowl champs in Tampa Bay. After a 6-10 record last season and an offseason full of question marks, we’re not sure what Dallas are going to deliver on Friday morning. One of the key questions is the injury status of QB Dak Prescott as he battles a sore shoulder. So that’s something to monitor before kick-off. The other area of concern is their mediocre defence. They allowed 29 points per game last season and were horrible against the run. Which spells trouble against Brady’s offensive weapons.
Signing Tom Brady and co, paid immediate dividends as the Bucs dominated the NFC in the playoffs and successfully quelled the Chiefs offence in the Super Bowl at this stadium. With a very similar roster to last season, we fully expect the Buccaneers to win the now weaker (Drew Brees retiring) NFC South division and go to work defending their title. This matchup against the Cowboys should be very favourable as well. While their offence gets most of the attention, their defence should not be understated. For example, they ranked 1st in the NFL for rushing yards allowed and that will likely limit the influence of Ezekiel Elliott.
There’s far too many unknowns about the Cowboys at the moment to think they can upset the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay. The Bucs will be fired up to start their title defence with a comfortable victory on home turf.
The Bucs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games. The Cowboys hold a 2-2 record at this venue since 2003.
Head to Head Record
Dallas has won the last 2 meetings at home and hold a 7-3 record in the last 10 meetings.
Cleveland Browns (0-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (0-0)
The Browns begin the new season in similar fashion as they face the Chiefs again. After a 22-17 playoff loss at this venue against Kansas City in January, the Browns will be out for revenge in this Week 1 matchup. One of the areas of improvement for Cleveland should be their pass defence as they’ve recruited around matchups like these against Mahomes and their 1st ranked passing offence of last season. The Browns were also a strong away team in 2020, going 5-3 SU. So we give them a good chance of a Week 1 upset.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs come off a disappointing performance in the Super Bowl as their offence just couldn’t get any momentum against Tampa’s defence. But with a fairly similar roster as last season, the Chiefs will be hungry for success in 2021. It obviously starts with the main strength of this team, which is Mahomes and their passing offence. However, they’ll look to improve on defence as they were an average team against the run and Nick Chubb could be a difference maker for the Browns.
With an expected improved pass defence, we give the Browns a good shot at keeping this one close with the Chiefs. While the Browns have lost 3 straight games at Arrowhead, the average losing margin is just 5.5 points. If the Browns can control possession with their running game, this should be a close contest.
The Chiefs have a strong 15-2 home record in their last 17 games. Cleveland is 1-4 at this venue in the last 5 meetings.
Head to Head Record
Kansas City holds a 7-3 record in the last 10 meetings since 2002.
The Bears come off a wildly inconsistent 2020 campaign as they finished 8-8 and the QB position is again in the headlines. In Week 1, they will start veteran Andy Dalton over 1st round pick & rookie, Justin Fields. At this point, it’s a safe decision. But if the Bears offence continues to struggle early in the season, Dalton will be feeling the pressure. However, he does have a good defence and the Bears will be familiar with Rams QB Matt Stafford.
Los Angeles went bang in the offseason by trading Jared Goff to the Lions for Matt Stafford. With one of the best defences in the NFL, Stafford should be able to improve the Rams 22nd scoring offence in 2021. They also upgraded their running game by trading for Sony Michel from the Patriots.
This matchup is mainly about the Rams defence up against Andy Dalton, which looks to be heavily in the Rams favour. So in a primetime Week 1 matchup, there’s going to be some rust for both sides, especially with 2 new QBs. Which leans us to the Under. The Under has saluted in 6 of the last 9 meetings and the Rams are 5-0 against the Under on their home turf.
The Rams are 8-2 at home in their last 10 games. Chicago is 4-10 against Los Angeles on the road.
Head to Head Record
Los Angeles has won back to back meetings, 24-10 and 17-7.
Baltimore will be aiming to balance their offence in 2021 after an 11-5 record in 2020 that ended with a disappointing 17-3 defeat against the Bills. While the Ravens are one of the best teams in the NFL in terms of rushing yards, they ranked dead last in passing yards. That makes their offence one-dimension and that’s the challenge for Lamar Jackson in the playoffs at the moment. Their running game also copped a blow in the preseason with Dobbins suffering a season ending injury. However, their defence should remain one of the best in the NFL as they come off just 18.9 points allowed per game in 2020.
Las Vegas will be pumped for their first sell-out in the new stadium as the Raiders look to improve on an 8-8 record in 2020. Defensively, the Raiders need improvement after allowing 29.9 points per game and they were equally poor against the run/pass. Which doesn’t fill us with confidence in a matchup against Lamar Jackson. The Raiders were also poor at home with a 2-6 record but will be hoping the crowd can give them a boost.
This matchup is heavily in the Ravens favour. The Raiders defence is mediocre at this point and Lamar Jackson should take full advantage. Meanwhile, the Ravens are a very strong away team with a 13-3 record and the Las Vegas crowd factor shouldn’t faze them.
The Raiders are 1-6 at this venue in the last 7 games. This will be the Ravens first game at this venue.
Head to Head Record
Baltimore has won 7 of the last 10 meetings and that includes a 34-17 victory in 2018.
Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers Sean McVay and the Rams produced the first upset of the NFL Playoffs as they travelled to Seattle and beat the Seahawks 30-20. After losing QB John Wolford to a neck injury, Jared Goff took over the reins and made key throws when it mattered. But the key […]
Green Bay Packers (4-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2) Green Bay’s electric offence heads to Tampa Bay on Monday in search of a 5th straight win against Brady’s Bucs. Aaron Rodgers has led the way with 13 touchdown passes on the season and the Packers are easily the top scoring team in the NFL with […]
BlueBet previews the NFL Week 9 action below. Read on for our best bets per game and an overview of the feature games this week. Buffalo Bills at New York Jets Date: Friday 10:25 am. Venue: East Rutherford Odds: Jets $2.39, Bills $1.61 The Jets host the Bills on Friday at East Rutherford. We’ll provide […]