The opening week of the NFL season carries so much uncertainty, and in a number of areas.
Fantasy football managers might be debating whether or not to start rookies or newcomers in their lineups. Those who like to place weekly NFL bets might scratch their heads while considering which teams will cover the spread. And those taking part in an NFL survivor league or pick ’em pool almost certainly will be left with questions about which teams to trust given there isn’t previous film to look back on.
Well, we’re here to hopefully make those decisions a bit easier. We’ve included three teams to consider and three others to avoid in your NFL survivor league.
Teams to pick
Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) at New York Jets
We’re quite high on the Ravens this year, and it helps that Baltimore opens up against a cupcake when other teams start with divisional matchups. Baltimore is healthier than it will be all season in Week 1 — a major problem last season — and the Jets will be rolling with veteran Joe Flacco behind a brutal offensive line. Brighter days are ahead in New York, but Gang Green won’t start off with a bang. The Ravens don’t have a better matchup until they play the crosstown Giants in a month, and even that’s debatable.
San Francisco 49ers (-6.5) at Chicago Bears
The Bears probably will be featured on this list throughout much of the season — and not for good reasons. Chicago might have the worst roster in the league with second-year quarterback Justin Fields having a limited number of offensive options. The Niners have a few favorable future opponents with the Seattle Seahawks (twice) and Atlanta Falcons, but fading the Bears should always be a strong consideration.
Indianapolis Colts (-7) at Houston Texans
Disclaimer: Divisional matchups always prove a bit trickier, and the fact the Colts play the Texans at home in Week 18 might make this head-to-head worth saving. But bettors nevertheless should feel confident rolling with the much-improved Colts, despite the fact veteran signal-caller Matt Ryan will be playing in his first game with his new team. Indy’s defense is that good.
Honorable mention: Denver Broncos (-6.5) at Seattle Seahawks
Teams to avoid
Buffalo Bills (-2) at Los Angeles Rams
Hopefully, this goes without being said and there’s nobody willing to take such a massive risk in Week 1. The defending Super Bowl champions opened as a 1-point home favorite before the markets shifted to Buffalo, indicating the toss up on “Thursday Night Football.” Buffalo has far-better future options with the Jets (twice) and Bears in late December.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)
Aaron Rodgers and the Davante Adams-less Packers might turn out to be a real contender, but we’re going to wait and see given the questions that present. Green Bay has better the Bears (twice) and Jets on their future schedule.
Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5) vs. Las Vegas Raiders
You’re not going to see us recommending many AFC West divisional matchups this season. Los Angeles has the Atlanta Falcons, Texans and Seahawks on their 2022 schedule.
Honorable mention: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2) at Dallas Cowboys