To celebrate the arrival of another NFL season, we are making Monday Night Football picks to help you end your betting week on a high note!
When you make up on Monday morning, the weekend may be over but the NFL week isn't through yet. While t here's normally just one game left following Sunday, there are two nationally-televised games that bettors in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania can sink their teeth into during the opening week of the season. Here is the Week 1 NFL schedule for Monday Night Football:
- Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints (-6.5) - 7pm
- Denver Broncos (-1) at Oakland Raiders - 10pm
The Saints are giving away nearly a touchdown as they host the Texans and the Broncos are slight road favorites in Oakland, according to lines from FanDuel Sportsbook, which now operates in the Keystone State as one of the best PA sportsbooks in addition to its presence in New Jersey.
Below we'll lay out some NFL betting tips to remember before making MNF predictions for the games on this week's slate.
NFL Betting Tips For Monday Night Football
- Bet Favorites and Overs Early
Public action on Monday Night Football increases a ton in the hours leading up to the game, as it's the only game on and the final contest of the week. The casual betting public tends to side with favorites and overs since it's logical to go with the 'better' team and it's more fun to root for points. Because of this, get any bets you may want on the favorite and the over early on, but wait it out for most unders and underdogs.
- Single-Game Parlays Boost Payouts
On Monday night, there's normally just one game even though the Week 1 schedule spoils us with two. Rather than just taking a side or a total, you can parlay together the spread and the total for a larger payout. Sports betting sites in NJ and PA offer various versions of parlays within the same game. For the opening week, options are added thanks to the second game on the slate.
- Line Movement
As mentioned, Monday Night Football sees plenty of bets as the only game on for the next three days. The line been on the market the longest of any game and had the most time to be influenced. Knowing where the line started and how it got there may help decipher public action from sharp action, which is key to making the right NFL picks and MNF predictions.
- Be Careful Chasing Money
Don't chase money and bet huge on Monday just because you're down from Sunday's slate of games. If you force yourself to make MNF predictions and then put too much money on it, you're not doing yourself any favors. The only thing worse than waking up on Monday after a losing week is waking up on Tuesday after compounding your betting mistakes. There's another game on Thursday and plenty more next weekend.
NFL Week 1 Predictions For Monday Night Football
Week 1 is always a bit of a crapshoot, and the first Monday night game(s) should be treated a little bit like the Thursday night contest. So much attention from oddsmakers, sharp bettors and the public is on these games from a betting perspective without much information to go off, which can make the prediction game more difficult. We'll take a look at both games and see where we can find some value.
NFL Picks Week 1: Saints vs. Texans
The Saints opened as nearly double-digit favorites, but the action has pulled the line within one score. Oddsmakers at FanDuel Sportsbook expect a high-scoring affair between the Saints and Texans, although the total has been pulled down even though both offenses figure to be dangerous.
The Saints won 13 games last year and bring back an absolutely loaded offensive unit, starting with future Hall of Famer Drew Brees and game-changing weapons like Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. While Houston electric players like Deshaun Watson and De'Andre Hopkins, it's defense is still learning how to play with recently-traded Jadaveon Clowney and is adjusting to life without starting running back Lamar Miller (torn ACL). They have some depth issues and distractions that may not be easily overcome on the road in New Orleans.
The Saints have waited a long time to forget how last season ended and the Superdome is going to be in an absolute frenzy on Monday night. Now that the number has crept back under a touchdown, we are pulling the trigger on New Orleans against the spread.
Pick: Saints-6.5 (-120) - Place Your Bet At FanDuel Sportsbook NJ
NFL Picks Week 1: Raiders vs. Broncos
The pick in this game was almost entirely dependent on whether new Raiders wideout Antonio Brown was going to play. The timeline of off-the-field drama involving injured feet, a new helmet and disagreements with the front office came to a fitting end when the star wideout was cut by Oakland just before Week 1. In response, the line shifted from the Raiders being slight favorites to the Broncos being favored.
There are plenty of question marks on both sides, as the Broncos come into the game with a new head coach, assistant coaches and quarterback in Joe Flacco. What we can expect is a major reliance on second-year running back Phillip Lindsay, and with a little protection, Denver can control the game. New offensive line coach Mike Munchak is expected to have a huge impact on a line that needs to give Flacco time if they're going to achieve any success.
With all the distractions facing the Raiders, they'll be happy to step on the field and finally get to play a game in what will surely be a wild environment in Oakland. They've practiced all summer without Brown so Derek Carr will be used to the receivers he has, but will the Broncos' highly-regarded defense be too much to handle? Oakland's receiving corps is a major question mark, as is the offensive line.
Oddsmakers see this as a tightly-contested divisional game, so we don't see a blowout happening. Since we lean toward the Broncos winning at the Black Hole, we are taking some extra value by looking at the 'Winning Margins' market and taking Denver to win by 13 points or less.