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NFL Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Fantasy Football DFS Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds for Week 1

Steve Buchanan breaks down the Week 1 DraftKings NFL slate with game analysis, odds, lines and prop bets.

Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season has arrived and I hope to make this one of your weekly articles to check out. In the past, we’ve had a number of sections in this article and it’ll continue to grow as the season progresses. Let’s get to all the information you need to get prepared for Week 1!

Also, you have to follow me on Twitter or else you’re not allowed to read this article. @SBuchanan24.


Game Notes

Biggest DraftKings Sportsbook Moneyline Favorite

Buffalo Bills (-320; -6.5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (+250)

Betting trends:
Bills 2020 home record: 9-1
Bills 2020 home record when favored: 7-0
Bills 2020 ATS record: 12-7
Bills 2020 ATS record when favored: 8-5

Steelers 2020 road record: 5-3
Steelers 2020 road record as underdogs: 2-2
Steelers 2020 ATS record: 10-7
Steelers 2020 ATS record as underdogs: 4-1

The Bills were one of the most profitable teams to bet on last season. They covered the spread 63% of the time (2nd) and were the second best team on the moneyline going 15-4 (79%). The Bills would also put up wins convincingly, with a 6.8 point margin of victory (5th) while covering the spread by an average of +4.6 (T-2nd).

One of the biggest reasons I like the Bills in this game (outside of the obvious) will be a big mismatch between the Bills defensive line and the Steelers offensive line. The Bills shored up this weakness at the draft to go with their vets. Meanwhile, the Steelers have plenty of question marks on their offensive line and look as if they could near the bottom of the league. Last season, Roethlisberger was under pressure on only 22% of his dropbacks but produced just a 62.6% adjusted completed percentage, 5.4 yards per pass attempt and five of his 14 interceptions. Last season, the Bills got pressure on him 31% of the time, sacking him once. Roethlisberger hasn’t particularly performed well under pressure (not many QB’s do) but he’s felt it so little over the past few seasons. 2021 could be very, very different and facing this new unit will be a big test.

The only real advantage for the Steelers will be whomever is in the slot against CB Taron Johnson. He was the primary slot defender last season, doing so on 71% of his snaps. When he was targeted against, he allowed a 73% of them were caught for an average of 11.1 YPR. Last season, JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,200) spent 78% of his snaps out of the slot.

Other notable favorites: San Francisco 49ers (-365; -7.5) vs. Detroit Lions (+280), Kansas City Chiefs (-305; -6) vs. Cleveland Browns (+240)


Highest DraftKings Sportsbook Projected Total

Kansas City Chiefs (-305; -6) vs. Cleveland Browns (+240) Over/Under: 54.5

Betting trends:
Chiefs 2020 home record: 8-2
Chiefs 2020 home record when favored: 8-1
Chiefs 2020 Over/Under record: 9-10
Chiefs 2020 Over/Under record when favored: 8-9

Browns 2020 road record: 6-4
Browns 2020 road record as underdogs: 3-3
Browns 2020 Over/Under record: 10-8
Browns 2020 Over/Under record as underdogs: 8-9

I love that these two teams meet up after a stellar Division Round matchup last season.

Despite being such a prolific offense last season, the Chiefs stayed under the game total 52% of the time. Of the team who averaged 30+ points last season (Chiefs were 29.6) no team hit the over less than 55% of the time. These teams went under the total points by a lot in the Divisional Round, which saw the over/under set at 55.5 and the final score combining for 39 points. It’s worth noting that this is the game Patrick Mahomes ($8,100) had to exit due to a concussion.

Another interesting trend from last season was the Chiefs record in games that had an over/under of 50+ points. This took place 14 times this season and the over only hit in exactly half of them. The Chiefs also saw a game total of at least 54.5 points, just like this week, but the over hit in just three of the seven games. This team struggled with the over and often times missed by a very big number, as much as 23 points against the Falcons in December. Of the 10 games the Chiefs went under the game total on, six of them were by double-digits.

Other notable totals: Tennessee Titans (-160; -3) vs. Arizona Cardinals (+140) O/U 52.2, Green Bay Packers (-210; -3.5) at New Orleans Saints (+175) O/U 50


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NFL Week 1 Betting Splits

These splits will be updated daily. Feel free to visit later in the week to see the most updated splits from DraftKings Sportsbook.

Last Updated: September 12th 10:45 a.m. ET


NFL Betting Trends

This section will showcase some of the best and worst teams against the spread and with the over/under. For the first two weeks, this will feature 2020 records. At the beginning of Week 3, we’ll switch over to the 2021 record.

Teams Against the Spread:

Best Teams ATS

Team Record ATS +/-
Team Record ATS +/-
Las Vegas Raiders 2-0 11.8
Denver Broncos 2-0 7.5
Buffalo Bills 2-0 9
Indianapolis Colts 1-1 -4
Miami Dolphins 1-1 -13.5

Worst Teams ATS

Team Record ATS +/-
Team Record ATS +/-
Atlanta Falcons 0-2 -19.8
Kansas City Chiefs 0-2 -3
Jacksonville Jaguars 0-2 -11.8
Washington Football Team 0-2 -4.5
New York Jets 0-2 -7.5

Teams Over/Under Records:

Best Team Over Records

Team Over Record Total +/-
Team Over Record Total +/-
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-0 14.2
Kansas City Chiefs 2-0 12.2
Los Angeles Rams 2-0 2.8
Minnesota Vikings 2-0 9.8
Baltimore Ravens 2-0 13.5

Worst Team Over Records

Team Over Record Total +/-
Team Over Record Total +/-
New York Jets 0-2 -11.8
New England Patriots 0-2 -11
Pittsburgh Steelers 0-2 -6
Miami Dolphins 0-2 -11.5
Buffalo Bills 0-2 -10.8

Lineup Starters

Quarterback to build around

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons, $6,400 — This game should be filled with plenty of offense, as the game total on this has risen up to 49 points. Hurts has the benefit of facing arguably one of the worst group of cornerbacks in the league in the Atlanta Falcons. Last season, the Falcons corners allowed the most PPR points to opposing wide receivers and they very well could challenge for that title this season. On top of that, Hurts brings immense rushing upside, doing so 46 times for 272 yards and three touchdowns last season. The Falcons allowed at least 30 rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks six times last season, a number we could easily see exceeded on Sunday.

When it comes to player props for Hurts on DraftKings Sportsbook, he is currently listed at the following

Passing Yards: 233.5
Passing TDs: 1.5
Pass + Rush Yards: 279.5
Pass attempts: 31.5


Wide Receiver To Pair Him With

DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons, $4,500 — After a sprained MCL scare during preseason, Smith is ready to go in Week 1 to make his NFL debut. As mentioned, this group of corners were amongst the worst in the league last season so we could see Smith flourish early. He should see a healthy dose of CB A.J. Terrell, who in coverage last season was targeting against 102 times and allowed 71 receptions for an average of 17.7 YPR and five touchdowns. Smith was the 10th overall pick in the draft and was consistently working with the first unit during camp. Pairing him with Hurts together leaves you with an average of $5,586 for the remainder of your roster.

Player props for Devonta Smith:

Receptions: 3.5
Receiving Yards: 43.5
Longest Receptions: 21.5


Top Running Back To Consider

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints vs. Green Bay Packers, $8,600 — Kamara is going to test the Packers run defense in Week 1. New defensive coordinator Joe Barry is tasked with trying to stop Kamara and quite frankly, I don’t think there really is a solid plan to do so. Kamara was a force through the air when he faced this team last season, catching 13-of-14 targets for 139 yards and two touchdowns while adding 58 rushing yards on six carries. The Saints will of course be without Michael Thomas and will be using Jameis Winston ($5,200) at quarterback. We haven’t seen these two work together but we HAVE seen this Saints offense without Thomas. When he was out, Kamara was averaging 8.6 targets per game last season compared to just 5.0 with him.

Player props for Alvin Kamara:

Rushing Yards: 59.5
Receiving Yards: 45.5
Receptions: 4.5
Rush + Receiving Yards: 110.5
Rushing Attempts: 13.5


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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.


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