Now that the 2023 NFL betting schedule is out and the oddsmakers at BetAnySports have posted the betting lines, we can take a closer look at what’s on the board. The season has several compelling games in the first week of play. The action begins on Thursday, September 7, but the best games are mostly on Sunday. The Monday Night Football season premiere is also a top-tier game. Let’s look at four games that stand above the rest.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Odds at BetAnySports.eu Sportsbook: Cleveland Browns -2.5.
The Cleveland Browns were not a playoff team last season, but they also dealt with a half-season suspension for quarterback Deshaun Watson. That lengthy suspension prevented Watson from fully integrating himself into the Browns’ offense. With Watson being in the lineup on the first day of the season, and having no distractions in the coming offseason, the Browns have reason to expect that they will see the real Deshaun Watson who was a legitimate star for the Houston Texans and a game-changing quarterback with elite athleticism and dynamic playmaking ability.
Seeing Joe Burrow against a top-tier version of Deshaun Watson is must-see TV. We will find out if the Browns can stand tall against the Bengals, who have been the best team in the AFC North the past two seasons and have reached consecutive AFC Championship Games. The AFC has some tremendous Week 1 games, and this belongs on the shortlist.
Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots
Odds at BetAnySports.eu Sportsbook: Philadelphia Eagles -5.
The defending NFC champions go up against Bill Belichick in Week 1 of an NFL season, with Belichick – the coach with more Super Bowl championships than any other in the history of the NFL – getting essentially a full offseason to prepare for the Eagles’ elite offense and MVP runner-up Jalen Hurts.
If Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs did not exist, Hurts would have won the MVP award in 2022. He had a brilliant season. Only Mahomes and the Chiefs were better, a reality that was affirmed at Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona.
It will be fascinating to see if the Eagles can back up their tremendous 2022 season with an equally good run in 2023. Going on the road against the motivated Patriots – who face an extremely tough challenge in a loaded AFC East – will be great theater in Week 1.
The Eagles find themselves as a five-point road favorite. If we hear about good things about the Patriots offensive changes as we move through the offseason, this line might come down. If the opposite is true, don’t be surprised if the Eagles close somewhere right around a touchdown.
Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers
Odds at BetAnySports.eu Sportsbook: Los Angeles Chargers -2.5.
The Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers made the playoffs and suffered wrenching defeats. These two teams are playoff-caliber, but face a lot of doubts about their ability to rise to the top tier of the AFC and make a serious push at a Super Bowl berth. Neither Miami nor Los Angeles has been to a Super Bowl this century.
The Dolphins’ last Super Bowl was in the 1984 NFL season, while the Chargers’ last (and only) Super Bowl appearance was in the 1994 season one decade later. Can either team rise to a higher level? This game is a huge measuring stick for both.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (Monday)
Odds at BetAnySports.eu Sportsbook: Buffalo Bills -1.
The stage is set for an epic Monday Night Football season opener: Josh Allen versus Aaron Rodgers. The Bills have come so close to making the Super Bowl in recent years but have not crossed the threshold, while the Jets – who have had very few great quarterbacks in their snake-bitten history – finally get their hands on Aaron Rodgers.
The Jets have real hope that they can make a run at their first Super Bowl since the 1968 season when Joe Namath led them to the mountaintop. The atmosphere for this game will be off the charts, and the stakes are very high since it’s a division game. It’s the best game on the board in Week 1 for every possible reason.