Week 1 of the 2023 NFL regular season is finally here, with all 32 NFL teams aiming to make a run for the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas on Feb. 11.
The season-opening game on Sept. 7 will see Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions head to Kansas City to play Patrick Mahomes and the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs.
After that comes a 14-game slate of action on Sunday, Sept. 10, and the opening week wraps up on Sept. 11 with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets on Monday Night Football.
As we get set to kick off the 2023 NFL season, let’s dig into some of my favorite Week 1 prop bets.
All NFL betting odds used for these Week 1 props are current as of Wednesday, Sept. 6, and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
NFL Player Props Week 1
Lamar Jackson: Over 1.5 TD Passes (+124)
Most bettors will look to take Jackson’s rushing yards or his anytime TD props on Sunday because of his dual-threat ability in the running game. However, I’ll take the Over on his touchdown passes prop against a Texans defense that allowed a league-low 15 TD passes in 2022.
Since being named the starter in 2019, Jackson has always put on a show in Week 1. The former NFL MVP has 12 passing touchdowns and just one interception in the last four regular-season openers, going over 1.5 TD passes three times.
Baltimore is trying to be a pass-heavy offense under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. With Mark Andrews, Odell Beckham Jr., Zay Flowers, Rashod Bateman, and J.K. Dobbins at Jackson’s disposal, the Texans’ defense will have a lot to think about on Sunday.
Last season, Jackson went over 1.5 TD passes in the Ravens’ first three games.
Najee Harris: Over 47.5 Rush Yds (-115)
For the Steelers to upset the 49ers on Sunday afternoon, they will need a quality rushing performance from Harris.
San Francisco had one of the best run defenses in 2022, allowing 77.7 yards per game (second-fewest in the NFL), and arguably improved that unit with the addition of DT Javon Hargrave in the offseason.
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However, the Steelers averaged 121.6 rushing yards per game last year (16th in the NFL), and Harris went Over 47.5 rushing yards in 11 out of 17 games.
He’s Pittsburgh’s bell-cow back, having racked up nearly 600 rushing attempts over the past two seasons, and should get enough chances to get over this number on Sunday.
T.J. Hockenson: Over 46.5 Rec Yds (-115)
The third player prop I am targeting for Week 1 is Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson to go Over 46.5 receiving yards against the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Tampa Bay allowed the 13th-most yards to tight ends last season, making this a solid matchup on paper for the veteran.
Hockenson will be one of the Vikings’ top receiving targets this season after they released Kirk Cousins’ safety blanket, Adam Thielen, in the offseason.
The former Lion only went Over 46.5 receiving yards in four out of 10 games with Minnesota last season after being acquired at the trade deadline, but saw 10-plus targets and went Over in three of the Vikings’ final four contests (including postseason).
Expect Cousins to look Hockenson’s way early and often against Tampa Bay.
Geno Smith: Over 1.5 TD Passes (-125)
Geno Smith had an excellent 2022 season in Seattle that saw him complete 69.8% of his passes for 4,282 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
Smith went Over 1.5 TD passes in 12 out of 17 games last season and should not have a problem throwing at least two against a young Rams’ secondary that features Cobie Durant, Derion Kendrick, and Ahkello Witherspoon at the cornerback spot.
Last season, the Rams gave up 1.4 touchdown passes per game and now have the tough task of slowing down D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba without All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey (now in Miami).
NFL Prop Bets Week 1
Cardinals vs Commanders: ARI Under 15.5 Points (-110)
This might be my favorite prop bet for Week 1, as the Cardinals are in tank mode after cutting veteran QB Colt McCoy.
Arizona will be starting either Josh Dobbs or rookie Clayton Tune against a Commanders defense that is stacked at all three levels and looking to make a statement to start the season.
The Cardinals offense has a few playmakers sprinkled in at the skill positions, such as Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore, Zach Ertz, and James Conner. But their offensive line leaves much to be desired after trading offensive tackle Josh Jones, a former third-round pick, to Houston.
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Last season without Kyler Murray, Arizona averaged 16.6 points per game in six games with McCoy, David Blough, and Trace McSorley under center. And that was also with Kliff Kingsbury as head coach.
We shouldn’t expect anything different with first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon, Dobbs, or Tune in Week 1.
The Commanders’ defense has a lot of playmakers across the board and should be able to pressure whoever is at QB. Last season, Washington allowed 19 points per game at home and held two teams under 15.5 points (Atlanta and Dallas).
Jaguars vs Colts: JAX Over 12.5 1H Points (-120)
Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars will be opening the regular season on the road against the Colts and rookie Anthony Richardson.
Jacksonville is the favorite in the preseason AFC South odds (-155) after winning the division last year at 9-8. The Jags split the season series with the Colts last season, winning the first meeting 24-0 in Jacksonville but losing the second matchup by seven.
However, Doug Pederson’s squad outscored Indianapolis in the first half of their meetings by an average of nine points per game. The Jaguars put up 17 first-half points in their Week 2 victory and 14 first-half points in the second matchup four weeks later in Indianapolis.
Last season, the Jags averaged 11.3 points per game in the first half but were even better (12.4 ppg) on the road.
Based on those averages, bettors might be tempted to take the Under 12.5 for plus-money (+100). But the Colts allowed the seventh-most first-half points per game last season (12.7), which must be taken with a grain of salt as they had two head coaches (Frank Reich and Jeff Saturday).
Still, I believe the Jags will score a couple of touchdowns early in Week 1, as Lawrence has plenty of weapons, including Travis Etienne Jr., Tank Bigsby, Christian Kirk, Calvin Ridley, Zay Jones, and Evan Engram, at his disposal.
Packers vs Bears: GB Over 2.5 Touchdowns (+110)
This might be a risky prop play, as Jordan Love will be walking into this season as Green Bay’s new starting quarterback. However, he will be facing a Bears defense that allowed 3.4 touchdowns per game last season (dead last in the NFL).
Chicago’s defense did improve in the offseason with the additions of veteran linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards. Still, the Packers have some playmakers the Bears will have to respect, like Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Aaron Jones, and A.J. Dillon.
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Love threw three touchdown passes across three preseason games this summer. That doesn’t mean a ton, as teams aren’t game-planning much in the exhibition season. However, Love still executed the offense and ended drives with a score.
We also should expect a decent number of points to be scored in this NFC North matchup at Lambeau Field, as the Over/Under is set at 43.5 points.
If you like this prop bet, you could also play the Packers’ team total, with Green Bay Over 20.5 points currently sitting at (-118).