The opening week of the season is here, and NFL betting in West Virginia can commence. This season starts on Thursday night, when the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Dallas Cowboys.
While there’s lots of focus on the opener, there are several other notable prime time games this week. Bettors can wager on all of the NFL action at WV sportsbooks.
In addition to Thursday’s matchup, the Mountain State’s online sportsbooks provide plenty of other betting markets for the week’s top contests.
After enjoying their first NFL Sunday in some time, fans can sit back and bet on a nightcap. The Los Angeles Rams get to play in front of a packed house in their new stadium for the first time as they take on the Chicago Bears.
Then on Monday Night Football, two teams that hope to contend in the AFC get together. The Baltimore Ravens travel to Las Vegas to face the Raiders in the Week 1 finale.
Let’s examine the odds for each of these nationally televised games and see how these teams stack up.
NFL Week 1 Odds At WV Sportsbooks
Bucs Vs. Cowboys Preview
The 2021 kickoff begins with two of the more star-powered teams in the league. Tampa Bay just won the Super Bowl with an amazing cast around Tom Brady, while the Cowboys get quarterback Dak Prescott back from an injury.
Both teams have very high hopes for the season.
Unfortunately for the Cowboys, it appears that they will be without one of their top offensive linemen. Starting guard Zack Martin is likely to miss Thursday’s tilt because of a positive COVID-19 test result.
This will hinder Dallas, which endured a difficult campaign a year ago without its quarterback and much of its line. It’s probable that the Cowboys will look to possess the ball for as long as possible to keep Brady on the sidelines.
However, with the Martin news, the team may need to adjust and look to pass more often.
This announcement moved the betting odds slightly at WV sportsbooks. At DraftKings WV Sportsbook, the Bucs are favored by eight points, rather than seven from about a month ago.
Bettors can take the champs laying the point spread or their moneyline of -380. Dallas is available at +290 on the online sportsbook.
Although the game’s total is fairly high at 52 points, each team is capable of putting up some points. Tampa finished last season third overall in points per game, while the Cowboys were in the middle of the pack even with some subpar quarterbacks.
The defensive side of the ball is where you’ll find some differences between these two. Tampa features several talented players and a unit that shut down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
Dallas is just looking to reach mediocrity on defense, and although they should be improved, it might take a few weeks.
If the Cowboys’ offense is in rhythm, this game could turn into a shootout.
DraftKings lists Prescott’s total passing yards at 293.5, compared to Brady’s at 304.5. You can wager on either players’ over or under for this market at odds of -115.
Rams Vs. Bears Preview
Bettors can conclude their Sunday with another great game involving two playoff teams from 2020. Both the Bears and Rams qualified for the postseason last season by snagging spots as the Wild Card.
Despite having successful years, both are starting different quarterbacks this fall.
The Rams made a massive splash when they dealt Jared Goff to Detroit for veteran Matthew Stafford. On the other side, Chicago moved on from top draft pick Mitchell Trubisky and now has several options under center.
Even though the Bears traded up to select Ohio State product Justin Fields, it seems they will go with Andy Dalton in the first week.
The former Bengal and Cowboy proved to be mostly ineffective a year ago, throwing 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions over 10 games. Dallas went 5-5 during this span.
Head coach Matt Nagy is hoping to get more out of him this season to help complement his strong defense. Chicago has an opportunity to make some noise if its offense can score more consistently.
At PointsBet Sportsbook WV, the Rams are favored, giving -7 in the spread. The online sportsbook offers their moneyline at -360, whereas Chicago is shown at +280.
The Rams are a popular futures pick this year, so it makes sense that they’re sizable favorites at home. Chicago will need its defense to exceed expectations for it to have a shot at coming away with a victory.
Sportsbooks will offer lots of other markets, like player props, closer to the weekend, but there are some posted now.
FanDuel WV allows you to bet on which team will score a certain amount of points first. The Rams are currently -196 to record five points first and -225 for the Race To 10.
This is a quality market for those who believe the Bears could jump out to a fast start. They’re presented at +150 to reach five points and +172 as the first team with 10.
Ravens Vs. Raiders Preview
The NFL’s opening week concludes with the battle between Baltimore and Las Vegas.
The Raiders failed to make the playoffs again under head coach Jon Gruden, going 8-8 last season. Baltimore finished second in the AFC North by winning 11 games before falling to Buffalo in the divisional.
Based on the spread, this contest should be the tightest in this week’s prime time lineup. At FanDuel, the Ravens are giving -4.5 in the spread on the road.
They’re offered at -215 on the moneyline, while bettors can take the Raiders with odds of +180 to win the game outright.
In addition to the more common ways to wager on NFL games, WV online sportsbooks typically have a variety of props.
FanDuel has one where bettors can decide the outcome of the very first drive of the game. Of course, this is sort of a toss-up wager, because you won’t know which team will actually start with the ball.
The online sportsbook gives the following odds for how that opening drive will end:
- Punt -105
- Offensive TD +280
- Field goal attempt +400
- Other +650
Although the Ravens’ defense should look impressive, both sides have a lot of game changers on offense. Taking one of the options that result in points could return some solid value.