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The Best Game to Bet Each Week of the Season

by Kyle Wood/ May 12, 2023 at 3:41 p.m.

The NFL schedule is out. Even though all 32 teams opponents have been set for months, we now know when and where each matchup will take place, except for the final week of the season.

Many of the best games each week are slated for primetime (theres even more primetime this season as the NFL expands its holiday schedule to include Black Friday), but there are a few diamonds in the rough buried in the afternoon slates in the 18-week long campaign.

SI Betting broke down the entire 272-game regular-season schedule and identified the best game to bet on each week from September through January.

Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports

Week 1: Bills vs. Jets

Monday, Sept. 11, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)

The first Monday Night Football game of the season is an AFC East clash between the back-to-back-to-back division champs and the trendy pick to unseat them. Thats right, the Bills are playing in prime time against the Jets, a team that gave them quite a bit of trouble last season before the Aaron Rodgers trade. Buffalo and New York split the season series and Josh Allen struggled as his team failed to cover either game as a double-digit favorite. This will be the third all-time meeting between Rodgers and Allen — the future Hall of Famer got the best of the rookie in 2018 and Allen got his revenge in 2022.

Week 2: Seahawks vs. Lions

Sunday, Sept. 17, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Seattle and Detroit played one another each of the last two seasons and those meetings have not been short on scoring. The Seahawks won 48-45 a year ago, which was the highest-scoring game of the 2022 season, and 51-29 the season before. Thats more than 170 points combined the last two times these teams took the field — both contests easily cleared the over. These defenses should be much improved for this matchup between two NFC playoff hopefuls. And remember, that Lions loss to Seattle ended up being the tiebreaker for the final NFC wild card spot last year.

Week 3: Broncos vs. Dolphins

Sunday, Sept. 24, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

The last time these teams played was in 2020 when Vic Fangio, the coach of the Broncos at the time, led his team to a 20-13 win. Now, hes the Dolphins defensive coordinator, but the coaching storylines for this matchup dont stop there. Miami tried to hire Denvers new coach, Sean Payton, while he was still under contract with the Saints. Those "impermissible communications" were part of tampering violations that cost the franchise its 2023 first-round pick after a league investigation. This will also be Dolphins linebacker Bradley Chubbs first shot at his former team after he was traded midseason in 2022. Beyond the compelling off-the-field angles, this should be a good matchup between one of the better defenses in football and an elite offense.

Week 4: Dolphins vs. Bills

Sunday, Oct. 1, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

As a 14-point road underdog, Miami nearly upset Buffalo in the playoffs with third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson under center. The Bills ultimately escaped 34-31, in the third meeting of the season between the two teams, each of which was decided by three points or fewer. Before Miamis regular-season victory last September, Buffalo had won seven in a row in the series between the two division foes and plenty of those were outright blowouts. The arrival of coach Mike McDaniel has made the rivalry much more competitive and the two meetings this season could have an outsized impact on how the AFC East standings shake out.

Week 5: Cowboys vs. 49ers

Sunday, Oct. 8, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Dallas is back in the Bay under the bright lights of Sunday Night Football after San Francisco ended its season in the playoffs the last two years. The Cowboys have defeated the 49ers in their last three regular-season meetings dating back to 2016, but the postseason has been another story. Both teams saw some offseason shakeup — theres new coordinators on either sideline and questions at quarterback for San Francisco — but after the Eagles, these squads have the best odds in the NFC to win the Super Bowl.

Week 6: Giants vs. Bills

Sunday, Oct. 15, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Its been four years since New York played Buffalo and this Sunday Night Football showdown will take on extra meaning as Brian Daboll makes his return to Western New York. He spent four seasons as the Bills offensive coordinator before he left to coach the Giants in 2022, promptly took them to the playoffs and was named Coach of the Year. Highmark Stadium is a difficult place to play as a road team, but few coaches know Allen better than Daboll, who oversaw his improvement and has tried to replicate that process with Daniel Jones.

Week 7: Chargers vs. Chiefs

Sunday, Oct. 22, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

Justin Herbert is 1–4 against Patrick Mahomes in his career and each of those games have been decided by six points or fewer. A field goal was the difference in the two meetings last season between Los Angeles and Kansas City — the Chargers covered both. These two quarterbacks always put on a show when they share the field and their teams have combined for 50 points or more in their last four head-to-head matchups. The expectation should be more offensive fireworks for this afternoon affair at Arrowhead Stadium.

Week 8: Jets vs. Giants

Sunday, Oct. 29, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

The Jets and Giants may share a field, but the two MetLife Stadium tenants havent played since 2019. The Giants get the "home" designation for this matchup, though the Jets have won the last two meetings. Rodgers, New Yorks new quarterback, took on the Giants in London last season when he was with the Packers and lost, 27-22. This is a big matchup for New York football given that the Giants broke through and made the playoffs last year but the Jets, who are in the midst of a 12-year playoff drought, have higher expectations after the offseason they had.

Week 9: Chiefs vs. Dolphins

Sunday, November 5, 9:30 a.m. ET (NFL Network)*

*Game to be played in Frankfurt, Germany

Tyreek Hills first game against his former team will take place overseas. The Dolphins have a "home" game against the Chiefs in Germany, which will pit two of the best passing offenses in the NFL against one another and should produce plenty of points. The last time these teams met was in Miami in 2020 when Kansas City left South Florida with a 33-27 victory. Fangio, the Dolphins new defensive coordinator, is plenty familiar with the Chiefs from his time as the Broncos coach, though he was 0–6 against Mahomes.

Week 10: Panthers vs. Bears

Thursday, Nov. 9, 8:15 p.m. ET (Prime Video)

Carolina and Chicago are linked by their offseason trade involving the No. 1 pick. The Bears reaffirmed their commitment to Justin Fields and got him some help in the form of receiver D.J. Moore and tackle Darnell Wright and in exchange the Panthers picked their quarterback of the future, Bryce Young, first overall. Carolina running back DOnta Foreman also signed with Chicago in the offseason and will be up against his former team, along with Moore. Neither team is expected to contend for a playoff berth just yet, but two of the leagues exciting young signal-callers will be on display in an island game.

Week 11: Eagles at Chiefs

Monday, November 20, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)

The Super Bowl LVII rematch will take place at Arrowhead Stadium on Monday Night Football 10 months after Kansas City took down Philadelphia, 38-35. Though the Birds were favored in that matchup, it might be a different story with home-field advantage for the defending champs factored in. As Conor Orr wrote in his post-draft power rankings, which has the Eagles and Chiefs No. 1 and 2, respectively, "while the Chiefs have the best all-around player at the most important position, the Eagles appear to be the best all-around team in the NFL right now." This should be another great game, with all the same storylines that dominated the Super Bowl: Jason Kelce vs. Travis Kelce, Andy Reid vs. his former team and now the added angle of the recent playoff history between the two teams.

Week 12: 49ers vs. Seahawks

Thursday, Nov. 23, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

San Francisco swept Seattle in the regular season and then sent its NFC West rival home in the playoffs with a resounding 41-23 victory. This followed years of Seahawks dominance in the series, but Kyle Shanahan had Pete Carrolls number last season. Despite some uncertainty under center, the 49ers, the reigning division champs, are the odds-on favorites to win it once again. The Seahawks could have something to say about that and at least splitting the series with the Niners would go a long way toward making the race for the division title more interesting. This Thanksgiving matchup will be the first of the year between the teams.

Week 13: 49ers vs. Eagles

Sunday, Dec. 3, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

Its a wonder this NFC Championship rematch isnt an island game. Of course, Philadelphia rolled, 31-7, as San Francisco ran out of healthy options at quarterback, but these two teams currently have the best- and second-best odds to win the Super Bowl in the conference. Top to bottom, the Eagles and 49ers are two of the best all-around rosters in the league and San Francisco plucked defensive tackle Javon Hargrave from Phillys fearsome front seven in the offseason. This could very well be a potential preview of next years conference title game and might play a factor in deciding which team earns the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Week 14: Bills vs. Chiefs

Sunday, Dec. 10, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

Buffalo went into Arrowhead Stadium last season as a 2.5-point favorite and left with a 24-20 win. That was the second year in a row the Bills got the better of the Chiefs on the road in the regular season, though Kansas City won the last two playoff meetings. Allen has held his own in his matchups with Mahomes over the years and he tossed the game-winning score with just over a minute to go last time they met.

Week 15: Ravens vs. Jaguars

Sunday, Dec. 17, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Trevor Lawrence completed the game-winning two-point conversion in the waning seconds of his first, and so far, only matchup with Lamar Jackson last season. Jacksonville opted to go for the win after Lawrence drove down and scored in the games final minute and did just that, 28-27. Both quarterbacks will have better weapons at their disposal this year: The Ravens added receivers Zay Flowers and Odell Beckham Jr. while Jags wideout Calvin Ridley will be back from his suspension. This could very well be a playoff preview if Jacksonville ends up winning the AFC South again and Baltimore earns another wild-card spot. This will also be the Jaguars first Sunday Night Football appearance since 2008.

Week 16: Ravens vs. 49ers

Monday, Dec. 25, 8:15 p.m. ET (ABC)

This is just the third regular-season meeting between Baltimore and San Francisco since Super Bowl XLVII. The two teams have both beaten each other once since and the most recent meeting was in 2019. The 49ers vaunted defense will be tasked with slowing down Jackson, one of the most elusive quarterbacks in the league. And the Ravens defense will have their hands full with their opponents cast of talented skill-position players, like Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle. This Christmas Day nightcap figures to be a better matchup than Buccaneers-Cardinals a year ago.

Week 17: Bengals vs. Chiefs

Sunday, Dec. 31, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

Cincinnati had won three in a row over Kansas City until the AFC Championship. Harrison Butkers 45-yard kick as time expired sent the Bengals home and sent the Chiefs back to the Big Game with a 23-20 win. Joe Burrow is now 3–1 all-time against Mahomes, which includes a playoff win at Arrowhead Stadium. These two teams have been the last ones standing in the NFLs superior conference two years running and the last time they played in Week 17 was in 2021 when JaMarr Chase went for 266 yards. Another late season matchup like this could certainly factor into playoff seeding.

Week 18: Falcons vs. Saints

Sunday, Jan. 7, Time TBD

There are better season finale games on the schedule, but this matchup between Atlanta and New Orleans has the potential to swing the NFC South. The Saints win total is set at 9.5 and the Falcons are at 8.5 — this game could very well decide the division. Though New Orleans has won six of the last seven games in the series, four total points separated the two teams last year. Coach Arthur Smith also plucked defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen from the Saints sideline and he brought defensive tackle David Onyemata and linebacker Kaden Ellis with him to Atlanta. The division belonged to the Buccaneers the last two years, but its back up for grabs after Tom Bradys retirement.

Print Headline: The Best Game to Bet Each Week of the Season


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