Josh Frey’s Week 1 NFL Picks

Takeaways from Justin
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Folks, Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season is officially upon us, so today, we will once again be rebooting the weekly NFL picks series.

Last year, we performed relatively well in these selections, going a total of 70-65-5, including the playoffs.

However, this year, we’re throwing caution to the wind. Instead of just making seven picks per week during the regular season, we’re going to go through the entire slate of games to make selections for all 272 regular season games plus all of the playoff games.

It’s going to be a wild ride, so buckle up, and let’s get into the Week 1 NFL picks, going through the entire 16-game slate for this upcoming weekend. Point spreads and over/unders are found via ESPN.

Detroit Lions @ Kansas City Chiefs

Week 1 NFL Picks
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Chiefs -4.5
  • O/U: 53.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Chiefs -4.5

I’m riding with the defending Super Bowl champs to begin the year. Of course, Travis Kelce’s status is still up in the air at the time of this being written, but even if he is out, Noah Gray proved to be a strong second option at that tight end position last year. Despite some improvements on the defensive side for Detroit, it’s hard to go against Patrick Mahomes in this primetime spot. During the month of September over his career, the Chiefs are 13-3 and Mahomes has passed for 5101 yards, 49 TDs, and just 4 INTs.

Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens

Ravens Make Huge
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Ravens -10
  • O/U: 43.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Ravens -10

This is a tough spot for C.J. Stroud’s regular season NFL debut. The rookie QB has to go on the road to Baltimore and take on a tough Ravens defense without much of a receiving corps to help him out. I think the Ravens roll to a victory here against a rebuilding Houston squad.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns

AFC/NFC Championship Picks
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws in the first quarter during an NFL divisional playoff football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. © Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK.
  • Spread: Bengals -2.5
  • O/U: 48 points

Frey’s Pick: Bengals -2.5

This is inevitably going to be a close game in Cleveland. The AFC North constantly beats up on each other regardless of the talent on each roster. This year, it’s tough to say that any of the teams are bad, but if I had to pick a team to falter, it’s Cleveland. I have the Bengals winning a tight game to begin the year.

Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons

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  • Spread: Falcons -3.5
  • O/U: 39.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Panthers +3.5

The Panthers offensive line looked very shaky during the preseason, and that could have a strong Atlanta pass-rush licking their chops heading into this Week 1 matchup against rookie QB Bryce Young. However, there are plenty of questions surrounding Atlanta’s own offense, particularly QB Desmond Ridder. The Panthers defense is a strong group, keeping this one close and potentially even pulling off the road upset.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts

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  • Spread: Jaguars -5
  • O/U: 45.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Jaguars -5

The Colts could be a sneaky playoff contender by the end of the year, but Jacksonville’s offense is going to simply overpower Indy’s defense this week. After being the worst scoring offense in the NFL during 2021, the Jaguars blossomed into a top-10 group in 2022 and really hit their stride down the stretch of the season. Anthony Richardson has a lot of development to do, so I’m riding with Jacksonville in Week 1.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings

Have the Vikings Paid Kirk
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Vikings -5.5
  • O/U: 45 points

Frey’s Pick: Vikings -5.5

The Buccaneers no longer have Tom Brady at quarterback, and the dropoff to Baker Mayfield will be notable. However, this defense is still very legit, and they were among the top-10 in a number of categories last year. The first half could be tightly contested because of this unit, but I see the high-flying Vikings offense pulling away down the stretch.

Tennessee Titans @ New Orleans Saints

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  • Spread: Saints -3
  • O/U: 41 points

Frey’s Pick: Saints -3

Alvin Kamara is suspended for the first three games, but the duo of Kendre Miller and Jamaal Williams should do a solid job for New Orleans in the backfield this week. With Derek Carr at QB, New Orleans has a number of weapons for him to throw to in the passing game as well. The long-term health of WR Michael Thomas will be something to monitor throughout the year, but he will play in Week 1, and the Saints will put up points on this Tennessee defense.

San Francisco 49ers @ Pittsburgh Steelers

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  • Spread: 49ers -2.5
  • O/U: 41 points

Frey’s Pick: Steelers +2.5

Pittsburgh was another team that quietly put together an outstanding finishing kick in 2022. They won six of their final seven games, and in games started by QB Kenny Pickett, the Steelers went 7-5. On the other side, Nick Bosa got a massive contract extension on Wednesday, putting an end to his contract saga. San Francisco’s defense will be fierce this season, but Pittsburgh has a few studs of their own in Nick Herbig, T.J. Watt, and Joey Porter Jr. Pittsburgh pulls off the home upset this weekend.

Arizona Cardinals @ Washington Commanders

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  • Spread: Commanders -7
  • O/U: 38 points

Frey’s Pick: Cardinals +7

By no means do I believe the Arizona Cardinals are going to be good in 2023. However, I feel similarly about the Washington Commanders. This is a “don’t think, just shoot” pick, and I don’t believe the Commanders should be laying a touchdown in any game this season.

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears

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  • Spread: Bears -1.5
  • O/U: 42 points

Frey’s Pick: Bears -1.5

This is the biggest game that the Chicago Bears have played in years. Aaron Rodgers exited stage-left during the offseason, and now, Jordan Love is set to replace him. This is Chicago’s chance to finally get the upper hand on Green Bay, and with loads of money spent on free agents, the Bears get the win.

Las Vegas Raiders @ Denver Broncos

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  • Spread: Broncos -3.5
  • O/U: 44 points

Frey’s Pick: Broncos -3.5

Last year couldn’t have gone much worse for the Denver Broncos after trading for QB Russell Wilson. Sean Payton comes in as head coach, though, and hopes to revamp their offense to its true potential. I believe that this team will turn into a playoff contender this season, and they start the year in the win column.

Philadephia Eagles @ New England Patriots

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  • Spread: Eagles -4
  • O/U: 45 points

Frey’s Pick: Eagles -4

The Eagles did have to replace both of their coordinators this offseason while Bill O’Brien could bring a revamp to the Patriots offense. However, this is still an Eagles team that rolled to victories throughout the 2022 regular season. Philadelphia opens the season with a win.

Miami Dolphins @ Los Angeles Chargers

The NFL's Top QBs after Week 10
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. © JIM RASSOL/THE PALM BEACH POST / USA TODAY NETWORK.
  • Spread: Chargers -3
  • O/U: 51 points

Frey’s Pick: Dolphins +3

This feels like a season where the Los Angeles Chargers are going to struggle. They managed to keep Austin Ekeler around for a season, but with a thin and aging defense, the Dolphins will be able to put up points on the road and secure the upset.

Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks

Vikings Fans to Become Loud
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  • Spread: Seahawks -5.5
  • O/U: 46 points

Frey’s Pick: Seahawks -5.5

Los Angeles had multiple losses on the defensive side of the ball, and Cooper Kupp is out for Week 1. Without Kupp as a security blanket for Matthew Stafford, the Rams are going to struggle in this game. I’ll take the Seahawks to win this divisional matchup.

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Cowboys -3.5
  • O/U: 46.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Giants +3.5

If I were forced to pick this game straight-up, I would say the Cowboys are going to win. However, these NFC East battles are always strange, and both defenses should show up in this one. In Mike McCarthy’s first game calling plays for the offense, I feel comfortable saying this is a field goal game.

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Bills -2.5
  • O/U: 46.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Bills -2.5

During recent years, Aaron Rodgers-led teams have always gotten out of the gates slow. Green Bay has been blown out by the Saints and Vikings in Week 1 over the past two years, and with so many new pieces on this offense, Buffalo takes care of business on Monday night.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.