NFL Betting: Week 1 Round-Up & What We Now Know
In the world of NFL and online betting, Week 1 went to the favourites, but it was close. The Kansas City Chiefs came out strong under a focused and driven Patrick Mahomes. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made Dallas Cowboys fans very unhappy following the 19-3 beatdown they delivered which also resulted in QB Dak Prescott getting injured, and the Baltimore Ravens delivered as expected in their easy debut matchup versus the toothless New York Jets.
Some notable upsets included the Chicago Bears beating the San Francisco 49ers straight up, and the Seattle Seahawks beating Russel Wilson and the Denver Broncos with Geno Smith at the helm, albeit by a razor-thin margin following a head-scratching call by Broncos’ rookie head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
Along with the favourites coming out on top in Week 1, we saw the ‘Under’ show up most frequently in totals betting. Four teams couldn’t quite make it to double digits (Patriots, Jets, Packers and Cowboys), while the Chiefs outperformed everyone by scoring 44 points. With just one week of games for us to scrutinize, we can tentatively make note of five key takeaways that could dictate where things will go as we progress through the season.
Aaron Rodgers’ Under-Resourced Receiving Corps
The Packers’ 4X MVP QB Aaron Rodgers has been asked to carry the load in Green Bay, but this time without All-Pro wideout and No. 1 target Davante Adams, who was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason. Standing in Adams’ place is Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins; however, beyond them, Rodgers will need to rely on a host of young receivers, including Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. Week 1 was a disaster for the young wideouts, particularly Watkins, who mucked up the first play from scrimmage against the Minnesota Vikings. What should have been a 75-yard touchdown became a dropped ball, and that missed play seemed to take the wind out of the Packers’ sails for the rest of the game. They eventually dropped the game 23-7 to their divisional rivals.
The pressure will mount in Week 2 when the Packers face another divisional rivals, the Chicago Bears. The Bears surprised many people in their Week 1 upset as 7-point underdogs on the NFL odds board against the perennial title contending San Francisco 49s in soggy conditions at Soldier Field. Favoured by 10-points in Week 2, Green Bay is expected to bounce back while the Bears are expected to hit reality. The total is 42.5 points.
45-Year-Old Tom Brady Looks as Good as Ever
After un-retiring in the offseason, Tampa Bay Bucs QB Tom Brady went ahead and became the first 45-year-old starting quarterback in the NFL. He played a solid game against the Dallas Cowboys that resulted in a 19-3 victory on the road. Both teams flexed their staunch defenses, as the Bucs registered four sacks on Dak Prescott, while the Cowboys returned the favour with two sacks against Brady. Both quarterbacks were also picked off once during the game, which led to a miniscule 22-point total on the day.
Tampa Bay’s next opponent will be the New Orleans Saints, who won Game 1 against the Atlanta Falcons by a single point. The Bucs are 2.5-point road favourites, with a 44-point total.
Dak Prescott Undergoes Hand Surgery
The Dallas Cowboy’s Week 1 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went from bad to worse when Dak Prescott made contact with Bucs LB Shaq Barrett while throwing the ball late in the game. He was taken to the locker room for evaluation and x-rays. Owner Jerry Jones stated to the press that Prescott has a fracture in his right thumb and underwent surgery on Monday; his recovery timetable could be anywhere from three to six weeks. The Cowboy’s backup QB is Cooper Rush in the meantime.
It’s usually hard to get value with the popular Dallas Cowboys in the sportsbook, but Week 2’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals may provide just that. The Cowboys are 8-point home underdogs (51.5-point total) against the Bengals, who likewise sputtered in their Week 1 matchup, in their case, against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Kansas City Chiefs Unhindered by Tyreek Hill Trade
There were lots of questions surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs in the offseason after they traded their top receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. But after their Week 1 performance against the Arizona Cardinals, those concerns appear unfounded. The Chiefs had a good pass game, with QB Patrick Mahomes throwing for 360 yards and five touchdowns on the road against Kyler Murray and co. Four different receivers registered at least one touchdown in that game, and Kansas City’s run game racked up 128 total yards on the ground. Rookie RB Isiah Pacheco ran for one touchdown and 62 yards.
The Kansas City Chiefs will host the Los Angeles Chargers in a must-see divisional matchup on Thursday. The Chargers looked dominant in their Week 1 win against the Las Vegas Raiders, but will have a far greater challenge when they take on the Kansas City Chiefs. At press, the Chiefs are 4.5-point home favourites with a 54.5-point total.
Miami Dolphins Come Out Strong in Week 1
The recipients of the Tyreek Hill trade, the Miami Dolphins started their season with a 20-7 victory over the New England Patriots, which blew their 3-point spread out of the water. QB Tua Tagovailoa looked comfortable throwing down the field (8.2 avg), and despite getting sacked three times by the New England defensive line, he connected with WR Jaylen Waddle for a 42-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. The Dolphins’ defense helped bolster the score with a fumble return by LB Melvin Ingram, and special teams did the rest. Next week, they take on the Baltimore Ravens as 3.5-point road underdogs. The total is 44.5 points.
Football betting is open right now is our sportsbook. The gamelines are always shifting, so take a look at what’s available and lock down some value before the Week 2 games begin.