The 2020 NFL Regular Season kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 10 with the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans. But before the games begin, it’s time to look at the best Week 1 NFL bets to make and props to bet on NFL.
Rob Dauster is here to break down the bets that are intriguing to him and highlights betting trends that can help you make the right call. BetRivers.com has a wide variety of NFL odds, futures and player props as well as weekly lines throughout the entire 2020 NFL season.
MORE: Week 1 Betting Lines
MORE: How to Bet on Football
Week 1 NFL Odds: MY FAVORITE FAVORITE: Buffalo (-6.5)
The Jets finished last season at 7-9, and while they did it with Sam Darnold missing three games, I know I’m not the only one that felt like Adam Gase overachieved with his roster.
The Bills, on the other hand, have had one of the toughest defenses in the NFL for a couple of years now. Josh Allen had a breakout season in 2019 and, with the addition of Stefon Diggs to a receiving corps that already includes Smokey Brown, he’s my favorite NFL MVP sleeper at +6000. Throw in the fact that the Jets lost Robby Anderson to Carolina and will seemingly be using Frank Gore — a Buffalo cast-off — in a substantial role behind Leveon Bell, and it is hard for me to take the Jets seriously.
Since Sean McDermott took over, Buffalo has covered 58.3% of the time as a home favorite. You can get the Bills (-7) at +100 right now on BetRivers.
Week 1 NFL Odds: MY FAVORITE DOG: Tampa Bay (+3.5)
The Saints are the Saints and, yes, the road is a tough place to play, I get that.
Tom Brady is old. Gronk hasn’t played football in a year. Leonard Fournette was cut by the Jags for a reason.
I get all of that.
But it’s not like Drew Brees is young. And it’s not like Brady won’t be throwing to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, maybe the best receiving duo in the NFL. If a year off fixed Gronk’s ailing body, the Bucs are going to be a nightmare to stop.
Week 1 NFL Odds: DON’T TEASE ME: Ravens, Chiefs, and Falcons
A quick tutorial about teasing: The NFL is different than other sports because there are certain numbers that are more important than others when it comes to betting lines. They’re called ‘key numbers’, and they are probably pretty easy to figure out if you know how scoring works in football: 3, 7, and 10.
When you are teasing games, you want to make sure that you tease through two of those three numbers. There are studies that break down why this matters and how profitable it is to do so, but for now, just trust it.
This makes it important to find great spots for a teaser: Big favorites that you can bet down, or small underdogs you expect to keep a game closer. On this week’s slate, there are three candidates that fit the criteria — Baltimore (-8) at home against Cleveland, Kansas City (-9) at home against Houston, and Atlanta (+1.5) at home against Seattle.
I prefer Baltimore and Kansas City. The Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl champs, the best team in the NFL with the best QB in the NFL and facing a Houston team on opening night that traded away arguably the best receiver in the NFL this offseason in Deandre Hopkins. I think they run away from the Texans.
The Ravens might be the second-best team in the NFL, and they’re starting the season off at home against Cleveland. Now, the Browns have added Kevin Stefanski as a play-caller this offense, and part of the value of betting Baltimore at home comes with asking Baker Mayfield to play in front of a road crowd. There aren’t going to be fans in the stadium, so I actually like Cleveland (+8). But I think Baltimore wins, and teasing the line down to (-2.5) means we only need them to win by a field goal.
The Seahawks haven’t covered in four games against Dan Quinn, the head coach of Atlanta and Seattle’s former defensive coordinator. Seattle will be playing a 1:00 p.m. kickoff on the east coast. Seems like the perfect spot to tease the line up to Atlanta (+7.5).