NFL Week 1 Betting Recap
NFL Week 1 Betting Recap
This was an incredible week for highs and lows when it comes to betting and quarterback injuries. Let’s take a look at each game from Week 1 and look at the betting implications that occurred and may also affect the line in Week 2 and beyond.
(closing lines) (Home team in caps)
Thursday, Sept. 7
Detroit (+4/52.5) over KANSAS CITY 21-10
Patrick Mahomes gets the opening game after his team won the Super Bowl. But he didn’t have Travis Kelce (knee) and the defense missed out on Pro Bowl DT Chris Jones (contract). Jones is finally signed and Kelce could be back this week, but they missed Kelce especially. It was a disastrous game for WR Kadarius Toney, who caught one pass and dropped three. One drop led to a pick-six as the Lions pretty much shut out all the other receivers. Give Detroit a lot of credit for taking advantage. Jared Good wasn’t great, but did throw for 253 yards and a TD with no picks. David Montgomery ran for 74 yards and a TD, while Amon St. Brown caught six passes and a score.
Sunday, September 10
ATLANTA (-3/40.5) over Carolina 24-10
It wasn’t a great debut for Bryce Young, who went 20 of 38 for 146 yards with a TD and a pick. Desmond Ridder wasn’t much better (115 yds, 1 TD), but didn’t throw a pick. Rookie Bijan Robinson had a special run on a reception for a TD and ran for 56 yards, But the key for Atlanta was new safety Jessie Bates III, who had 10 tackles, two picks and a forced fumble. That’s quite the debut for the former Cincinnati Bengals safety.
BALTIMORE (-9.5/43.5) over Houston 25-9
This game was a close one in the first half as the Ravens led 7-6. Baltimore struggled early in their new offense under OC Todd Monken. They took care of business in the second half thanks to rookie WR Zay Flowers, who had nine catches for 78 yards. Lamar Jackson threw for just 169 yards and a pick, while rushing for 38 yards. The Ravens also lost RB J.K. Dobbins (Achilles) for the year and S Marcus Williams (pec) indefinitely. If they don’t have LT Ronnie Stanley (knee) and C Tyler Linderbaum (ankle), Jackson won’t have much time to throw against Cincinnati. On Houston’s end, it was a solid defensive showing for DeMeco Ryans in his first game as head coach. Rookie QB C.J. Stroud didn’t throw a pick and had 242 yards passing, but also had a key fumble in the second half.
CLEVELAND (+1/46.5) over Cincinnati 24-3
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (calf) missed most of training camp and it showed on a rainy Sunday in Cleveland. The Browns defense imposed their will and held the Bengals to just 142 yards of offense, while accumulating 350 yards. This was a strong win for Cleveland, but they lost right tackle Jake Conklin to a serious knee injury and he’s out for the season. That means it’s time for huge rookie Dawand Jones (6-8, 370) to take his place. Browns QB Deshaun Watson was solid at quarterback in tough conditions, throwing for 154 yards and rushing for 45 with a score.
Jacksonville (-3.5) over INDIANAPOLIS 31-21
The Jags got the win as expected, but it wasn’t easy. They needed two touchdowns against the Colts in the fourth quarter to win. Rookie QB Anthony Richardson had some good moments, including tossing for 223 yards with a TD and 40 rushing yards and a TD. He also was sacked four times and threw a key interception in the fourth quarter. Trevor Lawrence completed 24 of 32 for 241 yards and two TDs with a pick. Travis Etienne ran for 77 yards and a score. But the key was the addition of WR Calvin Ridley, fresh off his one-year gambling suspension, who caught eight passes for 101 yards.
Tampa Bay (+4/45) over MINNESOTA 20-17
The biggest upset of the week for a road dog, along with the Rams, took place in Minnesota. Tampa Bay was supposed to be rebuilding with Tom Brady retired. Baker Mayfield is no Brady, but did throw for two TDs and no picks (just 173 yards passing). His counterpart Kirk Cousins threw for 344 yards with two TDs and a pick. One TD went to rookie Jordan Addison and another went to superstar WR Justin Jefferson, who caught nine passes for 150 yards. However, the Vikings turned the ball over three times and forced none. Going -3 in the turnover ratio column and rushing for 41 yards on 17 carries against a good run defense was the difference.
Tennessee (+3/41) over NEW ORLEANS (-3/41) over 15-16
The Saints found a way to win the game, but didn’t cover it. New QB Derek Carr threw for 305 yards with a pick, but considering the fact that Ryan Tannehill was terrible (three picks), the Saints should have won by more. Yet, the Titans covered the game because head coach Mike Vrabel decided to kick a 45-yard field gal with 2:17 left in the game, down four points. Derrick Henry had just 15 carries for 63 yards for the Titans. Jamaal Williams, the former Detroit scoring machine, had just 45 rushing yards on 18 carries. The good news for the Saints, other than the victory, was that there was a Michael Thomas showing (5 catches for 61 yards).
San Francisco (-1.5/41.5) over PITTSBURGH 30-7
This might have been the most shocking result of the week. The 49ers are an outstanding team and the Steelers were supposed to be on the rise so this was supposed to be much more competitive. But Brock Purdy thoroughly outplayed Kenny Pickett and Christian McCaffrey had 152 yards rushing. Picked threw 46 times for 232 yards with two picks and a TD. He was also sacked five times. On the bright side for the Steelers, OLB T.J. Watt recorded three sacks and two fumbles. But on the downside, they lost six-time Pro Bowl DT Cameron Heyward (groin) in the second quarter and he’s expected to miss two months.
Arizona (+7/38) over WASHINGTON 20-16
Just like Tennessee, we have another road dog that covers, but doesn’t win outright. Arizona is another one of those teams expected to “tank”. They brought in journeyman Joshua Dobbs at quarterback and he basically managed the game. Considering he had very little time to practice after being traded from Cleveland on August 24, he was serviceable. But in Washington’s first game with new owner Josh Harris and with a rare sell-out at home, the Commanders just did enough to win. Dobbs did fumble after being sacked at the Arizona 29-yard line early in the fourth quarter and that was the difference. QB Sam Howell was ordinary, completing 19 of 31 for 202 with a TD, a pick and a fumble.
Green Bay (+2.5/40.5) over CHICAGO
The Packers came into this game without WR Christian Watson and didn’t need him against a Bears team that still can’t stop anybody. Aaron Jones rushed for 127 yards and two TDs to lead the Packers, who got a strong performance from new starting QB Jordan Love. He passed for 245 yards and three TDs, while Romeo Doubs had two TD receptions. Justin Fields was adequate with 216 passing yards with a TD and a pick. He also ran for 59 yards, but they got very little from their running backs. The Bears were -1 in turnovers and committed seven penalties.
Las Vegas (+2.5/44.5) over DENVER 17-16
The Raiders were another road dog that won outright. This all came down to a missed extra point for Denver or this game might have gone to overtime. Jimmy Garoppolo threw for two TD passes in his first game for the Raiders and when he’s healthy, he normally wins games. Jakobi Meyers caught nine passes for 81 yards and two TDs in his first game for Las Vegas. However, he left late in the game to be examined for a possible concussion. As for Denver, this was a disappointing debut for new coach Sean Payton. Russell Wilson did throw for 2 TDs and no picks. But they had very few dynamic plays on offense either in the passing game or running game. They could really use WR Jerry Jeudy, who missed the game due to a hamstring injury.
Miami (+3/50) over LA CHARGERS 36-34
Another wild battle between these two teams goes back to Dan Fouts against Dan Marino. The Chargers didn’t need Fouts, but as usual, a defense that could slow down WR Tyreek Hill, who caught 11 passes for 215 yards and two TDs. Tua Tagovailoa had a fantastic game with 466 yards passing and three TDs with a pick. Who needs a running game when the Chargers’ secondary? Justin Herbert threw for 228 yards and a TD and a rushing score, while Austin Ekeler rushed for 117 yards. Joshua Kelley rushed for 91 yards and a TD. Ekeler is dealing with an ankle injury so check his status.
Philadelphia (-3.5/44) over NEW ENGLAND 25-20
This looked like an easy win and cover for the Eagles who scored the game’s first 16 points and then scored just nine points in the second half. There were some bizarre calls in this one, but the Patriots looked pretty good after the first quarter on both sides of the ball. Maybe it was the fact that Tom Brady returned to Foxborough as a fan. But the Eagles needed three second-half field goals from the clutch Jake Elliott to hold on in this one. Marcu Jones completed 35 of 54 for 316 yards with three TDs and a pick in a pretty solid effort. Ezekiel Elliott, the former Cowboy, rushed for 29 yards on 7 carries and the ground attack was just a struggle, so Jones had to lift the offense. That’s a positive for the Patriots, who added JuJu Smith-Schuster (4 catches) and TE Mike Gesicki (3 catches) in the offseason.
LA Rams (+4.5/44.5) over SEATTLE 30-13
Here’s another surprising road dog and the Rams were down 13-7 at the half and had no Cooper Kupp (hamstring) on offense. Matthew Stafford picked up after getting injured last season. He threw for 334 yards including 10 passes to rookie WR Puka Nacua, who had 119 yards receiving along with six to Tutu Atwell (119 yds). The Seahawks had the ball for just a little over 20 minutes as the passing game never got going. Geno Smith completed 16 of 26 for just 112 yards and a score. Veteran WR Tyler Lockett went down in the third quarter due to concussion protocol.
Dallas (-3.5/44.5) over NY GIANTS 40-0
This was one of the worst Sunday night games ever. The Giants took their first drive down the field in the rain. Then a botched snap and blocked field goal return for a TD had the Cowboys on a huge roll that the Giants couldn’t recover from. Daniel Jones threw for just 104 yards, was sacked seven times and picked off twice. New York struggled in the wet conditions, fumbling five times and losing one. Dallas didn’t do anything special on offense, though Tony Pollard did rush for two TDs. It was the rain and the Dallas defense that did the Giants in.
Monday, September 11,
NY JETS (+2.5/44.5) over Buffalo 22-16ot
We return to East Rutherford, New Jersey where there were about 100 storylines in this game. But the biggest one took place on the Jets’ opening drive where Aaron Rodgers was sacked and ruptured his Achilles’ tendon. Zach Wilson came in and managed the game with 140 yards passing and a pick. His one touchdown pass came to Garrett Wilson from three yards out where Wilson made an incredible pass and tipped it to himself. The other major storyline was Josh Allen, committing four turnovers. He threw three picks and all were to safety Jordan Whitehead. He also fumbled the ball after fumbling the snap late in the game, which led to the lone offensive TD for the Jets. Buffalo tied the game at 16-all on a 50-yard FG from Tyler Bass that hit off the crossbar and through the goal posts. The Bills won the coin toss, but couldn’t move the ball. The game ended when Xavier Gipson returned a punt 65 yards for the winning score.