The Best NFL Underdog Picks For Week 1

NFL Underdogs 2023

Kickoff for the 2023-24 NFL season has almost arrived. To get you started, we have evaluated every matchup on the board and identified the best Week 1 NFL underdogs to bet on at NFL betting sites.

There is a slew of NFL underdogs to consider including on your betting card for the opening week of action. Last year, some of our best NFL picks were on the underdogs. The dogs were barking and stashing our bankrolls with big profits.

In 2022, there were 15 teams who profited as underdogs. The Los Angeles Chargers were the best NFL underdog bet, with an 83.3 percent success rate in six games as an underdog. The Baltimore Ravens were the second-best NFL underdog bet at 80 percent.

However, the New York Giants were the ultimate cash cow, as they were 11-3-0 ATS as an underdog in 2022. Additionally, there were 23 teams who covered at least 50 percent of their games as an underdog. With a minimum of four games, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the worst underdog bet in the league1.

Let’s get started with our best Week 1 NFL underdog picks. Our most confident underdog bet is the first game discussed, and the least confident at the bottom.

Week 1 NFL Underdogs

The following NFL underdog odds are courtesy of Bovada:

Detroit Lions+6.5 (-105)
New England Patriots+4 (-115)
Cleveland Browns+2.5 (-110)
New York Giants+3.5 (-120)

Detroit Lions (+6.5) at Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs open up their Super Bowl title defense against the Detroit Lions at Arrowhead. The Lions make it on the opening night card after an offseason filled with loads of hype and anticipation for what is to come this season.

For the first time in a long time, the Lions are entering Week 1 with lofty expectations. They enjoyed a bit of success with Matthew Stafford at the helm, but the hype was never quite this much for the Lions.

Led by the eccentric and passionate Dan Campbell, the Lions won eight of their final ten games in the 2022 season. They closed out the season with a 20-16 win at Lambeau Field. The Packers were in a must-win spot, though the Lions closed the door against their NFC North rivals.

The big plus for the Lions going into enemy territory on Thursday night is their offensive line. With Chris Jones and the Chiefs not close to a deal, the Lions should have the advantage in the trenches.

Offensive tackles Penei Sewell and Taylor Decker hold the key to a Lions victory on the road. When Jared Goff has time to throw, he is accurate and consistent. Goff has a variety of weapons in this offense, including Amon-Ra St. Brown and a new addition, rookie Jahmyr Gibbs.

The Lions spent the 12th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on Gibbs. The former star Alabama running back allows OC Ben Johnson to open up the playbook considerably. Unfortunately, the Lions won’t have Jameson Willams, but Marvin Jones returns to the Lions after two years in Jacksonville.

Expect the Lions to move the ball on what is a mediocre Chiefs’ defense without Jones on the defensive line. Patrick Mahomes is always going to be a concern for opposing defenses. However, the Lions’ edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson should put a plethora of pressure on the Chiefs’ offensive line.

Additionally, the Lions upgraded considerably at safety with C.J. Gardner-Johnson. The former Eagle gives the Detroit secondary a significant boost. Mahomes will come up with big plays, but Gardner-Johnson and the secondary can’t allow it to happen all night.

The Lions are 9-1 ATS in their previous 10 matchups. Also, they’ve been in good form on the road at 4-1 ATS in their last five outings in 2022. Kansas City should prevail, but the Lions cover in a 31-27 final score in the 2023 NFL season opener.

The Bet

Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots (+4)

The Philadelphia Eagles start their quest to return to the Super Bowl. Following a fantastic 14-win effort in the regular season, the Eagles stalled out with a 38-35 loss against the Chiefs in Super Bowl 57.

This season, the Eagles’ first assignment is a tough trip to Foxborough. The New England Patriots aren’t what they once were, but it is a special day at Gillette Stadium.

Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady will be honored before the game kicks off. TB12 will be in attendance for the tribute, as the organization gives Brady recognition for everything he accomplished with the Patriots.

Do you believe that the Patriots will come out flat after the emotions of honoring Brady? We can’t foresee the Patriots coming out of the locker room with no energy for this one.

Also, a team of the Eagles’ caliber is sure to get the Patriots’ attention. It’s certainly tough to envision a scenario where New England isn’t locked in right out of the gate. Mac Jones must be the one who spearheads the effort.

Bill Belichick has reportedly been impressed with the progress that Jones made in the offseason. Belichick indicated that Jones is in excellent physical condition and his decision-making has shown improvement2.

In two seasons, Jones has passed for 6,789 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 24 interceptions on 66.5 percent completions3. He didn’t show signs of improvement last year, but this season could be a turning point.

The Eagles’ defense presents a tough challenge. Rookie Jalen Carter should fit in well on a unit that was already stout. In 2022, the Eagles were in the Top 10, with 20.2 points allowed per game. Having conceded 20.4 points per game, the Patriots were narrowly behind Philadelphia defensively4.

There aren’t many weaknesses in the New England defense. This is a borderline Top 5 NFL defense. Matthew Judon and Josh Uche will make the Eagles work on Sunday afternoon.

Jalen Hurts is not a simple QB to stop, but with weeks to prepare, Belichick has done his homework. An athletic defense is required to beat Hurts, and that’s what Belichick has at his disposal on Sunday. Note that the Patriots are 15-4 in Belichick’s last 19 games in Week 1.

Look for the Patriots to fire on all cylinders against an Eagles team caught in a Super Bowl hangover at Gillette Stadium. In a possible upset, we like a 23-20 final between the Eagles and Patriots.

The Bet

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (+2.5)

The 2023-24 season begins with the “Battle of Ohio” for the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns. The Bengals travel to Cleveland Browns Stadium in search of a strong opening performance against the Browns.

Last season, Joe Burrow and the Bengals crashed out of the NFL playoffs with a loss to the Chiefs. In the AFC Championship Game, the Chiefs held off the Bengals for a 23-20 win. This was a year after the Bengals lost by the same score to the LA Rams in the Super Bowl.

The Bengals’ offensive line has been the most problematic position. But, did they improve in the offseason? Orlando Brown Jr. is a big body at left tackle.

Brown Jr. does make the offensive line stronger, but maybe not as much as Bengals fans would have hoped for. Nevertheless, that might be all the Bengals need to get over the top and win a Super Bowl.

In this matchup, the Bengals will have a big defensive line test against the Browns. The Browns can be criticized for many things over the last decade. However, their current defensive line can’t be underestimated.

Myles Garrett is the ringleader of what should be a talented group up front. The organization upgraded in the offseason, as they added Za’Darius Smith and Dalvin Tomlinson. With Smith and Garrett, the Browns have two 10+ sack-getters from last season.

In the season opener at home, expect the Browns to put pressure on Burrow. Garrett finally has elite help, and it should show versus the Bengals’ average offensive line. The Bengals might be surprised at how quick and athletic this line is in the opening quarter.

Additionally, Deshaun Watson has had a full offseason to prepare without any distractions. Watson will likely look more comfortable than he did last season in this offense. 

Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones provided Watson with a solid receiving corps. Nick Chubb is still one of the better running backs in the NFL.

In a small upset, the Browns have an excellent opportunity to knock off the Bengals in Week 1. Consider including Cleveland on your NFL betting card for opening weekend.

The Bet

Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants (+3.5)

The first edition of Sunday Night Football features an NFC East rivalry matchup at MetLife Stadium. The Dallas Cowboys travel to East Rutherford for a clash with the New York Giants.

It’s another year of high expectations for the Cowboys. You can say the same for all the teams in the NFC East. Once a laughable division, the NFC East is expected to be one of the most competitive in the NFL.

Having said that, the Cowboys have the most pressure on their backs. If the Cowboys don’t have success, Mike McCarthy’s fate has been sealed. There is ample talent on both sides of the ball this season.

The defense underwent some upgrades in the offseason, which makes it one of the most potent units on paper. Trevon Diggs and Stephon Gilmore in the cornerback position have the potential to do big things.

With Micah Parsons rushing the QB, the Cowboys’ defense is expected to be in top shape. Daniel Jones is slippery enough in the pocket that he will get away from the pass rush at times. Jones is one of the most underrated mobile QBs in the NFL.

The addition of Darren Waller should be evident from the get-go on Monday night. Waller carries risks, as he wasn’t the healthiest player with the Raiders. However, he only has to stay healthy for one night in the opener.

In 2022, Jones passed for 3,205 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions on 67.2 percent completions. Additionally, Jones rushed for 708 yards and seven touchdowns as a runner. The competition percentage and rushing yards are a career-high for Jones5.

Jones is going into Sunday night with a healthy Saquon Barkley in the backfield. Barkley should allow the Giants to play the ball-control game. Last season, the Pro Bowl running back had career highs on the ground.

In 16 games, Barkley finished with 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns on 4.4 yards per carry6. Parsons and the Cowboys’ defense is a problem, but Jones and Barkley likely sustain some drives to keep Dak Prescott on the sidelines.

In the 2022-23 campaign, the Giants were 11-3 ATS as an underdog. Additionally, they were 5-1 ATS in their last six games of the season. The Cowboys are the better team overall, but the Giants have a chance at pulling off the upset in Week 1.

The Bet

NFL Underdogs Parlay For Week 1

Sports betting sites afford gamblers an opportunity to hit it big with NFL parlays. Thanks to generous parlay odds, Bovada is our online betting site of choice for parlay betting.

If you take the spread wagers above, for the Lions, Patriots, Browns, and Giants, in a parlay at the current NFL Week 1 odds, you can collect $1,293.68 in possible winnings on a $100 wager, at Bovada.

If you are feeling bold and want a four-team moneyline parlay on the underdogs, a successful $100 bet would net $4,811.64 dollars:

  • Detroit Lions +240
  • New England Patriots +165
  • Cleveland Browns +120
  • New York Giants +150

Consider playing one of our lucrative NFL underdog parlays for a monster return in Week 1.

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  1. NFL Team ATS Trends – As Underdog | Retrieved From “

  2. Patriots coach Bill Belichick praises QB Mac Jones | ESPN. Retrieved From “

  3. Mac Jones Career Stats | Retrieved From “

  4. 2022 NFL Team Total Defenses Stats | ESPN. Retrieved From “

  5. Daniel Jones Career Stats | Retrieved From “

  6. Saquon Barkley Stats Summary | Retrieved From “

About the Author
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Kyle Eve
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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