The first week of the 2018 NFL betting season is in the books. For the most part, things actually went down as expected.
There were certainly some surprises, though, and that’s to be expected in pro football – especially in week one.
Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers blew the door off the hinges in New Orleans, while the New York Jets destroyed the Lions in Detroit. Chicago almost dominated the Packers in Green Bay, too, until that bad man Aaron Rodgers returned from a knee injury and went all historic on Da Bears.
The usual suspects and uber favorites largely responded to their situations with a win, though. New England covered the spread, the Ravens housed the woeful Bills and the Rams scored a big win in Oakland.
It was a pretty fun first week of NFL action, one where you probably made a lot of money if you rolled with some chalk picks, but also a weekend where there were enough crazy upsets to keep things interesting.
Week 1 NFL Results
The first week of the NFL betting season is always difficult. It’s impossible to be fully confident in most of your picks, simply because every team thinks they can win and we don’t know who they are yet.
Injuries will change things as the season wears on, too, but the first week can be very volatile. From here, we need to ask ourselves who is legit and who just had one good/bad outing to start the year?
Regardless of how you wagered in week one, here’s a quick recap of how things shook out:
|Matchup||SU Winner||ATS Winner||Total|
|ATL vs. PHI||Eagles (18-12)||Eagles||Under 44|
|TEN vs. MIA||Dolphins (27-20)||Dolphins||Over 43.5|
|CIN vs. IND||Bengals (34-23)||Bengals -1||Over 47.5|
|PIT vs. CLE||Tie (21-21)||Browns +3.5||Over 41|
|TB vs. NO||Buccaneers (48-40)||Buccaneers +10||Over 49.5|
|SF vs. MIN||Vikings (24-16)||Vikings -6||Under 46.5|
|BUF vs. BAL||Ravens (47-3)||Ravens -7.5||Over 38.5|
|JAX vs. NYG||Jaguars (20-15)||Jaguars -3||Under 42.5|
|HOU vs. NE||Patriots (27-20)||Patriots -6.5||Under 49.5|
|KC vs. LAC||Chiefs (38-28)||Chiefs +3||Over 48.5|
|WAS vs. AZ||Redskins (24-6)||Redskins +2||Under 43.5|
|SEA vs. DEN||Broncos (27-24)||PUSH||Over 42.5|
|DAL vs. CAR||Panthers (16-8)||Panthers -3||Under 41.5|
|CHI vs. GB||Packers (24-23)||Bears +7||Over 45|
|NYJ vs. DET||Jets (48-17)||Jets +7||Over 44|
|LAR vs. OAK||Rams (33-13)||Rams -6||Under 47.5|
Over/Under wagers can always be tricky, but I think from a straight up and point spread perspective, you should have had a clear path to finishing in the green in week one.
There were some dicey bets going into the first week of the year, but home teams like the Packers, Vikings, Patriots and Ravens all felt like locks.
Green Bay’s game was in doubt for a while, but they pulled through and along with those other three picks, scored you a win.
The would-be locked in home wagers that did not pay off, however, could have cost you big. The Lions, Saints, Cardinals and Chargers were popular picks and all failed to deliver.
Carolina and Denver were probably more on the fence, while I personally really liked the Browns at home against the Steelers. Cleveland provided a push, while the other two did squeeze out close wins.
Overall, the Bucs and Jets were the only truly shocking upsets on a slate where underdogs actually stole a game straight up four times.
Road teams that were favored (Jaguars, Bengals and Rams) all delivered on their week one expectations.
Week 1 Year to Date Betting Stats
|Wager Type||Week 1||Year-to-Date|
|Underdog vs. Favorite (ATS)||6-7-1||6-7-1|
|Home vs. Away (ATS)||7-8-1||7-8-1|
|SU Underdog Wins||4||4|
You can thank the Browns and Steelers for that fun tie part of the record. That’ll be there to annoy us all throughout the entire NFL season.
The big thing to learn here is that the first week of the 2018 NFL season was pretty competitive. There were some thrashings, but at the end of the day the underdog put up a fight.
You can see that in the ATS data, but you can also see it when you look back and note that of 16 games, 10 of them were decided by 8 points or fewer. If things break the other way just slightly in any of those contests, the stats could file in a lot differently.
Let’s also just marvel at Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Without those crazy performances, the Saints easily win at home and probably cover, while the Bears score one of the biggest week 1 NFL upsets.
I’d also like to take a second to point out that rookie head coaches didn’t crush it in their debuts. Matt Patricia and Matt Nagy both went 0-1 inside the NFC North, while first-year head coaches for the Colts, Titans, Giants, Cardinals and Raiders all lost their debuts.
That’s pretty impressive. Impressively bad, but impressive and noteworthy, nonetheless.
Looking to Week 2
I won’t pour into all of the week two NFL betting lines here, but I do think we should consider a few things.
The big one is identifying those underdogs we love.
There was a lot of value in week one and while it didn’t all work out with straight up wins, the slate was competitive. If you rolled with underdogs simply to beat the spread, you could have come away with some nice wins.
You do need to pick your spots, but I’d look to hone in on a handful of my favorite upset picks and then decide which are worth going all in as a straight up wager and which are simply solid bets to beat the spread.
More specifically, I’m looking for week one winners that I probably shouldn’t be trusting and week one losers that are due to bounce-back.
My three favorite winners I don’t particularly trust yet are the Buccaneers, Chiefs and Jets. My week one losers I think should bounce back and get a win are the 49ers, Bears and Colts.
Overall, it was a fun week and it should only bleed into an increasingly exciting (and crazy) 2018 NFL betting season. Thanks for reading and good luck betting on football games in week two!