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What NFL Week 1 odds tell us about implied totals

We have ideas about the best and worst teams heading into Week 1. Let’s take a look at what the spread and point totals tell us about potential performance.

Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs finds teammate Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs open for a pass during the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium on November 8, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The 2021 NFL season is officially underway, with yet another Tom Brady fourth quarter comeback securing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a Week 1 win against the Dallas Cowboys. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys gave the Bucs everything they could handle, but it wasn’t quite enough.

Heading into the weekend, there is plenty to figure out for fantasy football purposes. If you’re trying to figure out the upside for certain players, you’ll be looking at a variety of stats for the team and their opponents. Given that we are in Week 1, any counting and rate stats are based on previous year’s performance. However, oddsmakers offer information that can be of value.

Below, we’ve compiled a table of Week 1 implied totals for each team at DraftKings Sportsbook. We figured out each implied total by dividing the over/under number in half, then dividing the point spread in half and subtracting the latter from the former. For last night, the over/under settled at 53 and the spread was 9.5. So for the Bucs, we subtracted -4.75 from 26.5 and for the Cowboys we subtracted +4.75 from 26.5. I could just say for the Bucs we added 4.75 to 26.5, but for purposes of creating the calculation in the spreadsheet, it’s a minus.

Whatever the case, it’s interesting to see that the Bucs implied total of 31.25 came in just over their final result of 31. Of course, the Cowboys implied total was 21.75 and they finished with 29 points.

It’s not a science, but given that oddsmakers don’t just pull odds out of thin air, it’s a helpful data point as you sort through your fantasy options. If you see a player ranked poorly for the week in re-draft leagues or is available for cheap in DFS, but his team’s implied total is on the higher end, you might just have a sleeper on your hand.

2021 NFL implied totals, Week 1

Rank Team Implied Total Spread O/U Opponent
Rank Team Implied Total Spread O/U Opponent
1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31.25 -9.5 53 Dallas Cowboys
2 Kansas City Chiefs 30.00 -5.5 54.5 Cleveland Browns
3 Tennessee Titans 28.25 -3.0 53.5 Arizona Cardinals
4 Buffalo Bills 27.50 -6.5 48.5 Pittsburgh Steelers
5 Los Angeles Rams 27.25 -8.0 46.5 Chicago Bears
6 Baltimore Ravens 26.75 -3.5 50 Las Vegas Raiders
7 San Francisco 49ers 26.50 -8.0 45 Detroit Lions
8 Green Bay Packers 26.50 -3.5 49.5 New Orleans Saints
9 Atlanta Falcons 26.00 -3.5 48.5 Philadelphia Eagles
10 Seattle Seahawks 25.75 -2.5 49 Indianapolis Colts
11 Arizona Cardinals 25.25 +3.0 53.5 Tennessee Titans
12 Minnesota Vikings 25.00 -3.0 47 Cincinnati Bengals
13 Cleveland Browns 24.50 +5.5 54.5 Kansas City Chiefs
14 Carolina Panthers 24.25 -4.0 44.5 New York Jets
15 Jacksonville Jaguars 24.00 -3.0 45 Houston Texans
16 New England Patriots 23.50 -3.5 43.5 Miami Dolphins
17 Washington 23.50 -1.5 45.5 Los Angeles Chargers
18 Indianapolis Colts 23.25 +2.5 49 Seattle Seahawks
19 Las Vegas Raiders 23.25 +3.5 50 Baltimore Ravens
20 New Orleans Saints 23.00 +3.5 49.5 Green Bay Packers
21 Denver Broncos 22.50 -3.0 42 New York Giants
22 Philadelphia Eagles 22.50 +3.5 48.5 Atlanta Falcons
23 Los Angeles Chargers 22.00 +1.5 45.5 Washington
24 Cincinnati Bengals 22.00 +3.0 47 Minnesota Vikings
25 Dallas Cowboys 21.75 +9.5 53 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
26 Houston Texans 21.00 +3.0 45 Jacksonville Jaguars
27 Pittsburgh Steelers 21.00 +6.5 48.5 Buffalo Bills
28 New York Jets 20.25 +4.0 44.5 Carolina Panthers
29 Miami Dolphins 20.00 +3.5 43.5 New England Patriots
30 New York Giants 19.50 +3.0 42 Denver Broncos
31 Chicago Bears 19.25 +8.0 46.5 Los Angeles Rams
32 Detroit Lions 18.50 +8.0 45 San Francisco 49ers

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