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DraftKings Sportsbook NFL Week 1: Football Betting Insights and Analysis

Matt Meiselman give analysis for Week 1 betting insights including line movement, betting analysis and themes.

Welcome to Week 1’s edition of DraftKings Sportsbook betting insights and analysis! Below you’ll find some of the key football betting information to help you get ready for the weekend’s NFL games, including splits, line movement, futures odds tracking and more. This information will be available on Fridays, with an update to come on Sunday mornings, as well.


DraftKings users can get in on the action by betting on DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DK Sportsbook app.


Sunday Line Movement Update

There wasn’t much line movement and odds changing throughout the week this week, but one game in particular has seen a pretty decent shift over the weekend leading up to Sunday afternoon:

  • Falcons opened +1, moved to +3 Friday, now at -1

This is by far the most substantial move since Friday, and it comes even with the bets and handle significantly skewed towards the Seahawks side. It doesn’t seem as though any injury is causing this, but there are some number of bettors who must be inciting this reaction nonetheless. Someone out there clearly sees the Falcons as an undervalued team, and it perhaps bodes well for their chances to win today.


NFL Futures

NFL Football finally returned last night, as the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans kicked off the season. The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs cruised to a 34-20 win, as they started their journey to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl winners since the Patriots did it nearly 20 years ago.

Looking at the futures odds, the Chiefs are (perhaps quite predictably) the most common bet to win the Super Bowl in 2020-21. Here are some of the top teams that DraftKings bettors are picking to win it all.

The Buccaneers are second in Super Bowl handle (and first in the NFC), and it surely has a lot to do with the big moves they made this offseason. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are now in town, and with the prolific wide receiver duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin still intact, there’s a lot hype around this Bucs offense heading into the season. There really aren’t any long shots pictured here, so even with the unusual events of the summer and the lack of a preseason, DraftKings bettors are still banking on some of the favorites to rise to the to top by season’s end.


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Betting Splits Breakdown

Moving on to this Sunday, it’s a typically quirky Week 1 in terms of the betting splits, with the lines being available for wagering for several weeks leading up to the season. Nonetheless, there are still plenty of clear trends.

Teams like the Colts, Raiders and Eagles are getting large shares of the betting action, probably due to the quality of their opponents. A few underdogs are also among this week’s most popular bets, as offseason moves for the Buccaneers and the Cardinals (DeAndre Hopkins) have made them enticing betting choices for Week 1.

Something that we’re seeing almost none of this week are large discrepancies between spread bets and handle percentages, with the number of bets aligning pretty closely with the dollar volume of bets. Only the Cardinals (+6.5, 18%) have a handle amount that exceeds their bet amount by more than 15 percentage points.


How the Lines are Moving

As mentioned above, Week 1 is an usual one with betting lines being made available so far in advance. Though some of the odds have shifted since that time, surprisingly, most of them aren’t too dramatic. Here are some of the biggest movers from the opening to current lines.

Spreads

  • Tennessee Titans (+1.5 to -2.5)
  • Las Vegas Raiders (-1 to -3)
  • Detroit Lions (-1.5 to -3)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (-4 to -5.5)

Totals

  • Dolphins/Patriots 43.5 to 42
  • Packers/Vikings 46.5 to 45
  • Chargers/Bengals 44 to 42
  • Cardinals/49ers 46.5 to 48
  • Buccaneers/Saints 49.5 to 48
  • Titans/Broncos 42.5 to 41

The most notable odds shift of Week 1 is in favor of the Tennessee Titans, who have flipped from underdogs to favorites. This is presumably in large part due to the injury to Von Miller, who is likely out for the season with a severe ankle injury he suffered in practice earlier this week. On the surface, it may appear that Miller is the sole reason for this shift, but strangely we’ve also seen the total drop even with this injury to the Broncos most impactful defensive player. The total was actually starting to fall a week before Miller got hurt — and there was already lopsided betting on the Titans at that point — so there’s a strong indication that DraftKings bettors have been bullish on the Titans defense all along, with Miller just being a subplot as far as the betting action is concerned.


Themes for the Week

One of the things that should be apparent when looking at the total movement above is that most of them have fallen since opening. That was also true of the Thursday night game, as well, with the game total opening at 55 and closing at 53.5 (the final score actually landed right in between at 54). Some of this is likely due to weather, as there’s potential rain in the forecast for several of Sunday’s games, and sloppy conditions could make offense harder to come by. The other, and probably more relevant variable, is that there’s a chance we see a lot of rust across the league because the preseason tune-ups that usually help players prepare for the season were non-existent this year. It’s a more speculative reason, but, if true, it helps to explain why most of the Week 1 totals have been decreasing.

Even with all of the inherent uncertainty of a new season, and the potential added uncertainty for the strangeness of 2020, DraftKings bettors are content to ride with many of the favorites in Week 1. The odds-on favorites make up most of the popular Super Bowl bets, and the same is true for Week 1 spread bets and Week 1 moneyline bets. The larger favorites are getting large shares of betting splits, but there is one exception: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are getting over 60% bets and handle to cover against the New Orleans Saints, as well as 60% bets and 80% handle to win outright. This could indicate that the Saints are undervalued in Week 1, or simply that the Bucs are going to be a very popular team early on in the 2020-2021 season.

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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.