NFL Week 1 is finally here, and after many weeks of reading, analyzing, and breaking down the Week 1 betting odds, DraftKings Sportsbook bettors are finally about to have the opportunity to see their viewpoints come to fruition. A lot has changed since the betting lines were first released over the summer, and in this article, we’ll go over the biggest trends and changes in those lines that have taken place leading up to the first week of the NFL season.
Betting Splits Breakdown
Starting with the betting splits, there are some clear trends for Week 1 as far as the teams that DraftKings bettors are most excited to get their money on. By betting percentage, the Baltimore Ravens are leading the way, with the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers close behind. The Ravens and the 49ers seem like somewhat obvious choices as they’re both expected to be much better teams in 2021 than their Week 1 opponents, and bettors tend to prioritize that over home field advantage, often choosing to lay the points on the road. The Packers game is a bit of a different scenario, as the information for the game has changed several times and to a large extent as well, with news around Michael Thomas, Aaron Rodgers, and even the location of the game all impacting the betting market. The bets and handle skew towards the Packers, but it’s safe to assume that much of that action took place in response to the news that occurred during the offseason.
How the Lines are Moving
Washington Football Team (+1.5 to -1.5)
Seattle Seahawks (+2.5 to -2.5)
New England Patriots (-2.5 to -3.5)
Green Bay Packers (+2.5 to -3.5)
Denver Broncos (-1.5 to -3)
Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts (52.5 to 50)
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (45.5 to 43.5)
Despite the fact that betting has been open for several weeks, there actually hasn’t been a ton of line movement when it comes to the game totals. With the point spreads, however, there are a few notable games where changes in information have shifted the dynamics of the teams in question. As mentioned above, the game between the Packers and Saints has changed for several reasons, beginning with a Michael Thomas injury update during training camp. After that, the Aaron Rodgers saga produced even more uncertainty, but the odds have swung towards the Packers since the announcement that he would be avoiding retirement and returning to the team this season. And then finally, the weather concerns in New Orleans have forced this Week 1 matchup to a neutral field, so the betting line has shifted even further to the Green Bay side, as they now are favored by more than a field goal after opening as underdogs.
The other especially notable team in terms of line movement is the Seahawks, as they’ve benefited from the injury issues that the Colts appear to be dealing with. Carson Wentz hurt his foot over the summer and while it does appear as though he’ll be able to play in Week 1, the Colts may still be missing a few key contributors on the offensive line and in the secondary. There’s also the possibility that the Seahawks never should have been the underdogs to begin with, but from looking at the betting splits above, it’s clear that they’re receiving a large share of the betting action. This one is a murkier situation, where it’s not as clear if the news or simply just perception is driving the majority of the line movement.
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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.
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