Thursday, December 7 2023

Large underdogs cover in Week 1

Since 2000, underdogs of 5-to-10 points in Week 1 have gone 71-64-3 ATS (53%). 

Looking at underdogs in this situation from more recent timeframes, the cover rate jumps even more.

Last season: 7-2 ATS (78%)

Since 2018: 21-15-1 ATS (58%)

Since 2015: 28-20-2 ATS (58%)

Since 2011: 41-32-2 ATS (56%)

Currently, five matchups feature an underdog of 5-to-10 points in Week 1.

Big dogs barked like crazy in Week 1 last season. Will we see it play out similarly this week?

Unders have hit recently in Week 1

Since 2000, the Under in the Over/Under has hit in 194 out of 361 Week 1 games (54%), excluding two pushes in that span. Going back to 1986 — as early as our O/U data goes back — the Under hits at 52% (290 out of 558 games) in the opening week, also excluding pushes.

When looking back at last season, the Under hit in a whopping 11 out of 16 games (69%). Going back to 2021, the Under still hits 63% of the time in Week 1 matchups.

Chiefs tend to dominate in Week 1

A big note for bettors to remember is that the Chiefs historically dominate Week 1 under Andy Reid.

Since his first season in Kansas City in 2013, the Chiefs are 7-3 ATS (70%) and 9-1 (90%) straight up (SU) in the opening game of the regular season.

Furthermore, the Chiefs have played the Lions twice under Reid and won both matchups and are also 8-5-1 ATS (62%) and 9-5 SU (64%) against Detroit in the Super Bowl era. 

Here are a few other interesting nuggets that point toward the Chiefs covering Thursday:

– Since 2000, the reigning Super Bowl champion is 13-7-3 ATS (65%) and 19-4 SU (83%) in Week 1 games.

– Favorites in Thursday games in Week 1 have gone 9-7-4 ATS (56%) and 16-4 SU (80%).

– Andy Reid is 9-7 ATS (56%) and 10-6 SU (63%) in Thursday games during his head coaching career.

Patrick Mahomes is 8-3 ATS (73%) and 10-1 SU (91%) as a starter when a 5.5-to-6.5-point favorite (including playoffs).

Sean McVay is nearly perfect in Week 1

Speaking of coaches being dominant in Week 1, Sean McVay is another name that folks need to keep on their betting bingo card. 

While he doesn’t have a lengthy career like Reid, as McVay enters his seventh season in charge of the Rams, he’s an impressive 5-1 ATS and SU (83%) in the first game of the season. 

The lone loss and non-cover came last season against the Buffalo Bills (31-10). McVay is 9-4 ATS (69%) and 8-5 SU (62%) against Seattle (including postseason) and will have a healthy Matthew Stafford back under center in Week 1. 

The Rams currently are 5.5-point underdogs at the Seahawks.

Super Bowl runner-ups historically struggle to cover in Week 1

While the Philadelphia Eagles added several pieces to their roster and brought back almost all the key players from their Super Bowl appearance last season, the data shows that Super Bowl runners-up tend to struggle in Week 1 the following year.

Going back to the 1969 season, Super Bowl losers have gone 23-31 ATS (43%) and 28-26 SU (52%) in the opening game of the season the year after. In more recent history, those teams are even worse, going 4-19 ATS (17.4%) and 9-14 SU (39%). 

The Eagles are currently 4-point favorites at the New England Patriots.

Bet on Mike Tomlin to cover

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has shined as a betting underdog throughout his career. He is 13-5-2 ATS (72%) and 12-8 SU (60%) as a home underdog in the regular season and 48-28-3 (63%) ATS and 40-39 SU (51%) as an overall underdog in 16 seasons with Pittsburgh. 

The Steelers are currently 2.5-point underdogs vs. the San Francisco 49ers

Look for Monday night fireworks

Arguably, the most anticipated matchup in Week 1 will come on Monday night when Aaron Rodgers makes his debut for the New York Jets against Josh Allen and the Bills. 

With so many storylines, here’s all the notable data FOX Sports Research found regarding this matchup. Keep in mind the Bills are 2.5-point favorites at the Jets.

– Rodgers is 6-1 ATS (86%) and 5-1-1 SU (83%) as a starter in the regular season when a home underdog in his career.

– Rodgers is 29-22-1 ATS (57%) and 21-30-1 SU (41%) as a starter in the regular season when an overall underdog in his career.

– Rodgers is 8-7 ATS (53%) and 10-5 SU (67%) as a starter in Week 1.

– Rodgers is 10-8 ATS (56%) and 12-6 SU (67%) as a starter in Monday games.

– Rodgers is 2-0 ATS and SU vs. Allen (2018, 2022).

– Allen is 13-8 ATS (62%) and 16-5 SU (76%) as a starter when a road favorite in the regular season.

– Allen is 28-21-2 ATS (57%) and 40-11 SU (78%) as a starter when a favorite in the regular season.

– Allen is 3-1 ATS and SU (75%) as a starter in Week 1 games.

– Allen is 3-3 ATS and SU (50%) as a starter in Monday games.

– Sean McDermott is 6-6 ATS (50%) and 8-4 SU (67%) vs. the Jets as a head coach.

– The Bills are 8-8 ATS (50%) and 10-6 SU (63%) vs. the Jets since 2015, with the Under hitting in 10 of those games.

Bet on the Texans to cover

Yes, you read that right. The Texans are 10-point underdogs against the Ravens, the largest spread in Week 1. But Underdogs of 8-to-11 points tend to cover in Week 1. In the Super Bowl era, such underdogs are 51-31-1 ATS (62%) and 21-6 ATS (78%) since 2005.

Over the past two seasons, 8-to-11-point underdogs are an astonishing 9-2 ATS (82%). Houston also made some significant additions to the roster, including C.J. Stroud, Dalton Schultz, Will Anderson Jr. and Sheldon Rankins.

Will it be enough to help them keep this trend profitable?

Fade the Browns?

While this might be harsh to read for Cleveland Browns fans, it’s been almost thirty years since the Browns won consecutive Week 1 games. 

Last year, Cleveland won its opener for the first time since 2004, but the team hasn’t won consecutive openers since the 1993-94 seasons. 

Since 1995, the Browns have gone 8-15-2 ATS (35%) and 2-22-1 SU (8%) in Week 1 games. 

Cleveland is currently a 2.5-point underdog vs. the Cincinnati Bengals

Regarding the Bengals starting QB situation to start the season, even if Joe Burrow’s calf strain causes him to sit the opener, Cincinnati has veterans Trevor Siemian and Jake Browning on the roster.

Stay tuned to FOX Sports as the exciting NFL season unfolds!

in this topic

Source: FOX Sports


Embiid reportedly has given 76ers "assurances" he will stick with them through Harden situation


76ers sign undrafted guard David Duke Jr. to an Exhibit 10 contract

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now