- Sportsbook NFL favorites went 9-5-1 against the spread in Week 1 of the 2020 season.
- Every underdog who covered the spread did so on the moneyline.
LAS VEGAS – The 2020 season could possibly be an outlier since there was no preseason action prior to the regular season but there was not a single underdog who covered the spread and lost. Will that trend carry over to the 2021 season?
2020 NFL Week 1 ATS/SU Results
In the opening week of the 2020 season, favorites went 9-6-1 against the spread with the lone push coming from a -3 spread. The most interesting part about it is that all six underdogs who covered the spread, finished with the win on the moneyline as well.
This means there was no reason in betting any underdog on the spread with regulated sports betting sites as bettors would’ve been better off wagering on the moneyline. With what ended up to be no additional risk, those betting on the NFL would’ve seen their profit decrease by nearly 130% by using the spread as opposed to the moneyline.
Not only were the biggest underdogs hitting, but overall enough of the favored teams were losing to garner a profitable week. If a bettor had bet on all of the underdogs’ moneylines in Week 1 of the 2020 season, with a $100 bet, they’d have come out +$40 as opposed to the -$99.46 if one were to bet on all the favorites’ moneylines.
Underdog ATS vs SU 2020 Week 1 Profit ($100 bets)
Against The Spread $545.46
Obviously, it’s impossible to go back in time and only bet on the underdogs that ended up winning but it does go to show how much extra value there is in betting the moneyline on underdogs. One of the most noticeable trends from last season’s Week 1 underdog wins is that two of them were sizable underdogs.
The Arizona Cardinals were (+250) on the moneyline as 7-point underdogs against the San Francisco 49ers and the Jacksonville Jaguars were (+265) on the moneyline as 8-point underdogs against the Indianapolis Colts.
How It Translates To The 2021-2022 NFL Season
Seeing that two of the biggest underdogs won last year in their first week, it’s possible that the same could be true for Week 1 of the 2021-2022 NFL season. There are only three games that see underdogs with a moneyline of (+250) or longer and those are on the Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, and Chicago Bears.
2021 Week 1 Biggest Underdogs
- Cowboys Vs. Buccaneers +310
- Lions Vs. 49ers +280
- Bears Vs. Rams +280
Whether 2020 was an outlier due to there being no preseason and no fans in attendance is yet to be seen, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind when betting on the NFL during the opening week.
Nick is a sports writer and die-hard sports fan. He graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Broadcast/Journalism. In his free time, he enjoys kicking back and relaxing with a good video game.