There are some tasty bets on the Week 1 NFL odds board, including one long-suffering underdog with brighter things ahead.
Betting on the NFL is about to go nuclear. The 2022 season promises to be the busiest ever here at OddsTrader, with wave upon wave of new bettors joining in the fun.
That means profit margins are finally going up for the first time in recent memory – if you’re sharp enough to choose the right sides.
We’ll help you get there. After a thorough and painstaking search of the NFL lines at press time, here are the three games we’ve picked out as the best bets for Week 1, starting with a team that hasn’t enjoyed much betting value in quite a long while.
New York Giants vs. Tennessee Titans
Sunday, September 11, 2022 – 04:25 PM EDT at Nissan Stadium
New York Giants
The team in question is the Giants, and if you’ve been following the NFL for a while, you know how bad they’ve been the past few years.
But the future is bright in East Rutherford. GM Dave Gettleman retired at the end of the 2021 campaign, and the first thing Joe Schoen did after taking over, was hiring former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as his new head coach.
This is huge. Schoen and Daboll were both integral to the rise of the Bills, who kick off the 2022 season as +600 Super Bowl LVII favorites at the best sportsbooks. Daboll should be a considerable upgrade over Joe Judge, yet another failed product of the Bill Belichick coaching tree.
It might take a while for Schoen and Daboll to stamp their imprimatur on this team. But at least they’re trending in the right direction.
It’s hard to say the same about the Titans, who bring back pretty much the same squad that went 12-5 (10-7 ATS) last year despite finishing No. 20 overall on the DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) charts at Football Outsiders.
That includes QB Ryan Tannehill, who sank like a stone in 2021 after making the Pro Bowl in 2019 and signing a big fat contract extension in 2020.
Tannehill placed No. 27 on the passing DVOA charts, one spot behind Giants QB Daniel Jones, and Tannehill could fall even further now that stud wideout A.J. Brown is a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
NFL Pick: Giants +6 (–107) at PointsBet
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, September 11, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Paycor Stadium
Speaking of punching bags, Mitch Trubisky.
The Steelers needed someone to replace the retired Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. Names like Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson were thrown about, but when the music stopped, it was Trubisky taking that chair.
This is fine? Trubisky didn’t get much traction playing for the Chicago Bears, but he did make a Pro Bowl, and once he escaped the horrible coaching situation in Chicago, Trubisky did spend a year backing up Josh Allen in Buffalo. Maybe some of Daboll’s magic rubbed off on him.
Ultimately, Trubisky is at the very least capable of providing the same level of quarterbacking Roethlisberger did last year – which isn’t saying much, of course, but the betting public is probably throwing poor Mitch under the bus here.
As for the Bengals, we’ve got three words for you: Super Bowl Curse.
They might be on more of an upward trend than the Titans, but they still went to the Big Game despite finishing No. 17 overall on the DVOA charts, which was nonetheless good enough to win the very weak AFC North at 10-7 SU and ATS.
The regression starts now.
NFL Pick: Steelers +6.5 (–107) at PointsBet
Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets
Sunday, September 11, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at MetLife Stadium
Maybe this matchup didn’t have quite as much betting value as the first two when the Ravens were available at –7, but at press time, you can get that valuable half-point off that magic number (plus an extra cent of vigorish lopped off) at SBK. That makes it a definite must-bet for Baltimore.
This seems destined to be a bounce-back year for John Harbaugh’s Ravens.
They had some serious issues in 2021, falling from seventh to No. 19 on the DVOA charts after several key injuries, QB Lamar Jackson chief among them.
Jackson’s decision-making is still a concern, but the drop-off from him to backup Tyler Huntley (1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS in four starts) was pretty severe.
New York Jets
The Jets, meanwhile, are probably going to keep struggling as long as owner, chairman, and CEO Woody Johnson is calling the shots.
NFL Pick: Ravens –6.5 (–109) at SBK