How can you make more money with your NFL picks? By taking the moneyline on the most profitable upset situations for Week 1.
What makes a great upset story? Points – lots of them. The bigger the underdog, the more satisfaction we get out of seeing them pull off the improbable.
That goes double when you’re making NFL picks. The betting value is often with the teams that are getting the most points on the spread, but then again, it’s a lot more fun taking them on the moneyline and hoping they win straight-up for a healthy payout.
With that in mind, we’ve chosen the three moneylines on the Week 1 NFL odds board that look the tastiest to us for betting the underdogs.
We’ve already covered two of these loveable pups in our preview of the best Week 1 NFL bets, so we’ll also take a moment to consider whether the moneyline or the spread is the correct choice for those matchups.
Sunday, September 11, 2022 – 04:25 PM EDT at Nissan Stadium
We figured the Giants were in the best position to turn a profit in Week 1, based on the considerable upgrade they made with new GM Joe Schoen and new head coach Brian Daboll. The Giants were +6 (–107) at PointsBet when we made that pick; now they’re down to +5.5 (–107) as we go to press.
The moneyline for this matchup has yet to see the same movement. The G-Men have been flipping back and forth between +205 to +210 at Caesars, and they’re +210 underdogs at the moment, which is enough to keep them at No. 1 on our upset watch.
It also narrows the gap in value between the moneyline and the point spread. Here’s a peek at the relevant “fair” equivalent values (no vig) at Wizard of Odds:
- PS +6, ML +236
- PS +5.5, ML +220
That’s the thing about football betting: Because the scoring comes in chunks of 3 and 7, and sometimes 2, 6, or 8 (we’re still waiting for a 1-point safety, which is a thing), there’s usually going to be some kind of discrepancy between NFL spreads and moneylines.
Giants vs. Titans: Our Betting Pick
In this case, you’re paying a 10-cent premium to bet the moneyline – make it 13 cents with that –107 deal on vigorish. But it will all be worth it if Big Blue pulls off the upset.
NFL Pick: Giants (+210) at Caesars
Sunday, September 11, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Paycor Stadium
It was a close race between New York-Tennessee and this matchup for the No. 1 spot on our spread list.
The Steelers are replacing QB Ben Roethlisberger with Mitch Trubisky, which seems like a downgrade until you consider how bad Roethlisberger was last year. Not every bettor in the market will be that open-minded.
Once again, the moneyline for this contest is catching up with the spread. The Steelers are holding steady at +6.5 (–107), but they’ve also moved up from +235 to +245 at SBK over the past couple of days. Here’s what Wizard of Odds has to say about that:
- PS +6.5, ML +254
It’s pretty much the same situation as with the Giants, but if you’re trying to decide which way to bet the Steelers for this game, you might want to wait until closer to kick-off.
Steelers vs. Bengals: Our Betting Pick
That magic number seven could come into play as more members of the betting public throw their money behind the reigning AFC champs this weekend.
NFL Pick: Steelers (+245) at SBK
Sunday, September 11, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at FedEx Field
This is our newcomer to the party. The Jaguars aren’t the biggest dogs in the yard at +120 on the FanDuel NFL lines, but they’ve got the betting edge on Washington, who are rolling the dice on QB Carson Wentz this year.
The Commanders could do worse. As a member of the Indianapolis Colts, Wentz finished last year at No. 16 on the passing DVOA charts at Football Outsiders. That was a heck of a lot better than Jags QB Trevor Lawrence at No. 29.
You have to take their respective career paths into account, though. Wentz is slowly (?) slipping into irrelevancy after racking up all those injuries, while Lawrence is a rising commodity who finally gets to play for a decent head coach in Doug Pederson (who knows plenty about Wentz from their time in Philadelphia.)
Again, though, the spread might be the better choice with the Jaguars priced at +2.5 (–105) over at FanDuel:
- PS +2.5, ML +143
Jaguars vs. Commanders: Our Betting Pick
That magic number 3 does more to warp the NFL betting odds than any other number. And that –105 vig helps, too.
But we’re sure there will be a lot of fans who would love to bet against Washington straight-up. Daniel Snyder does that to people.
NFL Pick: Jaguars (+120) at FanDuel