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Week 1 NFL Betting Preview: Early Line Movement & Odds Tracking

These NFL Week 1 lines and odds are on the move so let's follow the smart money

The return of arguably the most popular sport in the country is finally only one day away. The action will kick off with the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing host to Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football. The Buccaneers are currently 7.5-point home favorites with a total sitting on the game at 52 at SI Sportsbook.

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Let’s take an early look-ahead at several of the biggest games that have garnered significant betting attention resulting in noticeable line moves in Week 1.

NFL Week 1 Games ‘On The Move’

New York Jets at Carolina Panthers

  • Moneyline: New York (+200) | Carolina (-250)
  • Spread: NYJ +5.5 (-110) | CAR -5.5 (-110)
  • Total: 45– Over (-110) | Under 45 (-110)
  • Game Info: Sunday, September 12, 2020 1:00 p.m. ET | CBS
Sam Darnold prepares to throw a pass for the Jets, and BYU draft prospect Zach Wilson

There has been strong support for Carolina in Week 1 at the betting counters. This game opened at 3.5-points and has since moved to a 5.5-points on the home favored club. The new-look Panthers will now have ex-Jets quarterback Sam Darnold under center, and public money has supported Carolina since the line was posted in June. The former third overall pick of the 2018 draft went just 13-25 as a starter for the Jets but will be now be surrounded by a cast that includes star running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receivers Robbie Anderson and DJ Moore. The Jets will start Zach Wilson, who looked great in the preseason, but bettors expect the Jets to potentially struggle on the road in his first “real” NFL action. The total, which opened at 43.5, has received strong support to the over pushing the line up to 45 at SI Sportsbook.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Public Betting: 59% of money on Carolina
  • Line Move: Panthers -3.5 to -5.5

2020 AGAINST THE SPREAD RECORD

  • NYJ: 6-10 ATS (Home: 4-4 ATS, Away: 2-6 ATS)
  • CAR: 9-7 ATS (Home: 2-6 ATS, Away: 7-1 ATS)

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

  • Moneyline: Jacksonville (-150) | Houston (+125)
  • Spread: JAX -3 (-120) | HOU +3 (+100)
  • Total: 45– Over: (-110) | Under: 45 (-110)
  • Game Info: Sunday, September 12, 2020 1:00 p.m. ET | FOX
Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence

Jacksonville, who opened at 1.5-points back in May, has seen such strong support they are now full field goal favorites at SI Sportsbook. The Jaguars expect  top overall pick Trevor Lawrence to build rapports with D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault, and Marvin Jones. Jacksonville will be facing a Texans squad who will be without star quarterback Deshaun Watson as he faces off-the-field allegations and a contract dispute with management. Bettors are investing that the Jaguars will easily handle Tyrod Taylor in Week 1.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Public Betting: 64% of money on Jacksonville
  • Line Move: Jaguars -1.5 to -3

2020 AGAINST THE SPREAD RECORD

  • JAC: 7-9 ATS (Home: 3-5 ATS, Away: 4-4 ATS)
  • HOU: 6-10 ATS (Home: 3-5 ATS, Away: 3-5 ATS)

Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts

  • Moneyline: Seattle (-143) | Indianapolis (+120)
  • Spread: SEA -2.5 (-120) | IND +2.5 (+100)
  • Total: 49.5– Over (-110) | Under 49.5 (-110)
  • Game Info: Sunday, September 12, 2020 1:00 p.m. ET | FOX
russell-wilson-seahawks

Bettors are strongly backing Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in Week 1 on the road in Indianapolis. This game opened with the Colts as three-point home favorites but has since flipped with Seattle now a 2.5-point road demand at SI Sportsbook. Both respected and public money believe that Carson Wentz will struggle in his debut for the Colts after missing the entire preseason with a foot injury. In addition, Indianapolis will be without star guard Quenton Nelson and wideout T.Y. Hilton. The total, which opened at 51.5, has received strong support to the under dropping the line down to 49.5.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Public Betting: 68% of money on Seattle
  • Line Move: Seahawks +3 to -2.5

2020 AGAINST THE SPREAD RECORD

  • SEA: 8-8 ATS (Home: 6-2 ATS, Away: 2-6 ATS)
  • IND: 8-8 ATS (Home: 3-5 ATS, Away: 5-3 ATS)

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

  • Moneyline: Miami (+130) | New England (-154)
  • Spread: MIA +3 (-110) | NE -3 (-110)
  • Total: 43.5– Over: (-110) | Under: 43.5 (-110)
  • Game Info: Sunday, September 12, 2020 4:25 p.m. ET | CBS
mac-jones

Bettors are strongly backing Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots at SI Sportsbook as small home favorites. The Patriots were major players in free agency in the offseason, and bettors believe Belichick will not allow a second straight losing season in Foxboro under his watch. The Dolphins will be a tough task in Week 1 as they are perhaps one of the best young teams in the AFC, led by Tua Tagovailoa. The respected and public action has not wavered in their monetary support, although the Patriots will be rolling out rookie signal-caller Mac Jones under center after cutting veteran Cam Newton.

BY THE NUMBERS

SI Recommends

  • Public Betting: 62% of money on New England
  • Line Move: Patriots -1.5 to -3

2020 AGAINST THE SPREAD RECORD

  • MIA: 11-5 ATS (Home: 7-1 ATS, Away: 4-4 ATS)
  • NE: 7-9 ATS (Home: 5-3 ATS, Away: 2-6 ATS)

Denver Broncos at New York Giants

  • Moneyline: Denver (-154) | New York (+130)
  • Spread: DEN -3 (-110) | NYG +3 (-110)
  • Total: 41.5– Over (-110) | Under 41.5 (-110)
  • Game Info: Sunday, September 12, 2020 4:25 p.m. ET | FOX
saquon-barkley-giants.jpg

The Denver Broncos opened as small 1.5-point favorites back in June but have since moved to full field goal road favorites over the New York Giants. Saquon Barkley did not play in the preseason, while star wideout Kenny Golladay has missed most of camp with a hamstring injury. From recent reports, Barkley looks like he will suit up in Week 1, but bettors are fading the Giants believing the star back will be ‘limited’ in his return from a 2020 season-ending ACL injury. The total, which opened at 43, has ticked down slightly to a line of 41.5 at SI Sportsbook.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Public Betting: 59% of money on Denver
  • Line Move: Broncos -1.5 to -3

2020 AGAINST THE SPREAD RECORD

  • DEN: 9-7 ATS (Home: 4-4 ATS, Away: 5-3 ATS)
  • NYG: 9-7 ATS (Home: 3-5 ATS, Away: 6-2 ATS)

Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints

  • Moneyline: GB (-200) | NO (+165)
  • Spread: GB -4.5(-110) | NO +4.5 (-110)
  • Total: 50.5– Over (-110) | Under 50.5 (-110)
  • Game Info: Sunday, September 12, 2020 4:25 p.m. ET | FOX
Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams talk as they walk off the field during a 2020 game

This game is easily the biggest mover of Week 1, thanks to several factors. This matchup opened back in May, with New Orleans as three-point home favorites. However, that line was created with oddsmakers believing that Aaron Rodgers would not be in uniform for the Packers. Once Rodgers worked out his contract issues with the organization, sportsbooks flipped the line to Green Bay as two-point road favorites. Last week the league announced that due to damage and flooding caused by Hurricane Ida, the game has been moved outside of New Orleans to TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. Once news broke that the Saints would no longer have home-field advantage, the line steamed to its current offering of Green Bay as 4.5-point favorites at SI Sportsbook.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Public Betting: 70% of money on Green Bay
  • Line Move: Packers +3 to -4.5

2020 AGAINST THE SPREAD RECORD

  • GB: 10-6 ATS (Home: 5-3 ATS, Away: 5-3 ATS)
  • NO: 9-7 ATS (Home: 4-4 ATS, Away: 5-3 ATS)

Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders

  • Moneyline: Baltimore (-213) | Las Vegas (+175)
  • Spread: BAL -4.5 (-110) | LVR +4.5 (-110)
  • Total: 51– Over: (-110) | Under: 51 (-110)
  • Game Info: Monday, September 13, 2020 8:15 p.m. ET | ESPN
Ravens Lamar Jackson Fantasy Football

It's difficult to decipher if the line move in this AFC  clash is more in support of the home-field advantage the Raiders are expected to have in their first home game at Allegiant Stadium with fans or numbers play against an overinflated early line by the oddsmakers. Either way, we have seen a big move here as the Ravens, who opened as six-point road favorites, have since moved to only a 4.5-point favorite at SI Sportsbook.

The Raiders may force elusive Ravens star Lamar Jackson to become one-dimensional after the club lost starting running back J.K. Dobbins (knee) for the year in the preseason. Baltimore will now turn to Gus Edwards heavily in the run game.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Public Betting: 61% of money on Baltimore
  • Line Move: Ravens -6 to -4.5

This game is witnessing reverse steam as all the money is on Baltimore, however the line is steaming in the opposite direction to the Raiders.

2020 AGAINST THE SPREAD RECORD

  • BAL: 10-5-1 ATS (Home: 5-3 ATS, Away: 5-2-1 ATS)
  • LV: 8-8 ATS (Home: 4-4 ATS, Away: 4-4 ATS)

Frankie Taddeo is a successful high-stakes fantasy football player who created the first-ever DFS program ever offered in a Las Vegas sportsbook. Frankie is SI Betting's Senior Analyst and provides his significant experience and resources in the sports betting scene. You can follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy for his latest betting and fantasy insights from Las Vegas.