What we learned as NFL bettors in Week 1

BetSided Editorial
Derek Carr completed the dominance by the AFC and NFC West in Week 1. | Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Derek Carr completed the dominance by the AFC and NFC West in Week 1. | Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season is in the books, and there is plenty to be learned from the first week of games from a betting standpoint.

It’s always hard to predict the first week with so many new players on new teams, but this year Week 1 was about as far from chalk as one could imagine.

In a week that the Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens all got upset, wecould use some more insight to help us improve in Week 2. Or, you could just tail BetSided’s Iain MacMillan cause the man can’t miss right now. 

Here’s what we learned from Week 1 with all odds via WynnBET Sportsbook:

AFC and NFC West Are Both Extremely Talented

This goes without saying, as almost everyone in the NFL expected the NFC West to be the class of the NFL this season, but the AFC West also impressed with a 4-0 start, and they were almost as impressive against the spread.

NFC West (ATS): 3-1

AFC West (ATS): 3-1

A bunch of great quarterback play (Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr, Justin Herbert, Kyle Murray, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford) coupled with strong defensive showings (Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams) allowed the West to control Week 1 in the NFL. 

For teams who lost in Week 1,  like the Ravens, who play the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Tennessee Titans, who play Seattle, this isn’t exactly a great sign to avoid an 0-2 start.

It’s really early, but these divisions seem poised to sport multiple playoff teams in 2021.

Underdogs Off to Red-Hot Start

Through the first 16 games of the season, underdogs were an astounding 12-4 against the spread and 9-7 straight up.

It’s unlikely that this trend continues all season, but it is worth monitoring heading into Week 2. Cashing in on a moneyline bet at plus odds is always a win, and there may be a few more teams that the BetSided crew likes in Week 2 after going 4-0 on those picks in Week 1. 

Teams like the Cardinals, Saints and Chargers cashed in as underdogs in Week 1, but they are favored in their Week 2 matchups. It’s certainly a trend worth monitoring going forward.

Major Favorites Struggled Against the Spread

There were four teams in Week 1 that were favored by 6.5 or more points, and only one of them was able to cover the spread.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -9.5: Defeated Dallas 31-29

San Francisco 49ers -9.5: Defeated Detroit 41-33

Buffalo Bills -6.5: Lost to Pittsburgh 23-16

Los Angeles Rams -7.5: Defeated Chicago 34-14

This is an interesting trend as Week 2’s slate has the Green Bay Packers (-10.5), Cleveland Browns (-12.5) and Buccaneers (-12.5) all as double-digit favorites. 

I’m not saying that it’s impossible for these teams to cover, but it seems oddsmakers overestimated just how dominant some of the elite teams will be, and public bettors took a major hit from it.

Looking for more insights on NFL Week 2? Follow the BetSided team as we break down all the latest odds to help you make the best bet at WynnBET Sportsbook!

This article was originally published on as What We Learned as NFL Bettors in Week 1.