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Week 1 NFL Betting Primer

Week 1 of the NFL season can be a bit tricky to handicap. Some teams come out on fire, while some aren’t quite themselves yet and don’t hit their stride until a few games in. The 49ers, for example, are a surprising 7-3 SU and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 Week 1 games, which includes five straight SU and ATS wins. The perennial Super Bowl-contending Steelers, meanwhile, have just one SU win in their last five season openers and have failed to cover the spread in each of those games.

The 49ers trend is likely more coincidental than anything else considering they’ve had numerous head coaches and starting quarterbacks over that stretch. However, it might be enough of a reason for me to lean their way vs the Rams on Monday Night, especially as home underdogs.

Coincidence or not, we need to accept, for whatever reason — maybe poor planning, scheduling, or some type of curse — some teams are slow starters. On the other hand, we have teams like the 49ers that have been reliable teams to back in recent Week 1 games. Plus, oddsmakers likely give certain teams too much or too little respect to start a season.

Here’s a few standout performers from recent opening-week games:

  • The Bills are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 Week 1 games.
  • The Jets are on a streak of five straight SU wins in Week 1.
  • The Giants are 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last five games in Week 1.
  • The Colts are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games in Week 1.
  • The Jaguars are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games in Week 1.
  • The Saints are 1-5 ATS in their past six Week 1 games.
  • The Raiders are 1-12 SU in their last 13 Week 1 games.
  • The Rams are 3-11 ATS in their last 14 Week 1 games.
  • The Browns are 0-11 SU and 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games in Week 1.
  • The Lions have gone OVER in eight of their last nine Week 1 games.
  • The Buccaneers are 8-2 SU and ATS in their last 10 Week 1 games.

A few other things to note regarding the most high-profile games of the week include a very favorable trend for the Broncos as the defending Super Bowl champion is 13-2 SU and 9-4-2 ATS in its last 15 season-opening games. The Broncos are also one of the NFL's top home teams, as they're on a run that's seen them go 25-4 SU in their last 29 games in Denver.

And on Sunday night, lots of people are counting out Jimmy Garoppolo and the Patriots in Arizona, but Bill Belichick has coached the Patriots to a 9-1 SU record in the Patriots’ last 10 Week 1 games. The Cardinals are the favorite, as they were in each of their nine home games last season, but they went just 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games last season.

Enjoy Week 1. I'm looking forward to chasing that paper together all season long!