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Sunday NFL Week 1 Sharp Report


Week 1 of the NFL regular season is here! Historically, Week 1 has been a great time to buy low on underdogs. After all, the NFL is the most popular sport and the public loves sweating favorites, which creates value to go to the other way and back dogs, especially in buy-low spots based on some recency biases.

Over the past decade, Week 1 dogs have gone 86-70 ATS (55.1%). Big dogs  6 or more have gone 25-18 (58.1%). Road dogs who missed the playoffs the previous season have gone 45-27 ATS (62.5%). Divisional dogs have been the most profitable play, going 38-18 ATS (67.9%). 

For extensive Sunday betting analysis and line move updates be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning LIVE from 10 a.m. ET to noon on The Lombardi Line. We'll be joined by VSiN's Will Hill. We'll also check in with our friend Thomas Gable, who runs the Race and Sportsbook at the Borgata in Atlantic City. 

In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for several NFL Week 1 matchups today...

1 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills

Oddsmakers opened this line with Buffalo listed as a 6-point home favorite. The public is all over Bills Mafia, who went an impressive 13-3 last season, won the AFC East and reached the AFC Title Game. Meanwhile, the Steelers finished 12-4 but crumbled down the stretch, going just 1-5 in their last six games, including an early playoff exit.

Heavy public betting pushed Buffalo from -6 to -7. Once this line rose a full point, wiseguys pounced on Pittsburgh at the key number of 7, dropping the line back down to 6.5. Pittsburgh is contrarian in a heavily-bet game and also matches several profitable betting systems. NFL Week 1 big dogs  6.5 or more are 27-17 ATS (61%) over the past decade. Also, Mike Tomlin has been a great bet when getting points, going 38-19 ATS (66.7%) . The under has taken in some action, falling from 50 to 48. The forecast calls for 15 MPH winds at New Era Stadium. Lead ref John Hussey has historically favored unders (56.4%). 

1 p.m. ET: New York Jets at Carolina Panthers

Both of these non-conference foes are looking to bounce back from losing seasons. The Jets went just 2-14 but there is reason for optimism in New York with rookie QB Zach Wilson and new head coach Robert Saleh. Meanwhile, the Panthers went 5-11 and look to take the next step under second year coach Matt Rhule and new starting QB Sam Darnold.

This line opened with Carolina listed as a 4-point home favorite. The public wants nothing to do with the Jets and is rushing to lay the short spread with Carolina at home. This lopsided betting pushed the line up to Carolina -5.

Since that time, we've seen steady sharp action on the Jets plus the points, dropping the line down to 3.5. Week 1 road dogs who missed the playoffs the previous season are 45-27 ATS (62.5%) over the past decade. Lead ref Clay Martin has historically favored road teams (31-12 ATS, 72.1%). Pros have leaned on the over here, forcing oddsmakers to up the low total from 43 to 45. 

4:25 p.m. ET: Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs

This AFC Divisional Round rematch, in which the Chiefs won 22-17 but the Browns covered ( 8), is the most heavily-bet game of the late afternoon window.

Cleveland is coming off an 11-5 campaign while the Chiefs went 14-2 but lost in the Super Bowl to the Bucs 31-9, losing outright as 3-point favorites. This line opened with Kansas City listed as a 6-point home favorite. The public can't quit the Chiefs, who are consistently the most popular team each week for recreational bettors.

However, despite roughly two-thirds of bets laying the points, this line has fallen to 5.5. This signals sharp reverse line movement on Cleveland, with pros grabbing the points and expecting a close game. Week 1 Road dogs are 59-44 ATS (57.3%) over the past decade. We could also be looking at a high scoring game here. The total opened at 52.5 and has been steamed up to 54.5, the highest total of any Week 1 game. 

4:25 p.m. ET: Denver Broncos at New York Giants

This non-conference showdown features the biggest line move of the Week 1 slate. Denver is coming off a 5-11 season while the Giants went 6-10. This line opened with Denver listed as a short 1-point road favorite. Wiseguys have hammered the Broncos, steaming Denver up from -1 to the key number of -3. Pros targeted Denver anything -2.5 or less.

Although we haven't seen any notable buyback on the Giants at an inflated  3, late Denver backers may prefer a money line play on the Broncos (-155) instead of laying the worst of it. Teddy Bridgewater is one reason pros may love the Broncos here. We saw the Broncos get steamed big once head coach Vic Fangio announced Teddy Two Gloves as the starter over Drew Lock.

Bridgewater is one of the best quarterbacks to back in the NFL in terms of betting, going 35-14 ATS (71.4%) in his career as a starter. Sharps are also leaning on the under, driving the total down from 42.5 to 41.5.

More Sunday Line Moves

Washington  1 to -1.5 vs Chargers

Cardinals-Titans Over 51 to 53.5

Eagles-Falcons Over 47 to 48.5

Seahawks  3 to -3 at Colts

Seahawks-Colts Under 52 to 49

Dolphins-Patriots Under 45.5 to 43.5

Packers  3 to -3.5 vs Saints

Bears-Rams Over 45 to 46.5

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