NFL Week 1 Betting Guide: Spread, moneyline, over/under picks

Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season kicks off on Thursday, and this year feels remarkably different due to the unforeseen ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, the league has taken all of the necessary precautions and measures, and we are going to see a product that is pretty similar to what we’re used to (without fans in attendance). That means we’ll continue to break down our  favorite spread, moneyline, and over/under bets every week while weaving in a preview of exclusive data from BetQL, a web and app platform that simplifies the research process for sports bettors by equipping them with real-time line movements, value bets of the day, and meaningful team trends. Let’s get into it.

All data presented is as of Tuesday morning. You can track all NFL line movement on BetQL’s Line Movement Dashboard.

WEEK 1 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

NFL Week 1 Betting Picks: Spread pick of the week

Ravens (-8) vs. Browns

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens took a massive leap forward last season. Jackson earned 2019 MVP honors and the Ravens averaged a +13.7 scoring margin in the regular season, the best mark in the entire NFL. As a result, they went 10-5-1 against the spread and routinely blew out their opponents. 

BetQL’s model is giving Baltimore’s offense an “A” grade and their defense an “A+” grade in Week 1, compared to Cleveland’s “C+” offense and “C+” defense. While the Browns were one of the two teams to beat the Ravens in last year’s regular season (40-25 in Week 4), Baltimore took care of business 30-15 in Week 16and is poised to dominate this matchup. 

There’s no reason to assume that Jackson and Co. won’t continue to dominate on the offensive side of the ball. The team added veteran guard D.J. Fluker and potential rookie game-changers JK Dobbins (RB, Ohio State) and Devin Duvernay (WR, Texas) to the mix. Defensively, they added five-time Pro Bowler Calais Campbell and Super Bowl winner Derek Wolfe to the edges and selected versatile linebacker Patrick Queen in Round 1 of the 2020 Draft. By all accounts, this is a team ready to contend for a Super Bowl once again. 

So far, 54 percent of public bets have been wagered on the Ravens (per BetQL’s NFL consensus picks dashboard).

WEEK 1 DFS TOURNAMENT LINEUPS:
Yahoo | DraftKings | FanDuel

NFL Week 1 Betting Picks: Moneyline pick of the week

Buccaneers (+150) at Saints

In case you haven’t heard, the Buccaneers look a little bit different than they did last season. Moving on from the most mistake-prone quarterback (Jameis Winston) to one of the most mistake-free quarterbacks (Tom Brady), this Buccaneers offense is absolutely stacked. From an improved offensive line (highlighted by first-round pick Tristan Wirfs), to a versatile backfield (Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones II, Ke’Shawn Vaughn), dominant receiving duo (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin) and pass-catching tight end group (Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate), Tampa Bay’s offense should be fascinating to watch. 

However, don’t discount the Bucs’ defense. In my opinion, they have a chance to be one of the most dominant units in the entire NFL. The 3-4 base will be led by Ndamukong Suh up front while Shaq Barrett, Lavonte David and Devin White will make up one of the most versatile and athletic linebacking corps in the league. Although the secondary is very young, it will be their second year under defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who turned around a league-worst 2018 defense into a very respectable one immediately after taking over last season.

Also keep in mind that since Brady takes care of the football, this group will be much more rested and impactful than when they had to take over in bad field position with Winston under center. Sure, going into New Orleans and beating the Saints is quite the task, but it’s hard to ignore the sheer talent and upside of this Tampa Bay squad, who will be looking to send a message as an underdog in Week 1.

An overwhelming percentage of the total money is being wagered on one team’s moneyline in this matchup. Check out BetQL to see what team our model’s expert NFL pick is on. 

WEEK 1 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

NFL Week 1 Betting Picks: Over/under pick of the week

49ers vs. Cardinals: OVER 47.5

These two teams squared off twice last season and the 49ers won both times (28-25 and 36-26). As you can see, defense was not at the forefront in either contest and both squads put up points. This total is simply too low considering the fact that San Francisco’s offense should continue to dominate and that Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray should continue to make improvements in Year 2 under coach Kliff Kingsbury, especially now that superstar wideout DeAndre Hopkins is there. 

Arizona made some moves to improve their offensive line in an effort to protect Murray better this season – he was solid when given time to throw the football last year. They should improve on the 22.6 points per game they scored in their up-tempo, Air Raid attack. Meanwhile, Niners coach Kyle Shanahan’s offensive mastery should continue to build off the 29.6 points per game he crafted up last year. Don’t be shocked if this game shoots out, and expect the over/under to climb as the week progresses.

You can find all updated NFL lines, spreads, and odds at BetQL!

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