Week 1 Betting Preview: Which narratives matter?

Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) prior to the start of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

• Disrespect for Belichick and Co.: Patriots getting more than a full field goal is notable in Miami, where there also might be value on an UNDER.

Let Russ cook? With bettors lining up to back the Broncos in Russell Wilson's revenge game, a +7 for Seattle would signal opportunity on Seahawks side.

Estimated reading time: 3 min

We’re a day away from the 2022 NFL regular season.  We’ve talked in recent articles about the opening lines, bet into some lines again last month, and discussed how injuries have affected spreads.  Today, I want to go through some betting narratives and discuss the possible angles that one can take based on this information.

BILLS @ RAMS (+2.5, 52)

Because of injuries to the defensive backfield for the Bills, as well as elbow concerns for Matthew Stafford, this total has dropped at times, but it's currently sitting at 52 — where it opened in May and one of the highest totals of Week 1.

The Rams opened -1, but over time the number has trended toward Buffalo, the league’s current Super Bowl favorite.  I don’t see the number getting to -3, nor do I think the Rams on a +8.5 teaser leg is a great bet because of variance associated with a high total.

PATRIOTS @ DOLPHINS (-3.5, 46.5)

This total has reached as high as 47, where PFF Greenline and the bet grades tool on the app see value on the under, but it almost always drops — a good sign for our models.

This spread opened at MIA (-2.5), and given the modest total, NE +8.5 was a decent teaser leg to consider.  However, there has been significant market resistance — first to NE (+3), and now because of a big, well-known betting group taking Miami, the Patriots are getting more than a full field goal.  A lot of disrespect for Belichick and Co.


Washington opened -3.5 here, but it has slowly declined to -3. And because the same betting group that previously pushed Miami out to -3.5 also likes the Jaguars here, the Commanders are now below a field goal favorite.  If you missed out on the Jacksonville steam, throw them in a teaser league with that low total.  A lot of notable media bettors like the Jaguars this year, and while that in and of itself isn’t worth much, there are a lot of sharps that they are likely copying with that take.

COLTS @ TEXANS (+7, 46)

There was money on the Texans this week to drop the spread from around 8.5 to 7, making some that teased the Colts from -8.5 to -2.5 on that low total a bit nervous.  


This is the highest total of the week, but the story is that bettors have moved the Chiefs all the way from an open of -3 — and a summer of basically -3/-3.5 — to -6 this week.  Patrick Mahomes passing touchdown prop is 2.5 +134, which you can see with our player props tool.  That’s now the way to bet the Chiefs if you are behind the steam.  

PACKERS @ VIKINGS (+1.5, 47)

This total has been weird, opening at 49 and gradually declining into the 48s before taking a sharp downturn to 47 early this week.  There are certainly people betting on the idea that a Mike Zimmer-less Vikings defense should be able to stop a Davante Adams-less Packers offense, while the Vikings offense stays at bay.  The past four meetings have gone over in general — including the past two at U.S. Bank Stadium going comfortably over.

BRONCOS @ SEAHAWKS (+6.5, 44.5)

This game opened DEN (-4), which seemed a bit low to me. Since we've learned that it's absolutely Geno Smith behind center in Seattle, bettors have been lining up for a while to bet the Broncos in the Russell Wilson revenge game.  If this gets to DEN +7, there’s probably value on the home dog in primetime, which is probably why it won’t get there.


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