Maybe you’ve already got your picks in for Week 1 of the 2023 NFL regular season, but by focusing only on point spreads, moneylines or fantasy, you’re robbing yourself of potential opportunities to make money on over/unders.
Here are a few totals for this week that are worthy of your attention. Check the latest OU numbers and whopping $1,000 bonus offer from Draft Kings Sportsbook.
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (41.5): Over
I don’t think we’re giving enough love to Jordan Love (who has flashed this offseason) and Justin Fields (who could easily become an MVP candidate if he’s progressed as a passer). Fields has a lot of weapons and both defenses can be vulnerable. Chicago is much improved on that side of the ball but may need some time to come together.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (46): Under
Hate going heavy on unders because it’s just not as fun, but I don’t believe in Geno Smith and the still-defensively-strong Rams don’t have top receiver Cooper Kupp. With that in mind, it’s surprising Vegas has this closer to 50 than 40. These two combined for only 32 regulation points when they met in Week 17 last year.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (45.5): Under
Many forget that the Bills had the No. 2 defense in terms of DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) at Football Outsiders in 2022. That unit remains strong, while the familiar Jets have improved a lot defensively. I’m not convinced Aaron Rodgers will be any good at all in New York, especially with plenty of early-season questions at running back for Gang Green.
Archived Week 1 Over Under picks article from Sept. 9, 2022
Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets (44): OVER
While Zach Wilson offers Jets fans more long-term hope, Joe Flacco realistically remains an upgrade for now. He’s got some quality weapons in that offense and the line might be improved.
Although you’ll want to watch Duane Brown’s status, this isn’t a bad matchup with a defense that actually ranked in the bottom five in DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) in 2022.
They should be able to score some points, as should the Lamar Jackson-led Ravens offense.
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (43): UNDER
I just don’t trust the Marcus Mariota-quarterbacked Falcons offense to do anything at all against one of the most stacked defensive units in football. Sure, they probably won’t be shut out at home, but this was also a bottom-10 DVOA Saints offense in 2021.
The return of Jameis Winston is a wild card, but who knows what Winston will get from Michael Thomas at this point and the left tackle situation remains unstable. Put it all together and this feels like a game that won’t hit the 40s.
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions (48.5): UNDER
I know unders aren’t as fun as overs but this also feels like a great play because the Eagles are stacked across the board on defense and I do wonder if we’re overhyping an offense that still doesn’t know that Jalen Hurts is the answer under center.
Another big factor here is the Lions often put up feisty performances for head coach Dan Campbell, and that could especially be the case with little to lose as an underdog in their home opener. The defense is by no means great, but top pick Aidan Hutchinson should help right off the bat
I’m envisioning a 24-17-type final score here.
Archived Week 1 NFL Over Under picks article from Sept. 9, 2021
The season gets underway Thursday and it just got real for NFL bettors after waiting since February. Gagnon isolates his favorite few games for Week 1 focusing on OVER UNDER bets and the season opener is on the list!
Check out his Over Under Bets for Week 1.
DALLAS COWBOYS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (52)
The Thursday night kickoff game is often lower-scoring than expected, and that might again be the case as the Cowboys and Bucs launch the 2022 season in Tampa.
The Dallas offense will have its hands full with a stacked Tampa Bay defensive front, especially with star guard Zack Martin out and right tackle La’el Collins dealing with a neck injury. Quarterback Dak Prescott could also be rusty coming off that severe ankle injury, and let’s not forget that the Bucs started pretty slowly last year. I don’t think this one hits the 50s.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT HOUSTON TEXANS (44.5)
Did you see Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville’s last preseason game? The rookie No. 1 overall pick found that magic from his Clemson days, and he’s better-supported than many think. He’s also going up against a gutted defense and a mess of a team Sunday.
But Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor isn’t a joke, he at least has a relatively talented offensive line and the Jags defense still looks ugly with a lot of new parts that could take time to become acclimated. Neither team is good, but both should hit the mid-20s here.
The number was 45.5 Thursday at Draft Kings, check out the number now or before kickoff if you like the OVER here.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (50)
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks often come blistering out of the gate, and while the Colts defense is talented enough to prevent them from putting up 30-plus on the road here, the offense has gotten healthy just in time and should do plenty of damage itself against a vulnerable D.
I’m expecting both of these teams to push close to 30 points as this one goes over. The number was 50.5 on Thursday, don’t be surprised to see it higher at game time, so if you like the OVER, maybe grab it now at FanDuel.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT ATLANTA FALCONS (48)
I don’t think it’ll happen overnight for rookie tight end Kyle Pitts in Atlanta, where they’ll miss superstar receiver Julio Jones. That offense just doesn’t move the needle, and the reloading Eagles can still bring it up front defensively.
The Falcons don’t have much going on defensively either, but Jalen Hurts has his limitations and it’s hard to trust that shaky receiving corps on the road here. This feels like a 23-20-type affair. The number is 48.5 midweek at Draft Kings.
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (50)
The Packers and Saints both have talented defenses, but neither unit is 100 percent right now and you’re going to have stars like Aaron Rodgers and Alvin Kamara attempt to send messages for different reasons in this spot.
Watch for the reigning MVP to get his, look for Kamara to dominate a vulnerable run defense and expect Jameis Winston to at least feast in garbage time as these teams push into the 60s.
If that happens, the current total of 49.5 seems like a bargain.
Archived article from Sept. 13, 2020 by Gagnon
Maybe you’ve already got your side bets decided for Week 1, but focusing only on point spreads, moneylines or fantasy robs you of potential opportunities to make money on over/unders.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (OVER 43)
This is low considering that the Lions have quarterback Matthew Stafford back while Chicago is pretty defensively worn down outside of Khalil Mack. Stafford was one of the highest-rated passers in the league before hurting his back last season, while Mack is dealing with a knee injury and his pass-rushing partner, Robert Quinn, has an injured ankle.
These teams combined for 44 points when they met down the stretch last year, and that was when the Lions were without Stafford and the two teams had Eddie Goldman and Darius Slay on defense. Look for this one to potentially push 50.
Not that we believe in trends too much, but the Lions have been OVER machines in Week 1 games. If you blindly bet the Lions to go OVER in every season opener, you would have won nine straight, 12 of 13 and 17 of 23 dating back to 1997.