What We Learned About Each NFL Team After Week 1

The first week of the 2019 NFL season was both exciting and shocking, especially from a betting standpoint. Seven of the 13 Sunday games were decided by two or more touchdowns. Ten teams managed to score 30 or more points and we even got to see a tie. Regardless of the results, there is at least one important thing we can take away from every game, at least from a betting perspective. Each game should always be individually analyzed before making a bet. However, we can assume some betting trends based on the first week of the season. Here’s what we learned after Week 1.

Green Bay Packers 10 – Chicago bears 3

This game can be summarized in just one word. Defense. We knew the Bears would be elite defensively and that the Packers defense has improved this offseason. Both teams playing this well defensively? A little surprising. It could be a testament to the new Packers offense getting off to a slow start and maybe the Bears offense isn’t as good as many anticipated. While both may be true, the defenses are certainly the takeaway in this game. Traditionally, the OVER is the best bet in the majority of Green Bay games. This season, it appears the UNDER may be the better choice in most games.

LA Rams 30 – Carolina Panthers 27

Are the Rams in for a down season or are the Panthers better than advertised? Only time will tell. Christian McCaffrey is going to keep the Panthers in every game this season, he is just that explosive. Even though the Rams covered, they scare me this season, especially when they are heavy favorites. The defense was so-so at best and Todd Gurley’s knee could go out on any play. As for Panthers games going forward, their offense makes any OVER bet a good choice.

Tennessee Titans 43 – Cleveland Browns 13

The Cleveland Browns hype-train has come to a complete stop. The Titans defense appears to be legit as they stopped a Browns offense full of playmakers. Although they scored 43 points, that was more in part thanks to their defense (which accounted for a TD, a safety, and three interceptions) than their offense being electric (only put up 339 total yards). The Titans defense and not so explosive offense will account for plenty of UNDERS this season. As for the Browns, I’d continue to bet against them until their offense gets it together.

Kansas City Chiefs 40 – Jacksonville Jaguars 26

Patrick Mahomes is going to be in MVP conversation again this season and the offense will again be one of the most dangerous in the NFL. Losing Tyreek Hill for a few weeks isn’t good but Sammy Watkins never looked better. Jacksonville lost Nick Foles already but backup Gardner Minshew played excellent (22/25 – 275 yards – 2 TD – 1 INT). Kansas City spreads and OVERS will continue to be quality choices. As for Jacksonville, don’t sleep on Minshew. The Jaguars will be excellent underdogs throughout the season.

Baltimore Ravens 59 – Miami Dolphins 10

The Miami Dolphins made Lamar Jackson look like the love child of Brett Favre and Peyton Manning. I’m still not sold on him being a good passer long-term, despite his impressive performance against the NFL’s equivalent of a Minor League team. The Ravens have another favorable matchup against the Cardinals next week but going forward don’t count on Jackson and the Ravens to be putting up too many games over 30 points let alone 50. Numerous players already want to be traded out of Miami. Continue betting against them all season and avoid their total bets since there could be weeks where they don’t score more than seven points, yet allow 40+.

Atlanta Falcons 12 – Minnesota Vikings 28

The Minnesota Vikings defense may be the best in the league with the way they shut down that highly acclaimed Falcons offense. Matt Ryan looked lost throughout most of the game and the Vikings pass rush was to thank. Dalvin Cook looks like one of the best backs in the league. The verdict is still out on how Kirk Cousins will perform this season. Trust the Vikings defense to cover up the holes in their passing game going forward. The Falcons defense only allowed 269 total yards but they need to work on their run defense. Expect the Falcons offense to bounce back and start putting up points as expected, making Week 1 look like an anomaly.

Buffalo Bills 17 – New York Jets 16

The Bills defense is going to be elite this season. They only allowed eight of the 16 points the Jets scored in this game and held them to 223 total yards. The Bills offense showed some potential in the fourth quarter during their comeback win. If Josh Allen can limit the turnovers, the Bills will be an above-average team this season. I like them to cover a lot of spreads as an underdog this season. The Jets are still a big question mark in my mind. The only thing you can really take away from them is that their defense will be solid. The offense could be hit or miss, mostly miss.

Washington Redskins 27 – Philadelphia Eagles 32

The Redskins looked like they were going to be the surprise of Week 1 for the first half of this game. Then the collapse began and the Eagles offense showed up. This Redskins team will be a lot better than expected, especially if Keenum plays at that level (30/44 – 380 yards – 3 TD). Their defense will be a solid unit this season, making them a good underdog option. The Eagles offense is as potent as any. Expect a lot of high-scoring shootouts in Eagles games this season.

Indianapolis Colts 24 – LA Chargers 30 (OT)

Jacoby Brissett will be just fine in Indianapolis. He is a step backward from Andrew Luck but not the leap some expected. They played well against a Chargers team many expect to challenge the Patriots and Chiefs this season. The Colts will be a solid pick throughout most of this season. The Chargers appear just fine without Melvin Gordon. I like them to cover plenty of spreads and OVERS this season.

Cincinnati Bengals 20 – Seattle Seahawks 21

The Bengals were expected to compete with the Dolphins as the league’s worst team. That won’t be the case. Andy Dalton looks reborn and Tyler Boyd and John Ross are capable of filling the void until A.J. Green returns. The Bengals defense was better than advertised as well. Expect them to be a lot more competitive than expected this season, even winning more games than originally projected. The Seahawks offense doesn’t appear to be anything special. The defense will again lead the way in Seattle. There will be plenty of low-scoring Seahawk games this season.

Detroit Lions 27 – Arizona Cardinals 27 (OT)

If you told me Sunday morning that one game would end in a tie this week, this would have been my choice. Kyler Murray showed flashes of potential in the second half. Maybe things won’t be so terrible in Arizona this season but they sure won’t be great. Matthew Stafford showed he is still capable of putting up big numbers, but he needs some more support from other players if they want to start putting up W’s. I would avoid both of these teams for a couple of weeks until we get a better read on both of them. They both appear too inconsistent on each side of the ball.

New York Giants 17 – Dallas Cowboys 35

Giants fans know that Eli Manning was not to blame in this game. The Cowboys are just a better team and they played a near-perfect game. For now, Eli appears ready to keep his job a lot longer than many people expected. The Giants defense is going to be an issue this season, so expect them to give up a lot of points this season. With the ability of Saquon Barkley, I think we see a lot of OVER games for the Giants this season. The same goes for the Cowboys. Their offense looked great. The Cowboys defense is good enough to make them a serious threat in the NFC this season, but expect more OVER wins than UNDERS in Dallas this season. I also like them to cover plenty of spreads in 2019.

San Francisco 49ers 31 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17

I was curious as to why the Bucs were a favorite in this game. The 49ers have plenty of weapons on both sides of the ball and I think they can compete for a Wild Card spot this season. The 49ers are one of my favorite teams to bet on each and every game this season. Jameis Winston is clearly not what Tampa Bay had hoped for when they drafted him. He still looks like a rookie quarterback out there with his reads and throws. Tampa Bay will be playing catch up a lot this season and their defense is nothing special. Expect a lot of OVER bets to win in Tampa this year but not too many covers.

Pittsburgh Steelers 3 – New England Patriots 33

This game showed us how far away from contending for a Super Bowl the Steelers really are. The scary thing is, the Patriots will only get better when Antonio Brown takes the field. The Steelers offense looked lost and the running game was non-existent. Tom Brady looked as good as ever and the Patriots are dangerous on both sides of the ball. The Patriots will cover a lot of high spreads this season. As for Pittsburgh, I’ll be betting against them until they put together a couple of solid games.

Houston Texans 28 – New Orleans Saints 30

This was by far the best game of Week 1. Deshaun Watson is going to be incredible this year and he and DeAndre Hopkins are going to be dynamic for years to come. I love OVER bets in Texans games this season. They just need to work on that o-line. Drew Brees and the Saints looked as dynamic as ever after the first quarter and their defense looked legit at times against an explosive Texans offense. Expect a lot of OVERS in NOLA this season as well, thanks to that offense and up-and-down defense.

Denver Broncos 16 – Oakland Raiders 24

That Broncos offense is in for a long year. They played somewhat okay in the fourth quarter when they forced the ball down the field. Other than that, Joe Flacco and that offense need to improve dramatically. Even the Broncos defense, their supposed one strength, wasn’t that great. We will see a lot of low-scoring games involving the Broncos this season and probably double-digit losses as well. Oakland’s offense has enough weapons without Antonio Brown. Josh Jacobs, Tyrell Williams, and Darren Waller make this a legit NFL offense. Maybe the Raiders will be competitive this season as they looked excellent against an expected top-five defense.

Before week two starts, head over to our Betting Basics page to learn everything you need to know about betting the NFL.

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