NFL betting: Week 1 is upon us, so let's take a 'first look' at which lines are most interesting

·3-min read

If you're a diehard NFL fan, you've probably taken a look at the Week 1 lines at BetMGM already. Maybe a few dozen times. 

Week 1 is finally here. The Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers kick off the season on Thursday night and then we get most of the rest of the NFL in action Sunday. It's one of the greatest and maybe most underrated weeks on the sporting calendar. 

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are big favorites in the season opener. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are big favorites in the season opener. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

The lines have been up at BetMGM since mid-May, but if you haven't peeked or just want a refresher, let's take a look: 

Dallas at Tampa Bay (-7.5)
Philadelphia at Atlanta (-3.5)
Pittsburgh at Buffalo (-6.5)
Minnesota (-3) at Cincinnati
San Francisco (-7.5) at Detroit
Arizona at Tennessee (-3)
Seattle (-2.5) at Indianapolis
L.A. Chargers (-1) at Washington
N.Y. Jets at Carolina (-5)
Jacksonville (-2.5) at Houston
Cleveland at Kansas City (-6)
Miami at New England (-3)
Denver (-2.5) at N.Y. Giants
Green Bay (-4) vs. New Orleans, at Jacksonville, Fla.
Chicago at L.A. Rams (-7.5)
Baltimore (-4.5) at Las Vegas

That's a beautiful sight. What are the big takeaways? 

Many lines have remained about the same

Most lines haven't moved much since they were released in mid-May, which is pretty impressive for the oddsmakers. But there has been some significant movement. 

• The Cowboys' line moved from 6.5 to 7.5. Whenever a game moves through one of the key numbers of 3 or 7, it's significant. 

• The biggest move, by far, was the Seahawks-Colts game. The Colts opened as 2.5-point favorites and are now 2.5-point underdogs. The Colts have had a rough past month with injuries and COVID-related issues. 

• The favorite in the Chargers-Washington game flipped. Washington was a 1-point favorite and now it is 1-point underdog. 

No other game moved by more than a point. 

There wasn't much Packers-Saints movement

The Packers were 3-point favorites for most of August. Then the game moved to Jacksonville due to Hurricane Ida. The line didn't move a lot, which is surprising. The Superdome has always been one of the better home-field advantages in the NFL, and now it's a neutral site game and the line has only moved a point, to the Packers being favored by 4. 

No big spreads

There are only two spreads of more than a touchdown, with the Buccaneers and 49ers both being favored by 7.5. That speaks to the parity in the NFL and some of the matchups, which happen to have some of the teams projected to finish below .500 playing against each other. 

Many road favorites

We have seen the erosion of home-field advantage in the NFL and then it all but disappeared last season, for obvious reasons. We'll have fans back in the stands this season, so will home field rebound a bit? If you think so, Week 1 could be your chance to find value. There are seven road favorites, which is almost half of the schedule (Green Bay was a road favorite but that game moved to a neutral site). Most of the home underdogs aren't getting many points — only Baltimore and San Francisco are favored by more than a field goal on the road — but it will be a good first look at where home-field advantage stands in 2021. 

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