NFL Pro System: A Profitable Strategy for Betting Week 1 Underdogs

NFL Pro System: A Profitable Strategy for Betting Week 1 Underdogs article feature image

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Josh Allen

  • Divisional games often offer a profitable opportunity for bettors looking to back an underdog.
  • With Bet Labs, we analyze the optimal approach for in Week 1.

The wait is over. The 2019 NFL season finally kicks off on Thursday, as the Bears host the Packers in a divisional matchup (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC) in the first game of the season.

The Bears are 3-point favorites over their NFC North rivals. Chicago will be looking for Mitchell Trubisky to make a leap in his third year and hoping to ride its No. 1 scoring defense (which allowed 17.7 points per game in 2018) to another division title.

While the Bears are expected to win tonight’s matchup, a majority of spread tickets are on the Packers. Green Bay will try to bounce back in 2019 with a healthy Aaron Rodgers and a new offense under coach Matt LaFleur. Which team will win come out on top?

Underdogs have historically performed well in division games as increased familiarity among opponents keeps games competitive. It has been profitable to bet small dogs, like the Packers, in these matchups to win outright early in the season when our expectations for the upcoming season are primarily based on last year’s results.

Even though teams matching this Pro System have a losing record, we are still able to turn a profit. By taking underdogs, we can win at a sub-.500 clip and still finish positive.

When dogs lose, you lose only what you risked. But when they win, you enjoy payouts greater than your risk amount (bet $100 to win $150). A $100 gambler would have returned a profit of $4,172 following this strategy since 2005 according to Bet Labs.

The Packers are a match for this system on Thursday. According to The Action Network’s NFL model, the Bears should be favored by only one point. Chicago is getting respect after winning the division in 2018 but history and our betting model like Rodgers & Co.’s chance of winning outright.

Week 1 Matches

  • Green Bay Packers (+155) at Chicago Bears (Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC)
  • Buffalo Bills (+140) at New York Jets (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Oakland Raiders (-105) vs. Denver Broncos (Monday, 10:20 p.m. ET, ESPN)

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