NFL Week 1 Betting Odds, Trends: Regular Season Will Start With Record 10 Home Underdogs
Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Allen.
The NFL kicks off Week 1 with 16 games to open up the 2022 regular season.
The defending champion Los Angeles Rams start it off listed as a 2.5-point home underdog against the Super Bowl-favorite Buffalo Bills, and it bookends with Russell Wilson returning back to Seattle with the Denver Broncos, who are 6.5-point road favorites in the Pacific Northwest.
When analyzing the full Week 1 schedule and lines, the first thing that pops out is the fact that 10 of the 16 home teams are listed as underdogs.
If Week 1 kicks off with 10 home underdogs, it would be the most such games in an opening week since the NFL moved to a 16-game schedule in 1978.
Week 1 Home Underdogs
- Bills at Rams (+2.5)
- Ravens at Jets (+7)
- Saints at Falcons (+5)
- 49ers at Bears (+7)
- Eagles at Lions (+4)
- Colts at Texans (+8.5)
- Chiefs at Cardinals (+3.5)
- Packers at Vikings (+2.5)
- Buccaneers at Cowboys (+1.5)
- Broncos at Seahawks (+6.5)
In the last 45 years, we’ve only seen more than seven home underdogs in Week 1 four times, including 2022, and all four have occurred in the last 15 seasons (2006, ’10, ’15, ’22).
Not only do we have a lot of home underdogs, but the lines aren’t short either.
The biggest favorite overall in Week 1 is currently the Indianapolis Colts as 8.5-point favorites on the road in Houston. As of now, seven of the ten home underdogs are listed as a 3-point dog or higher in Week 1, which would be tied for the most such games in an opening week with the 1978 season itself, which also had seven games.
One of the potential culprits for the record number of home underdogs in Week 1? The poor performance of home teams in the NFL recently would be one.
Home teams haven’t been profitable against the spread in a single season since 2017, and it’s only happened that one time over the last eight years.
If you focus solely on recent play, home teams are 356-404-14 (46.8%) against the spread over the last three seasons, losing by an average of 0.96 points per game. A $100 bettor would be down $6,890 with a -8.9% return on investment, the worst three-year stretch for home teams against the spread in the last 20 years.
From strictly a betting market point of view, nine of the ten home underdogs in Week 1 are also seeing less than 50% of betting tickets against the spread — meaning the road team is being bet as the public team.
The exception? The Detroit Lions as 4-point underdogs and receiving 53% of the tickets, according to Action Network betting data.
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