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Although the pandemic is clouding the possibility of the NFL season starting on time, oddsmakers still have a wide array of bets available. From Week 1 lines and projected win totals to player props, there is hardly anything one cannot wager on.
One of the more interesting team props is predicting the exact week a team will earn their first win. At FanDuel Sportsbook, one can wager on when any of seven different teams will win their first game. Sure, one can place a standard moneyline bet week-to-week on these teams, but this particular prop offers juicy payouts because of the number of different outcomes.
Let’s take a look at the best bets for when the following seven NFL teams will get their first win.
New York Giants
|Week 1 (vs Pittsburgh)||+150||Week 6 (vs Washington)||+750|
|Week 2 (at Chicago)||+280||Week 7 (at Philadelphia)||+2900|
|Week 3 (vs San Francisco)||+700||Week 8 (vs Tampa Bay)||+3900|
|Week 4 (at Los Angeles Rams)||+800||Week 9 (at Washington)||+4400|
|Week 5 (at Dallas)||+1400|
If the Giants do not win their home opener on Monday night in Week 1 against the Steelers, it may be a while before they get their first win. No matter if Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky is starting for the Bears, I do not foresee the Giants winning at Soldier Field in Chicago’s home opener. San Francisco, Dallas, and Los Angeles in consecutive weeks are all playoff contenders.
Steelers fans travel very well, and we will see plenty of Terrible Towels at this Week 1 “road” game. Plus, the Steelers should be awfully motivated by Ben Roethlisberger’s return as he missed the last 14 games last season with an elbow injury. Oddsmakers have the Steelers as four-point Week 1 favorites over the Giants. Thus, this schedule has all the makings of the Giants starting 0-5 and picking up their first win in Week 6 against the Washington Redskins.
Best Bet: Week 6 (vs. Washington Redskins) +750
New York Jets
|Week 1 (at Buffalo)||+220||Week 4 (vs Denver)||+390|
|Week 2 (vs San Francisco)||+290||Week 5 (vs Arizona)||+700|
|Weel 3 (at Indianapolis)||+550||Week 6 (at Los Angeles Chargers)||+2200|
Yet another New York team is looking at a rocky start to their season. All of the Jets’ first three opponents have serious aspirations about winning their division. It does not help that two of these games are on the road, and the lone home game is against the defending NFC champions. The Jets have an 0-3 start staring them right in the face. In Week 4, the Jets face the Broncos at home on Thursday night. Though Denver added a lot of weapons around quarterback Drew Lock, the Jets defense should be able to rattle the young quarterback and pick up their first win.
Best Bet: Week 4 (vs. Denver Broncos) +390
|Week 1 (at Washington)||-300|
|Week 2 (vs Los Angeles Rams)||+320|
|Week 3 (vs Cincinnati)||+850|
|Week 4 (at San Francisco)||+3200|
Finally, we get to a team that should earn their first win in Week 1. The Eagles are currently 6.5 point road favorites against the Washington Redskins. These two teams also met in Week 1 last year, with the Eagles winning a close 32-27 battle in Philadelphia. However, Case Keenum was under center for Washington in that game. He was replaced by Dwayne Haskins in the second half of the year, and Haskins proceeded to go just 2-5 in seven starts last year. One of those five losses came in Week 15 at home to the Eagles. History will repeat itself, and the Eagles will start 1-0.
Best Bet: Week 1 (at Washington Redskins) -300
|Week 1 (at New York Giants)||-195|
|Week 2 (vs Denver)||+230|
|Week 3 (vs Houston)||+750|
|Week 4 (at Tennessee)||+2300|
We’ve already listed many reasons why we like the Steelers to beat the Giants in Week 1. However, I will add one more. A Steelers defense that finished fourth in sacks and fifth in total defense last year frustrates Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and overwhelms an offensive line that finished in the bottom half of the league in sacks allowed last year. There will be many bettors who will wager on Pittsburgh’s Week 2 odds and take their chance that New York pulls an upset. However, the winning bet is the Steelers to start 1-0 by beating the Giants in Week 1.
Best Bet: Week 1 (at New York Giants) -195
|Week 1 (at Jacksonville)||-310|
|Week 2 (vs Minnesota)||+360|
|Week 3 (vs New York Jets)||+700|
|Week 4 (at Chicago)||+3200|
In theory, divisional road games are always tough no matter how big a mismatch the game appears to be on paper. However, the Jacksonville Jaguars may very well be selecting first overall in next year’s draft because their season outlook is that dreadful. Jacksonville has placed a lot of trust in Gardner Minshew to be their quarterback of the future, but I do not see him taking a huge leap forward in his second year.
The only hesitancy in this bet is the Colts will trot out new quarterback Philip Rivers under center. Rivers is an upgrade over Jacoby Brissett, but teams like the Colts that are breaking in new quarterbacks are at a disadvantage. If the offseason is compromised, Rivers may have less time to learn the playbook and get acclimated to his receivers. However, there is no better recipe to get the season started on a positive note than with a game against the Jaguars.
Best Bet: Week 1 (at Jacksonville Jaguars) -310
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Week 1 (at New Orleans)||+155|
|Week 2 (vs Carolina)||-110|
|Week 3 (at Denver)||+850|
|Week 4 (vs Los Angeles Chargers)||+1300|
The NFL schedule makers gave us an absolute gift with the new look Buccaneers meeting the recently division-dominating Saints in Week 1. Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees right out of the gates. What could be better?
The Buccaneers are not ready to win a game of that magnitude in the Superdome in Week 1. Again, bettors should not undersell the fact that a potentially compromised offseason will put teams with vastly new rosters from last year at a serious disadvantage. Meanwhile, Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton are entering their 15th season together and the Saints offense will be cohesive right out of the gate.
The Saints are currently 4.5 point Week 1 favorites over the Buccaneers. I would even feel confident laying the 4.5 points as an ATS bet with the Saints. Therefore, Tom Brady and Tampa Bay will get their first win over the new look Carolina Panthers in their home opener in Week 2.
Best Bet: Week 2 (vs. Carolina Panthers) -110
|Week 1 (vs Tennessee)||-145||Week 4 (at New York Jets)||+750|
|Week 2 (at Pittsburgh)||+430||Week 5 (at New England)||+2000|
|Week 3 (vs Tampa Bay)||+480||Week 6 (vs Miami)||+1700|
The Broncos are 2.5 point Week 1 favorites at home against the Tennessee Titans. However, I think the wrong team is favored. The Titans are a formidable team out to prove the doubters that last year’s run to the AFC Championship game was no fluke. The Titans have the more proven quarterback in Ryan Tannehill as opposed to Denver’s Drew Lock, and Tennessee will lean on running back Derrick Henry to take the Broncos crowd out of the game.
Based on how the schedule is laid out, Denver is another team that could be in for a tailspin if they do not win in Week 1. They are not likely to beat the Steelers in their home opener in Week 2 or the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers in Week 3. Since we already have the Jets beating the Broncos in Week 4, let’s roll the dice and bank on a huge payout with Denver’s first win coming in Week 6 after an 0-5 start.
Best Bet: Week 6 (vs. Miami Dolphins) +1700