Bill Speros for Bookies.com

By Bill Speros | | 10 mins

Most Bet On Week 1 NFL Games - Which Have Most Action?

Most Bet On Week 1 NFL Games - Which Have Most Action?
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Follow the money.

It will take you to more places than ever in 2021.

There will be more legal NFL betting in America than ever. That can be said with certainty because there are more states with legalized sports betting this year than last. There will also be an extra regular-season game for everyone to chase as the schedule expands to 17 games.


ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? Week 1 NFL Betting Lines & Analysis For Every Game


Expect a torrent of information on NFL odds from legal providers, reliable and not-so-reliable sources on social media, and sharps who enjoy talking a good game as much as betting on one.

This is the fourth NFL season since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and gave states the right to regulate sports betting as they see fit. Expect a season unlike any other.

Betting Moves Into The Mainstream

Most Bet On Week 1 NFL Games - Which Have Most Action? 1

Betting aims to make serious headway into the sports mainstream during the 2021 NFL season. The Shield once forbade any mention of gambling or point spreads. Several players were suspended over the years for having superfluous ties to betting. Las Vegas was a four-letter word. The infamous Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder and Brent Musburger used to tell millions of viewers watching the “NFL Today on CBS” about their “friends in the desert” while giving weather reports for places like Green Bay and Minnesota (when the Vikings were the Purple People Eaters and played their home games outdoors).

The NFL now has a team in Las Vegas. The Raiders will play in Allegiant Stadium in front of fans for the first time Monday night. More than 65,000 are expected. Point spreads and NFL futures odds are regular topics of discussion on all the network and cable pre-game shows. Lines are now featured in the NFL Network’s own schedule screen-crawl.

The league has sportsbook partnerships with Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, FanDuel, FOX Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBET. All operators can purchase in-game commercials and use licensed NFL-related trademarks on their sites and properties. And use official league data.


NFL CHAMPION: Super Bowl 56 Odds For All 32 NFL teams


After nearly a decade of conditioning its younger fanbase by pushing fantasy play, the league and its sportsbook partners now have an entire generation preconditioned to back the best bet as much as their hometown team.

An estimated 45.2 million Americans will place at least one bet on NFL games in the coming months, so says the American Gaming Association. That would be an increase of 36% over 2020.

Public Plays: Week 1 and Beyond

Most Bet On Week 1 NFL Games - Which Have Most Action? 2

There are handful of games in Week 1 that carry significant exposure. At DraftKings, there are five games with more than 85% of the spread handle on the favorite:

Game Favorite Spread Handle
GB vs NO GB -3.5 91%
SF at DET SF -7.5 90%
ARI at TEN TEN -3 87%
CHI at LAR LAR -7.5 86%
SEA at IND SEA -3 85%
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At FanDuel, the biggest games in terms of handle in Week 1 are: The Bears at Rams (-7.5), the Seahawks (-3) over the Colts and the Broncos (-3) at the Giants.

Here are the biggest liabilities at FanDuel in terms of the moneyline:

Game Favorite Handle %
CLE at KC KC 95%
CHI at LAR LAR 94%
PIT at BUF BUF 90%
BAL at LVR BAL 90%
SF at DET SF 89%
JAX at HOU JAX 87%

Thursday night, the book broke even in terms of bettors backing the Bucs on the moneyline (77%, -475) and Tampa Bay on the spread at 77%, as the Bucs failed to cover the closing line of 8 points in a thrilling 31-29 win.

Future Futures

Most Bet On Week 1 NFL Games - Which Have Most Action? 3

The folks at FanDuel surveyed 2,500 customers to get their thoughts on what to expect this upcoming NFL season. Here are some of their player futures findings, listed by percentage of fans who back each pick:

  • 47%: Patrick Mahomes leads NFL in passing touchdowns (+300)
  • 44%: Micah Parsons Defensive Rookie of the Year (+600)
  • 43%: Davante Adams leads NFL in receiving touchdowns (+850)
  • 39%: Patrick Mahomes NFL MVP (+500)
  • 39%: Derrick Henry leads NFL in rushing touchdowns (+500)
  • 30%: Chiefs to win Super Bowl (+500)
  • 30%: Chase Young NFL sacks leader (+1200)
  • 28%: Trevor Lawrence NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (+400)

In terms of Super Bowl futures, the biggest exposure at FanDuel are the Bills (+1200). It’s “a large seven-figure liability.” The Bucs are the most-bet team at over 11.5 wins.

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Odds via DraftKings and FanDuel , and are current as of publication. Check out our DraftKings sportsbook review and our FanDuel sportsbook review. Also check out our DraftKings vs FanDuel review for the latest comparison of the two sportsbooks.

Week 1 Line Movements

Most Bet On Week 1 NFL Games - Which Have Most Action? 4

Several Week 1 games have seen their lines move since lines were first posted on sports betting apps in the spring. Here’s a look at the shifts of note. All odds via DraftKings :

Steelers at Bills

Opening LineCurrent Line
Bills -6 Bills -6.5

The Buzz: With nearly 80% of the handle backing the hometown Bills, the Steelers slid to +7 at some books before this line firmed. This game has become a make-or-break affair for those in Bills Mafia who enjoy legal sports betting in New York and Ontario, with sports betting in Canada now live.

Seahawks at Colts

Opening LineCurrent LineOpening TotalCurrent Total
Colts -3 Colts +3 52 50

The Buzz: This line has enjoyed the wildest ride of all this offseason. This game opened with the Colts as a 3-point home favorite, based on the belief that Carson Wentz would be healthy and productive. A foot injury to Wentz in training camp and his unvaccinated status dropped both the spread (in favor of the Seahawks) and the total down to 48.5. Most wagers and 70% of the handle here is on the under. With Wentz likely to play, the total has recovered somewhat. But the line hasn’t. The Seahawks are among three teams in the NFC West that can win it (with sports betting in Arizona now live, the Cardinals are the outsiders in the division at +600). And while the Colts are riding around in circles, Russell Wilson & Company remain fully focused on the task at hand.

Jets at Panthers

Opening TotalCurrent Total
43.5 44

The Buzz: This total has fluctuated from 43.5 to 45.5. Nearly two-thirds of the money bet on the total has been laid on the over. Bargain hunters on the over might want to take another look here with the 1.5 point slide.

About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.