NFL Week 1 Betting Recap: Point Spread, Over/Under Results & Analysis (2020)

NFL Week 1 Betting Recap

Washington jumped all over Philadelphia for a big Week 1 upset (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Welcome to our first NFL betting recap of the 2020 season. In this weekly post, we will go over some of the big results from the past week’s action, and some notable trends or areas of interest.

For example, because of the lack of crowds at most NFL games this year, we will be tracking how the lines seem to be valuing home field advantage, as well as the performance of home teams. To search for your own NFL betting trends, we also invite you to use the beta version of our BetIQ Trend Finder Tool.

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NFL Week 1 By the Betting Numbers

Some notable outcomes from Week 1:

  • Biggest upset: Jacksonville over Indianapolis (+7, +252 money line)
  • Biggest ATS cover margin: Baltimore over Cleveland (+25, won by 32 points as 7-point favorite)
  • Most points above over/under line: Green Bay-Minnesota (+33, 77 total points vs. O/U line of 44)
  • Most points below over/under line: Dallas-LA Rams (-15, 37 total points vs. O/U line of 52)
  • Most points scored vs. team expectation: Green Bay (43 points vs. 21.5 expected)
  • Fewest points scored vs. team expectation: Cleveland (6 points vs. 20 expected)

Which of the Week 1 Upsets is Most Concerning?

Week 1 featured three upsets of a team favored by 5 points or more: Indianapolis lost at Jacksonville 27-20, Philadelphia fell at Washington 27-17, San Francisco lost at home to Arizona 24-20.

Two of those underdogs that won had our lowest projected season win totals entering the season. So what can we glean from these surprising results?

  • Indianapolis dominated statistically. The biggest takeaway from Indianapolis is that they will probably be fine, as long as Philip Rivers doesn’t recreate his 2019 season with interceptions and close game losses. The Colts statistically dominated the game but managed to do all the things necessary to get upset by an underdog. That included two Philip Rivers’ interceptions, a short missed field goal, and two failed fourth down attempts, in a game where they had nearly 200 more yards of offense than Jacksonville.
  • Philadelphia gave up 8 sacks with starting OTs out. The Eagles’ loss is more concerning because they couldn’t hold a 17-0 lead against an underdog that didn’t even play well on offense; Washington averaged less than 5.5 yards per pass and 2.5 yards per rush. The offense has injury issues. RB Miles Sanders and OT Lane Johnson were both inactive for this game, and the team already had to deal with losing last year’s first round pick, Andre Dillard, at a tackle spot. Wentz was sacked 8 times. It wasn’t a pretty performance at all and if you believe Philadelphia is a playoff contender, you should be hoping this was largely due to those key injuries, particular Johnson being out and forcing some inexperienced players into the lineup.
  • San Francisco defense uncharacteristically bad. San Francisco, at least, was playing a stronger opponent in terms of season expectations. And maybe, just maybe, the 49ers have the type of defense that struggles relatively with mobile quarterbacks, as Arizona also played them tough last year. Sill, QB Jimmy Garoppolo struggled with some key throws with both projected starting wide receivers (Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel) out. If the receiving group gets healthier, they should be better on offense. The defense gave up 410 yards, something they only did once in 19 games last year, so that’s something to watch in terms of it being an aberration vs. a developing concern.

Detroit Injuries and a Fourth Quarter Collapse

The Bears came back from a 23-6 to beat the Lions, with the help of three fourth-quarter touchdown.

Same old Lions? Maybe, but Mitch Trubisky’s late resurgence was also aided by injuries in the Detroit secondary. The Lions were already without first-round pick Jeff Okudah at cornerback, inactive with an injury.

The two starting cornerbacks, Justin Coleman and Desmond Trufant, also both left the game with hamstring injuries, leaving Detroit depleted in the second half.

This will be a situation to monitor this week, as Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay are up next.

Home Field Advantage in 2020

One of the things we will track this year is how home teams are performing, with many teams playing in front of no fans to start the year.

In Week 1, home teams went 8-8 SU and 9-7 ATS. Home teams did go 2-5 in close games, so the record would have been over .500 if close game performance was about even.

There were 8 home favorites and 8 home underdogs in Week 1, and the average point spread was -1.2 in favor of the home team. Meanwhile, home teams outscored road teams by 48 points (3.0 points per game) in Week 1.

Turnovers, Miscues & Failures, Week 1

In this section each week, we will list a summary of drives that ended with turnovers. But not only will we list official turnovers like interceptions and fumbles, but other high-leverage, singular events that likely led to either loss of points, or great field position for the other team. Safeties and blocked punts are included in turnovers, and blocked field goals are included in missed field goal attempts.

TeamTurnoversFG MissDownsTOTAL
LA Chargers0123
San Francisco1023
Tampa Bay2103
LA Rams1102
New England1102
NY Giants2002
NY Jets2002
Green Bay0011
New Orleans0011
Kansas City0000
Las Vegas0000

Most of the teams at the top of the table lost (and failed to cover) while most of those at the bottom won (and covered). It’s notable that Buffalo covered the spread against the Jets despite having more drives end by these failures. New York might be a really bad team if they cannot cover while getting some missed field goals and benefiting from more turnovers than their opponent.

2020 Point Spread Splits

NFL Week 1

Home Teams9700.563
Away Teams7900.438

2020 Scoring vs. Historical Seasons

Here’s a running tally of how overall NFL scoring so far in 2020 compares to the full season averages of recent seasons, based on average total points scored per game.


2020 NFL ATS Records, Streaks & Over/Under Performance by Team

Here is a summary of records against the point spread and over/under results so far in 2020. You can check out more trends on our BetIQ NFL betting trends page.

TeamWins ATSLosses ATSTies ATSStreakOverUnderPushO/U Streak
Green Bay100W1100O1
Kansas City100W1100O1
LA Chargers100W1010U1
LA Rams100W1010U1
Las Vegas100W1100O1
New England100W1010U1
New Orleans100W1100O1
NY Giants010L1010U1
NY Jets010L1100O1
San Francisco010L1010U1
Tampa Bay010L1100O1
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