What an absolutely insane first week of football we just witnessed. If you were worried there weren’t going to be any upsets in Week 1 of the 2018 season, your fears were put to bed very early on Sunday. Favorites were dropping like flies all over the country, as angry gamblers were trying to calculate their heavy losses on the day.
When looking at the biggest underdogs for Week 1 a few days ago, one of our highlighted matchups was Tampa Bay at New Orleans, which was the largest spread at the time of either 9½ or 10 depending on where you were getting it. Well, the “best” bet on the board turned out to be the “worst” as Ryan FitzMagic went absolutely crazy on the Saints’ defense, throwing for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns, destroying most people’s 2018 football Survivor Pools in the process.
The “fun” didn’t stop there however, as even more underdogs stepped up to stun their opponents and hand them an opening day defeat. The Kansas City Chiefs rolled into Los Angles to face the Chargers as 3 point underdogs but ended up rolling right over them on route to a 10 point win. The lesson as always: be very careful betting on AFC West divisional games because they all hate each other enough to win at any time…even in seasons where it looks one is a better team on paper.
Speaking of divisional games, the Chicago Bears marched into Lambeau Field with a chip on their shoulders for Sunday Night Football to face the Green Bay Packers and ended up coming oh-so-close to the road upset. They knocked QB Aaron Rodgers temporarily out of the game but he came in back later to give “The Pack” a 1 point win, allowing the Bears to easily cover the 7 point spread. Chicago looked pretty good throughout the night so don’t expect anymore “gift lines” giving them lots of points for a while.
The weekend of shock and awe came to a close on Monday Night Football as the New York Jets strutted into Ford Field to tangle with the Detroit Lions in a matchup with the home team favored by 6½ before kickoff. Well that line looked too low after the first play of the game when rookie Jets QB Sam Darnold threw a Pick 6 on his first ever NFL snap. However, the New York defense then rallied to make some fantastic plays, igniting Darnold and the offense to go bonkers on the putrid Detroit D, leading to a final score of 48-17. What a beat-down.
If all that carnage wasn’t enough on Sunday, we even got a TIE game between the Cleveland Browns and their hated rival Pittsburgh, with the Steelers going into it as 4 point favorites. Most fans hate ties but those staking the Cleveland cover were happy when the overtime clock hit zeroes. The amazing footnote to this game was this is the best start for the Browns since 2004! It’s really almost unbelievable.
Anyway, those who gambled on NFL underdogs clearly made an absolute killing this weekend – congratulations! Although obviously, anyone liking to back favorites got squashed. Oh well, there’s always next week.