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NFL Week 1 odds, trends: Underdogs have covered 55 percent over past 10 years

The 2023 #NFL season kicks off tonight with the Chiefs hosting the Lions in the annual Kickoff Game, and we still don’t know whether Kansas City All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce will play due to a knee injury. Detroit had been as high as +7 but is now +4.5. In the past 10 years, underdogs in Week 1 are 112-91-4 against the spread, a cover percentage of 55.

Via one major U.S. book, there are only four underdogs taking at least 50% of the spread action for Week 1, all on Sunday:

The Giants were a great ATS team last year but haven't had much luck in recent years vs. Dallas.

Titans +3 at Saints: New Orleans breaks in a new quarterback in Derek Carr and is without Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara, who is suspended the first three games.

Steelers +2.5 vs. 49ers: The “popularity” of backing Pittsburgh may drop with the surprising news late Wednesday that the Niners had agreed to an extension with 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and sack leader Nick Bosa to end his 43-day holdout. It looked rather unlikely Bosa would play but now he should.

Dolphins +3 at Chargers: There was some concern not long ago about Fins wideout Jaylen Waddle due to an oblique injury, but he is expected to play. However, Miami might be down two starting offensive linemen.

Giants +3.5 vs. Cowboys: The Sunday night game. Dallas QB Dak Prescott has won 10 straight games vs. the Giants, but no team had a better ATS record last year than New York’s 14-5 mark, including playoffs.

Since the start of 2012, home underdogs in Week 1 divisional matchups are a stellar 15-2-1 ATS, a cover percentage of 88, as well as 10-6-2 straight up (61%). That applies to four games:

Bengals at Browns (+2.5): Joe Burrow has been cleared to play from his calf injury but is only 1-4 career against the Browns and 0-2 in Cleveland.

Jaguars at Colts (+4.5): It’s the NFL debut of Indianapolis QB and No. 4 overall pick Anthony Richardson. Star RB Jonathan Taylor is out the first four games on the PUP list.

Cowboys at Giants (+3.5): See above.

Bills at Jets (+2.5): Aaron Rodgers makes his debut Monday as a very rare home dog – he is 6-1 ATS (86%) and 5-1-1 SU (83%) as a starter in the regular season when a home underdog, all obviously with Green Bay.

The four home underdogs in such divisional matchups this week are the most since there were six in Week 1 of the 2010 season.

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