Back to the futures: Biggest market moves and reactions to NFL Week 1

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray playing against the Seattle Seahawks
Photo of Jared Smith

Jared Smith

NFL· 1 week ago

Show Bio

Jared Smith, a versatile host and analyst with over 10 years of experience in sports media and two decades as a sports bettor, has joined the Pickswise team as a lead betting analyst. Smith will serve as a full-time content creator, producing informative and engaging content every day across multiple platforms.

The NFL is back, and bettors took notice. According to GeoComply, there were 58.2 million betting transactions across 18 states and the District of Columbia from Thursday through Sunday last week. This represents a 126% increase from the same period of the 2020 NFL season when GeoComply processed 25.8 million transactions.

“Handle was excellent,” said Westgate Superbook Risk Manager Rex Beyers. Which should come as no surprise, as the Superbook recently opened its doors in New Jersey and Colorado, two of the most lucrative betting markets in the country. “We expect those numbers to continue to rise throughout the season as people familiarize themselves with the Superbook product,” Beyers added.

As for the product on the field, my biggest takeaway after Week 1 was the performances by underdogs and road teams. With fans back in the stands, I expected positive regression for home teams in 2021 after they finished with a sub-.500 overall record for the first time ever in 2020. Well, we will have to wait at least another week for that. Road teams went 9-6 ATS and 8-7 SU with one game taking place at a neutral site (Saints vs. Packers). But the pooches were the bigger surprise as the underdogs went 12-4 ATS, the best record against the number in any Week 1 in the Super Bowl era. The nine outright victories for underdogs were the most in any single week since 1983.

There were also several noteworthy moves in the futures market, as sportsbooks try to gauge reaction and sentiment to what transpired on the field.

Arizona Cardinals: +4800 to +3400 to win Super Bowl

Arizona’s defense dominated a very talented Titans’ offensive line and held Derrick Henry (58 yards) to his lowest regular-season rushing yards total since Week 4 of last season. The books noticed as well, with FanDuel shifting the Cardinals’ Super Bowl number from +4800 to +3400 by Sunday evening. Arizona will be favored in their next two games (vs. Vikings, at Jaguars) and there should be more movement to the upside before back-to-back divisional games at the Rams and home to the 49ers in Weeks 4 and 5, which will provide the true litmus test for Kyler Murray and company.

New Orleans Saints: +3000 to +2500 to win Super Bowl

Sean Payton

CREDIT – USA Today

The Saints’ drubbing of the Packers was perhaps even more eye-opening. New Orleans held the Green Bay offense and reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers to a paltry three points, the lowest scoring output of any team in Week 1. “Hard not to be impressed with what New Orleans did, although Green Bay was a total no-show,” said Beyers. The Saints went from +3000 to +2500 in the Super Bowl market on FanDuel Sunday night but be careful buying in on that number. New Orleans will now face two difficult road tests the next two weeks (at Panthers, at Patriots), which should give us a better glimpse into the consistency of Jameis Winston.

Check out our betting reaction to the Sunday Week 1 games, where the return of fans didn’t see a return of home-field advantage

Pittsburgh Steelers: +440 to +340 to win AFC North

NFL Teaser

CREDIT – Philip G. Pavely (USA Today)

The Steelers’ road win over the Bills accounted for the biggest outright underdog victory of the weekend. It also was a big winner for the books with the majority of action, including a lot of teaser money, coming in on the home favorite. “We took a decent bet on Buffalo against the Steelers back in mid-July so we needed Pittsburgh to cover,” said Beyers. The Steelers’ odds to win the AFC North got chopped down from +440 to +340 on FanDuel Sportsbook and there is potential for more movement to the upside next week as Pittsburgh gets a favorable scheduling spot at home against the Raiders, who enter on short rest after their thrilling OT win Monday night.

The Browns are currently the favorite to win the division at +135, with the Ravens just behind at +165. Cleveland should get back to .500 this week as they are double-digit favorites against the Texans, but the Ravens are in danger of sinking further as they will be short home underdogs Sunday night against the Chiefs.

Other Notable Moves: NFC West QBs headline MVP market

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) smiles as he leaves the field after defeating the Chicago Bears at SoFi Stadium

CREDIT – Jayne Kamin-Oncea (USA Today)

Kyler Murray had the biggest move of any one player in the MVP market on Sunday, going from +2500 to +900 on BetMGM after a dominant performance against the Titans. As mentioned earlier in the article, Arizona’s soft schedule over the next two weeks might allow for more movement to the upside, but this is not a bet I would consider making at this price.

Matthew Stafford and Jameis Winston both saw their numbers cut in half on Sunday. Stafford went from +2000 to +1000 on BetMGM and is an intriguing bet considering the strength of the Rams team as a whole. Winston went from +5000 to +2500 and we will learn a lot more about his chances on Sunday when the Saints travel to Carolina for a tough divisional road matchup against the Panthers. If New Orleans impresses again this week, their futures numbers will see significant movement once again.

Check out Andrew Ortenberg’s analysis on the MNF thriller between the Ravens and Raiders

Pickswise is the home of NFL Picks. Check out our latest playoff picks and round-by-round analysis as well as our free Super Bowl predictions.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 in cash if the Colts or Titans win!

Bet $5 on the Colts or Titans to win

Win $150 in CASH if your team wins!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account to claim

Must be 21+ to play. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 in cash if the Broncos or Jets win!

Bet $5 on the Broncos or Jets to win

Win $150 in CASH if your team wins!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account to claim

Must be 21+ to play. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $1 on UFC 266, Win $150 INSTANTLY!

Register for a new account at DraftKings Sportsbook and make a deposit.

Place a bet of $1+ on ANY fight on the card for UFC 266.

INSTANTLY win $150! Your initial bet does not need to win!

Bonus paid out as six (6) $25 Free Bets. Free Bets must be used within 7 days of receipt or else they will expire. Must be located in AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV, or WY to participate. Offer valid for new players ages 21 and up only. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $1 On Any NFL Football Game & Get $150 In Free Bets Instantly!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $1 on any Pro Football game

Instantly get $150 in free bets

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit $20+

Bet $10 on your team to win Money Line

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$200

Bet $20, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+

Bet $20 on your team to win Money Line (NFL or NCAAF)

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 in cash if the Cowboys or Eagles win!

Bet $5 on the Cowboys or Eagles to win

Win $150 in CASH if your team wins!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account to claim

Must be 21+ to play. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Caesars Sportsbook

$5,000

Get a $5,000 Risk Free Bet + a free NFL Jersey!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $5,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $5,000 + a free NFL Jersey

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

BetAmerica Racing

$200

$200 Sign Up Bonus!

Fast, reliable and fast payouts - you'll have your money in 72 hours, if not sooner!

Proud history of providing safe, secure, and fun betting to American patrons

BetAmerica is owned by the iconic Churchill Downs Incorporated, home of 150 years of wagering history and the world-famous Kentucky Derby

Players who sign up using ‘BET200’ code will get a $200 sign up bonus. Offer valid for 7 days after registering on BetAmerica Racing product only. 21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign Up Bonus with TwinSpires Racebook!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code BET200

Make a deposit and start wagering on horse racing

Earn $100 in bonus cash for every $400 wagered!

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.