Best NFL Week 1 underdog picks

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield
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Andrew Ortenberg

NFL· 1 year ago

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I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

The Week 1 NFL schedule is loaded with great games, and there are plenty of opportunities for value. There are always prime underdog spots in pro football, but that might be exacerbated by the uncertain times and unprecedented offseason.

Things are truly up in the air, which should lead to some wild upsets. With that in mind, today we’ll be breaking down the best underdog picks for the first Sunday of the 2020 season.

1. Cleveland Browns +7.5

The Browns were a big disappointment last year, but I think they’re poised for a bounce-back season. The main problem was Baker Mayfield’s protection, and the offseason additions of tackles Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills should alleviate those issues.

Cleveland didn’t respond well to Freddie Kitchens, and new head coach Kevin Stefanski seems to be doing a much better job. Cleveland is eager to start off with a bang, while the Ravens will be sitting a little too comfortable coming off their 14-2 season. With Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt, I think the Browns should have one of the best offenses in the league. Not only will they keep this game very close, I think they may win it outright.

2. Miami Dolphins +6.5

Another big underdog with the chance to win their game outright is the Dolphins. Everyone is just assuming the Patriots are still going to be one of the league’s better teams, with no real reason to believe that. The Pats had the most significant COVID-19 opt-outs of any team, with a slew of starters electing to sit out the season.

Cam Newton only played in two games last year and is now transitioning to a completely new offense with reduced practice time, so I think he should be pretty rusty. This Dolphins team showed a ton of fight last year, and they always play well against the Patriots. With the offseason additions of Kyle Van Noy and Byron Jones, they’ll be more than able to hang tough.

3. Green Bay Packers +2.5 (+100)

Everybody has been really low on the Packers all offseason, which is how you know it’s probably an overreaction. Granted Green Bay wasn’t as good as their record last year, but they have some advantages here. One of Minnesota’s best players, defensive end Danielle Hunter, will miss this game due to injury.

He has 29 sacks over the last two years, and his absence will make Aaron Rodgers’ life a lot easier. By all accounts, Rodgers has had an improved attitude this offseason, and I’m expecting him to come out fired up after Green Bay drafted Jordan Love in the first-round. He’s now had a full year to digest Matt LaFleur’s system, so I think he’ll be better than he was in 2019.

The Vikings traded away Stefon Diggs this offseason, and now have practically nothing at receiver beyond Adam Thielen. The Packers are going to walk away with a victory here.

For the best NFL underdog picks all season long, make sure to check out our NFL underdog picks!

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