Top five NFL Week 1 underdogs
[size=13pt]Top five NFL Week 1 underdogs[/size]
By Josh Hansen
Sun, Sep 3, 2006
Week 1 of the NFL season is probably the hardest on a bettor`s bankroll. Teams, players and coaches are one year older and may have a different agenda. The Minnesota Vikings are a prime example.
That`s why it has been said the first four weeks of the NFL season are when underdogs are most usually the most profitable. Well Covers.com did a little digging and found the best underdog bets of the last five years for Week 1 of the NFL.
Four of the five teams are road underdogs this week.
1. Atlanta Falcons
Close may be reserved for horseshoes and hand grenades but itâ€™s no stranger to the Atlanta Falcons in the opening week. Three of Atlantaâ€™s four underdog paydays over the last five years have been by four points or less, with the other being a straight up win over the Cowboys in Dallas.
Thatâ€™s nothing new for the Falcons. Three of their paydays have come on the road while last yearâ€™s win over Philadelphia came on Monday Night Football. Obviously, Atlanta loves pressure in Week 1.
Week 1 opponent: at Carolina (-5)
2. Minnesota Vikings
If any team needs a win to start the season, itâ€™s the Minnesota Vikings. Just when things appeared to be getting back to normal in the Twin city, No.1 wide receiver Koren Robinson is arrested and charged with drinking and driving, which leads to him being released by the team.
Minnesota did lure Todd Pinkston to fill the void but the former Philadelphia Eagle hasnâ€™t played a regular reason game since the 2005 Super Bowl because of a torn Achillesâ€™ tendon. Pinkston caught one pass in his lone preseason game last week versus Pittsburgh.
Week 1 opponent: at Washington (-4)
3. San Francisco 49ers
Initially, San Franciscoâ€™s back-to-back opening week underdog paydays, makes the 49ers a solid sleeper. The straight up win over St. Louis was impressive, as was the 3-point loss to the Atlanta Falcons two years back. But the fact both opponents are dome teams raises major questions about whether San Francisco was simply a beneficiary of home field advantage.
Dome teams playing on real grass, as opposed to artificial turf, often struggle, which is likely the case here. Neither Atlanta nor St. Louis was a pushover in either of those seasons.
Week 1 opponent: at Arizona (-7 1/2)
4. Houston Texans
Four years removed from their first payday in their first game, as an underdog no less, the Houston Texans continue to search for respect as a competitive NFL team. That wonâ€™t happen until the Texans do something drastic, like finish with a winning record or even .500.
Until then, oddsmakers will continue to stack the line against Houston knowing the public will fade the Texans because of the notion Houston is still in its infancy. The loss of running back Domanick Davis for the season likely wonâ€™t change the publicâ€™s opinion either.
Week 1 opponent: vs. Philadelphia (+4)
5. Dallas Cowboys
Itâ€™s hard to imagine a public darling the Cowboys being dogged in the opening week of the NFL. But for the third straight year, oddsmakers are doing exactly that. While it may be by less than a field goal, the Cowboys again find themselves beginning the season on the road, where the Cowboys have more trouble covering than Mike Vanderjagt does keeping quiet.
Since 2001, the Cowboys are 18-21 against the number away from the Lone Star State.
Week 1 opponent: at Jacksonville (-2 1/2)
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Re: Top five NFL Week 1 underdogs
i like being the underdog =) that way it hurts them more when we slap them into check