NFL Week 1 is right around the corner. The season kicks off in less than a week and it’s time to start looking at potential upsets. The point spreads are out for each game but there is value in taking some of the underdogs on the money line. Especially in the first week of the NFL season, things can be very unpredictable before teams really start to hit their stride. Here are three underdogs that will win their games straight up:
Disclaimer: We are not financial advisors. Bet at your own risk.
1. Dallas Cowboys (+300) vs Tampa Bay Bucs
The opening game of NFL Week 1 features the Tampa Bay Bucs hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football. Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champions will look to get off to a good start to their 2021 campaign but Dak Prescott and the high-powered Dallas Cowboys offense are standing in their way. Prescott will enter this season highly motivated after missing the majority of 2020 due to injury. Additionally, he will have one less thing to worry about now that he has been rewarded with a big contract.
The contract should take some of the pressure off of Prescott and give him an opportunity to up his game even further. In the 2019 season, he leads the Cowboys to be the top offense in the NFL and the best statistically since the 2013 Broncos. Last season he was off to a scorching hot start before being injured and was on pace to shatter the NFL passing record. This will be a huge season for Prescott and it starts by upsetting the defending champions on the opening night of the 2021 NFL season.
2. New Orleans Saints (+185) vs Green Bay Packers
It’s a new era in New Orleans now that Drew Brees has officially retired. It will be a challenge but one that Sean Payton will embrace. Payton is an offensive mastermind who is inspired by this opportunity to design a new scheme for the Saints. He is one of the best of all time at designing plays to optimize the talent on his roster. He has had several uniquely skilled players on his team over the years, such as Darren Sproles and Taysom Hill, that he has found ways to maximize their output in ways that most other coaches would not.
This new look Saints team with Jameis Winston at quarterback will take on the same old Packers of the last couple of years. That’s not necessarily a bad thing considering Aaron Rodgers and the Pack have found success, but they didn’t do much to improve this offseason.
In fact, they spent the majority of it wondering whether or not Rodgers was even going to play this year after he expressed his disgust with the organization and his desire to move on elsewhere. In the end, he is back for at least one more season. The combination of turmoil in Green Bay combined with a brand new Saints offense that hasn’t been seen before is a recipe for an upset.
3. Chicago Bears (+280) vs Los Angeles Rams
Despite some of the worst quarterback play in the NFL last season, the Bears still managed to find their way into the playoffs. That is mostly because of their great defense and a breakout season from running back David Montgomery. The overall statistics don’t tell the story of how good their defense was last year.
The Bears were the worst team in football on third downs offensively which lead to their defense being on the field way too much. As a result, their defensive numbers were severely inflated. Better play at quarterback this season, from Andy Dalton and eventually Justin Fields, will improve everything for this team.
The Rams enter NFL Week 1 with a brand new look. Specifically, they made a change at quarterback from Jared Goff to Matthew Stafford. While this move will improve the team it’s unclear just how much. In addition, it’s going to take some time for Stafford and head coach Sean McVay to adjust accordingly. The McVay system is very methodical and technical, while Stafford has always been a bit more of a gunslinger and shot taker.
It’s a new world for both of them, and the Bears’ defense is a difficult challenge to experiment against. It’s going to be a tough start for the Rams’ new offense, who have to see the Colts and Bucs defenses in their following two games. Their offense will struggle and be the reason they lose their first game of the 2021 NFL season.