NFL Week 1 features a record number of home underdogs

NFL Week 1 features a record number of home underdogs

NFL point spreads hit sportsbook tables on Thursday, shortly after the league released its 2022 season schedule. Week 1 is packed with home underdogs.

Ten home teams are underdogs in Week 1, the most in a Super Bowl-era opening week, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information. The Houston Texans and Chicago Bears are the biggest home underdogs in Week 1. The Texans are 7.5-point underdogs to the Indianapolis Colts and the Bears are 6-point underdogs to the San Francisco 49ers.

The New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos are also home underdogs in the early series for their week one games.

The value of home field advantage in the NFL regular season has been declining for years, according to the betting market. Home teams were favored last season with just 1.65 points, the third-lowest in the Super Bowl era, behind only 2020 (1.10) and 1969 (-1.65). Home teams covered the spread in 48% of games last season and have lost against the spread in 15 of the last 18 seasons, four in a row.

In the September 8 season opener, the Los Angeles Rams, the defending Super Bowl champions, are 1-point favorites over the visiting Buffalo Bills.

The Bills are the consensus favorites to win the Super Bowl in sports betting. At Caesars Sportsbook, Buffalo has attracted more than any other team when betting on the odds to win the Super Bowl.

“This is a big year for them and certainly a great stage for them to open the season with the Super Bowl champion,” Adam Pullen, deputy commercial director of Caesars Sportsbook, said in a company release. “You must prove it immediately.”

While the Bills are the favourites, the Long-Shot Jets have caught the attention of bettors. At the Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey, there are more bets on the Jets to win the AFC than any other team, and only the Bills have attracted more bets on winning the Super Bowl than the Jets. The Jets are 5-point home underdogs against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1.

Opening lines of other notable Week 1 matchups across Caesars Sportsbook include:
Privateers -2.5, 51.5 at Cowboys
Chiefs -3, 53 at Cardinals
Raiders at Chargers -4, 51.5
Broncos -3.5, 41 at Seahawks (Monday)

ESPN Stats & Information researcher Matt Willis contributed to this report.

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