NFL Underdogs Worth Betting on in Week 1, 2020

| September 9, 2020 2:15 am PDT

The 2020 pro football season is finally here, and it’s time to bet on the NFL. I’ve tackled the first week of action from every angle, with my most recent breakdown focusing on the safest NFL bets in week one.

For this post, the focus is on even more betting value, as I try to uncover some hidden gems via some week one NFL upset picks.

There are always some underdogs worth betting on in pro football. In a year that had no preseason and has been impacted by a global pandemic, we can probably target upset picks more than ever.

Of course, you still may need a little assistance in doing so. If you want some help, join me as I break down my favorite week one NFL underdog bets.

Green Bay Packers (+125)

The first game that stands out in week one is an NFC North clash between the Packers and Vikings. Minnesota is favored at home, but with no real fan impact, this feels like bad pricing.

Green Bay swept this season series in 2019, and they appear to still have the better team on paper. The Vikings lost top receiver Stefon Diggs, as well as a slew of defensive playmakers.

Given Minnesota’s struggles against the pass, Green Bay’s rise, and the Vikings’ roster turnover, it’s a tad shocking the Packers enter as the underdogs.

The green and gold were in a similar spot in Chicago in week one last year, and responded with a hard-earned win. I like the ATS if you want to play it a little safer, but it will be hard to turn away from this alluring +125 price tag.

Chicago Bears (+140)

Staying in the NFC North, I also really like the Bears as their +140 moneyline at BetOnline. Chicago has to figure out how to get their running game going with David Montgomery sidelined, but at least they finally made a decision at quarterback.

Few will be super excited to see Mitch Trubisky under center for the Bears in week one, but he’s been a .500 or better starter over the last two seasons, and he’s also carved up the Lions over the last two years.

In three starts against Detroit, Trubisky is 3-0 with nine touchdowns. Detroit lacks a reliable pass rush and even are banged up in their running game to start 2020, so there is a lot to like about Chicago.

I’d be all over the Bears in this spot, regardless. The Bears have the much nastier defense, and they’ve dominated this series over the last two years. Chicago is being disrespected a bit here, and I think they return solid value as +140 dogs.

Arizona Cardinals (+265)

When I offered a Cardinals vs. 49ers week one betting pick, my final call was the Cardinals to beat the spread. I still stand by that as the preferred bet, as Kyler Murray and co. played San Francisco very well in both meetings last year, and +7 is a hefty line.

Arizona could also just go win this game, altogether.

Murray is set up nicely for a massive jump in year two, as the Cardinals held onto Kenyan Drake, and also made a splash move by trading for DeAndre Hopkins.

On paper, Murray is poised to bust out in a big way, and it could totally start in a huge NFC West battle. The Niners really had no answer for Murray’s mobility last year, as he ran away from them for much of both meetings, and made some big plays down the field.

Given Arizona’s offensive upgrades, their boost in confidence, and the potential of a Super Bowl hangover for the Niners, the Cardinals are a very appealing upset pick for week one.

Cleveland Browns (+290)

One other week one NFL underdog play I like is the Browns over the Ravens.

Everyone is excited to see Lamar Jackson in his second full season as Baltimore’s starter, but he and his Ravens could be due for a little regression after an insane 14-2 run.

Cleveland, meanwhile, hired a new head coach, installed a new system, and made some key moves to help make life a bit easier on Baker Mayfield.

I really don’t trust Mayfield, but he’s being put in a position to succeed. The Browns are in place to sneak up on everyone in the AFC North, too, and if that’s going to happen, they may need to drop the hammer with a massive week one road upset.

This won’t come easy, but the Browns did run all over the Ravens in a win the first time they faced them in 2019. That, and the loss of Earl Thomas could hurt Baltimore defensively.

Cleveland has the motivation, coaching, and weapons to shock the world to get 2020 going. Michael Wynn’s Browns vs. Ravens betting preview went in a different direction, but I smell an upset here.


I feel pretty good about the Packers and Bears going into week one. They’re what I’d call “safer” NFL upset picks, in the sense that I’d probably price them as favorites, even though they’re on the road.

These divisional showdowns can really go either way, but those look like the better teams, and I think they start 2020 off at 1-0.

Betting on Arizona and Cleveland admittedly feels a bit reckless, but the upside is obvious. You can just go against the spread with all of my week one NFL underdog picks, but there is a path to some craziness here. At the end of the tunnel? A whole lot of value.

Whether you agree with my week one NFL upset picks or not, be sure to hit up the top NFL betting sites before placing any bets.

Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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