Top NFL Upset Picks to Target in Week 1 (2021)

| August 26, 2021 12:22 pm PDT

With the NFL preseason nearing an end, we can finally watch real football. This is the moment we have all been waiting for and it is almost here.

With Week 1 in the NFL approaching, let’s take a look at the underdogs and which team has the best chance to win in an upset.

There is a solid reason for why every team is an underdog and you should always keep that in mind. With that being said, you can never count a team out.

Here are my picks for the best NFL underdogs in Week 1 of the 2021 season.

Philadelphia Eagles (+156)

When the Falcons traded star wide receiver Julio Jones earlier this offseason, it was clear that they were looking towards a rebuild rather than a Super Bowl.

I would not trust the Falcons to win a lot of games this year, and Week 1 is no different.

The Falcons have lost more than just Julio Jones, as well. Safeties, Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee both signed with the Dallas Cowboys in the offseason, leaving their secondary as a weak spot.

The Eagles aren’t going to be a dominant team this season, but I like them as an underdog here. The Eagles have a capable defense and second year quarterback Jalen Hurts now has some NFL experience as well as a full offseason to develop even more.

The Eagles also brought in last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, DeVonta Smith.

Smith and Hurts have experience playing together from Alabama and second year receiver Jalen Reagor should be improved this year as well. The Eagles tight ends, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, remain the same and are going to be a nice combination for Hurts this season.

Philly has a pretty explosive offense on paper, and that could be bad for a Falcons defense that was abysmal in 2020. Check out some key rankings from them last year.

  • 398.4 yards allowed per game (28th)
  • 6.2 yards allowed per play (29th)
  • 3.1 touchdowns allowed per game (22nd)

Overall, I think the Falcons are going to be in for a disappointing season and Week 1 is where it starts.

Miami Dolphins (+136)

The Dolphins came in second in the AFC East last season, while the Patriots came in third. I think this year has a strong chance to repeat the exact standings as last year.

The Patriots should be in for a solid season, but so should the Dolphins.

Tua Tagovailoa (like Jalen Hurts) is entering his second year in the NFL and should be ready to fully man the Dolphins offense. The Dolphins offense is looking to be underrated this season, and their defense is going to be a solid one, too.

I think Tua takes the next step in his career and
beats the Patriots in Week One.

It won’t be an easy task, but it will be hard to rely on the Patriots who are likely to start Cam Newton in Week 1.

The Patriots offense was terrible with Newton as the starter last season (27th lowest points in 2020) and Week 1 is going to be another reason why Mac Jones earns the starting job sooner rather than later in New England.

Look for the Dolphins to be an underrated team for 2021, and they won’t be an underdog a lot after they get going. I’m taking them in this game and starting their season out to a nice 1-0 record.

Cincinnati Bengals (+156)

The Bengals are going to be an exciting team to watch this year. Hopefully franchise quarterback Joe Burrow can fully recover from his ACL tear last year, as he looks to have a breakout year in 2021.

He has a very solid offense surrounding him. Just look at this stack job.

  • WR Tyler Boyd
  • WR Tee Higgins
  • WR Ja’Marr Chase
  • RB Joe Mixon

The skill position players will be the exciting part about the Bengals, with Joe Burrow in the middle of it.

The Bengals will struggle from the offensive line standpoint, so hopefully that doesn’t diminish the offensive output too much. The Vikings were disappointing in 2020, finishing 7-9 and third in their division. They aren’t a bad team, but I think there is a good opportunity for an upset here in Week 1.

The biggest thing to look forward to in the Bengals home opener in 2021, is the health of Joe Burrow. If he can prove that his knee is healthy enough to play, the Bengals can win this game and maybe a decent handful throughout the season.

Cleveland Browns (+215)

The Browns did play the Chiefs in the 2020 playoffs, losing to a score of 17-22. The Browns can get their revenge as early as Week 1 this year.

Cleveland hung with the mighty Chiefs and only lost by one possession. Their best chance to win this game would be by dominating the time of possession. Luckily, that’s what the Browns are built for.

The Browns offense is built around the run game behind a strong offensive line and talented running backs.

This allows the Browns to keep good opposing offenses, like the Chiefs, off the field for as long as possible.

It also puts wear and tear on the defense so you can break more big runs later in the game as well.

The Browns defense also added some great pieces in the offseason. They spent their first two draft picks on cornerback Greg Newsome (26th overall) and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (52nd overall).

They also signed veteran edge rusher, Jadeveon Clowney, who is going to be very dangerous opposite Myles Garrett. The secondary was bolstered by signing two ex-Rams, safety John Johnson and cornerback Troy Hill.

The Browns look to have the weapons to beat the Chiefs, with a strong run game and a capable defense. I really like the Browns’ money line odds as well at (+215).

If you want to dream big and look beyond a possible week one upset, you might want to start considering the Browns as a legit title threat.

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My Top NFL Underdog Pick for Week 1

My favorite pick for Week 1 is the Browns (+215). They have very profitable odds and the exact things you need to beat the Chiefs.

Cleveland is hungry for revenge and they just might get it in Week 1.

The Chiefs have been in the Super Bowl for the past two seasons, but is Week 1 going to be a sign that it won’t be three consecutive years? It might as well be.

Week 1 in the NFL is going to be a very exciting time like it is every year, so let’s try and make some big bucks off it with these underdogs.

Get ready for the 2021 NFL season with some more picks and predictions below.

Anthony Haage
Anthony Haage

Anthony is a sports writer for covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and more. He also covers other various topics such as entertainment, general sports betting tips, and more.

His favorite teams are the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Cubs, and Blackhawks. He also will be a temporary fan of any team if it means winning him bets.

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