NFL Week 1 Roundtable: Who's on Upset Alert?

Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans could be on upset alert when they host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon in Nashville.
Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans could be on upset alert when they host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon in Nashville. / Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the week at BetSided, our team is going through each matchup, looking for unique trends, helpful betting tips and anything else we can find to help make that week's slate of games even more fun as you wet your football wagering beak.

One of the reasons why the NFL reigns remains supreme is the parity found across each week. Take the New York Jets from last season. After starting the year 0-13, Gang Green did the unthinkable and stunned the 9-4 Los Angeles Rams on the road in Week 15. As someone who was zoning in on a massive "NFL Survivor" payday, I was not amused with the result of the massive upset.

We'll be doing this each week for the college slate as well. Week 1 got off to a profitable start as our team went 3-0!

Before our heads get too big, here are our favorite underdogs we're targeting to win straight up this weekend in the NFL.

Houston Texans (+150) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The only way to make this game featuring two of the basement dwellers of the AFC more interesting is to bet on it, and I plan to do just that when the Texans open up their season at home as three-point dogs to Urban Meyer's Jaguars.

Much like how Jacksonville was able to catch the far superior Indianapolis Colts off-guard in Week 1 before losing their next 15 games, I see a similar scenario playing out this week.

Tyrod Taylor is a serviceable, slightly above average quarterback who has started 47 games in his NFL career. Their head coach, David Culley has been in the NFL as an assistant since 1994, spending many years learning from Andy Reid, John Harbaugh, Bill Cowher and other highly respected coaches. Meanwhile, Meyer looked lost throughout the preseason, and while Trevor Lawrence is as highly touted of a top quarterback prospect as we've seen in the NFL, it's still his first ever start in the pros.

The Texans are projected to have the worst record in the league at WynnBET Sportsbook this season, with a projected win total of four victories. Come Monday, however, they'll be with the cool kids the league at the 1-0 lunch table. -- Ben Heisler

Arizona Cardinals (+135) at Tennessee Titans

If there is one team that’s going to regress this upcoming season, I’d bet on the Titans being the ones to do so.

Despite going 11-5 and winning their division, they had one of the worst defenses in the NFL. They were 29th in opponent yards per game, allowing an average of 398.4. Only the Texans, Jaguars and Lions were worse in that category. They were also near the bottom in several other defensive statistics, including dead last in third down defense.

Kyler Murray was an MVP candidate last season before injuries slowed his momentum, but now that he’s back to being healthy, I can envision him tearing apart this Tennessee defense. The Titans ranked 28th in opponent passing yards per game in 2020, so Nuk should be set up to have a big game. -- Iain MacMillan

Los Angeles Chargers (+120) at Washington Football Team

Despite the fact they’re flying across the country to play an early game, I’m taking the Los Angeles Chargers to beat the Washington Football Team. Los Angeles has a lot of hope this season with Justin Herbert expected to take the next step. The Chargers have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and are going into the season healthy. 

Although Washington might benefit from some early season “Fitzmagic,” the Chargers should be able to put points on the board. Los Angeles is the more well-rounded team and that will pay off in Week 1. Los Angeles is +120 on the moneyline and I love that number and will take it all day. -- Donnavan Smoot

Miami Dolphins (+150) at New England Patriots

There’s nothing like getting your season started on the right foot, and there’s one team I like in particular to get the job done in Week 1 with an upset. 

The Miami Dolphins were an NFL-best 11-5 against the spread last season, and they went 6-3 straight up with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. Tagovailoa is now the team’s starter, and the Dolphins are three-point underdogs in Week 1 on the road against the New England Patriots

I know everyone is on the Mac Jones train, but the rookie’s debut is coming against the defense that led the NFL in interceptions last season. Xavien Howard is back from his contract dispute this offseason, and I love the Dolphins at +150 to pull off a Week 1 upset. 

The Patriots are better than they were in 2020 with an improved receiving group, but Stephon Gilmore’s absence will be a huge blow in the secondary. If Tagovailoa can outduel his former teammate in Jones from their days at Alabama, Miami could roll in this one. 

Give me the Dolphins at +150 as they try to prove why they’re ahead of the Patriots in the odds to win the AFC East. -- Peter Dewey

What upset do you see brewing in Week 1 of the NFL?

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