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Underdogs found success in Week One of NFL season!
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Favourites went just 4-12 against the spread, as NFL season kicks off.
The highly anticipated first week of the NFL season didn’t disappoint, with two thrilling games bookending the schedule and a list of results that not many would’ve seen coming.
The dogs, as they say, were barking.
Underdogs were an impressive 12-4 against the spread in Week One, but also 9-7 straight up, with a number of upsets dotting Sunday’s schedule and, of course, the finale on Monday night.
The Las Vegas Raiders entered the Monday night game with the Baltimore Ravens as three-point underdogs. Baltimore got out to a 14-point lead in the second quarter, but the Raiders roared back to force overtime. Not only did Las Vegas cover as home underdogs, they won the game outright on a touchdown pass that capped a frenzied and frantic set of offensive series for both teams in the extra period.
The week itself started with Dallas nearly providing the first upset of the season in the Thursday night kickoff game. The Cowboys lost by two points, after allowing Tom Brady and Tampa Bay to march down the field to set up the game-winning field goal. But Dallas still covered as a nine-point road underdog.
Against the spread, Sunday’s slate of games was dominated by the Underdogs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off one of the bigger upsets, defeating the Buffalo Bills – one of the Super Bowl favourites – on the road. While the New Orleans Saints shredded the Green Bay Packers by 35 points.
Look ahead to Week Two: Titans @ Seahawks
It was hard to anticipate what the Seattle Seahawks would look like with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, but the early returns were promising.
After a 12-point victory over Indianapolis in Week One, in which Seattle dominated on both sides of the ball and especially up front on defence, the Seahawks turn their attention to the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans lost to Arizona in Week One, getting embarrassed on their home field by a score of 38-13. The Seahawks were, as of Thursday, six-point favourites over Tennessee on PlayNow.com.
There are a couple of factors at play.
The 12s will be in attendance on Sunday, with the Seahawks set to welcome capacity crowds back to Lumen Field. The return of that continuous noise could make things difficult on Tennessee’s offence, which didn’t get anything going against the Cardinals last week.
The Titans defence gave up more than 400 total yards to the Cardinals in Week One, and there is little respite coming this week against the new-look Seattle offence. The Seahawks still ran the ball effectively, and Russell Wilson was highly efficient with 18 completions on 23 attempts, for 254 yards and four touchdowns.
The Titans defence will have a lot to answer for this week, in trying to slow down Seattle’s offence, which should be confident in its new system after some positive results early on.
Another positive for Seattle after Week One was the play of the defensive line. A weakness and subsequent source of frustration for a few years now, the Seahawks defensive front made life difficult on quarterback Carson Wentz last week, and could feast on a Titans offensive line that gave up six quarterback sacks to the Cardinals.
The tallest task will be to limit Tennessee’s run game, led by Derrick Henry, but Seattle showed an ability last week to win the line of scrimmage on the defensive side of the ball. If they can limit the damage that Henry does in the run game, and get after quarterback Ryan Tannehill, it could make for another long day for the Titans.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens
The Sunday schedule wraps up with a huge AFC tilt, involving the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the Baltimore Ravens.
The Chiefs looked good in the second half, coming back to defeat the Cleveland Browns in Week One, while the Ravens will look to avenge their Week One loss in Las Vegas.
The Chiefs were 3.5-point road favourites as of Thursday. Kansas City has won four of the last five meetings against the Ravens, including a 14-point victory on the road last season.
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