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NFL Upset Picks – Best Underdogs Straight-Up for Week 1

Daniel Coyle

by Daniel Coyle in NFL Football

Updated Sep 10, 2023 · 7:13 AM PDT

Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers with NY Giants quarterback Daniel Jones
East Rutherford, NJ August 26, 2023 -- Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers with NY Giants quarterback Daniel Jones at the end of the game. The NY Jets against the NY Giants on August 26, 2023 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, as the rivals play their final preseason game before the start of the NFL season.
  • Divisional rivalries, QB debuts add to the challenge of picking Week 1 NFL upsets
  • Giants and Jets emerge as attractive home dogs in key divisional matchups
  • Read on for our top underdogs to target for Week 1 straight-up upset picks

Picking upsets is a daunting task at the best time, and making those picks on an NFL Week 1 that features multiple divisional matchups and star quarterback debuts is not for the faint of heart. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of value to be found among this weekend’s underdogs when looking for upset picks.

To get your season started, here are three underdogs to consider on the NFL odds this weekend.

NFL Week 1 Upset Picks

Matchup Spread Moneyline Pick Units
Las Vegas Raiders vs Denver Broncos DEN -3.5 +150 Raiders 1
Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants DAL -3.5 +145 Giants 1
Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets BUF -2.5 +114 Jets 1

Odds as of September 9 at DraftKings Sportsbook. Claim a DraftKings promo to bet on NFL Week 1 underdogs.


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NFL Week 1 Upset Picks

Here are our top three NFL straight-up picks.

Upset Picks 1: Jimmy G Makes Raiders Debut Against Work-in-Progress Broncos

The Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos emerged as massive disappointments during their race to the bottom of the AFC West standings last season. Derek Carr’s accuracy issues down the stretch earned him a ticket out of Vegas, as the Raiders struggled to score during a dismal 1-4 stretch. Things went even worse in Denver, where the Broncos scored a league-worst 16.9 points per game despite having Russell Wilson under center.

Both these squads have made upgrades this past offseason. The Broncos shook things up by bringing in Sean Payton as head coach, while jettisoning such veterans as Latavius Murray, Melvin Gordon III, and Dre’Mont Jones.

While the Broncos’ moves are likely to bear fruit eventually, they have faced a steep learning curve with the arrival of Payton, and will have their hands full trying to cover as 3.5-point home favorites against a quality Raiders offense led by new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in his Raiders debut, and NFL rushing leader Josh Jacobs.

Upset Picks 2: Giants Poised to End Cowboys’ Dominance in a Rainy SNF Matchup

The Dallas Cowboys have owned the New York Giants in recent years, posting wins in each of their past six meetings including impressive defensive performances in two straight wins in New York, and return to the Big Apple as 3.5-point road favorites on Sunday. However, with the Giants on the rise and the Cowboys now facing intense pressure to atone for yet another early playoff exit, the tables are set to be turned.

Facing no pressure, the Giants will hit the gridiron on Sunday night with Daniel Jones enjoying the benefit of having new arrival Darren Waller as a receiving target and Saquon Barkley in the backfield. While the argument can be made that the Cowboys still sport the superior attack, the weather is poised to give the Giants a big assist.

Plenty of rain is in the forecast for Sunday, shifting the advantage under center away from Dak Prescott to the far more mobile Daniel Jones. The expected sloppy conditions should also act as a great equalizer for a Giants defense that features no shortage of youngsters, setting the stage for New York to earn their first win over the Cowboys in three years.

Upset Picks 3: Aaron Rodgers Gets His First Taste of NFC East Rivalry in Home Date with Jets

The Jets take over MetLife Stadium on Monday Night Football for a date with the archrival Buffalo Bills as home underdogs that will feature the debut of quarterback Aaron Rodgers as a member of the gang green. While the Bills have emerged as the clash of the division in recent years, it is tough to back them against a Jets squad that now features a legitimate star quarterback.

Indeed, the Jets gave the Bills first in a pair of dates last season including a 20-17 home victory, and have limited Buffalo to 18 or fewer points in three of their past four clashes at MetLife. They have also allowed Josh Allen to toss for an average of just 190 yards in two games last season.

With the additions of Rodgers and veteran rusher Dalvin Cook, and second-year stars Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall poised to build on impressive rookie campaigns, the Jets attack is set to catch up with their vaunted defense that allowed just 18.6 points per game last season. The result will be another big home win over the Bills for New York, which will provide an early shake-up to an already tough AFC East divisional race.

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