It’s very dangerous to overreact to one week of NFL football. Results from Week 1 are particularly erratic given the lack of action a lot of stars enjoy during preseason. With that being said, there are still some solid trends you should already be paying attention to heading into Week 2.
In this piece, we’ll highlight five teams that have legitimately improved their season outlooks after Week 1. That doesn’t mean everyone on this list is a Super Bowl contender. It only means that each of the five franchises listed are already looking better than their preseason projection. Let’s get started with the most obvious selection of the weekend.
1. New England Patriots
The Patriots unceremoniously demolished the Steelers at home on Sunday night. Adding Antonio Brown to the offense is only going to make Tom Brady more difficult to play against. New England was already a solid AFC favorite coming into the year, but now they should unquestionably be a Super Bowl favorite.
The opportunity to still get Bill Belichick’s team at 7:1 odds to win the Super Bowl is a huge opportunity for you to cash in now before the odds get shorter. Stop what you’re doing and go make the wager for New England to win it all immediately.
2. Baltimore Ravens
The Dolphins are the worst team in the NFL, but it’s still impressive that Baltimore hung 59 points on Miami with relative ease. The fact that Lamar Jackson’s offense put up 42 points in the opening half was particularly interesting.
Unlike the Patriots, this win doesn’t immediately catapult the Ravens into the category of Super Bowl favorites. They do deserve close attention this week though. If the Ravens can cover their 13 point spread against the Cardinals in Week 2 it’s start to consider them a solid contender for the AFC North crown.
3. Tennessee Titans
Everyone is talking about how the Browns are the biggest losers in Week 1, but not enough attention is going to the team that handed them such an ugly loss. Marcus Mariota and company deserve their fair share of credit for ruining Cleveland’s season opener.
The idea that Tennessee will be a respectable team is nothing new. They have a nasty habit of finishing 9-7. The question for Mike Vrabel’s team this year is whether or not they can crack the magical 10 win plateau. Defeating the Colts in their home opener would be a big step forward for this franchise. They currently stand as three point favorites against Jacoby Brissett and company. Be careful with backing the Titans to continue their momentum in Week 2.
4. Dallas Cowboys
Most people expected the Cowboys to handle the Giants pretty comfortably in the opener, but putting up 35 points was a pleasant surprise for fans in Big D. The preseason hype about Kellen Moore’s innovative offense appeared to be true in Week 1. He used a ton of play action and motion to get Dak Prescott easy throws. His quarterback delivered with one of the biggest performances of the day.
For the moment, you can still find opportunities to bet on the Cowboys season win total at over 8.5 or 9. This is just as good of a wager as the Patriots’ Super Bowl bet. Again, stop what you’re doing and hammer Dallas to hit 10 wins or more. They are legitimate Super Bowl contenders if they stay healthy.
5. Oakland Raiders
Jon Gruden’s team managed to tune out the Antonio Brown noise and score an important division win over the Broncos on Monday night. Nothing about Oakland’s performance against Denver made them look like playoff contenders, but it did make them look like a reasonable NFL team.
That’s something that couldn’t be said about the Raiders last year. Don’t expect Gruden’s team to stun the Chiefs at home in Week 2, but they might be able to keep things close. We wouldn’t be inclined to put money on Oakland +7.5, but that is a sign of solid respect from oddsmakers.
There’s still plenty of time for teams to change their 2019 fortunes, but these five teams got their 2019 campaigns off on the right foot in Week 1. You should take advantage of slow moving future lines about all of these teams to capitalize on their hot starts. Winning an unexpected game in Week 1 can make a big difference on how a team finishes after Week 16.