2023 NFL Week One Has Arrived

2023 NFL Week One Has Arrived

Happy WEEK ONE! It’s honestly like Christmas in September. We got a little bit of a teaser on Thursday Night as the Lions BEAT the Chiefs 21-10 , and we pulled out an easy cover at Lions +6.5 to start our season up 2u. Over 800,000 bets were tracked via the Action Network as well, which is almost TRIPLE what we saw in game 1 last year. Seeing such an insane increase from last year means two things to me. 1) As more and more states make sports betting legal (I think we are at like 35 now) more and more of the “general betting public” will enter the market, which gives us the opportunity to profit off of it even more if most of this general betting public is not informed. 2) With such a large increase, it puts into question some of our previous stats because the amount of bets on a game determines the percentages, but if you have taken any stats class you will know that speaking in raw percentages is not always the best way to do things. However, I am not all too worried about that second point just yet, let’s first see how the Geico Trend and Golden Rule fare this year.

If you are new here, welcome to Happy Hour Sports, my name is DJ and I track how the public and money do each week in the NFL. There is data there, information that can help us win more bets, and I want to provide it. I find it so interesting to learn when to fade the public and when to bet with them, because it is an avenue in sports betting no one has really touched. We do this every week, and we only get more information with every game played. I also have a podcast where I discuss these trends and break them down with my Happy Hour Sports co-owners, so check that out for the most information!

There is always so much hype built up around week one, and that is deservedly so. People curate their week one bets over the entire offseason, while Vegas does the same for the lines, and that is why we have to be extra careful. I broke down the public betting trends from last year and specifically week one of last year in my most recent article, and point out a lot of awesome trends for us to look for in 2023’s week one. My favorite one is the public going 1-6 ATS when there were 60% of the bets or more on a side, and that is something we are going to hit hard today. As a disclaimer, I will be honest, for some reason I love nearly every dog this week. In addition, nearly every game has a golden rule possible bet to make – time to make some money.

Note that I am writing this around 9:30 am on Sunday morning, so as bets come in these percentages will change. Although, they should remain relatively close to what they are now. Sometimes I will have late plays because I take public trends into account and those constantly update, so follow me @DeejHHSports on twitter to see those picks. Last thing I will say is that, these trends can turn. All trends are subject to regression. I will continue to say I am betting with these trends because I love tracking them and find them fascinating. Before we get into the picks I will plug the website one last time, thanks for checking us out! We are a small sports brand that is slowly growing. We provide daily and weekly content around the sports we love, so please consider sticking around and subscribing!

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Best Bets and Analysis

Plays snagged and discussed on the podcast:

Texans +10 (-110) 1u

Steelers +2.5 (-110) 1u


Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns (+1.5),

Total 47.5

To start off our Sunday right we get to watch the ever exciting AFC North clash yet again as newly paid man Joe Burrow and co. travel to Cleveland to face the hard hitting Browns defense. Throughout the entire week there has been a massive sharp differential in favor of the Browns and that has contributed to this line moving from 2.5 down to 1.5 (although 2 is available). It currently sits at 33% and I expect it will fall into our Golden Rule of between 20-29% by the time this game kicks off. Every public metric in the world leans to take the Bengals here (better offense, more hype around the team, expected to be a Super Bowl contender, etc.). However, digging a little deeper, we see the other trends significantly favor the Browns here like AFC North divisional games, home dogs, and even Joe Burrow being 1-3 ATS against the Browns in his career. In addition to those stats, the Browns fall into 3 of our best trends from last year, so I think we have to take them +1.5 in this spot. The books have not been able to figure out Joe Burrow yet, given them being one of the best ATS teams last year, but I think this offseason they are getting it right.

The Play: Browns +2 -110 (1u)

Arizona Cardinals vs. Washington Commanders (-7),

Total 38

This is probably the ugliest game on the slate, but it makes me so excited to bet on it. Plain and simply, this Commanders team does not deserve 7 points to anyone even if it is the Cardinals they are playing. Like the Bengals game, most general things point to the Commanders easily coming out on top here, but can Sam Howell really lead a team to win by more than 1 touchdown? Every coach always has the most time to prepare for WEek 1 matchups, and every year games are way closer than people expect – hence why our data confirms that the public is bad at betting in Week 1 games! I mean, there is 82% of the public betting on the commanders here in this game, and I will remind you, the Public went 1-6 ATS last year when 60% or more of the bets were on one side. Come 4pm we may hate ourselves for actually putting money on this Cardinals team, but in no world does 82% of the public get it right over Vegas in week one, give me Josh Dobbs. I think the under is also a possibility here if you like some low unders (38)

The Play: Cardinals +7 -110 (1u)

Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders (-3),

Total 43.5

One of my favorite things to bet all of last season were unders in Denver Broncos games. Their defense was always so good, and Russell Wilson was having the worst year of his career. In a more long term sense I expect better things from the Broncos this season, especially with Sean Payton at the helm. However, I expect them to get off to a slow start. I expect the same thing from the Raiders given all of the changes (Jimmy G) they have made as well. So, that is what we are playing for here, a slow start from two teams that will likely have decent seasons. The public betting trends absolutely love the under as well given that 94% of the money is on the under in this game and when there is a large amount of money on the under, we back it. If you look back to trends from last year we see the public going 4-1 betting under in week one and the money went 5-1, both occurring here. Sometimes people hate to take unders because they want to see points, but you will see us take a lot of unders this year and in the future because they hit when people least expect it, and we are here to win money, right?

The Play: Under 43.5 -115 (1u)

Miami Dolphins vs. Los Angeles Chargers (-3),

Total 50.5

One of the most exciting games of this Sunday slate is when we see Tua and the Dolphins travel to California to battle Herbert and the Chargers. This game should be one of the most back and forth of the day, given the two high powered offenses. In addition to the star studded offenses, there were some massive improvements made to either teams defense over the offseason. However, Jalen Ramsey will not be available for the Dolphins and I think that is a major problem for them. Every year, when Keenan Allen and Mike Williams start the season healthy, the Chargers look unbeatable, and that is a trend I expect to continue. One of the few favorites I like today, the Chargers currently have a nice 22% sharp differential in their favor, with 61% of the public betting on the Dolphins. This is a 4pm game, so the numbers may look slightly different at kickoff, but I want to ensure I get the 3 number as it is the most common spread in the NFL where it actually comes into play. I love Justin Herbert and nearly every year bet him to win MVP. The Chargers have a massive chip on their shoulder after their playoff woes to the Jags, so I think they handle the Dolphins in LA today.

The Play: Chargers -3 -110 (1u)

The Leans (May take some of these closer to kickoff)
After getting such an incredible response to start the season this year, I think I want to continue to give out my leans in games that I am not even betting on because it may help others with their decisions. So if you have seen my recent Reddit posts you will see that I update these as the weeks go on. Based on all the current public betting information, here is what I am thinking for Week 1 of NFL!

  • Bucs/Vikings – Still a 33% differential in favor of the Bucs AND Public still on MIN
    • Still lean Bucs +4.5
  • Panthers/Falcons – Still a nice 27% differential in favor of the Falcons AND Public on ATL
    • Still lean Falcons -3.5
  • Jaguars/Colts – Raised to 69% of Public on Jags AND a move to 26% differential in favor of INDY
    • Heavier lean Colts +4.5
  • Titans/Saints – still a Huge 27% differential in favor of Titans, but Public is up to 61% on TEN
    • Still Lean Titans +3
  • Packers/Bears – A lower 19% differential in favor of GB And now public in CHI
    • Lean Packers +1
  • Eagles/Patriots – Nice 22% differential in favor of Patriots AND 62% of public on EAGLES. Now 90% of money on the under
    • Lean under 45 and no spread bet because I am an Eagles fan (this is good for Pats)
  • Rams/Seahawks – Still 68% of Public on Seahawks AND 79% of money on the under
    • no change/ Lean under 46.5 and Rams +5

For reference again:

The most recent Sharpen the public Podcast:

Here on our domain

On Spotify


The Week One NFL Betting article with background and podcast highlights

Thanks for reading! I will see you on Tuesday with my first recap episode of Sharpen the Public.

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If you want more NFL Football Betting Content:

View all NFL Betting Content

View all of DJ Bianco's NFL Betting Content

View the Sharpen the Public Website for all episodes and some analysis - a Premier NFL Betting Podcast

If you Want More Sharpen the Public Action:

View our YouTube Podcast (Video Podcast for NFL Betting Analysis)

Listen to all episodes on Spotify from Sharpen the Public NFL Public Betting Podcast

Follow DJ/STP on Reddit & Follow DJ/STP on Twitter

The most Recent Episodes of Sharpen the Public NFL Betting Podcast

This is an article written by DJ Bianco

DJ Bianco Author for Happy Hour Sports at the Colosseum in Rome


Twitter:  DeejHHSports

Reddit:  u/deejHHSports

Instagram:  happyhoursportshq

TikTok:  happyhoursports


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