NFL Week 1 Picks 2022: Heavy Lean to Favorites at Sportsbooks Among Bookies Battle Contestants

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Favorites account for the top five consensus picks in NFL Week 1 among Bookies Battle 2022 contestants.

Seventy VPs, directors, and managers from the top US sportsbooks (our bookies), including some of the most expert minds in the oddsmaking business, have registered for this season’s contest. Companies represented include Wynn, SuperBook, DraftKings, Penn, BetMGM, Golden Nugget, and more.

Contest point spreads closed a week earlier than normal for Week 1 (last Tuesday, Aug. 30), creating opportunity for the bookmakers to take advantage of some significant line moves. Still, most contestants chose to ride the chalk to open the season, getting a better number than Friday’s market lines with just one of the top five consensus plays.

Top NFL Week 1 Bookies Battle 2022 Consensus Picks

TeamPercentage of picksContest line
(Tuesday, Aug 30)
Market line
(Friday)
Ravens77.6%


-7
-7
Titans

76.1%

-5.5

-5.5
Panthers71.6%

-2

pick 'em
Dolphins71.6%
-3
-3.5
Broncos67.2%

-6.5-6.5

Running Down the Consensus NFL Week 1 Picks by our Experts

Ravens -7 against the Jets was the pick of nearly 78% of the field. Baltimore faces its former quarterback, Joe Flacco, who is set to start for New York in place of the injured Zach Wilson.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (AP Photo/Gary Landers, File)
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are the top NFL Week 1 consensus pick among our competing bookmakers  (AP Photo/Gary Landers, File)

Fading New York’s NFL clubs seems to be an early theme, as 76% of our bookmakers lay the points with the Titans (-5.5) against the Giants.

About 72% of pool participants have seen the line on Baker Mayfield’s debut in Carolina move against them, as Panthers -2 has tightened to a pick ‘em two days before the 2018 No. 1 draft pick faces his former team.

That same percentage of contestants, though, eked out an important half-point of value with Dolphins -3, Miami listed at -3.5 as of Friday.

Broncos -6.5 round out the top five consensus plays in another matchup of a veteran QB against his old mates. The Week 1 Monday nighter, of course, features Russell Wilson making a return trip to Seattle.

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Where’s the Early Value?

We have two more days to watch these numbers move prior to Sunday’s kickoff, but based on how the lines have shifted over the last 10 days, the Texans, Jaguars, Bears, Chiefs, and Bucs represent potential closing-line value.

The majority of Bookies Battle contestants are on the right side of four of these moves, the Bucs being the outlier, with just 45% of the field laying the cheap -1.5 against the Cowboys.

NFL Week 1 Potential Closing Line Value

TeamPercentage of picksContest line
(Tuesday, Aug 30)
Market line
(Friday)
Jaguars62.7%
+3
+2.5
Bears

55.2%

+7

+6.5
Chiefs53.7%
-3.5
-6
Texans50.7%+8.5+7
Bucs44.8%
-1.5-2.5

How it Started

The NFL season opener saw a fairly-even split among our bookmakers, with 52% on the correct side of Bills -2.5. Buffalo rolled to a 31-10 win over the LA Rams on Thursday night.

Here’s the entire NFL Week 1 card, with the consensus pick listed for each game.

NFL Week 1 Consensus Picks 2022, Bookies Battle

GameConsensus Pick% of Pool
Bills at Rams Bills -2.552%
Colts at TexansTexans +8.551%
Ravens at JetsRavens -778%
Browns at Panthers Panthers -272%
49ers at BearsBears +755%
Steelers at BengalsBengals -6.552%
Patriots at DolphinsDolphins -372%
Jaguars at CommandersJags +363%
Saints at FalconsSaints -557%
Eagles at LionsEagles -458%
Chiefs at CardinalsChiefs -3.554%
Packers at VikingsVikings +1.557%
Raiders at ChargersRaiders +3.564%
Giants at TitansTitans -5.576%
Bucs at CowboysCowboys +1.555%
Broncos at SeahawksBroncos -6.567%

Follow along: Bookmark Bookies Battle to follow the weekly contest and to view each contestants pick.

Increased Prize Pool and Fresh Competition Structure for 2022

We’ve added $3,000 to the Bookies Battle pot this season and have also introduced some new wrinkles.

Here’s how the competition breaks down:

  • The contestant with the most winners through Week 18 of the regular season earns $3,000.
  • Second place gets $1,000
  • Winners of each quarterly mini-contest cash $500. The quarters are as follow: Weeks 1-5, Weeks 6-9, Weeks 10-13, Weeks 14-18. The quarterly winners also get spots in the playoff portion of the contest.
  • First place in the playoff pool wins $2,000.
  • Ties will be broken by the closest prediction of the total points scored in the last game of each contest period – i.e the Week 5 MNF game for the first quarter, and the Super Bowl for the playoffs.

A Quick Look Back at Last Years Bookies Battle

Max Schmerin from Rivers Casino Pittsburgh took the top regular-season prize last year, and Duane Colucci from Rampart Casino in Las Vegas came in second.

Colucci nearly also claimed the playoff prize money but was nosed out in a tiebreaker to Nick Smith of Snoqualmie, who was spot-on with his prediction of 43 points in the Rams’ 23-20 win over the Bengals in the Super Bowl.

Check out a recap of Bookies Battle 2021 right here.

Stay up to date: Live NFL Week 1 odds | Super Bowl 57 odds

About the Author
Marcus DiNitto

Marcus DiNitto

Sr. News Editor
Marcus DiNitto is Senior News Editor for Gaming Today. He has been managing editor at national sports websites SportsBusiness Daily, Sporting News, and The Linemakers, as well as with licensed operator USA Sports Gaming. Marcus graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his MBA from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

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