3 Teams on Upset Alert in NFL Week 1

Jason Schandl
Potential NFL upsets in Week 1, including the Carolina Panthers over the Las Vegas Raiders.
Potential NFL upsets in Week 1, including the Carolina Panthers over the Las Vegas Raiders. / Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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The start of the 2020 NFL season could bring us a ton of surprises. With teams going through shortened offseason programs and getting no preseason games, we really have no idea what we're going to see from a lot teams, especially those that have undergone coaching changes or significant roster turnover.

Surprising results can be a goldmine for bettors. These three favorites, according to NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook, could find themselves on the wrong side of a Week 1 upset.

1. Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5) at Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals could upset the Chargers in Week 1.
Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals could upset the Chargers in Week 1. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Counting on a rookie QB in Week 1 is risky this year, but it's also not often we see a rookie QB as promising as Joe Burrow. Burrow also joins a Bengals offense that is rich with receiving weapons in Tyler Boyd, A.J. Green and even Joe Mixon out of the backfield. The Los Angeles Chargers are getting some hype this offseason, which may have them overrated. They checked in at just 25th in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA metric in 2019, and Burrow's career could get off to a strong start in this one.

2. Tennessee Titans (-1.5) at Denver Broncos

The Tennessee Titans could have their hands full with Drew Lock and the Denver Broncos in Week 1.
The Tennessee Titans could have their hands full with Drew Lock and the Denver Broncos in Week 1. / Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans are coming off a great playoff run, but part of what made that run so exciting is that they were big underdogs the whole time. A couple of high-profile wins doesn't change the fact that this is a team that only just slid into the playoffs last season. The Denver Broncos' defense is poised for another big year under Vic Fangio, and even a shortened offseason has given some time for Drew Lock to get even more comfortable than he was last year, when he led the team to a 4-1 record in five starts.

3. Las Vegas Raiders (-3) at Carolina Panthers

Teddy Bridgewater and the Carolina Panthers will look to upset the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1.
Teddy Bridgewater and the Carolina Panthers will look to upset the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1. / Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders had one of the worst defenses in the NFL in 2019 (31st in DVOA), and they didn't make many moves to shore that group up. Their offense could also get off to a tough start, with two rookie wide receivers (Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards) being called on to play big roles. A short offseason could certainly hurt for Teddy Bridgewater's early-season outlook, but he's a veteran that is now on his third NFL team, so he should be better equipped for the challenge than the Raiders' rookies are. The Panthers clearly focused on improving their offensive firepower (bringing in Robby Anderson along with Bridgewater), and the edge on that front could help them outduel the Raiders in a potential shootout.


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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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