Tomlin’s Tips: 2020 NFL/NCAA Football Week 1 Bets


Football is back, baby! Along with the fall weather and pigskin, Tomlin’s Tips is back with the 2020 NFL/NCAA Week 1 Football Bets!

In Tomlin’s Tips inaugural season, we squeezed out a small profit. My NFL picks were all in all three games over .500 for a slight loss in vig. However, my college football picks provided a +15.6 unit profit. That means if you bet $100 on every college pick then you won $1,560 in 2019.

With the 2020 NFL/NCAA Football Week 1 Bets, I have to focus more on the NFL. This is mainly due to the light college schedule in the first few weeks with the pandemic. The good news is that early returns are that college teams are keeping somewhat safe.

As always, a simple disclaimer: sports betting should be entertainment. This article will not make you rich. Anyone with picks saying they can make you rich is a liar and I would bet against them.

This is all about having fun wagering on sports while trying to stay even or break a small profit.

So let’s get to the picks!

All of the information is up to date as of September 10th.

Tomlin’s Tips: 2020 NFL/NCAA Football Week 1 Bets

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Best NFL Bets: 39-45-1 in 2019 regular season, 5-6 in playoffs

Each week I will pick my five best bets for the NFL weekend. This is similar to the most famous handicapping contest in the world, The Las Vegas Supercontest, where the winner gets over a million bucks.

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Cleveland Browns +8 at Baltimore Ravens

There are two major trends going for Cleveland here. Underdogs of eight or more points in Week 1 are 15-5 Against The Spread (ATS) in the last few years. Divisional underdogs in Week 1 are 38-16-1 ATS in the last ten years.

I’ve also made my thoughts well known on Lamar Jackson and his overall regression this season. Lastly, the Browns dominated the Ravens in Baltimore last season for the worst regular season loss of Lamar’s career. They put up the second-most points of their season (40). It’s tough to lose by more than a touchdown if you are going to score a lot.

Washington Football Team +6 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Football Team also fits the division dogs trend. The Eagles have a massive cluster of injuries at receiver and on their offensive line. I think Washington is just good enough to keep this one close.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +4 at New Orleans Saints

Or should I say “TOMpa Bay” am I right? This is another divisional dog, but there’s a more damning trend going against the Saints. New Orleans is 2-10 Straight Up (SU), 1-11 ATS the last six years over the first two weeks of the season. In what should be a massive shootout, give me the Bucs.
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Los Angeles Rams +3 vs. Dallas Cowboys

It is put up or shut up time for Dak Prescott. He’s got the best skill position group surrounding him of anyone in the league and I don’t think it’s really that close. However, there’s one key cog missing: Travis Frederick. I think Frederick’s retirement will put an extra strain on Dak of protection packages (Dallas gave up 56 sacks the last season he missed while averaging 27 the other three years). Toss in La’el Collins’ injury and now you have cluster injuries on the Cowboys offensive line. That’s not great against Aaron Donald.

Denver Broncos +3 vs. Tennessee Titans

In the last eight seasons, the Denver Broncos are 11-1 SU/ATS at home in the first two weeks of the season. They are 17-3 SU and 13-5-2 ATS hosting a Week 1 game. The Von Miller injury hurts, but I cannot let trends that strong pass me by.

Other NFL Games Picked: 81-78 in 2019

I’ll put my picks in for all of the NFL games. Some people are in pools where they pick every game each week. Home teams are in CAPS.

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Texans +10 over CHIEFS

PATRIOTS -6.5 over Dolphins

Jets +7 over BILLS

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PANTHERS +3 over Raiders

Seahawks -2.5 over FALCONS

Bears +3 over LIONS

JAGUARS+8 over Colts

Packers +3 over VIKINGS

Cardinals +7 over 49ERS

GIANTS +6 over Steelers

Survivor Pool Plays

One of the most popular games now is survivor pools. You pick one moneyline winner, no spread, every week. You can never use the same team twice.
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Indianapolis Colts

It might be a great strategy to just pick against the Jaguars every week this season. Usually, I want to be super safe in the first couple of weeks, but man it’s hard to pass this opportunity up to use the Colts and save the better teams.

Other Options: 49ers, Eagles, Patriots

NFL 10-Point Teaser of the Week: 14-8 in 2019

My brother and I’s favorite bet: you take 10 points extra either off the spread or over/under. You combine three different sides with the 10 extra points and all have to hit to win.

Patriots +3.5, Rams +13, Buccaneers/Saints OVER 38

The Patriots are NOT losing to the Dolphins again. I don’t think the Cowboys’ defense is good enough to beat anyone by two touchdowns right now. The shootout in New Orleans seems safe.

Game Total of the Week: 11-10 in 2019

Panthers/Raiders UNDER 48

Where is the offense coming from in this game? There might be some weather as well and you have the two most risk-averse quarterbacks in the league. Christian McCaffrey would have to go absolutely nuts to cover this.

College Best Bets: 59-51-1 regular season, 27-13 in bowl games

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Kansas Jayhawks -6.5 vs. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Last year’s game is being factored in too much here. Yes, the Chanticleers pulled the upset. However, year two is when a coach can really turn a program around. Les Miles took Oklahoma State from 4-7 to 8-5 in his second year there. He’s got some of his own guys there now and the rest have bought in. The Jayhawks won’t get surprised again.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish -19.5 vs. Duke Blue Devils

The books are coming around on Duke and David Cutcliffe. After an amazing run of 27-10-1 ATS and 20-18 SU as underdogs, the Blue Devils were just 2-4-1 ATS and 2-5 SU as dogs last season. Moreover, Notre Dame is playing in a conference for the first time and will want to make serious statements with the chance that two teams from one conference will make the College Football Playoff.

Iowa St. Cyclones -11.5 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

Iowa St. is another Big XII team that started slowly last season. However, they also have a great coach and an even better quarterback. If you don’t already, you will know Brock Purdy’s name by the end of the season. They blow the Cajuns’ doors off.

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Texas Longhorns -43.5 vs. UTEP Miners

UTEP was very fortunate last week to get a couple of short fields and big plays to pull out a win. They were down 14-3 late in the first half to a 3-win FCS team. Texas is in the same boat as Notre Dame. Even if they lose to Oklahoma, without the Big Ten or Pac 12 there’s a wild card spot up for grabs. Style points matter more than ever and they really want to get Sam Ehlinger’s Heisman case going early.

North Carolina Tar Heels -23 vs. Syracuse Orange

Syracuse has been hit hard by injuries and opt-outs already, including all over their offense. Their defense was already putrid and North Carolina was going to score no matter what. Now that the Orange are going to struggle to move the ball, this could get ugly.

Check out the rest of our 2020 Fantasy Football content from our team of excellent writers.

About Michael Tomlin

Michael Tomlin is an ESPY-nominated, former college football player who stays associated with the game through Fantasy Sports. He has been writing his personal blog,, for three years and it focuses on Fantasy Sports, as well as handicapping. He was born and raised in the DFW Metroplex, and he follows all of the Dallas teams, along with Texas Tech athletics and Manchester City F.C.

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  1. Pingback: Tomlin’s Tips: 2020 NFL/NCAA Football Week 2 Bets - Fantasy Six Pack

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