NFL Pick 'em Pool Picks Week 1: Expert tips on favorites, upsets to consider in confidence pools, office pools – Sporting News

Week 1 of the NFL season offers a lot of fairly even matchups, with no team being favored by more than a touchdown. That makes for an interesting dynamic, especially when it comes to potential upset picks. Fortunately, the experts from PoolGenius are here to help by highlighting five Week 1 NFL picks that could give you an edge to win an NFL pick ’em pool or confidence pool in 2022.
PoolGenius is the only site that provides customized picks that maximize your edge in football pools. Check out their Football Pick ’em Picks, NFL Survivor Picks, and NFL Betting Picks.
For a limited time, PoolGenius is also offering a free trial to Sporting News readers.
FREE TRIAL: NFL pool picks from PoolGenius
How we identify NFL Week 1 value picks
Making good predictions is only part of the story when it comes to maximizing your edge in football picks pools. You also need to consider how your opponents are expected to pick each game. After all, you can only rise in the standings if you score points that your opponents miss. Two general strategies can help achieve that goal:
This approach to making picks is a big reason why, since 2014, an average of 71 percent of our subscribers have reported winning a prize in a football pick ’em contest each year.
The picks listed below provide some of the best opportunities to differentiate your Week 1 picks by taking on little or no additional risk. However, that doesn’t mean you should pick all of them — the upset picks especially. The best specific combination of Week 1 picks for your football pool depends on things like its size, rules, and prize structure. (To learn why, check out our free articles about strategy for winning football pick ’em pools, or just use our Football Pick ’em Picks product to get our Week 1 pick recommendations for your pool.)
Note: Win odds and estimated pick popularity data below may change between publication time and kickoff time. If you want the latest numbers, our product updates multiple times per day.
New York Giants at Tennessee Titans
Point Spread: +5.5
Pick Popularity: 13%
Category: Value gamble play in weekly contests
The Giants are one of our top model plays as an upset pick potentially worth making, as we show value both against the spread and moneyline. The line has been moving against Tennessee and adjusted down to the current 5.5-point spread after the news that DE Harold Landry of the Titans suffered a season-ending knee injury last week.
Meanwhile, the pick popularity has been going the other direction, as Tennessee has continued to rise in popularity through the week. Tennessee is a riskier play than the largest favorites of the week but is being picked in line with the teams now favored by a touchdown. That presents a value upset opportunity in larger weekly contests.
WEEK 1 DFS LINEUPS: DraftKingsFanDuel | Yahoo
San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears
Point Spread: -7.0
Pick Popularity: 89%
Category: Big favorite at high confidence points
The 49ers are tied for the largest spread of the week, but they have a little lower popularity than top favorites usually command. Meanwhile, teams like the Titans are drawing very similar pick rates. Public perception of San Francisco being on the road with a new QB is likely one reason why.
If you trust the betting markets over popular opinion, the best play is to stick with the 49ers at higher confidence, while some of your opponents get scared off by Trey Lance’s first start this season at QB.
Football Picks From TeamRankings:
Survivor Pool Picks | Pick ’em Pool Picks | NFL Betting Picks
Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots
Point Spread: -3.5
Pick Popularity: 70%
Category: Reasonably-priced favorite across all game-winner pools
There aren’t any underrated favorites in Week 1 right now (that is, a team favored in the betting markets but being picked at a lower rate than its implied win odds). However, the closest team to being one is Miami.
The spread in this game has risen slightly, and Miami is now up to 64-percent win odds and 70-percent pick popularity. There are teams with similar win odds who are more popular (Tennessee and Philadelphia) and teams that are close in pick popularity to Miami but riskier.
As a result, the Dolphins are a solid pick in both weekly and season-long contests this early in the season. You can take the betting market favorite and still have a decent chunk of the pool going the opposite direction.
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kicker

Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers
Point Spread: +2
Popularity: 40%
Category: Unpopular toss-up
This isn’t a huge upset pick, and the popularity numbers aren’t completely one-sided. However, our models have the Vikings as a virtual toss-up in the home opener against the Packers, while the majority of pool entries are on the other side.
That makes the Vikings a solid value play in weekly contests where you aren’t taking on much more risk by picking the slight underdog. They’d also be a possible consideration in large pools with only season prizes when you need to take some calculated gambles throughout the year.
MORE POOLGENIUS: Survivor pool strategy | Pick ’em strategy
Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers
Point Spread: +1.5
Popularity: 35%
Category: Value gamble play in weekly contests
The Browns travel to Carolina, where they will immediately face off against former QB Baker Mayfield. This is a game that has been a rollercoaster as far as the win odds and spread throughout the offseason based on the QB news related to both Mayfield and Browns QB Deshaun Watson.
The Browns were favored by over four points right after the NFL Draft, then it shifted downward after the Mayfield trade. Now, it’s settled at the Panthers being slightly favored with Watson’s suspension to start the year confirmed. Jacoby Brissett is the starting QB for Cleveland in this game, and he has been a fairly average backup in recent seasons. However, Cleveland still has a roster loaded with top talents.
You might see pick popularity for this game continue to shift toward the Panthers as casual fans log their picks this week. That could make for at least some slight value on the Browns as an upset pick, especially in weekly pools.
MORE POOLGENIUS: Week 1 survivor pool advice
Get All Our Week 1 NFL Picks
Our Football Pick ’em Picks is the only product that provides the customized picks and tools you need to maximize your edge in NFL pick ’em pools. It uses algorithms to identify the calculated risks that give you the best chance to win game winner, point spread, or confidence pool, based on characteristics like your pool’s size, rules, and prize structure.
Over the past eight years, our subscribers have reported winning prizes in season-long football pools more than three times as often as one would expect. So, if you learned something from this article, we encourage you to check it out.
FREE TRIAL: NFL pool picks from PoolGenius
Good luck in your pools this week!


Leave a Comment