Two of the NFL’s best defenses cashed in big on the field and with fans using NFL betting promos who picked them to score their game’s first touchdown. Meanwhile, receivers continue to pay off well if you can choose the right one to score first — it doesn’t matter if they’re young or old.
All season long, USBettingReport.com will be tracking every first touchdown to see which player would net a weekly $100 bettor at legal online sports betting sites the most money. We’ll be tracking $100 bet calculations for every game a player is active.
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NFL First TD Money Won
Rashid Shaheed (WR, NO)
Kyren Williams (RB, LAR)
Deshaun Watson (QB, CLE)
Jakobi Meyers (WR, LVR)
Brandon Aiyuk (WR, SF)
Romeo Doubs (WR, GB)
Jordan Addison (WR, MIN)
Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR, DET)
Calvin Ridley (WR, JAX)
Stefon Diggs (WR, BUF)
Brian Robinson (RB, WSH)
Bijan Robinson (RB, ATL)
J.K. Dobbins (RB, BAL)
Austin Ekeler (RB, LAC)
Kansas City is still the Super Bowl odds favorite at BetMGM Sportsbook despite its Week 1 loss. The Chiefs are +650 to repeat as champs. San Francisco is second at +700, followed by Philadelphia at +800.
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NFC East’s Beastly Defenses Stand Tall
The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles both started with victories in Week 1, and it was their defenses and special teams that helped make that happen.
Dallas secured a 40-0 victory over NFC East rival New York Giants and the special teams unit scored first after cornerback Noah Igbinoghene returned a blocked field goal 58 yards for a score. Not to be outdone, the Cowboys’ defense scored the second touchdown when cornerback Daron Bland ran 22 yards with his first interception of the season.
In all, the Dallas defense forced three turnovers, made seven sacks and 10 tackles for a loss, so the opportunities to find the end zone figure to be high all season.
Meanwhile, the Eagles matched their main competition in the NFC East with a 25-20 victory over the New England Patriots and cornerback Darius Slay scored the first touchdown on a 70-yard interception return.
With odds at mobile sports betting apps of +3100 and +3000, the Cowboys and Eagles would have produced paydays of $3,100 and $3,000 for anyone who bet $100 for their defense or special teams to score the first touchdown of the game.
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Receivers Stand Out in NFL Betting on Opening Weekend
Half of the first touchdowns in Week 1 went to wide receivers, while five were running backs and there was one quarterback who scored first — the Browns Deshaun Watson.
The first- and second-best payouts for individuals would have required a gut feel, since both were second-year players who didn’t do too much as rookies.
New Orleans receiver Rashid Shaheed earned a starting role opposite Michael Thomas, and it was Shaheed who scored the first and only touchdown in the Saints’ 16-15 victory over the Tennessee Titans. His long-shot odds of +2800 meant a $2,800 payout for a $100 bet.
He broke a 9-9 tie late in the third quarter on a 19-yard pass from Derek Carr, who was playing his first game for New Orleans. It was Shaheed’s fourth NFL touchdown, as he scored two receiving and one rushing as an undrafted rookie out of Weber State in 2022.
Running back Kyren Williams (+2200 for a $2,200 payout) broke through with his first career touchdown in the Rams’ surprising 30-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Williams only had 35 carries and nine receptions as a rookie out of Notre Dame in 2022, but he played a big role Sunday. He scored twice and outgained starter Cam Akers 52 to 29 yards despite having only 15 carries compared to Akers’ 22.
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Dobbins Out for the Season
The rest of the list includes names you’d expect to have better chances to score first. Watson delivered the fifth-best payout for a $100 bet ($2,000) since quarterbacks don’t score a lot of touchdowns unless you’re the Bills’ Josh Allen or the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts. Hurts has the best first TD odds (+490) at Caesars Sportsbook for Philadelphia’s Thursday night game against Minnesota.
After Williams, the other four running backs had the bottom four payouts since they are more established and stand a better shot of cashing in on short runs near the goal line — the Redskins’ Brian Robinson ($800), Falcons rookie Bijan Robinson ($550), the Ravens’ J.K. Dobbins ($550) and the Chargers’ dual threat in Austin Ekeler ($400).
Sadly, Dobbins won’t be on this list again this year since he suffered a knee injury in Baltimore’s win over the Texans.
The other seven receivers include some experience with the Raiders’ Jakobi Myers, the Bills’ Stefon Diggs and the Jaguars’ Calvin Ridley. Guys in their fourth season or fewer included the 49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk, the Packers’ Romeo Doubs, the Lions’ Amon-Ra St. Brown and Vikings rookie Jordan Addison.
So as we look ahead to betting the first touchdown in the Week 2 schedule, you’ve got some studying to do, and you’ve got to be a little lucky. Young or old, runner or receiver or banking on the defense dominating a lesser opponent. You’ve got lots of options to consider.
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Douglas Pils has been a sports journalist for 30 years in Texas, Arkansas and New York having worked for the San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News and Newsday. He most recently ran the Student Media Department at Texas A&M for eight years.