NFL 1st Drive Betting

Malcolm Darnley

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

NFL 1st Drive Betting Stats

Legend

  • GP: Games Played
  • Punt: % of 1st drives that resulted in a punt
  • Off. TD: % of 1st drives that resulted in an offensive TD
  • FGA: % of 1st drives that resulted in a field goal attempt
  • Other: % of 1st drives that resulted in either a turnover, defensive touchdown, or safeties
  • Off. Score: % of 1st drives that resulted in an offensive score overall

What Is NFL First Drive Betting?

Traditionally, NFL Sundays for sports bettors involved point spreads, moneylines, over/unders, and three hours of sweating out our bets.

But for those who enjoy betting on NFL 1st drives, there is no point spread to cover and definitely no three-hour sweat watching it all play out.

Betting on a team’s first drive is a bet that can be over with just one play. A bettor must decide what the result of that 1st drive will be and place their bet accordingly.

The first drive bet option exists for both teams and is not restricted to the opening drive of a game. A bettor can bet the 1st drive result for either team.

If you like betting on the opening drive, you might enjoy betting on the team to score first.

How Does NFL Opening Drive Betting Work?

Sportsbooks will provide odds on different 1st drive result possibilities. 

  • Punt. 
  • Touchdown. 
  • Field Goal Attempt. 
  • Turnover | Safety | Other.

A bettor must decide what the result of the first drive will be and pick the option and odds that work best for their strategy. 

Important to note that the Field Goal Attempt option doesn’t require a bettor to decide if the FG will be made or missed. They only need a team to attempt it.

Don’t be late for the opening kick-off because this bet doesn’t usually take very long to settle.

How NFL First Drive Odds Work

When betting on NFL 1st drive results, a bettor will analyze moneyline odds for the available options.

Example: Buffalo Bills 1st Drive Result

Result OptionsOdds
Punt+140
Touchdown+175
Field-Goal Attempt+400
Turnover, (Turnover on Downs) Safety+450

Looking at our odds table above, we can see that the two most likely occurrences for the Buffalo Bills first drive of the game is either they punt the ball or score a touchdown.

The field goal attempt and turnover/safety option have significantly higher odds than the punt or touchdown options.

Using The BestOdds.com NFL Opening Drive Betting Table

The appeal to betting on NFL opening drive results is obvious, especially once you have sat through a few betting tickets yourself. This is a high-adrenaline, intense, and over-in-a-hurry type of bet. Unlike riding the emotional roller coaster of a +3-hour game, opening drive bets don’t take long to play out.

The BestOdds.com NFL Opening Drive standings page is updated after each night of NFL action.

This page needs to become part of your regular rotation if you are even just thinking of betting on NFL opening drives.

As bettors, we can quickly find out how every NFL team has performed on their opening drives all season long. Access to every team’s opening drive Punt Percentage, Touchdown Percentage, and Field Goal Attempt Percentage, all broken down by home and away games if you require.

If betting on NFL opening drive results is a part of your betting portfolio, the NFL Opening Drive Standings Page has you covered.

NFL Opening Drive Betting Strategies

When it comes to betting on the opening drive results, we can make our strategy as simple or complicated as we wish.

For some, a bet like this is simply looking at Patrick Mahomes, and the Kansas City Chiefs get plus money odds to score a TD.

Who can resist that scenario watching Mahomes to Travis Kelce and others light it up each week?

For some bettors looking to take their research to another level, here are some other pieces of information to consider:

Game Total (O/U) – The total for a game is a great place to start your research because the number set by the sportsbook will tell us if they expect a game to be high or low scoring. 

If a game is low scoring, we expect the odds for a 1st drive Touchdown to have a bigger payout than a 1st drive Punt.

The reverse might be true if the O/U for a game was unusually high. Sportsbooks are expecting a shootout, and if the game plays up to their expectations, punts will be few and far between.

Weather – Weather information can be interesting for a couple of reasons. 

Weather can impact a team’s ability to score in so many ways. Wind, rain, and cold are just some ways weather can make scoring points difficult.

Weather information can also be very interesting after the coin toss but before the game has started.

Suppose a bettor understands that a strong breeze is blowing across the field, making throwing the ball extremely difficult in one specific direction. 

Once the coin toss has been completed, and the direction each team will be going has been determined, there is still time to place a bet.

You might find odds that were unable to adjust to the weather issues in time. 

With their weather research completed, a quick-to-react bettor can take advantage of that small window of time.

Other NFL 1st Drive Betting Options

Along with betting on the 1st drive result, a bettor has a couple of different variations of this bet available to play if they wish.

1st Drive Result Grouped

No Offensive Score (-260) Offensive Score (+200)

First Drive Result Grouped is a simplified version of this bet. Instead of having four options to select from, a bettor only needs to decide if a team will or will not score points.

1st Drive Field Goal Made

Yes +475No -900

Betting on whether or not a team will successfully make a field goal on their opening drive is also an option with some sportsbooks. 

First-drive successful field goals can be a rare occurrence for some teams, and the odds of that happening can be very enticing.

Shop Around

When it comes to being profitable and taking on the sportsbooks head to head, the single greatest edge a bettor has is to shop around for the Best Odds available for the bet they want to make.

Buffalo Bills 1st Drive Results

1st Drive ResultsDraftKingsFanDuel
Touchdown+175+270
Punt+140+100
Field Goal Attempt+400+440
Turnover / Other+450+500

Our table above is an excellent example of why shopping around provides the single most significant advantage for a bettor.

Imagine wanting to bet on the most likely scenario option, which is the Bills to Punt on their first possession. A bettor would see a 40% difference in profit between selecting the Best Odds or the worst odds available for this bet.

This is a 40% difference in profit for just one wager. If you multiply this type of advantage throughout an entire NFL betting season, the difference between shopping around or not could be massive.

Looking for more stats? Check out the NBA Race To 10 / 20 Points for betting.

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About the author

Malcolm loves to watch all kinds of different sports. He also writes about them.