Betting week 1 is difficult because we really do not have a real idea of who these teams are yet, we have last years results, we have an off season of additions and departures but so much Week 1 lines are based on perception or just plain hype. Here’s hoping we can take advantage of some of these.
Game 1 Sea @ Stl +4
Sea 61% Stl 39%
Seattle is clearly one of the favorites to win the Superbowl this year and I think they are probably going to finish the season as one of the best NFC teams. In looking at the line I think the perception is that Seattle is every bit as good as they were at the end of last season even without Maxwell and Chancellor and the the Rams are the same also rans they were last year. I expect the Rams to take step ahead and have them finishing 2nd in the division this year, Football Outsiders likes the Rams even more and have them projected as 4th best defense and 5th best team by DVOA.
While I think Seattle will end up being one of the top 2 NFC teams, I do not think this is a great spot for them to start the season, in 2 of the last 3 years the Rams have beat Seattle straight up at home and I think there is a chance they do it again today.
The Rams have one of the most dominant defensive fronts in the NFL and unlike last year they are healthy. Seattle traded their pro bowl C Max Unger for Jimmy Graham, which should help give Russell Wilson a great target in pass game but in game 1, I think Aaron Donald and that Rams front creates chaos in the Seattle backfield and stops that run game. In games Seattle has struggled to run the pass game is far less efficient and covering a FG plus on the road is going to be very difficult.
The Rams have played the Seahawks tough at home regardless of who they have had at QB, while Foles is far from a star he should be able to run the offense competently,
Game 2: Ten +3 @ TB
Bet% Ten 52 TB%
The #1 pick vs #2 in a game that should be full of hype has TB and Ten as basically a pick embut TB gets the 3 pts for being at home. There’s not a lot to say here besides 1 I don’t think the TB homefield is worh 3 pts, maybe a point but really this is a bet that what we saw in the pre-season n regards to the 2 QBs hold true here.
Mariotta in the pre-season seemed to adjust to the NFL speed and his new offense a lot smoother than Winston did, that says nothing to their long term prospects but simply that in game 1 I feel better backing Mariotta. Winston will also have the added difficulty of facing a Dick Lebau defense which I am positive he has never seen anything like in college as well as be missing his #1 target Evans. I think Titans get this game straight up.
Game 3: Ind @ Buf Under 46
Bet % Over 49 Under 51
I wanted to take the Bills side here all week but couldn’t pull the trigger and when I got up today the line had moved from +2.5 to a pick, the fact that this happened even though 73% of the bets are on the Colts clearly shows the sharps are on Buf.
I think taking the Under is still a bet on the Bills, specifically that their defense can stop Luck and his new look offense without having to count on Tyrod Taylor to play well. I agree with most that think the Bills defense will be one of the absolute best in football, FO has them as projected #5 in DVOA and I think they finish even higher.
On offense the Bills have a running QB in Taylor, Shady Mccoy in his Bills debut and Greg Roman who uses as many different run formations as anyone as their OC. So if the Bills offense goes as planned it will mean the clock will keep moving and Luck will get fewer touches. I do like the Bills to have a great shot to win but either way I think it’s a low scoring close game.
Game 4: Car @ Jax +3
Bet% Car 54% Jax 46%
The Panthers made the playoffs last year from arguably the worst division in the NFL while the Jags were well, the Jags. Car last season survived a terrible offensive line and paper thin receiver corps and managed to eek out some tough wins. Well the offensive lie is worse and Cam Newton lost his 1 stand out WR for the season in August. There’s not much to say about this game besides the fact I just d not think the Panthers should be a 3 point favorite this year against anyone. Not even the Jags.
And then I believed the Hype…
Game 5 Mia -3.5 @ Wash
Bet% Mia 85% Wash 15%
I know I shouldn’t bet this, 85% of bets on Miami makes this the most hyped the most public of any plays on the card and goes against everything I believe in sports betting. I just really like Miami this year, I tink the addition of Suh really shores up their largest weakness on defense which was playing the run and he shold help free up some of their outside rushers like Cam Wake. On offense Tanehill has developed into a very quality player, they have very good run game and some nice weapons on the outside.
Wash is going th other way, Kirk Cousins is extremely turnover prone and they did little to upgrade their defense. Football Outsiders has Wash projected as dead last for 2015 in DVOA, while they might not be quite that bad I do think they are a bottom 5 team. I don’t know what to say, I know I shouldn’t bet this game but I did and now we wait.
Game 6 NYG +7 @ Dal
Bet% NYG 40 Dal 60
With this line moving to a full TD 20 min before kickoff I think there really is now too much value on Giants to pass up here. Dallas is a better team but both teams are similar in that the offenses are expected to carry mediocre to bad defenses.
Dallas is going to need to figure out there run game minus Demarco Murray, they still have the best O-line in football but in pre-season they didn’t have a clear plan at RB. On defense they lost Orlando Skandrik a key member of their secondary and without clear proof that the run game can protect this defense giving up a TD seems like a lot to ask.
The Giants will likely be terrible on D but the hope here is having all summer to prepare for Dallas and not having to worry about the run game as much as last year allows them to hang around and give Eli and the offense a chance to steal this one. As an Eagles fan, I have watched a lot of NFC football in my life and these games always feel like coin flips. 7 just seems too much to pass up here