1. The Spread Is Still Dead
Did you think I was going to lead with anything else besides what has become my thesis statement when it comes to betting on the NFL? Out of every game during the NFL week one slate, the spread came into play twice-technically. The Browns don’t technically apply as the current trend reads:
When a favorite wins the game, they cover the spread 85% of the time
When an underdog covers a game, they win outright 82% of the time.
But, Browns backers got to the window, so I’ll allow it. The Bears were the other one, covering as a +6.5 underdog.
The takeaway is very simple here. Throw out teasers mostly, use parlays. If you think “that’s too many points…” Play the money line on an underdog and greatly reduce your break-even point while betting on the National Football League.
2. Dallas Is Going To Struggle
I’ve been on the train for so long that it seems second nature to say it, but let me do it one last time. Dak Prescott won’t be in the league within three more years. Dak Prescott was the beneficiary of the best offensive line in football, was able to hand off to one of the most talented running backs in the NFL, and had a few guys who could catch the ball in years past. Fast forward to today and the offensive line is not close to the same unit, there are zero offensive weapons catching the ball, and Ezekial Elliot is only being given the ball 15 times.
Dallas is going to be a great under team all season, as they have to slow the pace of play down to a screeching halt to be able to compete with Ezekial Elliot, and Dak Prescott is going to be a great fade all season-his passing yards prop was set at 230 in NFL week one.
3. React, Don’t Over-React To Week One
Week one is the hardest week to handicap for a variety of reasons, mostly because the trend guys don’t have much of anything to go on other than last year. When we look at certain games, we need to be able to take a look next level and see what is actually relevant and what is variance. I don’t think you can take much of anything from the longest game in the history of the NFL as there was absolutely no chance for any team to get into any flow. That being said, that didn’t stop Tennessee from losing their number one receiver in Delanie Walker for the season and possibly their starting quarterback, but I really don’t think there is as big of a difference as most do in Marcus Mariota to Blaine Gabbert.
The jury is still out on Mariota, but there’s no doubt he was a part of Tennessee being the second worst team against the spread (besides Cleveland) since he’s got there. Mike Mularkey was the biggest reason, but he’s been overvalued every step of the way.
Tampa went on the road (with Ryan Fitzpatrick) as a 10 point road dog and won outright. Traditionally, when you have two double-digit spreads in one week, one won’t come in, but I don’t think many people at all saw this coming to fruition as an outright underdog winner. Is Tampa good? Are The Saints bad? We just don’t’ know yet. New Orleans lost their home opener for the fifth straight year, so it may just be a scheduling quirk they cannot overcome. Wait and see.
4. What We Do Know: Indianapolis’ Defense Is Prime To Exploit
There are certain matchups that whatever type of sports gambling you are into; season-long fantasy football, daily fantasy, the prop market, against the spread, or totals-it can be used every direction. To me, that’s the defense of the Indianapolis Colts. All eyes were on Andrew Luck in his return in over a year to football, but the defensive dropped the ball on more than one occasion allowing Andy Dalton to complete 21 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Mixon also chipped in 95 yards on 17 carries.
The script flips to Washington this weekend, as Alex Smith, Jordan Reed, and co are in a prime spot in a great matchup both in the prop market and fantasy world.
5. Rapid Fire Week One TakeAways
The 0-0-1 Browns record is the best start by the franchise since 2004.
Jimmy Garrapollo lost his first professional start in the NFL.
New England covered the spread in week one, have now covered 75% of their games since 2014.
Denver won a home opener for the sixth straight year.
Aaron Rodgers is now 13-2 his last fifteen games played.
Minnesota at home is now the best bet in football since 2015 at 20-7 (74%)
Next is New England at home at 20-8 (71%