NFL Week 1

I’ve mentioned before that I find betting on the NFL in the early weeks to be tricky, especially week 1, as there’s little information to go on. I don’t start fully betting on the NFL till week 4 or 5, but as I’m in a NFL Supercontest I’ve got to submit 5 picks this weekend against the spread (ATS).

So I’ve been doing more research that normal for this stage of the season and it’s incredible the amount of utter crap gets written when it comes to predictions. These fall into 2 categories: rhetoric and irrelevant stats.


A load of nonsense that can’t be quantified. The classic example is this:

It’s all about who wants it more

Yes. Teams shouldn’t bother about creating an environment to get the best out of players, or devising any sort of game plan. You just have to mentally “want it” more than the other set of guys.

Another classis is:

Don’t bet against the best QB in the league

Right now that’s Mr A Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. Without respect to price or spread you just want to put your money on that guy’s team, I’m told. But every man and his dog has probably put money on the Packers at the Bears so there’s more likely to be value on the other side…

I’ve actually read about how teams that are playing their next match on Thursday may be distracted for this weekend’s games!

“Alright lads, we’re playing again on Thursday so let’s take it easy this weekend. I don’t want anyone to pull a hammy, alright? Don’t worry, there’s 16 regular season games so we can afford write this one off.”

Irrelevant Stats

I’ve read so many irrelevant ATS records that have been used to back up the team that getting tipped:

Jets are 9-16 ATS in September home games since 2000

Oh really?…In that case I’d like to put my life savings and the proceeds from selling one of kidneys on the Browns this weekend please. No I don’t care about small samples sizes or solid reasoning.

another one:

Drew Brees is 37-26 ATS as an underdog

Apparently despite NFL teams having 53 men on their roster, the QB is the only guy that matters and gets credited with wins & loses.

Bets ATS are roughly 50/50 plays. So with a small sample size you can find any sort of stat to support what you want. None of which will be statically significant. A large sample may suggest which teams are consistently overrated by the market over the years *cough Dallas cough*.

As the sex pistols once said “Nevermind the bollocks, where’s the value?” That’s what we’re interested in.

After some consideration, taking into account what the spread is, my numbers from last season and attempting to project this season, my 5 picks are:

Miami Dolphin-3.5

Washington are going to be terrible. We all know this. The season wins totals are Miami 9 wins and Washington a mere 6.5 wins. Considering the mess Washington are in they’d do well to get 6 or 7 wins. (They’re around 1.57 (-175 US) for the under). I don’t think the -3.5 points is enough.

NY Jets -3.5

San Diego Chargers-3

Cincinnati Bengals -3

They’re playing the Raiders. There’s 2.5 games difference here in the season win totals between the 2 teams, plus Cinci play in the AFC North. I’m surprised the line is only -3.

Minnesota Vikings -2.5

Wish me luck.

Update:  4-1. Miami, NY Jets, San Diego & the Bengals are covered, but the Vikings lost to the SF 49ers.

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