Without hard stats to use when capping the first week of the NFL season, bettors need to turn to other means to find an edge. SBR.tv's Peter Loshak gets some help from Justin7 on the subject.
Last week SBR.tv's Peter Loshak questioned SBR's resident quantitative handicapping expert Justin7 about approaches to capping and betting Week 1 in college football. This week the discussion turns to Week 1 in the NFL, and some differences and similarities between Week 1 in the NFL and NCAAF.
In both the NFL and in college football, there are of course no current-season stats at all to work with when handicapping opening week. This hurts a bettor's ability to find an edge on posted lines, but it also hurts the oddsmakers' ability to set those lines accurately. In the NFL though, there is a bit more to go on with stats from the previous year that may or may not be more meaningful than previous year stats in college football, as well as a handful of preseason NFL games.
There are various approaches that can be used to find value in the sometimes less-precise betting lines that exist in the beginning of the year. Some are math-based ways of identifying inconsistencies in related lines that can slip through. One example of this that Justin7 gives in this Q&A is the relationship between the spread of games in Week 1 and the posted year-long win totals for the respective teams involved.
Another example discussed is using the first half stats of Week 1 games to try to identify full-game lines that may have been significantly off from what they should have been, and applying that insight towards analyzing the second half lines of those games.
Other topics such as the significance of the preseason, rookies starting in key positions, and players coming back from injury are also touched on in this interview.