With the release of NFL betting odds at various sportsbooks for Week 1 of the 2016 regular season, bettors have something to chew on and ponder for their football fix.
Who's to say what these lines might look like come September after the preseason has been completed, roster moves have been made and injuries already altering team's fortunate's, but who cares; we are talking about making NFL picks, which is all good.
With the advent of latest collective bargaining, we have seen changes, with less hitting in the preseason and teams not wanting to risk injuries to top players in preseason games. Thus tackling, assignment breakdowns and poorer special teams play is more common in Week 1 than in prior seasons.
In the last three years, the favored team is winning, but is below average against the NFL odds as you can below.
SU Record - 10-4 (two games went off as Pick's)
ATS Record - 8-5-1
SU Record - 10-6
ATS Record - 5-11
SU Record - 12-4
ATS Record - 7-8-1
Add this together and the favorites are 32-14 SU, but 20-24-2 against the sportsbooks spread. This could tell us Week 1 is primed for upset spread winners, with 15 of the 24 underdog victories outright money line winners. Who are current clubs who might well be causing those who bet popular teams just after Labor Day issues?
Super Bowl Champions Showing Stress Marks Already
The Denver Broncos overcame a mountain of adversity to become champions of the NFL, but the offseason has been tumultuous, starting with heir apparent Brock Osweiler leaving for Houston, plus, off the field incidents and some contract negotiations not go well for important players. Being the defending champs is hard enough with almost everyone back, but starting in the hole is a negative.
Oddsmakers have already made it clear what they think of Denver going into the season, listing them as 2.5-point underdogs (at Bookmaker) to Carolina, whom they dismantled in the Super Bowl. While underdogs are worth a look, this might be one to avoid.
Are Colts Really 5-Points Better than Lions?
Let's start with this question: Who would you rather have as your starting quarterback, Matthew Stafford or Andrew Luck? Two years ago, that would have been a laughable question to pose, as Luck was the next great signal caller in the making. But after two desultory and injury-plagued campaigns, Luck is not the anointed one any longer.
Both teams missed the playoffs a year ago, but Detroit finished 6-2 SU and ATS and was a Hail Mary pass from Aaron Rodgers from 7-1 SU & ATS to finish the season. The Lions look to have the stronger defense and these types of finishes typically have carryover effect, thus the Lions at +5 is inviting.
Washington a Live Home Dog on Monday Opener
Usually, there is two things you can count on September, Pittsburgh will start slowly and if Washington has a big game, they will crumble.
The Redskins are the defending NFC East champions and appear to be building something under coach Jay Gruden. Last year they were better in almost every facet and while a 9-7 record is hardly newsworthy, as three-point home dogs to Pittsburgh, Washington has play on potential.
The Steelers looked loaded again offensively with Ben Roethlisberger at the controls, just keep in mind in last five season openers, Pittsburgh is 1-4 and 0-4-1 ATS.