NFL Picks: Which Week 1 Games Are Getting the Most Action?

Kevin Stott

Friday, June 26, 2015 7:19 PM UTC

Friday, Jun. 26, 2015 7:19 PM UTC

Let’s examine the movement of the numbers for Week 1 over the past two months, provide a little analysis and offer a couple of NFL picks on some perceived solid underdogs for Kickoff Weekend.

Introduction and Why So Much Movement on That One Game?
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook released its Week 1 point spreads on April 21, and outside of the NFL Regular Season opener between the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 10 (NBC, 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT; NFL Odds: Patriots -2½, Total: 49, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), there has been limited line movement on Sides and Totals in the 16 games posted on the betting board. So, why so much movement, on both the Side and the Total, in the Patriots-Steelers game? It’s obvious. The looming potential suspension of New England QB Tom Brady for his part in the Deflategate scandal in the AFC Championship game last season means that the public and bettor’s perceived Brady—who appealed his 4-game Suspension on Tuesday in New York City at NFL offices—being suspended at least for that opening game for sure, meaning Eastern Illinois product Jimmy Garoppolo would likely get the start against Pittsburgh. Therefore, early bettors gobbled up Steelers action at +6 all the way down to its’ current +2½ in this high-profile AFC contest, perceiving that New England would be much worse off with the backup guy in the game and Brady unavailable.

The Total in this Limelight-y game also was bet down from its opening 53 in this Must-Watch game all the way down to its current 49, with Under backers thinking there will be less points scored with Patriots backup QB Garoppolo relatively inexperienced in real games and Head Coach Bill Belichick possibly engineering a more conservative game plan for this opener, although one never knows with the hooded New England evil genius. One thing’s for sure: There is absolutely no way that the Patriots are going to try to rely solely on the Rush against the Steelers with TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Julian Edelman, WR Danny Amendola and the often unheralded WR Brandon LaFell (74 Receptions, 953 Yards, 7 TDs in 2014).

Let’s look at the current numbers (Wednesday, June 24) over at the SuperBook compared with the Openers from two months ago, with specific line movements detailed.


NFL Week 1 Current vs. Opening Odds—Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook


Thursday, September 10, 2015
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -2½ Pittsburgh Steelers 49 (NBC)

Opened: New England Patriots -6, 53

Line Movement: Steelers money 3½ points (-6 down to -2½)

Total Movement: Under money 4 points (53 down to 49)


Sunday, September 13, 2015
Green Bay Packers -5 CHICAGO BEARS 50½

Opened: Green Bay Packers -4, 50

Line Movement: Packers money 1 point (-4 up to -5)

Total Movement: Over money ½ point (50 up to 50½)


HOUSTON TEXANS -1½ Kansas City Chiefs 42½

Opened: Houston Texans -1½, 43

Line Movement: None

Total Movement: Under money ½ point (43 down to 42½)


NEW YORK JETS -3 Cleveland Browns 41

Opened: New York Jets -1, 41

Line Movement: Jets money 2 points (-1 up to -3)

Total Movement: None


Indianapolis Colts -2½ BUFFALO BILLS 47½

Opened: Indianapolis Colts -3 Even, 48

Line Movement: Bills money ½ point (-3 down to -2½)

Total Movement: Under money ½ (48 down to 47½)


Miami Dolphins -2½ WASHINGTON REDSKINS 44½

Opened: Miami Dolphins -2½, 44½

Line Movement: None

Total Movement: None


Carolina Panthers -4 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 42½

Opened: Carolina Panthers -4, 43½

Line Movement: None

Total Movement: Under money 1 point (43½ down to 42½)


Seattle Seahawks -3½ ST. LOUIS RAMS 43

Opened: Seattle Seahawks -3½, 44

Line Movement: None

Total Movement: Under money 1 point (44 down to 43)


ARIZONA CARDINALS -3 New Orleans Saints 47½

Opened: Arizona Cardinals -2½, 48

Line Movement: Cardinals money ½ point (-2½ up to -3)

Total Movement: Under money ½ point (48 down to 47½)


SAN DIEGO CHARGERS -2½ Detroit Lions 46

Opened: San Diego Chargers -2, 46½

Line Movement: Chargers money ½ point (-2 up to -2½)

Total Movement: Under money ½ point (46½ down to 46)


TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS -3 Tennessee Titans 42

Opened: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3, 42½

Line Movement: None

Total Movement: Under money ½ point (42½ down to 42)


Cincinnati Bengals -3 OAKLAND RAIDERS 44

Opened: Cincinnati Bengals -3, 44½

Line Movement: None

Total Movement: Under money ½ point (44½ down to 44)


DENVER BRONCOS -4 Baltimore Ravens 52½

Opened: Denver Broncos -4, 53

Line Movement: None

Total Movement: Under money ½ point (53 down to 52½)


DALLAS COWBOYS -6 New York Giants 50 (NBC)

Opened: Dallas Cowboys -5½, 50

Line Movement: Cowboys money ½ point (-5½ up to -6)

Total Movement: None


Monday, September 14, 2015
Philadelphia Eagles -1 ATLANTA FALCONS 53½ (ESPN)

Opened: Philadelphia Eagles -1½, 53½

Line Movement: Falcons money ½ point (-1½ down to -1)

Total Movement: None


SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS -3 Minnesota Vikings 41 (ESPN)

Opened: San Francisco 49ers -3½, 42

Line Movement: Vikings money ½ point (-3½ to -3)

Total Movement: Under money 1 point (42 down to 41)



Conclusions and Some Other Significant Line Movement
Besides the obvious Steelers-Patriots mega-movement, what really stands out here is the Wise Guys and early bettors’ proclivity to back the Under in the game Totals for Week 1. Eleven of the 16 games have seen their Totals drop so far on early betting action, with only one game—the Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers rising from its Opening 50 to 50½—seeing its Total rise with four games seeing no movement yet. As was noted here before at Sportsbook Review, a remarkable 7 of the 16 games in Week 1 have the visiting team laying points in their Openers, including the defending NFC champion NFC champion (+475 win Super Bowl, Bwin) are laying 3½-points to the host St. Louis Rams (+5000, BetVictor) at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday, September 13.

Also noteworthy here: Besides that aforementioned Steelers-Patriots tilt, all movements for Week 1 have been fairly minimal—both for Sides and Totals—most at ½ point, a few at 1, and then the New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns contest on Sunday, September 14 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey where the Home favorite Jets have seen their Opening point spread of -1 jump 2 points all the way up to -3, possibly a combination of bettors’ doubts in the Browns and their QB situation as well as a reflection of what New York AFC has done in in the Offseason, with the Jets really shining, signing a big-name stud CB in Darrelle Revis (Patriots), as well as CB Antonio Cromartie (Cardinals), and drafting some collegiate stars like DE Leonard Williams of USC (Round 1); WR Devin Smith of The Ohio State University (Round 2); OLB Lorenzo Mauldin of Louisville (Round 3); and, QB Bryce Petty of Baylor (Round 4).Granted, the J-E-T-S, Jets!, Jets!, Jets! probably aren’t headed to Super Bowl 50, but if this team can get some solid QB play from Ryan Fitzpatrick (Texans) and/or Geno Smith, then who knows. Maybe the Jets will end up as good or better record-wise as their highly thought of AFC East rivals, the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins. And maybe a Season Team Win Totals bet on the New York Jets is warranted.

So, in short, the Patriots game has dropped a bunch for obvious reasons; the Jets line has gone up 2 points; and, most Totals (11) for Week 1 here at the world-renowned Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook in now scorching Sin City have been bet down a bit. So, pretty much what one would expect in this marketplace for the first two months of action, save for the Football Air Pressure Scandal and designated future importance—for at least one Thursday in September—of one Jimmy Garoppolo. And, there’s nothing wrong with talking about Jimmy Garoppolo in the Spring? Now is there?


NFL Week 1 Picks: New England Patriots -2½ over Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints +3 over Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings +3 over San Francisco 49ers (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)

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