Oddsmaker Mistakes Leave Doors Open for Our Week 1 NFL Picks

Nikki Adams

Friday, September 5, 2014 9:46 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 5, 2014 9:46 PM UTC

NFL betting offers plenty of angles for profit, towards which we’ve put together our value NFL picks in Week 1 NFL betting on the spread.

We offer up a few free NFL picks, with the belief that the sportsbooks have overlooked a few key details. 

Atlanta Falcons (+3) at New Orleans Saints (-3)

Betting Analysis: Atlanta Falcons were abysmal last season with a 4-12 SU mark, which included a 3-5 home record and 1-7-0 road record. Against the spread as the home underdogs, the Falcons performed well enough for NFL bettors, going 2-1 with a 66.7% winning ratio. Can they accomplish the feat against a quality side such as the Saints is the question here?

The New Orleans Saints were solid last season with an 11-5-0 SU record, which included a perfect 8-0 record at the Dome and a so-so 3-5 record on the road. It’s interesting to note, they were a complete dud against the spread as the away favorites however, coming up with a 0-4 ATS with a margin of victory/defeat of -2.8 and the average amount of points the team covers the spread by of -8.5.

Last season, the Saints hosted the Falcons at the Dome, winning 23-17. The reverse saw the Saints win 17-13 on the road. In their 2013 opener the Saints were favoured at around 7.5-points on the spread, on account of the Saints playing at home more or less. They didn’t cover. Nor did the Saints cover anything on the road as the favorites last term, but a 3-point spread against a Falcons side that was extremely beatable last season by an average of -5.6 points, should be straightforward for Drew Brees and Company don’t you think? We do.

NFL Picks: Saints -3

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Minnesota Vikings (+3) at St. Louis Rams (-3)

Betting Analysis: Minnesota Vikings had a moderate season behind a 5-10 SU mark, but, crucially, they were a solid 5-3 SU at home and a disappointing 0-7-1 on the road. Still somehow they proved profitable against the spread as the away underdog 50% of the time with a 4-4 mark, but the margin of victory/defeat oscillated by a high -10.4 points. What’s more, as the overall underdogs on the spread last season, the Vikings went 8-5-0, proving bankable 61.5 % of the time.  Clearly, NFL odds makers underrated the Vikings quite often. But are bookies guilty of underrating the Vikings in this matchup?

The Rams were solid last season despite a 7-9 SU record and a bottom finish in the NFC West. Home form was 5-3 SU and as the home favorites on the spread they went 3-1 for a 75% winning ratio in NFL betting markets. The average margin of victory was 12 points. While all that makes a good case for the Rams, the problem is Sam Bradford’s injury thrusts everything into doubt as far as the Rams’ season is concerned. Opinion is divided on Shaun Hill and his merit as a legitimate centre. The touch of doubt makes the Vikings a tempting tickle against the spread.

NFL Picks: Vikings +3

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Philadelphia Eagles (-10.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (+10.5)

Betting Analysis: Jacksonville Jaguars were one of the worst teams in the NFL last season and that perception is carried into the new term as the Jaguars go into their opener with the Philadelphia Eagles as the +10.5-point underdogs. By that same token, the Eagles are the -10.5 faves on the spread. Whichever way you slice it, that’s a big spread for Chip Kelly and his boys to cover on opening day. What’s more, the Jaguars went from worst defense at the start of last season to a so-so by season end. Against the spread as the underdogs, they managed to perform 4-4, coming up trumps 50% of time with an average margin of victory/defeat at -9.4. On the flipside, the Eagles failed against the spread with a 3-6 ATS mark last season.

NFL Picks: Jaguars +10.5

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