You might think September weather wouldn't have all that much effect on this week's football picks, but there are some storm clouds on the horizon who beg to differ.
How important is the weather when you're making your NFL picks? Important enough that you should check the reports for every single outdoor game you're going to bet. This will become even more important – and an automatic reflex – once summer turns into fall, and fall turns into winter. But we can't ignore the weather now just because it's early September.
Before we proceed, a quick refresher on adjusting your football picks for the weather: The UNDER has historically enjoyed more success in the heat, the wind and the rain, while the OVER has more value in the cold and the (moderate) snow – where recreational bettors tend to overcompensate for the conditions. You can link these trends to your ATS picks by giving a bit more weight to underdogs in UNDER situations, and favorites in OVER situations, as if you're making the classic two-team combo bet.
With that in mind, here are the Week 1 games where the forecast at press time calls for anything worse than partly cloudy skies. These are all early Sunday afternoon games, except for the late-afternoon Titans-Buccaneers matchup. All data is from the fine folks at Weather Underground. As always with games like these, consider waiting until closer to kick-off to see how the weather holds up before betting, and like my friend Wayne says, don't forget to bring a raincoat.
Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets: Chance of a Thunderstorm
Not only is there a 65-percent chance of rain above MetLife Stadium at kick-off, things could also get a little thundery-and-lightningy in East Rutherford. It's raining there as we go to press, and it's not supposed to stop until Monday.
Carolina Panthers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Chance of a Thunderstorm
It's a coinflip whether the skies will open up over EverBank Field, but if they do, at least it'll provide some relief from the 80-degree temperatures expected at game time. Jacksonville might avoid this storm altogether if it expends all its energy on Saturday.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills: Chance of Rain
At least it's not snowing yet. Just like Jacksonville, we're looking at about a 50-percent chance of rain over Ralph Wilson Stadium, lasting throughout the day – if this relatively quick storm burst hasn't petered out by then.
Miami Dolphins vs. Washington: Chance of a Thunderstorm
Who'll have the best arm at FedExField this Sunday? It could be Thor. The forecast calls for a 60-percent chance of rain at kick-off, tapering to 35-percent later in the afternoon. The long-range forecast looks a bit more promising. Again, it could all be over on Saturday.
Tennessee Titans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Thunderstorm
Still “only” a 60-percent chance of rain over Raymond James Stadium, but this storm looks a bit more serious, and it should be well over 80 degrees by game time. It's supposed to be nasty pretty much all week long starting on Saturday, but the weather report shows a break in the clouds on Monday that might decide to arrive early.