We preview six games with the greatest betting activity since odds were released in April
In this week’s preseason NFL betting feature we’ve highlighted six matchups that have seen the greatest movement since odds were released in mid-April. There are still plenty of decisions to be made as NFL teams cut from 75 down to the 53-man roster on Saturday and while it can nervous times for those on the bubble, the majority of factors that could impact Week 1 odds have been accounted for.
With each game you’ll also find player notes, trends and systems “live” in Week 1. We also note which online sportsbooks are offering value on a game along with two early Week 1 picks.
FIRE IT UP!
The Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos opened with the home side favored by -7 points and the money has steadily poured in on Peyton and the boys ever since. Bettors don’t seem concerned with the subpar, 11-19 ATS (37-percent) record for Week 1 faves of this magnitude (SDQL: HF and week = 1 and line <= -7.5 and season >= 1999) and with this being a standalone game, it’s not surprising to see the fave taking public betting action but for what’s it worth, we like Baltimore to provide a tough test.
Early Week 1 Pick: Take the Ravens +9
WEEK 1, SUNDAY GAMES
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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS at BUFFALO BILLS
Open: Pats -5, O/U 53.5
Current: Pats -10, O/U 50.5
New England’s offensive woe in Detroit is not enough to offset the QB issues Buffalo faces. Divisional look-ahead spots have not been a problem for the Pats and the New York Jets (Week 2) won’t cause Bill Belichick to lose sleep but we should point out that the Jets and Pats contest is on Thursday (Sept. 12). Faves in this spot are just 4-12-2 ATS since 1992.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS at DETROIT LIONS
Open: Lions -2.5
Current: Lions -5 at Sports Interaction
Tough start for the Vikes with back-to-back divisional roadies. The Lions played well in each of their preseason home games and the Vikings were 0-3 SU/ATS with QB Ponder clearly missing his security blanket out of the backfield. AP will be 100-percent come Week 1 but the Leos are playing with revenge and the Vikings have the fourth lowest ATS win percentage in the league since 1989 when facing a divisional foe early in the season with a division game on-deck (13-21-1 ATS, 38-percent).
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS at NEW YORK JETS
Open: Jets -2.5
Current: Bucs -3
During the regular season if a line slips through ‘Pick em’ nirvana to favor a team who opened as a dog, the rule of thumb is to either ride with the money or pass. But after the events leading up to Mark Sanchez’s fourth quarter injury and the Rex Ryan un-impress conference that followed, it’s tough to build an argument for backing the Jets. Each team has a big divisional game on-deck. Our advice is to find a book still offering a “40” and bet the under.
Early Week 1 Pick: Take the Under
Jarvis made his first play of the 2013 season on June 11 and so far he has three Week 1 selections booked. Read his personal Week 1 NFL blog for more scoring trends and systems and follow @JarvisSimes for a head’s up on Best Bets throughout the season!
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Open: ‘Pick em’
Current: Chiefs -3.5
This kind of action on such a low profile game is a bit surprising. Andy Reid does have a reputation for getting his team ready with extra prep time and if you include playoffs he was 17-2 SU and 14-5 ATS with the Eagles off a bye week. Reid also went 3-1 SU/ATS in Week 1 the past four years and two of the wins were on the road, laying points where his club won by scores of 38-10 and 31-13. But the Chiefs haven’t scored 30-plus points since 2010 and there’s a reason the Jags have stayed under the total at home 17 of 25 times in September since 1998. We’re not close personal friends with Reid but chances are good he’s not a big fan of high humidity. No official play on this game but the current total at Bookmaker is 41.5. Lean to the under.
MONDAY NIGHT MAYHEM
The early game has seen a 3-point swing from Washington -6.5 down to -3.5 as Philly settled its QB controversy and Mike Shanahan kept his top weapon under wraps. We all know RG3 is ready to rumble and our projection is that the Skins will start taking back money any day now. This is also one of four games in Week 1 featuring a divisional home fave of less than a touchdown. With totals greater than 44 this is usually a recipe for betting the under but there are some concerns the NFL’s crackdown on defensive players could translate to higher scoring games. Call us old fashioned but we also lean to the under 51 (Pinnacle Sports).
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