Early preseason football picks and predictions covering sides and totals ATS
The Hall of Fame game was played at a neutral site and the line was all over the board (the dog eventually won), but for the first full week of preseason games the books are hedging heavily towards the home teams. As of Thursday, the common line with my top books favors the home side in 14 of 16 games. The spreads aren’t big, with only two teams favored by more than a field goal (Jets, Chargers), it’s just clear that the man is expecting ‘pride’ to fuel a good deal of public money.
It’s common theme from regular season where the number of ‘home faves’ has at least matched the number of ‘road faves’ every single year since 1992. And in most cases, the intention was correct: Week 1 home faves are 151-60 straight-up (SU) since 1993 (72-percent). The bettors mark, the only one that really matters from our perspective, only shows a 109-99-10 record against the spread (ATS).
Let’s break it down to small home favorites, though, or what I like to call ‘tight lines’ within 2.5 points of ‘Pick em’. During the same time frame the Week 1 home favorites of -2.5 points or less are 21-15 SU (58-percent) but their ATS mark climbs above the profit point at 19-15-2 (56-percent).
Keep in mind that these stats are from regular season games where starters on both sides of the ball generally stay in pads a full sixty minutes. Preseason brings a whole other list of variables into play such as coaching initiatives, experience level of second- and third-teamers and how well the players understand the program. But the point is that in a lot of these early-season or preseason matchups, public perception has as great an influence on the tight lines as actual tangible evidence.
WEEK 1 PICKS – THURSDAY
We laid the points on the Jets, Seahawks and Chargers tonight along with two totals:
Bengals at Chiefs, first-half OVER 19.5 (-105)
Colts at Jets UNDER 37