A preview of the 2016 NFL season guide (25 pages in PDF)
- Early season value in the NFL betting market
- Overvalued or undervalued: a preview of some of the teams who have value in the NFL betting market
- Circled games: a list of games I have circled where I see an opening line I like plus a favorable matchup.
- Keys for all 32 teams: a quick breakdown of the most important parts of every team.
- Turnover margin: why it’s so key for ATS success.
- Why schedule analysis is so important.
I) Early season value in the NFL betting market
“Stay away from betting NFL Week 1, it’s too unpredictable.”
I’ve heard some variation of that line over the years from a number of different people. These different people represent the opinion of the general public. Problem with the general public is they usually don’t know the information necessary to win long-term in the betting market. The great thing about the general public is they create the market that sharps profit on in the NFL.
You see, the NFL has more offseason activity than any other sport that exists. With 53 men on the roster the NFL has more free-agent activity and offseason trades than the NBA, MLB, and NHL. A lot of this activity happens when most of the world is preoccupied with the NBA Finals or the Stanley Cup. Pretty hard to follow. Then NFL preseason games come on while you’re at the beach in August so you barely watch it and the only information you get from the game is the highlights on your Instagram feed of a starting quarterback carving up a defense playing single coverage with no gameplan.
My point is that it’s hard for the average working guy who has a normal life to keep pace with all the NFL updates in the offseason. Even for those who do follow you still have to study the betting market (who is overvalued/undervalued) and then you have to analyze schedules and statistical analytics to get yourself a real advantage versus the pointspread. Considering all of this, of course betting the NFL Weeks 1 & 2 can seem overwhelming. However, with the right information and getting ahead of the betting public, there is real value in the early NFL betting market.
Now, I don’t want to say that Week1 in the NFL is a guaranteed winning week, but I want to point out some of the deficiencies in the early season NFL betting market with pure results from the past few years:
2015, Week 1: Colts @ Bills. Bills +2.5, 3 unit
64% of the public was on Andrew Luck and the Colts last year in Week 1 over the Bills. The Bills had an unknown QB in Tyrod Taylor and this was Rex Ryan’s first game as a Bills coach. Most people remembered Rex Ryan going out of NY as a loser and the betting public was all over the Colts here. Tyrod Taylor had looked impressive in preseason though and had scrambling ability that was tough to defend. The Colts had holes on their front 7 and were in for a tough matchup covering Taylor outside the pocket. The Bills also had an edge in the trenches too as the Colts had holes on their offensive line. On top of all of this, Rex Ryan was out to prove he can still coach and was going to give the city of Buffalo something to root for. This was a Bills play all the way. Bills led wire-to-wire and won 27-14.
2015 Week 1: Eagles @ Falcons +3, 5 units. Monday Night Football.
The Eagles had a preseason for the ages – they put up 36, 40, and 39 points with 3 wins in their first 3 weeks and Chip Kelly looked like a genius. Man, oh man, crazy how less than 365 days ago the public was touting Chip Kelly as a guru. Things change so quickly in the NFL. The public loved the Eagles so much from these inflated preseason numbers that the opening line went from a PK to Eagles -3! This was just ridiculous – the Falcons were nowhere near an established team but they had a new head coach in his first game in primetime. On top of that Matt Ryan was 7-0 SU & ATS in home openers at this point and the Eagles defense was nowhere near dominant. The Eagles were in for a rude awakening facing a defense who had all summer to think about them. Falcons win & cover 26-24.
-In 2014 the Seahawks throttled the Packers 36-16 on opening night, covering a 6 point spread and continuing a trend that Super Bowl winners are 14-2 SU & 10-4-2 (71.42%) ATS on opening night the following season since 2000.
-In 2013 the scrappy Titans went into Pittsburgh in Week 1 and beat a Le’Veon Bell-less Steelers 16-9 as 6 point underdogs.
There are holes in the early NFL betting market. Getting the right information on teams before Week 1 is key. Twitter, ESPN, and other sites are littered with information that hurts bettors. The media has a way of swaying people into believing something that isn’t necessarily true or just blowing up something out of proportion.
Sharp bettors pick and choose their media wisely. The information that people hear & read (whether it’s accurate information or not, unfortunately) has a massive influence on people’s opinions when they are betting. That’s why if you put 9 average bettors in a room with 1 sharp, the sharp’s opinion on the game will typically be different than the average bettors. Not because he blindly wants to fade the public but because he has a perspective on the game that’s different from the public and he’s very confident in that perspective.
Clients & I have locked in our first Week 1 wager in NFL this season. New clients will receive this pick upon purchasing a season or monthly package, which can be purchased on my site. This play is an underdog and I really like the matchup I see here. There is a gap in knowledge between the public and what I am seeing in this game. And last but not least, I was able to lock a linea that is very generous for the final score I envision.
For now let’s look at a preview of some teams who are overvalued & undervalued in general this season in the NFL…..
-These teams are not ranked in any particular order.
-This is a preview, not a full list, of my opinion on teams overvalued & undervalued in the betting market. Some information is withheld to not reveal possible picks that clients pay for.
-All lines mentioned are based on CG Technology’s opening lines in Las Vegas.
2) Overvalued or Undervalued…
Atlanta Falcons – Undervalued
Dan Quinn is entering his second year as head coach of the Falcons and he brings his Super Bowl winning defensive mentality from the Seahawks to this team. They got much better on D through the draft adding S Keanu Neal from Florida in the 1st round and LBs Deion Jones from LSU & De’Vandre Campbell. Neal is a hard hitting safety who Quinn has hinted can play the “Kam Chancellor role” in Atlanta’s defense. Overall the expectation is for this team to play fast on defense and give Vic Beasley the best chance to create 1 on 1 matchups on the front-end. It’s not the best line in the league but it’s good enough: Derrick Shelby, Adrian Clayborn, and Dwight Freeney (combined with some of Atlanta’s young LBs) should help Beasley for sure. Not to mention, Desmond Trufant at CB is awesome. WRs are in for a tough matchup vs Trufant especially with a quicker pass rush. Throw in the fact that Atlanta added C Alex Mack in the offseason and will use WR Mohammed Sanu in the short-passing game, this team is going to surprise a lot of people if they stay healthy.
Game I can see ATL covering: Week 4 +3.5 home vs Carolina. This is probably their biggest “circled” game of the year – a home division rivalry game versus the 15-1 team from last year. It’ll be revenge for Carolina but Cam proved that Atlanta can step their game up for the big matchup and Atlanta’s pass rush versus Carolina’s tackles will be key in this game. Not a lock, but I have it circled.
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