NFL Week 1 Odds Available for Action
by Robert Ferringo - 4/25/2013
It’s always football season.
The sport is a juggernaut that dominates the national consciousness and has become a pillar of our economic system. It is so omnipresent that the NFL Draft – which is actually just a mundane selection of guys who will either be cut or sitting the bench next year – is headline news this week.
What was also news in the World of Warlords that is the NFL was the release of the NFL Week 1 odds. Several Las Vegas sportsbooks have released Week 1 NFL spreads for the 16 opening week games in the 2013 season, and BetOnline also has them available on the Web. I truly can’t think of any other sport that would gain attention from the release of odds five months before the games are to be played.
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But that’s just how powerful a chokehold the sport has on the country. And these way-too-early numbers can actually be a useful tool for football handicappers since they will give a baseline for the expected value on not only these games but also these teams heading into the 2013 NFL season. I won’t be surprised to see some two- or even three-point swings on some of these games, and that will give me an indicator on how the perception on these teams have shifted for the oddsmakers and general betting public between April and September.
Here is a quick run through of the matchups and the Week 1 NFL odds from BetOnline:
Baltimore (+6.5) at Denver
The defending Super Bowl champs will have a new look when they head to Mile High in a rematch of a 2013 AFC Divisional Game. The Ravens will be a completely remade team going up against old nemesis Peyton Manning, and it will likely not end well for the champs.
New England (-5) at Buffalo
This game will essentially be a fifth preseason game for the Patriots, who have beaten Buffalo what seems to be about 99 out of the last 100 times they have faced them. It will be fun to see ever-optimistic Bills fans have their hopes and dreams crushed just 60 minutes in to the season.
Tennessee (+6.5) at Pittsburgh
The Steelers missed the postseason in 2012 and will likely be back with a vengeance. They are still getting plenty of love from the oddsmakers though, as they are one of the largest favorites on the board.
Atlanta (+2) over New Orleans
The Falcons were about 15 yards away from the Super Bowl, but they will open as underdogs this fall. The Atlanta-New Orleans rivalry is one of the most heated in football. This will be a statement game for someone, as these two teams will enter the year as the co-favorites in the NFC South.
Tampa Bay (+2.5) at New York Jets
The storyline here will be the return of Derrelle Revis to face his old team. The corner just inked a monster contract with the Bucs and will have a chance to add another line to the increasingly humiliating resume of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. I expect a big shift
Kansas City (Pk) at Jacksonville
There is one every year, and this season the Chiefs-Jaguars game is the top contender for Worst Game On The Board in Week 1.
Cincinnati (+4) at Chicago
This is actually one of the better matchups on the board, and it will likely be one of the more overlooked games. Bears coach Marc Trestman will be making his debut against one of the toughest defenses in football, and this will be a key opener for two sleeper teams in their respective conferences.
Miami (-1.5) at Cleveland
This matchup will give one of these perpetually rebuilding franchises a chance to start the year with a win. The books obviously agree with the direction the Dolphins are headed while still questioning the mess that is the Browns.
Seattle (-3.5) at Carolina
It is apparent that Seattle’s dominating run against the spread to close last year will carry into this season as the Seahawks are road favorites in Carolina. These two played a punishing 16-12 game last October, with Seattle escaping with a win.
Minnesota (+3) at Detroit
Do the Vikings still have Adrian Peterson? Yes? OK, then they should pound the Lions
Detroit is still one of the more overvalued teams in the NFL.
Oakland (+7) at Indianapolis
Andrew Luck is still overrated, and he isn’t even on the field! Yes, the Raiders are a disaster. But I don’t necessarily believe Luck and the Colts should be the biggest favorite on the board.
Arizona (+4) at St. Louis
Divisional games are always tough. But playing a rival in the first week of the season is especially tricky. St. Louis is in Year 2 of Jeff Fisher’s reign, and this could be the launching pad for a team on an upswing.
Green Bay (+4.5) at San Francisco
The 49ers swept the Packers last season, and Green Bay will be desperate for revenge. They will spend eight months preparing for San Francisco’s unique offense. We’ll see if it pays off.
New York Giants (+3) at Dallas
Haven’t we been down this road before? The Giants have won seven of 10 from the Cowboys and have played great in Big D. These two teams opened against one another last season on Thursday Night Football. They are again a marquee national TV draw – this time on Sunday night – and I expect a similar result, with the road dog taking the cash.
Philadelphia (+6.5) at Washington
The big question about the “Monday Night Football” opener concerns Robert Griffin’s knee. He tore his ACL late last season and underwent offseason surgery, but he has vowed to be back for this game. This is also the first Eagles game of the post-Andy Reid Era and I’m sure Philadelphia wants to put their nightmare 2012 behind them.
Houston (-2.5) at San Diego
The Monday nightcap features two organizations apparently headed in opposite directions. The Texans are Super Bowl contenders looking to build on last year’s Divisional Round exit. San Diego is still in rebuilding mode. But this is the fourth time they have opened on Monday since 2008.
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Read more articles by Robert Ferringo
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