Approaching the opening week of the NFL season can be more difficult and confusing than any other betting week of the year. The first set of games during the football season are almost a blank slate as most teams are dealing with new roster additions, coaching changes, incorporating draft picks and dealing with heightened or lowered expectations. By the second and third weeks of the season, bettors can start to get a "feel" for what certain squads might be doing or what trends might emerge. Week 1 does not provide much information for sports gamblers to follow with any certainly.
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Taking a look at past trends and stats is never a guaranteed method for success, because what happened last season doesn't necessarily indicate what will take place this season. Past trends, however, can provide a road map to follow and be the first step in getting a handle on the opening week's lines. Let's take a closer look at a few important Week 1 stats from the last few seasons and see if any trends emerge. All stats are for Week 1 of the NFL season
NFL Week 1 Stats and Trends
2014 Home Team ATS: 6-10
2014: Home Team SU: 10-6
Five-Year Home Team ATS: 38-38-4
Five-Year Home Team SU: 50-30
Super Bowl Champ Week 1: 9-4-2 ATS, 13-2 SU since 2000
Super Bowl Champs at Home: 15-2 SU since 1990
Super Bowl Champ ATS Five Years: 3-2
Super Bowl Loser Record: 2-13 ATS since 2000, 5-10 SU
Super Bowl Loser on the Road: 2-8 ATS since 2000
Rookie Head Coaches Record: 19-19-2 ATS since 2007
Green Bay Last Three Week 1s: 0-3 ATS
New England Home Record: 3-4-1 ATS since 2000
Pittsburgh Road Record: 1-4 ATS since 2000
The first big trend that pops out from looking at the stats is the defending Super Bowl champions cover Week 1 at a solid rate, and they have produced a 9-4-2 mark over the last 15 years. Those numbers might be surprising since Super Bowl champions rarely repeat, yet Week 1 doesn't' seem to be much of a hurdle historically. The second big stat is that Super Bowl losers tend to struggle during the opening game of the season, as evidenced by their 2-13 ATS record since 2000 and their 2-8 ATS road mark.
If you are looking to hit a solid score by wagering on the underdog, taking St. Louis at home and plus points against Seattle, the defending Super Bowl loser, could be a value spot to wager on. Seattle is coming off consecutive deep postseason runs, a devastating Super Bowl loss, and internal drama during the offseason with tense contract negotiations. If there was ever a time the team was going to struggle, early in the 2015 season would be it. Remember, past trends are never guaranteed to repeat themselves, because they are just that, past trends. Using those stats to predict future trends and find handicapping value, however, can come in handy and be a solid way to make a profit on the season. Remember to bet wisely and enjoy the upcoming season.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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