Home teams and favorites took the worst of it against the spread in the opening week of the NFL season. Out of 16 games, just six favorites managed to cover in Week 1. Home teams fared even worse with a 5-11 ATS record.
How vulnerable were favorites in Week 1? Consider this: They went just 8-8 straight up, obviously a win rate of 50 percent. That's way below normal. To give you an idea, though not exactly apples to apples, college football favorites this season are winning straight up at an 83.5 percent clip.
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Here are some more betting trends and notes from Week 1:
Outperforming the Odds
Biggest Covers in Week 1:
[+30.5] 49ers (+2) 28, Rams 0
[+19.5] Steelers (-3) 38, Redskins 16
[+11] Patriots (+9) 23, Cardinals 21
[+9.5] Buccaneers (+2.5) 31, Falcons 24
The 49ers certainly looked new and improved with Chip Kelly now at the helm. San Francisco absolutely throttled the Rams while beating the spread by more than 30 points. It was certainly a nice start, but what's to make of this Los Angeles team? The Rams looked completely unprepared under veteran coach Jeff Fisher. The Rams host Seattle (NL) this week while the 49ers travel to Carolina (-13).
The Steelers looked like the best team in football in Week 1. They excelled in all phases, future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looked better than ever, and WR Antonio Brown continues to scale new heights. Oh, and they still have RB Le'Veon Bell and WR Markus Wheaton waiting in the wings. Pittsburgh is a three-point home favorite versus the Bengals this week. You can get free picks for this game and read more about it here.
Then there's the Patriots. No Brady, no Gronk, no problem. Jimmy Garoppolo looked like a legitimate NFL quarterback, going 24-of-33 for 264 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. On the flip side, this was a bad loss for the Cardinals. A popular Super Bowl pick, Arizona has too much talent on both sides of the ball to lose at home in primetime to a first-time starting quarterback.
Moving the Line
Notable Spread Action
Patriots at Cardinals (-5.5 to -9), Patriots 23-21
Lions at Colts (-5 to -2.5), Lions 39-35
Giants at Cowboys (-3.5 to +1), Giants 20-19
The steam went 1-1-1 as the betting public was right with the Lions, wrong with the Cardinals and managed a push with the Giants. It seems interesting the lone winner among those involved the only line not impacted by a major injury (Romo) or suspension (Brady).
The Lions could be the most intriguing moving forward. Matt Stafford seems to have taken a much bigger leadership role in Detroit and he looked like a much-improved QB in Week 1. This week the Lions are a 5.5-point home favorite against the Titans, who sure didn't look good in the opener.
Over the Edge
The "over" in Week 1 went 9-7, a win rate of 56.3 percent.
Biggest totals of Week 1:
Lions 39, Colts 35 (over 51)
Raiders 35, Saints 34 (over 50)
Steelers 38, Redskins 16 (over 49)
Packers 27, Jaguars 23 (over 47)
Giants 20, Cowboys 19 (under 47.5)
One noticeable pattern from Week 1 is the games with the higher totals tended to go over, which you can note above, as did those with the lower totals. Games with totals more in the middle of pack mostly went "under."
As we close the book on Week 1, here are some notable ATS trends from some of Week 2's marquee matchups:
Bengals at Steelers (-3): Cincinnati is 9-0 ATS in its last nine road games.
Packers at Vikings (+2): Minnesota is 12-3 in its last 15 games as a home underdog.
Buccaneers at Cardinals (-6.5): Arizona is 1-7 ATS in its last eight home games.
Chiefs at Texans (-2.5): Houston is 5-0 ATS in its last five games as a favorite.
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