The 2013 NFL season is just around the corner. Lines have already been released for Week 1, so it’s time to start taking a serious look at where to place your money. Everyone wants to get off to a good start when wagering on the NFL. I believe I can help you do that by following one simple strategy for Week 1.
The lines for Week 1 games are largely based off of how a team finished the previous season. That can create some value when you consider how much teams change from year to year. No professional sport has more parity than the NFL. That explains why almost every year there is roughly six teams that make the playoffs that didn’t the previous season.
Knowing that the public puts too much weight on how a team fared last season, oddsmakers usually will adjust their lines for Week 1 to reflect this fact. That provides us experts with ample value to pull the trigger on a team that finished with a worse record last season than their opponents in Week 1.
Since 1989, Week 1 teams that finished with fewer wins (including playoffs) than their opponent the previous season have gone a combined 133-182-0 (42.2%) straight up and 176-128-11 (57.9%) against the spread. The average line in these games had the team with a better record the previous season listed as 3.6-point favorites. As you can see, this is clearly a profitable strategy to follow. If you blindly bet $1,000 per game on these teams with worse records in Week 1, you would be up a whopping $35,200 when factoring in -110 juice.
Let’s take a more in depth look at these situations and factor in when the team with less wins the previous season is a favorite in Week 1. These teams have gone a combined 52-15-0 (77.6%) straight up and 41-20-6 (67.2%) against the spread. The average line in these games had the team with a worse record favored by 3.2 points. If you wagered $1,000 per game on these teams, you would be up $19,000 since 1989.
I have narrowed it down even further. I am now looking at teams with fewer wins the previous season who are a home favorite in Week 1. These teams have gone a combined 49-12-0 (80.3%) straight up and a ridiculous 40-16-5 (71.4%) against the spread since 1989. Wagering $1,000 per game on these teams, you would have pocketed $22,400.
I have put an asterisk (*) by the teams that had fewer wins than their opponents and are home favorites. With a 40-16-5 (71.4%) record against the spread since 1989, it may be wise to back these teams blindly in Week 1 of the 2013 season. They are the Broncos -8.5 against the Ravens, the Cowboys -3 against the Giants, the Lions -3.5 against the Vikings, and the Saints -3 against the Falcons.