“First thought, best thought” isn’t a bad philosophy in NFL betting: After all, expertise can become instinctive over time. And the first thoughts when looking over the week’s lines is unadulterated by the titanic squall of noise spewing forth from internet content and streaming immediately thereafter. For the NFL bettor, confidence in one’s own picks is 70% of the battle.
(The other 30% is research – not watching ESPN bickershows, *research*.)
So what leapt out at NFLbets when first looking at the schedule? These three games, each opening with a spread of 7 points:
Naturally, we have thoughts. And bets.
Take Kansas City Chiefs -7 (and more) at Indianapolis. Sometimes, the stats aren’t necessary, and the football speaks for itself. Sheerly subjectively speaking, this game looks like a match of the second-best and second-worst (at least) teams in the AFC. NFLbets advises giving the 7 and as much as you can find in “alternative lines” bets. We’ve got Chiefs -11½ at +195, for example…
Take Philadelphia Eagles -7 at Washington. For similar reasons to the Kansas City-Indy game, we like the much better side, even giving a touchdown as visitors. We’re less confident in this bet than in betting the Chiefs, as the Eagles haven’t yet shown they can really run up the score. If you fear the backdoor late cover by the Commanders, take the under on an O/U of 47 as well.
Take Jacksonville Jaguars +7 at the L.A. Chargers. The Jaguars might be a competitive team with quite an interesting and dynamic defense; they’re playing in a near-neutral environment (great rehearsal for this year’s London game) against a wounded Justin Herbert. In typical seasons, just about half the games in the NFL are decided by 7 points or fewer, so why not here?
So do the numbers bear out any of these picks?
Through two weeks, eight games went off with points spreads of 7 or more, and the underdog is 5-3 ATS, though just 2-4-1 SU. Note that two of those ATS wins were registered by the 0-1-1 Houston Texans, who in hindsight were clearly getting way too much vs Indianapolis (+7) and at Denver (+10).
Further, going back to opening day 2021, underdogs of 7 or more are just 44-58-1 ATS, though a surprisingly good 19-14-1 ATS at home. Based on the short- and medium-term trends, then, we’re counting on regression while the sheer odds are against taking any 7-point underdog, much less three in one week.
But sometimes, you just have to play what you’ve seen…
– written by Os Davis
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