Bets We Love Too Much Too Early: Earliest lines for week 1

What a better NFL preseason ritual than the official schedule release? The almost immediate follow-up of the first – and way too early – point spreads and lines for week 1 games. As every NFL season seemingly becomes more greatly anticipated than the last, let’s forestall that anticipation no further. According to MyBookie and Xbet sportsbooks, for week 1, it’s…

First obvious impression that comes to mind: 14 of the 16 home teams are favored; the sole homers getting points are Indianapolis (versus the vogue AFC champion pick Texans) and Cleveland (against the again certain-to-be oversold and over-bet Cowboys); the search for favorable bets begins here.

Consider first that all home teams went 151-121 SU and 129-135-8 ATS. And as favorites, the home side was quite a fair 116-52 SU (or a .690 winning percentage) drops to 83-88-6 ATS. These numbers are fairly typical of recent trends; in fact, the 2023 season marks something of a snapback from an anomalous ’22, during which home teams actually won against the spread (albeit not enough to turn the NFL bettor a profit). Running the numbers for the past three non-pandemic seasons, we find the following.

In any given 16-game slate, then, we should expect visitors to cover between seven and nine games, and there is little evidence to suggest that week 1 differs statistically than any other in this regard.

This far out from kickoff, NFLbets immediately likes…

Of course, we’ll probably change our minds about these three picks a thousand times before that first Thursday Night Football whistle but right now, we’re digging the chance to play some ’spreads. How many weeks until kickoff…?

– written by Os Davis

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