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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

NFL Week 1: The Morning After

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

NFL football is back! With week 1 now officially in the books, we look back at the notable events of the first round of play, from a betting perspective, that is.

Did home field matter?

Teams playing from the comfort of their own stadium went 10-6 straight up last week. This number is especially impressive consdering that 11 of the 16 week 1 games featured home teams that were ranked lower than their opposition (based on ESPN's NFL FPI). Further, in eight of those cases the home team was pitted more than five slots below the visitors.

Nonetheless, versus the number, there was no material advantage to be had by expressing a bias against-the-spread in favor of either local or visiting squads. Home teams went a yawn-worthy 8-7-1 versus the line.

Siding with favorites

Betting only on favorites to cover showed a bit more promise. This cohort went 9-6-1 ATS (a(and 10-5-1 in absolute terms). Despite the generally strong outing for favorites in week 1, there were a couple of significant upsets Sunday -- Seattle's defeat to St. Louis and Indy's thrashing in Buffalo vie for 'biggest shocker of the young season' honors.


The over demonstrated a slight edge versus the under, posting a 9-7 week 1 record. The shootout in St. Louis definitely caught the market offguard, as Rams and Seahawks scores combined to exceed the closing total by 24 points. Seattle's top-ranked defense was not expected to yield 34 points to the 26th-best offense in the league last year. In fact, it was the Rams who looked to be the more stout defenders at times.

Also, the Lions/Chargers and Titans/Buccaneers matchups turned out to be much more prolific than the market anticipated. Both of these games came in 15.5 points over the betting line.

How did our picks do?

@WizeOwlSports' system fared remarkably well last week, as the Steelers +7.5, the Jets -3.0, the Broncos -4.0, the Falcons +3.0 and the 49ers +3.0 all cashed in. Of note, Pittsburgh covered only after a heroic last minute drive that culminated with Ben Roethlisberger connecting with Antonio Brown for a touchdown. Only our Bears +7 pick resulted in a loss ATS, as for most of the game, Chicago was held just out of striking distance.

Aside from splitting these two nail-biters, our other wagers were all sweat-free winners. We finished week 1 with a profitable 5-1record (or +3.05 units based on the actual vigs we paid betting at; a standard of vig of -110 would have yielded net profit of +3.45 units). As such we look forward to trying our hand again next week.

Happy betting!!

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