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NFL Week 1: Complete Against-the-Spread Betting Guide


Our full slate of week 1 NFL betting picks (versus the number) appears below, along with the actual vigs we incurred when we placed our wagers. We are taking a side on 11 of the 16 games scheduled between Thursday and Monday.

We highlighted the Broncos +3.0 as the best supported play of the week (this Thursday Night Football pick was published here, on Wednesday). We noted, presciently, as it were, that power ranking, computer simulation and sentiment factors we employ unanimously pointed to a home cover, with most calling for an outright Denver victory.

For our readers that missed our first play of the season, we offer ample additional action, including three home underdog plays--the Jets and the Jaguars on Sunday, and then the Niners in the Monday Night Football debut. We bet every game (in equal measure) for which our primary ATS handicapping inputs agree on the the outcome, however, bettors wishing to limit their activity might focus on this subset (in our piece on the Panthers @ Broncos we outline support for the tendency for underdogs to beat the number at a greater than expected pace at home; see the link in the previous paragraph for details).

Further supporting a home dog emphasis for bettors with limited capacity, per SportsInsights, public sentiment is heavily skewed against the Jets, Jaguars and 49ers. As of the time of this writing, each team has garnered the support of only 29% of all point spread wagers on their respective contests. As Avery & Chevalier (2000) conclude that "movements in price resulting from sentiment are negative predictors of game outcomes", and Paul & Weinbach (2011) present evidence that betting against public sentiment is a winning endeavor, this observation engenders additional confidence in our home dog picks.

Happy betting!!

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