• @WizeOwlSports

NFL Week 1: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Updated: Sep 11

History says take the points in early-season, intra-division NFL action: Steelers +7 -135

We are backing the Pittsburgh Steelers as road dogs at last year's runner ups, the Cincinnati Bengals. We think the market is overvaluing the home team here versus a fellow AFC North member, and are glad to take points with the visitors.

Undergirding our thinking, we have observed that over about the first third of the seasondogs have proven very profitable facing their division.

This simple angle has delivered a handsome 14% return on investment back to 2005-06 and has suffered losses in only three seasons during this span.

We hypothesize that the difference between teams of the same division tends to be less than expected, as that more frequent meetings the MFL schedule mandates facilitates greater awareness of each other's capacities (and, by extension a greater ability to adjust).

We suspect the gap between better and worst teams is smallest during the season's early going, when elite players, who generally do not get many reps in preseason, have yet to hit peak stride.

Note: we paid up for the hook to get to the key +7 level, but we are comfortable with Pittsburgh plus the listed 6.5.

In addition to supporting plays on the Steelers, the system described herein also endorses the following week 1 picks, which we have covered in separate missives:

New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons +5.5,

New England Patriots +3.5 @ Miamin Dolphins,

Houston Texans +7 @ Indianapolis Colts,

Las Vegas Raiders +3.5 @ L.A. Chargers

Happy betting!!