Week One NFL Handicapping Primer

Week One NFLHandicapping Primer

by Jeff Hochman of JHsportsline.com

(Jeff is a 4-time Top 10 NFL handicapper fully documented.)

Value is the Key

Not just for underdogs! There are many games in theNFLwhen takinga favorite is the moreValued play.

You will hear many people say Ionly take favorites in the NFL and you will alsohear many people say Ionly take Underdogs. In the NFL everyone has their preference but if you only stick to one or the other you CAN’T and WON’T show a profit by seasons end.

You have to think one step ahead of the odds-makers and treat sports handicapping as a business rather than a hobby. Remember, NFL point spreads are dictated by public perception.

5-Year Plan

Over the past five seasons, NFL home teams in Week#1 are just 34-46-7 ATS (42.5%). This of course implies that roadies on the blindare a 57.5% winning proposition during this time.


Jopublic has a tendency to overvalue home teams and this is especially true in Week#1 when there is no current season data to make predictions from. Consequently, the oddsmakers almost surelyshade the home teams, by and large making road teams the choice for the value player.

The odds-makers also know that Jo Public loves to bet overs and will inflate the lines on purpose in Week one.

NFL Week One games with an Over/Under of 46.5 or more points are 28-47 O/U since 2006.. Maybe the hot weather has something to do with all the low week one scores. Interesting stuff, a62.7% simple angleon Under the Totalin weekone on all totals of46.5 or more!

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Favorites are just 34-46-9 ATS inWeek 1the past five NFL seasons. This means that underdogs bark at a 57.5% clip. In particular, favorites priced between 3 1/2 and -6 1/2 are only 9-17 ATS (31%) during this time.

The same basic pattern holds true when looking at home favorites (road favorites gravitate towards a 50 percent mean). Consider that home teams priced between 3 1/2 and 7 1/2 have stumbled to a 10-21-3 ATS (32.5%) record in Week #1 games the past five seasons.

Playoff TeamsfromLast Season

It might surprise you to learn that playoff teams from the prior year vs. non-playoff teams from the prior year are a mere 17-26-5 (40%) ATS in NFL Week #1 games over the past five seasons.

Home teams which made the playoffs versus teams who failed to make the playoffs from the prior season drop to a meager 9-16-2 ATS (33%) during this time.

Theodds-makers willintentionally overprice playoff teams in the opening week to compensate for the publics propensity to over value them.

Don’t get trapped in Week One. Good Luck this football season.

Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jhsportsline