When you bet on the NFL, you should know all about the numbers. Numbers for stats, numbers for trends, numbers for betting lines, numbers for ‘totals’ – You should know it all. Here at Bang the Book, we are set to talk about the football betting lines for Week 1. Here are the most important numbers that you need to remember for the week!
0: The number of times that a road team has won the opening game of the season against a Super Bowl champion on the first Thursday of the year. Okay, so this year, that first “Thursday” game is going to be played on Wednesday, as Dallas travels to New York, but the concept remains the same. The Super Bowl champs have hosted the first game of the year for the last nine years, and they are 9-0 SU and 6-3 ATS to show for their work. The Cowboys most certainly have their work cut out for them.
0: The number of wins that the Falcons have all-time at Arrowhead Stadium. In fairness, there have only been three games played here between these two, but all three have been lost and lost by wide margins. Kansas City has outscored Atlanta by a margin of 108-23 in those three games, an average of 36.0 points per game. Yet the oddsmakers are pretty much damning history, making the Falcons a field goal favorite on the NFL betting lines against a tough team to beat on the road.
1: The number of rookie quarterbacks that are favored right out of the blocks in their first ever game quarterbacking a team. Sure, the number “five” is relevant, because it is the number of rookie starting quarterbacks this year, but only Seattle’s Russell Wilson is getting the confidence of the oddsmakers. Ironically, Wilson was the only one of the five not drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. That also means that it is likely to be a long week for Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden, Andrew Luck, and Robert Griffin III.
3: The number of projected starters that are going to be out for the first week of the year for the Steelers as they travel to Denver. LB James Harrison’s knee was only just barely good enough to keep him off of the PUP list, and though he is listed as questionable at this point, we just don’t see how he is going to be back on the field. LB Sean Spence, a highly touted rookie out of Miami ripped his knee apart in the preseason, and S Ryan Clark is going to be held out, knowing that it could be hazardous to his health to play in Denver with his Sickle Cell Anemia trait. That’s going to make things a heck of a lot harder against QB Peyton Manning on ESPN’s Sunday Night Football.
4: The number of consecutive games that the Chargers have failed to cover in Week 1 of the season. And you wonder why this team underachieves each and every season? The Bolts just can’t get off to a good start! They’ll be without RB Ryan Mathews in Week 1 this year against Oakland, and matters don’t look good, knowing that San Diego is 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings between these two teams over the course of the last three years.
6: The number of days that Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew will have been with his team when the Jags take on the Vikings in Week 1. Jones-Drew ended his 38-day holdout and reported to training camp just after the preseason was over with, but Head Coach Mike Mularkey has already said that RB Rashad Jennings is going to end up getting the start instead of the man that led the league in rushing. MJD will be used in the game, and perhaps he could be used a lot if he proves that he is really in shape, but in all likelihood, it is going to be Jennings and not Jones-Drew doing the majority of the heavy lifting.
8: The number of consecutive games without being covered for the Eagles if you include the preseason. Yes, last year, Philadelphia came out of the blocks at just 4-8 SU and ATS and was left for dead before rolling off four straight wins both SU and ATS to end the season. The run saved Head Coach Andy Reid’s job for sure, and he went on to lead the team to a 4-0 SU and 3-0-1 ATS mark here in the preseason. Philly is the biggest favorite on the board on the road in Week 1, and by the time this one kicks off, it might be a rare double digit road favorite against the Browns in the Dawg Pound.
11: The number of consecutive games that the Baltimore Ravens have won at M&T Bank Stadium. That’s the longest winning streak at home by any team in the league by a country mile. However, in those games, the Ravens are a modest 5-5-1 ATS, so there is hope for the Bengals to at least get a cover when these two meet in the first game of Monday Night Football this week. Baltimore has failed to cover four out of five at home, including last year’s playoff game against Houston, but wins are wins, and it’s really hard to argue that point.
11.5: The number of points that the Texans are favored by over the Dolphins. That number shouldn’t be considered all that much of a surprise, knowing that Miami is going to be starting rookie QB Ryan Tannehill under center right off the bat against one of the league’s most ferocious defenses. What’s a bit more shocking though, is that Houston is the only team, at least as of Wednesday, that is favored by double digits in Week 1.
14: The number of points per game that the Giants have allowed in their last six games of any importance. New York hasn’t allowed more than 20 points in a game since Week 15 last year, and that includes keeping down the might Packers and Patriots, who had two of the best offenses in the league a campaign ago. QB Eli Manning might have come up just short of the 5,000-yard mark, but he won’t need to do that again this year if his defense keeps playing this well.
21: The number of passing yards that QB Tom Brady needs to become the 14th man in league history to throw for at least 40,000 yards in a career. Considering the fact that Brady averaged 327.2 passing yards per game last year, we don’t see that being all that much of an issue, especially against a Tennessee secondary that ranked just a modest 14th in the league last year in pass defense.
38.5: The number that is the lowest ‘total’ of the weekend. That’s odd, considering the fact that it is the only game with a ‘total’ in the 30s for the entire week. We’re still trying to figure out how the Jaguars and the Vikings are going to be able to reach this point total. Neither team had a great defense last year, but these offenses were just atrocious. QB Blaine Gabbert and QB Christian Ponder were nothing to write home about, and both star running backs, Adrian Peterson and Maurice Jones-Drew are going to be slowed by injury (AP) or holdout (MJD).
47: The number of points per game last year in the NFL in Week 1. Yes, there were some amazingly high games played in the first week of the season last year, most notably the 76 that the Packers and Saints put up in that first game of the campaign. That’s why the ‘totals’ are so high this week, especially knowing that there was just one game that ended with fewer than 41 points scored in Week 1 in 2011.
49.5: The number that is the highest ‘total’ on the board this weekend. It shouldn’t be all that much of a surprise that the game with that high of a number pits the Saints against the Redskins. New Orleans will be without its defensive coordinator (Joe Vitt), its top linebacker (Jonathan Vilma), and its Pro Bowl defensive end (Will Smith) for the first time in this one after their “Bounty Gate” suspensions, and QB Drew Brees always has the ability to light the world on fire. He is the only man to throw for at least 5,000 yards twice in different seasons, and he might be able to do it for a third time this year.
88.5: The number that represents QB Peyton Manning’s quarterback rating when playing outdoors in his career. That’s a stark contrast from the 97.7 that he has when playing indoors. This is one of the 15 games that will be on the docket slated to be played outside this year, and the test for Manning will be a big time one against the Steelers, even at home in his debut with his new team.
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.