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 NFL betting lines for Week 1. Here are the most important numbers that you need to remember for the week!
0: The number of undrafted rookie free agents who have ever started a Week 1 game in NFL history before. The Buffalo Bills might be stuck with the first one of those on Sunday. QB Kevin Kolb’s season, and perhaps his career might be over with after suffering a severe concussion in the preseason, while QB EJ Manuel is still rehabbing a knee injury. If those two men remain out, QB Jeff Tuel, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Washington State is the only man that started the preseason on the roster that still has a job, and that makes him the default starting quarterback for this one. His foe? Oh, only QB Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. No big deal for a man who won four games in his time as a starting quarterback in college, eh?
0: The number of times that the Houston Texans have ever beaten the San Diego Chargers in their history. Houston hasn’t come particularly close to winning most of those games, and as a result, it is 0-4 ATS as well in that stretch. Now, the Chargers are going to be underdogs for the first time in the series since 2004 and for the first time ever at Qualcomm Stadium to the newest members of the NFL.
1: The number of times that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have ever beaten the New York Jets. It seems a lot more interesting and impossible to think that Tampa Bay has only toppled the Jets once than it does to think that the Texans have never beaten the Chargers. More impressive? The last time that the Bucs bested New York was almost 30 years ago. Again, here we have another team that is a road favorite that is going to be as square as could be against a team that everyone thinks is about set to hit the tank. Intriguing, it is, but right? We aren’t so sure about that.
2: The number of punters the Oakland Raiders kept on their 53-man roster as of Saturday. What does this have to do with Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts? Probably nothing. What it does show though, is the level of incompetency that the Raiders truly have at this point. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any lower in the Black Hole, the team kept two punters (oh yeah, and four quarterbacks) on the roster at the same time. Geez!
3.5: The number that represents the biggest point spread in a game for the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals over the course of the last seven meetings. Interestingly enough, both teams are 3-3 SU and ATS, and both the underdogs and the favorites in those games are 3-3 SU and ATS. This is the biggest spread that we have seen in this series in four years, and the reason for that is that both of these teams have consistently been towards the bottom of the barrel in the NFC West. This year is no exception, but both could be a lot closer to the .500 mark than the average Joe suggests.
5: The number of road teams that are favored in Week 1 of the season. The number could become six if the Miami Dolphins end up being favored against the Cleveland Browns in a game that is currently lined as a pick ‘em. The scarier thing for favorite bettors here are the percentages of public betting coming in on the road favorites. The New England Patriots have 66% of the betting, the Kansas City Chiefs have 66% of the betting, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have 70% of the betting, the Seattle Seahawks have 72% of the betting, and the crème de la crème, the Houston Texans have a stunning 80% of the public backing them on Monday Night Football, a number that might even rise by the time the last game of the week kicks off.
11.5: The number that represents the biggest point spread of the week. The New England Patriots are going on the road and taking on the Buffalo Bills, but the fact that it is a divisional game in Week 1 on the road seems to matter not to the oddsmakers. New England is going to have to lay that massive number thanks to the fact that QB Jeff Tuel is likely playing. Of course, before both QB Kevin Kolb and QB EJ Manuel got hurt, this was still one of the biggest spreads of the week at -7, and we have to wonder if the oddsmakers have forgotten that all of QB Tom Brady’s best receiving options are either in jail, are injured, or are playing for other teams.
12: The number of covers that the Jacksonville Jaguars have in Week 1s of seasons over the course of the last 14 years. It’s remarkable to think that, for as many bad campaigns as this team has had, that Jacksonville has a 12-2 ATS record in Week 1 of the season. This year, the task for a team that went 2-14 last season is to start against the other team that finished with a 2-14 record, the Kansas City Chiefs. QB Blaine Gabbert is going to get the nod in this one as the starter, and if he knows what’s good for him, he’ll make it a point to get off to a good start to the season to avoid QB Chad Henne taking his job for the second straight year.
35: The number of receptions that all of the players had on the New England Patriots last season that are returning to the team in 2013. Yes, QB Tom Brady has his work cut out for him, as he and QB Ryan Mallett combined for 402 pass completions on the season last year, and less than 10% of those completions came to players who are still on this team and are healthy. TE Rob Gronkowski could come back to the fold within a week or two if he is lucky, but TE Aaron Hernandez is only going to be playing for the State Penitentiary Team this year, and the rest of the wide outs from last season’s team have all moved on. The Brady Bunch is going to need some new heroes this season for sure.
39.5: The number that represents the lowest ‘total’ of the weekend. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Jets certainly aren’t known for being offensive juggernauts by any stretch of the imagination, and they are creating the only game of the week where the ‘total’ is less than 41. QB Josh Freeman and QB Geno Smith are going to be taking to the field against one another, and we aren’t sure what scares us more. The devil that we already know (Freeman) or the devil we haven’t seen in action in a real game for keeps yet (Smith). Either way, this one promises to be ugly.
54: The number that represents the highest ‘total’ of the weekend. Not surprisingly, the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints have the distinction of needing at least eight tuddies to get to the number in this one. QB Drew Brees and QB Matt Ryan can both throw the pill all over the field, and between RB Darren Sproles, RB Steven Jackson, WR Roddy White, WR Julio Jones, TE Tony Gonzalez, WR Lance Moore, WR Marques Colston, and TE Jimmy Graham, that’s a heck of a lot of players that could easily go off for 100+ total yards on Sunday. Fireworks could really be flying when push comes to shove.
54: The number of consecutive games in which QB Drew Brees had thrown at least one touchdown pass. Who did that record end up falling against? None other than these Atlanta Falcons whom he will be facing this week! Not only did the New Orleans Saints’ quarterback not throw a TD in that shattering loss that probably ensured that the season would be over with, but he also tossed five picks. Think there is going to want to be some revenge for that one this weekend? Don’t be shocked if those no TDs and five picks turn into five TDs and no picks come Sunday.
190: The number of total yards the Carolina Panthers amassed last year against the Seattle Seahawks when these two teams met at Bank of America Stadium. Obviously, QB Cam Newton and the crew are going to have to do a lot better than that in this one if they want a shot at winning, and it is clear that it is going to start on the ground. RB DeAngelo Williams and RB Jonathan Stewart combined for 10 carries and 22 yards last year, and there wasn’t a single rush for more than 15 yards against Seattle a campaign ago either. The Panthers need to do more on Sunday.
261: The number of receiving yards that WR Calvin Johnson had in two games against the Minnesota Vikings last season. The truth of the matter is that most of that happened in just one great game at the Metrodome last year, as he had 12 catches for 207 yards and a TD in that game. That was one of the two games in 2012 in which Megatron had at least 200 receiving yards, and it was one of the four in which he had at least 160 yards. This could be another huge game for the biggest wide receiver in the league against a Minnesota secondary that might ultimately be a bit suspect.
273: The number of rushing yards that RB Adrian Peterson had in two games against the Detroit Lions last season. Take that, Megatron! If you want to know why the Vikes won and covered both of those games last season, that was the real answer. Peterson was all over the field, rushing for at least 100 yards in both of those games. Not that that was anything new in All Day’s 2,000+ yard season in 2012. He was rumbling for over 100 yards on just about everyone that he faced, and the Lions were clearly no exception whatsoever.
509: The number of yards that the San Francisco 49ers ran for against the Green Bay Packers in their two games last season. Granted, 181 of those yards came on the ground from QB Colin Kaepernick, but it’s tough to take anything away from RB Frank Gore, who rumbled for over 100 yards both in the Week 1 meeting and the meeting in the second round of the playoffs. There is no doubt whatsoever that Green Bay is going to have to shore up its defense if it holds any chance whatsoever to come on the road and pull off this upset. You know it’s bad when you score 53 points in two games that don’t even really come particularly close to winning either one.
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.