There is no question that the NFL went to the “Land Down Under” in Week 1 of the regular season
schedule. The relative lack of scoring has sent those who compile Football betting lines to go back to
the drawing board to recalibrate what they will be doing for the coming week.
For the first week, no less than twelve of the 16 games that were played went under the posted total. The
lowest-scoring game took place on Monday night, as the Ravens beat the Jets 10-9. In a game between
two defensive-minded teams, that kind of thing was certainly expected by many, and in fact, it was the
lowest posted total of the week at 36.5 points. However, you probably couldn’t say the same thing about
the game between New Orleans and Minnesota, which NFL betting lines had the total at 51.5 points, but
where there were only 23 points put on the board (with the Saints won 14-9).
Home teams were also very strong in Week 1. They won twelve of 16 games straight-up, and also
chalked up a 10-5-1 record against the NFL betting line (we are counting the New Orleans-Minnesota
game as a push at five points). Home favorites had five pointspread wins, as did home underdogs. Road
favorites had three covers, and road dogs covered just twice. Those road underdogs were the Ravens
and the Detroit Lions, who take very consolation from that, I can assure you, as a bad call cost them a
Calvin Johnson touchdown at the end.
There were four teams who won straight-up on the road. Three of them – Green Bay, Arizona and Miami –
were all laying points and all of them covered against the NFL betting line. Baltimore, as mentioned, won
as an underdog.
All told, favorites covered eight games, with dogs covering seven. As for the biggest favorites of the
week, the Tennessee Titans romped at home against the Oakland Raiders (38-13), and covered the 6.5-
point NFL betting line. The Chicago Bears, giving up that same number, won by only five points (19-14).
There were twelve teams that made the playoffs last season. Seven of those teams lost in the opening
week – Minnesota, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Dallas, San Diego and the New York Jets. The
latter four teams lost straight-up as a favorite in the NFL betting line. There were only two games on the
schedule where an AFC team played against an NFC team. In Tampa, the Buccaneers won and covered
a 2.5-point spread against the Cleveland Browns, while the Pittsburgh Steelers needed overtime, but won
straight-up as an underdog against Atlanta.
Last week’s games carried an average total of 41.9 points on the NFL betting line, and the average score
on the week was just 36.6 points (nine games went under that average and seven went over). Okay, we
exaggerated a little when we said that the oddsmakers are recalibrating their totals for this week. Of the
games on which a total was posted as of Tuesday afternoon (the Carolina-Tampa Bay game was off the
board pending word on Matt Moore’s injury), the average was 41.5 points. We’ll be back next week with
results and running totals on how the NFL betting lines are coming down!