It is officially Week 1 in the NFL. Lines have been available for months, but with games mere days away, public action is hitting the market.
By comparing projected point spreads using The Action Network’s NFL Power Rankings to consensus betting lines, we can determine which teams the public is overrating and underrating in Week 1.
Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
- NFL Power Rating spread: Steelers -6.8
- Current Spread: Steelers -4
- Date: Sept. 9, 1 p.m. ET
Maybe it’s the Hard Knocks effect, Ben Roethlisberger’s noted struggles on the road, Le’Veon Bell’s holdout or a combination of all three. Either way, the Browns have the largest positive discrepancy between projected and actual spread.
Reminder: the Browns are 1-31 straight-up under Hue Jackson, including 8-24 against the spread (ATS), costing a $100 bettor $1,653.
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- NFL Power Rating spread: Saints -7.4
- Current Spread: Saints -9.5
- Date: Sept. 9, 1 p.m. ET
The public was always going to favor Drew Brees and the Saints at home, but the suspension of Jameis Winston has led to lopsided betting action.
Winston’s backup, Ryan Fitzpatrick, is a journeyman quarterback but he shouldn’t be underestimated.
According to Football Outsiders DVOA, Winston was 14.3% better than an average quarterback per play in 2017, but Fitz-Magic was 17.3% better. There wasn’t much of a difference between Winston and Fitzpatrick a year ago and definitely not enough to justify the large line movement.
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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons
- NFL Power Rating spread: Eagles -4.7
- Current Spread: Eagles -2.5
- Date: Sept. 6, 8:20 p.m. ET
Carson Wentz said he would be back from a multi-ligament knee injury in Week 1. Unfortunately, the Eagles’ franchise quarterback has not been cleared for contact. Backup Nick Foles was named the opening game starter on Monday.
It is a little unfair for recreational gamblers to doubt Foles. The Super Bowl MVP completed 72.6% of his passes, averaged 9.2 yards per attempt and threw six touchdowns, with just one interception, during last year’s playoff run.
Oakland Raiders vs. Los Angeles Rams
- NFL Power Rating spread: +1.6
- Current Spread: Raiders +4
- Date: Sept. 10, 10:20 p.m. ET
This one I disagree with. According to The Action Network simulations, Oakland is one of the most likely teams to go under their win total and miss the playoffs. That was before the Raiders traded Khalil Mack, two-time first-team All-Pro and 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.