NFL Schedule Release Betting Primer: Notes, Stats and Trends for 2024 Season

NFL Schedule Release Betting Primer: Notes, Stats and Trends for 2024 Season article feature image

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We are just a measly 117 days away from Sunday NFL football and 114 days away from the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens kicking the season off on Thursday Night Football at Arrowhead Stadium.

Let's dive into a few notes, stats and trends to get hyped for the upcoming 2024 season.

And We Begin

The Chiefs open up against the Ravens to kick off the 2024 season. The Chiefs are 2.5-point favorites right now. Since 2015, the favorite is only 2-7 ATS in the opening game of the season.

With the Chiefs being in this game last year and losing to the Lions, here is how teams looking to win three in a row performed early in the season:

2005 Patriots — won & covered Wk1. Started 2-2 SU/ATS. Finished 9-9 ATS.
1999 Broncos — lost & didn't cover Wk1. Started 0-4 SU/ATS. Finished 9-7 ATS.
1994 Cowboys — won & covered Wk1. Started 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS. Finished 9-9 ATS.
1990 49ers — won & didn't cover Wk1. Started 4-0 SU and 1-3 ATS. Finished 8-10 ATS.
1980 Steelers — won & covered Wk1. Started 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS. Finished 3-13 ATS.
1976 Steelers — lost & didn't cover Wk1. Started 1-3 SU/ATS. Finished 10-6 ATS.
1974 Dolphins — lost & didn't cover Wk1. Started 3-1 SU and 0-4 ATS. Finished 4-11 ATS.
1969 Packers — won & covered Wk1. Started 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS. Finished 7-7 ATS.

With the Ravens listed as underdogs in Week 1 against the Chiefs, Lamar Jackson puts his impressive record on the line.

Jackson is 9-5 straight up and 12-2 against the spread when listed as an underdog in his NFL career. Jackson has covered seven straight as an underdog dating back to January 2021. Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes are the two QBs Jackson has lost to ATS as an underdog in his career.

You may want to back Baltimore and KC in Week 2. Over the past two seasons, teams after playing the Chiefs and Ravens are a combined 47-21 SU, good for the 1st- (KC) and 3rd- (BAL) best win pct in that span.

Top Prep

Under John Harbaugh, the Ravens are 12-4 ATS in Week 1, the most profitable Week 1 coach in the Bet Labs database (7-1 ATS past 8 games).

John Harbaugh with extra time to prepare:

10+ days: 27-8 SU, 20-13-2 ATS
Week 1: 12-4 SU/ATS

Familiar Home Dogs

Overall, home underdogs are 57-57 against the spread in Week 1 over the past 20 years. Where we find the value is with divisional home 'dogs in Week 1.

Divisional home 'dogs are 25-13 ATS in the past 20 years, including 9-2 ATS since 2018, 17-4 ATS since 2012 and 23-7 ATS since 2009.

Early in the season, home underdogs have historically performed well ATS when getting a touchdown or more, too:

Different Ends

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, which has odds up for all 276 games this season, the San Francisco 49ers are projected to be favored in every game this season. Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots are projected to be underdogs in every game.

Intercontinental Breakfast

The International Series is out:

🇧🇷 Packers at Eagles, Sept. 6.
🇬🇧 Jets at Vikings, Oct. 6.
🇬🇧 Jaguars at Bears, Oct. 13.
🇬🇧 Patriots at Jaguars, Oct. 20.
🇩🇪 Giants at Panthers, Nov. 10.

Let's look at a few facts and trends from the 43 total international games:

Unders have an edge, going 24-19 overall, including 5-0 last season.
Favorites have excelled in international games. They are 31-11-1 straight up and 27-16 against the spread.
The public is exactly .500 overseas. Teams with 51%+ of tickets in international games are just 21-21 ATS (one game closed with exactly 50% tickets).

No Rest For The Weary

One thing to look for with International Series games is rest coming after the trip.

21 teams in the history of the series have come off playing outside of the United States with no bye week between their games.

  • Those teams have actually had some success, going 15-6 SU and 12-9 ATS in their next game (playing on 7 days rest or less) — including going 13-3 SU in the past 16 instances.
  • Of the 21 teams, 19 of them either won or lost by one score or less.

Friday In Brazil

The NFL will be playing in Sao Paulo, Brazil on September 6th. That game will feature the Packers and Eagles, with Philadelphia favored by 1.5 points.

Overall, Packers coach Matt LaFleur is 53-37 ATS in five seasons. Since getting the job in 2019, he's the 2nd-most profitable coach ATS, behind just Dan Campbell of the Lions.

In that span, LaFleur is 22-10 ATS when listed as the underdog — covering the spread by 4.4 PPG.

Dog Day Monday

Here's the Monday Night Football schedule for this season:

The Monday Night Football slate! @ESPNNFL

📺: NFL Schedule Release on NFLN/ESPN2
📱: Stream on

— NFL (@NFL) May 16, 2024

To end the 2023 season, including the playoffs, underdogs covered the past 11 games played on a Monday, including the past nine games played on Monday Night Football.

New Team, Same Kirk?

Kirk Cousins has had his issues on Monday Night Football in the past, but he's recently 3-1 SU and ATS since 2020 when playing in the last game of the week.

This year, Atlanta is slated to play on MNF against the Eagles (Week 2) and Raiders (Week 15).

In his career, Cousins is 3-10 straight up and against the spread on Monday Night Football.

Burrowhead No More

In Week 2, the Bengals travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs. We should expect some fireworks. All four meetings between Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes have been decided by 3 pts or less. Burrow is 3-1 SU and ATS vs. Mahomes.

All About Math

A profitable method for betting underdogs is in low total games — less points means more of an opportunity for the 'dog to cover.

Underdogs in games with an over/under below 42 are 195-139-9 ATS (58.4%) since 2018.

In the first eight weeks of the regular season, that spikes to 82-45-3 ATS (64.6%).

Early Crisis

The Colts haven't had a good start to the season over the past decade-plus.

Since 2008, the Colts are 2-13-1 straight up and 1-14-1 ATS in Week 1. Since 2003, the Colts are 5-14-2 ATS in their season opener, the least profitable team ATS in the NFL.

This year, the Colts are facing the Texans in Week 1. Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning are the only two Colts QBs to win or cover a Week 1 game in the past 20 years.

A New Era

The Patriots are sitting at the bottom of the NFL in almost every market entering this season and in New England, this really might be the bottom.

  • 125-1 to win the Super Bowl. Their highest odds to win the Super Bowl entering a season since 1991, when they entered at 500-1, worst of any NFL team that year.
  • 18-1 to win the AFC East. Not only their highest odds to win the division since 2000, but it's been a steady climb since 2017. Here's New England's odds to win the AFC East from 2017 to now: -2500, -800, -550, +180, +350, +475, +800, +1800.
  • Their win total is projected between 4.5 and 5.5 depending on the sportsbook. Either mark would be their lowest since 1993 (5).

Low, Low, Low

Speaking of low win totals.

Only a handful of teams have actually closed with a win total of under 5. At the moment, it looks like the Patriots and Panthers have the best shot.

Teams with a win total of under 5 are actually 14-10-2 to the over since 1990, going over their win total by 0.8 wins per team. Recently though, it has been a tough stretch. Since 2020, we've had six teams close with a win total under 5 and they are 4-1-1 to the under, with only the 2022 Falcons eclipsing their win total.

The Longshots

At +1000 or higher, only 12 teams since 2002 (division realignment) have won their division title. Since 2020, we've seen it happen three times: 2023 Texans (+1100), 2021 Bengals (+2500), 2020 Washington (+2200).

Longest Odds to Win Division in 2024
+1800 – Patriots, AFC East
+1600 – Broncos, AFC West
+1200 – Panthers, NFC South
+1100 – Cardinals, NFC West

The Bad List

It's pretty hard to do this. The Carolina Panthers have the worst/longest Super Bowl odds of any team entering this season at 250-1, marking the first time since the 2005-06 San Francisco 49ers that a team "picked" No. 1 in the NFL Draft and had the worst Super Bowl odds the following season.

X Marks The Spot

The Carolina Panthers haven't covered the spread in a game they were favored in since September of 2021 — almost three full seasons.

  • Last favored in Week 15, 2022 (vs. PIT)
  • Lost 9 straight games ATS as a favorite
  • Every other NFL team has at least 3 covers as favorite in this span

Looking at the Panthers schedule this season, they are projected to be potentially be an underdog in all 17 games.

On November 3 vs. Saints, November 10 vs. Giants and December 22 vs. Cardinals, Carolina is just a 1-point underdog.

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Early 12th Man

Last year, the Seahawks lost at home in Week 1 vs. the Rams, 30-13. That broke an 8-game win streak for Seattle when opening the season at home dating back to 2000. The Seahawks were 6-2 ATS in those eight home games prior to the loss last year.

This season, Seattle gets another shot in Week 1, facing the Broncos and potentially QB Bo Nix, who played his final collegiate season in the Pacific Northwest in Oregon for the Ducks.

Slow Start?

The 49ers lost in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs last season and the loser of the previous Super Bowl has historically struggled out of the gate.

Since 2000, the loser of the Super Bowl has had a tough time getting over its hangover in Week 1 of the following season. Super Bowl losers are 10-14 SU, 5-19 ATS.

The 49ers will open their 2024 season at home against the Jets on Monday Night Football.

Fighting For Change

The Jets are hoping 2024 is a year of change as New York currently owns the longest active streak in a number of categories they hope disappear.

If the Jets don't make the playoffs in 2024, their 14-year drought would be the longest since the Browns (2003) and Bills (2000) had a 17-year drought.

Longest Drought Without Playoff Experience: Jets 13 (2011), Broncos 8 (2016), Falcons 6 (2018), Panthers 6 (2018)
Longest Drought Without Over .500 SU Record: Jets 8, Commanders 7, Broncos 7, Falcons 6, Panthers 6

Road Warriors

The public tends to overrate favorites and home-field advantage, no matter what time of year it is. And early in the season, the public also tends to overrate what happened the year prior.

Road underdogs in Week 1 are 113-96-8 ATS over the past 20 years. If you split those road dogs by whether that team made the playoffs the year prior, you see a drastic change:

  • Made playoffs year before: 23-37-3 ATS
  • Missed playoffs year before: 90-59-5 ATS

Russ' Return

Russell Wilson could be making his return to Denver as the starting QB of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2 this season. As of now, the Broncos are 3-point favorites at home vs. Pittsburgh.

Wilson has finished his past five seasons below .500 ATS, going a combined 33-44-2 ATS, with a $100 bettor down $1,332 — worst of any QB in the NFL in that span.

Competition Kings

Looking for underdogs across the massive release of the NFL schedule? Since 2018, the NFC West and the AFC North are both .500 ATS or better in six consecutive seasons when listed as an underdog outside of the division.

NFC West: 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks, Rams
AFC North: Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, Browns

Road Woes

Tua Tagovailoa is 2-10 straight up and 3-8-1 against the spread away from home vs. “winning teams” in his NFL career with the Dolphins.

His last straight up win came in September of 2022 against the Ravens. That's seven consecutive losses.

Looking at the Dolphins schedule, Miami is projected to play away from home vs. a winning team potentially in Week 3 vs. Seahawks, Week 9 vs. Bills, Week 10 vs. Rams, Week 13 vs. Packers, Week 15 vs. Texans, Week 17 vs. Browns or Week 18 vs. Jets.

Prime Time

The Amazon Thursday Night Football slate kicks off in Week 2 with the Bills and Dolphins in Miami. The one stat you'll hear ad nauseam: In his career, Josh Allen is 6-0 SU when playing a game on a Thursday, including winning by 66 total points in four Thursday Night Football games.

Brady's Debut

The Cowboys open the season in Cleveland against the Browns in what will be Tom Brady's debut as a FOX analyst. Brady's final NFL game was a playoff loss to Dak Prescott's Dallas Cowboys and overall, Brady was 7-1 SU vs. the Cowboys in his career.

Here is how Prescott performed in that game against the Bucs: 25/33, 305 passing yards, 4 passing touchdowns, 7 carries, 24 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

All The Juice

Dak Prescott gets his first crack at the NFC East this season in Week 4, facing the Giants and then in Week 10, facing the Eagles.

Prescott has excelled in his career against NFC East foes. He is 29-11 ATS vs. the NFC East, covering the spread by almost 7 PPG.

Since 2003, here are the most profitable QBs ATS vs. Division Foes:

Aaron Rodgers: 54-32 ATS
Dak Prescott: 29-11 ATS
Ben Roethlisberger: 54-38-3 ATS
Tom Brady: 63-47-5 ATS

Dancin' in September

Some coaches are tough to beat early in the season.

Andy Reid is 46-23 SU in September since 2003, including 18-4 SU since 2017-18. His 46-23 record has profited a $100 moneyline bettor $944 — the most of any coach in the Bet Labs database.

Mike McDaniel is the other hot coach early on. He is 6-1 SU in September early in his coaching career, winning by 9.4 PPG.

Trend or blip? Dennis Allen historically has been a coach to fade in September, but he went 2-1 SU last year with New Orleans. Overall, Allen is 5-13 SU in September as NFL head coach (including 1-9 SU as an underdog).

Great Expectations

The rise of the Detroit Lions. They are currently 12-1 to win the Super Bowl, which would be their shortest price entering a season since the NFL merger.

This year, they also have a chance to break the longest streak in the NFL. They are the only team since 1990 to never have a double-digit win total entering the regular season. As of now, they are sitting between 9.5 and 10.5 at a few different sportsbooks.

Detroit Lions preseason odds to win the Super Bowl in the past four seasons:
+ 2024: 12-1
+ 2023: 22-1
+ 2022: 125-1
+ 2021: 250-1

Early Altitude

The Broncos play on the road in Seattle in Week 1 and at home vs. the Steelers in Week 2.

The altitude didn't do much for Denver last year. The Broncos has home games in Week 1 and Week 2 and lost both to the Raiders and Commanders.

Historically though, Denver is 32-10 straight up at home in the month of September dating back to 2002. The Broncos are 13-2 SU in the month of September at home against divisional rivals.

Dak's Revenge

In Week 8, the Cowboys travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers, where Dak Prescott can try and avenge his three straight losses SU and ATS vs. San Francisco — including two in the playoffs.

Prescott hasn't beaten San Francisco since 2017.

Familiar Foes

Speaking of the 49ers and Brock Purdy. In his 27-start NFL career so far, Purdy is 13-6 SU vs. non-divisional opponents and 8-0 SU vs. NFC West teams — including 19 total TDs and 2 INT against his division foes.

Here are the 49ers divisional games this season: Week 3 at Rams, Week 5 vs. Cardinals, Week 6 at Seahawks, Week 11 vs. Seahawks, Week 15 vs. Rams and Week 18 at Cardinals.

All About Jared

With the Lions opening the season on Sunday Night Football against the Rams, we ask this important question:

Who is the most profitable QB against the spread in Week 1 over the past 20 years?

The answer: Jared Goff, who is 7-0 ATS in his opener (4-0 SU/ATS with the Rams and 1-2 SU, 3-0 ATS with the Lions).

Carr Crash

The New Orleans Saints open the season at home as a 4.5-point favorite against the Carolina Panthers.

Derek Carr returns as the starting QB for the Saints for at least one more season behind head coach Dennis Allen.

Carr is 21-37-2 ATS as a favorite with the Raiders and Saints. A $100 bettor is down $1,719, making Carr the least profitable QB as a favorite in the past 20 years (out of 216 QBs) after starting last season as the 4th-least profitable.

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