NFL Week 1 Picks: 7 Data-Driven Predictions for Brown vs Panthers, Colts vs Texans, More
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Romeo Doubs.
NFL Odds & Picks
Billy Ward: Digging into first score props was my big offseason project this year, and it’s already showing early promise.
One of the takeaways was that in games with spreads of three or less, teams that score first lose 43% of the time. That works out to an implied probability of roughly +133, giving us some value on the +140 currently on offer at BetMGM. This game is anywhere from a pick ‘em to a 1.5-point spread depending on the book, all well within the threshold.
The value increases as the spread tightens here, making this a solid bet as this one settles in as close to a pick ‘em.
Billy Ward: On the other side of the coin, FanDuel allows you to bet on a team to score first and win the game. Once the spread moves past a field goal, the favored team scores first and wins at a 45% rate.
This bet has even more value, with the fair line being approximately +122 with Miami as a 3.5-point favorite. Treat this as a way to get better odds on the Dolphins if you like them in this contest anyway.
Their current moneyline odds at FanDuel are -172, but their odds of winning go down if New England gets on the board first anyway.
Billy Ward: Last season, the Steelers played at the 26th-fastest pace in the first half of games, and the fastest pace in the second. They were a 9-7-1 team, so that wasn’t just the result of trailing games down the stretch.
Cincinnati was more balanced on a half-by-half basis, but it played at the second-slowest pace in the league when games were within a score. Since this one will be close for at least the start of the first half, that’s a combination for a slow-paced start to the game.
With the expectation that more of the scoring comes after halftime, as long as the 44-point full game total is roughly efficient we have an edge here. I prefer DraftKings under 22.5 -105 line to FanDuel’s under 23 at -120.
Sean Koerner: Pierce was one of the stars of the preseason, and the Texans were so impressed that they not only named Pierce the Week 1 starter but also released Marlon Mack. Rex Burkhead and Dare Ogunbowale will be the only backups, and both backs profile more as third-down backs.
I expect Pierce to get a bulk of the carries for the Texans in Week 1. I also expect them to keep the game close enough for Pierce to clear this number. Pierce might not be able to clear his yardage prop (48.5) due to Houston’s below-average offensive line, so I’d rather invest his attempt prop here.
I’m projecting him closer to 13.5 carries and would bet this up to -155.
Nick Giffen: The 49ers plays in Chicago, which at the time of this writing is forecast to have a 75% or more chance of rain throughout the game. In addition, it’s slated to be the coldest (69 degrees) and windiest (10 mph) game of the weekend.
While the weather and temperature don’t have a major impact, any little bit matters in the model.
I’m forecasting Gould to hit the under at a 59.3% rate, making fair odds on this prop -145. Sean Koerner’s projections show fair on this at -137, so we’re both showing value here.
DraftKings and BetMGM have this at -125, which is the number I’d bet this to. bet365 has the best number at -120.
I think Brian Daboll will be able to bring out the best version of Daniel Jones as he brings a more innovative, analytical approach to the Giants organization. After having the second toughest schedule last year, they will have the easiest schedule in 2022 (according to my power ratings).
They could also benefit from improved injury luck this season after missing the sixth-most adjusted games lost due to injury (per Football Outsiders) last season.This might be the first time in Daniel Jones’ career the entire starting offense is healthy.
The Titans are a team I’m bearish on and I bet on them to finish with fewer than 9.5 wins. Their offense will take a step back this season following the A.J. Brown trade, and his potential replacement, rookie Treylon Burks, doesn’t appear close to being able to fill Brown’s shoes quite yet.
Tennessee also benefited a ton from one-score luck last season, going 6-2 in such games. Harold Landry and Elijah Molden are both out for the Titans, which should help offset the Giants’ injuries along their defensive line.
I love the fact two teams I expect to go in different directions this year face off in Week 1. I’m all over the Giants +5.5 here and would bet this down to +4.5.
Nick Giffen: With Allen Lazard likely to miss the game, look for Doubs to shine. Per Action’s very own Chris Raybon, Doubs was targeted on 38% of his routes run in the preseason.
Last season, the Vikings gave up the sixth-most TDs to WRs, so it’s likely at least one of Green Bay’s receivers finds the end zone.
Sean Koerner’s projections give Doubs a 26.7% chance of snagging a TD, which equates to +276 odds, giving a nice 17.5% edge on this prop.