NFL Line Projections – Week 1

These are statistical projections and shouldn’t be the only thing that factors in to betting on a team, the stats only tell part of the story. Keep an eye on injuries, COVID Issues, and players returning from injury.

Like what you see? Please subscribe or follow me on Twitter (@AnalyticsB2) for the latest news and post info. Want to support the statistical data or have suggestions for improvement, feel free to send me an email (B2SportsStats@gmail.com) or you can donate via the website, Venmo (@B2stats) or Cashapp ($B2stats).


Things to note:

  • I will be posting the top 2 models in addition to my favorite model (After week 1)
  • No games have been played, so all stats are taken from last year.
  • My personal handicaps and adjusted projections will be posted Monday 6 Sep.
  • Trends and additional season data will be posted after week 3.
Advertisements

Records

Posted after week 1

Advertisements

Personal Handicap and Game Breakdown

Handicapped lines

Handicapped Edge

My Thoughts

Week 1 lines are always the hardest. Some teams are paper tigers, some teams come out hot, others come out flat. Week 1 lines have had time to settle around a pretty solid number making value hard to come by.

Cowboys @ Buccaneers: We will see how Dak looks off the injury. Dallas has a good offense and terrible defense. Bucs are good on both sides of the ball. Cowboys are also having COVID issues on the starting O-Line which wont help against this stout Bucs D-Line. My Prediction: I have the line at Bucs -8.5. Bucs can win by 10+ if they come out and play well, but Cowboys offense could be good enough to get a backdoor cover late. I have the line shaded to the over, but I think the total is right about where it should be at 52. It’s a stay away game all around for me.

Eagles @ Falcons: Lots of unknowns here. How will the Eagles look on both sides? How will the Falcons offense look without Julio and with Pitts? Will the Atlanta defense be better under the new coach? With Matt Ryan and Co. I am confident in the Falcons scoring against this Eagles D. Can Hurts lead the offense to put up more than 20? Maybe. My Prediction: The line is right about where it should be, I have the Falcons -2.5-3. I think the total is a bit low. Falcons can score and although the Eagles offense isn’t impressive, neither is this Falcons defense. If I played a side here I would play the total over 48.5.

Steelers @ Bills: I think the Bills will regress slightly this year, but I have the Steelers regressing a little as well. Steelers defense is the better of the two teams and the Bills defense isn’t anything to write home about. My Prediction: This line is a touch high considering the Steelers still have Ben, a lot of weapons, and Tomlin. Plus the Steelers always play well early in the season. I had the line at 5, and after preseason maybe even think it should be 4.5. I don’t know if I’m going to play this game yet but I would take the points with the Steelers if I did. The total is about where it should be, I can see this game being low scoring, a shootout, or somewhere in the middle. No value in the total in my opinion.

Vikings @ Bengals: I think the Bengals are overrated this season. Yes, Burrow is great, but the issues for the Bengals last year was the O-line and they really didn’t improve much in the offseason. Vikings defense is pretty solid. Vikings offense will also be solid, nothing flashy, but the run game should perform well against an average at best Bengals defense. Do you trust Zac Talyor to coach the team over the hump against the Vikings? I don’t. My Prediction: I thought the line should have been closer to Vikings -6, I do see value in taking the Vikings at -3. I don’t see this being a high scoring game and lean under, although there isn’t much value with the line at 48.

49ers @ Lions: I (like most) am very low on the Lions this year. 49ers should be about what they have been the past few years with Jimmy G at QB. Who on the Lions is going to score against a stout 49er defense? I don’t trust Goff to carry the team. Biting kneecaps will also get you an ejection, so that won’t help the Lions here either. My Prediction: 49ers should be closer to 10 point favorites and I had the line at -9. If you see a -7 out there on the 49ers, I would play it. I don’t see the Lions putting up many points, but the total is about where I think it should be.

Cardinals @ Titans: Cardinals were awful the second half of last season and I don’t think A.J. Green is the difference maker he once was to change that. Titans also lost some key weapons on offense. I think this game is going to come down to if the Cardinals can stop the Titans running game and can the Titans stop the big plays from the Cardinals. My Prediction: I have the Titans as 1 point favorites, but this game is essentially a toss up in my opinion. I have the total going under, but the big play ability of the Cardinals is a threat to the under. I don’t see any value at all in this game.

Seahawks @ Colts: Colts are solid on both sides, but what are we going to get out of Wentz? Seattle is always good on offense, but I don’t know what to think of this Seahawks defense. My Prediction: Flip a coin. Russ can ball out and carry the team to close win. Colts can play sound all around football and win close. No value in the line as I see it, too many unknowns. The total is also spot on to what I have it set at. Its a stay away game for me.

Chargers @ WFT: Chargers are really good. but so are the Redskins. Redskins defense is highly rated by most and Chargers offense should be one of the better offenses in the league. No more Anthony Lynn means the Chargers are less likely to choke the game away in the 4th quarter. Fitzmagic is typically really hot out of the gates which could take the WFT offense to the next level (at least for week 1). My Prediction: I lean WFT to cover the +1 and even win outright, but I still have this game as essentially a coin flip game. I might back WFT and the defense to slow down the Chargers enough for the WFT to win a close game. I also lean over in the game, Chargers will still put up points even if the WFT slows them down a bit, they wont shut the down completely. A late drive & score could decide the game and the Over/Under result. I am staying away from the total.

Jets @ Panthers: I am not as high on the Jets as some. But I’m not super high on the Panthers either. 2 years ago my opinion of Darnold was high, it has taken a hit recently, but I still think the Panthers are a better all around team. Jets should be better now that crazy eyes Gase is out of New York. My Prediction: I’m staying away, but if you made me choose I would take the +5.5 with the Jets. I also lean under in the game, I don’t trust either team to put up a ton of points, although at 45.5, the total is already fairly low and I am staying away.

Jags @ Texans: I don’t see either team being very good this year. Jags looked terrible in the preseason even with Lawrence playing QB. Texans are projected to be one of the worst teams in football without Watson. My Prediction: I shade the line towards the Jags just because they have the QB with more upside, but I don’t trust either team here. This should be a low scoring affair, but the line is already pretty low. I am staying away from both side and total here.

Browns @ Chiefs: Both teams are solid all around. They just played in the playoffs and it was a good game and a close game. The Chiefs did improve in the trenches, which killed them in the super bowl. Game is in KC, so factoring in home field for a couple points and that crazy loud crowd as well. My Prediction: I think the line is spot on where it should be, no real value unless the number gets up to the key number of 7 (which I doubt). I lean to the over in this contest, Chiefs can score at will and as we have seen from the Browns, they are capable of putting up points on teams with defenses similar to the caliber of defense KC has.

Dolphins @ Pats: This line caught me off guard. I expected it to be a pick em game and that after factoring in home field for the Pats. Both teams are pretty solid defensively. Tua showed a lot of improvement from what I saw in the offseason and the Dolphins have more offensive weapons than the Pats. Flores will mix it up and try to confuse rookie QB Mac Jones, who has showed some promise in the preseason, but still has a lot of football left to play before we know if he is good or not. My Prediction: I did play the Dolphins and the +3. There is value there in that play in my opinion. with both teams being defensive teams, I think this is going to be a very low scoring game in the teens so I see some value in the under as well.

Packers @ Saints: Packers are returning most of what they had in 2020. The Saints are without Drew Brees, who was less than stellar last season. The big question is whether or not Winston throws multiple interceptions or not. My Prediction: The line is about where it should be, but the total is a bit light for me. I do see value in the over and will likely play it at over 50.

Broncos @ Giants: Many people are high on the Broncos this season and I am as well. I worry about the QB play of the Broncos, but against a team like the Giants even with average QB play the Broncos should win this game. I don’t know where the Giants offense is going to come from against this Broncos defense and if the Giants fall behind I dont think the Giants can pass efficiently enough to climb back into the game. My Predictions: I will play the Broncos at -3. I will not play the total, if the game gets lopsided it could easily stay under, but I shade the total to the over.

Bears @ Rams: Did anybody watch the Bears in preseason? The starters were terrible on all sides of the ball. Is Dalton better than Trubisky? I don’t think so. Plus the Bears don’t have a ton of weapons. I am not high on the Bears this season. The rams are good on both sides of the ball and I don’t see the Bears scoring many points on the Rams. My Prediction: I thought the Rams would be closer to -10, I have them at -9.5. I am unsure if I’ll play it yet, but there is definitely value, in my opinion, on the Rams. I am staying away from the total in this one though, the line is about where it should be in my opinion.

Ravens @ Raiders: I don’t know what to expect from the Raiders this season. I think they will be an up and down team all year. The Ravens should have there way on offense against a bad Raiders defense, but the Raiders are capable of putting up points as well. The Ravens defense should be fairly stout, but the Raiders can score with the best of them…at times. My Prediction: This line is about where it should be at -4. I do see value on the over as both teams can put up points.


I would love to hear your opinion on the games, especially if your opinions differ. Information sharing is critical in finding value sports betting.

Advertisements

Model Projections

Consensus

Advertisements

B2 Model

How to read the projections: The model type is at the very top. Matchups are denoted by the alternating white/green pairings, away teams are on top, home teams on bottom. The model analyzes the matchup and projects the home and away teams score (Proj Score). The difference between the home teams score and the away teams score give us what the model says the line should be (Proj Line). The “Line” column is what the Vegas line is at the time I run the model. The “Line Diff” is the difference in the projected line and the Vegas line. A positive line diff means the projected line is in the away teams favor compared to the Vegas line, negative means the projected line is in the home teams favor. The “Cover Prob” uses a normal distribution and the teams variance to project each teams probability to cover the listed Vegas line. Same thing for totals, “Proj Total” is the sum of the projected scores, “Line Total” is the listed Vegas total for the game, the difference between the two, and the probability to go over or stay under denoted by “O” and “U”.

Betting Edge

If you don’t understand what you are looking at, I recommend reading my post about betting tips. The percentages show the betting Edge, which is the cover prob (from above) minus the implied probability (-110 odds implied prob is 52.4%). If a team has a 92.4% chance to win and a 52.4% implied probability (or -110 odds), the Edge is 40%. The Edge alone doesn’t mean you should blindly bet it. To quantify, >35% is Incredible value, 20-35% is great, 10-20% is good, <10 is ok value, blanks are negative value. ML is moneyline.

Advertisements

Random Forest (RF)

How to read the projections: The model type is at the very top. Matchups are denoted by the alternating white/green pairings, away teams are on top, home teams on bottom. The model analyzes the matchup and projects the home and away teams score (Proj Score). The difference between the home teams score and the away teams score give us what the model says the line should be (Proj Line). The “Line” column is what the Vegas line is at the time I run the model. The “Line Diff” is the difference in the projected line and the Vegas line. A positive line diff means the projected line is in the away teams favor compared to the Vegas line, negative means the projected line is in the home teams favor. The “Cover Prob” uses a normal distribution and the teams variance to project each teams probability to cover the listed Vegas line. Same thing for totals, “Proj Total” is the sum of the projected scores, “Line Total” is the listed Vegas total for the game, the difference between the two, and the probability to go over or stay under denoted by “O” and “U”.

Betting Edge

If you don’t understand what you are looking at, I recommend reading my post about betting tips. The percentages show the betting Edge, which is the cover prob (from above) minus the implied probability (-110 odds implied prob is 52.4%). If a team has a 92.4% chance to win and a 52.4% implied probability (or -110 odds), the Edge is 40%. The Edge alone doesn’t mean you should blindly bet it. To quantify, >35% is Incredible value, 20-35% is great, 10-20% is good, <10 is ok value, blanks are negative value. ML is moneyline.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s