How to pick winners using 2020 NFL odds for week 1 and consensus picks
It is not easy to win money betting on the NFL. It is one of the world’s most popular sports to wager on and last year it was projected that 38 million American adults planned to bet on the NFL a year ago. This number will increase in 2020. Because of this, the point spreads are always monitored closely by the top sportsbooks. If an injury happens, the sports betting sites are one-step ahead of you and will move the line before you can even think of making a wager. The key to picking winners is to start early and look at the 2020 NFL odds for week 1 as soon as they are released and try to find value to place a wager.
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THURSDAY, SEPT. 10
SUNDAY, SEPT 13, 2020
Cleveland at Baltimore (-8.5) [BET NOW]
N.Y. Jets at Buffalo (-5.5) [BET NOW]
Las Vegas at Carolina (PK) [BET NOW]
Seattle (-1) at Atlanta[BET NOW]
Philadelphia (-6) at Washington [BET NOW]
Chicago at Detroit (-1.5) [BET NOW]
Indianapolis (-8.5) at Jacksonville [BET NOW]
Green Bay at Minnesota -3.5 [BET NOW]
L.A. Chargers (-3.5) at Cincinnati [BET NOW]
Arizona at San Francisco (-8) [BET NOW]
Tampa Bay at New Orleans (-4) [BET NOW]
Dallas (-3) at L.A. Rams [BET NOW]
MONDAY, SEPT. 14, 2020
Pittsburgh (-3.5) at N.Y. Giants [BET NOW]
Tennessee at Denver (-3) [BET NOW]
*Keep in mind that the [BET NOW] and consensus pick is a good place to start when picking winners in the NFL, but it’s important to look at all the variables before placing a wager.
It’s a whole new year
The biggest mistake football bettors make in the first week of the season is that they bet on last year. Obviously, when a player like Tom Brady leaves the New England Patriots everyone will know about it, especially if you live in Tampa Bay. However, few fans track all the moves that a team makes. Players switching teams on the offensive line or in the defense are rarely tracked unless it is a big name player. This is essential information to have before betting on the NFL.
The point spreads to ponder
When the lines are released, there are a few that stand out. Why they stand out may differ depending on who is looking at it.
The Broncos are small favorites at home against the Titans. A home favorite on Monday night football is not a surprise, but the Titans made the playoffs last year and the Broncos are still rebuilding. That is just the first of the games that jump off the board when looking at the NFL odds for week one. Before placing a bet, another thing to consider is who the public is betting on.
Another point spread that jumps off the page are the Carolina Panthers. This is a team in rebuild mode and they let Cam Newton walk. Although they replaced Newton with Teddy Bridgewater, no one expects a huge year out of this team. Yet the line shows that they are a coin toss (PK) at home against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Consensus picks for week 1
There is one theory that stands the test of time when it comes to sports betting, bet against the public. This is especially true when it comes to betting on the National Football League. For week one, the most popular bets are not surprising.
The team that is getting the most action at the betting window is the Green Bay Packers on the road against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are much better defensively and although they lost Stefon Diggs to Buffalo, (and he is thriving) they are very good on offense. The public loves to bet on quarterbacks and they love Aaron Rodgers. This is interesting since, in his last four trips to Minnesota, Rodgers has completed only 53.9 percent of his passes with a paltry passer rating of 82.2. His struggles against Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer are legendary. If you really look at this Packers team there is a good chance that they don’t even make the playoffs.
Who is the public betting on in week one?
Another thing that jumps out is that the public loves road teams in the first week of the NFL season. The public is all over Miami (64%), Cleveland (70%), Arizona (78%) and the Las Vegas Raiders (73%).
We have seen the odds and we have seen the consensus picks for the first week of football, but there is more to look at. When both of these angles collide, the point spread will move. This will be the next thing to take note of.
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Watching the smart money moves
“Smart” money defined is money placed on a game from someone that is in the know. This term is used way too freely nowadays. Someone will suggest that smart money is on a game without actually knowing that the money being wagered is from a reliable source. How do they do this? They watch the point spreads.
Colts vs Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars opened up as (+6.5) underdogs at home in week one against the Indianapolis Colts. The Jaguars are expected to struggle again this season, but the public loves this home underdog in week one. Over 75% of the bets accepted are on the Jaguars +6.5. Since all of the money is on the home team, you would expect the line to go down in favor of Jacksonville. However, the Colts are now as high as (-7) at several of the top rated football sports betting sites.
Why does this happen?
The assumption is that although there are more bets on the Jaguars there is more money on the Colts. Since money moves the line, the sportsbooks are bumping up the Colts. I agree that more money is on the Colts, but I am not ready to call it smart money. Some of the richest guys I know are not the smartest guys that I know.
However, I want to list the plays that meet the “smart money” criteria for the first week of the season.
If you are going to bet on the NFL, you have to know how to look at the NFL odds. The best football handicappers already have their winner selected before the odds come out. All they are looking for is a number. If you desire to bet on the NFL and make money, it all starts with just one number.