For the gambler in you, Week 1

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Each week, we'll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by Bovada for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you'll read all week. Because if you can't lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what's the point of watching sports at all?

Note: Home team is listed first in Against the Spread.

Game One: Patriots -9.5 vs. Bills
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

2012 Against The Spread
Overall: 12-4Overall: 6-10
Home: 6-2Home: 4-4
Away: 6-2Away: 2-6
Last 5 vs. BUF: 3-2Last 5 vs. NE: 2-3
2012 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 5thPass defense: 10th
Rush offense: 7thRush defense: 31st
Pass defense: 29thPass offense: 12th
Rush defense: 9thRush offense: 6th

Verdict: As I explained in a post earlier this week, I would bet my mortgage (SERIOUSLY, don't do this for real) that the Bills wouldn't cover the 10.5-point spread vs. the Patriots, especially if they were starting undrafted free agent rookie Jeff Tuel at quarterback. Well, the spread has dropped to 9.5 points, and first-round pick EJ Manuel actually will get the start for Buffalo. Did any of that change my mind? No. Manuel hasn't played the past few weeks, so he'll be rusty. Plus, he's playing the Patriots. You know, the Patriots. I'd still take New England, and I'd still bet the house on it (hint: I'm not really betting anything, much less my house, on this result).

Game Two: Chiefs -3.5 vs. Jaguars
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET CBS

2012 Against The Spread
Overall: 2-14Overall: 2-14
Home: 1-7Home: 1-7
Away: 1-7Away: 1-7
Last 5 vs. JAX: 2-3Last 5 vs. KC: 3-2
2012 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 32ndPass defense: 22nd
Rush offense: 5thRush defense: 30th
Pass defense: 12thPass offense: 21st
Rush defense: 27thRush offense: 30th

Verdict: Man, the Chiefs were atrocious against the spread last season, but I think Kansas City will be much improved this year. I've been asked a few times on various radio shows which team I thought would enjoy the biggest turnaround this season, and I always says the Chiefs. I don't think they'll make the playoffs, but with Andy Reid (still, a pretty damn good coach) in charge and with plenty of offensive weapons surrounding Alex Smith (still, a solid-enough quarterback, I think), Kansas City will have a chance at making the postseason. Jacksonville, ahem, will not.

Game Three (largest spread of week): Raiders +9.5 vs. Colts
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

2012 Against The Spread
Overall: 4-12Overall: 11-5
Home: 3-5Home: 7-1
Away: 1-7Away: 4-4
Last 4 vs. IND: 1-3Last 4 vs. OAK: 3-1
2012 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 8thPass defense: 21st
Rush offense: 28thRush defense: 29th
Pass defense: 20thPass offense: 7th
Rush defense: 18thRush offense: 22nd

Verdict: Since Mark Davis has taken over as owner of the Raiders, are any Oakland fans confident the new regime can turn around the franchise? Coach Dennis Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie, both of whom are starting just their second seasons, could be on the hot seat (three of us actually predicted Allen will be the first coach fired this year), and it just doesn't make sense. It's not all their fault the roster is one of the least-talented in the league. The Colts will take big advantage this week and cover.

PROP BETS

Andrew Luck -- total passing yard, Week 1

Over/Under 290.5

Luck threw for at least 291 yards seven times in his rookie season last year, so we know this is a semi-regular occurrence for him. But the Raiders secondary isn't half-bad with Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins set to start at cornerback and with Charles Woodson and Tyvon Branch at the safety spots. I don't think the Raiders offense will challenge the Colts, so Indianapolis will build up a lead and Luck won't be required to keep the ball in the air. So, I'll go under.

Last year: 26-35 against the spread; 33-17-1 on prop bets.

 
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