A ton of money changes hands in Las Vegas sportsbooks on NFL Sundays.
They have crack teams of number crunchers who are way better than me and you when it comes to guessing likely scores of NFL games.
Many sports fans have joked about a team kicking a late field goal to finish just under or over the betting line, as if the game was fixed or something. And, well, the game bettors play is kind of fixed, because those aforementioned number crunchers are so darn good at what they do.
It would be foolish for the fantasy football community to ignore these experts. We are better when we take the sums of many parts to form our opinions about players and situations, and Las Vegas betting odds need to be one of the primary parts of the equation.
Here are the projected scores using the current (early) over/under and betting odds for Week 1 of the 2015 NFL season:
Week 1 schedule and projected scores
|Thu Sep 10||Pittsburgh Steelers||22.25||New England Patriots||28.75||8:30 PM||51|
|Sun Sep 13||Carolina Panthers||19||Jacksonville Jaguars||22||1:00 PM||41|
|Cleveland Browns||18.5||New York Jets||21.5||1:00 PM||40|
|Green Bay Packers||28.25||Chicago Bears||21.75||1:00 PM||50|
|Indianapolis Colts||23.75||Buffalo Bills||21.25||1:00 PM||45|
|Kansas City Chiefs||19.75||Houston Texans||20.75||1:00 PM||40.5|
|Miami Dolphins||23.5||Washington Redskins||20||1:00 PM||43.5|
|Seattle Seahawks||22.75||St. Louis Rams||18.75||1:00 PM||41.5|
|Detroit Lions||21.5||San Diego Chargers||24||4:05 PM||45.5|
|New Orleans Saints||22.25||Arizona Cardinals||24.75||4:05 PM||47|
|Baltimore Ravens||22||Denver Broncos||27||4:25 PM||49|
|Cincinnati Bengals||23.5||Oakland Raiders||20.5||4:25 PM||44|
|Tennessee Titans||19.5||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||22.5||4:25 PM||42|
|New York Giants||22.75||Dallas Cowboys||28.75||8:30 PM||51.5|
|Mon Sep 14||Philadelphia Eagles||28.5||Atlanta Falcons||27||7:10 PM||55.5|
|Minnesota Vikings||19||San Francisco 49ers||22.5||10:20 PM||41.5|
What’s the best way to use this information?
First, we should check for any blowouts. There are no huge blowouts, but the Cowboys, Patriots and Packers are all favored by five or six points.
Meanwhile, a point to a point and a half separates the Eagles and Falcons and Texans and Chiefs.
A home quarterback who’s going to be blown out is a sleeper, which is what some of us have been calling Jay Cutler already this preseason.
A winning team in a blowout –particularly the home team — is going to mean big points for their running back and potentially their defense. The Cowboys and Patriots fit that bill this week.
Close games mean all parts of the offenses will likely still be in play down to the wire, and in the case of the Eagles/Falcons tilt, we could see both teams putting up Madden numbers. Last team with the ball wins.
It’s also good to look at the over/unders. If two teams are expected to score 55.5 points, they are going to have a lot more fantasy points to go around than teams in a game with an O/U of 40.
That same concept can be applied to projected team score as well.
Here is a chart of teams with highest and lowest projected score for Week 1:
|New England Patriots||28.75|
|Green Bay Packers||28.25|
|San Diego Chargers||24|
|New York Giants||22.75|
|San Francisco 49ers||22.5|
|New Orleans Saints||22.25|
|New York Jets||21.5|
|Kansas City Chiefs||19.75|
|St. Louis Rams||18.75|
May variance be in your favor today and every day.