Early NFL Point Spreads Preview for Week 1

Betting lines have been out for the first couple of weeks of NFL football for a while now. But, since there is not much else to bet on, people have already started placing action and thus, pushing the lines around as sports-books adjust.

So, are there any early lines that look like they might be worth hopping on already?

Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs -11

This line has already moved from -10 to –11 and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the odds move to -11.5 or -12 and I can understand why. The Chiefs had one of the most productive offenses last season and not much has changed so this off-season. Couple that with the fact that they are playing at home and you have a recipe for the destruction of a mediocre AFC South team. This is especially true given the Texan’s inability to remain consistent over the last couple of years.

Kansas City had the second-best aways passing yards stat in the league, but at home, they tend to rely much more on the run. It didn’t affect their scoring much, but if this stat holds true in 2020, it could give the Texans the chance to hang in there and get the back door cover. Any time you get beyond the key number of 10 in an NFL game, it’s a lot of points. Especially when we are dealing with a season where the first game or two could be quite messy.

Normally by this time in the off-season, the players have built relationships and have been practicing and training together for a couple of months already. However, with COVID, they are just starting to work together. So, we are likely going to see some mistakes in the first week of football as the teams work out the kinks and shake off the rest of the rust. This is a line that might be worth taking Houston on. Especially if the number keeps moving away from them.

Las Vegas Raiders @ Carolina Panthers (PK)

There is an old adage that goes something like this: don’t bet on bad teams. Well, both of these teams are not great. But I have to say, the Panthers are dismantled and are going to struggle in 2020. The Raiders are not good … but Gruden loves to start off strong and the fact that it will be their first game under the mantle of a Las Vegas tag, I believe the raiders will go out and play inspired ball. The opening lines started as a pick-em, meaning no point spread just win or lose -110 each (1.91). Most books have already moved to the Raiders -1.5, making them a slight favorite. But you can still find a couple of books offering the -110 pick-em price.

Given the fact that the Raiders had the 8th best passing offense and Carolina is 15th in passing defense but only has five teams worse than them at defending the pass at home. As far as rushing yards are concerned, these two teams are nearly evenly matched. The Raiders were 13th and the Panthers were 14th. But the Raiders had the 6th best rush defense in the league, while Carolina at 29th, is like a permeable gut lining just waiting to get busted.

But perhaps the biggest indicator in an uncertain matchup is yards per play. And the Raiders put up 5.9 overall and 6 yards per play on the road. This is good enough to be tied for 6th in the league last year, Carolina struggled at 25th, with just 5.1.

However, the Panthers are currently working out a deal to bring Teddy Bridgewater over from NoLa. He played well as the Saints backup last year and should fit right into the scheme … except for the fact that the Panthers just hired a new OC … so, with a new offensive coordinator and new QB... I expect there will be some miscommunication and bugs to work out early in the season. When we add all of this up, I think the Raiders are worth a punt in Week 1.