Players often learn the hard way. There was more moneyline carnage last weekend than I could ever remember in an opening weekend, as four of the top five picks in the Sportzshala Eliminator Challenge all lost. This is after the first week of 2021, when the NFL had nine straight losses. Sport is beautiful and inspiring… but the main reason for such surprises is the uncertainty at the beginning of the season. We think that we have a general idea of ​​each team, but this is almost not the case. The betting market only has data carried over from last season. In a month or two, the chances will increase, and everything will make sense? May be. The second week can be difficult. On the one hand, you have huge overreactions and we can find value with the opposite approach. On the other hand, oddsmakers are too stubborn and not responsive enough to what new players have taught us.

The number you need to know

Since 2000, we’ve only seen 22 teams lose their first match but still have a lead of 7.5 points or more in Week 2, averaging roughly one team a year. And we have a whopping four more for that scenario this Sunday.

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Let’s start with history. These 22 teams totaled only 7-15 ATS, indicating that the market has been slow to adapt. Now, this is a small sample size and 20 of these teams actually won, so it doesn’t look like the bookies were completely wrong. Only two lost outright.

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Our task is to sniff out paper tigers or what outsiders are overlooked. And that’s where I start. The Houston Texans are the team I plan to play on all season. I believe in quarterback Davis Mills and Coach Lovi Smith is making them play competent football, which hasn’t been said in recent years. His old-school approach is worrying and probably cost him last weekend’s win. Houston played too conservatively, leading 20-3 in the fourth quarter, and ended up tying.

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Houston Texans to Denver Broncos (-10, 45)
Sunday 4:25 pm ET Empower Field at Mile High

Kezirian’s Choice: Texans (+10)

I’m happy to score 10 points in Denver given the Broncos’ short week and the emotional loss that could leave the locker room questioning new coach Nathaniel Hackett after his controversial decision to kick a 64-yard field goal. Have you ever watched Monday Night Football and thought the Broncos should be the double-digit favorites next weekend?

The linear course of the week

Cincinnati Bengals (-7, 42) to Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, 4:25 pm ET, AT&T Stadium, Arlington.

Kezirian’s choice: Bengals (-7)

The Bengals are another 0-1 team and this line opened with 7.5 points but is now -7. I actually think it’s more than justified and I fully expect them to handle Dallas. The Bengals can obviously regress this season as Super Bowl hangovers are well documented, but I still believe. In fact, losing in overtime after missing numerous opportunities to win despite losing the battle for losses 5-0 is actually a positive sign. Simply put, they would probably win comfortably with just three losses, which are often considered more random than you might think. One bookie told me that he would have made the Bengals a 2.5 away favorite if Duck Prescott was healthy. The untrained eye might deduce that a downgrade to Cooper Rush is worth five points, but going from 2.5 to 7.5 goes through the key numbers 3, 6, and 7. This is a big move in the NFL betting world. That being said, I don’t think it’s enough, and neither does Sportzshala FPI, which puts this game in 11th place.

To tell the truth, bookies don’t like such situations. They prefer both teams at full strength because it’s easy to tell. Instead, they now have to trust the strength ratings of players like Rush that are untested and unverified. The gigantic unknown makes them feel uncomfortable and vulnerable… which I think is here too.

Give me Cincy -7, even though Dallas +8 brought big money and the line went lower. I love the idea of ​​a playoff contender who is motivated for his first win and has all the tools to use Dallas’ mediocre defense and porous offensive line protecting a shaky backup QB. However, it’s worth noting that Bengals get the most one-sided action in most books – about 90% of money and tickets. However, the number has moved in the opposite direction, indicating that respected money is on the other side (Dallas).

Separate Solutions

Each bookmaker is slightly different, but for the most part, the distribution of tickets and money wagered on each game is uniform across the market. In Caesars Sportsbook, only five of the remaining 15 games have the most tickets and bet on the same team in every match. If more money is wagered on one team, but the number of tickets is on the other side, it usually means that recreational money supports one team and professional money supports the other.

One of the most notable splits occurred in Sunday Night Football. 64% of the money goes to Green Bay, and 67% of the tickets go to Chicago. Ticket allocation measures volume by equating all bets to the same amount. So a $5 bet is considered the same as a $500 bet. 67% for Chicago indicates that the public supports Chicago, but the respected money is in Green Bay. This matches my data as I heard that Packers -8 got big money and this forced the bookmakers to increase the spread to -10.

Sharp report

Dom squashed it last week, which means the Acutes did it too. Often their cards look ugly as they tend to pit ugly underdogs against the public. However, this week they have a little bit of everything. It is important to note that respected money moves the market. So the rooms they usually take over are no longer available on Sunday mornings.

Every professional player does not make the same bets. Sometimes you will respect money on both sides of the game, as we saw last week with USC and Stanford. However, we are talking about the levels of sharp objects. Based on my data, I would say that this is what represents the respected stakes during the week: Patriots (-1), Browns (-6), Commanders (+1.5), Jaguars (+3.5), Cowboys (+8), Raiders (-3.5), Saints (+3) and Bills (-9.5).

Favorite Props

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5, 44) to New Orleans Saints
Sunday 1:05 pm ET, Caesars Superdome, New Orleans

Kezirian’s choice: Brady to throw INT (-113)

You’ve already heard all about Tom Brady and his Bayou Mistakes. New Orleans has won all four regular season games since Brady joined Tampa, and to be fair, it’s been decided by more than one score. This Saints defense seems to have his number, and while I was at times impressed with last week’s win in Dallas, the Bucks still have issues with offense. It’s hard to win and hide behind a favorite on the road, and now they have to do it for weeks on end with a crumbling offensive line? The big money grabbed the Saints +3, which I agree with, and I also really like Brady’s interception bet (-133). He did this in all four meetings, picking eight picks in total.