CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 13: Line backer James Laurinaitis #55 of the St. Louis Rams sacks quarterback Colt McCoy #12 of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rams defeated the Browns 13-12. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
The Patriots have been the best Week 1 bet in recent years, but not on the point spread. That honor goes to the Jacksonville Jaguars, while the worst Week 1 bets are usual suspects.
Betting against the Browns and Rams sounds like common sense, NFL handicapping 101, but when it comes to Week 1 odds, there is some statistical science under the public's general opinion of those lousy teams.
Both teams are big Week 1 underdogs -- Cleveland at home to Philly and the Rams at Detroit -- and both have proven to be among the worst Week 1 bets in the past dozen years.
The Browns are 1-11-1 ATS in their 13-year history of season openers and the Rams are almost as bad at 1-10-1 ATS in their past 12 season openers.
Carolina has been dreadful (2-7 ATS) and their Week 1 foes have been just as bad -- Tampa Bay is 3-8 ATS in 11 openers -- so bettors (and bankroll contest fans) can flip a coin on this one. The game is a ‘pickem' on the NFL odds menu.
Among the Week 1 locks, the Patriots have played OVER the total in seven straight openers as they visit Tennessee and the Packers have won and covered 5 straight season openers (as they host San Francisco).
Which teams have been the best Week 1 bets over the past dozen years or so? The Jacksonville Jaguars are 11-2 ATS in 13 seasons and the Minnesota Vikings are 8-2 ATS in the past 10. Those teams clash in Minnesota to see which trend will continue to run hot.
More Week 1 NFL Trends, courtesy of OddsShark.com's searchable NFL database
Falcons 1-4 ATS past 5 season openers on the road (at Kansas City)
Ravens 9-3 ATS past 12 games in September (vs Cincinnati)
Ravens 5-1 ATS past 6 season openers
Bills 1-7 SU past games vs Jets
Panthers 2-7 ATS past 9 Week 1 games (at Tampa Bay)
Panthers OVER is 7-1 past 8 trips to Tampa Bay
Bengals 7-3-1 ATS past 11 games vs Baltimore (at Baltimore)
Browns 1-11-1 ATS lifetime in Week 1 of the season (vs Eagles)
Browns UNDER is 10-2-1 in season openers
Lions 7-2 ATS past 9 season openers overall (vs Rams)
Lions 5-1 ATS past 6 Week 1 games at home
Packers Won and covered 5 straight season openers (vs 49ers)
Colts 0-4 ATS past 4 season openers (at Chicago)
Jaguars 11-2 ATS past 13 season openers (at Minnesota)
Chiefs 9-2 ATS past 11 games as underdog (vs Falcons)
Dolphins Played 5 straight September UNDERs (at Houston)
Vikings 8-2 ATS past 10 season openers (vs Jaguars)
Patriots Played 7 straight September OVERs (at Titans)
Jets UNDER is 5-1 past 6 season openers (vs Bills)
Raiders Played 5 straight home OVERs vs San Diego
Eagles UNDER is 6-1 past 7 season openers
Eagles OVER is 5-1-1 past 7 September road games
Steelers 2-7 ATS past 9 September road games (at Denver)
Chargers 0-4 ATS past 4 season openers (at Raiders)
Chargers 2-7 ATS past 9 September games
49ers 6-2-1 ATS past 9 season openers (vs Packers)
Seahawks OVER is 11-1 past 12 September games (at Arizona)
Seahawks 1-8 ATS past 9 September road games
Rams 1-10-1 ATS past 12 season openers (at Detroit)
Rams 3-14 ATS past 17 September games
Bucs 3-8 ATS past 11 Week 1 games (vs Panthers)
Titans 7-3 ATS past 10 season openers (vs Patriots)
Redskins UNDER is 7-2 past 9 season openers (at New Orleans)