The 2018 NFL season officially got underway Thursday evening with the Philadelphia Eagles beating the Atlanta Falcons thanks to a goal line stand. The Falcons had their chances, but those who sided with them as anywhere from a pick ‘em to a three-point underdog came up short when the final whistle blew.
Thursday offered a taste of things to come, but Sunday is when football is really back. We get a full slate of 13 games, followed by a pair of Monday Night Football games in the annual opening week double-header. And of course, that means a full slate of games on which to bet.
There are going to be plenty of awful teams in the NFL, and an assortment of fan bases across the league will finish the season disappointed in some way. However, when it comes to gambling, you can always win money on bad teams. Each week this season, we’re going to take a look at some of the bad teams around the league that have a favorable spread worth considering. When you only have to lose by X amount of points, as opposed to winning outright, everyone can be a winner!
Buffalo Bills (+7.5) at Baltimore Ravens
The Bills drafted Josh Allen and signed A.J. McCarron this offseason. Who knew it would be the much maligned Nathan Peterman who ended up as the starting quarterback. Bettors the world over are taking this as a sign to bet heavily on the Ravens in Week 1. 61 percent of money bet on this game online has been on the Ravens, according to OddsShark. As of Wednesday, September 5, 95 percent of money at 100+ William Hill locations was on the Ravens.
61 percent is a big number, but 95 percent is a crazy number. When the entire world is on one side of a game, you are often best served looking at the other side. Las Vegas was not built because the majority of people are correct in their betting habits. That’s not to say the Peterman won’t be a disaster in Week 1 and the Bills will get thumped. But if I’m going to take a shaky quarterback in a game, it’s going to be that first week of the season against a team quarterbacked by Joe Flacco.
Oakland Raiders (+4.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams
In case you spent the past six months in a cave, Jon Gruden is not getting the warmest of receptions in Oakland. The team got decidedly older in free agency, and then on roster cutdown day traded Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears for draft picks. The Raiders struggled in 2017, and expectations have gotten worse and worse as this offseason has progressed.
That being said, Oakland falls into a similar category as the Bills above. Everybody is jumping on the Rams this week thinking this will be a walk in the park for Sean McVay and company. Things went very well for the Rams last season, but they rested their starters in the preseason more than you normally see, and they are still working in a lot of new parts to this machine. Add in a home team getting points, and I think it’s reasonable to go out on a limb in Oakland.