Oddsmakers successfully turned Week 1 of the NFL season into a coin flip, with seven favorites and eight underdogs covering the spread and the Bengals-Bears game ending in a push.
Eight games went OVER the total, and eight games stayed UNDER. Eight home teams and seven road teams covered the spread.
On average, the 16 Sportsbook games were decided by 6.9 points of the closing spread. The Kansas City Chiefs’ 28-2 blowout of the Jacksonville Jaguars featured the biggest spread differential. Favored by 3.5 points, the Chiefs covered by 22.5 points.
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The Denver Broncos, thanks to seven touchdown passes from Peyton Manning, covered the spread by 14.5 in their 49-27 win over the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. The 76 total points was the highest-scoring game of Week 1 and went over the totals by 27.5 points.
The Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles, two road teams to pull off straight-up upsets, also covered the spread by double digits.
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The two teams starting rookie quarterbacks—the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills—each covered the spread. The Bills’ E.J. Manuel completed 18 of 27 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions in a close 23-21 loss to the New England Patriots. The Jets’ Geno Smith completed 24 of 38 passes for 256 yards with a touchdown and interception and led a last-second game-winning drive in an 18-17 win over the Tampa Buccaneers.
The average score in Week 1 was 42.4 points. Oddsmakers expect Week 2 to be even higher scoring.
The average total for Week 2’s games is 45.6, with two games—Broncos at Giants and Chargers at Eagles—featuring totals in the 50s. According to Spreadapedia.com, there have been only two NFL games with totals in the 60s. It appears we might have few more of those this season, as the league embraces the up-tempo, no-huddle attack that has taken college football by storm.
Three road teams are favored in Week 2. In a battle of the Manning brothers, Peyton’s Broncos are 4.5-point favorites over Eli’s Giants in New York. The New Orleans Saints are 3.5-point favorites at Tampa Bay, and the Carolina Panthers are 3-point favorites at Buffalo.
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