What is that crisp smell in the air?
Is it fall?
No, it is the smell of betting odds. That smell is not dissimilar from a mixture of lottery tickets, Marlboro Reds, desperation, and a credit score somewhere in the 500s.
That is right! Football is back and so are the Week 1 lines.
The Vegas odds are moved one way or another by thousands upon thousands of bets, meaning we can find the favorites and see where people are putting their money.
Kicking off 2021 is a surprising level of trust in the Atlanta Falcons, per BetOnline. The Falcons face off against the Eagles in Atlanta at Mercedes Benz Stadium on September 12th, and Arthur Smith’s squad is the sizable favorite by 3.5 points. The line has yet to change, meaning bettors think the spread is just about right. However, the over/under has gone up 2.5 points to 46.
A few things to note as we get back into the NFL season.
First, the home team is generally spotted 3 points. So as 3.5 point favorites, Vegas is not confident which team would win on a neutral field. That makes sense considering both teams have new coaching staffs, limited transparency at quarterback, poor depth and a few majorly lacking starting positions.
Second, the over/under sets expectations for the game (such as, neither team has a defense). There are eight games with a higher expected number of points scored, which should be notable considering I can’t name a single offensive player on the Eagles.
Third, Week 1 is typically a mess across the league. Offenses are not clicking, timing is off in the passing game, and offensive linemen are still getting into a groove. That means Week 1 is tough to predict and project. That will never stop Vegas, but the odds for Week 1 are typically the least reliable of the season.
In sum, the Falcons are a lock — it is free money*!
*You should have seen enough of the Falcons by now to know that betting on the team is a poor idea.