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  • Created On:
    09/07/2011 9:56 PM
  • Last Update:
    05/09/2024 7:02 PM

Week 1 NFL Thoughts and Takes




By Tony George  Week one of the NFL regular season is upon us and I have some stats and numbers to consider this week.  REMEMBER Week 1 is sometimes not what it seems on paper, and there is MUCH PARITY in the NFL.  The starters have not played basically in 2 weeks in anything meaningful, and there is always some rust that needs knocked off and there will be crucial penalties that affect point spread covers.  I have 19 years of professional handicapping experience, trust me, been here and done it.  I have read and considered countless articles on the internet and in the papers, and here is a summation of them and my takes.  Surprisingly I read that road favorites in week one since 2006 are 14-9 ATS and you have some heavyweights this week laying a number on the road.  But the main thing I ALWAYS look for is teams that can run it, and emphasize running in week one, you reduce turnovers and mistakes more it seems, and control momentum.  An interesting fact I also found is that teams who had a 100 yard rusher since 2007 in week one, are 17-1 ATS opening week, an AMAZING stat.  Bodes well for Dallas and Green Bay this weekend, and I have to admit I kinda like them both not to mention the Colts who did not look all that good the preseason, but when do they ever.  The fact the number is under 2 in that Indy game at Houston scares me.   Bad teams remain bad in their openers, as I saw this Ugly stat for teams who just flat out stink on opening day, Bucs are 1-10 ATS , Browns 1-9-1 ATS and Rams 1-8-1 ATS.  St. Louis is playing Arizona at a home dog of 4 starting a rookie QB, the Browns open with Tampa Bay on the road as a 3 point pup which should be interesting.  Someone in that game is going to break the trend, not sure I trust Cleveland on the road there but Tampa has QB issues out the waazou! How about new coaches and programs changing directions with new hope?  Think again, as I saw another amazing stat this week, teams with new head coaches in week one are 3-9 ATS the past two opening weeks in 2008 and 2009.  New schemes, new culture, new players, all add up to confusion and lack of execution in the opening weeks of the season for these teams, even at the pro level.  Shanahan at Washington comes to mind as they open with Dallas who is loaded.   Beware of sales tactics of unethical types who have games of the year or month on opening weekend.  Quite frankly, it is slightly insane to unload in week one, but rather tread lightly.  If the opening week of NCAA football did not convince you of that, then fire away!  You have 22 weeks of NFL action, slow down and take it easy, plenty of winners to be had.  Some teams with good opening week stats are the Bills at 5-0 ATS, the Jags at 10-1 ATS, the Colts at 7-1 ATS and the Saints are 5-0 the last 5 years, but boy do they have their hands full on opening Thursday Night laying the dreaded number of 4.5 against a ticked off bunch of Vikings whop let them beat them in the NFC championship last year and Brett Favre is just how out of a coma from beating he took!  Tough call in that one no doubt, but will be a whale of a game.  How the heck the Bills have covered the past 5 seasons is beyond me, and a loaded up Miami team comes calling this Sunday is fair weather there, that gives me pause on that trend continuing!   All in all the opening weeks lines are sharp but beatable but there are about 65% of the games I see where the number on both side and total are sharp.  The upset bug will rear its ugly head in more than a few games.  I personally like to put out 2 or 3 games and then do a week one teaser, 2 teamer, and ALWAYS add points to dogs, and many times home dogs. I have fared well in the past with this approach.  Best of luck on opening weekend. 


Again to stress the point to all, things are not always what they seem this early in the season. 


You can find Tony George at

Tony George is a professional Handicapper and well respected Brand Name nationally and amongst his peers, and a radio personality nationwide as well. In business since 1992, Winner of over 51 Top 10 national... Read more

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