The attention paid to Week 1 of any NFL season is a bit overwhelming. Armchair quarterbacks can always analyze big performances, surprise results, key injuries and plenty more. Increasingly, we see mass overreaction. Case in point this week, as Matt Youmans dedicates much of his feature story to putting the first nail in the coffin of the Packers off their humbling 38-3 loss to New Orleans. He discusses plenty of other takeaways from the first week, and surely his thoughts echo those across the country.
The reality is that Week 1 is just one of 17 games on the 2021 schedule. Nothing has been formulated yet, and we’ve gotten only hints of what could happen. To put it in perspective: Do you ever see overblown analysis of the first 10 games of a baseball season? The first five contests on a team’s NBA slate? The answer is not really.
Bettors really need to understand that teams tend to react and progress from their Week 1 results to their Week 2 games similarly year after year. I like to quantify these reactions through the use of betting systems, and I have 11 systems designed to help bettors turn what they saw in Week 1 into profits in Week 2.
This year’s Week 1 action was unlike any in recent memory, with 12 underdogs covering point spreads. There were some significant upsets, most notably with losses by last year’s conference runners-up, the Packers and Bills. The Raiders also pulled a miracle in turning back Baltimore after trailing by 14 points early. As usual, there were also some very close games and some lofty totals put up. These traits and several others form the foundation for the systems I am about to share.
Let’s take a foundational look at why these angles might be consistently successful. First, the NFL is a huge momentum league, and with only one game every week, it gives a team a lot of time to stew on a loss or bask in a victory. During this time, losing teams might be starting to doubt themselves, or winning teams may be thinking too highly of their own games. The betting public and media sensationalize this type of thinking and theorize that what they just saw in Week 1 is the new standard. Bookmakers are thus placed in a precarious position of having to juggle what just happened with what should happen the next week along with what the public thinks will happen. It is a fine balancing act.