FIWK the NFL Weekly Lines - Week 1

NFL Season starts tonight!  Get pumped people!  The Chargers still aren't mathematically eliminated from playoff contention!

Here are the lines for week one.  Because there are no games to use as a basis yet, I'm going to use my best judgment for choosing lines this week:

DENVER vs. Baltimore -7.5
Odd that the Super Bowl champion gets a really tough away game to open the season, right?  I would love to take the points here, but Denver figures to be really good.....

New England at BUFFALO -9.5
Buffalo has a QB named Tool who is ostensibly their 3rd string QB to start the season.  You couldn't make this line high enough for me to take Buffalo.  I'd be taking New England -20 if I had to.

Cincinatti at CHICAGO +3.0
This is a tough call, but I really like Cincinnati to be legit this year.  Don't really know how good Chicago will be, but I don't totally trust Jay Cutler.

I don't get this line?  Cleveland is at home and figures to be decent... and Miami isn't so great?  I love Cleveland to win this straight up.

Minnesota at DETROIT +5.0
This line just feels a little too high to me, although to be fair I have no idea who will win this.  If Peterson keeps it up, he should shred Detroit, right?

INDY vs. Oakland -9.5
Another line that really feels not high enough.  This seems like early season caution, and a line that should be Indy -13.

NEW ORLEANS vs. Atlanta -3.0
Tough call, but I like New Orleans to have a big season and I'm lukewarm on Atlanta.  This is even and I'll take the New Orleans home advantage to start out the season, with Payton having all training camp to prep for this game.

Tampa Bay at NY JETS -3.5
I think the Jets are going to suck, pure and simple.  They are behind only the Raiders in terms of pure sucking, maybe competing with Jacksonville.  TB should hopefully cover easily.

PITTSBURGH vs. Tennessee -7.0
I have no idea what to make of this.  This line feels slightly too high, but I also think Jake Locker is no good and don't trust the Titans.  Taking Pitt.

Seattle at CAROLINA -3.5
I have no idea why this line is so low.  It seems comical to me.  Seattle by a landslide.

JACKSONVILLE vs. Kansas City +4.0
Don't know what to make of this, so I'll take the home team getting points.  I don't totally trust KC but I know I'm in the minority on that.  I really hope they aren't better than San Diego.

ST. LOUIS vs. Arizona -4.5
Another tough call, and a division game to start the season.  The Rams get a little bump over the home 3 points, but I'll still take them since they're at home.

SAN FRANCISCO vs. Green Bay -4.5
Awesome game to start the season!  I am taking SF based on them being at home, but mostly I'm just excited to watch this.  Between this and Denver vs. Baltimore I am so excited the NFL is back!

NY Giants at DALLAS +3.5
Don't totally trust Dallas, and I'll take the points since NYG are away.  But I actually have no idea how this will play out.  I am realizing that my analysis is really pitiful compared to Aaron, AND I don't even throw in the convoluted self-jokes like he does.  And I'm almost done so it's too late to change.

WASHINGTON vs. Philadelphia -3.5
Taking Washington despite laying 3.5 because they're at home.  Really excited to see what RG3 does this year.... and also excited to see how Chip Kelly does in Philly.  Also it's definitely true that as you finish these damn games, you start to go loopy.  I have new appreciation for Aaron.  But not TOO much appreciation, or else I'll inflate his ego.

SAN DIEGO vs. Houston +4.0
I'm actually surprised that SD isn't getting more points, despite at home, considering all the buzz Houston is getting for being a possible AFC title contender.  But I'm still taking SD because I think they are being completely slept on this year.  They were 7-9 last year, gave up a ton of leads, and were LEADING DENVER 24-0 AT HALFTIME before completely choking the game away.  I say that's indicative of a Norv Turner team and not a crap team, and the WARM (Wins Above Raheem Morris) factor for replacing Norv is going to be a huge bump for them.

Bonus Question - how pumped are you for the season to be starting??


  1. My thoughts in numerical order (but this order does not denote chronology or importance).

    1) Super pumped.
    2) It's spelled RGIII.
    3) and Buffalo's QB is spelled Tuel.
    4) The Chargers had the point differential of an 8-8 team. I would expect them to win 8 +/- 2 games. Not a bad team, with a 15-25% chance of making the playoffs.
    5) You reference the lines too much. Talk about the teams a little.
    6) Peyton vs. defending champs, RGIII vs. Chip Kelly, my favorite team vs. anybody. The night games are pretty awesome this week. And Cowboys-Giants shouldn't be too bad either.
    7) I'll put $10 (assuming we start with a fictional $1000) on the Ravens +7.5.

  2. Not taking tonight's game, but wanted to post that I'm making a public google doc to track our shiftiness this year. You both have been forewarned.

  3. So, to make thinks easier, I went with a generic -110 line for all our ATS picks. Are you OK with this?

    If not, I can update tomorrow while at work...

  4. Full disclosure - all $ used are purely for funsies, just to track who's the best picker. It's useful to use $ to keep track of how confident we are in bets. We are definitely NOT betting on this.

  5. That's good, cause Aaron's loss last night was brutal.

  6. $100 each on Seattle -3.5 and on Tampa Bay -3.5; $50 each on NE -9.5 and on Indy -9.5.

    The Thursday night game was crazy, Peyton just singlehandedly turned every game he was involved in for fantasy. I am officially concerned about Baltimore's defense, dunno if they'll hold up at all.

    Also for fantasy purposes, Knowshon Moreno for Denver seems like the main guy. And the second WR for Baltimore, Brown, looks like a potential pickup.

  7. Do you think the Denver D not getting that TD from the INT is going to swing anyone's fantasy game this week? That would suck. The 1-yd line TD drop is the worst gut punch in fantasy.

  8. Further notes .... on the Buffalo game, sounds like rookie EJ Manuel is in fact going to start at QB. Which makes me like them more, after all. Still sticking with my NE -9.5 pick but I feel significantly less confident about it now; that's alot of points.

  9. Starting out slow cause of the new season, and I also like round numbers, so I'll go with $22 each on:

    Seahawks -3.5: I think they want to make a statement to the league that the 'hype' is warranted.

    Bills +9.5: I don't fully trust the Pats, even though Bradicheck may be in some form of 'eff you mode'.

    Colts -9.5: I think the Raiders will end up with more than 3 wins (unlike some people i know), but I think the Colts will destroy them in this game leading to me picking against an inflated line for the Colts next week.

  10. I have a solid bet on 2-to-1 odds that the Raiders have 2 wins or less. Really feel strongly about that.

  11. PS, I fixed some of your spreadsheet calculations, you needed to lock your "input data" cells in the front page calculations.

  12. Ah - thx!

    Yes, your bet on the Raiders is awesome...and you're going to lose.

  13. why are we doing -110? Do you actually want to track the vig as if we were making these bets in Vegas?

    My Ravens +7.5 was looking really good at halftime.

    Royce, if you keep betting $100, you'll be out of money by week 6.

    In general, this early in the season, I go really heavy on the underdogs, because we don't know who will actually be good.

    $11 on Buffalo +9.5, Cincy +3, Minnesota +5, Oakland +9.5, Atlanta +3, Tennessee +7, Arizona +4.5, Green Bay +4.5, NYG +3.5, Philly +3.5, San Diego +4.

    I might break Scott's spreadsheet by the sheer number of bets I make.

  14. Why -110? I think there's value to tracking the fact that there's vig on these lines.

    Why an average vs listing actual odds? I was too tired to create that.

    The spreadsheet should be structured (from a formula standpoint) to accept as many bets as you like; assuming, of course, Google docs allows that...

  15. Making $100 bets this early in the season will only make me run out of money if I lose; OR I will just be dominating you with my sheer awesomeness.

    I am okay with the vig, although some lines you get a +110 or whatever because the vig is the other way. But we can still track it and see how it goes.

  16. Welp, ignominious start for me... got Seattle but missed TB, Indy, and NE. So I lost $100 on the bets minus the vig, will post the actual number later.

    HOORAY FOOTBALL!! Lots of fun games so far today.

  17. I argue that just like you might find a +110 pick, you're equally as likely to find a -130 pick. Overall, I'd bet we end up with an averaged vig between -105 to -115. So, -110 it is!

    Spreadsheet updated through Sunday's games.

  18. I just lost a long comment, but I'm not retyping it. F*ck it...

  19. Scott, fair enough. That's the spirit Aaron! Because the internet boned you, we are going with -110 by default.

    How'd you knuckleheads finish the week? I'm at $890 now.

  20. F*ck it!

    Correction Royce, you're at $890.91 - don't sell yourself short buddy. Aaron's at $985. MP's at $1,000. I'm at $1,018.

    Here's the spreadsheet.

  21. San Diego +4 actually covered and I'm up $6 at $1,006.

  22. And my long comment was something about Royce's strategy putting him bankrupt by Week 8 (Scott, o/u week 8.5 that Royce runs out of money?), but my strategy of making 12 picks was boring. I didn't feel any emotion during those games.

    I may adopt the strategy of picking fewer games and betting just a little more.

  23. Assuming Royce keeps the same strategy, I'll still go over 8.5.

    Agree on the "there's little value in picking 12 games at $10 a pop" theory. I wish I had a system in place to mathematically identify games w/ good value, so that I could increase my bets accordingly. But, as of now I'm just flying blind.

    We'll see how it goes!

  24. Hey! Don't think that I didn't notice that you linked my strategy to How dare you.

    Just because of that, I'm going to win this thing. In your face!

    PS love that we're tracking MP. He totally kicked my butt last season.