The NFL released the regular season schedules for all 32 teams for the 2019 season. Some fans await this day like Christmas, planning their fall weekends and devising ways to divvy up season seats.
Let’s take a deep dive into the spreads and see where players can find value – and where to expect change in the coming weeks and months.
NFL Week 1 lines and matchups
The first game that stands out with some value is Atlanta-Minnesota. There is no consensus on the line and the best bet for Falcons’ fans might be +4.5 at PlayMGM, PointsBet, or William Hill.
PlayMGM has the best value for Eagles fans as they open at home against Washington. The Birds are 8 or 8.5 favorites elsewhere but PlayMGM has the closest spread at 7.5
The Jets open as 3.5 point favorites at home in Week 1 against Buffalo. Again, PlayMGM has the hometown deal with a half-point extra value to Gang Green.
William Hill and PointsBet took a non-consensus position on the Detroit-Arizona opener. While most books have the Cardinals a 1-point favorite at home, Hill has it a pick’em.
Colts-Chargers has some disagreement, with some books pricing it at Chargers -3 and other giving the Colts a half-point extra value. The best price early on is at PlayMGM, where fans get even money on Indy if they ditch the half-point kicker at get just 3.
PlayMGM flipped the local bias for the Giants-Cowboys game. While most books have the game at Dallas -7.5, the Cowboys, not the G-Men, get the half-point extra value to make it an even TD.
PointsBet has the shortest spread on the Browns-Titans opener. Most books have Cleveland a -point favorite on the road or greater; PointsBet went with the half-point extra value to the Dawg Pound.
Hill, PointsBet and MGM are both adding an extra point of value for the under of the Rams-Panthers opener. Most books have the game priced at 50; they’ve got the total at 51.
With the addition of new books, there are some interesting pricing options available. Things should move in the weeks and months to come so keep an eye out for the desired edge.
Pricing the local teams
This is Carson Wentz’s team and his shoulders will carry the weight. When he’s healthy, he’s among the league’s best QB and he helms a very strong offense.
Philly added some weapons to the noted hunter’s arsenal. DeSean Jackson can still stretch defenses vertically, while Jordan Howard adds a reliable back to a loaded room.
The books like the Birds to win some games this year. They’re favored in 11 of the first 15 games this year (Week 17 isn’t on the board for anyone because we have no idea what will the finale will mean).
The Eagles will be underdogs for their first four road games (at Atlanta, Green Bay, Minnesota, and Dallas). Yet, those are the only four games where the Eagles aren’t favored this year.
The books love Philly at home. The team has played well at the Linc the last two seasons and will host four of last year’s playoff participants, including the world-champ Patriots, this year, all following their bye week.
New York Giants
Big Blue was not a big favorite for the betting public last year. Even in the preseason, they saw the bettors move lines away from them.
The books have installed the Giants favorites in just four games this year. All those are at home, when they host Buffalo, Washington, Arizona, and Miami.
While there is more pessimism following the Odell Beckham trade to Cleveland, one piece remains that gives pickers pause. Eli Manning’s presence hangs like a fog over Gotham and many think he’s holding back the team’s rebuild and pursuit of a new signal-caller.
New York Jets
While the Giants are down, the Jets are up and bringing excitement to the Meadowlands. Sam Darnold’s rookie year and a talented supporting cast has given the Gang Green supporters something new for 2019: hope.
Early action saw bettors back the Jets last year. However, the confidence hasn’t swayed oddsmakers as New York is favored only five times this year.
The Jets open 3.5-point favorites at home to Buffalo. The next game they’re favored? November 10th when they “host” the Giants.
There are some games where the Jets are expected to keep it close. They’re 1.5-point dogs at Dallas, Washington, and Cincinnati.
What can change things?
For both NY teams, the draft is crucial. The Jets pick third, while the Giants choose sixth. Philadelphia will wait until the 25th pick to select a player.
Books have prices based on who they think will go when. Those selections will do a lot to determine if the spreads and win totals change for the fall.
A quarterback like Dwayne Haskins from Ohio State could alter lines on Giants’ games later in the season. A big pass-rusher going to the Jets could flip the spreads on some of those close games.
Philadelphia has the most stable position of the three local teams. Even if opponents get big names, that might not move the lines so drastically as to affect the favorites’ positions. The Eagles could certainly get another big back or target a wide receiver to put more distance between themselves and the underdogs they’ll face.
The lines today will certainly not be the same once the curtain rises on the 2019 NFL regular season. An injury like the one Teddy Bridgewater suffered in 2016 can create chain-reactions that see big names change towns and new names rise to importance.
Here’s a tip for bettors who get in early: Pray your team doesn’t have any offseason drama. One dumb move could cost players games and make a shrewd April bet precarious over the summer.
As always, keep on our family of sites to track the action as we move through the spring and summer months. Follow books on social media as well for price moves and any promotional offers.