Early Betting Lines on NFL Weeks 1 Through 16
It's always good to get in on something at the beginning, at the ground floor. In the world of sports wagering, for bettors equally long on hubris and illness (gambling is a sickness, my friends), some betting outlets realize that no time is too soon to put out lines on NFL games.
Oooh, that's a big lock.
The draft just ended about ten days ago, rookies are just now showing up to minicamp and there are several "name" free agents still on the street. But if there's a line on something, rest assured 1) people will think they know more than the oddsmakers, and 2) they will subsequently bet it.
With that in mind, here come the NFL betting lines on every game for Weeks 1 through 16 lines, courtesy of cantorgaming.com, but first my cautionary look back to the previous season that I will give you annually when I do this post:
Here are the Week 1 lines for the 2012 season as of May 12:
2012 WEEK 1
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants -3
Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears -9.5
Philadelphia Eagles -7 at Cleveland Browns
New England Patriots -6.5 at Tennessee Titans
Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs pick 'em
Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings -4
Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints -9.5
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets -5
St. Louis Rams at Detroit Lions -9.5
Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans -6.5
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers -6.5
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals -2
Carolina Panthers -3 at Tampa Bay Buccanneers
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos -2
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens -6.5
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders pick 'em
Think about how the 2012 season unfolded and how what looked like easy money in May 2012 wound up either changing over the summer or manifesting itself as folly over the course of the season. Biggest examples:
-- The Texans line moved from -6.5 to -13 by Week 1, so if you locked in at Texans -6.5 during the summer (which I kind of recommended you do at that time), you killed it.
-- New England actually moved from -6.5 to -4.5 by the time the season started. They won by three touchdowns.
-- The Lions were favored by 9 points over the Rams at the beginning of the season. By about a month into the season, we realized the Lions shouldn't be favored by nine points over anybody. Of course, if you had followed the trend of "double-digit win teams who were sub-.500 the year before" backsliding 90 percent of the time you'd know the Lions were a bunch of phonies.
(NOTE: Potential 2013 phonies? The Colts, the Redskins, the Vikings.)
-- The Eagles were a touchdown favorite on the road. Let that sink in.
-- Also, Falcons and Chiefs. PIck 'em.
Those are just a few of the "hindsight is 20-20" specials from last season. So with that in mind, here are the Week 1 lines for 2013, with your Houston Texans in BOLD:
WEEK 1 Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos (-7, -120) New England Patriots (-7) at Buffalo Bills Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7) Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-1.5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5) at New York Jets Kansas City Chiefs (-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears (-3, -115) Miami Dolphins (-1.5) at Cleveland Browns Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) at Carolina Panthers Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (-2.5) Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (-7, -105) Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams (-4.5) Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-4) New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (-4.5) Houston Texans (-3) at San Diego Chargers
Now, if you remember, last year I gave you only the Texans lines for weeks 2 through 16. I made you work to get the rest of the games. Well, guess what? This year, I'm going to give you every line for Weeks 1 through 16! Like one of those firecracker stands where they say "Buy 1, get 15 FREE!" (which, call me crazy, feels like an unsustainable business model).