How Do Super Bowl Teams Fare on Opening Week?
Everyone that follows the NFL, even somewhat casually, does not forget who the Super Bowl winner was in the previous season.
Naming the Super Bowl loser is often far more of a challenge and underscores the famous quote, “Nobody remembers who came in second.”
But we want to know winners and losers to learn if there is any betting intelligence leading us to solid NFL betting opportunities for the first several weeks of the upcoming NFL season.
Is There Any Hangover in Week 1 for the Champion?
In Week 1, Super Bowl champions are 17-3 straight-up (SU) and 13-6-1 against the spread (ATS), good for 68.4% winning bets, including a 9-9-2 Over-Under record over the past 20 seasons.
If our Super Bowl champion is playing at home, they have been 16-2 SU and 12-5-1 ATS, for 70.6% winning bets, including an 8-8-2 Over-Under record.
The champion deserves to play at home to allow their fanbase to celebrate the victory, but two have had to play their first game of the following season on the road.
In 2013, the Baltimore Ravens went to Denver to face the Broncos in Week 1 and lost 49-27, failing to cover the spread as eight-point underdogs.
In 2003, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers started on the road at Philadelphia and beat the Eagles 17-0. They covered the spread as three-point underdogs.
The NFL Week 1 Bet to Make
Last year’s champ, the Los Angeles Rams, play host to the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. Right now, I like betting the Rams at the pick-em price offered by the Caesars Sportsbook.
How Does the Super Bowl Loser Do in Week 1?
The Super Bowl loser usually suffers a letdown that is present in their first game of the following season.
The runners-up are 9-10 SU, but 4-15 ATS for just 21.1% winning bets. This includes a 6-11-2 Over-Under record, good for 64.7% winning Under wagers over the past 20 seasons.
The Cincinnati Bengals will play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, priced as a 6.5-point favorite with a total of 44.5 points.
Losers of the previous Super Bowl and playing the Week 1 game at home have gone 5-3 SU, but 2-6 ATS for 25% winning bets, including a 2-5-1 Over-Under record, good for 71.4% winning Under bets.
So, the betting opportunity is to take the Steelers getting 6.5 points and to bet the Under at 44.5 points.
How Do Teams Do the Week Before Playing the Defending Super Bowl Champions?
Many teams that know they will be facing the defending Super Bowl champions the following week are not distracted and are solid betting opportunities in specific situations.
Road dogs playing the defending champion up next are 43-63 SU, but a solid 61-43-2 ATS, including a 50-54-2 Over-Under record over the last 20 seasons.
When we filter road dogs of no greater than 6.5 points and have their next game scheduled against the champions, we get a 32-33 SU record and a 42-23 ATS record. That is good for 64.6% winning bets. They also have a 28-35-2 Over-Under record over the past 20 seasons.
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