NFL Week 1 Predictions: 5 QB Situations Worth Betting Against
NFL quarterbacks dominate water cooler conversation during the football season on a weekly basis—either by the way they performed on fantasy football teams—or if they happened to cover the spread.
Sports bettors have been looking over the Week 1 NFL betting odds for quite some time (courtesy of SBR Forum), and many have formulated their early picks solely on the reputation of the man under center.
Jay Cutler will serve as a prime example of this theory against the Indianapolis Colts, as the Chicago Bears lost five of six games in straight-up fashion to end the 2011 campaign after his season-ending injury, while going 2-4 against the spread (ATS) in that span.
Let's take a closer look if Cutler, and four other NFL signal-callers are worth backing in the opening week of the 2012 NFL regular season.
Buffalo Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
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The Buffalo Bills have been the biggest mover on the NFL odds board in Week 1, which is a bit surprising due to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's dreadful numbers against division rivals.
Fitzpatrick is a money-burning 6-12 ATS in his career against AFC East competition, but managed to cover the spread in a 28-24 setback against the New York Jets as 9.5-point road underdogs on Nov. 27 of last year.
Unless you envision a straight-up victory by the road team in this affair, I recommend backing the Jets at the discounted price, as all value has been lost on the Bills.
Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton
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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton found out that life in the AFC North was going to be a little tougher than the competition he faced at TCU during his collegiate years, posting a 1-4-1 ATS record in six divisional contests in 2011.
The Bengals signal-caller will open up his sophomore campaign on the road against the Baltimore Ravens on ESPN's Monday Night Football on Sept. 10, as the franchise will look to snap a three-game losing streak in the series.
Baltimore lands in a nice situational spot as a six-point home favorite, considering Joe Flacco's 17-12 -1 ATS mark in that situation over the course of his career.
Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder
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I may need to rethink my earlier prediction of backing the Minnesota Vikings in their season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, with quarterback Christian Ponder producing an 0-3 ATS record as a favorite during his rookie campaign.
A turnaround is certainly possible in regards to that statistic, considering the team failed to cover those contests by just over four points on average.
The Vikings are currently 4.5-point home favorites, but that number could rise to six if running back Adrian Peterson proves fit enough to play on Sept. 9.
San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers
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I was a little surprised that the San Diego Chargers opened up as one-point road underdogs against the Oakland Raiders in Week 1 when the NFL betting odds were initially released in April.
Quarterback Philip Rivers will not be happy that the early line movement has now made the Chargers a slight road favorite, considering his 14-18 ATS mark in that situation over the course of his career.
I may suggest bucking that trend in a few weeks, but need to see how the Bolts come together in training camp.
Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler
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Jay Cutler was back on the practice field during Chicago Bears minicamp last month, but sports bettors should be cautious in backing him against the Indianapolis Colts in the regular-season opener on Sept. 9.
The former Vanderbilt Commodores star has emptied many pockets in his professional career as a home favorite, posting a horrendous 9-19-1 ATS mark in that situation.
I'm never one to suggest playing a double-digit favorite in the NFL's opening week.