These are just my opinion obviously, but I would group them as such: Forget last year; Looks too good; and Overreaction. Let’s look at each.
Forget Last Year: When you prepare to make your bets early in the 2019 season don’t think about what happened in 2018. It’s over. The NFL has developed into a year to year league.
For instance, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings both had excellent seasons in 2017. Jacksonville made it to the AFC Championship Game and Minnesota made it to the NFC Championship Game. Both were expected to be just as good, if not better, in 2018. Bettors felt the same way and lost a lot of money. Jacksonville and Minnesota each experienced dismal 2018 seasons and missed the playoffs entirely.
Too Good to be True: This happens later in the season as well, but it especially happens early. A bettor sees a line and says, “This looks too good be true.’’ If it looks too good to be true it likely is. So either stay away from it, or bet the other way. Remember a couple of things. The oddsmakers are smarter than you and know more about what’s going on in the league than you do. Also those pretty Las Vegas casinos didn’t build themselves and rarely go out of business. But a lot of bettors end up in trouble money-wise from lines that “were too good to be true.’’
Because of rules in the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, a tight salary cap and fear of injury the NFL’s preseason games have become nothing more than glorified practices. Starting players hardly play and when they do they barely last a quarter, or so. That means the opening day of the season is basically the last week of preseason. Several teams just aren’t ready to play because of the inactivity in the preseason and it shows in their performance.
In 2018, the New Orleans Saints lost at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The easy “overreaction’’ was the Saints were not very good and we’re going to have a bad season, while the Buccaneers had improved greatly and were ready to contend for a championship. Both thoughts couldn’t have been more wrong. The Saints came back from that week one loss to go 13-3 and make it to the NFC Championship Game. Tampa Bay finished 5-11 one of the worst records in the league.