Reviewing Our Best NFL Bets From Week 1
BetQL's NFL Model identified some edges in the opening week
Chiefs @ Jaguars
★★★★★ Chiefs (-3.5)
Outcome: 40-26 Chiefs
BetQL labeled the Chiefs as a 5-star bet in Week 1 (-3.5 favorites against the Jags). BetQL had Kansas City as a 15-point favorite and the 11.5-point difference between our spread and the consensus made it a fantastic wager
The Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes stormed out the gates, posting 17 points in the first quarter. Mahomes connected with Sammy Watkins for some massive plays in the first half. Watkins totaled 198 receiving yards in the game with three touchdowns. The bulk of that damage was done in the first half, as Watkins racked up 178 yards, becoming the fifth player to tally over 175 receiving yards in the first half of a game since 2010.
Mahomes ended the day 25-for-33 passing with 378 yards and three scores, compiling a tremendous 143.2 rating. Unfortunately for Jacksonville, they lost their new quarterback almost immediately, as Nick Foles broke his collarbone on a touchdown pass in the first quarter. It’s rough news for the Jaguars, but what else would you expect in regards to luck and fortune for that organization?
The game ended 40-26 in favor of Kansas City, easily covering the -3.5 spread (and just one point away from BetQL’s projection).
Rams @ Panthers
★★★1/2 (Rams -125)
Outcome: 30-27 Rams
BetQL assigned the Rams a 3.5-Star moneyline rating against the Panthers in Carolina. The Rams are fresh off a Super Bowl appearance, so it was a bit odd to see them as such small favorites, even on the road. The Rams finished 6-2 as the visiting team in the regular season last year.
Word out of preseason was that Cam Newton’s foot wasn’t 100 percent after suffering an injury in Week 3 of the preseason. This alone should have skewed the consensus odds more dramatically. Newton went 25/38 passing with 239 yards through the air with an interception. He looked incredibly rusty and his foot was obviously a bother, as he logged negative yards on the ground over three official rushes.
But, at least he dressed to impress.
Christian McCaffrey did everything for Carolina and kept them within striking distance with his 128 yards on 10 carries and 10 catches for 81 additional yards. He managed to rush for two scores and was incredibly effective.
Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff had a below-average performance, failing to reach 200 yards passing. However, the Rams rushing attack was in full force as Todd Gurley (14 carries, 97 yards) and Malcolm Brown (11 carries, 53 yards, two touchdowns) performed quite well in a tandem. The Rams also benefited from Dante Fowler Jr.’s two sacks and newcomer Clay Matthews’ sack on Newton.
BetQL identified the edge -- did you take advantage?
44 percent of the tickets were written on the Rams in this matchup, but a whopping 76 percent of the money was. Keep an eye on all the betting data this week!
Ravens @ Dolphins
★★ Ravens (-7 and -340)
Outcome: 59-10 Ravens
The Ravens offense erupted for a franchise-record 59 points. They posted 42 points in the first half, beating the Dolphins into oblivion on their own turf. It’s widely known that the Dolphins are rebuilding and are garbage this season, but there’s still plenty of opportunity to place significant wagers against them.
BetQL’s model had the Ravens as 11-point favorites and the four point difference in the spread made this a 2-star bet, along with their moneyline being a 2-star wager. Although our projections were more modest (largely due to the fact that the game was played in Miami), there was still enough reason to make a sizable wager on Baltimore.
Baltimore’s offense behind Lamar Jackson thrived, as Jackson went 17-for-20 with 324 passing yards, including a whopping five touchdown throws. Two of those touchdown passes went to rookie speedster Marquise Brown, as he piled on 147 receiving yards on just four catches. Rookie tight end Mark Andrews was also very impressive, tallying eight catches for 108 yards and a score. Mark Ingram pounded the ball for 107 yards and two scores on just 14 carries in his Ravens debut. There was simply nothing the Dolphins could do.
It was expected that Miami would fail to have much success in 2019 and there will be times to bet against them all season long. Week 1 was one of those chances. The Ravens’ dynamic offense proved to be far too much for the pathetic Dolphins squad.
BetQL gave reason for some extra confidence in wagering against them, especially in regards to the spread that had Baltimore favored by just seven points. Vegas missed the mark in this one and the Ravens looked very impressive on Sunday.
Titans @ Browns
★★ Titans (+5.5)
Outcome: 43-13 Titans
The consensus line listed the Browns as 5.5-point favorites against a visiting Titans squad; however, BetQL’s model labeled the Browns as 2.5 point favorites, making the underdog Titans the better bet. This was in part due to the fact that the Titans are a prolific running team and the Browns allowed 135.2 yards on the ground per game last season, which ranked them fifth-worst in the category in the NFL.
The Tennessee running backs went bonkers against the Browns, as Derrick Henry had a career day. Henry tallied 84 yards on the ground off of 19 carries and punched in a touchdown. He also added a 75-yard reception that resulted in a score. Marcus Mariota added 24 yards on the ground on three rushing attempts as the Titans compiled 133 yards on the ground.
The Titans defense racked up five sacks and three interceptions on Baker Mayfield, harassing him all game. Mariota, Mayfield’s counterpart, threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns to compliment their terrific run game.
The Titans took care of business by slapping the Browns by 30 points, crushing the Cleveland faithful that was surging on a high after a terrific 2018 season and stellar offseason that saw them acquire Odell Beckham Jr. Sunday just wasn’t their day. BetQL nailed this road underdog despite all of the talking heads’ love of the Browns.
Bills @ Jets
★★ Bills (+2.5)
Outcome: 17-16 Bills
Well, this was a wild one. The matchup between the Bills and Jets was full of turnovers, as the Jets recovered two fumbles and intercepted Josh Allen twice in the first half, returning a pick for a touchdown. It’s the first time the Jets recorded four turnovers in one half since 2011. Despite taking a 16-0 lead, the Jets blew the game.
BetQL had the Bills as favorites in the game, as opposed to underdogs like the consensus spread indicated. Our model pegged the Bills as one-point favorites and the game ended in a Bills win at 17-16. In other words, we hit the nail on the head!
Le’Veon Bell’s debut after a year off from the Jets was a success, as the star running back played in all 66 of the Jets snaps and accounted for the team’s only touchdown on offense. This debut was spoiled by the Bills’ heroics in the second half.
Rookie tailback Devin Singletary had himself a game in limited action for the Bills, taking four carries for a total of 70 yards while adding five catches for 28 yards. Allen settled down after a brutal first half, throwing a touchdown to new receiver John Brown and running in a score of his own.
This was an excellent battle between two teams that are fairly even on paper, but BetQL nailed the road team’s win, while Vegas favored the home team. The Bills are underrated and should start to open some eyes moving forward in 2019.