Using STATS advanced analytics, metrics and roster rankings to project NFL favorites vs. the Vegas standard odds
The 2018 NFL season kicked off Thursday night when Atlanta Falcons visited the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, a matchup both STATS and Las Vegas predicted would be a very close contest. Sometimes, STATS’ advanced analytics and Vegas’ team of experts release point spreads that are very similar. Other times? Not so much.
STATS uses unique metrics, deep-dive analytics and proprietary roster rankings to project NFL spreads for every game, every week. STATS calculates roster quality based on injuries, statistical data and depth at each position, then compares that to an opponent and arrives at a conclusion – the projected spread.
None of these spread projections mean you should empty your account and follow the STATS model to riches. STATS simply takes into account factors Vegas may not, hence some differing views. For example, Las Vegas has Arizona as a slight favorite over Washington this week, while STATS has the Redskins favored by nearly a touchdown.
Have a look at how STATS projects the spreads in Week 1 against those coming out of Las Vegas. The games are separated into two groups based on the difference between STATS’ spread and the Vegas spread, along with the projected scores from the STATS model.
Group 1 – STATS Lines Similar to Vegas (Within 4 Points):
San Francisco at Minnesota
STATS: Vikings -7.4
Vegas: Vikings -6.5
Projected score: Vikings 28, 49ers 21
The Niners are rebuilt and should fare better in 2018 than they did in 2017, but Minnesota has too many offensive weapons for the Niners to handle.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans
STATS: Saints -10.3
Vegas: Saints -9.5
Projected score: Saints 31, Buccaneers 21
The Bucs reworked their defensive line, but face a tall task facing the Saints O-Line in Week 1. Bress and the Saints cruise to a high-scoring victory.
Jacksonville at New York Giants
STATS: Jaguars -1.7
Vegas: Jaguars -3
Projected score: Jaguars 21, Giants 20
We’re not believers in the Giants just yet, but Jacksonville will have a tough time scoring and the Giants should keep it close.
Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers
STATS: Chargers -6
Vegas: Chargers -3
Projected score: Chargers 25, Chiefs 19
Mahomes gets a tall task facing the Chargers defense for his first start of the year. Bosa or no Bosa we expect the Chargers to outpace the Chiefs and their question marks on defense.
Chicago at Green Bay
STATS: Packers -11.3
Vegas: Packers -7.5
Projected score: Packers 28, Bears 17
It’s not that we don’t like the Bears, but beating Rodgers in Green Bay is…difficult.
New York Jets at Detroit
STATS: Lions -6.8
Vegas: Lions -6.5
Projected score: Lions 27, Jets 20
We’re not fans of either of these teams this year, but one of them has to win so we’ll go with the home team against the rookie QB.
Buffalo at Baltimore
STATS: Ravens -4.4
Vegas: Ravens -7.5
Projected score: Ravens 21, Bills 17
In what we think will be the lowest-scoring game of the week, it will likely come down to who can run the ball more effectively. Both teams are excellent in pass defense.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland
STATS: Steelers -6.4
Vegas: Steelers -4
Projected score: Steelers 27, Browns 20
The Browns are better, but even without Bell the Steelers have too good a team for the Browns to compete with. Steelers by a TD.
Houston at New England
STATS: Patriots -5.1
Vegas: Patriots -6.5
Projected score: Patriots 28, Texans 22
We got a high-scoring affair last year when these two faced off and we expect it again. Pats open with a win, but good things on the horizon for the Texans.
Los Angeles Rams at Oakland
STATS: Rams -8.4
Vegas: Rams -4.5
Projected score: Rams 29, Raiders 21
Oakland’s defense is riddled with uncertainty, and the Rams have no problem putting points on the board. The Raiders offense shows some life, but it isn’t enough to keep pace with the Rams.
Group 2 – STATS Lines Not Similar to Vegas:
Cincinnati at Indianapolis
STATS: Bengals -0.6
Vegas: Colts -3
Projected score: Bengals 22, Colts 21
Cincinnati’s defense is loaded, and we’re not sure the Colts have enough firepower to outscore them.
Tennessee at Miami
STATS: Dolphins -3.4
Vegas: Titans -1.5
Projected score: Dolphins 24, Titans 20
We actually like the Miami offense, provided Tannehill shows any signs of life. They have enough weapons to pull off a week 1 home upset.
Washington at Arizona
STATS: Redskins -4.6
Vegas: Cardinals -1
Projected score: Redskins 26, Cardinals 22
Washington D-Line v. the Cardinals’ O-Line. That’ll be the story for this one. Bradford could have a rough time staying on his feet in his Arizona debut.
Dallas at Carolina
STATS: Cowboys -3.2
Vegas: Panthers -3
Projected score: Cowboys 22, Panthers 19
This line could move depending on which offensive linemen are healthy for either side. As it stands, we think the Cowboys’ pass rush is enough to disrupt Cam Newton.
Seattle at Denver
STATS: Seahawks -4.1
Vegas: Broncos -3
Projected score: Seahawks 24, Broncos 20
Our biggest difference from Vegas this week. We’re still believers in the Legion of Boom, despite the turnover of players. Russell Wilson might be harried in this one, but we think the Hawks put up enough to beat the Broncos at Mile High.