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Week 1 NFL Spreads: STATS vs. Las Vegas

By: Stats Perform

Using STATS X-Info metrics and roster rankings to project favorites vs. the Vegas standard odds.

You wouldn’t be the first casual gambler curious how the savants in Las Vegas arrive at the spreads that become your money’s enemy. Are there are bunch of dudes sitting around the clock in some dingy room with 60 televisions, eating fast food, lighting cigarettes in the corner and crunching numbers while replaying countless scenarios of an outcome?

Surely, the process is much more sophisticated and complex, especially when Vegas accepts millions of dollars in bets each week during the NFL season.

We here at STATS have our own system, one that includes proprietary data used to project spreads for each NFL game. STATS X-Info calculates roster rankings based on returning and lost production, statistical data and depth at each position, then compares that to an opponent and arrives at a conclusion – the projected spread.

Group 1: STATS’ projection doesn’t always line up with the Vegas consensus. In some cases, the spreads are very far apart. Have a look at how STATS’ X-Info data sees Week 1 of the NFL season shaking out compared to the consensus Las Vegas odds as of Friday afternoon:

Kansas City at New England

STATS: Patriots -4.31
Vegas: Patriots -8
Final score: Chiefs 42-27

Both spreads were wrong, but STATS projected the Chiefs to give the Patriots a much better game than Vegas. Kareem Hunt and Alex Smith made sure everyone who bet on New England dropped some cash.

Seattle at Green Bay

STATS: Seahawks -2.31
Vegas: Packers -3

Green Bay’s roster rank comes in at only No. 14 in STATS X-Info’s metrics, while Seattle is No. 3. Sure, Aaron Rodgers is playing at home and, well, you usually don’t bet against Aaron Rodgers at home. However, the Seahawks’ solid defense and the Russell Wilson-led offense are simply better on paper than the Packers, which is why STATS projects Seattle as the favorite.

Group 2: Occasionally, STATS and Vegas agree – for the most part – as noted in the games below. Each spread is within fewer than two points:

New York Giants at Dallas

STATS: Cowboys -4.29
Vegas: Cowboys -4

New Orleans at Minnesota

STATS: Vikings -3.18
Vegas: Vikings -3

Arizona at Detroit

STATS: Cardinals -0.72
Vegas: Cardinals -2

Oakland at Tennessee

STATS: Titans -1.51
Vegas: Titans -2.5

Group 3: There are moments STATS and Vegas at least agree on the favorite, but there is a wide margin between the STATS spread and the Vegas spread:

New York Jets at Buffalo

STATS: Bills -0.17
Vegas: Bills -8

Atlanta at Chicago

STATS: Falcons -1.90
Vegas: Falcons -6.5

Pittsburgh at Cleveland

STATS: Steelers -0.83
Vegas: Steelers -9.5

Philadelphia at Washington

STATS: Eagles -7.88
Vegas: Eagles -1

Philadelphia has the NFL’s second-best roster according to STATS X-Info metrics, with Washington ranking No. 28. STATS projects the Eagles to possess a huge advantage over the Redskins despite being on the road. This is a matchup with which we went into further detail.

Carolina at San Francisco

STATS: Panthers -1.84
Vegas: Panthers -5

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver

STATS: Broncos -6.77
Vegas: Broncos -3

STATS X-Info projects Denver as having the best overall roster from top to bottom in the league. The Chargers are No. 15.

Group 4: Much like the Seahawks-Packers game, there are games where STATS and Vegas don’t agree at all:

Baltimore at Cincinnati

STATS: Ravens -3.19
Vegas: Bengals -3

Jacksonville at Houston

STATS: Jaguars -0.65
Vegas: Texans -5

Indianapolis at Los Angeles Rams

STATS: Colts -0.80
Vegas: Rams -4.5