The Baltimore Ravens are currently listed as three point favorites against the Buffalo Bills in the home opener. Three points is the usual advantage granted to the home team, so Vegas believes the public views the Ravens and Bills as evenly matched teams. The point total is set at 44.5. There is upward pressure on the point-spread, which could cause the line to move to -3.5 or higher by kickoff.
So far, 62% of all wagers at Las Vegas casinos have been place on the Ravens while 59% of the money gambled so far is on the over. 95% of money line bets are on the underdog Bills so far, with +151 odds.
Gambling trends favor the Ravens in Week 1. The Ravens are 21-14 against the spread at home in all games with Joe Flacco under center where the closing line is within a touchdown either way. The Bills carry a noticeable home-away split, home teams are 28-15 against the spread in their last 43 games. The average combined points scored for all Ravens games last season was 45.6.
As for wagering futures, the Ravens regular season win total is offered at 8.5, with 57% of the action on the over. The Ravens are listed at 16-1 to win the AFC, the 8th best in the conference and 30-1 to win the Super Bowl, 13th best in the NFL. Odds to win the AFC North include the Steelers as the favorite at 115-110, followed by the Bengals at 10-5, the Ravens at 14-4 and the Browns bringing up the rear with 25-1 odds.
A peak at the divisional competition in Week 1 shows the Browns as four point underdogs in Philadelphia and the Bengals as two and a half point favorites in a road game against the Jets. The Steelers are three point favorites on the road in Washington, in what is expected to be a high scoring Monday night affair.
Home underdogs in Week 1 and on Monday Night are usually smart plays. The Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs appear to be the best options for weekly survivor pools. And as always, fading the public provides the most gambling value.