Nick Goff reveals his system ahead of week one of the new NFL season
Greetings, friends of Coral, and welcome to the first weekly Coral NFL blog of the season. Our PR team searched far and wide to find a witty, intelligent NFL expert to entertain you and offer in-depth analysis and great tips to help you win a few quid this season, but everyone fitting that criteria wanted to be paid money, so you’re stuck with me. That’s the sort of “banter” (copyright Richard Keys) I’ll be serving up between now and early February, when Arizona hosts Superbowl XLIX (Everyone writes the number of the Superbowl in Roman numerals. I don’t know why, but it opens a bit of a can of worms this season because XLIX sounds to me like it ought to be some kind of adult website).
So, a little background about me. My name is Nick Goff and I’m the Head of Football Trading here at Coral. That’s Association Football. To pinch a phrase of one of our rivals, I hear you. This is an American Football blog, I know. But panic not, I do know a little bit about American Football too, otherwise this would have the potential to be one of the most pointless and useless blogs of all time. Actually, you’re right. It still does.
I first got into this wonderful sport in my teens in the mid 1990’s and decided I needed to support a team. In 1995, two expansion teams joined the NFL, so I thought it’d be a nice idea to choose one of those teams to be a fan of. The choice was Carolina or Jacksonville, and for some reason I chose Jacksonville who, for those of you who don’t follow the NFL at all, are probably the best team in the history of the league and have won 15 Superbowls in their 20 years in existence.
Then, from 1998-2001, in between eating Pot Noodles and drinking 80p pints in the Student Union, I played for my university American Football team, Bristol Bullets, as a Wide Receiver, Kicker and Punter, breaking the University field-goal record with a 47 yarder in a 52 point thriller against our arch-rivals, Cardiff. We lost 49-3. And our Quarterback got hit so many times he cried. Actual tears. On the pitch. Man’s game.
Right, enough of that nonsense. Time for the serious stuff. Let’s take a look at this weekend’s first set of NFL fixtures. Week One is always tricky from a betting perspective. There’s no form to go on because preseason results in the NFL aren’t worth a penny – all teams are interested in is their best players not getting injured. And unlike our Premier League football here, it’s not always the same old teams that are good and bad each year, so it’s unwise to put too much faith in the teams who were good last year.
In Week One, I think the majority of punters attach a bit too much importance to how good a team was last season. Teams who made the playoffs last year remain fresh in the public’s minds, so they tend to back them in their first game if they’re playing against a team that didn’t make the playoffs last year. The weight of money towards those teams causes bookmakers to move the handicap line slightly towards those teams they’re seeing strong support for, and means there may just be some value in us going against the crowd.
But don’t just take my word for it. I’ll give you the statistics. In Week One of the past 11 seasons, if you’d backed every team who didn’t make the playoffs last season on the handicap market against a team who did you would have had 84 bets. 52 would have won, 30 would have lost and 2 would have tied (you get your moneyback on a handicap tie in the NFL). That’s a 63.4% success rate. Not too bad is it? This week, eight teams fit the bill, I’ve put the team in bold with the current Coral handicap line alongside.
ATLANTA + 3 v New Orleans
BALTIMORE 0 v Cincinnati
TENNESSEE +3.5 v Kansas City
MIAMI +3.5 v New England
JACKSONVILLE +10 v Philadelphia
DALLAS +4 v San Francisco
TAMPA BAY -2.5 v Carolina
ARIZONA -3.5 v San Diego
So there’s eight teams who fit a trend which the stats suggest might have a slightly better chance of winning this weekend than the odds suggest. You know how this betting caper works. Even the best laid plans sometimes go wrong, and if the betting Gods decide it’s not our day then they’ll find every way they can to ensure we lose in the most painful way possible (that doesn’t only happen to me, surely?) Anyway, I’m going to back all eight of these teams, which should make for an exciting Sunday night watching Sky Sports and will hopefully show a bit of a profit too.
If most of these teams win then you will win some money. However, if they all lose I’ll be fired from doing this blog, they’ll replace me next week with someone cleverer and funnier and you’ll never have to read my garbage again. When you look at it that way, you really can’t lose.