Welcome into the Stats Lab. Every Sunday morning during the NFL season, I'll be blogging the stats I used on Barstool Sports Advisors each week, plus some other ones I found from my research for each game we covered. Whenever I pour through the data each week, I try to separate the meaningful trends from the nonsensical ones. For example, a team with a really good ATS record against a specific division (not their own)? Probably doesn't matter that much. Teams are always changing, and there's nothing that suggests all the same teams in a division play a certain way or anything. But a coach being really good off a bye week? That says something. A team covering a lot as a road dog? Probably means they're being consistently undervalued. League wide trends that hold steady across hundreds of matchups spanning years and years? Those are also something you want to look at. So it's all a case by case basis.
Below is my entire cheat sheet I use for Advisors each week. Lines courtesy of the Barstool Sportsbook, subject to change from the time I compiled this. I'll also be giving a pick or two for each game based on what the stats say and keeping track of my year long record.
Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4, 10-6 ATS) @ Buffalo Bills (13-3, 11-5 ATS)
1 PM on CBS
The Steelers are on the and they're an underdog. That means a couple of things. First of all, they consistently perform as a road dog, covering 15 of their last 20 in that spot. Also, their defense travels but their offense doesn't. The under is 39-13-1 in their last 53 road games. And Steelers games went over 48.5 points only 6 times last season
On the other side of things, if you're looking for stats to back up your Bills pick, here's what I can offer you. The Steelers do sometimes come out of the gate slow, 3-7 ATS in their last 10 Week 1s. And the Bills are always a solid pick in Buffalo. They're 11-6-1 ATS as home favorites under Sean McDermott. They were also 9-1 straight-up at Orchard Park in 2020, including the playoffs, with an average margin of victory of 8.5 points.
Overall though, I think the trends more heavily favor Pittsburgh here.
The Stats Say: Steelers and the under
Cleveland Browns (11-5, 6-10 ATS) @ Kansas City Chiefs (14-2, 7-9 ATS)
4:25 PM on CBS
Hangovers are a very real thing for Super Bowl losers. I think the Chiefs are obviously too talented and well coached to have a season long hangover, but Week 1 could be a spot to take advantage of. Since 2000, Super Bowl losers are 5-16 ATS in Week 1 of the following season.
If you're looking for a pick on the total, we know these teams can score and the Chiefs usually come out of the gate hot. Chiefs overs are 14-6 last 20 September games
The Stats Say: Browns
Miami Dolphins (10-6, 11-5 ATS) @ New England Patriots (7-9, 7-9 ATS)
4:25 PM on CBS
Patriots stats and trends are tricky because we don't know how much we can just attribute to Tom Brady. Probably a lot. But Belichick deserves some credit too obviously. The Dolphins always struggle in New England, covering just 1 of their last 9 games there. The Pats beat the Dolphins Week 1 last year 21-11 in New England, in their first game after Brady. I can see the concern about the Pats since rookie Mac Jones is starting right away, but that's not a bad thing. They fare better than you would think. Round 1 rookie QBs are 5-3 ATS when starting Week 1 since 2015.
The Stats Say: Patriots
Green Bay Packers (13-3, 10-6 ATS) @ New Orleans Saints (12-4, 9-7 ATS)
4:25 PM on FOX (game in Jacksonville)
Like the Patriots, Saints stats and trends can be a little tricky because they're entering their first year of the post-Brees era. But we have seen the Saints play a lot without Brees the past few seasons, and he was sort of a shell of himself anyway. They still have Sean Payton, and Sean Payton offenses start hot. The over is 7-0 in Saints last 7 Week 1 games. On the other side of things, Aaron Rodgers also gets out of the gate hot. The over is 8-2 in Packers last 10 Week 1 games, and 35-16 in their last 51 September games. Plus, Packer games went over the 50-point mark 13 times last season.
The Stats Say: Over
Chicago Bears (8-8, 8-8 ATS) @ Los Angeles Rams (10-6, 9-7 ATS)
8:20 PM on NBC
The Rams offense should be a lot better this season with Matt Stafford replacing Jared Goff, and their defense should be one of the best units in the league like always. The Rams have gone under in 8 straight home games, and the under is 13-3 in their last 16 as a home favorite. Even if a new and improved Rams offense puts up 30 points, do you really trust an Andy Dalton led Bears offense to put up 17 against Aaron Donald and company?
The Stats Say: Under
And lastly, I am addicted to teasers.
Tommy Teaser Of The Week: Bengals +9, Rams -2 at -122 on the Barstool Sportsbook
If you missed this week's Advisors, make sure to catch up here to get all your winners before kickoff.