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Tracking Week 1 NFL betting splits as DraftKings Pick ‘em goes live in West Virginia

The 2020 NFL season is just over three weeks away. We break down what betting splits look like, and how they might influence pick ‘em contests.

Atmosphere at the Grand Opening of DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts November 20, 2018 at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Photo by Bill McCay/Getty Images for Draft Kings

The NFL season gets underway three weeks from Thursday, and rosters are slowly being sorted out across the league. We don’t have preseason games for player assessment, and so beat writer reports from practices will have to satiate us.

The beat writer nuggets are also going to influence how we look at Week 1 when making picks. Whether against the spread or straight up, Week 1 picks are often a little more wide open given the uncertain nature of the early season — even when there’s preseason action!

As you prepare for the season, it’s worth noting that DraftKings is opening up their Pro Football Pick ‘em National Championship in a third state on Tuesday. The contest is now available in West Virginia, joining New Hampshire and New Jersey in offering the season-long contest.

Two weeks ago when the contest launched in New Hampshire, we took a look at how Week 1 point spreads had changed over the course of the offseason. Today, we’re going to drill down on how people are betting Week 1 matchups at DraftKings Sportsbook. Whether you look to go with the public or against the public, betting splits can give us a handle on which games people see a little more one-sided, and which leave folks a little uncertain.

We’ve got a look at percent of total bets and percent of total handle for each game. For those new to this, bets are simple each wager placed. Whether someone bets $10 or $1,000, each wager is one bet for this calculation and so one larger money bet cannot impact the split more than a small money bet. Handle is the amount of money bet, so a $1,000 bet will influence that split percentage more than a $10 bet.

The most interesting to consider right now would be Jets-Bills, Bears-Lions, and Panthers-Raiders. Those four games have one team getting the majority of the handle and the other team getting the majority of the bets. The Lions and Raiders moved from -1 favorites to -1.5 this offseason, while the Jets-Bills and Browns-Ravens lines have not changed. Three of the four games have the road team getting more money, while the home team is getting more total bets. As we get closer we’ll keep an eye out for sharp money, but for now, this data is a point to at least consider in your handicapping.

Betting splits are imperfect until we know more about the nature of the bettors influencing these percentages. However, if you are inclined to fade the public, some games to consider picking would be Jaguars +7 at home against the Colts (79 percent of handle on Colts), Rams +2.5 at home against the Cowboys (84 percent of handle on Cowboys), and Falcons +1 at home against the Seahawks (90 percent of handle on Seahawks).

You can also see some big splits for the Broncos -1.5 at home against the Titans. There are some reasons to like the Broncos in 2020, but it’s also worth noting DraftKings Sportsbook opened for business in Colorado and the number could be influenced in part by setting up shop with Broncos fans.

Here are full point spread betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook as of Tuesday, August 18th.

Week 1 NFL point spread betting splits 2020

Teams Point Spread % Handle % Bets
Teams Point Spread % Handle % Bets
HOU Texans +10 39% 47%
KC Chiefs -10 61% 53%
NY Jets +6.5 86% 46%
BUF Bills -6.5 14% 54%
PHI Eagles -6.5 73% 80%
WAS Football Team +6.5 27% 20%
MIA Dolphins +6.5 69% 80%
NE Patriots -6.5 31% 20%
GB Packers +3.5 87% 73%
MIN Vikings -3.5 13% 27%
CHI Bears +1.5 59% 35%
DET Lions -1.5 41% 65%
SEA Seahawks -1 90% 69%
ATL Falcons +1 10% 31%
CLE Browns +7.5 56% 35%
BAL Ravens -7.5 44% 65%
LV Raiders -1.5 9% 57%
CAR Panthers +1.5 91% 43%
IND Colts -7 81% 70%
JAX Jaguars +7 19% 30%
LA Chargers -3.5 57% 60%
CIN Bengals +3.5 43% 40%
ARI Cardinals +7 75% 50%
SF 49ers -7 25% 50%
TB Buccaneers +4 72% 69%
NO Saints -4 28% 31%
DAL Cowboys -2.5 85% 87%
LA Rams +2.5 15% 13%
PIT Steelers -3.5 98% 86%
NY Giants +3.5 2% 14%
TEN Titans +1.5 5% 28%
DEN Broncos -1.5 95% 72%

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