Breaking down NFL betting lines: Would you rather?

·4-min read

"Would you rather?" is a conversation or party game that forces one to choose between two specific options. It usually causes people to think and then debate their side. Often, it's played by teenagers as an avenue to spark drama or ignite flames. Today, we'll be using the game to dive deeper into six matchups from the NFL Week 1 slate

Would you rather lay 6.5 points with Buffalo or 6 points with Kansas City?

The Buffalo Bills are 6.5-point home favorites against the Pittsburgh Steelers while the Kansas City Chiefs are laying 6 at home against the Cleveland Browns. Two home teams, giving a bit less than a touchdown, and going up against two playoff teams from last season. Which favorite would you rather take?

Pete: I actually like both underdogs here. I think people are fading the Steelers a little too hard during the preseason. A fresh Ben Roethlisberger and an improved run game should clean up some of the bad things we saw down the stretch of last season. As for the Browns, I think they're legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Outside of the quarterback position, they might have the most talented roster in the league. I'm also higher on Baker Mayfield than most and think he still has room to grow. 

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 27: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) makes a sidearm pass in the first quarter of an NFL preseason game between the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs on Aug 27, 2021 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes makes a sidearm pass in a 2021 preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Super Bowl hangover is real for teams that got to the big game and lost the year before. Over the past 17 seasons, the Super Bowl loser has gone 4-17 against the spread in Week 1 of the following season. If I had to pick a favorite to lay the points with in this scenario, I'm laying them with Buffalo

Greg: Buffalo, all day. In fact, I think the Bills have a better chance of covering the spread than the Chiefs have of winning straight up. Cleveland is going to drag the Chiefs into a dog fight, and I don’t think the Kansas City defense will be able to stop Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, especially with Willie Gay going on injured reserve.

Would you rather take the 3 points with the Indianapolis Colts or New York Giants?

A home team getting points, what's better than that? The Indianapolis Colts are three-point home underdogs against the Seattle Seahawks. Meanwhile, the New York Giants will play host to the Denver Broncos as three-point underdogs themselves

Pete: Gross. I'm not a believer in either Carson Wentz or Daniel Jones, which in turn has me down on both of these teams. Even the Giants fans that I encounter in my day-to-day life no longer believe in Daniel Jones. 

With that being said, I'm taking the points with the Giants here. The total for the Broncos vs. Giants game sits at 41.5 points. That's the lowest total on the board, making these points even more valuable. I can see Russell Wilson posting a crooked number for the Seahawks. I don't have that same fear with Teddy Bridgewater. 

Greg: Wow, this is like “Sophie’s Choice” but if Meryl Streep hated both kids. I’m gonna take the Colts, because the Broncos defense is just so terrifying. I know we don't expect Denver's offense to be great because it stunk last year, but it has a lot of nice pieces around Teddy. All he has to do is not be Drew Lock. Indianapolis should at least be able to move the ball against the Seahawks.

Would you rather lay 3 points with the Jaguars or 3.5 points with the Falcons? 

The league's worst team from last season is a three-point road favorite, while the league's fourth worst team is giving over a field goal at home. Which of these bad teams are you willing to lay points with?

Pete: Call me a man of principle, but I refuse to lay three points on the road with a team that just finished 1-15 and is debuting a rookie quarterback and first-time NFL head coach. Since 2013, underdogs in divisional games are 26-9-3 against the spread in Week 1. I'm laying the points with Atlanta. I think the Falcons can score enough with Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts. 

Greg: The Jacksonville line is so fishy! My brain is giving me all the reasons why the Jags will smoke the Texans, but the line being this low really bothers me and I have to avoid it just out of principle. The problem is, I kind of like the Eagles in the Atlanta game. You’re torturing me with this one, Pete. You’re literally Jigsaw, pedaling in, asking if I want to play a game where I choose between the Jaguars or the Falcons. Yeesh. OK, I’m taking Jacksonville and putting my principles aside with the intention of picking them back up when we do this again next week.

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