Early Week 1 Bets are Coming in for Packers and Jaguars, Which is Incredibly Stupid

Cameron Smith

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It doesn't take long for bets to pour in after the NFL schedule is released. And it doesn't take long for those wagers to reinforce that the great unwashed of the gambling public doesn't know what it's doing.

As we've already broken down, there are some compelling early opportunities in the NFL's Week 1, even if you're only betting using the final Quality Stats from 2018. Of those opportunities, the two most compelling are presented by the Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs.

And yet, despite all the knowledge that shows why the Bears and Chiefs should both be monumental favorites in their opening games, particularly because of the disparity in the Intelligence Index rankings for both teams in each game, the public money is going the other way. No, really.

RELATED: Week 1 NFL Lines Set, Here are the Games to Bet Early

Through the first two days of open betting, the Packers have received a whopping 67 percent of public money, per the Action Network. That's despite spreads of just 3.5 and 4 points (depending on your provider), which indicate that the Bears are just barely considered favorites, lines we already think are skewed too close.

Blame it on the Aaron Rodgers complex, which we've addressed before. People see Rodgers and just assume the Packers can be competitive, particularly if he's healthy. While one would assume the Packers will be particularly careful with Rodgers before the season starts, betting Green Bay simply because of their quarterback is incredibly reductive of the Bears' talent and football intelligence. It took a Rodgers miracle comeback for the Pack to escape Soliders Field with a win in last year's opener, and that was in coach Matt Nagy's debut. This year it's the Packers who will be adjusting to a new coach and system, which can't make any of this easier.

And still, the money is coming in for Green Bay. What does that mean for you? It means to go bet the Bears, of course, before significant institutional money comes in and does just that, forcing the lines to adjust somewhere closer to where the belong.

As for the Chiefs, the bets are even more skewed toward the Jaguars early. Again per the Action Network, 74 percent of bettors in the first two days have plumped for Jacksonville. This, dear friends, is insane. The point spread is either 4.5 or 5 points. The Chiefs are coming off a breakthrough season in which they were a pair of unlucky plays away from a Super Bowl berth. And their defensive weaknesses of 2018 should be somewhat shored up by the new system being installed by Steve Spagnuolo.

So why would the public bet Jacksonville, to the tune of three out of every four customers? We can't figure it out. Maybe it's an inherent bias against perceived hype behind the Chiefs, who remain co-favorites to win the Super Bowl? Maybe it's something to do with concern about a sophomore slump for Patrick Mahomes (yes, we know 2018 was his second season, but he played in only a single game in 2017, so we're sticking with the concept).

Or maybe the betting public still isn't looking at the right data which can easily point them to the right winners, the Quality Stats we've been pointing you all toward for years. Just remember: public ignorance in the face of your knowledge is an advantage. Maximize it at times like these, before anyone else can figure out what they're missing.

As always, good luck with your wagers. And if you live in New Jersey, register for your DraftKings account here.

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