NFL Spreads, Week 2: STATS vs. Las Vegas

By: STATS LLC | September 14, 2018

Using STATS advanced analytics, metrics and roster rankings to project NFL favorites vs. the Vegas standard odds

Las Vegas must’ve figured bettors would put plenty of stock in Baltimore’ Week 1 thrashing of the Buffalo Bills, listing the Ravens as 1-point road favorites over Cincinnati in the Week 2 Thursday night matchup.

That’s not how STATS saw it, though. STATS put the Bengals at a 3.4-point favorite, and they jumped out to a big lead early before pulling away late for a 34-23 victory.

STATS uses unique metrics, deep-dive analytics and proprietary roster rankings to project NFL spreads for every game, every week. STATS calculates roster quality based on injuries, statistical data and depth at each position, then compares that to an opponent and arrives at a conclusion – the projected spread.

None of these spread projections mean you should empty your account and follow the STATS model to riches. STATS simply takes into account factors Vegas may not, hence some differing views. The 4.38-point differential in spreads from the Ravens-Bengals game is a prime example.

Have a look at how STATS projects the spreads in Week 2 against those coming out of Las Vegas. The games are listed in order of smallest to largest spread differential between STATS’ spread and the Vegas spread. The math in the spread differential might not appear exact, as it accounts for some slight differences broken down further.

New England at Jacksonville

STATS: Patriots -1.7
Vegas: Patriots -2
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 0.31

The closest game of the week, and for good reason. This is a rematch of the AFC Championship Game, when Tom Brady needed to engineer a late touchdown drive to finally put away the Jaguars and their imposing defense.

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay

STATS: Eagles -2.7
Vegas: Eagles -3
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 0.32

So, apparently Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t exactly a downgrade from the suspended Jameis Winston then? His four-touchdown performance led the Bucs to a Week 1 upset of New Orleans, helping draw the line closer against the defending Super Bowl champs.

Carolina at Atlanta

STATS: Falcons -6.0
Vegas: Falcons -5.5
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 0.47

Carolina escaped with a win over Dallas in Week 1, but STATS and Vegas give the Falcons a similar edge in the NFC South matchup despite their opening-night loss to Philadelphia on the road.

Cleveland at New Orleans

STATS: Saints -9.0
Vegas: Saints -8.5
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 0.54

Both teams had pretty startling results in Week 1. The Saints put up 40 points and still lost to the Bucs, and the Browns at least didn’t lose again by earning a tie with Pittsburgh. Anyone thinking of taking rejuvenated Cleveland and the points?

Miami at New York Jets

STATS: Jets -2.4
Vegas: Jets -3
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 0.57

Sam Darnold settled in after throwing a Pick 6 on his first career pass attempt, and the Jets’ defense took it from there in a route of the Lions. Both lines have the Jets giving points in Darnold’s home debut.

Arizona at Los Angeles Rams

STATS: Rams -11.3
Vegas: Rams -12.5
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 1.19

The Cardinals scored only six points against Washington last week. At home. And the Redskins don’t have Aaron Donald or the Rams’ secondary that intercepted Derek Carr three times in Week 1.

Indianapolis at Washington

STATS: Redskins -8.3
Vegas: Redskins -6
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 2.27

STATS’ model likes the Redskins a lot. Last week, STATS had them favored by nearly a touchdown, while Vegas favored the Cardinals.

Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo

STATS: Chargers -4.3
Vegas: Chargers -7
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 2.73

The Chargers’ defense allowed four touchdown passes from first-year starter Patrick Mahomes, and the Bills were crushed 47-3 by Baltimore.

Oakland at Denver

STATS: Broncos -8.5
Vegas: Broncos -5.5
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 2.96

Denver survived three interceptions from Case Keenum to beat Seattle in its opener. With Carr also tossing three picks last week, let’s see if both teams’ run game take center stage.

Minnesota at Green Bay

STATS: Packers -3.1
Vegas: EVEN
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 3.12

The Vegas line is expected to move once Aaron Rodgers’ status is known. Even with that uncertainty, the STATS model is confident enough in the Packers to have them giving a few points at home.

Kansas City at Pittsburgh

STATS: Steelers -9.9
Vegas: Steelers -5
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 4.88

No Le’Veon Bell for the Steelers again, but James Connor proved to be a more-than-capable substitute with a strong Week 1 effort. The question will be whether Pittsburgh can slow down Mahomes and Co.

New York Giants at Dallas

STATS: Cowboys -8.6
Vegas: Cowboys -3
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 5.58

The Giants gave Jacksonville all it could handle, and Dallas pushed Carolina with some tough D. Now the Cowboys need Dak Prescott to pick up his play.

Houston at Tennessee

STATS: Titans -4.6
Vegas: Texans -1
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 5.63

Vegas opted to go with the road favorite, while STATS’ model still favors a Titans team dealing with injuries to Marcus Mariota and Corey Davis. We’re counting on a better effort after the defense had to try to compensate for three turnovers.

Detroit at San Francisco

STATS: Lions -0.8
Vegas: 49ers -5.5
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 6.30

We get it, but Matthew Stafford shouldn’t throw four INTs again. Plus, the Lions’ defense didn’t give up a Pick 6 and a punt return TD after halftime, when Detroit was still within seven points. This week, it’ll face Jimmy Garoppolo after he completed only 45.5 percent of his passes with three INTs in a loss to Minnesota.

Seattle at Chicago

STATS: Seahawks -3.3
Vegas: Bears -3
SPREAD DIFFERENTIAL: 6.32

For the second week in a row, STATS’ model favors the Seahawks when Vegas favored their opponents. The Bears are playing in primetime again, this time on Monday Night Football after blowing a 20-0 lead and losing 24-23 to the Packers last Sunday night.