My Five Bets of the Week
BUF -1.5 @ NYG
I am well aware that taking a road favorite is a recipe for losing money. I am also aware that Josh Allen has caused Twitter to divide itself into believers and non-believers like it’s boys and girls at a Middle School dance.
My thought process, however, accounts for both of these.
To begin with, this is THE SAME STADIUM that Buffalo played in during Week 1 against the Jets. Secondly, if we count New Jersey as the same state as New York because why shouldn’t we, then the Bills are playing IN THE SAME STATE they play their home games. Calling this a true road game feels like a misnomer.
As far as Josh Allen, click any article on this website and I’m sure you will find stats, information, and thoughts justifying him as #good. Week 1 against the Jets included no less than three fluky turnovers that were not his fault, as well as some stellar plays with both his arms and his legs. Allen is not the quality of Dak Prescott, and the Bills offense is not as good as the Cowboys, but it is full of players who make plays. The Giants just gave up big games to THREE Cowboys wide receivers and their tight end. Buffalo can score and Josh Allen can make plays.
Beyond that, though, the Bills D is legit. Ed Oliver looked like a beast and the secondary repeatedly shut down everyone on the Jets. Le’Veon Bell played 100% of the snaps and didn’t crack 100 total yards (only getting his touchdown after a penalty negated the Bills third down stop). Jamison Crowder did have 14 catches, but he didn’t crack 100 yards. The Giants offense has even less weapons than the Jets as well as a quarterback who has not completed a pass of over 10 yards since the Obama’s first term.
I may be too bullish on the Bills, but I’m not sure there is a way to be bearish enough on the Giants. One team is good, one team isn’t. Let’s bet on the good team.
PHI -1.5 @ ATL
A second road favorite?!?!
Yes, and again I know it is a bad habit, but we also have to view the game as a stand alone entity. In all honesty, this line is up to -2 most places, and I locked it in at -1 on Monday, so I split the difference with a number you can still get somewhere.
My thinking here is not all based on week one performance, but that certainly plays a role.
Philadelphia may have a secondary that got exposed by Case Keenum and the Washington pass core, but Atlanta appears to have no run game. A secondary is always better when it has extra resources allocated to it, and Philly will need to add nothing to its line to stop the Falcons run game.
It is also certainly scary to be playing this game on the road, but it is more reassuring knowing that Carson Wentz has a full arsenal of weapons to deploy against a defense that gave up 200 yards of rushing to a Vikings offensive line that is not as good as Philly’s. We also know that Atlanta gives up the middle of the field to RBs and TEs, which Philly will gladly take until they unleash DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery.
As I see it, everything we know about these teams says that Atlanta can’t run or stop the run, and that both teams can pass. That gives Philly several advantages and the ability to control the game.
If you see these factors lining up as well, then you see this game being dictated by Philly, making the -1.5 line an opportunity.
CLE -2.5 @ NYJ
**Disclaimer, I am just about to post this and most sites took the bet off the board. I’m keeping it as a pick because I in fact picked it early this week, but for your betting needs there are three bonus bets at the end to substitute in (preferably JAX-HOU o43.5)!**
Man, for a website just starting out, we are pretty far out on the road favorite limb. But just remember, out on a limb is where they keep all the money.
And this bet is a little safer than the others in my opinion. In fact, if you are reading this now, grab the line before (or even if it has) jumped to -3 or above. I liked this line before news just broke that Sam Darnold was declared out with mono and Le’Veon Bell had an MRI on his shoulder and missed practice. If those two are out and Adam Gase is still coach, this is a gimme.
Even if those two were playing, though, this Jets team is mismanaged and without direction on offense, while the Browns were subject to a fluky and snowballing blowout. They were certainly overhyped, but they are still good.
Given the injuries and the coach, I don’t need much more justification. Trevor Simian and Adam Gase will have a hard time out scheming this defense, and everything we’ve seen from Baker Mayfield tells us he will bounce back against a defense that got lucky to hold the Bills to 17 points.
Lock this one in as fast as you can, I was able to get it on Tuesday (another benefit of betting early), or it might get out of control.
ARI @ BAL over 46.5
If I was optimizing this bet, I would parlay the over with the Cardinals +13. Although the over is achievable through Baltimore’s offense alone, a high scoring game in this case feels like it would mean opportunity for Arizona to close the gap all the way up until the final whistle.
As far as the rationale for this pick, Arizona played at the highest pace in the league last week, so they will be generating more plays than the average team which will yield more scoring opportunities. Baltimore played at one of the slowest paces last week, but that was in a 50 point blow out, so they will more than likely increase that pace.
Additionally, it is my belief that Detroit is a better defense than people are giving them credit for. If the Lions stimie the Chargers offense, we might look back at Week 1 with more appreciation for Kingsbury and Murray’s NFL debuts. Add in the fact that Arizona may have a defense almost as poor as Miami and that Ravens corner Jimmy Smith is out, and this game could be nothing but big plays and points up and down the field.
SEA @ PIT over 46.5
This bet is kind of blowing up, so I expect that the line could move, or that you could lose some value the longer you wait. I locked this in Wednesday morning in a parlay with the ARI-BAL over and I could not be happier.
Essentially, what we have here are two QBs who can let it fly, offenses that underperformed in Week 1, and defenses that showed plenty of exploitability in those same matchups.
I have written all over the site this week about JuJu being a big potential play and an embarrassed Big-Ben-at-home being in line for a big game, especially against this porous secondary.
On the flip side, Seattle is a team that can be stubborn in running the ball, but on the road with this secondary, it seems like they are going to have to embrace the pass. David Moore was back at practice this week, and although Tyler Lockett sat out, if he goes Sunday that gives the Seahawks four respectable pass catchers (along with DK Metcalf and Jaron Brown) to add to a newly included Chris Carson.
Honestly, though, this is as much about feel as numbers. Whichever team loses this game will have a season off to a rocky start, and so each will be pulling out whatever they can to take home a win. In this case, that means offense and that means an over.
Three More to Think About
JAX @ HOU over 43.5
Neither defense looked good last week, and Houston’s offense looked otherworldly. If Jacksonville can put up even a little fight, then this game could cruise right into the fifties.
IND +3 @ TEN
A -3 home favorite is an indication that Vegas thinks these teams are equal (home field advantage is valued at about 3 points). These two teams are not equal, and Indy has the chance to control the ball and suffocate an unimpressive Marcus Mariota. Tennessee enjoyed a game that looked more lopsided that it should have in Week 1 and Indy got unlucky not to walk out of LA with a better result. Take advantage, make money.
NO +2.5 @ LAR
This is by no means a lock, but if you’re asking me to compare the teams I would say the Saints are better across the board on offense and that the defenses are closer than they appeared in Week 1. Jarred Goff has been inconsistent for a while and the Rams have never had an answer for Alvin Kamara. I have not and probably will not put money on this, but I do feel like the Saints are the better team, and could win this game.