With so much money being exchanged, these weekly lines are really, really tough to beat. I can confidently say at least 95% of football fans would win between 45% to 55% of these game bets (sides or over/unders) over time. It’s just the reality of such an efficient market. With that said, I think there are some ways to barely increase our chances of churning a marginal profit. As you guys know, Rotoworld is the king of grinding news. That’s something the public doesn’t do as well as a Rotoworld blurber, so it’s going to be one of the common things I utilize in this column, in addition to advanced stats and film. Notes: Lines are taken from FanDuel Sportsbook. … My 2019 Best Bets are 26-18-1 (59%).
Lions +2.5 (+100) vs. Bears
The Lions are passing the ball more often with Kerryon Johnson sidelined, so that’s already a good thing since passing > rushing, especially when Matthew Stafford is the quarterback. Stafford currently has career bests in YPA (8.6), TD% (6.5), QBR (73.1), and other passing stats. He’s arguably never played better, and well, Mitch Trubisky has never played worse. When in doubt, give me the much better quarterback because it’s far easier to predict offensive performance than defense.
Rams vs. Steelers UNDER 43.5 Points (-115)
Jared Goff has averaged over 1.0 yards fewer per pass attempt on the road than at home since coach Sean McVay showed up. The home vs. road splits are real, as are his pressure splits. Goff heading into Pittsburgh to face a defense that is No. 2 in adjusted sack rate is very problematic, especially without Brandin Cooks (concussion). On the other side of the ball, we get Mason Rudolph, who is terrible and who is relying on Jaylen Samuels to move the ball. With Clay Matthews (jaw) also due back, I’m expecting many sacks and few touchdown drives.
Cardinals vs. Bucs OVER 52.0 Points (-110)
Jameis Winston receives a lot of hate because he implodes and turns the ball over, but he does put up points. With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, Winston is winning downfield and over the middle, which should be magnified against a bottom 9th percentile defense at preventing 20+ yard passes. The Cardinals should also move the ball well and with league-leading offensive pace. Kyler Murray has been improving, and he should begin to spread the ball downfield more with Christian Kirk and potentially Andy Isabella on the field. The Bucs are also in the bottom 20th percentile in pass-defense DVOA. This is the fantasy game of the week, and I like the over.
Vikings vs. Cowboys -3 (-115) - My SNF Bet
This bet is about two things -- Adam Thielen being out and Dak Prescott being the most underrated quarterback in the NFL. Prescott gets close to zero MVP love and is often viewed as a fringe top-10 quarterback. Wrong and definitely wrong. Prescott is a top-five quarterback right now; he’s 2nd in the predictive EPA+CPOE composite metric, 2nd in success rate, 3rd in expected points added per play, 3rd in completion percentage over expected, 3rd in yards per attempts, and so on. When he has Amari Cooper and Tyron Smith, he’s pretty sweet. With that being the case, it’s time to jump on everyone sleeping on Dak.
Seahawks vs. 49ers OVER 47.0 Points (-110) - My MNF Bet
This is directly from the Week 10 Fantasy Football Forecast, which you should definitely check out if you play fantasy: “The 49ers defense is pretty good, but I think most are overrating this unit. San Francisco hasn’t played a single top-15 quarterback (Kyler Murray, Kyle Allen, Case Keenum, Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield, Mason Rudolph, Andy Dalton, and Jameis Winston) in The Athletic’s Ben Baldwin’s predictive EPA+CPOE composite metric and defensive efficiency statistics largely depend on the offenses they’ve faced. I’d much rather bet on MVP candidate Russell Wilson than a defense that’s faced nobody.” I like the Seahawks to outscore their 20.5 implied point total, and I think the 49ers should have success against a Seattle defense that lacks talent right now. I also think the market believes these teams play slow, but as you can see in the chart above, that is not the case. This perceived defensive game has lots of scoring upside.
If you’re looking for more team breakdowns, read my Week 10 Fantasy Football Forecast column. It’s nearly 10,000 words and has a bunch of graphs that could be utilized in the betting markets. My buddy John Daigle also has a weekly Player Props column if you’re trying to get more action down.