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: My 2019 Best Bets are 29-20-1 (59%). Lines are taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Seahawks vs. Eagles OVER 47.5 Points (-110)
I think there is little merit to “funnel defenses” if we look at efficiency stats, but I do think there is some value in looking at how often a team is being run or passed on. In this matchup, we have the No. 2 and No. 7 defenses in differences in passes vs. runs allowed -- Seattle is at 39 passes to 22 runs allowed and Philadelphia is at 36-23). I’m expecting more passe to be thrown than what the public expects and that’s a great time to bet overs, especially when Russell Wilson is one of the quarterbacks. Carson Wentz is also in a rebound spot with Alshon Jeffery “trending in the right direction” and with Seattle traveling to the East Coast for an early kickoff.
Giants +6 (-115) vs. Bears
Mitchell Trubisky should not be favored over any non-Redskins and non-Dolphins teams right now. He’s 33rd out of 34 quarterbacks in this advanced quarterback composite score and now might be playing through a hip injury. It’s a bad situation. The Giants obviously aren’t great, but we’ve seen value on road teams this season -- my guess is this will regress a bit but traveling is easier in 2019 than it was years ago with more studies being completed and the market may not have adjusted yet. Daniel Jones also gets back Sterling Shepard, who gives New York a well-rounded WR corps with slot receiver Golden Tate and intriguing rookie deep threat Darius Slayton.
Dolphins vs. Browns OVER 45.5 Points (-115)
The Browns are getting better on offense -- Kareem Hunt looks great, David Njoku should be returning, Odell Beckham is being targeted more often -- and Cleveland is getting worse on defense with Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi on suspension. The Dolphins are also getting worse on defense with safeties Reshad Jones and Bobby McCain being placed on injured reserve this week. All of the injury news makes this a game with shootout potential. Make sure to bet the overs on Odell props, too.
Packers vs. 49ers UNDER 47.5 Points (-110) - My SNF Bet
Aaron Rodgers has been good against bad offenses and very average against good defenses. It’s fair to call the Niners one of the better defenses, as shown by the tall bars in the graphic above. Even if Rodgers does manage to have one of his better games, he’ll have to overcome volume concerns with San Francisco 14th and Green Bay 24th in neutral-situation offensive pace. On the other side of the ball, Jimmy Garoppolo will be waiting on the statuses of multiple offensive playmakers and should continue handing the ball off to Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert at league-high rates. I’m expecting a slow-paced game with a lot of in-game tinkering. Give me the under and possibly the Niners depending on who is on the inactive list.
Ravens -3 (-115) vs. Rams - My MNF Bet
This is a bet simply on the differences in quarterback play and in-game team decision making. Lamar Jackson is easily a top-three MVP candidate right now and should avoid stud DT Aaron Donald by continuing to run off tackle. Jared Goff is not only ranked as the 31st quarterback of 34 but will also be without multiple starting linemen and will have to deal with a secondary featuring Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, and Earl Thomas.
If you’re looking for more team breakdowns, read my Week 12 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.