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 33-21-1 (61%). … Lines are taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Raiders vs. Chiefs -10.5 (-105)
The Raiders are the worst team at stopping 20+ yard pass plays. The Kansas City Chiefs have these guys named Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Travis Kelce. Oh, and their No. 3 and No. 4 receivers are among the fastest in the league. Mahomes has beaten Oakland by 32 and 18 points in his last two games, and this Chiefs Defense is better now than it was then. The Raiders are also overvalued right now. Their 6-5 record is a couple of wins better than their expected wins based on point differential (-56), which is the eighth-worst in the NFL.
Rams vs. Cardinals +3 (-105)
The quarterback gap in this game is amongst the biggest of the week. Kyler Murray is way better than Jared Goff, and Murray is getting better each week with the offense beginning to figure out what works and what doesn’t after weeks of experimenting. The Rams are also heading to Arizona -- hello Goff home/road splits -- after just getting absolutely owned by a dual-threat quarterback. The blueprint for limiting Goff has been laid out for months now, and the Cardinals will likely steal concepts from the Baltimore game last week.
Titans vs. Colts UNDER 42.5 Points (-105)
The Colts were already one of the heaviest run teams, but we can project them for even more early-down runs now that T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron are out. We, of course, love to see that when we have the under. The Titans also love to establish it, which makes this the slowest-paced game of the week (see chart above). I’d lastly argue that both Jacoby Brissett and Ryan Tannehill have played better than who they actually are this season and expect their offenses to chill out when regression starts hitting.
Everyone knows the Patriots Defense is elite, but I think they particularly match up well with the Texans. The Patriots have an elite corner to limit DeAndre Hopkins and have the safeties and discipline to limit Will Fuller over the top. Deshaun Watson will have to create for the over to hit, and I’m not convinced he’ll be able to handle New England’s top 9th percentile defense at creating pressure. This is also a way to bet against Tom Brady right now. He’s not on the same page as his newly acquired pass-catchers and doesn’t have an efficient run game with Sony Michel running into walls.
Vikings vs. Seahawks OVER 50.5 Points (-110) - My MNF Bet
Both offenses are at their best when they’re passing the ball, but we don’t always get to see that happen. This week, I can see Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins exceeding their pass attempt averages because the Seahawks (2nd) and Vikings (5th) are among the leaders in pass attempts allowed on defense. These defensive units are also overrated by the public as both have struggled at times in 2019 after having elite seasons in recent years.
If you’re looking for more team breakdowns, read my Week 13 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.