With so much money being exchanged, these weekly lines are really, really tough to beat. I can confidently say at least 90% 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 reverse line movement, advanced stats and occasionally film taeks. Note: Lines are taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Lions +3 (-110) vs. Chargers
I like fading West Coast teams traveling to the East Coast for an early kickoff, but the two primary reasons why I’m on the Lions are the Chargers’ injuries and Philip Rivers’ history against Matt Patricia. In Rivers’ eight games against the Patriots with Patricia on the defensive coaching staff, Rivers has just one win and one game with more passing touchdowns than interceptions. Obviously not a linear translation given the rosters, but Patricia has the blueprint. Rivers will also be without Derwin James, Russell Okung, Hunter Henry, Melvin Gordon, and potentially Mike Williams. With all of those players missing, these rosters are comparable, and we’re catching three points at home.
Bills -2 (-110) @ Giants
The Bills roster is simply a lot better than the Giants. The defense is good across the board. The offense, while inconsistent, can be explosive with upgraded receivers. And I believe this is one of the better-coached teams in the league. The Giants, on the other hand, can’t say any of those things. The defense was exposed big time by the Cowboys last week. Eli Manning might have the worst receivers of the decade this week with Sterling Shepard out. Pat Shurmur isn’t expected to make it to next season. And home-field advantage loses some of its buzz when, you know, the opposing team doesn’t have to even leave the locker room (the Bills played at the Jets last week).
Dolphins +18.5 (-110) vs. Patriots
An NFL team catching 18.5 points at home is crazy. Yes, the Patriots’ roster is infinitely better, but that’s so many points to cover. Some things that the Dolphins have going for them here: Their coaching staff knows this offense and Tom Brady as well as any other NFL team. The Patriots are 1-5 in Miami over the last five games. And the forecast -- not my Week 2 Fantasy Football Forecast (shameless plug my goodness), but the actual weather -- projects for thunderstorms and 91-degree heat. Things could get weird, and I don’t want to be holding out for more than two touchdowns and a field goal.
Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Start/Sit Tool, Trade Analyzer, Consensus Rankings, Projections and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!
Eagles -2 (-110) @ Falcons - My SNF Bet
I almost talked up the over, but I don’t think these rosters are that comparable anymore, so I went with Philly. Carson Wentz has the most high-end weapons in the NFL with his offensive line and skill position players. The Eagles' defensive line is also strong, which is particularly problematic for the Falcons this week. First-round guard Chris Lindstrom is out, and he was the lone bright spot last week when he didn’t allow a single pressure to Matt Ryan. Now, I don’t believe the Falcons won’t move the ball -- I expect a lot of short passes to Julio Jones this week and a few shots to Calvin Ridley on play-action -- but I expect it to be while they’re trailing. Wentz should dink-and-dunk his way underneath the Falcons’ soft short-area coverage with Ertz, Alshon, Agholor, DJax (manufactured screens last week), and the running backs. The Eagles' strengths match up well with the Falcons' weaknesses.
Jets +6.5 (-110) vs. Browns - My MNF Bet
When Sam Darnold didn’t have mono, the Jets were +2.5. Now that they’re with Trevor Siemian, it’s +6.5. I’m not saying Siemian is actually better than Darnold but is he four points better at this stage of his career? I’m not convinced. Siemian has a career 6.8 YPA average (26 games), while Darnold is at 6.7 and was coming off a brutal Week 1 game. Their on-field performance is at least somewhat close (remember right now, not their projection moving forward) whether we like it or not. On the other side of the ball, the Browns looked really bad last week. Baker Mayfield was responsible for a ton of sacks -- he ran into pressure often -- and they had no answer for Derrick Henry. Both teams would prefer to run the ball, too, so I don’t think there will be enough time for the Browns to stomp the Jets. Now I just hope C.J. Mosley can get cleared in time.
By the way, it appears that you folks like spreads more than over/unders based on this quick poll, so I put more of an emphasis finding spreads this week.
If you’re looking for more team breakdowns, read my Week 2 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.