It is the week of the home dogs with an amazing 11 home dogs and this definitely feels like a week where books are more than happy to take a lot of money on those short road favs. I am pretty sure that more of the home dogs will cover than not but you have to hope you are on the right ones. Not a card for the faint of heart.
2016 Season: 56-40-3
Last Week: 4-1
GAME 1: Sea +2.5 @ Ten
Bet%: Sea 58% Ten 42%
After an ugly win at home vs the 49ers the Seahawks bandwagon has seen an exodus this week which is surprising to me because if anyone that has followed Seattle knows that ugly games against bad divisional opponents is kind of the norm here. Last year Seattle opened the year with a 12-10 win vs Miami followed by an ugly 9-3 loss to the Rams, they then won the next 3 games 37-18 vs SF, 27-17 @ NYJ and 26-24 vs the eventual NFC champion Atlanta Falcons. In 2015 Seattle opened 0-2 and then went 9-3 in the next 12. This is who they are, this is what they do.
I also like this matchup for Seattle because everyone knows they have issues on the offensive line but through the first 2 weeks the Titans had only 14 total pressure plays, the Seattle line had a better 2nd half last week and as their run game gets sorted they should be better again this week.
For the Titans they have also started slow on offense, last week they had only 6 points in the first half when Bortles fell apart and interceptions and 3 and outs gave Tennessee a number of short fields. They had TD drives of 34, 49 and 25 yards. This week the Titans will be without their lead back DeMarco Murray an their best receiver Corey Davis. Last year Seattle was #1 vs the run by DVOA and I think last week vs 49ers was an anomaly. I like the chances of the Seattle D to keep Mariota and the Titans run first offense in check.
Looking at the Seattle schedule if they win Sunday, I think this is a point where we could see them go on a run and win 6 or 7 in a row, so if you are looking to bet a Seattle future, I would do it before Sunday. I think Seattle wins straight up here.
Game 2: Bal @ Jax +3.5 (In London)
Bet%: Bal 67% Jax 33%
Nobody plays in London like the Jacksonville Jaguars. This will be the 5th straight year the Jags make the trip across the pond and while their 2-2 record isn’t exactly Patriot like, the routine nature of the trip does mean that this is a game they are going to be totally comfortable with.
This game opened at 4 and despite the majority of bets being on the Ravens the line has dropped and it wouldn’t surprise me to see this get to 3 by kickoff.
Both these defenses got off to great starts in Week 1, the Jags earned the nickname Sacksonville after their 10 sack game in the opener and this week face the Ravens in their first game minus Marshal Yanda, their best lineman.
Through the first 2 weeks the Ravens are 2-0 and+7 in turnovers which has made up for the fact that the offense hasn’t exactly lit the league on fire. Flacco has 338 yards passing through 2 weeks which is actually 10 yards less than Bortles who the Jags are trying everything in their power to stop from passing.
Getting the hook on a neutral field where the Jags should be the more comfortable team seems like very good value here.Both defenses are capable of winning this game on their own but I think people are overvaluing how good the Ravens offense has been to start the year.
Game 3: Den @ Buf +3.5
Bet%: Den 82% Buf 18%
This game has had the largest split in Bet% all week and it’s easy to see why. The Broncos have had 2 high profile wins, a MNF win in the opener and then a blowout of the Cowboys in their home opener on the FOX national TV game. The Bills on the other hand beat the Jets who may be the worst roster in the NFL and then lost to the Panthers last week in a low scoring low profile game.
I love this spot for the Bills. As mentioned Denver has played 2 high profile games to start the year, a divisional game on MNF to open the season and then Denver for their home opener. Next week Denver plays another big divisional game vs the Raiders so if there is a game where we see a let down it’s going to be this game where they fly out east for an early start against a low profile team like the Bills.
The Bills defense has started the season playing very good defense under new head coach Sean McDermott and will I think have a very good chance to create problems for Trevor Siemian who has been better than most expected to start this season. The Broncos were 28th in offensive DVOA and I’m not sure we can expect them to make a huge leap this year with no major upgrades on offense. This feels prime for regression.
For the Bills offense I think we will find out if the Broncos truly have fixed their issues on run defense. Last year Denver finished first in defensive DVOA but were 21st vs the run and gave up 4.3 yards per rush. Buffalo had the leagues most efficient run offence last year and I think will have success on he ground this week against Denver
Game 4: KC @ SD(Waiting for +3.5)
Bet%: KC 74% SD 26%
I think the 2 toughest sides to put your money on this week are the Bills and the Chargers. Kansas Ciy has looked as good as anyone through 2 weeks with impressive wins vs the Patriots and Eagles. I love Andy Reid, I am an unabashed Andy Reid stan and he has been great through 2 weeks but they did trail in the opener going into the 4th Q and then had the extra rest to get ready for the Eagles last week which was a one score game despite the Eagles losing 2 key starters in the secondary.
While the Chiefs have been on the right side of the karma train the poor Chargers are at it again losing games in agonising fashion. Chargers are 0-2 but in both games had their FG kicker on to tie the game in one and take the lead in the other but missed both leading to 0-2. Chargers are better than their record and you have to think these breaks will even out at some point but you never know.
The one worry I have with the Chargers is their new head coach Anthony Lynn. In both games he has made mistakes in game management late that ended up costing them and there is a major coaching edge in this game with Reid. That being said, the Chargers are 0-2 and if they are going to make anything of this season this game is critical. I think the line will get to 3.5, already we can buy the hook pretty cheaply but I think if we wait it will get their on its own.
I will have money on the ML in all these games as well.
Other games under consideration ( No Bets yet- Will confirm Sunday Morning)
Game : Cin +7.5 @ GB
Bet% Cin 31% GB 69%
Packers are really banged up in this game, it looks like Nelson will play but not sure on the others, I will wait to see if the tackles play or not before betting. The Bengals who haven’t scored a TD yet and fired their OC after a near mutiny by the offensive players are 0-2 with both losses at home. I think there is a chance they come out and play a great game here and catch the Packers sleeping.
Game : Mia @ NYJ +6.5
Bet% Mia 73% NYJ 27%
It’s hard betting on the Jets but the offense has looked capable and Miami is in a bad spot here. This becomes basically a 3rd straight week on the road for the Dolphins and 6.5 points is a lot of points in that scenario.
Game: Sea@ Ten Under 21 1st half
I wrote last week about how Seattle picks up the pace on offense late in games but often starts slow. 21 is the key number here, if I can get 21 I will probably be on the under for 1st half.