Every year I post the thing same thing for week 2 and that is that it the week that has the most overreaction by bettors all season and therefore we should be able to find some good opportunities. We have seen 60 minutes of football and while that does provide us some information to form opinions it is important to understand the circumstances and be balanced in our week 2 opinions.
2016 Full Season: 56-40-3
Week 1 2017: 3-1
Game 1: Min @ Pit -5.5
Bet% Min 56% Pit 44%
This is my favourite type of game to bet week 2, 1 team (the Steelers) was a heavy favourite vs one of the worst teams from last year and did just enough to win while the other (Vikings) was extremely impressive on national TV vs a famous team.
Steelers opened the season in Cleveland, a game you know all summer they looked at as a guarantee win. Levian Bell missed all of training camp and showed up 7 days before the opener, Martavious Bryant played his first game since 2015 so the fact that the offense wasn’t humming on all cylinders shouldn’t have been a surprise but the public lost some faith.
The Vikings absolutely dominated on MNF vs the Saints, Sam Bradford and the offense couldn’t have looked better so it’s easy to see why the majority of bettors love getting almost a TD with a team that looked so good last week.
Vikings played the Saints at home last week, New Orleans was in the bottom 5 in almost every defensive category and may be worse this year. Pittsburgh will not only be a much better defense but they are a team that could easily finish with the league’s best offense and I expect to see Bell and Bryant to be much better this week.
Add to this that he Vikings last year were a much better defense at home vs the road, giving up a full yard more per pass attempt on the road and a passer rating of 90 vs 77 at home. The Steelers are a legitimate Superbowl contender, the Vikings are a couple of tiers below that, I expect that will be the story after this game. Anything under a TD is a bargain in this game I expect Steelers to win by double digits.
- UPDATE: Sam Bradford ruled out in this game Sunday Morning, if you didn’t get in early and under the 7 I would probably lay off this game.
Game 2: Ari @ Ind +7
Bet%: Ari 76% Ind 24%
Betting the Colts this week won’t be fun, in fact if you do bet them I suggest you watch as little of this game as possible. It is impossible to look worse than they did in their 46-9 loss to the Rams last week, which is why we see the Bet% for this game that we do but lets dig in why this line is too many points.
I was on the Cardinals last week as 2 point favorites in Detroit hoping for a bounce back from last year. Well at least for 1 week we got the same Carson Palmer as 2016 but this week we add to that they will be without David Johnson who is not only the star RB and the 2nd best back in the league but a case could be made he is their 2nd best receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald.
Last year Johnson had 80 receptions for 879 yards both were 2nd on the team and way ahead of the #3 WR John Brown who had 39 rec for 517 yards, so his impact is felt in both the run game and the passing game.
But it gets worse for the Cardinals because John Brown their starting WR will also miss this game with injuries meaning they will be without their #2 and 3 receivers from last year.
But it gets even worse for Cardinals offense. Arizona will also be missing starting RT DJ Humphries and starting left guard Mike Iupati. This feels like a lot for an offense to overcome on the road and cover 7 points.
For the Colts they will start Jacoboy Brisett at QB, I have no idea how he will do but find it hard he can do worse than Tolzen did last week. The Colts are at home coming off of the most embarrassing performance of the week, at the very least we should get a team that gives maximum effort and with the issues on the Cards line they should be able to get pressure on Palmer and maybe get some turnovers and stay in this game. It’s obvious with the Bet % that this is the game where everyone is lining up to bet against the Colts, but its just too many points for a road team with the problems that Arizona has.
Game 3: NE @ NO *+6.5
Bet% NE 79% NO 21%
*Have not bet yet, will bet closer to game time hoping to get as close to 7 as possible.
I know. It’s no fun betting against the Patriots, it’s terrifying, they went 13-3 ATS and killed every book in Vegas and they are coming off of a loss with extra rest.
The Alex Smith game in the opener may be an aberration but I think it is fair to ask just how good the Patriots defense is, or if we really know. The Patriots last year graded as one of the best defensive teams in the league but the level of QB’s they faced was abysmal. Here is what I wrote last year in conference finals pick when I took the Steelers.
The best QB The Pats have played this year is Russell Wilson, they lost that game at home 31-24. Here are the next best 4 QBs they faced by passer rating, Ryan Tannehill (12th), Andy Daulton (15th), Tyrod Taylor(18th), Carson Palmer (20th). Those were the best 5 QBs on the schedule, the rest of the schedule is full of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brock Osweiller, Trevor Simien, Charlie Whitehurst and the Browns, Jared Goff, Colin Kaepernick and in the Steelers game Landry Jones.
Last week Alex Smith picked them a part, this week they face Drew Brees at home. Brees is good on the road but great at home. Last year he had a passer rating of 97.5 on the road, 110 at home, averaged 6.6 yards per attempt on the road, 8.5 at home. New England doesn’t have a real pass rush and are facing a QB that is one of the hardest passers to bring down, 5th least sacked last year.
The Saints defense is certainly one the Patriots should and probably will feast on but they are now missing 2 very reliable receivers that Brady has a long history with in Edelman and Amendola. While Cooks is more talented than both and Hogan has great speed, there certainly appeared to be some adjusting to his main targets besides Gronk.
I know it seems impossible for the Patriots to start 0-2 but the truth is that it could happen and they could still walk away with their divison with 10 or 11 wins. New Orleans is always a tough place to play, especially if you bring a defense that can’t pressure Brees. With 80% of bets on the big road favorite I am happy t take the points here and think there is a chance that Saints win this game straight up.
Game 4: SF @ Sea Under 42
Bet% Over 22% 78%
So this is obviously a very square play, both teams are coming off of dreadful offensive performances in week 1 combining for just 12 points and under 450 yards of offense total. In the the end I don’t think there is a lot to write here as this game will be whatever Seattle wants it to be. If the offense plays well they can easily win by 3 TDs, if they don’t they could sneak out a low scoring win that will bring more questions about that offensive line.
One thing I am sure of is that Seattle defense is going to be fantastic this year. In week 1 they were dominant, they gave up 2 TDs but one of them was after Wilson fumbled on his own 6 yard line, they held the Packers to 5 yards per play despite being forced to be on the field for 40 minutes because the Seattle offense couldn’t sustain any drives
The 49ers had major issues at home vs the Panthers defense and despite upgrades at QB and coaching staff the amount of change at the key positions I think will mean a slow start on offense this year.
Last year both games between these teams went over but after coming off of an opening week loss I can’t see the Seattle defense giving any more than 10-13 points. I could see Seattle winning an ugly game like 13-9 or by a by a blowout like 28-3, either way I see the score staying under 40.
Game 5: GB @ Atl -3
Bet% GB 57% Atl 43%
Stop me if you have heard this before, Team A looks great at home in big game while Team B, a big road favourite under performs and wins ugly so bettors of course jump on Team A.
Last year Falcons killed the Packer sat home and here we have the opening of a new stadium on SNF. The Packers defense looked great vs Seattle last week but that is because they dominated what maybe the worst offensive line in the NFL, we still don’t know if their secondary can hold up. Atlanta will be major test. Waiting to see if public money comes in late on this game and drops the Falcons below 3 but will probably be on them either way.
*Update Monday – Not betting the Giants game, just too much uncertainty on how health Odell is and without knowing that hard to bet on them.
Det @ NYG -3
Bet% Det 65% NYG 35%
If Odell Beckham plays I will be on the Giants. The Giants defense looked very good in the opener and their offense is only functional if OBJ is on the field. This is another week 1 overreaction, Giants looked terrible on SNF and Detroit once again came back from behind to win a game in the 4th Q.
I am going to continue to fade Detroit until I am either vindicated or go broke. I just do not see how that defense can hold up and at some point the 4th Q comebacks are not going to come through.
*I also like the Jags, Broncos and Chiefs but don’t see enough value to jump on as of yet. Will see if something happens Sunday morning to sway me on any of them. GL.