Month: September 2020

Week 3 Picks – 2020

We are off to a choppy start in 2020, a mix of some bad beats like Cleveland last week and some bad reads like the Lions – Packers. For week 3 I have a very large card, usually week 2 is over reaction week but for me this year that seems to have been pushed back to week 3 and as a result there is a lot of value on the board. Time to make a move.

Cobra Kai GIF by NETFLIX

LW: 2-3

2020- 4-5-1

Game 1: Cin @ Phi -4

Bet% Cin 50% Phi 50%

There is probably not another game on the card that has had the line move due to the first 2 weeks than this game. If the Eagles win week 1 and look anything in the 2nd half of that game like they did in the 1st half then this game would be over a TD. In Preseason bets, Eagles were favored double digits for this game. Based on the first 2 weeks you can certainly understand why this line has moved but I just think it has gone too far.

The Eagles were up 17-0 in week one before 2 terrible interceptions by Wentz completely changed the game. Last week the Eagles were 1st and 10 at the Rams 21, down 5 and driving for the lead, when Wentz through an interception in the endzone and basically killed there momentum in that game. Wentz came into the season with a interception rate of 1.7%, last year he was at 1.2%, through the first 2 games this year he is at 4.7%. It is hard to believe that his int rate won’t regress towards that 2% rate that he has traditionally been under, this is  player that has a track record  of not throwing interceptions.

The Bengals defense is one the Eagles should have every opportunity to get well against, last week the Bengals gave up 434 yards on just 58 plays (7.5 yards per play) to a Browns team that had struggled mightily in week 1. Bengals will be missing the keys to their Dline with Geno Atkins and Mike Daniels both expected to be out. The Eagles should be able to run the ball with Miles Sanders and get time to look deep to Desean Jackson

Game 2: Oak @ NE -6

Bet% Oak 34% NE 66%

This was a game I had circled as soon as it was clear the Raiders were going to win om MNF against the Saints. Oakland 2-0, coming off of one of the biggest wins they have had in years, in their new stadium now has to fly out east across the country on a short week and play New England. The Patriots had their own dramatic prime time game but they ended up losing on the last play of the game in Seattle on SNF.  

The Raiders offense feels very funneled at this point with either Josh Jacobs or Darren Waller being the focus, no team has targeted their wide receivers less than the Raiders. To me this is exactly the type of offense that Belichek has been able scheme to a halt in the past.

The Raiders defense has had issues getting pressure the defensive line has just 1 sack and have been bottom 5 in DVOA vs the pass and run. The Patriots offense put up 464 yards off offense last week in Seattle, Cam Newton passed for 397 yards and also rushed for 47 yards with 2 TDs and looks every bit of the top 10 QB he has been throughout his career.

There are 2 things that have had me hesitant on this game, 1st is the fact that there was a very large bet that came in on the Raiders during the week which dropped the line to 5.5 for a few days. The second is that the Patriots play the Chiefs next week and there is some chance they are looking forward to that game though the fact that they lost last week should reduce that trap game factor.

Game 3: LAR @ Buf -2

Bet% LAR 54% Buf 46%

The Rams are playing their second straight road game on the east coast and unlike the 49ers who stayed in Ohio, the Rams flew back to LA and then back out to Buffalo. Both these teams come in 2-0 and in both cases they have played bottom 10 defenses, though I think you can make the case that the Rams have played against better competition.

Beyond the Rams schedule/travel issues, the other big reason to like Buffalo in this spot is that traditionally Jared Goff has struggled on the road and struggled vs defenses that pressure. Last week the Eagles pressure was negated by the fact that their linebackers and safeties played so poorly that Goff had incredibly easy reads all game with wide open throws. Buffalo is easily the best defense the Rams have faced this year and also the defense that is ranked highest in adjusted sack rate so this should provide the best test for the Rams offense.

Game 4: 2 Team 6 Point Teaser: Game 1: Was @ Cle -1 & SF @ NYG +9.5

Last week you would have won teasers on every game, either way except the Eagles game and the MNF game, which probably means it will be the opposite this week but I like this one anyways.

Game 1 I am taking the Browns to beat Washington at home. This line has moved between 7 and 7.5, I played it at the 7 and got it down to 1. Washington is playing their second straight road game and despite a big second half in the opener vs Philly where everything went there way, the other 6 quarters this season they have looked every bit of the bottom 3 team they were expected to be. The Browns are on extra rest in this game after playing on Thursday last week and this is a game they really have to win when you look at their upcoming schedule. The Browns next 3 games are at Dallas, home to the Colts and at Pittsburgh so I can definitely see the coaching staff making sure they get this win and try to get out of that run at 3-3.

Game 2, I have the Giants at +9.5. This is really a missed opportunity as it seemed pretty clear that the 49ers were going to hold out almost every key injured player due to their issues with the field in NJ and I let this line move from 6 to 3.5. While I think the Giants have a decent shot to win this game straight up, I feel better using them in a teaser and getting it at a TD plus. The 49ers are playing with injuries every level of their team and it is hard to see how they field a team that wins this game. SF will be without Garrapolo, Kittle, Bosa, D. Ford, Mostert, Coleman among others, I don’t think there is a unit on the team that doesn’t have 2nd and 3rd string players on it. I will probably have a small sprinkle on the Giants money line as well.

Game 5: Car +6.5 @ LAC

Bet% Car 43% LAC 57%

This line opened at 6.5 and has stayed at that spot the while time and for me it just feels like too many points for Chargers to be favored over anyone. Last week the Chargers played an incredible game vs the Chiefs a game which they lead the entire game but somehow ended up dropping in OT. I like fading them in this spot for a couple of reasons.

First, I see a letdown spot here against arguably the worst team in the league after playing a division rival who is also the reigning Super Bowl champs.

Second, I like fading Justin Herbert in his second start. Last week nobody knew that Herbert was starting, the Chiefs had no film on him and had prepped for Taylor all week. Overall, Herbert played a very good game but now the Panthers get to prep for him with game tape and he was not a player that was expected to be a finished product coming out so I could see some mistakes in this game.

Finally, I like the idea that this is the Panthers first game without CMC, McCaffery is the biggest name on this team and I think his loss will be felt over the long term but Mike Davis should be able to provide 70/80% of the production and I’m not sure the Panthers should be downgraded much this week. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Panthers win this game straight up.

Game 6: GB @ NO -3

Bet% GB 65% NO 35%

Week 3 is chalk full of lone moves and values and this game is another that I think has moved too far. Coming into the year, the Packers were seen by many of the smartest analysts as a team primed for a regression. Now after dominant wins over the Vikings who may be  most downgraded team year over year and the Lions who were extreme banged up and came in missing their #1 WR and most of their secondary, the Packers are being graded as one of the elite teams.

The Saints lost on prime time in Oakland in their first game without Michael Thomas and after seeing that everyone is lining up to bet against them. I still have the Saints as the #1 team in the NFC and this line should for me is probably 2 to 3 points light. I love the Saints to bounce back here and the Packers to look more like the team we expected coming into the season.

** Games I Haven’t bet yet but still might

2 games I have not bet but am waiting to see injury info on Sunday before making bets on. Will confirm before kickoff on Sunday if these are official bets.

Det +6 @ Ari

Bet% Det 24% Ari 76%

The Lions are a team that nobody is going to want to bet this week but what is interesting is that despite everyone being on Arizona this line has not moved past the 6 and has dropped to 5.5 a few times. Last week Washington was a 7 pt dog in Arizona and coming into the year I don’t think anyone saw the Lions only 1 point better than Washington. The Lions have been decimated by injuries but if they get some help in the secondary and Kenny Golliday is active, I will be on the Lions tomorrow.

Hou +4 @ Pit

Bet% Hou 40% Pit 60%

I really want to bet on Houston this week. No team has had a tougher schedule than the Texans who had to start with the Chiefs, Ravens and now get the Steelers. It really isn’t possible to know how good Houston is based on their schedule because they have played the best 2 teams in the league and on top of that have had some injury issues as well. The Steelers are 2-0 but haven’t won ATS despite playing 2 bottom end teams in the Giants and Broncos. I know we all feel like the Steelers are good again and a top end AFC team but based on their first 2 weeks its hard to say that they are at that level right now. I want to bet Houston in this spot but half their team in on the injured list as questionable and I really want to make sure most of those guys are playing before making the bet.

2020 Week 2 Picks (TNF)

Week 1: 2 W 2L – 1P

Last week was a standstill with the push in the Bengals game.

Cobra Kai GIF by NETFLIX

Game 1: TNF- Cin @ Cle -6

Bet% Cin 58% Cle 42%

I was on the Browns last week against the Ravens and while they clearly played poorly I’m not sure how much the final score told us about the Browns. The Browns had 3 turnovers in the game, 2 fumbles and 1 interception but they also turned the ball over on downs 3 times as they went 0-3 on 4th down. In the end it feels like they tried to do to much against a team they knew they had to be at their best to beat.

I was also on the Bengals last week and it’s a game they should have covered easily but Burrow missed a couple of easy TD passes, then threw a terrible INT and in the end they missed a gimme FG that would have taken the game to OT. I came away feeling bullish on the Bengals long term but in the short term this is a team I want to fade.

This is great spot to fade Cincy, we get a rookie QB making his first road start on a short week playing against a team that is 0-1 and had terrible turnover luck in game 1.   I grade the Browns offense much higher than the Chargers offense the Bengals saw last week and think the Browns win this game by double digits.

Game 2: LAR @ Phi pk

Bet% LAR 71% PHI 29%

This line opened with Eagls -3 and moved all the way to Rams -1.5 before coming back to the Eagles being small favs. The movememt was based on week 1 where the Eagles lost as 6 point favorites in Washington and the Rams won in Primetime vs the Cowboys.

Last week I took Washington because the Eagles were short so many key players, well many of those players will be back here. Eagles will get Miles Sanders, Lane Johnson, Javon Hargrave, Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham all back. Lane Johnson has been argueably the most important lineman on the Eagles the last number of years, that is certainly the case if you look at the record of the Eagles with him vs without him. In games Lane Johnson has missed due to injury/suspension the Eagles are 6-12, in games Johnson starts and plays the Eagles are 36-17.

Doug Pederson is 2-0 vs Sean Mcvay and both those games were in LA, the last one the Eagles were double digit underdogs. Eagles win a close one again here.

Game 3: Min @ Ind -3

Bet% Min 76% Ind 24%

Last week the Colts had probably the worst loss on the card, not only did they kill every teaser, parlay bet but also sunk about 30% of survivor pool entries. Lost in that disastrous result was the fact that the Colts actually dominated the game. Colts out-gained the Jags 445-241 yards, they had 27 1st downs and 7 minutes more of posession. Unfortunately being minus 2 in turnovers and only going 2-5 in the redzone allowed th Jags to stay around and pull out the win.

Last week the Vikings gave up 522 yards of offense, 6.9 yards per play and allowed the Packers to have possession for over 41 minutes. The injuries the Vikings have on defense will make it difficult to hold a good Colts offense.

This line is also giving us a very clear indicator. We have 76% of bets on the Vikings and the line hasn’t moved off the 3 at any point this week.

Game 4: Buf @ Mia +6

Bet% Buf 76% Mia 24%

I have always liked betting Miami as a home underdog in Septemeber because of their home field advantage and even with Covid and no fans that advantage of the heat and humidity continues to be there.

Last year when Ryan Fitzpatrick took over the Dolphins went on to be one of the best ATS teams. Fitzpatrick is capable of winning you game or completely lighting it on fire with interceptions. Fitzpatrick had one of those bad Fitz games last week and because he did and the Bills beat the Jets handily nobody wants to back Miami this week. The public is on the Bills heavy at 76% and you know they are going to be a popular teaser bet, this feels like the perfect week to bet contrarian and take the Dolphins.

Game 5: Det +6.5 @ GB

Bet% Det 23% GB 77%

This is really about line value. Last season when we thought the Packers were better than this year and that the Lions of 2019 were worse than this year and there were fans in the stands, GB was favored by 4. Now this week because the Lions blew a late lead to CHicago and the PAckers blew the doors of the Vikings the line is just under a TD.

The one big question we have to point out with the Lions side is they very banged up this week. On offense Kenny Goliday will miss his second straight game and the secondary is missing Trufant and Justin Coleman. Could we see Aaron Rodgers destroying the depleted Lions secondary? Yes of course but overall, betting against a team that played their best game in years and getting 2 more points on the line than last year is great value and enough for me to take the Detroit Lions.

2020 – Week 1 NFL Picks

It is year 7 of posting picks on this blog. Last season was the worst year I have had and the second losing season as we finished 44-48-1. 2020 is like no other year and this NFL season will be a really interesting one as we will need to figure out how many of the truisms we believe in actually hold up in this strange Covid year. Let’s get to work.

Angry Fight GIF by Cobra Kai - Find & Share on GIPHY

Game 1: Cle +7.5 @ Bal

Bet% Cle 38% Bal 62%

The Ravens were the runaway stars of the 2019 regular season while Cleveland was maybe the team that disappointed their preseason projections the most.

I like the theory that we are often a year early on teams that are anointed to take a big leap forward. That was true with the 49ers and I can see it being true for the Browns. The Browns were perhaps the worst coached team in the NFL last year and having a credible, professional head coach with a plan that fits his personnel, especially on offense should be major upgrade.