Game 1: Cin +8 @ Ind
Bet% Cin 56% Ind 44%
This game is a priced correctly when we look at these teams by performance, the Colts are 6th and the Bengals are 30th in DVOA but the Colts offense is not one I think you can trust with TD plus lines, the offense is 25th and it wouldn’t surprise me if they go back to a more conservative offense after last week got away from them. In weeks 2-5 the Colts passed on first and 2nd down ( within 10 pt game) 53% vs Min,47% vs NYJ and 21% vs the Bears. In their Week 1 and 5 losses they were over 60% passing. Even though Frank Reich knows passing is more efficient, in this game with the issues Rivers is having I can see him going to a heavier run game and just grinding this game out.
The Bengals have been getting killed by pressure, their offensive line is 32nd in adjusted sack rate but the Colts aren’t a defense that is great at getting pressure, they rank 20th in adjusted sack rate and they are likely to be without their best defensive player Darius Leanard who did not participate in any practices this week. Joe Burrow has managed to cover 3 games with late scores and I like the chances of something like that here as well.
Game 2: Atl @ Min -4
Bet% Atl 33% Min 67%
It is always risky going against these winless teams especially one that has a talented QB and coming off the firing of a coach so there is some concern but I do like the spot for the Vikings. For the Falcons, I don’t see some big emotional lift from the firing of their coach as all indictions are that Quinn was a very popular coach with his players which is different than what we saw in Houston. The Falcons are just also extremely banged up on both sides of the ball.
Minnesota has had a very interesting season so far, they started out priced as a middle of road team and gt blown out the first 2 weeks to the Packers and Colts and everyone basically sold all their Colts stock. Then from there they won a shootout at home vs the Titans in a game where everyone was on the Titans, beat Houston in Houston and then last week beat Seattle for basically 95% of the game before getting beat on the last play by Russell Wilson. The Vikings are back in the NFC playoff picture and this is game that I think they know they have to have and with the bye next week this should be a full effort game. I am not worried about the Dalvin Cook injury as I expect Mattison to give 95% of what Cook would and vs the Falcons that should be more than enough.
Game 3: LAR @ SF Over 51.5
This total comes in at basically the average score of games through 2020 and I think we are getting value on this due to the way the 49ers offense has looked the last couple of weeks. 2 weeks ago the 49ers had Nick Mullens start and Deebo Samuel was playing in his first game of the year. Last week Garapolo started but was clearly not close to 100% and got pulled. This week Garapolo has practiced in full each day so this will be the first game this year that the 49ers will have their starters at the skill positions and as a result I like them to have one of their better performances on offense.
The Rams should also have no problem moving the ball against this mash unit the 49ers are fielding on defense, last week the Dolphins were able to use their big WRs down the field against the 3rd and 4th string secondary players that are starting. The Rams receivers win in a different way then just down the field speed but I still expect them to be able to score pretty easily against this group.
Game 4: 2 Team 6pt Teaser Car @ Chi +7.5 & Ari @ Dal+7.5
I am taking the Bears and Cowboys in a teaser, this is really just playing the number, both games move through the 3 and 7 giving us maximum value for the teaser and in both cases the line has dropped in favor of the dogs and has pick at numerous books. There is a lot of sharp money on both these sides and I could certainly see both win straight up.
The Panthers have been one of the best surprises of the season but I think this is the spot to sell high. The Bears will bring the best pass defense that the Panthers have faced so far, they are on extra rest after playing on TNF and this is exactly the type of defense that Nick Foles can have success again.
For the Cowboys, this line has just moved too much after the Dak injury. Andy Daulton is one of the 2 or 3 best back ups in the league and could still be a starter on a number of teams. The Cardinals got right last week vs the Jets but their perception as an offensive juggernaut doesn’t fit, the Cards are 20th in DVOA and have not played great defenses. The Cowboys also catch a break as the Cards lost their best pass rusher Chandler Jones so for one week their offensive line injuries shouldn’t be major issue for Daulton.
Game 5: GB @ TB Over 55
Definitely did not get the best of this number as it has moved 3 points since opening and traditionally I could not imagine going over 55 but in a season where the average game total is at 51 I still think this is too low.
The first thing I like about this game is that both offenses are getting their best WRS back, the Packers get Devante Adams and the Bucs get Chris Godwin back. The Packers are -0 and playing great offense but the defense has really struggled, they gave up 30+ to the Saints and Vikings and the 2 games they held the offenses down the Lions and Falcons were extremely banged up. I think both teams get into the 30’s in this game and what I like is both QB’s are known for 2 minute drives so as long as the game stays score we should see both teams consistently hunting for points.
Game 6: 6 Pt Teaser: Den @ NE -2 and GB @ TB +7.5
Waited for the TB game to go back to +1.5 to add them to his teaser and getting them through both the 3 and the 7. This has been one of the sharps sides all week with this line dropping from 3 to 1 and then just moving from 1 to 1.5. While I think the Packers are clearly better than we thought at the start of the season, they still have mostly beaten pretty mediocre or poor teams this year (Atl, Det (missing Golliday), Min) and TB will be a big step up. I also like getting TB off of that bad loss to Chicago on TNF.
The Patriots are coming off of extra long rest and get both Cam and Stephon Gilmore back in this game. Belicheck is always murder vs young QBs and here we get Drew Lock back in his first game minus his #1 WR, #1RB, #1TE, and #3WR.
Game 7: Adding Det -3 @ Jac
Bet% Det 65% Jac 35%
Adding Det late here and really the bet is just that with Golliday back this offense can carry the Lions and that the Jags are actually the team we projected them to be in the offseason and not the team we saw in weeks 1 and 2. The Jags are 27th in DVOA and while they will get DJ Chark and a couple of key players back on defense, they were still not all full participants in practice and I wonder how they will look like in this game.
I think we are getting a bit of a discount on the Lions because of the record but really after the first 2 weeks where they were ravaged by injuries, the Lions have looked like the team they were expected to be in the offseason as they went into Arizona and beat the Cards and then in week 4 played the Saints tough and lost by 1 score.
Game 8: Hou +3.5 @ Ten
Bet% Hou 42% Ten 58%
This is a game 5hat I have been staring at all week and the line hasn’t moved at all and it is just too much value to pass on in the end. The Titans go from being 3.5 pointbdogs on Tuesday to 3.5 point favorites after winning another game where the score didn’t really reflect the box score. There has been no team who has benefited from turnover luck more than Tennessee as through 4 games they are an incredible +8. Even with that TO luck, their margin of victory through the first 3 weeks was +6, despite playing Denver, Jacksonville and the Vikings.
Compare that schedule above to the Titans who opened the season against the Chiefs, Ravens and Steelers. Houston has been on the other side of turnover luck at -5 through 5 games, the schedule early certainly didn’t help. I think these teams are actually very close in talent and had they played the same schedule would have very similar records, they are not 3.5 wins apart as they currently stand. Getting the extra hook on the FG is just too good to pass on.