line value

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.

Conference Championship 2015

This weekend would have been a lot more exciting and fun for me had the Steelers or Seahawks made it and kept one of my futures alive, as it is I think we have to pretty interesting games where the public definitely likes the favorites. This is the last time we will see Manning v Brady in a truly meaningful game and even though I get as tired as everyone else of the media constantly fawning over both of them, it does seem fitting that it would end this way for one of the greatest rivalries.

2015 Playoffs: 3-2

2015 Reg Season: 57-35-3

Game 1: NE @ Den +3.5

Bet% NE 74% Den 26%

Note- I got +3.5 at -115, the line has bounced around all week between the 3 and 3.5 and I would suggest buying the hook has value even at -120 or -125 if necessary but I think it is pretty widely available at -120.

It’s been really interesting how unanimous everyone (fans,media) have been that NE is going to the Superbowl and that the Broncos do not have much of a chance here. We see 75% of the bets on a road fav of a full FG or a little more depending on the juice.

First lets just look at the line. Last week the Patriots were 4.5 to 5 point favorites vs KC at home, if we give 3 pts for home field that means the Pats were 1.5-2 pt favorites over KC on a neutral field. Here, we have NE as a 3 pt fav on the road, so if we give Denver 3 points for home-field, and I think Denver has one of the truest home-field advantages with the elevation, then this line makes NE 6 point favs over Denver on a neutral and makes KC 4-4.5 points better than Den. All of which seems way off.

Betting lines in the playoffs are certainly different than the regular season and I get why this number has to be here with so much public money but there certainly is value. I also think that defensive teams will always be undervalued. Denver was the #1 defense by a pretty large margin but because there were games like the Patriots game, like the Steelers game where they gave up a lot of points, the narrative becomes that they aren’t really that good. Its funny, because if a great offensive team has a down game, we are usually very eager to throw those games out as an outlier.

In the end this is simply a bet against the consensus view, we get the best defensive team in the NFL, at home, with 3.5 points while the fav has 75% of bets. It just seems too easy to look at the game as Brady vs Manning’s corpse and Belicheck vs Kubiak and say how can you not bet the Patriots?

Game 2: Ari @ Car Over 47

Bet% Over 70% Under 30%

I think the line here is pretty much right on but think there is some value on he total. We have the 2 highest scoring teams in the league from the regular season, both teams averaged over 30 points per game, coming off of games where they both felt they weren’t aggressive enough.

The Panthers put up all 31 of their points last week in the first half and then spent he second half just holding on. Cam Newton has been very vocal this week to his coaches and the media about that being a mistake and needing to be aggressive for the full 60 minutes.

In Arizona, Bruce Arians had his own mea culpa as he admitted to being very safe in the GB game last week and that playing that way was out of character. I think Arians wanted to not put the game on Carson Palmer who had come into last week with 0 playoffs wins and that clearly was weighing heavy on him. Now with a win under his belt I expect Palmer and Arians to loosen the reins and have a game plan more in line with what we saw all season.

Both teams have excelled in big plays this season, Car ranked 4th in Big Play percentage (8.96% of total plays were passes of 20 yards or more or rushes of 10 yards or more) and the Cardinals were 10th at 8.17%. I think those plays become extra important in the playoffs when the games get tighter and long drives become more and more difficult.

The Panthers were the best redzone team in 2015 (scoring TDs on 69% of RZ trips) and as the favorite I think they will set the pace for the Cardinals who finished 10th in RZ TD% at 59.4%. I also think the field conditions will only help the over, we saw numerous players slipping and giving up big plays last week, with the huge storm this weekend the turf should be even tougher to handle for DBs.

I think the Panthers will win a close one but regardless of who wins I think the winner will score at least 30 and get this total comfortably over 47.