Our Betting Analyst is On a Mission to Bet on Every NFL Game in Week 2
Week 1 of the NFL is in the books and (knock on wood) it looks like we will in fact have a week 2! Football is back, baby!
Like every sports bettor, I dream of the elusive perfect week. The week where you get every single bet right. You don’t miss a single one. It is this dream that is driving me to write this weekly blog, where I will bet on every single football game every single week, in hopes of one day having the perfect week.
Last week I went 9-5-2 and came out 2.5u on top. All things considered, it was a pretty good week, but it didn’t live up to my standards of perfection. I must have an undefeated week.
Here are the rules I’ve established for myself to make the quest for a perfect week something to strive for. First, -160 is the biggest line I’m allowing myself to take. I’m not just going to take a bunch of Money Lines at -300 and call it a perfect week. That’s cheating. Second, I must bet on every single game, even if I don’t have a strong feeling about it. This is what makes the quest for a perfect week so difficult in the NFL. There are so many games. Sure, I might go 5-0 on my best bets every week, but the true measure of perfection is succeeding at those games you just feel with your gut.
So with all that being said, let’s see if we can make week 2 a perfect betting week.
Bengals at Browns: Browns -3.5 (-140) [DraftKings Sportsbook]
Let’s start with Thursday night football. A dog shit game at the dawg pound! I really don’t have interest in betting on this game because I don’t think I can trust either side here, but I have to. Baker Mayfield looks absolutely dreadful and the Bengals are what we thought they would be: a mediocre team with a mistake-prone rookie quarterback.
All that being said, the Browns should bounce back in week 2. They were playing against arguably the best team in the NFL last week in Baltimore, and the Browns offense doesn’t do well when Mayfield has to throw the ball 39 times. If the Browns can start with a lead and not play from behind, Chubb and Hunt can get their touches and run this Cincinnati defense to the ground.
The Browns are 6 point favorites at home, and that number seems high to me. Right now as I’m writing this I’m able to grab Cleveland at -3.5 for -140 and I’ll take that for my first pick of the week.
49ers at Jets: Under 43 (-110) [DraftKings Sportsbook]
Another battle of winless teams here in New Jersey. I took the Cardinals last week against the 49ers and cashed in, but I can’t see myself betting against the 49ers this week against a Jets team that, despite only losing by 10 points in week 1, felt like they lost by 30.
This is another spread that feels too high for me, so I’m going to stay away and instead take Under 43 points at -110.
These two teams have more injured receivers than healthy ones, Le’Veon Bell just landed on the IR, and George Kittle is currently questionable with an ankle sprain. The Jets only got to 17 points last week because of garbage time, and the 49ers defense isn’t much easier of a task than the Bills were. Both these teams benefitted from long touchdown plays that boosted their point totals. Jamison Crowder had a 69 yard touchdown pass thanks to a big missed tackle near the line of scrimmage, and Raheem Mostert had a 76 yard touchdown against the Cardinals. You can’t bank on these big plays, and both of these teams needed them to get to their poultry point totals in week 1. I hate betting unders on games, but I can’t take the over with these crippled offenses.
Lions at Packers: Packers 2H (-160) [William Hill]
Everyone was on the Packers Vikings Under last week and boy am I happy I stayed away and took Packers +3 instead at +160. What an offensive explosion in the last 35 minutes of that game. The Packers are 6.5 point favorites here, and while it’s tempting to jump on that against a Lions team that started week 1 with Jamie Collins headbutting a ref and ended week 1 with their 2nd round rookie running back dropping the game winning touchdown, I’m going to stay away from the spread. Division games can be weird and the Lions always manage to play the Packers pretty tight.
Instead, I’m looking at betting the second half. The Lions are notoriously terrible in the second half, especially since Matt Patricia took over. Last year, the Lions were 5-11 in the second half, and in week 1 they started this season off 0-1 after giving up 21 unanswered 4th quarter points. I went line shopping and grabbed Packers 2H at -160 off William Hill, but if you can find Packers -2.5 2H at better odds I’d take that too.
Bills at Dolphins: Bills -3.5 (-110) [FanDuel Sportsbook]
Another AFC East matchup to put you to sleep this weekend. The Bills, even with Josh Allen fumbling twice and the kicker missing two kicks, still stomped the Jets pretty handily. The final score doesn’t quite show how much of a blowout that game was. On the other side of the matchup, the Dolphins could not do anything on offense against the Patriots in week 1.
I’m still not sure if the Bills are for real. I’’ll have to wait for them to play a good team to know, but I’m taking them -3.5 at -110, which I was able to find on FanDuel Sportsbook. (Update: This line moved drastically from when I wrote this, but I’d still take the Bills up to -6).
Vikings at Colts: Over 46.5 (-105) [FanDuel Sportsbook]
A lot of new players on the field for both of these teams in 2020. The Colts added 74 year old Philip Rivers, whose arm is more noodle than arm, and has a max throwing distance of 25 yards. I’m not making that last part up, the longest pass he threw in week 1 was a 25 yard incompletion. His longest completion in the air was 21 yards. The Vikings drafted more players than Philip Rivers has children in the 2020 draft to fill all their holes, mostly in the secondary.
The Colts are 3 point favorites in this game and I can’t trust them. Philip Rivers is an interception machine. Everytime he shot puts the ball and lets it float in the air for 7 seconds, the defense has a chance to walk under it and pick it off. So I’m going with the over instead.
I know I just talked a lot of trash about Philip Rivers, but to run this Colts offense, you don’t need to throw the ball very far. Expect a lot of dump offs to his running backs and underneath routes to his speedy receivers. The Vikings secondary looked absolutely abysmal in week 1, and their pass rush is going to have issues getting through the Colts offensive line.
Jonathan Taylor will get the spotlight in this one, and I can see him busting loose and having a great game. The Vikings still have one of the best running backs in the league and a pretty solid passing game. Going back to last year, the Vikings have hit the over in 5 of their last 7 road games, and the Colts have hit the over in 4 of their last 6 games. FanDuel offered the lowest total I could find, so I’m taking the over at 46.5.
Broncos at Steelers: Steelers -1.5 + Under 47.5 Teaser (-110) [DraftKings Sportsbook]
I went to bed on Tuesday night after making my Vikings Colts pick and when I woke up on Wednesday, the line for Broncos vs Steelers moved from -6.5 to -7.5. A lot of public money is on the Steelers and it’s easy to understand why. That number seems incredibly inflated to me, and the point total being 41.5 makes me uncomfortable, so it’s time to get my tease on.
I’m teasing the Steelers spread down to -1.5 and I’ll tease the total to 47.5 and take the under. I do think the Steelers win this game, but Denver is a scrappy team who keeps games close and I don’t want some pesky backdoor garbage time cover to ruin my Steelers -7.5 bet. The Broncos defense is banged up, so I think the Steelers will score some points in this game, but that Steelers defense looked incredible last week, albeit against a pedestrian Giants offense. Teases are fun but also stressful, so I’m looking forward to sweating this one out.
Panthers at Buccaneers: Over 47.5 (-110) [PointsBet]
I have a secret to tell you about my betting strategy with the Bucs under Bruce Arians… bet the over. Including last season, the Bucs are 13-4 hitting the over in their last 17 games. I made a lot of money on the Bucs constantly hitting the over last year, and this year doesn’t look terribly different. The Bucs brought Tom Brady in to limit the amount of turnovers the Bucs give up, but come on. This is a Bruce Arians offense with a first year Quarterback learning the playbook. It’s going to be an explosive offense, mistakes will be made, and points will be scored.
The Panthers have also been an over machine in their last 17 games with 12 games hitting the over. Their defense is bad. There’s not much else I have to say. The Las Vegas Raiders just put up 34 points on them. Carolina has the playmakers to score some points as well. I see this game ending somewhere in the high 50’s, so I’ll definitely take the over at 47.5, which I found on Pointsbet.
Jaguars at Titans: Titans -8.5 (-110) [FanDuel Sportsbook]
Jaguars vs. Titans not in prime time? I want my Thursday night matchup back!
This game opened at Titans -11, and over 90% of all bets placed were on the Jaguars to cover. Now the number has shifted down to -8.5, and I feel comfortable taking the Titans to lay the points here. The Jaguars are an exciting team and I love that they were able to pull off a massive upset in week 1, but this has all the makings of a let down game for them in Tennessee.
The Titans are way better than the box score indicates in their 2 point win against Denver on Monday night. We saw Stephen Gostkowski miss 4 kicks and Derrick Henry fail to get in the endzone despite running the ball 31 times. Those are two things we won’t see again in this game. The Jaguars scraped out a win against the Colts, but were helped by Philip Rivers throwing the ball to the wrong team and Gardner Minshew having a record setting day throwing for 3 touchdowns and a 95% completion rate. You can’t bank on that happening again. It’s a big spread, but I’m taking Titans -8.5, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see this number dip to 8 before kickoff if you want to wait.
Rams at Eagles: Rams -1 (-105) [PointsBet]
I’m a Rams fan so take this with a grain of salt, but the Rams looked way better than I expected in week 1. I can’t quite say the same about the Eagles. I know public money is favoring the Rams, so this is a pretty square bet, but I can’t take the team that completely crashed and burned in the second half against a football team called Football Team to lose their week 1 game.
So, I thought about taking the Eagles here because of the massive market correction after their week 1 loss, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Maybe this is the Rams fan in me or maybe it’s that the Eagles only offensive weapons are their tight ends. Either way, I’m taking the Rams -1 here and I will be devastated if this square bet doesn’t hit.
Falcons at Cowboys: Falcons +4.5 (-108) [DraftKings Sportsbook]
The Falcons offense is ridiculous and the Cowboys pass rush could not get to Jared Goff in week 1. Pair that with the Cowboys lack of a secondary and I can see Matt Ryan having another really nice day and the Falcons putting up some points. The point total sitting at 53 is a little too rich for my blood, but I think the Falcons keep this game close and could potentially even win outright.
Giants at Bears: Giants +5.5 (-105) [FanDuel Sportsbook]
I think we can all agree that the Bears did not deserve to win in week 1. The Lions pulled their classic 2nd half stunt of giving the game away, and then D’Andre Swift dropped a wide open game winning touchdown pass. The Bears are not a good team, just ask their number 1 wide receiver Allen Robinson.
I’m not saying the Giants are much better. But for them to come in at almost a touchdown underdog against this horrid Bears team is too big of a spread. Saquon won’t be smothered again like he was in week 1 and the Giants offense should be able to put something together here and keep the game close.
Football Team at Cardinals: Cardinals -6.5 (-110) [DraftKings Sportsbook]
I’m not immediately buying into the Cardinals being this great team just because they beat the 49ers, but I’m definitely not buying into the Washington Football Team being anything more than mediocre just because they beat the Eagles. I wish this number was at 6, but I’ll take the hook in what I think could end up being a double digit win for the Cardinals.
Chiefs at Chargers: Chiefs -8.5 (-110) [Draftkings Sportsbook]
How do you not take the Chiefs here after what we saw in week 1? The Chiefs are the same old Chiefs: they move the ball at will and they score points. The Chargers looked to be the complete opposite of that in week 1 against the Bengals. The Bengals! The Chargers had to rely on Fat Randy missing a kick in the 4th quarter to beat THE BENGALS! I don’t think this game will be particularly close and you have to take the Chiefs here, even though they’re laying 8.5.
Ravens at Texans: Ravens -7 (+100) [FanDuel Sportsbook]
Keep it simple, stupid. That’s my montra when betting on the Ravens this year. It’s going to be hard for sportsbooks to come up with a spread big enough for me not to bet on them, and laying a touchdown against a Texans team that just lost to the Chiefs by 14 in week 1 is not going to deter me at all. The Ravens are beasts against the spread, going 10-2 in their last 12 games, and I think that trend continues through this year. This game opened at 6.5, so I’m happy to be grabbing it at -7. I think this gets to 7.5 before kickoff on Sunday.
Patriots at Seahawks: Seahawks -3.5 (-110) [Caesars Sportsbook]
I love that the Seahawks are continuing to not get the respect they deserve. I was able to make a good chunk of money off them last week and this week feels the same. This is a team that deserves to be a touchdown favorite against a lackluster Patriots team, and for some reason they sit at -3.5. The Seahawks are going to roll at home in primetime.
Saints at Raiders: Under 50.5 (-110) [DraftKings Sportsbook]
The Saints could be without Michael Thomas, so who knows how this offense will operate without at least having him out there drawing double coverage. This feels like an Alvin Kamara game to me, which is great for fantasy but bad for the over. Even though the Raiders put up 34 points last week, there’s a pretty big difference between doing that to the Panthers defense and the Saints defense. I’m staying away from the spread here because there’s going to be so much at play: injuries, prime time, and most importantly, the Raiders playing their home opener in their new city. Another low scoring primetime game could be in the works.
That’s all 16 games! Ordinarily I’d be hoping for 9 or 10 wins here, but this is the quest for the perfect week. 16-0 or bust. Let’s do it.
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