NFL Betting: Week 4

Thank goodness the weekend is here! I’m incredibly ready for some NFL action, especially after my Redskins got absolutely trounced on Thursday night. To make matters worse, I had picked the Redskins to cover the spread. Whoops. At least I didn’t put money on it. But, after two consecutive winning weeks, I’m looking to make it a trifecta – three in a row would be lovely. Let’s see how I do!

Recap:
Week 3 (all picks): 8-6-2
Week 2 (money picks): 3-2 for +2 units
Overall (all picks): 24-22-2 (52.2%)
Overall (money picks): 8-4 for +6 units (66.7%)

Week 4 picks:

Washington (-3.5) over New York Giants
As stated above…whoops!

Oakland (+4.5) over Miami
I took this line earlier in the week, and glad I did. It’s moved to +4 now. With QB controversy in Miami, and both teams traveling quite some distance, the Dolphins look ripe for a letdown. Oakland hasn’t played terribly in two of their three games this year.

Chicago (+2) over Green Bay
I don’t like this line, so I’m avoiding any real money, but Green Bay has struggled, and Matt Forte could rip them apart. Brandon Marshall might miss this game, another reason to stay away with your money until we know more.

Buffalo (+3) over Houston
These teams are pretty equal, and if Arian Foster is deemed out, this line could close up a little bit. I think this game is low scoring and close. Anything within a field goal here would please me.

Tennessee (+9) over Indianapolis
The Titans as +10 would be even better, but I’ll take them +9 as well. Unless they are playing Jacksonville, Indy tends to play close games under Andrew Luck. If the Titans go with Mettenberger, I don’t see that as a downgrade from Locker. If they go with Whitehurst, that’s a downgrade.

Baltimore (-3) over Ravens
I’ve got real money on this one. I over estimated the Panthers last week. I don’t think they’ll play as poorly as they did against the Steelers, but I still think Baltimore is the better team, and at home.

New York Jets (+2) over Detroit
New York was not far from tying it up against Chicago, and I think they’ll learn from their mistakes (Geno made a few, and Mornhinweg made a few) and pull out the upset at home.

Tampa Bay (+9) over Pittsburgh
I’ll bite. They burned me bad last week. But they played a bit better under Glennon, and with Doug Martin back they could control the ball a bit better. The public is all over Pittsburgh here, so give me Tampa Bay.

Jacksonville (+14) over San Diego
I put real money on this one too. I’ve been an underdog backer this week, and it continues here. I’m looking for a backdoor cover. A late, meaningless TD to give San Diego a 10 or 13 point win, or something.

San Francisco (-4.5) over Philadelphia
Can’t go dog here. San Francisco hasn’t looked as good as they should have, but neither has Philly. Their close win against the at home against the Redskins doesn’t look as good now, they struggled with Jacksonville, and pulled out a late come from behind on the road to Indy…their only impressive result.

Minnesota (+3) over Atlanta
Am I seriously doing this? Yes, I am…80%+ money on Atlanta, Matt Ryan isn’t the same Matt Ryan outdoors, and with no Peterson, Bridgewater could actually open things up for Patterson more than Cassel by being a second threat with his legs.

Dallas (+3) over New Orleans
I’d be all over Dallas if it moved off +3, but even here I’ll go with them. Although no real money. This game seems dangerous to pick. Don’t know what Romo or what Brees you’ll get.

New England (-3.5) over Kansas City
When will Brady be the Brady we remember? Well, on MNF I’ll take that bet. If you’re a daily fantasy player, I like Julian Edelman to go off. This is not a real money bet though.

Real Money Bets: (lots of plays this week, and quite the opposite of the public this week)

  • Oakland (+4.5) over Miami – 1 unit
  • Chicago (+2) over Green Bay – 1 unit
  • Tennessee (+9) over Indianapolis – 1 unit
  • Baltimore (-3) over Carolina – 1 unit
  • Jacksonville (+14) over San Diego – 1 unit
  • Minnesota (+3) over Atlanta – 1 unit
  • New York Jets (+2) over Detroit – 1 unit

NFL Betting: Week 3

What a crazy week for me. All week I’ve been at #JMPcon, then setting up some important work meetings that took me away from making my picks on Friday. Saturday was a full day, so I’m making these picks last minute. Since I still need to set my fantasy teams, there won’t be much discussion this time unfortunately. Let’s get right to the picks.

Recap:
Week 2 (all picks): 10-6
Week 1 (money picks): 4-1 for +5 units
Overall (all picks): 16-16
Overall (money picks): 5-2 for +4 units

Week 2 picks:

Tampa Bay (+7) over Atlanta
Well, that was laughable.

San Diego (+1) over Buffalo
Close one for me, I think the chargers are the better team. Being on the road going east isn’t easy, but I’m not as high on the Bills as some are.

Dallas (-2.5) over St. Louis
Not really insightful analysis, but Dallas rolls here.

Philadelphia (-6) over Washington
I need to see more from the Redskins than a win over paltry Jacksonville before I can pick them on the road against a quality team.

New York Giants (+1) over Houston
Pure gut feel here.

New Orleans (+11) over Minnesota
Normally I’d take the points, but I think New Orleans is pissed off enough to win big.

Tennessee (+7) over Cincinnati
Yes, I saw what Dallas did to the Titans. But I’m looking for a rebound. Cincy is really good though, I just think it stays close.

Cleveland (+2) over Baltimore
Supposedly Flacco has been ill some of the week limiting his prep work. And Cleveland hasn’t been all that bad. I’ll take points at home.

Green Bay (+1) over Detroit
This is a real money play. I like the Packers getting a point. Their defense will need to step up though.

Indianapolis (-7) over Jacksonville
Indy has lost two close games, to two high powered offenses. The Jags are not that.

Oakland (+14.5) over New England
I wouldn’t normally look at prior years records, but fading New England as a double digit favorite at home has been profitable over the years (15-6 recently). I don’t see this New England team as a whole lot different, even worse probably, which is why I’m allowing this comparison to stand. Tom Brady isn’t the Tom Brady of old either.

San Francisco (-3) over Arizona
Drew Stanton beat the Giants. He won’t beat the 49ers.

Seattle (-5.5) over Denver
This should be a lot closer than the super bowl, even with Seattle’s home field. But to me, Seattle at home at this line is something you just don’t go against.

Kansas City (+4) over Miami
Kansas City isn’t terrible. They aren’t great, but not terrible. I’ll ride them as a dog one more time.

Carolina (-3) over Pittsburgh
This is a real money play for me. For me, Carolina is the better team at a neutral site. I’ll take ’em -3 at home.

Chicago (+3) over New York Jets
Definitely rolling with the points here.

Real Money Bets:
San Diego (+1) over Buffalo – 1 unit
Green Bay (+1) over Detroit – 1 unit
Dallas (-2.5) over St. Louis – 2 units
Carolina (-3) over Pittsburgh – 1 unit
Chicago (+3) over New York Jets – 1 unit

NFL Betting: Week 2

So last weekend was quite historical for Vegas sportsbooks. Luckily, I only made two bets, and went 1-1. Unfortunately, I lost the larger of my two bets, meaning I came out slightly behind for week 1. My picks overall didn’t fare great, but not horribly either. But let’s be honest, I care more about my real money picks. Let’s hope week 2 is better…

Recap:
Week 1 (all picks): 6-10
Week 1 (money picks): 1-1 for -1 unit
Overall (all picks): 6-10
Overall (money picks): 1-1 for -1 unit

Week 2 picks:

Pittburgh (+3) over Baltimore
Lost this one already, but I thought this would be another classic rivalry between these two teams that stayed within 3 points, especially with the Ray Rice saga. Wasn’t to be…

Carolina (-3) over Detroit
Carolina won, on the road, over the Bucs, with Derek Anderson (who, to be honest, isn’t a terrible QB). I don’t have the Bucs rated all that highly, but being at home with Cam shouldn’t hurt. Detroit is stout, and I wouldn’t put any money on this game, but since I have to pick a side and almost 80% of the money is coming in on Detroit, I’ll go contrarian and pick the home team.

Buffalo (+1) over Miami
Miami beat New England, but it was at home against New England. The Bills were even bigger underdogs on the road to Chicago and held on to win in overtime. This line implies the Bills are 4-5 points worse on a neutral field than the Dolphins, and I see them a bit more evenly matched. Give me the home dog.

Jacksonville (+6) over Washington
This pains me, but the Jaguars showed they can play last week, and the Redskins showed they still need to progress in this new offense. Although to be fair, if not for a couple fumbles deep in Texan territory, we might be singing a different tune this week. Still, Jacksonville is the play here…just wish it was +7 instead of +6.

Dallas (+3.5) over Tennessee
This half point helps. Dallas isn’t as bad as they showed last week, especially if Romo starts to see the field better. Tennessee impressed, and they are a good team. Had this line been +2.5 or +3, I might be picking Tennessee.

New York Giants (+3) over Arizona
This is another line I don’t like. at 2.5 I’d side with Arizona, but this line is too close to call. Since the betting public is riding Arizona, I’ll take the Giants, at home, getting the points.

New England (-3) over Minnesota
This pick was a real money bet even before the Adrian Peterson saga. I just don’t rate the Vikings all that highly for their blowout win over a Rams team sporting a terrible offense.

New Orleans (-7) over Cleveland
Saints will have added defensive focus, and they won’t face as potent an offense as they faced in the healthy Falcons last week. A multi-TD win is reasonable here.

Falcons (+5) over Cincinnati
This line is in the dead zone between a FG and a TD. I like the Falcons to keep it close.

St. Louis (+6.5) over Tampa Bay
Give me the points. Tampa Bay just isn’t that good. Neither is St. Louis, but if Shaun Hill can play, they’ll be ok enough. This isn’t a real money bet, because we don’t know Hill’s status.

San Diego (+6) over Seattle
Hate picking against Seattle, but San Diego won’t sacrifice half the field like the Packers did.  86% of the money is coming in on Seattle, so I’ll go contrarian again. Their defense, plus home field, should be just enough to keep it close.

Houston (-3) over Oakland
I just don’t see Carr and the Raiders ready yet at this point in time. Houston didn’t play great at home against the Redskins, but I can’t see a Carr-led offense putting up a lot of points.

Green Bay (-8) over New York Jets
This line sucks. Green Bay, extra rest, home opener, and the Jets were poor last week. Which is exactly why -8 seems too good to be true (it actually got bet down from -8.5 recently). But I’ll bite anyway. Not a real money play.

Kansas City (+13) over Denver
Public will come in heavy on Denver here. I like double-digit underdogs that the public is fading. Kansas City might bounce back against a division rival.

Chicago (+7) over San Francisco
The Bears are not as bad as they displayed last week, and I think Vegas and the public have over-compensated here.

Philadelphia (+3) over Indianapolis
I feel like this game could go either way. It could be close, Indy could win big, or Philly could win big.  Not a real money play.

Real Money Bets:
New England (-3) over Minnesota – 3 Units
New Orleans (-7) over Cleveland – 1 Unit
San Diego (+6) over Seattle – 1 Unit
Kansas City (+13) over Denver – 1 Unit
Chicago (+7) over San Francisco – 1 Unit

NFL Betting: Week 1

The season is a game old and I’ll be honest, I picked Seattle to win big. I was a bit perplexed by the Packers gameplan on the ground. Not enough between the tackles running, allowing Seattle’s quick and athletic 2nd level to make tackles that often stopped Green Bay for short gains. I did like that Green Bay left Boykin on the right flank the whole game to be matched up by Richard Sherman (Green Bay did not attempt a pass Sherman’s way all night). The Packers were clearly trying to get their two best receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb free. It worked to a degree, as Nelson had a game high 9 catches for 83 yards, while Cobb hauled in another 6 for 58 yards and one of two Green Bay touchdowns (the other was on a John Kuhn 2 yard plunge).

Sunday and Monday the rest of the NFL teams open their seasons, and as a numbers guy, I can’t help but try to find an edge over Vegas. This year (for fun) I’ll be picking every game against the spread (ATS)…but what I really am keeping track of is the actual bets I place. I’ll be making wagers every week this year, although there is no specific number of games per week that I’ll be betting.

Without further ado, here are my week 1 picks:

Seattle (-6) over Green Bay:
Yes, call me out if you want since this is after the game, but I did pick my 2nd favorite NFL team to beat up on the Packers. After seeing what they did to the Broncos, and factoring in Seattle’s 12th man advantage, I couldn’t pick any other way.

New Orleans (-3) over Atlanta:
The Falcons will be much improved this year, but their run game still concerns me and they are not as sound defensively as New Orleans. Drew Brees has had one of the better preseasons of his career, and last year’s improved Saints defense should continue to develop even more in Rob Ryan’s second year as defensive coordinator. I like the team with the better offense and defense to win by at least a field goal, even on the road.

Minnesota (+3.5) over St. Louis:
St. Louis lost Sam Bradford, but the drop off to Shaun Hill isn’t as big as one might expect. Add in the Rams’ elite pass rush on defense and home field advantage and you’d think they’d be the smart pick. However, with Norv Turner now calling the plays, look for the Vikings to be more efficient offensively this year, even with Matt Cassel under center. Norv Turner immediately created 10 plays for Cordarelle Patterson, historically likes using his tight ends (meaning Kyle Rudolph should see improved numbers), vows to get Peterson more involved in the pass game, and Cassel himself has great rapport with veteran Greg Jennings (just look at Jennings numbers last year with Cassel at QB compared to Freeman/Ponder). I think Minnesota keeps it within a field goal, even if they lose.

Pittsburgh (-7) over Cleveland
Pittsburgh should win this comfortably. Despite Joe Haden’s noted coverage skills, Antonio Brown didn’t catch less than 5 balls in any game last year – expect that to continue. Wideout Markus Wheaton impressed in the preseason, and the Bell/Blount combo should force Cleveland’s defense to respect the run. Throw in Brian Hoyer starting his first regular season game since tearing his ACL and the loss of Josh Gordon and Cleveland becomes more one dimensional than two.

Jacksonville (-10.5) over Philadelphia
I’m not picking Jacksonville to win, but I think they keep it within 10. This is less about Jacksonville improving (I see them as a 5 win team this year), and more about Philadelphia regressing a bit. Nick Foles’ 27 TD, 2 INT season last year is a statistical oddity. He should be nowhere near that ratio this year. Jeremy Maclin should not pose the same downfield thread DeSean Jackson did (and Maclin always is an injury risk), and while I like Jordan Matthews to become a quality NFL wideout, it’s his first game. The Eagles will have to rely on their ground game and tight ends, which doesn’t equate to blowout for me.

New York Jets (-5.5) over Oakland
Geno Smith really came along at the end of last season. And I’ll happily take the home team that faces a rookie QB who has to travel east for a 1pm start time game.

Baltimore (-1) over Cincinnati
I’m quite torn on this game, so I’ll go with the should-be-improved Ravens over the Bengals and a brand new offensive scheme.

Chicago (-7) over Buffalo
The Bears will be a serious threat in the NFC North this year, and it starts with a thrashing of Buffalo. Sammy Watkins will not be playing all the snaps, the Bills are missing key defenders, and E.J. Manuel still needs to prove himself in the NFL. Look for the Bears offensive weapons to score early and often.

Washington (+3) over Houston
Yes, RGIII struggled in the preseason, but I also saw moments in there that made me hopeful (as a Skins fan). Houston will be significantly better than last year, but I can’t see them being playoff caliber with Fitzpatrick at QB. These teams are a toss up at Houston +3, so I’ll go with the QB with the higher ceiling.

Kansas City (-3) over Tennessee
The Titans just might earn a playoff spot this year, but I’m still going to take the Chiefs. They have one of the most calm, collected QBs in the league, and the addition of Travis Kelce as a receiving tight end (who comps well to one Rob Gronkowski) to complement the blocking of Anthony Fasano gives Smith a nice weapon. Throw in an upper level defense and home field, and I like them, even with out Dwayne Bowe.

New England (-5) over Miami
I think this is a close line, but give me New England by a TD. They are nearing 100% health offensively. While I like Tannehill, I don’t like his receiving corps, and I really don’t like the Miami run game.

Carolina (+3) over Tampa Bay
Cam’s hurting, but I think it’s a bit overblown. The Panthers’ D will neutralize a Tampa Bay offense that’s still looking to gel, and the Panthers will grind out a close one.

Dallas (+4.5) over San Francisco
This will be a close one. But without NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith, a healthy Dallas offense at home should generate enough scores to keep this one close, and maybe steal the win.

Indianapolis (+8) over Denver
Denver, having seen how a good defense can dismantle a good offense, made moves to improve their own defense this year. But with suspensions to Wes Welker and Matt Prater, I think Luck and the Colts repeat what they did to the Broncos in the regular season last year. Prater won’t be there to save Denver with a 50+ yard bomb, his replacement Brandon McManus has already missed two.

Detroit (-6) over New York Giants
Detroit has a better overall game. Better run game, better passing game, better front seven defensively. And they are at home. The Giants first team offense looked terrible in the preseason, and while there were hopes on the ground, Eli won’t come close to the 70% completion rate target that quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf set for him.

San Diego (+3) over Arizona
I think San Diego wins this straight up. Arizona is another team (like the 49ers) that is missing key defensive personnel, and with news out about Andre Ellington injuring his foot on Thursday, some last minute game planning must be going on. Phillip Rivers has Malcolm Floyd (a potential fantasy sleeper) healthy again to complement Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates, and the three-headed attack on the ground will get things done.

Real Money Bets:
Where’s my money going this week? Cautious in week 1, money’s going two places:

  • Chicago (-7) over Buffalo – 2 units
  • San Diego (+3) over Arizona – 1 unit