With Week 1 of a very strange NFL season out of the way, bettors have a little more certainty at their disposal. Even as strange as it was to see games played with few or no fans, it still seemed like basically the same product we’re used to seeing on television any given Sunday, didn’t it? The emotion was certainly there. Hello, Cam Newton.
Was home field advantage diminished? Possibly. The outcomes were split with the home team winning exactly half of the contests. It’s difficult to make any judgments over such a small sample size. So, without further ado, let’s get into Week 2’s best bets.
ATS plays of the week
If you acted early, the best ATS (against the spread) pick was the 49ers, who opened as 4-point favorites on the road against the woeful Jets. Alas, the spread has, not surprisingly, climbed to -7 and these picks are based on current spreads. Instead, take a look at Denver getting the hook at +7.5 against the Steelers. There’s a lot of value here: the hook (a half point above the key number of 7), road divisional underdog, contrarian value with the Steelers getting around 70% of the bets placed, and a low total that has been getting lower throughout the week. Lay the points.
Also worth consideration: The visiting Vikings are getting 3 points against the Colts, who just lost starting running back Marlon Mack for the season. The Vikings lost a shootout to Green Bay, while the Colts were upset by the Jaguars. Indianapolis will not have much of a home field advantage as the team will allow only 2,500 fans, so look for Minnesota to bounce back.
Teaser play of the week
This week offers a lot of possibilities for enticing teaser plays, especially if you placed your bet early. The Chiefs opened as 5.5 favorites against the Chargers, but over the course of the week, that spread jumped to -9. Still, squeezing the spread down to -3 is too enticing to pass up. For the second play of this two-team teaser, Washington is a 7-point underdog against Arizona, despite their comeback win against the Eagles. This seems like a case of recency bias based on the Cardinals shocking upset win over the 49ers. Bump the spread up to +13 and collect your money.
Par lay play of the week Teaser play #2 of the week
Parlay plays so early in a season without much data to go by are extremely risky. So let’s consider another possible teaser. Tampa Bay is a 9-point favorite at home against the Carolina Panthers. This sounds like a line that is inflated based on one player: Tom Brady. After poor showings, Brady always turns it around, right? But football is a team game, and Tampa Bay isn’t New England. Take Carolina, and push the spread up to +15. For the second pick of the teaser, bank on 9-point underdog Jacksonville at Tennessee. The Titans are most likely the better team, but they are not an offensive juggernaut. Moreover, statistically speaking, divisional underdogs fare significantly better than non-divisional underdogs due to their familiarity with the opponent. Increase the spread to +15 and make Tennessee win by two touchdowns.
By: Peter Mooney CruelFan.com