Sports Bet Preview (NFL Week 2, 2020)

I’m still getting over the De’Andre Swift drop, but Week Two is here and it’s time to post some bets. I’ve taken some learnings from Week One to hopefully hone in on some wins this Sunday:

  1. KC -8.5 @ LAC (-110)
    Last week Kansas City showed that they were firing on all cylinders, from the Offense looking as potent as their Super Bowl run, and the defense clamping down on the Houston Offense until letting up in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs only needing 1.5 more points to cover against the Chargers (basically the Chiefs second home field) feels like it should be an easy cover. Especially, after the Chargers were unable to get any prolonged offense going against the woeful Bungles last week.
  2. BAL -7 @ HOU (-105)
    Similar to the above, Baltimore didn’t look to lose a step from 2019. Further, defenses did not get the expected time to prepare for Lamar Jackson’s dynamic style of play, so he’s still catching folks as flat-footed as last season. The Houston Offense struggled to find its rhythm, and the impact of losing DeAndre Hopkins doesn’t seem to be built into this line. I’ll take Baltimore to win by more than 7 against a Texans team that still trying to find itself on offense.
  3. MIN +3 @ IND (-110)
    This may be my spiciest take of the week, but I didn’t think the Vikings were that bad against the Packers last week. The defense allowed an angry Aaron Rodgers to make his way down the field, however, a twilight-year Phillip Rivers is a far cry from the Vikings Week One opponent. The Vikings also showed an ability to score quickly if needed, with Adam Thielen still being an excellent option at receiver. I think Vegas may have over-compensated for the Vikings faltering last week, and I’ll take the 3 points against the turnover-prone Rivers.
  4. BUF -6 @ MIA (-110)
    Buffalo looked great last week against the Jets, and get another good matchup against Miami in Week Two. Devante Parker looks to be hobbled, and the Bills Defense should be more than able to contain the Dolphins Offense that struggled significantly against the Pats last week. I foresee a similar result for the Dolphins this week, and will gladly take the Bills to win by more than six. The Bills have a very similar aura to the early-season 49ers from last season, and if they can further build momentum early this year, I’ll be more aggressively taking the Bills in the future.
  5. DET +6.5 @ GB (-110)
    I don’t like to chase, but I really believe in the Lions this year. Detroit lost in classic Lions fashion last week against the Bears, but it was more so the Lions losing the game than the Bears winning. The Packers looked angry, but I expect this to be a shootout with great backdoor cover potential. Further, with these divisional matchups there’s always room for a funky game script which I think benefits the Lions greatly here.
  6. KC -2.5 @ LAC / SF -1 @ NYJ (-110)
    I’m a huge 49ers fan, and even I think the team looked to be in the midst of a terrible Super Bowl hangover in Week One. That being said, the Jets looked to be absolutely inept against the Bills last week. This is really a bet on the Jets being terrible, not the 49ers returning to form. Given the state of both offenses, I anticipate an ugly game with many blown opportunities, but the 49ers eking out a win.

I’ll be feeling out other lines as the weekend progresses. There’s a trend of taking road favorites above, which makes sense to me given the waning impact of home field ‘advantage’ in recent years. This should be exacerbated this year, as mostly empty stadiums should further fuel the trend.

Place your bets, set your lineups, and prepare your body. Good luck!

Sports Bet Preview (NFL Week 1, 2020)

This week really sneaked up on me. Without preseason we’ve been thrust directly into prime betting season with regular season NFL football. The beginning of the year is the most exciting, before Vegas really gets attuned to the lines, and there’s softness (or at least my perception of softness) to take advantage of. I have some strong preseason stances that I’m looking to cash in on here until the linesmakers catch up.

Note the below features a retrospective of the Thursday night game, and a preview of the Sunday slate.

  1. HOU @ KC -9 (-110)
    Kansas City did nothing in the off season to indicate that they wouldn’t be contending for a back to back Super Bowl, meanwhile, the Texans lost their most valuable offensive weapon and didn’t seem to make any substantial changes that would allow them to stand up to the Chiefs offense. In recent years the Super Bowl Champion has covered the spread in their first game back, and this match up seemed especially assured.
  2. HOU @ KC Over 54.5 (-110)
    Between sloppy defense with poor tackling from a short off season, and at least one offensively elite team I figured that any over would be fairly safe. As it often goes, the first half missed field goal from the Texans was a very poor omen. Further, a missed two point conversion and CEH’s failure to hit pay dirt on the Chief’s final offensive drive (rather settling for a field goal) secured this bet’s fate. Unfortunately, getting in on a bad line (with the total of this game closing at 53.5) makes this one sting even more.
  3. GB +2.5 @ MIN (-110)
    The Vikings were hit particularly hard with opt-outs this season. I also believe this division in general to be incredibly murky, with no expectation of who will take the division crown. That being said, I’ll take the free points and the Packers (led by the Aaron Rodgers revenge tour) in what will be a very close match up in Minnesota.
  4. DET -2.5 @ CHI (-110)
    Matthew Stafford is fully healthy and ready to pickup where he left off last season where he was having a career year. Kenny Golladay’s injury is a hit, but I think the Lion still have sufficient firepower to outpace the Turbisky-led Bears offense by 3 points to secure this win.
  5. TB +3.5 @ NO (-115)
    In Tom Brady’s first game for the Buccaneers I expect there to be fireworks. The Saints typically start seasons slower than other, and the off season has been abuzz with inadvisable impromptu Buccaneer practices. The absence of (or at least a significantly limited) Mike Evans would typically give me pause, but the Buccaneers have so many weapons that Evans as a decoy should be enough to cover this bet.
  6. TB @ NO Over 49.5 (-110)
    Similar to the above, I think the game will be a close win or loss regardless of outcome. To get to this outcome I imagine both teams trading blows for the entirety of the game. This line has fallen to 47.5 since I’ve taken this wager, and I may put even more down at this point.

Sports Bet Preview (NFL Conference Championship Round, 2019)

1) KC -1 vs. TEN, SF -1.5 vs. GB (-110)

With only 2 games on the board this week, I’m not reinventing the wheel with this teaser. The Chiefs looked to knock the rust off last week. With a fully loaded offense, and the return of Jones on Defense to help fight off Derrick Henry, the Titans will need Ryan Tannehill to throw much more than 80 yards if they want to win this game. Further, this will mark the 4th consecutive road game for the Titans. I don’t see the Titans keeping up with the Chiefs, and with this line teased down to one, I feel good about this leg. It would take a historic performance for the Titans to steal this game.

The narrative is one of revenge for the Packers, both for the earlier shellacking handed to them in Week 12, and for the Niners not drafting Aaron Rodgers in 2005 (I can’t believe this is still a talking point). While revenge is on the mind, the Niners handily won the past matchup without Dee Ford or Kwon Alexander, both of whom have returned and are massive impact players on defense. This time around, the Niners are the team with extra rest (albeit only a day vs. the week bye the Packers had previously), which just gives Shannahan another day to scheme against a top-heavy Packers Defense.

As much as the NFL is clamoring for a rematch of SB1 for this 100th season, I just don’t see that working out.

Sports Bet Preview (NFL Divisional Round, 2019)

1) SF -.5 vs. MIN, BAL -3.5 vs. TEN (-110)I believe in the Niners to take care of business at home, between the much healthier defense and Shanahan with an extra week to prepare, I think it’ll be a very tough road for the Vikings. After last week’s emotional win, I’m not sure the Vikings have another similar performance in them. A mid-week injury to Thielen is hopefully a non-factor, but if he’s even limited it could significantly hamper the Vikings Offense.

The Titans failed to muster 80 yards of passing offense last week against the Patriots. The Baltimore secondary has played quite well after the Marcus Peters trade, and 14 points on offense won’t be enough against the Ravens. I have a slight fear for a slow start from the Ravens given the bye week, but even still, I can’t imagine the Ravens scoring under 30 points.

2) KC -3.5 vs. HOU, SF vs. MIN Over 39 (-110)

Thirty nine points is a fairly low total with the Niners’ last 4 games going well over 40 points. With a couple weeks for the Niners to get healthy and game plan for the Vikings Defense I have a feeling Kittle and the offense will heat up. The Vikings have several weapons on offense, and even with the Niners defensive recoveries, the Vikings should still have at least a few scoring opportunities.

The Chiefs were beaten handily when these teams met in the regular season. However, that was a very different Chiefs team without it’s full array of weapons. Further, the Texans are a very streaky team, and that only worsens on the road. I also think the Chiefs have a significant coaching advantage. Chiefs to win by more than a field goal doesn’t feel like too many points to lay.