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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.