Week Two NFL Sports Betting: Picks Against The Spread
With the fantasy football draft season winding down and the first official game under the books, it is time to turn our attention to something almost better: NFL sports betting and gambling. Wagering on games and player props every weekend is a huge part of what we are interested in at SportsGrid. Fantasy football will always be fun but betting on games is always sustainable even if your first two draft picks got injured in the first game of the season.
Week Two is one of the best weeks for NFL sports betting players who know that emotions aren’t the best way to gamble on sports.
Davis Mattek Record: 2-1 ATS
Week Two NFL Sports Betting Picks
Dallas Cowboys -5 over Washington
When something you believe to be true in the preseason comes to fruition in the first game of the season, it is hard to not feel your priors getting confirmed. We spent all offseason on RX extolling the virtues of new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore’s offensive system and we saw it play out in the best possible way against New York. Dak had the best game of his life with 405 passing yards on only 32 attempts, four touchdowns and a perfect passer rating.
The Cowboys increased their usage of pre-snap motion and play-action to give Dak more time in the pocket and easier throws (though it didn’t stop him from making the best pass of his career to a streaking Amari Cooper down the sideline). The supposed strength of the Washington football team was their defense but after giving up 33 points to the Eagles and allowing DeSean Jackson to burn their entire secondary not once, but twice, they just look like a run of the mill bad team.
Even if the Washington defense was good, this line screams Dallas. The Cowboys might come close to leading the NFL in yards per play (they are fourth after one week) and the market is over-adjusting to Washington looking passable on offense last week. This same Washington team, minus Case Keenum, finished as the fifth-worst offense in football last year. They were horrible at passing the ball and relied on running the ancient Adrian Peterson to keep opposing offenses off the field.
This spread might actually move even further towards the Cowboys but the only reason it is under a full touchdown as of the time of this writing is because Case Keenum had one good game against the Dallas secondary. That is significantly less likely to happen against Dallas, who boasts maybe the best cornerback in the NFL and league-average safety play. I am comfortable betting a road favorite in this spot.
Kansas City Chiefs -7 At Oakland Raiders
A theme of the column this year is going to be pretty simple: using our opinions of elite NFL quarterbacks in all aspects of NFL sports betting. Patrick Mahomes is one of the best quarterbacks of the last 20 years, maybe even THE best. We had KC -3.5 over Jacksonville last week as one of our three picks and there was legitimately no sweat in that cover. Even if Nick Foles had not injured his clavicle in that game, it is unlikely that KC would have ever been in a spot not to cover.
Kansas City when 10-7-1 against the spread last year and one of the losses were to New England in an overtime game where the ball never found its’ way into Patrick Mahomes hand at the end of the game. When an elite offensive team is favored by only one touchdown (and this 7.5 at some books), it is just too easy for them to rack up an absurd amount of points. I never want to be on the side of a ticket against someone like the Patriots, Chiefs or Rams when the other side is a legitimately bad team.
In fact, the Chiefs actually averaged more yards per play (both rushing and passing) on the road than they did at home in Arrowhead in 2018. Essentially, this bet is about not caring where the game is being played. If the Ravens and Patriots are going to be double-digit favorites against much worse teams, the Chiefs should be considered in the same echelon of team because they are even better at putting points on the board. I will likely be on KC most weeks this year when they face anemic offenses because of their ability to overwhelm opponents and score 40+ points
Buffalo Bills -1.5 At New York Giants
Similar to how we are trying to get money down on teams we think are better than the market (Dallas), I am also trying to wager against teams that are WORSE than the market thinks. The Giants are, by my estimation, the second-worst football team in the NFL. Only the Miami Dolphins are truly worse than the Giants. The Giants were never close to competive against the Cowboys last week and since 2011, Eli Manning averages 1.2 interceptions to 1.5 touchdowns per game against top-1o passing defenses.
The Bills are better than even a normal top 10 pass defense. They were the second-best passing defense by net adjusted yards per attempt allowed last season and looked every bit that part against Sam Darnold and the Jets in their first game. To make matters better, the offense seems to be entering into the 21st century as the Bills started their 2019 season with 17 (!!) straight dropbacks to start the Jets game. We know that Josh Allen is a high variance quarterback but I am okay embracing that volatility especially against a team as bad and non-disciplined as the Giants.
My best prognostication is that Giants spreads get wider and wider as the year progresses. The team is incredibly banged up at wide receiver with Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate both missing this game. Eli will be throwing to Evan Engram, Barkley and maybe not even Cody Latimer who missed practice this week as well. Worth noting, from a narrative angle, that the Bills did just beat a different New York team at home so it is not as if we are in some parallel universe where Buffalo should never be favored on the road.
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