This Week's Best NFL Bets


Below you'll find weekly updated NFL bets of the week. Find out what are the best NFL games to bet on today, tonight, tomorrow or this weekend.


Playing positional NFL Draft Proposition Bets

Monday, 12 April 2021 19:37 EST

Betting 2021 NFL draft propsNow here’s a great way to bet on the NFL Draft while also reverse-engineering your mock draft: Positional NFL Draft proposition bets. Thanks to some pretty obvious-looking over/unders, one can more easily determine where borderline 1st/2nd-rounders like RB Najee Harris (of Alabama), S Trevon Moehrig (TCU) and CB Asante Samuel Jr. (FSU) will land.

With nine proposition bets offered – no one’s taking odds on a kicker or punter going on Draft Day day one, apparently – on a good six one can figure on the (heavy) favorite in the over/under winning:

Quarterbacks – Over 5.5 (+300) / Under 5.5 (-400)

The first factor to consider in betting positional NFL Draft props is the difference between the top-tier of the draft class and the second level guys. Even the most nominally interested NFL bettor can easily name the top five QBs, all of which could conceivably be off the board by pick #9: Trevor Lawrence (LSU), Zach Smith (BYU), Justin Fields (OSU), Trey Lance (NDSU) and Mac Jones (Alabama). After that quintet, it’s … Davis Millis (Stanford), maybe? Not that Mills in any slouch, but the demand for quarterback will plummet after the Patriots chose at #16. Take the under.

Running Backs – Over 0.5 (-225) / Under 0.5 (+175)

NFLbets is uncertain as to why this line was set at 0.5, when at least three likely future pros are just waiting to be overdrafted: Travis Etienne (Clemson), Najee Harris (Alabama) and Javonte Williams (UNC). Will at least one team get starry-eyed about a skill player (like the Jets at no. 23) or take a flyer on another backfield weapon (Steelers at no. 24)? Absolutely. Take the over.

Tight Ends – Over 1.5 (+325) / Under 1.5 (-450)

There are good reasons for the crazy-short line on the under here. Since 1990, just 32 TEs have been drafted in the first round. In six of those past 30 drafts, 2-3 tight ends were first-rounders the same year; this translates into zero or one TE chose in 80% of first rounds in the past three dacades. Kyle Pitts (Florida) is a shoo-in. No one else is. Take the under.

Linebackers – Over 4.5 (+130) / Under 4.5 (-165)

Similarly to TEs, LBs in 2021 show one first-round certainty – Micah Parsons (Penn State) – followed by question marks and solid-if-not-hyperbole-inducing prospects. Jamin Brown (Kentucky) has received praise for his athleticism and smarts, but has started just 11 games thus far into his high-level football career. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame) and Nick Bolton (Houston) are on the bubble, but the mid-range drafters would mostly have to bypass a talented squad of offensive lineman for all four aforementioned LBs plus a fifth (Jabril Cox of LSU, maybe?) to crack round 1. Take the under – in fact, if you can get “under-3½” in this prop bet, you’ll want to grab a piece of that action as well…

Cornerbacks – Over 4.5 (-105) / Under 4.5 (-120)

Neither of these lines is particularly enticing but, in a gun-to-the-head situation, NFLbets takes the favored under there. Patrick Surtain (Alabama) and Greg Newsome (Northwestern) appear to be first-round locks, but with 12 or 13 (depending on the Denver Broncos) of the top 14 picks likely to be offensive, four CBs taken between picks 16 and 31 – assuming the Patriots go QB or LB while the Buccaneers are good with their re-signed CBs – seems like a stretch. Take the under.

Safeties – Over 0.5 (-250) / Under 0.5 (+190)

This one may be read as “Will Trevon Moehrig (TCU) be chosen in round 1?” Late in the first round are the New Orleans Saints (at no. 28), Green Bay Packers (no. 29) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (no. 32), all of whom could well be in a position to simply draft the best player available. Even prior to these three are the perpetually defense-minded Baltimore Ravens at no. 27. Clearly the bookmakers are having difficulty imagining at least this foursome passing on Moehrig as well. Take the over.

So far, so good – sort of. The biggest payout among NFLbets’ six chalk picks is -120 and no one’s getting rich playing odds shorter than even. With a little logic, however, the remaining four offerings – and what sportsbooks may be overlooking become apparent strictly mathematically. Assuming the previous five bets all hit by 0.5 cumulatively, this leaves 16 spots in round 1. NFLbets therefore deduces the following for the remaining four offerings in the positional prop bet.

Defensive Linemen – Over 4.5 (+105) / Under 4.5 (-125)

As stated above, the first half of round 1 looks seriously heavy on the offense with quarterbacks alone conceivably going at nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8 or 9. But as offensive-imbalanced as prospective nos. 1-14 look, day one’s remainder will be dominated by defense. NFLbets identifies five teams who could use an immediate starter at DL and whose front offices are sane enough to address the need: the Miami Dolphins (no. 18), Indianapolis Colts (no. 21), Tennessee Titans (no. 22), New York Jets (no. 23) and Pittsburgh Steelers (no. 24). If offense-obsessed Jon Gruden can draft to his Las Vegas Raiders’ needs at no. 17 with, likesay, Zaven Collins (Tulsa), this one’s a lock: Take the over.

Offensive Linemen – Over 6.5 (+110) / Under 6.5 (-137)

Always the default choice for mid- to late-round teams whose above-average quarterback requires more line protection than currently on roster. Fitting the bill are the “Los Angeles” Chargers (no. 13), the Minnesota Vikings (no. 14 and on the hook for $40 million-plus to Kirk Cousins over the next two years), Arizona Cardinals (no. 17), Chicago Bears (no. 20), Jacksonville Jaguars (no. 25) and Kansas City Chiefs (no. 31). Beyond this, the Cincinnati Bengals are set to be gifted the monstrous. Penei Sewell (Oregon) at no. 5. Together with some late-1st team looking to add the top talent remaining, NFLbets figures that’s minimum eight chances to hit seven spots. Take the over.

Wide Receivers – Over 4.5 (-160) / Under 4.5 (+125)

This is where logic and rationality may not necessarily prevail in the face of splashy hype and stats. The top tier of WRs in Draft Class 2021 numbers four and these outpace the rest: Ja'Marr Chase (LSU), Roshod Bateman (Minnesota), Jaylen Waddle (Alabama) and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith (Alabama). Already all other than Chase feel overhyped and all are looking to be drafted within the top 15 to 16. Just one WTF could make this bet – and a few others on this proposition – go ka-blooey, but we’re riskily saying take the under.

And bingo! 32 picks, 32 players. Now NFLbets just has to figure a way to hedge against Gruden getting wacky…

–written by Os Davis

 


NFL Draft proposition betting: WTF will the San Francisco 49ers do at no. 3…?

Friday, 09 April 2021 15:38 EST

2021 NFL draft bettingUntil it’s time to start betting on player and team props, the best wagers in preseason betting are all about the NFL Draft – and in 2021, two teams are making things verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry interesting indeed.

NFLbets is starting right at the top in “Draft Position over/unders” proposition betting – well, not at the very top, because bettors can essentially ignore overall picks no. 1 and 2: Trevor Lawrence (of LSU) is getting roughly -10,000 odds to be chosen by the Jacksonville Jaguars first, while Zach Wilson (BYU) commands -1000 or so to be drafted by the New York Jets at no. 2.

And here, thanks to the San Francisco 49ers’ trade machinations, questions about the future at their QB position and, inevitably, the will-he/won’t-he interest of Bill Belichick & Co. in Jimmy Garoppolo, is where things get interesting.

In the proposition bet “2021 NFL Draft Number 3 Overall Pick,” Draft Kings’ offered odds look like so:

QB Justin Fields (Ohio State): +125
QB Mac Jones (Alabama): +150
QB Trey Lance (North Dakota State): +200
QB Zach Wilson: 11/1
WR J’Marr Chase (LSU): 50/1
TE Kyle Pitts (Florida): 50/1
OT Penei Sewell (Oregon): 60/1

Concomitantly, sportsbooks offering the “Over/under Draft Position” prop have offerings on three suspected early picks which look like so:

QB Justin Fields over 3½: -134
QB Justin Fields under 3½: +110

TE Kyle Pitts over 5½: +122
TE Kyle Pitts under 5½: -148

QB Mac Jones over 8½: -110
QB Mac Jones under 8½: -110

A couple of weeks ago, all four of these bets seemed like no-brainers: San Francisco had clearly traded up to land Mac Jones at no. 3, while the Panthers could – barring a trade from, likesay, New England or Denver – simply lie in wait for Fields to land to them at no. 8. But then, the maneuvering, posturing and rumor-generating started:

•  First the Miami Dolphins, who had traded out of the top 10 to deal the Texans’ former no. 3 overall pick, reentered at no. 6 via a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.

•  The Panthers, meanwhile, acquired former New York Jets first-rounder Sam Darnold to start at QB for them in 2021, while not having to surrender their no. 8 overall.

•  Two rumors emerged from Patriots camp in the meantime, mainly that the team was no longer interested in pursuing trade talks for Garoppolo, snowballing still-increasing talk that the Pats are seriously hot for Fields.

•  Also buzzing about the blogosphere are the Atlanta Falcons giddy enthusiasm at signing Pitts at no. 4. With stat pig Matt Ryan’s contract getting reupped and a serious chance to compete in the NFC South in 2021, virtually every mock draft has the Falcons snapping up the dude some are already ready to call a “future Hall of Famer.”

•  Here’s the bit that really ties NFLbets’ mind in knots, however: On Wednesday, the 49ers signed QB Nate Sudfeld. Hardly a league-shattering acquisition, to be sure, but the move means that San Francisco now carries four QBs on their roster – including Garoppolo, the guy who had these Niners in the Super Bowl two seasons ago – going into draft day.

You see what we’re getting at: The 49ers have the opportunity to ruin a serious amount of draft day prop bets. With all the hype the reportedly generational Pitts is getting, why wouldn’t Kyle Shanahan et al consider teaming the rookie with George Kittle for the best 1-2 TE punch the league has? Better yet, why not threaten the possibility and make Atlanta cough up, likesay, a third-rounder to move up one spot?

One could also imagine that the reported “no sale” attitude of the Patriots vis-à-vis Garoppolo and/or the enthusiasm evinced for Fields is merely a smokescreen for a Niners-Pats draft day trade.

Finally, there is Miami at no. 6. Having seemingly cleared the starting spot for Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins would on the face of things have little reason to draft at any position other than receiver. The question becomes: How likely would Miami management be to taking up Fields for the sheer stymying effect on New England?

Occam’s Razor would advise us to assume the 49ers are staying at no. 3, but with no indication from 49ers land as to whether Jones or Fields is the pick, we’ll play the best odds and recommend:

•  Take Justin Fields in the “2021 NFL Draft Number 3 Overall Pick” prop at +125;

•  take Kyle Pitts to go under the 5½th pick at -148; and

•  take Mac Jones to go over the 8½th pick at -110 – we think he goes to the Denver Broncos at no. 9…

–written by Os Davis


Super Bowl Odds post-FA Period: In NFC East props, why not Washington?

Thursday, 25 March 2021 18:56 EST

After yet another season as the weakest division cumulatively, the teams of the NFC East should be expected to be doing some roster shuffling and quarterback-carousel riding in offseason 2021. None of the four have made acquisitions enough to move the odds in the “To Win Super bowl LVI” and “To Win NFC East” significantly, though the two favorites are getting some action.

NFC East odds, betting, predictionsOn Super Bowl Monday and the release of first lines in the Super Bowl 2022 proposition bet, odds on the four teams read as follows.

Dallas Cowboys: 30/1
Philadelphia Eagles: 50/1
Washington Football Team: 60/1
New York Giants: 66/1

You’d think that the serious fluctuations in the lines caused by the Los Angeles Rams’ acquisition of Matthew Stafford and the Chicago Bears’ of Andy “The Red Rifle” Dalton would ripple through this division after moves bringing Ryan Fitzpatrick to Washington, Joe Flacco (no, really) to Philadelphia and Mike Glennon to the Giants – and they have, to some extent: The Cowboys’ odds to win the ’Bowl may now carry odds as low as 25/1 after the ’Pokes re-signed Dak Prescott, apparently.

But here’s the crazy thing; someone – or someones – appear to be throwing serious cash at most of these teams. Current odds in the “To Win NFC East” proposition bet, according to My Bookies, are as follows with odds in the same prop from one month ago are in parentheses.

Dallas Cowboys: 10/11 (10/11)
Washington Football Team: 7/2 (5/1)
Philadelphia Eagles: 7/2 (5/1)
New York Giants: 5/1 (10/1)

Brutal, eh? NFLbets supposes that taking one of the lower three listed is a decent enough value play, but even on winning will bettors kick themselves for not covering the given team sooner. As irrational as it sounds, NFLbets is considering wagering on Washington in this prop.

No, Fitzpatrick is no savior but all Washington truly needs to compete in 2021 is competence. In one of the biggest disparities since Kurt Warner’s St. Louis Rams were outscoring teams 41-37 every other week, the Washington defense ranked no. 3 (Just ahead of the Rams) in the DVOA metric, while the offense – which ran with three different starters in 2020, the first of which was released by years’s end – ranked no. 32 (just below the New York Jets).

Thus far in offseason 2021, the Football Team essentially swapped out CBs, giving up Ronald Darby (who signed with the Denver Broncos) for William Jackson (from the Cincinnati Bengals). Otherwise, every major player on the defense returns. Head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio return, bgi plusses for a fairly young D.

Naturally, offense remains a serious issue with Washington: The FT will certainly be counting on turning the no. 19 overall pick in the draft into a viable option at left tackle to fill 11-year man Trent Williams’s spot there. Fitzpatrick surely hopes so.

And speaking of Fitzpatrick, somewhere post-Washington signing the Ryan-themed meme began circulating the internet, blowing virtual minds with the fact that the QB has never yet to play a playoff game. Fitz is 59-86-1 lifetime as a starter, has played for eight teams and has a .500-or-worse win-loss record lifetime with each.

Of course, an asterisk of two could be applied to these stats. For example, in seven of the 13 of the seasons in which Fitzpatrick tallied more than 2 starts at QB, he played for either Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins or New York Jets with an AFC East lorded over by the Belichick & Brady New England Patriots – not to mention, you know, being with the Bills, Dolphins or Jets. Additionally, in 2015, his last season as a bona fide opening day starter, Fitzpatrick led the Jets to a 10-6 season and a no. 7 seed that would’ve earned a postseason bid in ’20 or ’21…

But any bettor who doubts that Fitzpatrick is a positive for Washington simply did not see enough Football Team games in 2020. If the dead-last DVOA stat doesn’t say enough, just look to the mundane statistics: starters Kyle Allen, Dwayne Haskins and Alex Smith combined for 15 TDs against 16 interceptions and a ridiculous 49 sacks taken. Kyle Dwayne Smith, then, was “good” for a 79.35 QB rating, putting hims at 21st overall in the stat, right in between Daniel “Dimes” Jones and, well, Alex Smith.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, making the playoffs for the first time in his career at the age of 39? Well, why not? This is the NFC East, where 9-7 can be considered dominant…

–written by Os Davis


Super Bowl odds, psot-FA period: Bears’ odds balloon after Dalton signing

Saturday, 20 March 2021 14:24 EST

In football, it has been observed, the quarterback has a disproportionate amount of influence on the outcome – apparently, this goes for proposition bet futures, as well. Case in point: The Chicago Bears and their spiffy new free-agent signing, Andy “The Red Rifle” Dalton.

Just as the Los Angeles Rams saw serious shrinkage in their odds in the “To Win Super Bowl LVI” prop after signing  Matt Stafford and likewise the New England Patriots for rounding up an entire receiving corps, the Bears line expanded when news of Dalton’s signing broke.

As reported at ESPN online – one can almost hear the tsk-tsking underneath the prose – “The possibility of landing a marquee quarterback this offseason had caused the Chicago Bears' Super Bowl odds to improve slightly in recent weeks. But on Tuesday, after the reported signing of veteran quarterback Andy Dalton, Caesars sportsbook dropped the Bears' odds from 40-1 back to 50-1.

One takeaway from this odds seesaw: Apparently, mere optimistic speculation about Chicago landing, likesay, Russell Wilson, betters the Bears’ chances by 20%. Even if they lost a couple starters and their immediate future on draft day:

Bears trade for Russell Wilson

Takeaway #2: The sportsbooks are trying to tell us that the Green Bay Packers will win the division in a walk, with odds in My Bookie’s “To Win NFC North” prop currently as follows.

Green Bay Packers: -275
Minnesota Vikings: 4/1
Chicago Bears: 4/1
Detroit Lions: 25/1

Note the stinginess of the last three lines. At -275 (or 4/1), the implied probability of the Packers winning the NFC North in 2021 is 73.3% – yet the Vikings and Bears are each given a 20% (giggle) chance? This should indicate clearly what a sucker bet anyone except the Packers is here.

But back to Dalton: Is the pessimism of The Red Rifle’s viability as a starting quarterback warranted? (NFLbets excludes Bears fans here; any cynicism felt toward essentially any QB not named Russell Wilson is warranted for nearly 75 years of dead arms.) The short answer, based on stats, is yes. Bears backers, you have been given notice to skip the next several paragraphs.

In 10 years with the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys, Dalton went 74-66-2 as a starter, for an average season of 8-7-1. His personal stats include a 62.2% completion percentage, an average season of 22 TDs against 12½ interceptions and an average AV rating of 10.3.

Meanwhile, from the 2011-2020 span during which the Chicago QB was mostly Jay Culter or Mitch Trubisky, the Bears have managed an average win-loss record of slightly better than 7-9, based on a cumulative 73-87. Altogether, Chicago QBs threw a yearly average 24 TDs against 13½ TDs and completed more than 62.2% in six of the 10 years.

And then there’s this: Chicago is 0-2  in playoff games since the 2011 season, while Dalton is 0-5 and hasn’t seen a postseason since 2015 – NFLbets isn’t sure whether that makes matters even worse or should we just blame Marvin Lewis…

In other words, then, Andy Dalton is exactly the prototypical quarterback that the Bears have been rolling with since at the 1980s, if not the 1950s. As they say then, more bad news for the Bears.

– written by Os Davis


Super Bowl odds post-FA period: Here come (back) the Patriots…

Thursday, 18 March 2021 16:43 EST

Dollar Bill BelichickYou had to figure that the New England Patriots wouldn’t stay inferior for long, but who’d’ve guessed the domination Bill Belichick & Co. unleashed on the NFL in the opening days of free agency? The signings at wide receiver and tight end – Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Derrick Henry and Jonnu Smith – stole the headlines and with good reason: The Patriots are already looking at a roster with their best corps since 2008, their best 1-2 at tight end since Aaron Hernandez was playing, and Smith is now the highest-paid “skill player” Patriot ever.

Beyond this big four, New England also added DLs Davon Godchaux, Deatrich Wise Jr. and Henry Anderson; LBs Matt Judon and Kyle Van Noy; and safter Jalen Mills, and acquired OT Trent Brown in a trade. Incidentally the Pats also re-signed Cam Newton; New England wasn’t even counted among the offerings in a previously offered “Team to Sign Cam Newton” proposition bet, but hold your tickets (if you were foolhardy enough to play the prop), as the conditions of the bet call for Cam to be listed onan Opening Day roster.

As a result of the moves, those ready to take a Buffalo Bills repeat division win for granted have been suddenly forced to rethink things.

Super Bowl odds have also been adjusted accordingly:  On February 8, the New England Patriots were getting 55/1 odds to win the Super Bowl (and by inference about 25/1 to 28/1 to win the ARC). By Thursday morning this week, they were at 25/1 on My Bookie and listed at 30/1 on the Sports Betting Dime aggregator.

With the additions made already – not to mention the heretofore not undertaken acquisition of a viable starting QB – the 7-9 Patriots are suddenly among the best value bets in the AFC. And despite the rise of upstarts like the Bills, Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns as well as the two-time defending conference champion Kansas City Chiefs. 12/1 to 15/1 to win the AFC no longer feels unreasonable at all. Remember, too, that these odds will only get shorter should the Pats indeed manage to bring over Jimmy Garappolo, long-rumored source of envy for Belichick.

Even more intriguing is the strong possibility that the AFC East will be highly competitive in 2021 – at least among the top 3 teams. Post-Patriots feeding frenzy, odds in the “To Win AFC East” prop bet read as follows.

Buffalo Bills: 4/5
Miami Dolphins: 14/5
New England Patriots: 4/1
New York Jets: 20/1

Using implied probability, the Dolphins, Patriots and Jets have a combined 50.1% chance of winning the division, thus betting “The Field” versus the Buffalo Bills should be worth 1/1 odds – quite an intriguing wager right now, if you can find a sportsbook with the offer. Alternatively, covering both the Dolphins and the Patriots would be worth a win paying out at either +140 or +200 – and again, that second figure will only decrease after a quarterback better than 2020 Cam Newton is aboard in Foxborough.

All in all, the Patriot spending spree should be seriously lucrative for NFL bettors. We think.

–written by Os Davis


Super Bowl LV betting – Buccaneers +3 vs Chiefs – Final score, pointspread prediction

Saturday, 06 February 2021 16:33 EST

Prediction: Super Bowl LVHere’s the thing: Sentimentality and winning money in NFL betting are essentially mutually exclusive. NFLbets can say (write?) with confidence that no bettor ever became prosperous wagering on feelings and hunches. The proper bettor must place the emphasis on the numbers, the trends, the facts and information.

Yet for this Super Bowl, virtually every pregame show, ESPN gabfest or gambling-centered podcast since the conference championship games, the would-be Nostradami are pleased to inform that LV will be a great game, a close game and the Buccaneers might just win because Tom Brady. Get caught up in too much of the noise and the mantra of “Brady the GOAT, Brady the GOAT, Brady the GOAT” threatens to obfuscate rational thought about the point spread, which on Bowl Eve still reads

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3 at Kansas City Chiefs

NFLbets implores bettors to stay sane, particularly as regards a certain player wearing the number 12 jersey. When considering how to bet the actual outcome of Super Bowl LV, we’d advise trying to strip away the names and labels. Consider:

•  In getting to the final game, Kansas City first ran up a 19-3 lead against Cleveland before holding on for a win with a perennial backup at QB; they then smoked the Buffalo Bills, who had been looking like the AFC’s hottest team. Tampa Bay meanwhile let the 7-9 Washington FT stay within a score in the wild-card round, took care of business against a crippled New Orleans side and got past Green Bay because Matt LaFleur forgot how math works.

•  In the NFC championship, Aaron Jones fumbled early in the 3rd quarter to allow the Bucs to earn a 28-10 lead after a single 8-yard TD pass. Thereafter, the Buccaneers starting quarterback went 6 for 13 for 70 yards – 29 yards of which came on a single reception to a guy considered the greatest TE ever to play the game – and 3 interceptions.

•  The Chiefs are currently on a 31-6 SU (21-15-1 ATS) run since kickoff 2019; they’re also on a 25-2 SU run, with one of the two losses coming with second-stringers starting in week 17 of this season; the closest comparison in recent NFL history would be the 2003-04 New England Patriots’ mark of 34-4 SU (28-8-2 ATS). Further, in this two-year span, the Chiefs are 6-1 SU (5-2 ATS) when favored by 3½ points or less and are 28-4 SU (19-13-1 ATS) in all games when favored.

•  And from the What Happened to this Statistic Department: For his career, Andy Reid-coached teams are now a ridiculous 24-4 SU after a bye week and 16-13 SU/18-11 ATS in the postseason. With the Chiefs, he’s 6-2 SU (5-3 ATS) including 5-0 SU/4-1 ATS since 2019..

You can see how NFLbets – or even those merely considering these general trends – would favor Kansas City in this game. Of course, there is the actual football to take into account. Putting aside the mystique of Touchdown Tom, the real advantage(s) Tampa Bay has in Super Bowl LV is all in the trenches.

The truth is that the Chiefs defense ranks 31st against the run by the DVOA metric and dead last in the red zone; not exactly the stats you want when facing the twosome of Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones, guys who have been damaging unprepared run Ds all 2020.

And then there’s the well-publicized shuffling of the K.C. offensive line, beginning with left tackle where Mike Remmers moves from RT in the wake of Eric Fisher’s injury and affecting four of the five spots. Center Austin Reiter is the sole starter in the same position from last year’s Super Bowl win. But recall that a) the Chiefs get a bye week, b) Reid himself played on the BYU OL, and c) Chiefs line coach Andy Heck is an 8-year veteran of the Chiefs and considered one of the NFL’s best. NFLbets believes Kansas City has time to formulate a plan, even one that entails stopping Jason Pierre-Paul and compadres.

But hey, forget the facts if you must. You want a compelling narrative? Try this: In Super Bowl LV, we’ve got a generational matchup of Hall of Fame-level quarterbacks that might only be compared to Namath vs. Unitas, Bradshaw vs. Staubach, Manning vs. Wilson – now recall whose team won those matchups. This very game may be the flashpoint moment, the turning point, the changing of the guard from the Brady/Roethlisberger/Rodgers lot (and peers like the Mannings, Brees and Rivers already gone) eclipsed by a surprisingly massive wave of exciting young QBs starting with two-time Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and including Josh Allen, DeShaun Watson, Kyler Murray, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, etc.

And with a win, the fledgling would-be GOAT will have led his team to this first Super Bowl championship repeat since who else but those 2003-04 Patriots. Who, except for maybe Gisele Bundchen, not appreciate such a narrative? Take the Kansas City Chiefs -3 vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and enjoy the history of the moment.

–written by Os Davis


Super Bowl LV player props – Super Bowl MVP odds, predictions, longshot picks

Friday, 05 February 2021 14:06 EST

Super Bowl MVP propNFLbets’ favorite Super Bowl proposition bet is certainly the good old “Super Bowl MVP” market: Winning this prop on a perceived longshot can save your Super Bowl or can recoup lotsa losses on a well-played hedge. With two ultra-hyped quarterbacks drawing most of the action, Super Bowl LV has a number of scintillating opportunities for the wagering. We’ll start with the obvious, namely…

• Patrick Mahomes, 20/23
• Tom Brady, 2/1
. At 2/1, Brady is getting longer odds in this prop than in any Super Bowl he’s played in after 2002; he’s therefore an excellent double-down bet if you’re backing Tampa Bay as well as a great loss-recouping hedge for Kansas City bettors. The danger in betting Brady for MVP is if he more closely resembles the game-managing, defense-dependent Peyton Manning of Super Bowl 50 rather than the unafraid airing-it-out Peyton manning of Super Bowl XLI – though we have the former possibility covered as well; see below.

By contrast, Mahomes at lower than 1/1 really only makes a decent hedge if you’re firmly in the Buccaneers camp. Given that the next-nearest Chief in the MVP prop opened at 10/1 odds, the sportsbooks are essentially telegraphing that a Kansas City win most likely results in a second straight Mahomes MVP title. With Chiefs -3½ at -105 and Chiefs ML at -170, if you believe in a last-second 3-point or less win by his team, the Mahomes MVP bet is a great play. Even better for Chiefs backers, though, are the other two studs K.C. is bringing…

• Tyreek Hill, 17/2 (down from 10/1)
• Travis Kelce, 21/2 (up from 10/1). Considering the stats these two have put up in the playoffs, in week 11 versus these Buccaneers in Tampa Bay, and essentially all season, these odds are well too long.

The betting reflets this take; the odds posted herein are courtesy My Bookie. Certainly not too many other sportsbooks are seeing a swing of -150, but Hill is clearly getting some love from the betting public. Hill is a decent value bet here based on his record-breaking performance in the week 11 game, but one can’t help imagine that Bruce Arians will cook up double teams and serious coverage on Tyreek, particularly in the first half so as to remove that part of the playbook for Kansas City.

But then there’s Kelce who spent the entire AFC Championship Game against Buffalo burning double- and even triple-coverages to the tune of 13 receptions, 118 yards receiving and two TDs; Hill meanwhile was good for 152 yards on 8 catches versus Buffalo. For the Super Bowl, the return of Sammy Watkins can only make things more difficult.

So if Kelce is such a great bet in the Super Bowl MVP prop, why are his odds increasing? Common wisdom seems to be that, with the Chiefs having to rejigger the offensive line somewhat for this game, Kelce will be deployed as a blocker. After his 2020 season as essentially the NFL’s most productive receiver plus Andy Reid’s point-a-minute philosophy since coaching Mahomes, this doesn’t feel like the most plausible scenario – nor does Kelce becoming the first-ever TE to win this MVP seem far-fetched at all.

• Devon White, 25/1 to 30/1
• Jason Pierre-Paul, 30/1 to 80/1
. So say Brady does throw a game akin to Peyton Manning’s in Super Bowl 50, and say the Chiefs’ stapled together offensive line succumbs to Tampa Bay’s relentless pass rush early and often. With Brady likely to divide up targets as per normal with these Bucs while Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones similarly split the bulk of the carries in a, likesay, 20-17 win, two or three key plays from a defender could win him the award.

Pierre-Paul will certainly receive much of the media’s and Kansas City OL’s attention throughout the first half in lining up against Mike Remmers, who moves from RT to LT in the wake of Eric Fisher’s injury. Early into the Bowl, we should see quite clearly the effect this matchup will have on the game’s complexion. A couple of sacks on Mahomes to go with a turnover or even a forced turnover will certainly win some MVP voters over after a low-scoring game.

Devon White has meanwhile been on a Von Milleresque trajectory in the season’s second half and straight through three playoff games. And while statistically the Buccaneers D has been average, at this point in the season, Tampa Bay may even be considered a defense-first team. White’s main competition here in a Bucs win – even a low-scoring win – would, ironically, be Brady.

Only 10 defensive players have won the Super Bowl MVP award, and only four in the 21st century. Of these four, only one (Malcolm Smith in Super Bowl XLVIII) had a top-10 quarterback (Russell Wilson) at his team’s helm. Smith’s Seahawks turned in perhaps the most dominant performance by a defense in the ’Bowl, however, in shutting out the Denver Broncos for the game’s first 45 minutes. Figure the Chiefs will be good even on their worst Sunday for at least 9 points; after all, with Mahomes at quarterback, these Chiefs have scored fewer than 21 points just twice – and average 35.2 points per postseason game. Brady might not have to do more than throw a TD pass and make no mistakes, even in another 13-3 snoozer…

– written by Os Davis


Super Bowl LV betting – Buccaneers vs Chiefs – “Anytime touchdown” props odds

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 18:07 EST

Yesterday NFLbets confidently asserted that our favorite bet for Super Bowl LV is the over, despite the  quite high 56½-point offering. In fact, just once has the over been higher at Super Bowl kickoff time: For Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots.

Nevertheless we’re sticking to our over bet if only for the sake of cheering for scoring. As much fun as betting on the under can be, a 13-3 Super Bowl or even a jittery first half ending in 10-10 usually makes for a bummer of a Super Bowl unless you’re talking about two killer defenses, which neither the Tampa Bay Buccaneers nor Kansas City Chiefs truly bring to this game.

So NFLbets is expecting touchdowns, many touchdowns indeed – we’re looking for so many TDs that we’re concentrating our player proposition betting on “Anytime Touchdown” props. The best thing about these bets is that they’re utterly independent of pointspread and money line betting; in our case, it doesn’t matter much who wins (remember, you can tease both teams with either over or under and have both teams getting points: The Chiefs go to +2½ or +3 and the Bucs to +9 or +9½.

Who will score touchdowns in Super Bowl LV? NFLbets likes…

Travis Kelce, -175

In the last 10 games, Kelce’s averaging 8.6 receptions and 112.4 yards per to go with 9 TDs; against Buffalo in the AFC Championship game, the TE put on a crazy show with 13 catches on 15 targets for  118 yards and 2 TDs – while drawing double coverage on most plays. Kelce is enjoying a run at TE that perhaps no one other than possibly, well … Rob Gronkowski has ever pulled off. The Buccaneers statistically are reasonably decent against TEs at 12th overall in fantasy points surrendered and Kelce turned in an average performance – for him – against Tampa Bay in week 12 with eight catches for 80 yards, but the return of Sammy Watkins opens up the deep ball opportunities, good news for Kelce as well as…

Tyreek Hill, -175

 As fantastic as Hill has been in 2020, he enjoyed a career day in the week 12 game with 13 receptions for an incredible 269 yards and 3 TDs, the latter as many as the Buccaneers entire offense managed in the game. We absolutely cannot expect Hill to produce anything like that – half as many yards plus 1 touchdown would be impressive enough in a ’Bowl – but Hill went for 172 yards against Buffalo when Kelce and he were essentially the sole options against a top-10 passing defense. With Watkins back, the Bucs D is forced to chose their poison, and Tyreek has looked deadly in two playoff games thus far.

Leonard Fournette, +120

For a guy who appears untacklable at times, Fourneette hasn’t exactly blown stat junkies’ minds in his first season with Tampa Bay. He’s topped 100 total yards just thrice this season (albeit in two of the past three games), but NFLbets likes Fournette to score here for three reasons: Sheer volume of carries, i.e. he’s had 12 or more carries in four of the past six games; his 6 TDs in the past six games; and, most compellingly, the Kansas City D’s league-worst performance in the red zone. How difficult is it to imagine a scenario in which Brady benefits from a questionable pass-interference call in the end zone, followed by a 1-yard plunge by Fournette? Right.

Rob Gronkowski, +260

In weeks 6 through 16 in his reunification with Brady, Gronkowski was good for 3 catches on just under 6 targets per game with 7 TDs to boot. In the past four games, however, he’s totaled just 4 catches. So why does NFLbets like this bet so much? Here’s the theory: At this point in his career, Cameron Brate is a well better receiving TE but few still block as well as Gronk. In the NFC Championship game, he played four snaps, threw three killer blocks and caught one key pass for 29 yards. We believe that there is a special part of the playbook earmarked for Gronkowski and that Brady will be looking for the safety valve, possibly early and probably late. After all, the man was Brady’s best receiver – with 106 yards on 8 receptions – the last time these teams met…

–Os Davis


Super Bowl LV betting – Buccaneers vs Chiefs – Over/under, prediction; teaser bets, props

Monday, 01 February 2021 09:23 EST

Super Bowl LV betting over/underNFLbets is thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to calling Super Bowl LV prediction-proof. Numbers, trends and rationality all wither under the white-hot brilliance of Tom Brady’s career. Near as NFLbets can tell, the no. 1 reason in betting the Bucs with (current) lines of

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3½ vs Kansas City Chiefs, over/under 56½ points

Is “Never bet against Tom Brady.” Not exactly the hard numbers we’d rather see, and there are certainly arguments for, likesay, betting on Patrick Mahomes and his all-star offense coached by Andy Reid, but we’ll save those for last, because this one’s probably a Super Bowl when we’ll be doing very little pointspread betting relative to props – and the point total.

NFLbets may as well not bury the lead: Take the over on an O/U of 56½ points or even wait until it sinks to 56 at this rate. Crazy that a single $2.3 million bet on the Buccaneers at BetMGM made headlines but couldn’t budge Kansas City -3½, while the over/under has shed ½ to 1 point in the first week since the conference championship games. NFLbets is clearly paddling against the tide on this one.

But hey, since after the wild-card round NFLbets has been pushing the over, no matter the number, regardless of matchup – and for good reason. With four teams remaining in the postseason, not one sported a defense that was top 10 against the pass, against the run or in defensive DVOA. “Defense wins championships”? In 2021, defense may be optional for the winner.

Kansas City is particularly egregious in one statistical area: Though going 10th in points allowed, the Chiefs ranked dead last in red-zone defense – this is what you’re giving Brady? Add to this a well below-average defense – they rank 21st in yards allowed despite seeing just the 19th-most attempts – facing off against the increasingly unstoppable Leonard Fournette, and NFLbets expects the Chiefs to be surrendering some points.

But if Tampa Bay is scoring, we can certainly bet on Kansas City keeping pace. Until last week, Mahomes & Co. had done a 7-1 SU/0-8 ATS run which was costly for a lot of gamblers but also sent a distinct message, i.e. the 2020 Chiefs can play any style and always does enough to win. Purely pragmatically speaking, K.C. has scored 27 or more in 5 of the last 9, 9 of the last 14.

The knock, if any, on the Chiefs offense for the second half of the season has been no running game. Fair enough but geez, what will the Bucs D do against Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, who caught for a combined 22 catches for 290 yards and two TDs. Hell, NFLbets’ latest theory is that the Chiefs allow themselves to get behind 1 or 1½ touchdowns just so they have to throw for the rest of the game.

The point: Both teams are going to throw a lot, both could well be quite successful, and points will be scored. NFLbets may be optimistic here just two years removed from New England Patriots 13, Los Angeles Rams 3 but we’re thinking barnburner. In week 7, these teams played to 27-24 in Tampa. Would, likesay, Buccaneers 30-27 or Chiefs 30-27 be an unreasonable result? So we’re also saying bet YES in the Both Teams score over 24½ points proposition bet.

One final note. With an over/under this high and a game apparently too close to predict securely, teasers look great. Betting Tampa Bay and the under, for example, gets you lines of Bucs +9½ and under 63 points, while Kansas City and the over gets Chiefs +2½ and over 50½, both extremely tempting bets – so tempting NFLbets covered both…

–written by Os Davis


AFC Championship – Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs – preview, predictions, bets

Friday, 22 January 2021 15:32 EST

Betting on the NFL playoffs can prove quite profitable – if one can recognize the truth among a forest of blaring narrative pumped out by media outlets. This is the time of year when we have the opportunity to realize that historical performance is not necessarily indicative of future results; postseason play may differ significantly from that of the regular season, but mathematics and certain realities never really change.

To this end, the recommendations that NFLbets is making for the AFC and NFC Championship Games go against the grain of common wisdom – but we’re confident that we’ll be banking moneys as the mean happily regresses in the late game…

Buffalo Bills +3 at Kansas City Chiefs, over/under 53 points

NFLbets hears the arguments for covering the Chiefs minus the points in this game: Patrick Mahomes is a freakish, generational talent; Andy Reid has been in this spot oodles of times; they haven’t been blowing opponents in the season’s second half (they’re on a 9-0 SU/1-8 ATS run) but doing just enough to win; and of course the current 24-1 SU (13-11-1 ATS) run.

But here’s a theory I’ve been expounding upon to anyone who will listen: Repeating as conference champions is difficult. In this century, the only team not named the New England Patriots to do so is the 2003-2004 Seattle Seahawks, and NFLbets dares say that team had a defense substantially superior to what the 2020 Kansas City Chiefs are bringing.

Meanwhile, all the Bills have been doing since their week 6 loss to K.C. is winning in any conditions, by any means necessary. They’ve won at day and at night, at home and away, in Pacific and Eastern Time Zones.  In the wildcard game against the Indianapolis Colts, Josh Allen produced 376 total yards, two passing TDs, a running TD and zero turnovers to overcome 450 yards of total offense from Philip Rivers & Co. Last week, it was the defense battening down the hatches, limiting the NFL’s leading rushing game to 150 yards and nearly pitching the shutout.

Add to the Chiefs’ disadvantages in this game the dinged-up state of at least three “skill players” on the offense: Mahomes will be going in at less than 100% with both foot and head/neck injuries. Sammy Watkins and Clyde Edwards-Helaire will both be returning from injuries as well. All three have been limited or non-existent at practices through Friday.

Finally, consider the Bills performance in 2020 thus far: Against playoff teams, Buffalo has now gone 5-2 SU/4-3 ATS, but hasn’t lost SU since the aforementioned week 6 match against Kansas City. The quarterback has made the proverbial Leap, flipping from near the bottom to near the top of the completion percentage charts during an MVP-type season. Stefon Diggs proved a perfect superstar addition and, with the Patriots fading, a changing of the guard in the AFC East is happening. Looking back on this team, we may realize the inevitability of the “upset” looking to take place on Sunday night.

So, yeah, NFLbets is saying take the Buffalo Bills +3 at Kansas City. Furthermore, we’re going out on a serious limb and throwing a few moneys on Bills to win by 14 or more points at 5/1; we’ll look like goddamn geniuses for cashing that one…

For NFLbets’ predictions and betting recommendations on Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3½ at Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, click here.

–written by Os Davis

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