Monday night


All we know about Saints-Panthers on MNF is that points will be scored – lots of points

Monday, 17 December 2018 15:07 EST

Here’s a theory about scoring in 2018 NFL games. We all know that outlandish over/unders like the 64 on Rams-Chiefs in week 12 have been matched (or topped, really) by outrageous scores like, well, 54-51. But these presumptions – borne out by statistics – were formulated in the first half of the season while much of the U.S. even in the era of climate change still enjoy mild-to-crisp autumnal temperatures.

You see where NFLbets is going here, right? Take a look at the scoreboard for a weekend on which the under went 8-5-1: Games in Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Denver, New Jersey and Pittsburgh all went under. Games in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco (where the temperature was 61°F at kickoff) all went over. The game in Cincinnati between the low-offense Raiders and no-offense Bengals pushed.

The exceptions to the under winning in sub.-55° weather in week 15:

• Houston Texans at the New “York” Jets, a game in which the score was still 13 points under the O/U line heading in the 4th quarter; and

• the Washington-Jaguars game in Jacksonville, which y’all really should have known would be well under – do these teams even *have* offenses at this point?

New Orleans Saints -6 at Carolina Panthers, over/under 50½ points

The truth is the NFLbets will readily admit to ignorance vis-à-vis the state of Cam Newton’s injury/injuries right now, nor why they’ve thrown away chances in each of the last four games, all single-score SU losses. We’re also not foolish enough to believe in the Carolina seesaw (beginning in 2012, the Panthers have finished 7-9, 12-4, 7-8-1, 15-1, 6-10 and 11-5; they're currently 6-7) despite the continuity of Ron ‘n’ Cam.

Normal circumstances would suggest that, with at least two hyper-talented “skill players” on the offense and an okay defense combined with the very realistic possibility of elimination from playoff contention, the Panthers would bring the house creatively speaking and surprise the Saints with an “upset” in Carolina. But if the 2018 Carolina Panthers were that easy for NFLbets to peg, we’d be a lot better than 2-5 betting on them and overs in their games.

On the other side are the Saints who, in NFLbets’ opinion, look like the NFC representative for Super Bowl LIII (to meet the Los Angeles Chargers). Strictly pragmatically speaking, however, wagering on New Orleans should be giving NFL bettors the yips a bit. To this point, the Saints are an incredible 11-3 ATS; winning out ATS would give the 2018 Saints the best record ATS this century. Heck, even figuring that they’ll likely be able to throw away the week 17 game thanks to the Rams’ recent incompetence, they’d be the first team to go 12-4 ATS since the ’03 New England Patriots.

In more subjective terms, NFLbets is still unsure about this offense a bit after getting its wings clipped in Dallas. The Saints chased this SU loss with a win at Tampa Bay in which a bottom-5 NFL defense held them to 11 points in the first three quarters. This game at Carolina represents New Orleans’s third straight on the road and we’re assuming that these Saints are at least mortal enough to feel the effects of such a schedule at least a tiny amount.

But again, who can tell? The Panthers have easily been one of the year’s big disappointments (not just for NFLbets, either) along with fellow 2017 playoff competitors, the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars, and we wouldn’t be surprised one whit to see the Panthers get smoked followed by a press conference filled with choice words from a nattily-coiffed and petulant Cam Newton.

So we’re going with the easy pick: Warm weather, clear skies, Carolina desperation and lots of points: Take the over on an O/U of 50½ points or a few more.

NFLbets Best Bets record in 2018: 35-27-2.


Vikings-Seahawks on MNF: More separating of men from boys (Can we still say that in 2018?)

Monday, 10 December 2018 15:21 EST

Now that was an educational Sunday of football, a solid three tv broadcast timeslots provided an excellent preview of next month’s playoffs.

For example, we can now emphatically count out the Philadelphia Eagles (who wavered between bland and bad throughout the Dallas game), Denver Broncos (wrecked by a single TE in 30 minutes in San Francisco), the Carolina Panthers (currently suffering the hangover which follows a giddy embrace of Norv Turner) and Washington (crushed by Pee Wee League QB Eli Manning’s Giants).

We can additionally temper expectations of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints and possibly the Los Angeles Rams, though in this latter case, NFLbets reckons the Rams’ kryptonite is cold weather, and they’re not likely to face any such in the playoffs. NFLbets is also pumping the brakes a bit on the Houston Texans until we discover whether the loss to the Indianapolis Colts (whose stock is also rising steadily) was merely the hardly unexpected snapping of a long winning streak by a divisional rival.

On the upswing NFLbets lists the Los Angeles Chargers (scarier by the week, especially in away games) Baltimore Ravens (with a nice ATS win against the Kansas City Chiefs; the SU loss did not hurt their no. 6 standing in the AFC, as the Ravens hold all tiebreakers against the competition), Dallas Cowboys (who expect the canonization of St. Amari of Dallas-Ft. Worth) and Chicago Bears, all looking like very tough outs in the playoffs.

We’re expecting more separation of men from boys on Monday Night Football this week:

Minnesota Vikings +3 at Seattle Seahawks, over/under 46½ points

Both of the these teams sit pretty high on the ATS standings board: Going into MNF, the Seahawks stand at 7-3-2 while the Vikings are currently at 7-4-1. The Bears, Saints and Chargers – all at 9-4 ATS – are the only teams higher on the ’board. So why does it feel as though these teams are tending in opposite directions?

The Vikings are stumbling in the second half, currently on a 2-3 SU/ATS jag in which they frankly looked outclassed vs New Orleans, at Chicago and at New England – three proper playoff teams. We can remove the 2018 Minnesota Vikings to previous playoff-bound incarnations of the team due to this version’s below-average play outside the dome. After starting out at an impressive 3-0-1 ATS (2-1-1 SU) in away games, their last away win SU/ATS came in week 7 against the New York Jets, who are the New York Jets.

And here’s the key to this game: A team vulnerable on the road cannot expect to come to Seattle, one of three NFL home locales with the greatest statistically significant advantages for the home team, and surprise the Seahawks. Excepting 2017, the ’Hawks have been good for at least a 5-3 mark at home ATS every year since 2011 – and the most common results is 6-2 ATS. Right now, they’re at 3-1-2 at home. On top of this, remember that West Coast teams in prime team are an incredible 71% ATS this decade.

But hey, we don’t even really need greater trends or regression to the mean to justify belief in a big Seahawks win tonight. Since week 3, Seattle has lost only to the Chargers and Rams – not a bad pick for Super Bowl LIII, NFLbets’d say, and they’re 5-1 against teams not currently in the playoff picture, likesay Minnesota. After topping 27 points just once in the first six games, they’ve done so in five of the past six and the over is on a 4-0 streak in Seahawks games.

Best of all is that Pete Carroll and QB Russell Wilson have crafted a fascinating hybrid offense with a run-heavy playback, modern-style quarterback option plays and old-fashioned stretching the field with the occasional empty backfield. The defensive game plan has reverted to a philosophy that got the Seahawks into Super Bowls, namely lots of wysiwyg zone schemes and exceptionally few disguised coverages. NFLbets will admit it: This may not be conducive to approaching 100% objective betting, but we *like* Carroll’s coaching of Seattle in 2018.

Admission of bias aside, NFLbets quite frankly can’t conjure up the argument for anything beyond a push out of a bet on Vikings +3 here. Even the plus of a short IR list is enough for Minnesota, as CB Trae Waynes, anchor of the secondary, will miss this game due to a concussion. Sometimes it’s best to not overthink things – a sentiment with which Coach Carroll and Marshawn Lynch would certainly agree.

NFLbets Pick of the Week: Take the Seattle Seahawks -3 vs Minnesota.

NFLbets Pick of the Week record in 2018: 6-4-1.


Take the Eagles minus the points (but plus the karma) vs Washington on Monday Night Football

Monday, 03 December 2018 16:01 EST

Now *this* is why they call it gambling. NFLbets wouldn’t normally bet this particular edition of Monday Night Football most weeks, but dangerously feels compelled to better our current 3-3 mark on official Best Bets for week 13. So yeah, we’ll be plunking a few more Moneys (NFLbets preferred form of currency) on the Eagles versus Washington tonight. (Though we’d advise you to read on, for a few hundred words might just flip our script.)

Obviously, our confidence isn’t exactly off the charts on the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles. In fact, the strongest argument for covering Philly on MNF this week relies on backward-working logic. It goes something like this: The pretty awesome-looking Eagles of 2017 who snatched away a sixth Lombardi Trophy from the New England Patriots can’t have devolved in one season so much that they’ll miss the playoffs altogether, right? Far more likely that a SU win this week gets them to 6-6 and right back in the running for that no. 6 NFC playoff spot, right?

Wellllllllllllllllllllll … let’s just see what else we’ve got.

Washington feels particularly good to bet against right now with QB Alex Smith out for the year. After getting off to a nice 5-2 start ATS (then third-best in the NFL), they’ve cooled off to go 2-2 ATS since. The team has topped 23 points in a game just once this season (in week 3 against Green Bay) and is a measly 1-3 SU/2-2 ATS against teams above .500.

Of course, that last point again requires backward logic, assuming that the Eagles are a team of above .500-level quality despite the record showing otherwise…

Meanwhile, Washington’s only name player in Adrian Petersen has gone south with the rest of the team in the past four weeks, not once topped 70 total yards once in that span. Philadelphia’s run defense hasn’t suffered nearly as brutal a dropoff from 2017 as did some other aspects of the team, and oddly enough is not only no. 10 in rushing yardage allowed but is also no. 1 in rushing attempts against. Weird. Some may rightfully argue that Peterson hasn’t been notable in years – fair enough – but we bring him up here solely as a poster boy for the deserved karmic woes crippling this fetid franchise again.

While this team dropped several winnable games on the field, the Racists brain trust picked up alleged thug Rueben Foster and had franchise VP Doug Williams dismiss Foster’s alleged barbaric behavior as “small potatoes.” Nice. (Hey, wasn’t that expression once used in conjunction with another dipshit’s involvement in football…?)

Gah. The Eagles may not have much to speak of in the plus column here, but combined with the bad juju again amassed by the Washington football club, NFLbets maintains that Philadelphia’s a decent bet, if only so as their current 3-8 ATS record trends upward a bit to the norm; disappointment or no, few teams in the past 10 years have gone 5-11 or worse ATS, the Eagles’ current pace.

But the one factor that seals the deal on a pro-Eagles bet? These two teams meet again in week 17 in Washington, and we’re gonna hedge the f&^#&^ out of that game is we lose this one. Take the Philadelphia Eagles -6 at Washington.


Houston Texans are the bane of NFL bettors’ existence, but they’ll cover 4½ on MNF

Monday, 26 November 2018 15:27 EST

In all forms of gambling, regardless of skill/luck ratio, trend spotting is a valuable skill necessary to accumulating capital rather than burning it. Featured in this week’s Monday Night Football game are the Houston Texans, who have spent much of the 2018 season thus far making things difficult for NFL bettors, are currently riding two streaks which seem paradoxical and only screw with our heads some more.

If only the opposition weren’t those wishy-washy, nearly as ineffable Titans…

Tennessee Titans +3½ at Houston Texans, over/under 43 points

NFL betsWhen the point spreads for week 12 last Sunday, the line on this game was as high as Titans +6½ at some sportsbooks, today begging the question “Where the hell is all this money on Tennessee coming from?”

NFLbets supposes the logic is simply that the Texans cannot continue their frankly pretty amazing seven-game win streak SU, particularly with a quite qinnable game against the Cleveland Browns following this one. Taking Tennessee and the points seems a nice safe bet, as among the Texans’ seven wins are four by 3 points or fewer SU and two OT games.

But from the bettor’s perspective, the Texans entire season has been freakish. Houston’s current ATS record is 4-6 – a full three games worse than their SU record. Just to weird things up a bit further. In three of the Texans’ SU wins, they failed to cover the spread. O, they’re just 1-3 ATS in Houston as well. The only team more difficult to bet with point spreads involved in 2018 has been the Los Angeles Rams, whose ATS marks are utterly insane. These two teams are far and away the outliers in SU/ATS differential this year; if you’re making money betting Texans games, you’re picking your spots well.

(For the record, NFLbets is 1-2 betting on the Texans ATS thus far, and we consider ourselves lucky to have gotten that one win.)

NFL betsSo which freakish run ends tonight – the Texans vs. the NFL or the Texans vs. the NFL bettors? So hard to tell when both teams on Monday Night Football are doing so much with smoke and mirrors. The Texans are only truly notable in three areas: the run game, the run defense and the pass rush. These last two will be especially critical against the Titans, who essentially have no passing game to speak of.

Tennessee is bottom-3 in passing attempts, yardage and TDs. Unlike the Texans or Carolina Panthers, however, a running QB has not resulted in an improved running attack: Despite sitting at no. 6 in rushing attempts, the Titans are just 19th in running yardage. (For comparison, the Panthers and Texans are ranked 1st and 3rd in rushing attempts, 1st and 10th in rushing yardage, respectively.) So we figure the Texans are well capable of shutting down this low-watt offense: In the week 2 meeting of these teams, the Titans went for two passing TDs – one on a trick play – in the first quarter, followed by zero over the next 10½-plus quarters.

As for the Texans, they won’t be winning any shootouts any time soon, either. Just twice this year has Houston topped 22 points, against inferior defenses in Indianapolis and Miami. In the past six games, the Texans have topped 240 passing yards or 400 total yards just once: Against Miami.

However, though both teams have mediocre offenses right now, that Houston defense is starting to look special again. With Mike Vrabel on the Tennessee sideline, this one should be a real grinder with lots of quarterback option reads and a sprinkling of direct snaps. And if it’s down to a land war, NFLbets is going with the potentially dominant defense.

We say take the Texans -3½ and take the under on an O/U of 43 points.


Forget the Titans, take the leap of faith and cover the Cowboys -5 on Monday Night Football

Monday, 05 November 2018 11:45 EST

Okay.

Before we begin, we know. The faith required to back Jason Garrett’s Dallas Cowboys this season may be too much for many NFL bettors to play the point spread on Monday Night Football this week. NFLbets would certainly not blame such skeptics for staying away altogether – but as for us, we’re in Las Vegas for a few more days, and as you well know this place is made for throwing money.

Tennessee Titans +5 at Dallas Cowboys, over/under 40 points

Tennessee Titans betting logoWe’re not throwing money without reason, however. The compelling stat reveals that the Cowboys, despite their trend for decades of not playing smart football, are one of the very hottest teams in the NFL coming off the bye week: Going back to 2004 (!), Dallas is 10-3 ATS regardless of status as favorite or underdog, home or away.

Now NFLbets knows that history going back more than a decade is rarely useful for accurate prognostication. Looking a little more closely, we see that, when Garrett is coaching the Cowboys, they’re 5-3 ATS after the bye; in Dak Prescott’s two years, post-bye week games were split 1-1 ATS. Not incredibly impressive by either, but the Cowboys are looking to turn a corner here – or at least string together a couple of SU wins.

To this end, Ameri Cooper’s aboard and has actually had a week to dust off some unused fly-route plays and basically the entire back third of the Dallas playbook so as to expand Prescott’s repertoire. Dak and Ezekiel Elliott have accounted for 38% of the team’s yardage, and five of the Cowboys offense’s 13 (!!!) touchdowns *on the ground alone*. Anything would be an improvement here, certainly.

But hey – don’t believe in the Cowboys tonight; you don’t have to. Just look across the line at yourrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr 2018 Tennessee Titans.

The Titans have somehow managed to get to a 4-3 record ATS despite averaging just 15.1 points per game thus far. Not so much through strength of will as the incompetence of the opposition, the Titans have kept six of their seven games thus far within a touchdown’s difference; the results have been bizarre.

NFL betsTo wit: The Titans have lost SU/ATS to the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, while winning SU/ATS against the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles. At least two of these aforementioned are prospective playoff sides (Texans and Eagles), while those early-season wins against Houston and Jacksonville might make a difference later.

Though that doesn’t seem likely. The Titans went oh for October (1-2 ATS), scoring just 31 points in three games combined. After a marginal start, the three-game swoon has seen the Titans offense plummet into the bottom 3 teams statistically in points scored, passing TDs, rushing TDs, passing yardage, overall yardage and first downs – would you believe that the unheralded Cowboys D is a top-5 side in all of said categories?

So, yes. Despite Jason Garrett and a still-thin, undependable offense, we’re advising NFL bettors take the Dallas Cowboys -5 vs Tennessee.


NFLbets editor/writer on vacation – so check out our Twitter feed instead! (OK, we’ll give best bets, too...)

Saturday, 20 October 2018 10:12 EST

Twitter bird bets on footballVegas, baby! Where else would NFLbets editor/writer Os Davis sojourn himself, unchained from the writing desk and let loose outside for the proverbial first time in forever. Thus is Os taking about a helf-week away from contributing to NFLbets, but dude just can’t stay away: We are proud to announce the resurrection of the NFLbets twitter feed.

Os loves Twitter and this weekend he’s bragging about posting his all-too-often non-football betting – check out El Jefe’s wild 4-team 3-way round-robin parlay bet by proxy, for example. In future, we’ll keep the feed active with lines and odds on upcoming games.

A little content on this page might be nice, though, so directly below are NFLbets’ pick of the week and best bets for week 7 in brief.

Pick of the Week

Take the Los Angeles Chargers -6½ vs the Tennessee Titans (in UK). No evidence exists to suggest that the bizarre dual-QB scheme the Volunteers – um, sorry, the Titans – are running will work any better on the other side of the Atlantic. And the returning Corey Liuget could well eliminate what little passing threat remains.

Best bets for week 7

Take the Miami Dolphins +3 vs the Detroit Lions. We’re telling you: The Miami Dolphins are the charmed overachievers of this year’s NFL. No quarterback? No problem! We’ll take Osweiler, Tannehill or whoever else as home underdogs this week – and the road to a wild-card game crushing goes on.

Take the New Orleans Saints +3 at the Baltimore Ravens. The book is probably reckoning on weather as a factor working against the dome-homed Saints, but NFLbets has three answers to this: The current weather forecast reckons the temperature in Baltimore at around 55°F with no precipitation expected; the Saints are a bona fide Super Bowl contender while the Ravens are certainly not; and New Orleans is actually 2-0-0 ATS on the road this season thus far.

Take the Atlanta Falcons -4 vs the New York Giants. Here’s another line that NFLbets just doesn’t understand. This week, stud WR Odell Beckham was dissed by his owner, QB Eli Manning got the emperor-has-no-clothes treatment from the media, and hey Saquon Barkley can only whip off so many 50-yaar runs per game – even against a bottom-3 D like Atlanta’s. How will Noodle Arm and the New York Midgets possibly keep up with a Falcons offense that has scored over 30 points in all four home games thus far? NFLbets says they can’t.


NFLbets Pick of the Week: Broncos as home underdogs (Hubba hubba hubba, who do you trust?)

Sunday, 30 September 2018 12:51 EST

How about those Los Angeles Rams? On Thursday night, the L.A. Rams 2.0 overcame the absence of Aqib Talib and the playing-hurt Marcus Peters, thus Kirk Coursins’s excellent performance (36-of-50 passing for 432 yards to go with 3 TDs and zero picks, to win SU, 38-31. As for ATS, that where things got very interesting for the Rams and NFL bettors plunking money on them in last night’s game.

Those NFL bettors prescient enough to catch the early line of Rams -6½ scraped by with the magical ½-point when Dan Bailey hit his fourth-quarter field-goal attempt for the game’s final scoring. Those who took the Vikes +6½, well, you were the only ones who lost at the sportsbooks, with Rams -7/Vikings +7 making for a push. Incredibly, through four games this season, the Rams remain undefeated ATS at 3-0-1.

Which is what makes much of betting in week four such a bitch for both viewer and bettor. Aren’t we going to see some balance in the ATS standings? One would think so, but let’s play a round of “Who Do You Trust?”

Packers started at -10½, now they’re down to -9. Do you trust the Green Bay Packers? Do you trust the Buffalo Bills a week after pulling off the biggest ATS upset in a quarter-century?

The Dallas Cowboys are 3-point favorites against the Detroit Lions. As far as NFLbets knows, the Cowboys still have two weapons on offense while a single victory over a catatonic Bill Belichick doesn’t suddenly make Matt Patricia a genius. Who do you trust here?

Houston Texans (0-3-0 ATS) +1 at Indianapolis Colts sounds reasonable (or just take the money line for better odds) with Andrew Luck incapable of throwing a Nerf football 30 yards at this point, but have you seen the Texans OL so far? Yeesh.

Jacksonville Jaguars -7½ versus the New York Jets? To NFLbets, the Jaguars are up to old tricks, i.e. not certain to *score* 7½ in a given game.

The Oakland Raiders 2½-point *favorites* against the red-hot ATS Cleveland F*&#&#*ing Brows? Yeah, like we’re getting off this 3-0-0 horse. On the other hand, now would be a perfect time…

And so on.

Right, so never mind what not to bet; let’s talk about what to bet.

NFLbets says to take the Denver Broncos +4 vs the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football. No, really: Try to forget momentarily the magic of Pat Mahomes and consider the cold math ‘n’ facts. Just off the top, doesn’t Denver enjoy a major home-field advantage? Like, to the tune of .706 (221-91-4) SU between 1970 and 2011 alone?

To this end, the Broncos is one a 6-2 ATS run as home underdogs. At this point, NFLbets’ argument about regression comes into question, but a 7-2 ATS mark would be just over 7% better than Denver’s aforementioned SU mark. The .777 winning percentage is a lot lower, however, than that of a 4-0-0 or 3-0-1 mark resulting from a Kansas City win ATS – not to mention miles higher (so to speak) than what would be an 0-4-0 or 0-3-1 ATS mark.

The only wrinkle? Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has been pretty damn good on Monday Night Football for bettors. Going back to 1999 (whoa) and the beginning of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, The Great Tomato is 16-10 SU and 18-8 ATS. And Reid’s teams on the road on Monday night are preposterously good: How about 7-3 SU and a whopping 8-2 ATS. Finally, Reid’s overall career marks on MNF with the Chiefs are 2-2 Su and 3-1 ATS.

But NFLbets ain’t backing down from the Broncos; not in a week with very few great games for NFL betting and even fewer compelling matchups. Simply imagine this scenario: The Chiefs tucker out a bit in the second half, Case Keenum does enough with the offense against what might be a historically bad defense (Seriously, did Reid steal the old Greatest Show on Turf’s playbook for offense *and* defense?) to tie the game late, and poor clock management in overtime leads to a nice 34-34 tie.

Believable, isn’t it…? Again, take the Broncos +4. Trust us.


Pick of the Week: NFLbets despises betting in week 1, but loves the L.A. Rams -4½ at Oakland

Monday, 10 September 2018 12:06 EST

Aaron Donlad football cardWhat do you call a gift given way too early? This week, we’re calling it “Los Angeles Rams -4½ at Oakland Raiders.” Just about the only thing keeping NFLbets from plunking down the entire bankroll on this one is – you guessed it – that it’s week 1, the most gamblingest week of the NFL season aside from the last.

But whoa, is it tough to resist this one…

Come on: You’ve got the prospective NFC Champions, including four or five add-ons who weren’t even around last year, who are acting with the swagger of expectations, the valedictorian of the school of Hard Knocks. On the other side, you’ve got a team deflated by the reality of sudden rebuilding.

On one sideline is Sean McVay, the 2017 NFL Coach of the Year, along with his sidekick (!) defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, also acknowledged as at least a top-3 guy at his job. McVay has both the cajones and confidence enough in his plans and personnel to sit his superstars through the meaningless (for the Rams, anyway) preseason. Across from this, you’ve got Chucky*, a head coach who hasn’t had a winning season since W. was POTUS and who, after years of apparently mindlessly praising Khalil Mack as an absolute force, didn’t even take a meeting with the very popular in-house franchise player.

(*NFLbets has previously noted that this is a dated reference and also that we don’t care. Chucky-era Gruden was awesome…)

The Rams offense features the 2017 Offensive POY/2018 vogue fantasy football pick in Todd Gurley, a more experienced OL and have added WR Brandin Cooks from the New England Patriots. And the defense? Well, you know. DMVP DE Aaron Donald is back after his holdout and what was perhaps the NFL’s most exciting defense in ’17 merely added Ndamokung Suh, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Incidentally, the Rams bring perhaps the greatest punter of the 21st century, Johnny Hekker.

Chucky Gruden pokemon cardAcross from this stands a Davis with his empty pockets turned inside out. Lack of cash flow (NFLbets rule #!: Know your budget and stick to it) is rumored to have precipitated Mack’s departure and could lead to the jettisoning of Cooper soon, too. No major free agents joined the Raiders this offseason despite the “lure” of Gruden taking over a 6-10 team. As in the post-Rich Gannon (and, come to think of it, post-Gruden) days of the mid-2000s Oakland Raiders, these guys already resemble 53 dudes playing out their contracts on a roster as fluid as a Turkish basketball team’s.

Seriously, the 2018 Oakland Raiders – especially after inevitably trading Ameri Cooper – will go down as the league’s second-worst.

(The worst? Let’s just say that NFLbets didn’t need more than a couple of quarters to realize the probability of an 0-16 Buffalo Bills team is very real.)

Those who were prescient enough to take the Rams pre-Mack trade, when the line was a mere -3, are certainly patting themselves on the back and banking on a nice early win. So get in now and bet the Los Angeles Rams -4½ at Oakland. Just don’t bet the house: Remember that this is week 1, and week 1 in the NFL is evil…


New dude chases Browns pick by running with Detroit Lions – This guy’s gotta lotta guts

Monday, 10 September 2018 11:29 EST

For Sunday’s NFL opening games, NFLbets’ new writer Ryan Boonstra guttily predicted a win ATS for the Cleveland Browns over the Pittsburgh Steelers – and, thanks to a tie result SU, those who went with NFLbets cashed in. For the Monday Night Football early game, Ryan’s doubling down on traditional NFL also-rans in picking the New York Jets-Detroit Lions week 1 game. (Though to be fair, siding with either means siding with a traditional NFL also-ran…)

Well, my first article panned out better than expected: Anytime you pick the Browns to not only win ATS but to do so at Pittsburgh, you expect to be made a fool. Lucky for me, though, that game ended in a 21-21 tie SU, which is just peak Cleveland Browns.

However, the main topic of today’s article is about Monday night’s game, the New York Jets at the Detroit lions. This game is much more of a cut-and-dried case than the Cleveland versus PIttsburgh game.

Statistically speaking, Detroit should be able to handedly beat the Jets. The spread line currently has the Jets at +7 which is not enough to properly balance the spread with how the Jets depth chart looks. It’s extremely doubtful the Lions will win by a touchdown or less.

New York Jets: Rough ride ahead

Fasten seat belts, Jets fansThe New York Jets are in for a rough ride this season. They finally have their franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold, but the rest of their offense leaves a lot to be desired. At receiver they have Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse, who make an okay 1-2, but not much else. At running back, the Jets have Isiah Crowell and Bilal Powell who are both good, but neither of them are difference makers. As it stands rookie QB Sam Darnold has a limited number of offensive weapons and no gamebreaking talent. This is a recipe for a bad rookie debut and a poor rookie season.

Defense is not the Jets’ strong suit either, and the defensive line is the main problem. This team does not have a proven sack generator; the Jets’ best past rusher in 2017, Demario Davis, left over the summer and he led the team with only 5 sacks. The one area of strength on the Jets D is their secondary. In free agency last summer, the Jets went big-game hunting, snagging Trumaine Edwards on a five-year deal. That contract was then followed up by re-signing Morris Claiborne to form a very effective CB combo.

Detroit Lions: Led by the Matts

Detroit Lions bettingMatt Patricia. There, I said it. I have not read a single preview or prediction article that does not prominently declare that Patricia is the best move this team made over the summer, and it’s kind of getting on my nerves.

Anyway, the Detroit Lions enter this season hoping that their new coach (who will from now on be referenced only as new coach) will help them get back into the playoff picture. Offensively they have a good receiving core, headlined by Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. who both had 1000+-yard seasons. At quarterback, Matthew Stafford is still playing at near-elite levels and, with the addition of Corey Blount to the backfield, will have more tools at his disposal this season.

On the defensive side of the ball, Patricia hopes to improve on a thin Detroit Lions defense. Like the Jets, the Lions have a problem with quality players on defense. Outside of Ezekiel Ansah, who was a dominating force for the Lions last season there is not much there. One of the major moves they made to address the issue was to bring in Devon Kennard who, while not a big name, is a solid player. Their secondary is overall disappointing as well, with Glover Quinn and Darius Slay the only difference-makers playing there.

Lions vs Jets, week 1: The picks

No surprises here: Take the Detroit Lions -7 vs the New York Jets. There is little to absolutely no chance that the Jets can beat the Lions. This game is going to come down to which team can convert more against weak defenses. Detroit has a big edge over New York in that regard. I would also suggest taking the under on an O/U of 44, as this game should be a low-scoring affair.