Monday night

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

Monday, 05 November 2018 11:45 EST


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.