NFL betting: News, information, odds shifts

NFLbets is all about how the action in America’s professional football league relates to betting and though the opportunity to get real insider information is more limited all the time, the NFL bettor must keep up-to-date on the latest news – particularly injuries. NFLbets will be focusing on news stories which involve immediate relevance to the games ahead.

We’ve all seen what result when a team loses a starting left tackle, free safety or “skill player” to injury or suspension. In addition, NFL football of the 21st century increasingly runs into another issue taking away players, namely suspensions for drug-related and/or violent activity. Again, though the window of opportunity to leverage injury and suspension information is quite brief indeed, knowing ahead of time always beats ignorance.

NFLbets also seeks to cater to fans of one of the NFL’s 32 teams, and our news stories are compiled for each NFL market within our “team pages” so that fans may follow the progress of their favorites – not to mention check our track record, win or lose. And hopefully we’ll demonstrate throughout that our only bias is toward making money. We’re cheering for the bettors against the house here, and week to week we care only that our picks come through – for the readers and us.

Finally, NFLbets pledges to keep all speculation and opinion to the “Rants” section. In this area, we’ll try to keep things purely informational (no mean feat in a “post-fact” world) – just the facts and no “fake news” here.

NFLbets wishes all bettors the best of luck; let’s all make some money out there, okay?

New York Jets +3 at Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football starring the savior, Greg Joseph

Thursday, 20 September 2018 14:06 EST

Jesus loves football and bettingBetting on Thursday Night Football is the worst. It’s not just the “Color Rush” uniforms though, trust NFLbets, it is that as well. It’s running these things at 9pm ET (How much do we drink? And when?), it’s the games broadcasting only on the NFL Network with all that associated pompousness and cheesery, it’s the short week giving insufficient preparation time for both players and NFL bettors…

And in this particular Thursday night game, NFLbets fears that all contributions by the other 105 dudes on offense, defense, special teams and the bench in this game will be made irrelevant. All the hype, the focus, the pre-game analysis will come down to a guy who couldn’t stick with quite possibly a sub-.500 team, who was cut in favor of the competitor he outperformed, who averaged just a 70% success rate in college.

Ladies and gentlemen, our savior: Placekicker Greg Joseph!

See, all jokes, kidding and Hard Knocks references aside, the Cleveland Browns – whose surprisingly decent-looking Color Rush uniform is nearly solid brown, thereby bringing not so much a rush as a mellow buzz – are a pretty attractive favorite versus the New York Jets at home.

But that point spread of Browns -3? If NFLbets were paranoid (Who’s paranoid? We’re not paranoid!), we saw this pure trolling of the bookmakers’ parts. Seriously? You’re gonna send this assuming Florida Atlantic University alum out to the slathering media and tell him all he must do is halt a 2-42-1 “skid” and snap a 19-game winless “streak” is not to choke where so many Browns have so ingloriously, culminating with the two wins ex-Browns PK Zane Gonzalez left on the field in 2018?

Seriously, this should be a slam dunk for the NFL bettor: The Browns’ record ATS over the past three seasons isn’t nearly as bad as it is SU: Going back to 2015, they’re 15-33-1 ATS versus a pathetic 4-44-1 – and you gotta love the easy two wins ATS they’ve strung together this season.

Trends for betting on Thursday Night Football games also favor Cleveland: Going back to 2016, favorites on TNF have gone 20-10-1, over 11% better than average. Plus, the TNF home team has gone 21-10 SU and 22-8-1 ATS – a success rate of over 72.5%. Liking those odds yet…?

For the Jets, the defense seems stout after catching Matthew Stafford on a bad week and facing the low-watt Miami Dolphins and … no, forget it. Look, no matter how awesome one believes Sam Darnold is, this New York Jets team just has too many missing pieces. The number three receiver is Terrelle Pyror, who was cast aside in turn by the Oakland Raiders, Washington and Cleveland, all way too needy to be ditching a worthwhile pass-catcher.

The New York Jets are, in 2018, San Francisco 49ers East. Simply put, the Browns are better right now.

NFLbets therefore is putting all boogeymen, intangibles and superstitious stuff aside – except our currently unerring and eternal faith in Greg Joseph, long may He kick! We’re staying on this horse and advising NFLbettors to take the Cleveland Browns -3 vs the New York Jets. Just remember that this is Thursday Night Football, so please bet responsibly, i.e. less.

With out without Josh Gordon, Patriots -6½ at Detroit looks really good regardless

Thursday, 20 September 2018 11:23 EST

After the Jacksonville Jaguars upset the New England Patriots in week 2, this site is once again taking a crack at predicting a Patriots win ATS in week three. Unlike the extremely close odds of last week (Jaguars +2), this week the Detroit Lions are 6½-point underdogs at home against New England.

New England Patriots Offense Versus Detroit Lions Defense

New England Patriots betting logoOne team’s problem is another team’s solution … or something like that. Prior to their week 3 matchup, the Patriots acquired Josh Gordon from the Cleveland Browns, who had ended their tumultuous relationship with the receiver. If Gordon starts in week 3, he will add a new dimension that the Patriots’ offensive toolkit lacks. While Phillip Dorsett is one important deep threat that New England has, they were lacking another, as Chris Hogan is better used on the inside. Adding Gordon puts Hogan back to where he can succeed while giving Tom Brady two threats for the price of one acquisition. If Gordon plays, look for the Patriots’ passing game to carry them to victory against the Lions.

Detroit does not have the defense I suggested they did when I predicted the Lions to rout the New York Jets. In fact, the Jets routed the Lions, 48-10 ATS – on paper and on field are two different things, who knew? Even though they have good numbers (they currently out-sack the Patriots 8 to 3), the Lions don’t get those key stops. Watching them play, it becomes evident that they lack the big-time playmakers required to end drives and create turnovers.

While Detroit has a solid defense, if they cannot tighten up and make those crucial stops, they will start the season 0-3. Some players to look for that could potentially make impacts include S Tavon Wilson, who currently leads Detroit in total tackles with 12. With him is CB Quandre Diggs, who leads the CB group with 1 interception and 9 total tackles. Diggs will match up with either Gordon or Dorsett and try to shut them down.

Detroit Lions Offense Versus New England Patriots Defense

Detroit Lions retro alternate logoMatthew Stafford improved in week 2, slightly. After getting blown out 48-17 to start the season, you can only go up, right? Stafford completed 27 of 46 passes for a 58% completion percentage and threw a ghastly 4 interceptions to start out the season. In week 2, he threw no interceptions and completed 34 of 53 passes for a 64% completion percentage. While not stellar by any means, any improvement at all is huge for the Lions, as they live and die by the successes and failures of Stafford.

In a surprising twist, one of the Lions’ best weapons in week 2 was second-ear player Kenny Golloday, making 6 catches for 89 yards and scoring one touchdown in the process. This continues his breakout season from week 1, when he was one of few bright spots in catching 7 passes for 114 yards. This kid is good, and he will be a big factor in a Detroit Lions win.

The Patriots defense is boring. Not because they’re bad, they’re just a machine. They choke out offenses because the system they have in place works so well. A very good point of proof of this is Dont’a Hightower, who is not doing well at all this season, with zero sacks and only 6 total tackles. Yet even with one of their highest-paid defensive players having a bad start to the season, the Patriots are still 1-1. Even though they did lose to the Jaguars, it wasn’t primarily the defense’s fault. The offense only put up 20 points, which is not a way to win NFL games. If the Patriots’ defense can continue to use their system effectively and Stephon Gilmore continues to be sensational at CB, they should pull out a win against the Lions.

New England -6½ at Detroit, over/under 52 points: The picks

This one’s pretty cut-and-dried: Take the New England Patriots -6½ at Detroit. New England just has a better roster up and down the lineup than Detroit does. Barring any major collapse, they should easily be able to outscore the Lions by a touchdown or more. As for the over/under, the Patriots defense did not do well last week, and Stafford can do damage deep if they falter. We suggest taking the over on an O/U of 52 points.

NFL week 2: Final results ATS (And I Feel Fine)

Tuesday, 18 September 2018 10:29 EST

If indeed the Jacksonville Jaguars’ week 2 win really finally indicates the twilight of the Belichick/Brady New England Patriots, NFL bettors will be among those not sad to see them fade. Almost uninterruptedly since the miracle 2001 season, these Patriots have been incredibly consistent ATS, as though Bill “The Dark Emperor” Belichick is seeking to stymie the gambles along with his NFL competition. A look back through recent history shows that Vegas has been awaiting the Patriots’ demise for a couple years now.

In the past two seasons, the Patriots have been nearly as dominant ATS as they’ve been on the field. In 2017, the Pats were an NFL second-best 11-5 ATS (and 13-3 SU) and in ’16, Brady’s bunch were tops at 13-3 ATS (14-2 SU). We can chalk this up to increasingly shorter spreads on New England as the bookie vultures circle.

Given reputation-sized point spreads for most of the 2010s, the B&B Patriots look positively mundane from a bettor’s perspective: In 2015, they were 7-5-3 ATS (13-3 SU); in ’14, 9-7 ATS (12-4 SU); in ‘’13, 7-8-1 (12-4 SU) … you get the idea.

As for the playoffs, first here’s the inevitable Jim Mora clip…

And here’s the sick story to go with: These Patriots are a mere 3-5 in Super Bowls – and the win against the Seattle Seahawks went off as a “pick ’em” decided on a play call by Pete Carroll still dubbed a top 10 worst ever. Since the New York Giants’ stunning upset of the undefeated Pats, New England is a weak 10-11 ATS in the playoffs (8-9 not counting Super Bowls), including a 3-0 run culminating in the overtime Super Bowl win against the Atlanta Falcons.

NFLbets is already setting aside bankroll to bet on the no. 3 seed Patriots at 9-7 SU to crush the, likesay, Cleveland Browns in the first wild-card playoff game. After that, we’ll roll over the winnings to bet it all against the Patriots when they draw the Kansas City Chiefs or Cincinnati Bengals in round two. After that, it should be bye-bye to the relevance of the Pats and NFLbets will feel happier.

Below runs a full list of results for week 2 in NFLbets’ preferred format, i.e. adjusted for the point spread; all results listed in boldface indicate games in which the SU and ATS results differed. Snarky comments courtesy Os Davis.

Cincinnati Bengals 33, Baltimore Ravens 23. Thanks to that Cleveland-Pittsburgh tie in week 1, NFLbets is coming to the realization that the Bengals are going to win this division and go far in the playoffs in a weak AFC.

Atlanta Falcons 25½, Carolina Panthers 24. The Falcons hang on to win ATS and already the NFC South makes no sense.

L.A. Chargers 23½ at Buffalo Bills 20. NFLbets still hasn’t had a change in mindset on the Bills, except that maybe now we believe the Cardinals are worse.

Dallas Cowboys 17, New York Giants 13. Hot take: The Dallas Cowboys are the best NFL team with a college playbook. For now.

Oakland Raiders 19 at Denver Broncos 14½. This could very well be the last win ATS for the Las Vegas Raiders until week 11 (at Arizona).

Green Bay Packers 29, Minnesota Vikings 27. Can we all now go back to betting Aaron Rodgers (even a crippled Aaron Rodgers) and the Packers as home underdogs? Good.

Jacksonville Jaguars 31, New England Patriots 18½. In one of the most impressive wins in recent Jaguars history, LT Cam Robinson left due to injury. Short golden era there.

Cleveland Browns 27 at New Orleans Saints 21*. No offense to Browns fans, but NFLbets doesn’t care too much about Zane Gonzalez – Cleveland is 2-0-0 ATS in 2018, and we’ve covered them both times.

Miami Dolphins 20 at New York Jets 9. [Rod Serling voice] For your consideration, a world in which the New England Patriots are not atop the AFC East standings … you have entered The Twilight Zone!

Tennessee Titans 20, Houston Texans 13½. Four sacks of DeShaun Watson make it seven for the season. As we woefully realize how terrible the Texans OL is, we wonder if the Houston brain trust will ever put together a complete team…

Kansas City Chiefs 42 at Pittsburgh Steelers 33. Of note: The over/under on this game was 54½, a good five points higher than other O/U in week 1; this was covered by 24½. Pat Mahomes and this KC O will be great over-coverers all year long…

L.A. Rams 21½, Arizona Cardinals 0. …as will Todd Gurley and the Rams – if they face anyone who can score points, that is.

Detroit Lions 27 at San Francisco 49ers 24. Yet another scoreboard-spinning (not to mention coronary-inducing) team is the 49ers. A risk-taking offense and a generous defense makes San Francisco a bit dicey going forward.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27, Philadelphia Eagles 18. So much for the NFLbets Best Bet of Week 2. Maybe you *should believe the hype on Tampa Bay...?

Indianapolis Colts 21 at Washington 3. If it were up to NFLbets, we’d ignore the Washington NFL team, their bithc of an owner and their racist team name altogether. Games like this really help that cause.

Chicago Bears 19½, Seattle Seahawks 17. One more overreaction: We might just get three playoff teams from the NFC North this season – once Aaron Rodgers’s leg completely falls off, that is.

Best bets, week 2: You just gotta take advantage of beatdogs, insane Pittsburgh Steelers fans

Sunday, 16 September 2018 11:42 EST

For week 2, NFLbets has already tipped NFL bettors off to backing the New England Patriots at Jacksonville and the Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but here’s a handful bets to make on Sunday’s games.

Pittsburgh Steelers suck jokeKansas City Chiefs +4 (down from +5) at Pittsburgh Steelers. Thank you, Pittsburgh Steelers fans for driving this line down! Also, are you insane? Undying loyalty to your team is cute and all that, but you must’ve snuck a peak at the week 1 box scores not involving your non-Browns beating team. You must’ve heard the way NFL talking heads are tell you your guys are now 12-18-1 without Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown all in the game?

And if you’d put down that copy of the 1977 NFL Almanac for a second, you might look up “2018 Kansas City Chiefs offense,” quite possibly destined to be the NFL’s highest-scoring team in the league. While y’all are all titillated by replacing Bell with James Connor – and you’ll certainly marvel to a nice stat line from him this week against a pretty weak Chiefs run D – Kansas City’s bringing real gamebreakers like Tyreke Hill and Kareem Hunt. Which of your guys are going to stop them? And you’re throwing money at this team right now?

None of the last eight teams to start an NFL season with two away games has gone 2-0. NFLbets says that happens this week. We’d take the Kansas City Chiefs to win SU at Pittsburgh at +170 and definitely take the Chiefs +4.


Sexy Chargers fanLos Angeles Chargers -7½ at Buffalo Bills. Here’s a simple question: Where are the Bills points going to come from? Philip Rivers’s Chargers were good for over 22 points per game last season and though early on, that feels like a decent benchmark for the 2018 team. So say the Chargers score three touchdowns. The Bills can thus count on a few points from … Josh Allen, rushed into his first game as a starting QB in the NFL? Um…

Look, until something changes, any bet against the Buffalo Bills for the remainder of 2018 is in play. The 7½ points the Chargers are giving up must be considered child’s play for the clever NFL bettor, who’s obviously going to take the Los Angeles Chargers -7½ at Buffalo. Hell, the only thing keeping us from figuring on a 30-6 game and taking the under on an O/U of 42½ (down from 44½) is the very realistic possibility of another awesome 47-3 Bills game.


Gurley watching: Two awesome player props to bet as Rams RB eats Cardinals’ lunch. It’s a tough week for the NFL’s beatdogs, but a potentially lucrative one for NFL bettor. (Not to mention for the Los Angeles Rams, who drew two of the NFL’s worst three teams to start the season.)

Even though we reckon the Rams should take this game by two touchdowns going away, 12½ points is a lot to cover. Instead, we’re looking at a pair of player props involving Todd Gurley. The over/under in the “Todd Gurley rushing yards” prop is just 94½, with the over paying at -110 and the under somehow going for -130. Gurley is also the odds-on favorite in the “To score first TD” prop at +250.

The thinking here must be that either Gurley will be catching more passes than average (and thus increasing his total, but not rushing, yards) against a Cardinals defense pitiful on the second level: Last week, past-prime Adrian Peterson with Chris Thompson combined for 151 yards and one TD on the ground, but 133 and a TD in the air. Additionally, many are apparently betting Gurley will sit much of the game after the Rams turn it into a laugher.

NFLbets says that, limited time or not, Gurley should break 100 yards by the end of the first half; after leading the league in runs from scrimmage of more than 20 yards, how many big gainers will he have to whip off before putting his backers over the top of 95? A.P. went for 96 yards rushing last week and his long was 17.

Take Todd Gurley to rush for over 94¼ yards and to score the game’s first touchdown at 5/2.

New England Patriots are a “pick ’em” at Jacksonville. OK, we’ll pick ’em! [UPDATED]

Saturday, 15 September 2018 13:36 EST

[UPDATE/Editor's note: Since posting, the line has this game has moved to New England Patriots -1. But we're not changing our pick. We got in earlier enough, but we're still advising to take the New England Patriots -1 at Jacksonville.]

[UPDATE #2: On the morning of gameday, that line is now Patriots -1½ points. We're still saying take the Patriots -1½ at Jacksonville. By the way, does Jalen Ramsey know about this...?]

As far as excitement goes, this may be the game to watch in week 2: A rematch of last year’s AFC title game when the Jacksonville Jaguars nearly dethroned the New England Patriots in a close match. Will this game end with Jacksonville getting their revenge, or will New England prove they still are a Super Bowl contender? Even the oddsmakers don’t know, as the point spread has been reduced to “pick ’em”. The over/under is currently at 44½ points, which in my opinion is much too low.

Jacksonville Jaguars offense vs New England Patriots defense

Jacksonville Jaguars betting logoThe Jaguars have offensive talent and loads of it. Unfortunately, if the captain of your ship is bad at his job, no amount of first mates will right that ship. Yes, I’m talking Blake Bortles, the enigma of the NFL.

Is Bortles a starting NFL QB? No. Will he once again be the starter for Jacksonville this season even though there were a plethora of better options available via trade and free agency? Unsurprisingly, yes.

In week 1, Bortles completed 18 of 33 passes for only 54.5% accuracy. Luckily for the Jaguars and Bortles, their strength lies in their running game. Having one of the best young RBs in Leonard Fournette is huge and he is the key to a Jaguars win Sunday.

Star players are overrated, right? The New England Patriots defense, while stocked with a lot of talented players such as Stephen Gilmore or Dont’a Hightower, does not have any marquee talent. Instead, they have opted for a defense that succeeds based on system and committee. Their defensive stats for week 1 speak for themselves: Three Patriots had 7 or more tackles, and seven players had 5 or more. The key to the Patriots winning is to just keep the ball rolling. If they can keep Bortles pressured, he will throw at least one interception, and probably more like three.

New England Patriots offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars defense

New England Patriots betting logoI don’t understand how the Patriots continue to make decent receivers out of nothing, Brady has a superpower or a cheat code somewhere, as he elevates his teammates’ performances. Phillip Dorsett, who last season had 194 total yards and has so far peaked at 528, is now the Patriots #1 wideout (until Julian Edelman returns). Dorsett kicked that off by catching 7 passes, as many as Rob Gronkowski, and had 66 offensive yards. Gronk came back with a vengeance-netting 123 yards.

At running back, Rex Burkhead and James White once again form a powerful duo. The Patriots offense should hold up well against the Jaguars defense. *Should.*

Myles Jack had himself a game last week, didn’t he? The budding MLB had an astonishing 7 solo tackles and scored himself a pick six. Teamed with Jalen Ramsey, these two are quickly becoming one of the best defensive duos in the NFL. If Jack can continue to dominate in the MLB position and clog the middle, Ramsey will have a much easier time dealing with Dorsett. This could be the key that wins the game for the Jaguars: Stopping the passing game will largely make the Patriots offensive machine extremely ineffective.

New England Patriots at Jacksonville: The pick

In a “pick ‘em” scenario like this, anything goes. The numbers tell me to bet on the Patriots because Bortles will most likely falter against a well-run Patriots defense. On the flip side, however, if Ramsey and Jack, along with the rest of their defense, can force Brady not to pass the football, it will give Jacksonville a huge advantage.

Make the safe bet and take the New England Patriots in a “pick ’em” at Jacksonville; they are the more well-rounded team and betting on a very good defense to hold the Patriots is never a good strategy – just ask the Falcons. [Not to mention all those NFL bettors who covered Atlanta Falcons +3 in that game! –Ed.]

As far as the over/under goes, we’re advising to take the over on an O/U of 44½ points.

CFL betting: Leave some of that bankroll for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, eh

Saturday, 15 September 2018 13:16 EST

NFLbets has been digging on betting CFL games this year, even if currently mired in a ho-hum, treading-water, barely over .500 stretch. With just three games on the schedule, the chances to wager are few and far between. Hell, on the Rouge, White & Blue CFL Podcast this week, Os Davis joined his co-hosts in recommending taking the Montreal Alouettes +3, which coincidentally was almost equal to the total number of yards passing Als QB Antonio Pipkin managed.

One game, however, is ripe for the wagering – and winning. We’re talking Ottawa Redblacks +5 at the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The over/under is 50½, making for yet another stay-away line on CFL betting this week.

But Riders versus RedBlacks? If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed how soul-crushingly destructive the Saskatchewan defense has been lately.

Sure, last week's defensive/special teams output – 32 points, 5 interceptions, 3 sacks – was insane, but ever since the Riders kicked off their current four-game winning streak with a 40-27 demolition of the then-undefeated Calgary Stampeders in week 11, they've been killing it. In these four games, the Riders DST has averaged 22 points, 2 interceptions, 2.5 sacks and 1 fumble recovery. They’re outscoring teams by just over 7 points per game, yet the offense is averaging just 11 points per game in that stretch!

Naturally, NFLbets is aware of regression to the mean, all good things coming to an end, etc.; “merely” but winning these four games have the Riders racked up the 2018 CFL’s second-longest winning streak. Such a torrid pace by the defense and kicker Brett Lautner (he’s 35 of 38 on field goal attempts in 2018, and he’s on a 22-for-23 run) won’t continue forever.

However … if you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed how limp the Redblacks have looked in all three football dimensions. Since taking down the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a decisive 21-15 win in week 7, it’s been all downhill: The Redblacks D managed to blow a two-TD fourth-quarter lead, losing to the Toronto Argonauts despite scoring 41; they took Johnny Canadian Football out of the Alouettes game in week 9 and still barely got by possibly the CFL’s worst team; the last three games have seen the Redblacks lose by an average score of 15 points per to three teams – including those Alouettes – with losing records.

The hardest part for Riders head coach Chris Jones this weekend? Keeping his players out of the night clubs on Saturday night. On the other hand, NFLbets can’t help thinking that even hungover the Riders wouldn’t be laying more than 2½ in this game…NFLbets' pick of the week in CFL betting: Take the Saskatchewan Roughriders -5 vs Ottawa, and enjoy what might be one rapacious feast.

Best bets record to date: 6-4.
Picks-of-the-week record to date: 5-6.
Overall record: 11-10.

Our Picks of the Week take advantage of early hype, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (with special guest Flavor Flav)

Friday, 14 September 2018 14:08 EST

DonOverreaction week? You bet! Thanks to outlier performances in week 1, NFLbets counted about a half-dozen teams as overrated based on a single win: Most importantly for our purposes were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but also the Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, Washington and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Admittedly, yours truly took the Bengals for chumps and Cincy instead made NFLbets the chumps on F@^%@^%ing Thursday Night Football. But we’d dare to suggest that not one of the aforementioned teams will be making the playoffs except Cincinnati, who are pretty clearly playing in the league’s worst division this season.

Not only this, but of the teams between by the aforementioned six in week 1 (the New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts) perhaps one – the Saints from the wacky NFC South; we’ll see what they do against the Cleveland Browns this week – is a serious playoff contender.

In short, let us say that the 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneers just aren’t that good. NFLbets’d go so far as to say that the current line of Philadelphia Eagles -3½ at Tampa Bay is bulletin board material for the Eagles. (Why ae the sportsbooks trolling the defending champs so much? They collectively must like Nick Foles even less than NFLbets does…)

Who are these Buccaneers?

One of *the* headline stories of week 1 was the masterful 417-yard, 4-touchdown show put on by Ryan Fitzpatrick against the New Orleans defense which appeared to have reverted to 2016/early 2017 form. A closer look at Fitzpatrick shows no one you’ll be wanting to wager on when facing an above-average side.


Last season, “Fitzmagic” was 2-1 SU/ATS in starts, with ATS wins against the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. For the Jets in 2016, he was just 3-8 SU/ATS in starts, winning ATS at the Jets, at Buffalo and against the ultimately 8-8 Ravens. Even in 2015, his last full season as a starter, Fitzpatrick's 10-6 SU record falls to 7-7-2 ATS, with just a 1-1-1 mark ATS against playoff teams that year. Yikes.

Setting Fitzpatrick aside, as the Buccaneers are likely to do in favor of the flawed Jameis Winston, a consideration of the Tampa Bay offense doesn’t exactly wow despite the 42 points last week.

All of the “skill players” who contributed more than 10 total yards in week 1 – Peyton Barber, Mike Evans, DeSeaon Jackson, O.J. Howard, Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries – are holdovers from last season, when the Bucs were 18th in points scored and 26th in turnovers surrendered. Blame as much of that as you’d like on Winston, but the truth is that Barber wasn’t enough to keep the Buccaneers rushing in the bottom five or six in most statistical categories.

As for the Tampa Bay defense, well, you saw last week’s outcome, right? A Foles-led offense will hardly score the points that Brees and his Saints are capable of, but we figure Jay Ajayi should do enough damage alone against a Buccaneers D that was dead last in yardage allowed in 2017.

It all adds up to a pragmatic choice for the NFLbets Picks of Week 2: Take the Philadelphia Eagles -3½ at Tampa Bay and, as always when low-watt offenses play in inclement weather, take the under on an O/U of 44 points.

And for those who have forgotten about letting a single game run away with sanity, we’ll put in an old classic with a salient message here. Enjoy!

Cleveland Browns at New Orleans Saints: Is NFLbets really going back to that well…?

Friday, 14 September 2018 09:23 EST

With an interesting week 1 of the 2018 NFL season now in the books, let’s look at some matchups in week 2. The Cleveland Browns now have a second opportunity to get that elusive win after a heartbreak finish week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints also look to get one in the win column after an embarrassing loss to the Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The point spread unsurprisingly has the Browns as 9-point underdogs. As far as the under/over, it’s currently sitting at 49.5 points.

Cleveland Browns offense vs New Orleans Saints defense

Betting on the Cleveland Browns doggieIn one of the biggest shockers so far of this young season, the Saints defense (a strong suit in 2017) imploded on them, giving up a whopping 48 points. Luckily for the Saints, the Browns’ offensive unit was not great, either. Largely due in part to Tyrod Taylor’s rough outing wherein he completed only 37.5% of his passes. For comparison, Drew Brees completed 82.2% of his passes

One main way that the Saints can properly stop Cleveland is from the defensive line. If Taylor once again struggles to pass and is forced to run, he’ll be very vulnerable. If Taylor is forced to run, it will be up to the Saints defensive line to haul him in – though in week 1, the Saints defense was an absolute turnstile. Pro Bowl DE Cameron Jordan was near invisible after posting an impressive 13 sacks and 48 solo tackles in 2017, managing 3 solo tackles and 3 assists.

The Browns offensive machine did not do well in week 1. This may sound counterintuitive, considering the score against Pittsburgh, but the numbers don’t lie. To go along with Taylor’s bad passing numbers the receivers suffered as well. Luckily for them, the Steelers had Jarvis Landry’s 106 yards because the next best receiver had 38…

Yes, while Landry had 7 receptions, Josh Gordon, Antonio Callaway and Rashard Higgins had a combined 2. To put it bluntly, if Cleveland can right their passing game they have a good shot at winning. [Hey, here’s a great idea. Why don’t they try out that first-round draft pick that dudes like Tony Romo and Drew Brees dig so much…? –Ed.]

New Orleans Saints offense vs Cleveland Browns defense

New Orleans Saints retro logoThis is a toss-up. Both Cleveland’s defense and New Orleans’s offense were firing on all cylinders in tehir week 1 games. This battle is going to largely dictate who emerges on top in this matchup. Cleveland’s defense led the way for them on week 1 with an impressive 6 turnovers generated from fumbles and interceptions. New Orleans on the other hand put up 40 points in a losing effort against Tampa Bay.

Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas were very impressive in week 1. Kamara earned 112 receiving yards to go along with his 29 rushing yards, he also led the team in touchdowns with 3. Thomas was very impressive in racking up 180 receiving yards and a touchdown. Brees continues to defy age, as he was a model of efficiency in completing 37 of 45 passes and three TDs. If the Saints offense stays this hot, they have a good chance to win.

As for Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward … holy crap, they both had themselves a game in week 1. Ward especially impressed as a rookie going up against Antonio Brown, with not 1 but 2 interceptions. He only really got beat by Brown clean on one touchdown pass. Garrett was a monster; while only having 6 tackles on the day, 2 were sacks, and one led to a fumble recovery by the Browns. The injury to Emmanuel Ogbah will hurt them, but they are still going to be tough for the Saints to crack.

Cleveland Browns at New Orleans Saints: The bets

This game is all going to come down to how well the Browns can limit the Saints’ high-powered offense. Taking the Cleveland Browns +9 at New Orleans and hoping for a close game seems like the safe bet, especially with Cleveland on a 4-1 run ATS against the Saints. In terms of the over/under, we’re hedging on that Browns offense. Even if Taylor and his offense don’t go off the rails and can’t convert points, not much is going on the scoreboard in this game. Take the under on an O/U of 49½ points.

Thursday Night Football: In a not-so-titanic clash of already overrated teams, take the under

Thursday, 13 September 2018 16:18 EST

How’s that for an efficient headline? If only learning the outcome of what is certain to be yet another ugly – and NFLbets isn’t just talking Color Rush – example of why Thursday Night Football shouldn’t really exist.

On the other hand, what better way to make those foolishly overreacting to week 1 results suffer for their folly more quickly? In fact the only thing more fun than watching a fanbase’s delusions crumble after opening night (Raiders, Cowboys and Lions faithful know what we’re referencing here) is hearing about the aweomeness of a “surprise” team that crushes a bottom-fiver on opening day.

And so we have a classic example of overrated versus overarted in week 2: the Baltimore Ravens at the Cincinnati Bengals. Talking heads and hyperbolists are lining up on ESPN, whatever dot com and anywhere a mic virtual or otherwise is provided to tell us how this game could determine the AFC North, because, you know, everyone’s prohibitive forever-favorite merely tied the Cleveland Browns, who just a couple weeks ago were bringing Vegas big money based on freakin’ Hard Knocks.

So you may see two contenders for the NFL’s crappiest division in 2018, but all NFLbets sees is one side that whupped the prospective 0-16 Buffalo Bills against another who needed all 60 minutes to get past a team composed of a QB who hasn’t played in two years plus, um, 21 other guys. What has changed so much that these Vegas-forecasted 8- and 6½-win teams are suddenly double-digit winners? A win against the last-place finisher in the AFC East or AFC South? Come on.

Look, the truth is that the Ravens – with essentially the same offense and coaching staff as in 2017 – scored 19.3 more points last week than they averaged all season last year. The Bengals – still inexplicably coached by Marvin Lewis – scored 15,9 more than their ’17 ppg mark. If you’ve ever heard of “regression to the mean”, this week would be an ideal time to test it, in a game with two defenses well better than the offenses.

Who’s going to win? Who cares! You can still bank cash – if you take the under on an O/U of 43½ points, and recall what you thought of Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton just, likesay, 11 days ago…

Get on this truck: Khalil Mack at +400 (and dropping fast!) to win Defensive Player of the Year

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 09:09 EST

Week 1 in the NFL sure didn’t disappoint. The Cleveland Browns got oh so close to winning a game, we learned that the Buffalo Bills made a big mistake getting rid of Tyrod Taylor (who knew?), and I made myself look stupid predicting that the Detroit Lions would handily beat the New York Jets. You win some, you lose some, and today the stats and I are going to prove why Khalil Mack will be the 2018 Defensive Player of the yea, currently posted at +400 (down from +650 before opening Sunday).

Khalil Mack makes Bears better, Bears make Khalil Mack even better

Khalil Mack Truck!First off, Khalil Mack is not *the* best defensive player in the NFL. However, he is the player who is in the best position to win the award. Now at +400 in the “To Win Defensive Player of the Year” proposition bet, he’s now got the shortest odds along with Aaron Donald, surpassing Joey Bosa (11/2 after not playing week 1) and still favored over Von Miller (now 9/2).

The Khalil Mack trade came out of nowhere. No reports of trade requests or rumors of the Raiders shopping Mack were out there. This is key because it establishes that the Bears, before getting Mack, were planning on playing without him despite the presence of Sam Acho, coming off his best statistical season since his rookie year in 2011, at Mack’s OLB spot.

Metaphorically speaking this means Mack is the icing on the defensive cake for the Bears. See, they already had a defensive standout in Akiem Hicks who had 8½ sacks along with 54 tackles. To put that into perspective, Mack himself last season notched 10½ sacks and 78 combined tackles. While Hicks’s numbers are very good, adding that superstar talent in Mack pushes him and the Bears over the edge. Along with Hicks, Chicago has third-year LB Leonard Floyd, who in his sophomore year had 34 combined tackles and 4½ sacks. These three along with the other lineman will help propel Mack back to POY year status.

One more you might cover, and two you definitely shouldn’t

• Aaron Donald. Donald is an absolute tank of a player who hasn’t even hit his prime yet. Last season, Donald had 11 sacks and 41 tackles in only 14 games. Of those 41, a staggering 32 were solo. Donald may be Mack’s biggest challenge this season. The Rams are building a super team on defense with Ndamukong Suh, Aqib Talib, and Marcus Peters to name a few. If anyone beats out Mack in the “To Win Defensive Player of the Year” prop, it’s Donald.

• Joey Bosa. The Los Angeles Chargers upstart, settling into his third year with the club, is impressive. In his sophomore year, he put up Pro Bowl-caliber numbers, posting 12½ sacks and 70 tackles. Unfortunately, a finger injury meant he could not participate in the Pro Bowl. This Chargers team perennially underachieves and if this happens again, Bosa may suffer the consequences in his stats. While dangerous, his youth and the team around him will prevent him from the 2018 defensive POY award.

• J.J Watt. When Watt is healthy and playing at 100%, he’s hands down the best player. The troubling part is that he hasn’t been healthy for 3+ years now. He and Jadeveon Clowney make up one of the best one-two punches in the league defensively, but they haven’t ever played a full season together. Odds aside do not bet on Watt as there is no guarantee he will be able to play 10 games, let alone 16.

There you have it, the case for taking Khalil Mack to win Defensive Player of the Year at +400. Get in now if interested, because those odds are only going down…