With so much money being exchanged, these weekly lines are really, really tough to beat. I can confidently say at least 90% of football fans would win between 45% to 55% of these game bets (sides or over/unders) over time. It’s just the reality of such an efficient market. With that said, I think there are some ways to barely increase our chances of churning a marginal profit. As you guys know, Rotoworld is the king of grinding news. That’s something the public doesn’t do as well as a Rotoworld blurber, so it’s going to be one of the common things I utilize in this column, in addition to reverse line movement, advanced stats and occasionally film takes. Note: Lines are taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Falcons vs. Colts - OVER 47 Points (-110)
Note: Chart taken from my Week 3 Fantasy Football Forecast column, which is an 11,000 word breakdown for Sunday's games.
The Colts’ offense is in the bottom-five in plays per minute in neutral situations (see above). But the Colts have also played two road games against above-average defenses to start the season, and I believe the Colts will pick up the pace in their home opener, especially against a more vulnerable defense than they’ve played thus far. Faster pace = more opportunities for points. On the other side of the ball, the Falcons’ offense will be looking to take advantage of stud Colts LB Darius Leonard’s and DE Jabaal Sheard’s absences.
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As pictured above, the Broncos and Packers are both in the bottom-10 in neutral-situation plays per minute. Their offensive identities are both rooted in the run game and allowing their defenses to play good football. Through two games, it’s worked for the Packers, who are currently PFF’s third-best defense because they can get after the quarterback and shut down outside receivers with their stud corners. The Broncos’ edge duo of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb haven’t done anything yet, but the Broncos are still PFF’s 13th graded defense. This is a game where Vic Fangio, who has tons of experience against Aaron Rodgers, should get these beasts going, at least in terms of pressure. For the over to hit, there will have to be big plays, and I don’t see Joe Flacco and a now non-elite Rodgers creating enough of them.
Seahawks -5 (-105) vs. Saints
Teddy Bridgewater has a career 29/23 TD/INT ratio, and he hasn’t been willing to use his legs since his very serious knee injury. Bridgewater just might be bad. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Taysom Hill took over eventually. On the other side of the ball, Russell Wilson has a great matchup in the slot with his best receiver Tyler Lockett matched up with P.J. Williams. Wilson was fantastic last week, and the Seahawks get a signature rainy home game. Betting against dome teams playing in the rain always seems favorable, especially when that team is without their Hall of Fame quarterback.
Rams -3.5 (+100) vs. Browns - My SNF Bet
Jared Goff has severe home/road splits. But that’s for fantasy football. Not real life football. The Rams are 14-3 on the road since 2017 with Goff under center, and this week, they’re catching a Browns team who has played sloppy football and is banged up. The Browns have already ruled out TE David Njoku, FS Damarious Randall, LB Christian Kirksey, and OT Kendall Lamm, but could also be without RT Chris Hubbard, CB Denzel Ward, CB Greedy Williams, S Morgan Burnett, S Sheldrick Redwine, WR Rashard Higgins, LB Adarius Taylor, and DE Chris Smith. Yikes. To top it off, I believe this is one of the biggest coaching staff mismatches of the week.
Redskins +4 (-105) vs. Bears - My MNF Bet
Are the Redskins good? No. Are the Bears? Maybe? But they haven’t been to start the season, and they don’t deserve four points on the road here. Mitchell Trubisky has been awful, and the Bears’ rushing attack hasn’t materialized yet either. PFF grades the Bears’ offense as the very worst in the NFL. Yes. Worse than the Dolphins. The Redskins and the Bears also both play at bottom-10 offensive paces (see above), so I’m not sure if there will be enough plays for either team to truly separate. Lastly, the Redskins have gone from +4.5 to +4.0 despite only receiving 41% of the bets per FantasyLabs, which is a slight sign of reverse line movement. That’s usually good.
If you’re looking for more team breakdowns, read my Week 3 Fantasy Football Forecast column. It’s nearly 10,000 words and has a bunch of graphs that could be utilized in the betting markets. My buddy John Daigle also has a weekly Player Props column if you’re trying to get more action down.