Week 1 was a crapshoot. Lot of big surprises (Saints, Steelers, Bengals, Cards, Raiders). For a joke of a preseason that gave us almost zero to work with for a baseline, a 2-3 week one isn't the end of the world.
A reminder heading into Week 2 Sunday, underdogs are 13-4 ATS to start the NFL season
Looking to get back on track this week with these 5 winners that I can feel down in my plums.
As always all lines courtousy of The Barstool Sportsbook.
Buffalo Bills at MIAMI DOLPHINS +3.5
Last week the Bills got embarrassed at home by the Steelers, 23-16. Josh Allen looked like shit, the defense was meh in the first half, awful in the second half, special teams shit the bed, and Sean McDermott's squad just looked like they were sleepwalking overall. And penalties killed them.
Allen was not helped by the play-calling last week against Pittsburgh. His overmatched offensive linemen were counted on too often to win one-on-one battles, and the pass-heavy offense struggled. The Steelers didn't blitz at all. They sat back and played a ton of zone against Allen and Daboll and still got home with their front four.
Miami on the other hand, strolled into Foxborough as 3.5 dogs and played their ass off, like they always do against New England, winning 17-16.
This line opened at 3.5 and is being pounded by the public. Yet it still hasn’t moved. Red flag alert.
Miami is one of the best-coached teams in the league, they play up to their competition, and their defense is pesky as fuck.
Buffalo needs to, and most likely will bounce back, but I don’t think they win going away.
(Fun fact- September divisional underdogs are 60% against the spread. Since 2006, underdogs in division games are 218-144-8 ATS within the first five weeks of the season (.602), including 146-91-7 ATS within the first three weeks (.616))
Buffalo has won five straight and seven of the last eight meetings against Miami, including both matchups last season- a 31-28 road victory in September and a 56-26 win in January at home.
Miami is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games and 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home. They are 16-5 ATS in its last 21 games as an underdog with five straight covers.
Will Fuller is back from suspension, but isn't playing for the Dolphins today due to personal reasons.
I think Buffalo gets the win on the road but Miami keeps it close.
New Orleans Saints at CAROLINA PANTHERS +3
Sunday will be just the 4th time since 2006 that the Saints won’t play Drew Brees against the Panthers. In 2010 and 2018, the Saints sat Brees in the regular-season finale. In 2015, Luke McCown played for an injured Brees and nearly pulled off an upset until Josh Norman.
Last week the New Orleans squad grabbed the attention of the NFL when they dismantled Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
But the story in this one is New Orleans' coaching staff. Who the hell is gonna coach this team today for the Saints?
New Orleans lost two more assistants for game yesterday, bringing the total to EIGHT COACHES sidelined, amid COVID-19 protocols. All eight coaches who caught covid were… wait for it… FULLY VACCINATED!
Carolina’s defense was absolutely electric in Week 1, totaling six sacks and limiting New York to a pathetic 45 rushing yards. Can they do the same against an obviously better Saints offense and the extremely dangerous Alvin Kamara? (Fun fact- Kamara already has six career touchdowns in six career games against the Panthers)
I like this defense’s chances and don’t think there’s any way we see a repeat performance of what Jameis Winston did last week. He was out of body. Throwing for 5 TDs on only 148 yards but with zero interceptions.
Erik McCoy is out with an injury and Cesar Ruiz is filling in at center for the Saints, Carolina's front will give the Saints more problems than Green Bay did. This is a really impressive pass rush with Derrick Brown, Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos.
I think Carolina will get McCaffrey going in this one and keep things close.
Carolina is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games. They are 8-2 ATS over their past 10 games as an underdog. New Orleans is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games against Carolina.
Cincinnati Bengals at CHICAGO BEARS -1.5
(Fun fact: The Bengals are tied with the Bears for most players over 300 lbs at 14.)
First off, the Cincinnati Bengals under coach Zac Taylor are 1-14-1 straight up on the road, This team has just one road win in 2 years. If Matt Nagy finds a way for the Bears to lose their home opener today, he must be fired immediately.
This game opened with perhaps the week's most shocking line. Cincinnati was getting 3 points as the Bears were home favorites. A sharp jumped all over it laying down 300k.
The line moved quickly and the Bears were a one-point favorite as of Wednesday evening.
Chicago has failed to cover each of its past three games as a home favorite. They are also 2-8 ATS over its past 10 as a favorite.
But Cincinnati has won just one of its last 16 road games straight up (1-14-1 SU, 8-8 ATS) under Zac Taylor.
Last week we saw just how fucking good Joe Burrow is as he lead his squad to a thrilling win at home over Minnesota. We also watched the Bears get destroyed on both sides of the ball. Their offensive line might somehow be worse than it was last year, and their defense did not look as good as everybody has been telling themselves they are.
But again, it was week 1. After a joke preseason. We won't know a team's true identity until October. I expect the Bears to adjust (lol) and the Bengals to be the Bengals on the road. We all know Andy Dalton is garbage but in last year's Dalton revenge game he actually looked decent, and won 30-7 with Dallas.
Some say that getting a 3 (in some places 3.5) line at 1.5 or 1 point is great value. I'd agree but we're talking about the Bears and Matt Nagy here. Nonetheless, I'm riding with them today. Bear down.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -3.5 at Baltimore Ravens
Last week against Cleveland Kansas City's defense looked vulnerable but Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark weren't playing. Today they are.
The Ravens have been decimated by injuries and its only week 2. They are without their best blocking tight end, they have zero running backs that know their complicated offensive scheme and it showed last week as they had to severely limit the amount of QB options and mesh point option running plays they normally run.
Lamar Jackson was only able to get off two passes that traveled more than 20 yards due to how awful his pass protection was. (Especially his tackles).
Things have only gotten worse for the line now that it seems All-Pro LT Ronnie Stanley could potentially miss serious time.
The Chiefs didn't look like themselves for nearly 3 quarters last week at home against the Browns. But they woke up and exploded with a fourth-quarter comeback that appeared to happen with a flip of a switch.
Mahomes rolled over Baltimore during the regular season last September: 385 passing yards, four TD passes, no sacks, no interceptions, and a QB rating of 133.5.
Kansas City is 19-9 ATS in September under Andy Reid (11-3 ATS since 2017 and 8-3 ATS with Patrick Mahomes starting).
Patrick Mahomes is 16-8-1 ATS on the road in his career.
For all the hype about the Chiefs’ home-field advantage, they’ve played just as well on the road. They’re a ridiculous 15-1 in their last 16 regular-season road games and their only road loss in 2020 occurred in Super Bowl LV to Tampa Bay, who were playing in their home stadium.
I like the Chiefs today. (BUY THE HOOK! I didn't here for blog purposes, but there's no better insurance for an extra 10%. Nothing worse than losing on a hook. Will haunt you all week.)
SAN FRANSISCO 49ers -3 at Philadelphia Eagles
Moronic move here guys.
Smitty had a message for George Kittle ahead of this one.
San Francisco doesn’t match up incredibly well with the Eagles, but has a much better back seven on defense. They looked amazing last week for 3 quarters against a dog-shit Detroit team. That was until Kyle Shanahan did the Kyle Shanahan and took his foot off the gas.
On the other side of the ball Jalen Hurts looked great
This is the first full capacity meaningful game for the Eagles since they lost to the Seattle Seahawks in January 2020. The Linc is going to be bananas. The Eagles’ offense is going to be able to take advantage of a 49ers defense that’s banged up after week 1.(Veteran CB Josh Norman, who signed with the 49ers less than two weeks ago, is expected to start today at Philadelphia)
DeVonta Smith should have a big day. All things look prime for the Eagles and the public has been pounding them all week. The 4th qtr San Fran collapse against Detroit has played into it even more. Yet the line hasn't moved. Red flag alert.
Philadelphia is 3-9 ATS in September since the start of the 2018 season.
I think this one is close and the Eagles play well, but come away short.
Let the boy watch.