With so much money being exchanged, these weekly lines are really, really tough to beat. I can confidently say at least 95% 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 advanced stats and film.
Notes: My 2019 Best Bets are 35-24-1 (59%). … Lines are taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Dolphins vs. Jets OVER 46 Points (-110)
In the last couple of weeks, the Dolphins have sent multiple starting defensive players to injured reserve, including S Reshad Jones who would’ve been one of their best players if healthy. But Miami isn’t the only team with injury problems. The Jets are going to be without S Jamal Adams who is leading the team in tackles, sacks, quarterback hits, fumbles, and pass deflections. It’s a major loss. These offenses have also improved in the second half of the season. New York has scored 34 points in three of their last four, and Miami has scored at least 20 in three straight. The wild cards of the game are DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki, who might be turning into true difference makers:
49ers vs. Saints UNDER 44.5 Points (-110)
Everyone knows both of the defenses are awesome, particularly San Francisco. But the market seems to be slow on offensive line injury news. The Saints are without stud OG Andrus Peat and OT Terron Armstead is questionable. Not great. The Niners have listed OT Joe Staley as questionable as well. This is also a game to bet against both starting quarterbacks. Drew Brees is still good but isn’t throwing the ball deep, and I simply don’t think Jimmy Garappolo is good. Garappolo is averaging 215 yards, 1.3 touchdowns, and 0.8 interceptions when he isn’t playing the Arizona Cardinals. I’m expecting a heavier than normal prescription of clock draining running plays.
Chiefs vs. Patriots UNDER 49.5 Points (-110)
Both offenses are struggling recently. Patrick Mahomes is coming off two games with under 200 yards, and Tom Brady is probably still yelling at receivers to get open, which they simply can’t do (outside of Julian Edelman). But I really liked the under after rewatching the AFC Championship game. I expect the Patriots to use their running backs a lot this week. Not only does that fit into the Chiefs’ 2019 weakness, but it also was effective in the playoffs last season. The Chiefs should also run into trouble based on Bill Belichick’s defensive game plan. Last year, the Patriots changed their defensive looks three different times. In the first half, they pressed the hell out of the Kansas City receivers with Stephon Gilmore on Sammy Watkins and bracket coverage on Tyreek Hill. In the third quarter, there were some zone looks. And then in the fourth quarter, Gilmore switched onto Travis Kelce with Tyreek still facing bracket coverage. The last look is what I’m expecting on Sunday. It’s the worst-case scenario because it forces secondary options to beat New England, which is something I’m hesitant about predicting, at least when it comes to the over.
Seahawks vs. Rams -1 (-110) - My SNF Bet
The Rams Offense was legit last week, and I don’t think it’s a total fluke -- the skill position players are all healthy. Jared Goff still worries me here, but the game is at least at home and the Seahawks are in the bottom 11th percentile in adjusted sack rate -- Jadeveon Clowney is also questionable and will likely be a part-time player if healthy. The Seahawks Offense can also shoot themselves in the foot at times, and they are coming off an emotional Monday Night Football win to go on the road.
Giants vs. Eagles OVER 45.5 Points (-110) - My MNF Bet
This game is the story of two offenses that are finally healthy. That means Saquon Barkley, Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton on the field all at once for the Eli Manning-led Giants, and that means a healthy Alshon Jeffery for the Eagles. These offenses should be playing near their peaks, and they get to face two struggling defenses.
If you’re looking for more team breakdowns, read my Week 14 Fantasy Football Forecast column. It’s nearly 10,000 words and has a bunch of graphs that could be utilized in the betting markets.