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. Note: Lines are taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Eagles +2.5 (-120) vs. Bills
I’m putting an emphasis on finding road teams this week to ride the above angle, and the Eagles are my favorite one of the week because the Bills aren’t really a 5-1 football team. They’re 21st in DVOA (an efficiency stat) largely because their offense is a fringe bottom-10 unit. Buffalo is 24th in points per drive despite owning an unsustainable, league-leading red zone touchdown percentage (69%). When that regresses towards league average (55%), they’ll be even worse offensively. I’m betting against the Bills Offense (except for John Brown) and hoping Carson Wentz can grind for enough points to pull off the upset.
Chargers vs. Bears UNDER 40.5 Points (-105)
This is a game between two very injured teams that play very slow football. Both the Chargers and Bears are in the bottom 10 in neutral-script offensive plays per minute with Philip Rivers needing every second of the play clock to audible out of coach Anthony Lynn’s terrible offensive philosophies and with coach Matt Nagy needing as much time to help Mitchell Trubisky out. The Chargers are down to second- and third-stringers at multiple spots on the offensive line, will likely be without Keenan Allen, and continue to use the rusty version of Melvin Gordon more than one dozen times per game. This game should be a struggle that features a lot of punts and not necessarily a lot of turnovers because both teams are missing defensive playmakers. Oh, and these teams always seem to miss kicks.
Broncos vs. Colts -4.5 (-115)
I know going to a home team after my note is contradictory, but this is a game with teams heading in opposite directions. The Broncos are sellers at the trade deadline, while the Colts continue to stay in the playoff hunt. A lot of that can be explained by the massive coaching difference here. Coach Frank Reich is a stud and has been great at attacking opponents’ weaknesses as we’ve recently seen against Kansas City and Houston. Indy is also a lot healthier on defense than they were a few weeks ago, so advanced stats probably are slightly underestimating the Colts Defense. I like the Colts in a lower-scoring game with Joe Flacco throwing to Courtland Sutton and a bunch of guys.
Packers -4 (-110) vs. Chiefs
35-year-old Matt Moore was in scouting this offseason after not playing in 2018. Him getting thrown into the starting lineup is borderline disastrous, even with coach Andy Reid having a few extra days to prepare for this game. Moore has a career 46/36 TD/INT ratio and was a brutal watch in the relief of Patrick Mahomes last week. Packers CB Jaire Alexander will follow Tyreek Hill around this week, and Alexander is one of the few players in the NFL that’s at least in the same zip code as Hill in terms of speed (4.34 vs. 4.38). On the other side of the ball, Aaron Rodgers looks to be playing a lot better than he had been in recent years, especially at avoiding sacks -- his 4.6 sack percentage is a career-high. I’m not expecting fireworks from Green Bay’s offense, but I like the 4-point cover with Vegas arguably underestimating road teams this season.
Dolphins +14 (-110) vs. Steelers
The Dolphins are trash, and I’m 0-2 betting on them this season. But I’m not convinced Mason Rudolph deserves to be 14-point favorites against anyone. Outside of avoiding sacks behind his elite offensive line, the Steelers Offense has been horrid in just about every offensive category. It’s hard for me to buy Vegas’ 29-point team total for Pittsburgh. On the other side of the ball, the Steelers Defense should put a ton of pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick, but Fitzpatrick’s gun-slinging attitude is what you want from a bad quarterback, as it creates more variance. I wouldn’t be surprised if DeVante Parker or Preston Williams has a decent game with Fitzpatrick throwing it deeper more often than Josh Rosen.
If you’re looking for more team breakdowns, read my Week 8 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.