Week two is upon us and it’s time to look at this week’s betting lines, starting with the Green Bay Packers hosting the Detroit Lions.
It was a tough Week 1 that saw us go 2-3-1 with a loss of three units through a combination of bad luck and bad plays. George Kittle was easily set to go over his total before he got injured last week while the Bengals were the right side against the Chargers leading the whole game, but we only got a push out of that. D.J. Chark over his yards and Amari Cooper and under his ended up being bad plays while Calvin Ridley and Marquise Brown easily hit their overs for our wins.
Week 2 is about finding the overreactions to Week 1 and taking advantage of some teams coming off fluky wins. There are a few opportunities in that regard on Sunday.
Green Bay Packers (-6.5) vs. Detroit Lions
Anticipating line movement is one of the biggest keys to being a successful gambler. If you get a better number than the closing line you have done your job as a bettor. Getting the best number is really the name of the game. You have to recognize that number when you see it. A lot of times it will be early in the week.
That was the case this week for the Green Bay Packers in their Week 2 matchup against the Lions. I was able to grab Green Bay on Tuesday as -5.5 favorites. That was when the injuries to the Lions corners were a little less mainstream. Getting in below the key number of six I thought would was good value. Betting early in the week was also important in a couple of other games I will highlight below.
The line then moved up to six and then moved up again to 6.5 points on Friday. I can’t recommend a play at 6.5 points, especially with Stafford’s ability for a backdoor cover. At -5.5 the Packers were a play for me though.
The handicap is pretty simple in this one. Desmond Trufant will be out along with Justin Coleman, and with the way Aaron Rodgers looked last week that is a terrible spot to be in. Outside of Trey Flowers, the Lions do not have the pass rushing talent to make up for the losses in the secondary.
The Packers have enjoyed one of the best home field advantages in the NFL in recent years. I think more of that has to do with the field conditions rather than the crowd noise, so some of their home field advantage should still remain.
This game also sets up nicely to go over the total of 49.5. Rodgers should feast on the Lions secondary as just mentioned, and Stafford playing from behind means he can put up yards and points if the game gets to garbage time. If it’s a closer game, the Lions should be able to run on the Packers with Kenny Clark out with a groin injury. It’s hard to see the defenses having much success in this one.
Pick: Over 49.5 1 unit
Arizona Cardinals (-6.5) over Washington Football Team 2 units
This was the second of three bets I made on Tuesday, and it does seem like this has gone up to seven in most books.
This is a play against Washington for a win that was pretty fluky over the Eagles last week. The Eagles were down four offensive linemen by the end of the game, and it was a great matchup edge for a Washington team with a strong defensive line that ended up with eight sacks.
In addition to the eight sacks, Philadelphia turned the ball over three times. None of Washington’s three touchdown drives started on their own end of the field. The Football Team only ended up with 239 yards of total offense, including just 2.2 yards per carry as a team and 178 yards passing from Dwayne Haskins.
That offensive production won’t be nearly enough against an Arizona team that can put up points in a hurry and definitely has an arrow that’s pointing up. One trend favoring Arizona is that teams coming off being an outright winner in a game that they were underdogs of five or more points and are underdogs on the road the next week are just 43% against the spread the following week. Washington falls into that category.
Las Vegas Raiders (+5.5) over New Orleans Saints 2 units
This was the third game on Tuesday that I was able to get big value on as I was able to get the Raiders at +6.5 before the Michael Thomas injury. Even at +5.5 I like it as the Raiders have the potential for an outright upset here.
We’re going against the public here as 72% of the tickets are on the Saints according to the Pregame.com game center database. However, 57% of the cash is on the Raiders, which means the professionals are on their side. Even without fans, the Raiders should be fired up playing in their first home game on the Las Vegas strip.
Despite their victory over Tampa Bay last week, the Saints showed a few troubling signs. Drew Brees did not look any better than he did by the end of the year last season, and that will be even more of a problem without Thomas.
New Orleans got outgained by Tampa Bay 310-271, but three turnovers were the difference. Even though the Bucs might have the best run defense in the league, averaging 2.4 yards per carry on 34 attempts is troubling when your quarterback is looking old.
The Raiders had trouble defensively in their Week 1 win over the Carolina Panthers, but their offense looked good with Josh Jacobs being more involved in the passing game. I think they do enough to keep this game close.
New York Giants (+5.5) over Chicago Bears 1 unit
In keeping with our theme of targeting teams that had fugazi wins in the opening week of the season, the Chicago Bears may have been the luckiest of them all. Mitch Trubisky was looking like he would not make it to Week 2 as the starting quarterback before the Lions had Coleman and Trufant leave the game with injuries for Detroit.
Only then were the Bears able to get hot with 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win 27-23. It still took a drop from rookie running back D’Andre Swift in the end zone that would have won the game.
This is too many points for me for an offense that is still way too inconsistent. I also like getting the better quarterback as the underdog here. Daniel Jones was under intense pressure from an elite Pittsburgh defense and hung in there quite well. It was two poor decisions that did him in.
Without his pick in the end zone, the Giants very well may cover against the Steelers. What would this line be if that happened and the Lions beat the Bears as they should have?
Parris Campbell over 45.5 receiving yards 2 Units
Packers fans saw how awful the Minnesota secondary is, and Campbell should be able to fly past this total. He had 103 air yards on nine targets last week, and has too much speed for the Minnesota secondary. His rapport with Phillip Rivers seemed better than T.Y. Hilton’s.
Calvin Ridley over 65.5 receiving yards 1 Unit
Ridley hit for us last weekend and we’re going right back to him again. His number is still far too low. Ridley dominated against Seattle with nine catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. He gets an even better matchup against the Dallas Cowboys this week.
Chris Herndon over 3.5 receptions 1 Unit
Herndon was able to produce six catches on seven targets last week against the Buffalo Bills and that was with Jamison Crowder on the field. With Crowder now out for the Jets against the 49ers, look for Herndon to be Sam Darnold’s top option in a game they are projected to be trailing in.
Logan Thomas over 3.5 receptions 1 unit
Going back to the well with tight ends against the Cardinals. Kittle would have hit last week if not for is injury, and Thomas should be able to clear this mark as well. He saw a team-high eight targets last week in Washington’s victory.