All of these picks are used with data pulled from Pro Football Reference & Sharp Football Stats. The below spreadsheet has it all sorted in one place.
My strategy for this week and weeks ahead: 12 picks and a parlay. The 12 picks include three of the following: favorites, underdogs, totals and player props. The goal is to identify what angle is best to play from within certain parameters, not to achieve a high profit margin.
IND +5.5 (-110)
This big of a spread between divisional opponents seems like too much in this spot. Both teams are towards the bottom of the league in terms of statistical performance so far this year, and I think there’s enough flaws in the TEN defense (surprise surprise) to keep them from pulling away in this game. Keep in mind that IND kept it within a field goal against the clear cut #1 team right now in LAR.
CIN +3 (-110)
PIT does not have the best two game highlight reel, and the advanced ranking system backs that up. CIN actually holds a slight ranking advantage, which could be foreshadowing a close divisional game that might not involve as many explosive plays to allow for separation. It also doesn’t help that PIT is missing a couple of very important pieces to their team like their best WR.
LAC +7 (-115)
KC has played with fire their last three games, and has paid the price in two of them. Given this years advanced ranking system, KC is not the AFC juggernaut due to their poor defensive play (which could be because they’ve played two of the best offensive teams in the league to start the season) and LAC is just two spots behind them, thanks to their . Yet another divisional underdog I’m taking to cover the spread.
NYJ vs. DEN o41.5 (-110)
The Jets are terrible, and will give up more than three touchdowns to this Broncos team. This total is set low, but I do think that there will be scoring opportunities for the Jets, as DEN ranks in the bottom of the league in defensive pressure percentage so far. It might not take much for this over to hit, given the low starting value.
NO vs. NE u42.5 (-110)
A great matchup between two of the best coaches the past 10-15 years. Both teams rank in the top 10 in defensive pressure percentage and defensive yards per play, and to give me more confidence in the under, both teams are in the bottom 10 of offensive yards per play. Two great defenses with QB’s that might get tested is a recipe for the under.
TB vs. LAR u54.5 (-110)
The LAR defense that was the best in the league last year looks ready to return to that status. They’re well above average in every ranking statistic, and they still have an unstoppable force in Aaron Donald. At the same time, Brady was sacked three times last week against ATL. The game of the week shouldn’t feature all the fireworks we come to expect from these two teams. Here’s a preview on YouTube.
SF -3 (-115)
Per my ranking system, this is a huge mismatch in favor of SF. They have given Rodgers a hard time in recent years, and the way they can control the field position and pace of this game gives them the upper hand against GB, who through two weeks this season looks like there are some serious concerns. A win against DET does not convince me otherwise, especially when they were going toe to toe throughout the first half.
SEA ML (-125)
In case it isn’t already clear, Russell Wilson is a generational talent. It’s hard to go against him, especially in the first half of the season. The MIN offense has looked like it will go blow for blow with anyone in the league, but they have relied more on explosive plays rather than consistent yardage. SEA averages the most yards per play and is top six in points per drive and offensive success rate, oh they also have a bit of an explosive combination in Wilson and Lockett.
LV -3.5 (-110)
The surprise to start the season has been LV after upsetting the Ravens and Steelers in back to back games. MIA got bullied by one division opponent, and snuck by another with QB making his first ever NFL start. Rankings have this as a major mismatch, and I always trust the better QB to cover the spread when facing a backup.
PARLAY: BAL, LV, CLV, KC +228
Jonathan Taylor rush attempts o15.5 (-108)
Jared Goff passing yards o262.5 (-114)
Robert Woods receiving yards o62.5 (-114)
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