My strategy for this week and weeks ahead: 9 picks and a parlay. The 9 picks include three of the following: favorites, underdogs and totals. The goal is to identify what angle is best to play from within certain parameters, not to achieve a high profit margin.
NE +7 (-110)
Yep, I am betting on the Patriot way to get it done against what many consider the favorites to repeat as champions. According to my advanced ranking system, these two teams are actually neck and neck with each other, and NE even has the slight edge due to their top five defense and TB falling pretty flat on defense the first three games.
DET ML (+130)
The second worst rated team in my model is CHI, trailing only the saddening NYJ. While DET hasn’t put all the pieces together yet, they rate just below league average on offense and will roll out a far better offensive line and quarterback group. DET has the worst rated defense, but I’ve seen the CHI offense in action and it might not be too hard to scheme up a few stops against them when they need it.
DEN ML (+100)
I know this isn’t traditionally an underdog, but BAL sits at a heftier moneyline price at -112 so technically it is an underdog in regards to the matchup. The two offenses have around the same statistical ranking this season, and while DEN is rated as the second best defense, BAL is way behind as the fifth worst.
CLV vs. MIN o51.5 (-110)
Both of these offenses are top ten in the league when fully healthy when factoring successful play rate, explosive play rate, points per drive and offense scoring percentage. MIN defense has not proven that they’ll be able to slow down this juggernaut CLV offense, and as always the trio of Jefferson, Theilen and Cook can score a few times each game if all goes well.
NYG vs. NO u42.5 (-110)
NYG is beat up on offense, which will make it even harder to score and gain yardage on a top five total defense. On the year NYG has a pretty low explosive play rate at 8%, and the NO defense is sixth in yards per play at 4.7. The NO offense hasn’t necessarily shattered the stat sheet, as they have allowed a very high pressure rate (31.3%) and are bottom five in yards per play (4.3) as well as net yards per passing attempt (4.8).
HOU vs. BUF o47 (-110)
BUF has proven that they are capable of scoring 30+ points on a good defense, and although HOU is onto their backup rookie QB, the game script in this game could play in favor of an over set relatively low.
LAR -4 (-115)
Kyler Murray does not have any career success against LAR as they’ve held him to just a 75.8 rating with 11 sacks, 5 TD’s and 4 INT. They’ve also limited him as a rushing threat with just a 3.54 Y/A in 13 carries. The LAR look like a freight train that can’t be stopped, and their defense looks like it can hang with anyone. I’ll ride them to cover or at least win until something tells me otherwise.
NO -7 (-110)
NYG could be without many of their offensive weapons, which as I alluded to earlier could make it much harder for them to crack one of the best defenses in the league up to this point of the season. NO was ranked very high last season and has many of the same pieces on both sides of the ball, however I still think Jameis Winston is capable of managing this team to some impressive looking wins (as he already has twice).
GB -6.5 (-115)
Two of the most storied franchises in the NFL have been trending in opposite directions. PIT maintains a defensive advantage in this matchup with TJ Watt returning to the field, but statistically GB isn’t far behind. The reason to take the favorite here though is the differences in offense. There is a very clear and significant difference in the efficiency and effectiveness of both offenses, as PIT sits as the second worst offense in successful play rate with marginally lower yards per play and net yards per pass attempt numbers.