After a strong Week 1, we're back at it with more over/unders from the Week 2 slate. Can the pace help us find some more winners?
Glorious Week 1 for us as we hit on all three over/under bets reccomended in our NFL picks. Hell, Tennessee hit the over against Tampa before halftime! Now we settle in to this week's slate, where we find things a little more complex.
As always, I'll be giving myself $1000 of monopoly money to bet every week. $500 of it is getting stashed for later weeks when we know a bit more. I'll be referencing pace statistics often, because pace does tend to dictate how many points a team can score. Obviously, there's not enough information from 2015 to really make those reliable yet.
Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns
Going right back to the scene of the crime of last week. While Mike Pettine is regarded as a "ground-and-pound" coach, the Browns finished with the third-fastest offense in the NFL by situation-adjusted seconds per play. They ranked exactly the same on defense. That sets up a fast-track game, and puts the onus on the Cleveland defense to play better than they did last week against Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Meanwhile, I don't think there's much real dropoff from Josh McCown to Johnny Manziel. And despite the scoreline last week, I think the Titans defense still has a chance to be one of the five worst units in the league. This is an action setup here. Even if the Browns offense plays poorly, we could see lots of red zone turnovers and some similar blowout potential.
NFL Pick: Titans & Browns OVER 41.5 (200$)
St. Louis Rams vs. Washington Redskins
Kirk Cousins and the Washingtonians managed just ten points against the Dolphins last weekend. They moved the ball a bit better than I would've expected, but will have to play St. Louis without wideout DeSean Jackson. The Dolphins have a good front. The Rams have an incredible front seven. Aaron Donald was a terror last game, and I would not be surprised if the Washingtonians had problems moving the ball here. I don't think Alfred Morris has many 125-yard games in him this year.
That leaves the other side of the ball. The Rams had no run game, but the Nick Foles-led passing game actually played fairly well. Given how Foles played last year, I think we've got a lot of evidence that points to that being a fluke.
There are some windows for this game to go over. I'm particularly anxious about Kirk Cousins pick-sixes breaking the game open. But at the end of the day I can't get past the feeling that these are two inept offensive teams that will be trying to bludgeon each other for 60 minutes. St. Louis and Washington both finished in the bottom eight in situation-adjusted offensive plays per second last year.
NFL Pick: Rams & Redskings UNDER 41.5 ($200)
Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Feels weird to back a Peyton Manning game to hit the under, but here's what we know after Week 1:
-- Nobody should trust the Denver offensive line.
-- Both C.J. Anderson and Demaryius Thomas were hurt last week and could be less effective because of it.
-- These are two outstanding defenses coming off solid performances.
-- Peyton Manning's arm strength is still scattershot.
The Chiefs had a nice offensive game against Houston, but Denver has cover linebackers and safeties that the Texans didn't in Week 1. It's a legitimately tough matchup for Alex Smith and company.
Mix that in a pot, combine it with how Andy Reid and Gary Kubiak have a history of playing things pretty slowly, and I think you've got a recipe for one team winning a 27-10 game.
NFL Pick: Broncos & Chiefs UNDER 42 ($100)
Last Week Winnings: +$454
Last Week Total: +$954
Banked for future gambling: $500