We've covered the big prime-time games for Week 1. Now it's time to look at the remaining games and see which ones will deliver the most value to our NFL picks.
Jason's 2015 record as of Sept. 12: 1-0 ATS; 1-0 Total
This betting on football thing sure is easy. We're one game into the 2015 regular season, and we're already up two units after nailing both the spread and the total on Thursday night's Steelers-Patriots game. Everything went according to plan – even that last-minute touchdown by Steelers WR Antonio Brown didn't affect us, because we shopped around for the best price on our football picks.
Things don't always go according to plan. There are going to be many games this year where we didn't find that critical half-point on the NFL odds board, or where the place-kicker didn't go 2-for-4 on his field-goal attempts. But if we keep putting our money in good, things will work out in the long run. Let's see if we can find some more games on Sunday afternoon's slate worth our attention.
Colts vs. Bills (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)
Here's a very interesting situation. We've already identified this matchup as a possible upset in the making, and the weather could end up helping the Bills out, too. Updating the latter, we're still looking at a 50-percent chance of rain over Buffalo; it's supposed to rain all day Saturday and keep going through Sunday afternoon, although things might clear up by game time.
On the betting front, we're still seeing Indianapolis with about two-thirds of the consensus as 2.5-point road faves. If you shop around, you might be able to get Buffalo +3 at a small premium in vigorish. Betting against the Colts hasn't been profitable during the Chuck Pagano-Andrew Luck Era, but given these circumstances, we're willing to give Rex Ryan a spin in his first game at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
NFL Pick: Take the Bills +3 (–120) at Bovada
Saints vs. Cardinals (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)
The Cardinals aren't home dogs here, but they're being treated like it. Despite plenty of early and presumably sharp support for Arizona, enough big bets have come in on New Orleans to make the Cardinals 2-point favorites, down from –2.5 NFL odds at the open. We typically associate deep pockets with sharp bettors, so we're a bit wary about supporting Arizona here, but the benefits appear to outweigh the costs.
For one, according to the Elo Ratings at FiveThirtyEight, the Cardinals “should” be favored by five points in this matchup. As long as Carson Palmer is healthy, they've got a stable roster with a 28-13-4 ATS record (regular season and playoffs) under Bruce Arians. The Saints may or may not be a better team this year under Sean Payton (70-65-3 ATS); the offensive line has improved, but this Sunday, RB C.J. Spiller, FS Jarius Byrd and CB Keenan Lewis will be missing in action. We'll fade that for a dollar.
NFL Pick: Take the Cardinals –2 at GTBets