We analyze three NFL picks from three different betting markets and explain the logic behind them as we use intelligent guesses to see where current numbers may go and locking in positions.
As the start of the NFL Football season draws closer, many football bettors will be focusing and waiting on all sorts of invisible things while NFL odds for Week 1, many games this season and Futures Books still sit out there ignored to a certain degree like they always are after some initial betting rush. And that’s where some theoretically easy money can hopefully be made—seeing where current numbers may go and locking in positions before the rest of the world sees that the Miami Dolphins may be overrated or that the Green Bay Packers should beat the Bears by at least a TD in Chicago in Week 1.
NFL Week 1 Value Pick
Green Bay Packers -6 over Chicago Bears (Pinnacle): The Green Bay Packers opened up as 5-point Favorites (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) over the Chicago Bears for this game at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday, September 13 and the public bet it up to 5½, 6 and then to 6½ in most places although Pinnacle has moved it down a ½ point (Wednesday), possibly from money on the Bears because of the season-ending ACL injury to star Packers WR Jordy Nelson. With this game still more than three weeks away, the thought is that the line will continue to creep upward with the Packers (6/1 to win Super Bowl, William Hill) likely being at least 7- and maybe 7½- or 8-point favorites by game time. The General Public usually likes to back the Favorites with the late (Saturday-Sunday) money, and by locking in on the Packers at -6, the bettor has a chance to create a small Middle on the Key Number of -7 should it hit -7½. And if it goes to -8, even better for the bettor who has Green Bay -6 with that Middle on -7 still available and Pushes on 6- and 8-point wins for the Cheeseheads.
If you have access to Pinnacle and can snag the Packers -6 right now, the idea is to do so for a number of reasons. And by all means, there is nothing wrong with buying the ½ point and paying the -120 juice and shaving a 6½ down to 6. The potential of a small Middle here was talked about above, but the Trends and recent relevant history support taking the Packers in this particular situation. In the L9 meetings in this series, Green Bay is a sparkling 8-1 ATS while the Packers are 5-0 ATS L5 on the Road in Chicago, including a 21-point, 38-17 pasting as a 1-point Favorite in Week 4 last season in the Windy City. It’s all about the cheddar.
NFL Futures Prop Conference Value Pick
New England Patriots to win AFC 4/1 (Bovada): The odds of the New England Patriots (10/1 to win Super Bowl, Coral) in many Futures Book markets has trickled down since the announcement that QB Tom Brady would be suspended 4 games for his theoretical part in the Deflategate scandal concerning footballs the Patriots used and their PSI during last season’s AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. But we’ve all seen that the suspension has been appealed, denied and the re-appealed and who knows where it ends and how many games and when Sir Lancelot will be suspended...if he ever is. Anyway, we’re seeking Value and Answers here, and the thought here is that New England, even priced at +400 (4/1) to win the Super Bowl, would be a fair price, so the Deflategate-reactionary +400 (Bovada) to win the AFC definitely seems worth the while.
Honestly, just not sold yet on the AFC’s other two big contenders, the aforementioned Colts (+300, Bovada)—the two teams (Patriots-Colts) play in Week 6 (Colts -3, NFL Games of the Year, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Naptown—and Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos (+600, Bovada). And winning this particular Futures Book bet is usually about the team winning Homefield Advantage in the conference over the duration of the Regular Season. And that massive game in Indianapolis on October 18th could determine who ends up having that Homefield luxury in the AFC Playoffs this season. Why the defending Super Bowl champions New England? Because they are champs and smack dab in the middle of a dynasty run with Brady and Head Coach Bill Belichick and are experienced getting to Super Bowls. The Colts need some help on the OL, need to play better Defense and don’t have the experience or expectations the Patriots do although the culture in the actual city of Indianapolis and buzz in the team’s fanbase is of one expecting to win a Super Bowl or four during Luck’s tenure. And word out of Denver is that Uncle Peyton’s ball is still lacking some zip, and with TE Julius Thomas (Jacksonville) gone to the Sunshine State and Father Time creeping up the elder Manning’s spine, winning the AFC should be even tougher, especially with the Colts sort of trying to bump, and replace the Broncos from the ranks of the NFL’s elite. Also, playing in the tougher AFC East may do New England some good and make the team stay focused as playing the in the AFC South or the AFC West and Indianapolis and Denver do, as playing the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders twice might not exactly be sharpening the old sword.
NFL Futures Season Team Win Total Value Pick
Miami Dolphins Season Team Win Total Under 9 Even (Bovada): As written about here at Sportsbook Review in their Regular Season schedule breakdown, the Miami Dolphins have been forecasted to get out to a blazing 5-0 start, thanks to a soft schedule that sees the Fish facing at the Washington Redskins in Week 1 (Dolphins -3; Total: 43½, Pinnacle); the Jacksonville Jaguars on the Road in Week 2; vs. the Buffalo Bills at Home at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens in Week 3; versus the New York Jets in Week 4 at Wembley Stadium in London, England; and then, at the lowly Tennessee Titans in Nashville in Week 6 after an Open Date in Week 5. The talking heads and pigskin pundits will likely be all over Miami’s jockstrap by Week 6 but in Week 7 (October 25), I see the walls caving in with the Houston Texans tipping over the Dolphins apple cart—or whatever Dolphins drive—in South Florida (CBS, 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT). Even with RB Arian Foster probably gone for the season, J.J. Watt and the Houston Defense should be able to outplay Miami and QB Ryan Tannehill. To me, the Dolphins still possess a very average Roster and still have much work to do to become a winning NFL football team. Experience, that aforementioned Roster, Motivation, a great and loyal Fan Base and city—with experience and realistic Expectations to be Super Bowl champions—Luck, having a great Defense as well as a great starting QB and remaining relatively Injury-free are all the big things teams need in a given season to achieve success.
The Dolphins' schedule to close out the season from Week 7 on seems brutal: Versus those Texans in Week 7; at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro against New England (Week 8); at Buffalo (Week 9) in another AFC East showdown; at Philadelphia (Week 10) in a tough inter-conference date with RB DeMarco Murray and the upstart Eagles; vs. Dallas (Week 11); at the Jets (Week 12); vs. the Baltimore Ravens (Week 13); vs. the New York Giants (Week 14); at the San Diego Chargers in Southern California (Week 15); vs. the Indianapolis Colts (Week 16) at Home; and then at Home against the Super Bowl Champion Patriots (Week 17) to close out the Regular Season. Not fun man. The projection of a 6-10 season means there is more than enough perceived room (value) between the 9 wins (Even, Bovada) sportsbooks have posted for Miami’s Regular Season Win Total. With New England mad and Buffalo and the New York Jets improved, those six AFC East games for the Fish (3-3 vs. AFC East in 2014) could be a lot tougher than fans, bettors and pundits realize. A 10-6 season for the Dolphins means that almost everything will have to go right and we all know from living here on planet Earth that things never always go all right or as perfectly planned. Fade the Fish
NFL Week 1 Value Pick: Green Bay Packers -6 over Chicago Bears (Pinnacle)
NFL Futures Prop Conference Winner Value Pick: New England Patriots to win AFC +450 (Coral)
NFL Futures Season Team Win Total Value Pick: Miami Dolphins Season Team Win Total Under 9 Even (Bovada)