American Football Archives


Picks for MNF Week 1

Washington Redskins +2 over the Pittsburgh Steelers  (OS)

San Francisco 49ers +3 over the Los Angeles Rams (PP)


Picks for MNF Week 1

Just the first of the two Monday Night Football games will be an official selection.  There is a high level of confidence in the pick and the in the second game the “pool pick” is clear cut.

Washington Redskins +2 over the Pittsburgh Steelers  This spread has come in a huge point from when I first previewed the game Friday.  It is not surprising and it’s not the public as 71% of spread and 74% of parlay and teaser bets are on the Steelers.  52% of the moneyline bets are on the Steelers as well, but with this new line, I would expect that to flip.  The Redskins are getting no respect by the squares, but the sharps love the defending NFC Champions.  Washington added superstar cornerback Josh Norman who was instrumental in the Carolina Panthers 15-1 record last year.  The Steelers are without star running back Le’Veon Bell for 3 games with suspension.  They also have a new tight end and will be without number two wide receiver Markus Wheaton.  This is after losing big play receiver Martavis Bryant for the season with a suspension.  The Redskins are expecting their number one running back Matt Jones will play as the injury report is very lopsided in Washington’s favor.  This pick would rank second in strength of opinion for the week.  As for the total , the under is also looking good as the total has dropped from 50 to 49 with some 48.5’s popping up with 70% of the bets on the over.  Along with the lack of weapons the Steelers offense everything is pointing to the under except the weather, which should be absolutely perfect.

San Francisco 49ers +3 over the Los Angeles Rams  I thought the Niners could have been an official selection, but with this line pushing towards 3 the smart money doesn’t seem to be on board.  In almost a mirror image of the early game 70% of spread and 71% of combination bets are on Los Angeles (I had already typed St. Louis) with 54% of the moneyline bets on the Niners.  The big difference is this line is moving out while the Steelers/Skins line is moving in.  This simply could be due to the fact there was positive injury news for the Redskins while the 49ers haven’t received the same.  San Fran is definitely the more banged up side which is another reason this is just a suggestion.  The 49ers opened up last season with a dominant win at home on Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings.  After San Fran won that opener 20-3, they went 4-11 the rest of the season while the Vikings went 11-4.  New 49ers head coach Chip Kelly won his debut with the Philadelphia Eagles in a division game back in 2013.  The total is up a half-point from Friday to 43 with 68% of the bets on the under.  I would lean towards the over as Kelly’s frantic fast paced offense should lead to points.  Chip Kelly’s Eagles also were able to produce a lot of points from the special teams and defense and I would expect similar results in San Francisco.   There will be some wind to start the game, but the weather shouldn’t be a factor at all.


Picks for NFL Week 1

I only have 3 official selections, but will add at least one if not two more on Monday night.  I do have the one “best bet” that was teased yesterday.  The other 10 games tomorrow are broken up with 4 “clear cut” pool picks and 6 “coin toss” pool picks.  Good luck!

Official Selections (In order of opinion strength):

Jacksonville Jaguars +4.5 over the Green Bay Packers  The point spread has come in a half-point in the last 24 hours, yet still 80% of the spread bets are on the Packers.  This scenario is exactly what I’m looking for in a game and for all the reasons I mentioned in the preview this was easily the best bet of the week.  I think the Jaguars win this game outright.

Baltimore Ravens -3.5 over the Buffalo Bills  At just a couple hours before midnight this spread is Ravens -3 (-125 or 1.80).  By morning when most of you read this I expect Baltimore to be 3.5-point favorites.  I would take them at this handicap as I think they will have an easy win at home to open the season.  I think this is a smart money piggyback.

Detroit Lions +3 over the Indianapolis Colts  This is another pick where I believe I am joining the sharps.  Even with Andrew Luck back at quarterback for the Colts who has a great career against the spread record, his team isn’t nearly as talented as Detroit.

Clear Cut Pool Picks (In order of opinion strength):  

Chicago Bears +4.5 over the Houston Texans  This is the big line move in the last 24 hours as the Texans were 6-point favorites last night.  I knew I was going to be on the Bears because of the public fade, but this line move solidified it.  I still am very concerned with the injuries to Chicago.  The Texans are starting an all new backfield with Brock Osweiler and Lamar Miller, that should be a boost this season, but they may be a learning curve.

Dallas Cowboys Pick’em over the New York Giants  A pretty strong public fade as the Giants are seeing a lot more of the action on all bet types.  There was a lot of turnover on the G-Men roster and they didn’t gel in the preseason.  The Cowboys still have a top offensive line and should be able to run the ball with rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Tennessee Titans +2.5 over the Minnesota Vikings  Currently you won’t have to pay juice with Tennessee +2.5.  I would take the +3 at (-115 or 1.87) if possible.  I like small home dogs and I think the Titans will be improved under the leadership of 2nd year QB Marcus Mariota.  The addition veteran running back DeMarco Murray gives Mariota another security blanket to go along with tight end Delanie Walker.

Oakland Raiders +2 over the New Orleans Saints  As I stated in the preview this pick is not at all based on any market considerations, but just my opinion that the Raiders are the better team.  I think they are faster and will benefit from playing on the turf in the dome.  I also believe the Saints have one of the worst defenses in the NFL.

Coin Toss Pool Pick (In rotation order):  

Atlanta Falcons -2.5 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers  Even though I think this line is fishy, I’m going with the host Falcons.  I think these are dead even teams and I’ll take a win if the home team wins by a field goal when you would only expect a push.

Cleveland Browns +3.5 over the Philadelphia Eagles  This is a true toss up and I figure I should get used to supporting the Browns as I figure I will on them often this year.  I would be surprised to see Carson Wentz go from North Dakota State to the NFL and not have a lot of growing pains.

New York Jets +2 over the Cincinnati Bengals  The Jets have such a difficult schedule to start the season that this is actually one of the easy games.  They really need to win this opener and I think they get it done against a shorthanded Bengals squad.  This is another chance to take a small home dog.

San Diego Chargers +6.5 over the Kansas City Chiefs  A true “coin toss” pick and my coin is biased to take underdogs.  That is especially the case getting nearly a touchdown in a division game.  If I had to make a wager in this game it would be on the over 44.5.

Seattle Seahawks -10.5 over the Miami Dolphins  The one place where I never mind laying big numbers is with the Seahawks at home.  They are 61-40 (60.4%) against the spread in their last 101 regular season home games.  When laying 10 or more points they are 15-9 (62.5%) ATS.  The rest of the NFL is 155-181 (46.1%) ATS since SportsInsights BetLabs has data (2003 sesaon).  These team couldn’t be further apart in geography and there is a very good chance that the score line has a similarly large gap.

Arizona Cardinals -7 over the New England Patriots  In what many are thinking could be a Super Bowl 51 preview the Patriots will be playing extremely shorthanded.  QB Tom Brady and LB Rob Ninkovinch are suspended and now tight end Rob Gronkowski is out.  I don’t see how the Patriots can compete with one of the best the NFL has to offer and pretty much full strength.  The fact that 71% of the spread bets are on the favorite will not allow me to make this any more than a pool pick.





Picks for NFL Week 1

Jacksonville Jaguars +4.5 over the Green Bay Packers

Baltimore Ravens -3.5 over the Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions +3 over the Indianapolis Colts


NFL Week 1 Expected Points

Team Opponent EPS
SEA Seahawks MIA Dolphins 27.4
IND Colts DET Lions 27.1
NO Saints OAK Raiders 26.8
GB Pakcers JAX Jaguars 26.4
PIT Steelers WAS Redskins 26.4
ARI Cardinals NE Patriots 26.0
KC Chiefs SD Chargers 25.6
ATL Falcons TB Buccaneers 25.3
OAK Raiders NO Saints 25.0
HOU Texans CHI Bears 24.6
DET Lions IND Colts 23.9
BAL Ravens BUF Bills 23.8
WAS Redskins PIT Steelers 23.4
DAL Cowboys NY Giants 23.0
NY Giants DAL Cowboys 23.0
TB Buccaneers ATL Falcons 22.8
LA Rams SF 49ers 22.5
PHI Eagles CLE Browns 22.1
CIN Bengals NY Jets 22.1
JAX Jaguars GB Pakcers 21.6
MIN Vikings TEN Titans 21.5
BUF Bills BAL Ravens 20.5
SF 49ers LA Rams 20.0
NY Jets CIN Bengals 19.6
SD Chargers KC Chiefs 19.1
CHI Bears HOU Texans 19.1
NE Patriots ARI Cardinals 19.0
CLE Browns PHI Eagles 18.9
TEN Titans MIN Vikings 18.8
MIA Dolphins SEA Seahawks 17.1


As the only favorite over a touchdown in Week 1 the Seattle Seahawks are expected to score the most points this week and allow the least.


NFL Week 1 Preview

Here is a preview of all of the opening week’s matchups. The bet percentage numbers are from Sports Insights and trends are from Don Best.

Atlanta Falcons -2.5/48 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers The first game in the rotation is a tasty division game with the Falcons less than 3-point favorites at home. I am surprised this line has come in from 3 where it opened and seemed perfect. I would figure these two teams are even. They each have the exact same expected win total (right between 7 and 7.5) and odds to win the NFC South (7-1). Falcons QB Matt Ryan had started his career nearly invincible at home going 26-4 in his first 30 starts with a 19-9-2 against the spread record. In the past 4 season the Falcons are just 14-17 (ATS) with Ryan starting at QB. 53% of spread and 57% of parlay and teaser bets are on the Falcons with 72% of moneyline bets on the Bucs. The betting public is as confused as I am. There is some concern about Falcons superstar wide receiver Julio Jones who has an ankle injury. He isn’t listed on the injury report and should be good to go, but it is a concern and may be why this line has come in. Trends are negative for both teams with Bucs struggling in week 1 (2-8 ATS in last 10 openers) and in September (2-7 ATS in last 9). The Falcons ended last season terribly going 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games. This will be a pool pick and a tough one to make at that. The total is virtually unchanged as many books still have it at 47.5 where it opened. 70% of the bets are on the over in this dome game. Both teams have a under trends with the under going 7-2 in the Bucs last 9 division games and 22-5-1 in Atlanta last 28 games overall. There is nothing interesting from a wagering perspective there. Last season the Bucs won both games and they both when under (23-20 and 23-19).

Minnesota Vikings -2.5/40 at Tennessee Titans This point spread opened up at 3 back on Tax Day (April 15th) and slowly moved out to 3.5 before the Vikings lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for the season on August 30th. It reopened at Vikings -1, but has moved back out. It was helped by the fact Minnesota traded for veteran Sam Bradford to replace Bridgewater, but Bradford might not start. The Vikings have yet to name a starter, though I don’t think it matters all that much. Journeyman Shaun Hill is more likely to be under center and with a year in the system under his belt, he probably is better off than Bradford at this point. 57% of spread and 54% of multi bets are on the Vikings with 53% of moneyline bets on the home Titans. The money bet is pretty much split down the middle as well as the market is providing nothing to work with. When looking at trends there are some long term ones that are both in Minnesota’s favor. The Vikings are 37-17 ATS in their last 54 games overall, while the Titans are 15-35-4 against the spread in their last 53 games. That is quite staggering, but I would look for a regression to the mean as I think Tennessee has a quarterback in Marcus Mariota. He will get an early test against a fierce Vikings defense. The over/under has dropped from 42.5 to 40 with the loss of Bridgewater as now Minnesota will have even more reason to give the rock to running back Adrian Peterson. 57% of the bets are on the under which is well below par. I like the over a bit with that being the case. The weather should be perfect for scoring and I think the Titans offense will be pretty effective this season.

Philadelphia Eagles -3.5/41 vs. Cleveland Browns This is a pretty ugly matchup as we have the worst team in the league (the Browns) taking on an Eagles team in complete flux. Both teams have new head coaches and quarterbacks. Philadelphia is starting rookie Carson Wentz who is making a huge jump in class from Division 1-AA (FCS) College Football and North Dakota State to Philadelphia and the NFL. The Browns are trying to salvage Robert Griffin III’s career, but have little around him for support. This line has crashed in after opening 7 due to the Eagles trading away Sam Bradford and going with the number two overall selection in this year’s draft at QB. 58% of spread and 56% of parlay and teaser bets are on the Eagles with 62% of moneyline bets on the underdog Browns. This total mixed bag is expected with Wentz’s performance being so unpredictable. Don Best has only one trend for either team, Cleveland is 2-8 against the spread in their last 8 games. That’s good as any trend the Eagles had can be thrown out as they are going to be a very different team after firing head coach Chip Kelly. The over/under dropped accordingly with the Bradford trade from 45 to 41. 54% of the bets are still on the over with 85% of the money on the under. I think you have to be on the money and not on the number of bets here and go with the under. I would expect the Eagles to play at a glacial pace compared to Kelly’s frantic style. The weather should be ok in Philly on Sunday, but there is some wind (10-15 MPH) in the forecast.

Cincinnati Bengals -2.5/42 at New York Jets Here is another game where the gambling market isn’t providing any insight. The line opened up 1 and has moved out with 70% of spread and 63% of combination wagers on the Bengals and 62% of the moneyline bets on the Jets. There is not much else to work with as both teams have a couple of injury concerns and key players out due to suspension. Trends are positive in both directions with the Bengals 8-0 against the spread last season on the road and the Jets 8-3 (ATS) in their last 11 at home. This will be another pool pick for sure. The total is down slightly from its 42.5 opener with 55% of the bets on the under. Nothing there either with a very benign weather report aside from a little bit of wind. The under is 7-1 in the Bengals last 8 conference games.

New Orleans Saints -1.5/52 vs. Oakland Raiders This spread is in slightly after opening up 2 with 55% of spread bets on the Saints and 54% of moneyline and 58% of multi bets on the Raiders. Nothing to work with there and only one trend, but one I like a lot. Oakland is 6-2 against the spread in their last 8 games on FieldTurf. I think the Raiders are the faster more athletic team and will benefit from playing on the speedy carpet in the Superdome. The Saints looked terrible in the preseason losing all 4 games and giving up a total of 100 points, the second most of any team this preseason. The New Orleans defense was terrible last year and I don’t think it has improved even with former Raiders head coach Dennis Allen helming the D. The total is up from 50.5 to 52 with 75% of the bets on the over. It is hard not to agree with the public as this should be a shootout. The Saints are a team that can produce overs and the over is 6-2 in New Orleans last 8 games in September.

Kansas City Chiefs -6.5/44.5 vs. San Diego Chargers This spread is in a half-point after opening 7. The Chiefs will most likely be without running back Jamaal Charles who isn’t back to playing shape after injuring his knee last season. 58% of spread and 66% of combo bets are on Kansas City with 53% of moneyline bets taking the odds with Chargers. Nothing of note there, but the Chiefs are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 on grass and the Chargers are 3-9 against the spread in their last 12 games within the AFC West. This is another game where it will be extremely hard to make a pick. The over/under is up from 43 to 44.5 with just 54% of the bets on the over, but a whopping 96% of the money (sounds like one massive bet). I would follow that move up and go with the over. Last year the Chiefs won both games in this series 33-3 in San Diego and 10-3 at home. That game was in an awful rain storm, this year weather should be perfect for scoring.

Baltimore Ravens -3.5/44.5 vs. Buffalo Bills We finally have a market mover as the Ravens opened up 2.5-point favorites and now are almost -3.5. Most bookies aren’t there yet, but this line has momentum and it isn’t publically driven. 54% of spread and combination bets are on the Ravens with 69% of moneyline bets on the Bills. That isn’t enough to drive a line out and even though the Bills have some injury/suspension concerns this seems like a smart money move to me. Trends favor the Bills as the Ravens are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 home games while the Bills are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 season openers. Unless something drastic changes in the market I will be on the Ravens and expect it to be an official selection. The total is up from 43 to 44.5 with 68% of the bets on the over. That is a very efficient marketplace and doesn’t indicate much. The weather is expected to be beneficial for the scoreboard.

Houston Texans -6/44 vs. Chicago Bears There has been some volatility in this point spread since it opened back in April. It opened up 5, went out to 6 then came back into 4 then back out to 6.5 and now is 6. With few games in the NFL ending in a 5-point differential it doesn’t take much cash to move through that number. Almost all of that movement had to do with the health of Texans defensive end, J.J. Watt, who many consider the best defensive player in the league. Obviously with the spread on the higher end of the range, Watt will be good to play. The Bears have a lot of players on the injury list already, almost all of the defensive side of the ball along with a pair of wide receivers. Finally a little conviction by the public with 67% of spread and 75% of parlay and teasers on Houston, but still 60% of the moneyline bets are on underdog Chicago (mmm Chicago dog). I’m sure I will be on the Bears, but I would expect it just to be a public fade pool pick. Although this isn’t very lopsided at all and the Chicago injury list is really long. The total is unchanged although 69% of the bets are on the under. Sportsinsights also is listing a money percentage that I have been quoting as well, 80% of the money is on the under. I’m confused about how the over/under is hanging in at 44, I am definitely leaning towards the over. The Texans have a very talented offense after adding quarterback Brock Osweiler and running back Lamar Miller and I mentioned the Bears defensive woes. The Bears should have a productive offense as well though they need to get their receiving corps healthy.

Green Bay Packers -5/48 at Jacksonville Jaguars Finally we have best bet potential as this currently is an 80-20 game. 80% of the spread and 82% of multi bets are on the always popular Packers. Even 69% of the moneyline bets are willing to lay the odds with Green Bay. So this line must have opened up at Packers by 3 or less, right? No, 4.5 and many sportsbooks still have it there. If this point spread starts coming in then you have my exact dream scenario and the Jaguars will be on the best bets all season. Jacksonville defense should be much improved with a couple of huge free agent additions, using the 5th pick in the draft on a cornerback and the 36th pick on a linebacker. They also will see the debut of Dante Fowler Jr. on Sunday the 3rd overall pick in the 2015 draft. Fowler missed all of last season with an injury. The Jags offense is also improved with the addition of running back Chris Ivory and starting the season with a healthy group of weapons for improving quarterback Blake Bortles. Jacksonville are also has the healthier team. The Packers are the current favorites to win Super Bowl 51 on Betfair (8-1, I would sell that!), but I think they have some question marks. They get wide receiver Jordy Nelson back after missing all of last season with a knee injury, but I doubt he is 100%. They didn’t add much at all in the offseason and cut Pro Bowl guard Jose Sitton and lost former Pro Bowl defensive tackle B.J. Raji to retirement/hiatus. It is all pointed towards Jacksonville including a 12-5 record ATS in Week 1 the last 17 years. I do hope that their 10-21-1 against the spread record in their last 32 home games is ancient history and the Jaguars will be back on the upswing. The weather should be an edge for Jacksonville as it is expected to be around 90F degrees and with high humidity and sun it will feel like 100F. The total is up from 47 to 48 with 75% of the bets on the over. This might be another chance to fade the public as I would think the improved Jaguars defense will slow down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Seattle Seahawks -10.5/44.5 vs. Miami Dolphins There has been a big move in this line as it opened up 7 and is now out to 10.5. Injuries/suspensions account for a lot of that as the Dolphins will be missing a few key players. Most importantly their center Mike Pouncey’s hip will keep him out, that is a huge problem going into Seattle and dealing with that crowd and defense. 58% of spread and 68% of combination bets are on the Seahawks with 56% of moneyline bets on the Dolphins. It seems like there is some smart money that has helped push this point spread out along with who will be missing for Miami. The Dolphins are 5-16 against the spread in their last 21 games. A lot here is pointing to the Seahawks. This is clearly the best option for “Survivor/Knock Out” pools and if I had 3 picks I would use 2 on them. The over/under opened up at 44 and is either their or a half-point higher. 53% of the bets are on the under and money is split. If anything I like the over here as I could see the Seattle offense make a statement and their defense contribute to the scoring as well. Weather will be fine for scoring and at 65F definitely much more comfortable than the 80F+ you see in the Northeast.

Dallas Cowboys PK/46 vs. New York Giants Big line move here as the Cowboys opened 4-point favorites, but the loss of quarterback Tony Romo has them starting a rookie in 4th round pick Dak Prescott. They will also be starting a rookie running back in odds on favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year, Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott looked terrific in preseason, but starting an all rookie backfield is a scary proposition. The Giants spent a ton of money in free agency on their defense which was a total sieve last season. The public doubts the Cowboys as 69% of spread, 70% of moneyline and 62% of parlay and teasers are all of the new look Giants. I might have to fade that and considering how poor the Giants first team played in the preseason it isn’t very hard to do. The Cowboys are 10-25-1 ATS in their last 36 home games. The total is down on Romo’s injury from 49 to 46 or 46.5. Still 2/3rds of the bets are on the over as many expect the Giants offense to make plays and the Prescott/Elliott duo to be dynamic. I’m not so sure about that and I think the under is probably the better side. The Cowboys under Jason Garrett have a history of being very deliberate and use a lot of the play clock. They should run the ball a lot and keep that clock moving. The Giants defense will almost certainly be improved with the talent influx as well. There are a lot of over trends in this series and for both teams. The under is due as the last 7 matchups between these two teams have gone over.

Indianapolis Colts -3/50.5 vs. Detroit Lions This line has come in from its 4.5 opener and even after pushing past 5 and approaching 5.5. Not sure what has brought this on, but the Lions seem like a smart money play. There are some significant injuries on the Indy side, but I don’t think that accounts for this big a move. 63% of spread and 70% of parlay bets are on the Colts with 66% of the moneyline bets on the Lions. The big money bets are on the Lions as 80% of the spread money and 89% of the outright money is on Detroit. I think the Colts have some major deficiencies on their offensive and defensive lines, while the Lions are pretty stout in the trenches. The Lions will almost certainly be an official selection. The total is up from 49 to 50.5 with 59% of the bets on the over, but 75% of the money. I will go with the line move and the money and likely go over here. The Indianapolis defense is one of the worst in the NFL.

Arizona Cardinals -7/45 vs. New England Patriots The biggest line move in week 1 as Tom Brady will be suspended for the first 4 games of the season. This was a pick’em game back in April and moved to Cards by 5.5 on the Brady news. It has pushed out further as defensive stalwart Rob Ninkovich has also been suspended for the first quarter of the season and now to a full touchdown with tight end Rob Gronkowski listed as doubtful. This is a shocking turn of events as the Pats without Brady and Gronk are shockingly limited. As you would think 71% of spread and 60% of combination bets are on the Cardinals, though 65% of moneyline bets are on the Patriots. I will probably be on the Cards, but not with a lot of conviction. Both teams have struggled on grass with Arizona 3-9 ATS in their last 12 on the real stuff. The Patriots are even worse as they don’t regularly play on it and are 3-12 against the spread in their last 15 on grass. I remember mentioning this as one of the many reason I liked the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship Game last season. The over/under dropped obviously as well from 51 to 45 with the Brady and now Gronk news. 52% of the bets are on the under with 97% of the money (???) and that seems like the smart side. I would expect New England to try to shorten the game as much as possible and the Pats defense is still very strong.

Pittsburgh Steelers -3/50 at Washington Redskins (MNF) The line is unchanged here with 67% of spread and 77% of multi bets on the Steelers, 55% of moneyline bets are on Washington. Still that is a nice fade and I never need a reason to take a small home dog, especially on primetime. Pittsburgh is definitely the more injured team and don’t have their running back Le’Veon Bell for the first 3 games. This over/under is down from 50.5 with 2/3rds of the bets on the over. I have no opinion on this total as the market is giving a slight under suggestion, but I don’t trust it with these offenses and perfect weather expected for Monday night.

Los Angeles Rams -2.5/42.5 at San Francisco 49ers (MNF) Another small home dog on Monday night and I’m sure I will be on them again here. The line is unchanged with 71% of spread and 77% of combination bets on Los Angeles (that is odd to type). 56% of moneyline bets are on the Niners, but that obviously doesn’t offset all that Rams action. I think San Fran will be improved with new head coach Chip Kelly and the Rams now being in Los Angeles doesn’t mean much when opening on the road. The Rams have struggled in week 1 going just 3-12 ATS in their last 15 openers. San Francisco opened up last season with a dominant performance against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. The 49ers are 24-6 against the spread in their last 30 games on MNF. Last season the home team won each of the matchups. The total has dropped from 46 to 42.5 as seemingly everyone is on the under here. 80% of the spread bets and 92% of the money bet are on the under. All trends point to under including both games last year going under, 38-17-1 of the last 56 Rams road games have gone under and under is 35-17 in last 52 on grass. On the San Fran side under is 8-2 in last 10 division games and 18-5 in the last 23 home games. All of those trends and all of these bets are ignoring the fact that Chip Kelly is now the 49ers head coach and they should play at a very fast pace on offense. When Kelly was HC of the Philadelphia Eagles he excelled at producing huge plays and points in the special teams. There is no way I would take the under in this game.


Spot on the All Night Appetite with Scotty

on SEN 1116 in Melbourne, Australia

Definitely the longest I have been on radio consecutively without a break, I hope the guys were able to get all the ads in. Feel like I covered just about everything aside from Major League Baseball which is right now in its home stretch (except for the New York Mets signing Tim Tebow to a minor league contract !?!). I started with NFL and last night’s opener and few picks for Sunday. I then moved on to the Tebow signing, then Ryan Lochte’s suspension for being an idiot in Rio followed by some U.S. Open tennis. We discussed the business end of the PGA tour season as the FedEx Cup is up for grabs. Then we had a surprisingly a pretty comprehensive discussion on the 2016-17 NBA season. Then I was totally shocked when ice hockey became the topic of discussion, both the NHL and the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Then my favorite part of any show answering some SMS questions which were expectedly about the NFL. I thoroughly enjoyed that, just wish we had more time!


Recap of NFL Opening Night

Denver Broncos 21 – Carolina Panthers 20 Although it wasn’t the best played game the opener of the NFL season came right down to the wire and was won by the slimmest of margins. I wasn’t enthused by this matchup, but it ended up being an entertaining game. Although they seemingly had control of the game the Panthers were unable to avenge their loss in Super Bowl 50. Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian overcame a couple of first half mistakes and looked very capable in leading Denver’s comeback. The Broncos aren’t going to let go of their title easily as they have an extremely talented and balanced team. They have some of the NFL best at many positions and their line play was very solid. If Siemian plays at a similar level the rest of the season the Broncos are going to win a lot of games. The Panthers will certainly take a step back after their 15-1 season last year, but their offense should still be as dynamic. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who missed all of last season due to injury, was impactful with 6 catches for 92 and a touchdown. The Panthers defense wasn’t nearly as stout against the run, which I think says more about the Broncos offensive line and running back C.J. Anderson. Their pass defense was strong, but the loss of cornerback Josh Norman will be more evident when going against better quarterbacks, especially the 3 in their division (Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston). I highly doubt that the Panthers will be back in the Super Bowl and it wouldn’t shock me if their 3-year run as NFC South champs comes to an end.


Pick for NFL Opening Night

Denver Broncos +3 over the Carolina Panthers


Pick for NFL Opening Night

After a relaxing summer of leisure I reluctantly have to accept it is “Back to School” time. No I’m not going back to college like the hilarious Rodney Dangerfield, but I do have to get back to doing these “homework” assignments. I know that might sound odd as so many of you are excited at the thought of the NFL returning to action and would assume I would have the same or even higher level of enthusiasm. By action of course I mean wagering, tipping competitions, “survivor/knock-out” pools and of course fantasy both season long and daily/weekly leagues. I am happy to report that the ban on New York State residents that went into effect in March has been lifted just in time for the NFL season to kickoff. Every season it takes until Sunday at 1pm on that opening day for me to get excited and until then writing about football feels like a chore. I am not sure exactly how the format will look for this season, but I definitely will have a full Week 1 preview of all games out tomorrow along with a bunch of other features.

Tonight’s opening game doesn’t cut it for me. I agree with Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and think the NFC Champion Panthers should get to host week 1. I don’t see why the NFL would think we would want to see a rematch of such an underwhelming game. Even if the Panthers were to get “revenge”, the Denver Broncos players who were on the field in February know they won the game that really mattered. As I did last year I will be picking all 256 NFL games this season with the spread. I again will designate the selections as best bets, official picks and pool picks.

Denver Broncos +3 over the Carolina Panthers This is just a pool pick on the opening night even though the market is once again suggesting the Broncos are the pick. Just as was the case in Super Bowl 50 the betting public is on the favored Panthers. Three-quarters of spread and parlay bets are on Carolina along with 60% of the moneyline bets. As with all point spreads in Week 1 we have nearly 5 months of history as many sportsbooks posted lines in mid-April. The Broncos opened as 2.5-point favorites, but quickly flipped to underdogs as their search to replace Peyton Manning at quarterback came up empty. It pushed out to Panthers by 2.5 when it seemed Mark Sanchez would be the starter under center for Denver. When it became clear it would be Trevor Siemian, who last year in his rookie year took one snap and a knelt down, would start the Panthers neared 3.5-point favoritism. Over the past 24 hours the Panthers have gone from -3 (-125 or 1.80) to -3 (Even) with the Broncos going from +3 (+105) to +3 (-120 or 1.83). I think this is significant and in conflict with the bets coming in on the Panthers. Even with this I cannot make this an official selection as I don’t know what can be expected of Siemian tonight. Obviously being home will help, but this is still a huge spot to be making your NFL debut. I also don’t think you can disregard the revenge factor as the Panthers should be highly motivated while most of the Broncos have that ring in their back pocket.

As for tonight’s over/under it has dropped after opening 43.5 to 40.5 with the entirety of that move occurring in the past ten days. It seems like the smart money and public are both on the under with 60% of bets going that way. That is well under par for a national TV game where 60-40 over would be the norm. If I had to do anything I would side with bookies and go with the over. The Super Bowl was 24-10 and I could see this being a slightly higher scoring affair. Maybe two defensive or special teams not just the one we saw in Santa Clara in February.