Written By Matthew Nereim
With 3 games already in the books this week, Sunday brings a lighter than normal schedule, and few marquee matchups. But profiting from betting is not about entertainment value, for me at least. Last week my Bears vs Packer under-hit early...but my Raiders/Jags over flopped more than I can still believe...these things happen. Being “Mr. Anti-Joe Public”, let’s see who the masses are all over, and if we can find some value on rolling against the tide which is (generally) the only way...for me at least!
Steelers @ Jets +3
64% of the bets are on the Steelers and the line moved from 2 to 3. Le’Veon Bell is back for the Jets against his former employer for the 1st time. The Steelers are in a position to reach the playoffs, rather surprisingly. Usually this time of year the team that has more to play for is at an added advantage. Simple-logic would tell you that Pitt should win easily. However, this line makes me think that Pitt will have to work harder than one might think in order to punch another W into the win column. There’s no way can I endorse the Jets for an actual bet, but their defense at home (where they have actually won 3-straight) projects to give the Steelers less than electric offense some resistance. This one will not be easy on the eyes! Easy Pass.
Chargers @ Raiders +7 (in Los Angeles)
Note: The Chargers are technically playing at home. 57% of the bets are on the Raiders yet the line moved away from them from 6 to 7 and even 7.5 in some books. They are coming off a horrific 7-turnover performance against the Vikings. The Chargers fumbled from FG range just before the half which led them to be down 9 instead of up at least 1 with a potential made FG. Melvin Gordon then promptly fumbled on the 1st play of the 2nd half, his 2nd of the game inside his own red zone. But, the Chargers D actually played a spirited game and did an amazing job of keeping them in it before eventually giving-way after things turned even uglier on the other side of the ball. The Raiders are without stud RB Josh Jacobs and are reeling after losing outright to the hapless Jags at home in the waning seconds after holding a 16-3 halftime lead. I thought the Bolts would show up to play last week, and the defense did. I am not crazy about riding with a team that continues to turn the ball over, in bunches. But the Chargers don’t have to play a perfect game to get the job done tomorrow. And if they just play their “B-game” (as in 1 turnover or less), that should be more than enough to get the job done. And I think they do just that. Bet: Chargers -7
Lions @ Broncos -7
71% of the bets are on the Broncos but the line say chilly at 7 all week. QB Drew Lock came back down to earth, but that was in KC, in the snow, against an improving Chiefs defense. The Lions have been stinking it up since Stafford went down, although they played tough in Minnesota a couple weeks back. Denver is one of the tougher places to play, especially for a team that plays in a dome half the time. I like Denver here...but there is no way that I can endorse a team that 71% of the bets are on when the line does not move a half-inch. Easy pass.
Monday Night: Packers @ Vikings -5
60% of the bets are on “The Pack”, yet, the line moved from -4 to 5. SImple-logic would say take the points with Rogers and Co. especially with Kirk Cousins dreadful record in primetime games. On paper, these teams have a lot of similarities as both teams are in the top-5 in turnovers and red zone offense & defense. The Packers have a hammer-lock on the division but have not won many style points this year. The Vikings did win 39-10 last week on the road but Phillip Rivers started 15 of 20 for 175 yards and was moving the ball before things fell apart with the 7 turnovers. I like the Packers here, but 5-points feels SUPER-FISHY! This line-movement coupled with Joe Public’s support scares me and then some. Easy Pass. But I will watch it with pleasure!
As always, if you’re going to bet, make it be with money that you can afford to lose!