Week 2 Best Bets - Sides
September 13, 2018
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Week 2 NFL Best Bets – Sides
Last week's selections were able to split the board as the Minnesota Vikings did enough to defend their turf and cover the 6.5 points they were laying, while the Chargers continued to get plagued by self-inflicted mistakes and feeling like they are the visitors when they are at home. Until this Chargers team strings a few wins together, chances are that non-home field advantage that they have won't go away.
So it's on to Week 2 now and we've got quite a few interesting games on the board, especially division rivalries. The divisional rivalries we've got this week should be great as they include Minnesota/GB, Houston/Tennessee, Carolina/Atlanta, Miami/NY Jets, Arizona/LA Rams, Oakland/Denver, and NY Giants/Dallas all going head-to head.
One of those games I'll touch on a bit later, but for now it's all about getting a few ATS wins in our pocket this week and it begins with a team looking for their first SU win in years.
Odds per - Bookmaker.eu
Best Bet #1: Cleveland Browns +9
Hopefully like many of the readers at VegasInsider.com, I was able to catch this great Hot/Not piece by a colleague at the site this week, as they stated how bad of a situation this could be for Cleveland Browns fans this week. No road team coming off a rare tie game this century has gone on to cover the point spread (0-9 ATS) and usually it's the Cleveland Browns who are apart of streaks like that, not the ones trying to snap it.
Look, I get it, the Saints were embarrassed at home as a double-digit favorite and now they definitely want to take a big piece out of their next opponent because of it. But can you really trust a Saints defense that just spent weeks/months preparing for backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick – they knew he'd be starting forever - and then let him light them up in the fashion he did? I just don't see how you can to be honest.
Furthermore, the Saints are in a tough spot themselves this week as teams that have scored 40+ one week and are at home the next are just 10-17 ATS the last three years. Make them a home favorite and you get that number squeezed down to 10-15 ATS for teams in that spot. Not exactly a huge percentage in favor of a Browns play here, but favor those home teams that scored 40+ by six or more points and you get a 2-7 ATS run over the past two seasons for these squads.
The Browns are going to be freewheeling and taking whatever shots they can this year – at least until they get a win – and New Orleans defense isn't going to provide much resistance in that regard. Whether or not there is a hangover effect for the Saints defense given how their season ended a year ago we will probably never know, but that's the side of the ball that's really going to hold Brees and the rest of the team back in 2018.
This game probably isn't the automatic double-digit win many believe it is with the lowly Browns coming to town, because a back door cover is always going to be available to Cleveland with how bad this Saints defense is, and until New Orleans shows me something this year on that side of the ball (and does so for multiple weeks), fading the Saints as sizable favorites is something I'm looking to do.
Odds per - Bookmaker.eu
Best Bet #1: Oakland Raiders +6
This is another line where I see this game as a battle of perception vs reality as the Oakland Raiders really did look bad on MNF in losing to the Rams. The entire Gruden Era – Part Deux has been quite a disaster overall for the Raiders and their stock is so low right now that bettors have been lining up all week to get a piece of Denver ATS this week.
Betting percentages at VegasInsider.com currently show about 80% of the bets made already on this game coming Denver's way. The Broncos did look solid in beating Seattle at home a week ago, but that game was close throughout and was decided by a FG. Seattle was not a team many thought highly of entering the year either, but are they really considered about a FG better than Oakland after just one week?
That's essentially the question you've got to ask yourself here as it was just a week ago that Seattle was in the same spot; on the road in Denver, and they were catching +3 to +3.5 points. Oakland, a division rival, now visits Denver after an opening week loss and are bet up to +6? I just don't see it as the -4/4.5 line oddsmakers opened up here was probably where it should have been and definitely should have stayed.
Oakland is not going to show themselves in as bad a light as they did in that 2nd half on MNF and I'll gladly take the few extra points of value here with the Raiders. This game is likely going to be decided by a FG (as the Seattle game was) as I'm not so sure Denver is that great of a team worthy of laying nearly a TD in Week 2.
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