NFL Week 1 Leans
Here are my leans for Week 1:
Browns +4.5 (-115) @ Philadelphia
This is now at +4. And me and Lou discussed on the podcast, we think Philadelphia is really going to stink this year, especially starting a banged up rookie QB in Week 1. They are a young team who isn’t 3 points better than anyone at the moment, nevermind the lowly Browns. Also, RGIII has looked pretty good in pre-season and with new coach and offensive guru Hue Jackson, the Browns should be able to move the ball and throw it downfield. This should be either a close, entertaining game or a close, boring game that sets the sport of American football back 5 years.
Minnesota at Tennessee Under 41 (-105)
With a second year QB (Mariota), and an old backup QB (Hill), and two teams whose wide receiving corps have an average fantasy football draft ranking of 9th round or lower, I expect alot of two and three tight end sets and an over/under of plays with 3 WR sets at 25.5 (the average NFL game, teams run around 110-125 plays). There is a hint that new MIN QB Sam Bradford might actually play in this one, despite being there for like, a week. Titans TE Delanie Walker is questionable with an illness, and he’s a big part of the Titans’ zone read playaction offense. And the game is played on natural grass. This should be the day’s most boring game.
Oakland at New Orleans Over 51 (-110)
Both teams have tremendous offensive talent, all healthy because it’s Week 1. Drew Brees, who just signed a new 2 year deal, does way better at home in the dome than he does on the road. So does his offensive teammates. New Orleans’ defense is the worst in the league, and Oakland’s is about average. This should be the most exciting game of the day.
Baltimore -3 (-115) vs Buffalo
Buffalo’s defense is missing DT Darius due to suspension and WR Sammy Watkins is banged up. They also have some questions at free safety, an important role in Rex Ryan’s scheme. From Greg Bedard below:
There is no more crucial position in Rex Ryan’s defense than the free safety, who is the nerve center for all communication and checks. Graham had his share of issues last season after converting from cornerback. Communication was a big issue for the defense last season, Ryan’s first in Buffalo, and that has to become a strength for the unit to take the next step.
I expect Baltimore to test the safeties early and often with Joe Flacco’s deep ball prowless; they also get some WRs back from injury (Perriman, Smith) they didn’t have last year. Buffalo also will have a hard time exploiting the Ravens’ weakness, CB depth, as their QB Tyrod Taylor is more of a zone read QB as supposed to a guy who can dink and dunk with precision accuracy. Also, Taylor was a Raven, so the front 7 had a good look at his running style during his time there. Betting the Ravens at home has done me well over the years, so going to stick with the trend on this one.
TEASER @ +330:
GB/JAX Over 48
Mickey Gall -300 (now at -400)
So Mickey Gall, who is 2-0 in his young career (with two submissions) faces former WWE wrestler Phil “CM Punk” Brooks this Saturday at UFC 203. I bet this the minute it came out, and as you can see, the action on Gall has poured in. It might even go to -420 (lol) before the fight. CM Punk, who has been training MMA for the last two years, has never fought a professional or amateur MMA fight and has only done a little Kempo in terms of formal martial arts training. The UFC is really only putting him out there to sell a PPV. According to MMA journalist Luke Thomas, CM Punk didn’t technically meet Ohio athletic commission’s stated requirements for licensure (yet they gave him one anyways; who says money doesn’t influence politics!). CM Punk has also had a hard time cutting weight to 170 (which he hasn’t weighed since high school!), which is always a bad sign at 37 years of age. At 23, Mickey Gall is a brown belt in jiu-jitsu from the Jim Miller camp in NJ, one known for its world class rear naked chokes and guillotines. That would be a prop to take the day of the fight (I would guess Gall to win by submission would be at around +150; I’ll probably take that too). If Mickey Gall loses this, I might retire from MMA betting as I clearly don’t know anything (or, the kid takes a paid dive and the sport is rigged).
PARLAY: Jessica Eye (-145) and Mickey Gall (-300) and Werdum (-300) and GGG (Boxing, -600) @ +240