The Phive - NFL Week 1 Bets
Updated: Sep 10
Welcome back, everyone. I've discussed a lot on this blog. It began with a strange love for the MLS Is Back Tournament then grew into the MLB, NBA, and NHL. We did a little horse racing, though that didn't pan out, and I even gave you some gold when it came to politics. But none of that matters anymore. The NFL gets underway tomorrow, and this entire edition is going to be dedicated to what my best bets for the week are. I will be breaking down each game individually, but unless you see the word BET, DON'T bet!
For reference, I am one of the expert predictors over at BettingPros.com, and to be considered for their ATS, O/U, and Moneyline rankings, I have to make at least FOUR picks in each category. I am also in a pool that asks you to pick five ATS bets to be eligible for a prize at the end of the season.
Therefore, below you will see FIVE picks ATS, FOUR picks O/U, and FOUR moneyline picks.
At the bottom, I'll rank the best based on confidence so you know what to bet.
Get it? Good.
Also today started pretty well. Anyone see that Brewers game? Looked like batting practice. 19-0. I'll take it.
Here's where we stand.
Brewers -1.5 (+105) (W)
Raptors +3 (W)
Record to this point:
Total 93-73 (23-19)
NBA 41-36 (4-7)
MLB 14-7 (6-1)
NHL 33-25 (12-10)
MLS 3-4 (1-1)
NCAAF 2-1 (0-0)
Notable: 58-42 in first 100 bets
NHL Playoff Futures
Series Winners: 9-3
Dallas Stars Series (+205)
Stars +1.5 games (+105) - Series tied 1-1
New York Islanders Series (+165)
Islanders -1.5 games (+300) - Lightning lead 1-0
NBA Playoff Futures
Series Winners: 6-3
Toronto Raptors (-152) - Series tied 3-3
Los Angeles Clippers (-910) - Clippers lead 2-1
Los Angeles Lakers (-670)
Total games over 5.5 (+110) - Lakers lead 2-1
Chiefs vs Texans
The game that starts the 2020 NFL season has one bet that is mildly interesting and is going down as my fourth-best total bet of the week. The Chiefs are favored by 9, which feels both too big and just right, so I'm staying away from that. However, the total is set at 54.5 which again feels too big. Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson can easily clear this, but I have a theory that teams are really going to struggle to start this season offensively because of the lack of preseason. It's just a theory, and this is my least confident of the 13 bets this week, but I'm going with the under.
BET: KC/HOU under 54.5
Packers vs Vikings
I don't like anything here. The Vikings are favored by 2.5, but I think they're a little overrated right now. However, I don't trust the Packers. The total is set at 45.5 which leaves me shrugging my shoulders. The best bet may be the Packers on the moneyline, but I'm not confident enough to take it.
Bears vs Lions
The Lions were the best bad team in history last season, and with Matthew Stafford back, they're going to make a lot more noise in the NFC North than anyone is predicting. Mitchell Trubisky gets the start, but the young QB is going to have the weight of the world on his shoulders with Nick Foles breathing down his neck. The Bears defense is great, but the Lions offense has a ton of weapons this year. It's make or break time for Matt Patricia.
BET: Detroit Lions -155
Colts vs Jaguars
The Colts get Philip Rivers, while the Jaguars offense is going to reek this year. They just lost Leonard Fournette, and I honestly don't know how they're going to score points this year. I don't see the Jags scoring more than 14 in any scenario here, and while I don't quite know what to expect from Rivers in his first start with a new team, I do know I love the under.
BET: IND/JAC under 45
Raiders vs Panthers
The Panthers are in a lot of trouble. Eli Apple is out, meaning their defense just got thinner, and other than Christian McCaffrey, there is nothing to get excited about on the offensive side of the ball. I think Derek Carr torches the Panthers' secondary and the Raiders easily cover in this one.
BET: Raiders -3.5
BET: Las Vegas Raiders -175 (I realize most people don't like doing this. I don't either. But I needed four picks for the contest I'm in, so this is my fourth. I took Vegas because they're playing one of the worst teams and the price is under -200.)
Jets vs Bills
I don't like anything here. The total is very low, and the Bills are much better than the Jets, but winning by a touchdown feels like a lot. I'm taking a wait and see approach with both of these teams.
Seahawks vs Falcons
This game is interesting, but with its high point total, I'm going to take the under. The Falcons and Seahawks can both score, but when their defenses are healthy they tend to hold teams in the 20s. The number is currently set at 49. I just think it's too high. I'm also going to take the Falcons moneyline here. They're slight dogs and everyone is all over the Seahawks this year, but I don't think they're as good as the hype. And even if they are, they started slowly last season in Week 1 against the Bengals. So what will happen to them when they had no preseason?
BET: SEA/ATL under 49
BET: Atlanta Falcons +115
Eagles vs Football Team
This number keeps dropping, which sounds good to me. I realize this is a line that almost makes no sense. Why would Vegas make the Eagles such small favorites in a game that they should win easily? I've thought about it, and I've thought about it, but with the number dropping a full point, I'm taking the Eagles and the points and hoping to laugh in Vegas' face.
BET: Eagles -5.5
Dolphins vs Patriots
The Dolphins started last season miserably but really turned it on late. In six of their last seven games of the season, the total went over. If anything, I think the Dolphins are better this year. Meanwhile, the Patriots went the opposite route and got worse as the season went along. Their defense started to show flaws, and Tom Brady looked lost near the end of the season. Cam Newton is under center this year, and I actually think he's going to be able to produce more scoring chances with the offense this season than Brady was able to last season. Therefore, give me the over at a small number.
BET: MIA/NE over 43
Browns vs Ravens
It's good to have Lamar Jackson back. That being said, I don't have a play on this game. I don't like taking more than touchdown favorites in Week 1, especially when they're playing a division rival. This total is also very high for Week 1, but could easily be covered by both offenses.
Chargers vs Bengals
The Bengals offer great value here and are just outside the key number making them a really enticing ATS pick. The Chargers were awful last season with Philip Rivers under center, and it's hard to imagine they're going to be better this year with Tyrod Taylor. Joe Burrow gets his first start in the NFL, and I like him to keep this one very close against a team that isn't very good.
BET: Bengals +3.5
Buccaneers vs Saints
It's a trap! This game is the ultimate Vegas trap. The Bucs were the stars of the offseason and Vegas comes out and drops them at +3.5. So, if they lose by a field goal we win. Simple enough. Not so fast. Vegas is feeling something that we're not. They know this is going to be one of the most bet games of the week. I'm staying away and I advise you do the same.
Cardinals vs 49ers
I love the Cardinals here. The 49ers are going to have a bit of a hangover from the Super Bowl loss, and the Cardinals offense is going to come out firing. I still think the 49ers get the win here, but the Cardinals are going to play them close just like they did all of last season. At a full touchdown, this is too good to pass up.
BET: Cardinals +7
Cowboys vs Rams
I'm not going to make a play on this game, but if I was going to, I'd be on the Rams. They're being disrespected. The Cowboys get a new head coach and all of a sudden they're everyone's pick to win the Super Bowl. I'm not falling for it again. Plus, for how "AWFUL" the Rams were last season, had the new playoff format been in effect, they would have made it to the postseason. Stay away from this game.
Steelers vs Giants
I got in on this one at Steelers -4, and it has done nothing but grow from there. I'm still going to take the Steelers, however, because I think with Big Ben back they're going to mix things up in the AFC. Like with the Rams, had the new playoff format been in effect last season, the Steelers would have made the playoffs despite not being a very good team. I think they start off hot against a Giants team that is still a year away.
BET: Steelers -5.5
Titans vs Broncos
It seems that the ship has sailed on this game. I got in on this with the Titans at +110, but it looks like they're now -135 or so because of a huge line swing. This is one of my moneyline plays, so I'll advise you to take the moneyline, but if it goes any higher than -150, stay away. This is a road game for the Titans and at altitude, the Broncos could have an advantage.
BET: Tennessee Titans < -150
That's every game! Here's how I have each of the bets ranked:
1. IND/JAC under 45
2. Cardinals +7
3. Las Vegas Raiders -175
4. Steelers -5.5
5. Bengals +3.5
6. MIA/NE over 43
7. Tennessee Titans < -150
8. Atlanta Falcons +115
9. Raiders -3.5
10. Eagles -5.5
11. Detroit Lions -155
12. SEA/ATL under 49
13. KC/HOU under 54.5
Good luck this weekend! I'll see everyone on Friday with another edition of The Phive. As always, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @Phil_Wood_Jr