One of the tools long known to the daily fantasy sports (DFS) community, but not often used by the season-long fantasy sports player, is how to use the Las Vegas gambling lines for fantasy. The point spread, or “line,” on sporting events can help you as a fantasy owner when it’s time to build a DFS lineup or set your weekly roster in season long. In short, you can look at a projected game total and point spread and determine the points expected to be scored in any given contest.

For example, if team A is a 10 point favorite over team B and the game total is 48, you can expect that team A will score 29, and team B will score 19. This is in no way an exact science, nor is it accurate 100% of the time, but it will give you a general idea of what to expect from teams on any given week. That same week, team C might be a 7 point favorite over team D with a game total of 37, which gives team C an implied point total of 22 while team D is expected to score only 15 points.

This is a very simplistic breakdown, but using these examples, we can see that team A has an implied point total of 29 points while team D is looking at 15 points. Using these examples, more often than not, it would benefit you to use players from team A rather than team D.

Last season, we touched on every game, but this year Rick KernsJames HanmoreJoey Knish, and myself will be providing you with a short breakdown of only our favorite plays of the week for gambling purposes. We’ll also give a breakdown of each team’s projected point total and the point total for each game as well. That should help give you a nice foundation to work from as you make your start/sit decisions for the week. Thank you and good luck.


James Hanmore

(Last week: 1-1/Season: 1-1 )

Jets -3 vs Dolphins

Taking a look at the point spreads on this week, I am going to do something I never thought I would do… The Jets looked legitimately passable on Monday night in their 48-17 demolishing of the Lions. They are minus-3 this week against the Dolphins. Yes, the Dolphins won in the longest game since the AFL merger, but the first three quarters were dreadful. They only seemed to pile the points on once injuries to Adoree Jackson and Marcus Mariota limited Tennessee. Jets should cover that spread comfortably.

Browns @ Saints, total 49.5

Is this going to be another of those seasons where every Saints game seems to be 48-37 or some ridiculous final score? The Browns did well capitalizing on Pittsburgh’s mistakes in week one (apart from the final kick) and should put some points up in better conditions in New Orleans. Coupled with Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and company, there should be points in this game. The total line is 49.5 which should easily go over.

Jets -3

Browns @ Saints, over 49.5


Rick Kerns

(Last week: 4-0/Season: 4-0 )

After a 4-0 start to week 1, we’re going to continue the winning ways this week. I don’t see any games that I love, but I do see two road teams that will make a great teaser.

Panthers +12 @ Falcons

Falcons lost their two young defensive studs in safety Neal and linebacker Jones. That will hurt them against the Panthers this week with Cam, McCaffrey, and company. I would almost just take the Panthers +6 as a straight bet, but I’ll play it a bit safer with the teaser.

Chargers -1 @ Bills

Bills are brutal, and the Chargers are solid although they did make many mistakes last week against the Chiefs including a lot of dropped passes that could have changed the game including a wide open TD drop. They rebound this week and handle the Bills.

So just the one play this week from me, but I’m not going to force it.

Panthers +12 and Chargers -1 teaser

Joey Knish

(Last week: -/Season: -)

Chiefs @ Steelers -4.5

This line was -7 last week, and reopened -5, has since moved to -4. The Steelers come off an ugly tie in Cleveland, but it was in poor weather, where they turned the ball over six times. Pittsburgh significantly out-gained the Browns and deserved to win the game. I still have this line Power rated Steelers -6.5. The Chiefs defense looked as bad as advertised week 1, and will struggle to contain the Pitt offense. I’ll back the Steelers to cover at home 31-20.

Ravens @ Bengals, under 45

A divisional match-up with two offenses coming off explosive efforts week 1. The Ravens laid waste to the hapless Bills, and the Bengals dropped 34 on a porous Colts defense. However, this is a short week, Thursday night game, with two top-15 defenses. Flacco and Dalton are two quarterbacks who struggle mightily against pressure, and both teams should have success getting to the quarterback. 20-17 Bengals.

Steelers -4.5

Ravens @ Bengals, under 45


John Di Bari

(last week: 1-1 /season:1-1 )

Chiefs @ Steelers, over 52.5

I’m probably going to be taking the over in most of the Chiefs’ games this season. A dynamic offense and an abysmal defense mean points galore on each side of the ball. Until this number gets near 55 or more, I’ll be taking Chiefs’ overs all year. The Steelers’ offensive unit is still one of the league’s best and should help push this over early in the third quarter.

Chargers @ Bills +7

It’s easy to hate the Bills, and rightfully so. They looked like one of the NFL’s worst teams on opening weekend, but 7 seems like a bit too much for me. They still have a decent enough defensive unit and coming off of that embarrassment last week, should be motivated to redeem themselves. The Chargers are a west coast team playing an early game on the east coast and will be without Joey Bosa again this week. I think the Chargers win, but I think the Bills keep it close.

Chiefs @ Steelers, over 52.5

Bills +7


Spencer Scoled

(last week: 1-0 /season:1-0 )

Panthers +6 @ Falcons

I wrote an in-depth article here about why I think the Panthers cover.

Eagles -3 @ Buccaneers

This line seems silly to me. I’m giving Foles and the Eagles a pass for Week 1’s debacle. Their defence is far superior right now compared to New Orlean’s (although I made the mistake of thinking NO’s would have a top-tier defense this year. Plenty of time to turn it around!). I don’t think Fitzmagic will be able to do anything resembling what he did to the Saints’ defense. I also believe Foles gets his act together and shows why he won a SuperBowl. One piece of information I liked courtesy of @ConnorAllenNFL: “Tampa Bay allowed the worst passing success rate in the league in Week 1 (72%).” By the way, Buccaneers’ cornerback Vernon Hargreaves is out for the season.

Panthers @ Falcons, under 44.5

I’m not a fan of point over/unders, but I do like this number. A divisional game and two solid defences squaring off. Plus, fingers crossed Sarkisian again forgets how to do anything productive in the red zone.

Proceed with caution on this one though. As Rick Kerns mentioned above, two important defensive cogs in Jones and Neal are not playing in this game.

Eagles -3

Panthers +6

Panthers @ Falcons, under 44.5


Projected Totals

In no way should this be your primary go to when making lineup decisions, but this can be a great tool to target sleepers for DFS and can be used as tie breaker when deciding between multiple players in season long leagues. The games and teams in green should be strongly considered,  the yellow also shows a favorable game script for fantasy. White is middle of the road. Orange games and teams have much less upside regarding scoring opportunities ,while red should give you some concern.


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Chicagoan living in Las Vegas. Fantasy Football writer & Director of In-Season Analysis for Dynasty Football Factory, blogger for USFantasy and contributor to TheFakeHockey. Member FSWA.

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