Welcome to the Week 2 edition of “ATS (Against the Spread).” I will provide analysis on three bets that I feel have the best chance at netting you a nice payday. Whether it be due to matchups, injuries, or other factors, these are the three bets I feel the most confident in placing.
To keep myself accountable, I’ll be keeping track of my wins and losses on the three bets I provide analysis on. I will also make predictions on the rest of the week’s spreads. These predictions are more “gut feel,” but you should still feel free to use them to help you place your wagers!
Betting lines were provided by DraftKings Sportsbook. Deposit $20 into DraftKings today and receive not only a FREE DFF Membership but also $10 in extra DraftKings credit! It’s a no brainer!
Let’s get started.
A Brief Recap of Week One
Not a bad start to the week going 2-1 with my in-depth picks. Unfortunately, the Falcons proved that even with all the talent in the world they are still the Falcons, which left me with quite the egg on my face.
Think this is the last chance to get the Falcons as a dog with a healthy defense and improved offense.
— Stephen Best (@DFF_Biscuits) September 8, 2019
(There will be opportunities galore…apparently…)
Nevertheless, we ended the week positively going 5-2 in the Sunday afternoon through Monday night games. Makes sense as I’ve never been much of a morning person. Hopefully, we can keep this trend going!
In-depth picks: 2-1-0
Cardinals at Ravens (-13)
At first glance, this seems like a trap. After all, the Ravens just came off of a victory against a team so bad that multiple players are requesting trades. I’m all but positive this is just a typical Vegas ploy to get the public to bite on an inflated line.
However, that being said, I’ll take the bait. Arizona was woeful until the Lions gifted them the game and ruined #BiscuitsPick while they were at it. Kyler Murray had passed for less than 100 yards and had a passer rating in the twenties heading into the fourth quarter. Were it not for the absolute ineptitude of the Lions’ coaching staff, the Lions would have run the clock out and left us all without a doubt that the Cardinals were a bottom-of-the-barrel team. However, we’re instead left looking at Murray’s decent stat line (29/54, 308 yards passing, 2 TDs, 1 INT) and wondering if he’s the real deal.
Murray will only get better as he becomes acclimated to the NFL. However, that acclimation will not come this week against a confident Baltimore team at home. Recall that while Baltimore did feast on the worst team in the NFL last week, they still entered the season with Pro Football Focus’ top-ranked secondary. If the Lions were able to keep the Cardinals in check last week, imagine what this defense will do. The line is huge, and the public is backing the Ravens, but I still have confidence in Baltimore putting this young team back in its place.
Chargers (-2.5) at Lions
Though both these teams went to overtime in Week One, only one ultimately came out with a win.
The Chargers raced out to a 24-9 lead over the Colts midway through the third quarter thanks to an explosive offensive attack. Rivers was his typical gunslinger-self throwing for 333 yards and three touchdowns (that’s a lot of threes)! Meanwhile, Austin Ekeler shined in his debut posting a 90.0 receiving grade and an 82.7 overall grade. Justin Jackson was no slouch either, as he picked up 57 yards on six carries and a 9.5 yards-per-carry average. Melvin Who? Their pass protection and defense certainly left a lot to be desired, particularly as the game wore on, but the Chargers picked up a quality win over a game Colts team.
Unlike the Chargers, the Lions were unable to overcome their late collapse and wound up tying the Arizona Cardinals in overtime. While the spotlight is shining on T.J. Hockenson’s record-breaking debut, one cannot ignore that this Lions team failed to take advantage of a depleted secondary, a rookie quarterback, and one of Pro Football Focus’ worst-ranked offensive lines. Yes, the Lions were able to sack Kyler Murray four times, but only one of those occurred after the third quarter. The Lions, in true Lion fashion, couldn’t produce when it mattered most.
Both teams experienced similar narratives in Week One and, dare I say it, both teams showed their true colors. Give me the hungry Chargers to squash this bumbling Lions squad.
Chicago (-2.5) at Denver
This pick is all about the Defense.
To say Mitch Trubisky looked bad in the season opener does not do it justice. Trubisky was horrible. He completed 26 of his 45 throws but was just four of 18 on passes that traveled 10+ yards. Not surprisingly, a dink-and-dunk offense coupled with an anemic running game (46 yards on 15 carries) could not produce a win in Week One. However, their defense was outstanding as usual. Chuck Pagano’s unit sacked Aaron Rodgers five times and held him to just over 200 yards passing. They also stifled Green Bay’s rushing attack, allowing only 47 yards on 22 carries.
Meanwhile, the Broncos were not exactly prolific in their recent Monday night loss to the Raiders. Their defense was picked apart by a hyper-efficient Derek Carr and seemingly could not get off the field. Flacco threw for 268 yards and a touchdown, but much of that came in the second half with the game seemingly out of reach. Until then, Flacco was immobile in the pocket, hesitant with his decision making, and overall looked out of touch with his new team. The Bears defense just stymied one of the greatest to ever play the game; do you think they’ll have trouble overcoming Flacco?
There’s some concern that Vic Fangio’s insider knowledge of the Bears organization may give him an edge at home. But, good coaching can only overcome poor talent for so long, and I feel that the overall better team will rise to the top in this contest. It would seem that most would agree, as the line opened at DEN (-1) and has completely swung towards the Bears. If the line moves further to -3.5 then perhaps there’s a cause for concern, but at this line, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick the Bears to win by a field goal.
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Buccaneers at Panthers (-7)
Bills (-1.5) at Giants
Seahawks (+4) at Steelers
Colts (+3) at Titans
Vikings at Packers (-3)
Cowboys (-5.5) at Redskins
49ers (+1.5) at Bengals
Jaguars (+8.5) at Texans
Patriots (-19) at Dolphins
Chiefs (-7.5) at Raiders
Saints (+2.5) at Rams
Eagles at Falcons (+2)
Browns (-3) at Jets