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 Kerns, James Hanmore, Spencer Scoled, 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.
(last week: 0-1/season: 7-2)
- no picks this week
(last week: 0-2/season: 3-8-1)
- no picks this week
JOHN DI BARI
(last week: 1-3/season: 5-9-1)
Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades, and losing the under in the Indy-New England game by the hook stings, especially with 28 fourth quarter points. Oh well, the gambling gods taketh and hopefully we’ll see the gambling gods giveth this week as I like several games in week 6.
Carolina Panthers +1 @ Washington Redskins
This might be a trap, but I don’t know why the Redskins are a favorite on a short week after taking a beating on Monday Night Football. Adrian Peterson also got a little banged up and the Panthers looked refreshed coming off of the bye against the Giants. I thought Carolina should have been a 3-point road favorite.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals under 53
This game can easily end up as a shootout with a 30-something to 30-something final. However, looking at their most recent 16 match ups going back to 2010, this meeting has only produced three games with a total over 48. I think we see more of a defensive battle than is expected between these AFC North rivals.
Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans under 41.5
The second lowest total on the board this weekend, and it’s probably not low enough. I thought this would come in around 38, so I’ll gladly jump on the additional 3.5 points the books are offering. Both teams have solid defensive units and the Titans offense looks lost thus far. The Browns were able to slow down a surprisingly strong looking Ravens offense and the Titans should be able to use that game films to give them a little more trouble than is expected.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots over 59.5
One of the higher totals you’ll see in an NFL game, and it should be higher. Both teams are among the leaders in points scored and nothing either squad is doing on defense should slow the other one down. I’d take the over as high as 62 as I imagine both teams get into the 30s quickly.
Steelers/Bengals under 53
Ravens/Titans under 41.5
Chiefs/Patriots over 59.5
(last week: 1-3/season: 4-12)
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 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.
TARGETS AND FADES
Surprise! Everybody is going to be on the Chiefs/Patriots game this weekend. Expect the Falcons’ studs to be highly owned and started as well in addition to the Packers’, especially Rodgers and Adams. The Rams have a high total, but that might be split up a little different than usual with injuries plaguing the receiving corps. The Steelers and Bengals game also seems to be gold mine for fantasy points, but I fear that contest fails to live up to expectations.
On the other side of the coin, as usual, stay away from the Bills and Cardinals. Five other teams are projected for team totals under 21 points as well.
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Please be a responsible gambler!