Dynasty Football Factory

Look at the Lines: NFL Week 8

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.

 

RICK KERNS

(last week: 2-0/season: 9-2)

Another 2-0 week last week, 9-2 overall, but my leans haven’t really worked out so I’ll stick with what I’m good at, teasers. It looks like I have a couple of nice ones this week.

Philadelphia Eagles +3 @ Jacksonville Jaguars (in London)
Eagles are playing well and getting Jeffery back has been good for their pass game. Defense is plenty good to handle whatever offense the Jags can muster. The Jags simply aren’t good right now, and their defense looks like they are tired of dragging their offense around, and thus they’ve been average at best lately.
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers -2
This is silly to me. I’ll take the Steelers in a walk-over in this one. The Browns are making a little progress,but they aren’t ready to win yet and won’t be until they get a legit head coach.
Seattle Seahawks +9 @ Detroit Lions
Seahawks are finding their stride I think and have started to play better now that injuries have settled down and they got some guys back in place. Don’t see the Lions blowing them out here, so the +9 is a gift.
Baltimore Ravens +4 @ Carolina Panthers
Ravens defense is very good and Panthers offense not so much. I’ll take the 4 here in what I figure will be a Raven win.
Seahawks +9 and Ravens +4 (teaser)   
Eagles +3 and Steelers -2 (all Pennsylvania teaser)

 

JAMES HANMORE

(last week: no picks/season: 3-8-1)

Philadelphia Eagles -3 @ Jacksonville Jaguars (in London)
After missing last week, I am going to be looking for some winners this week. Starting with the Superbowl champs, Philadelphia Eagles. They should return to their form of last season against this seemingly broken Jacksonville team. Wentz is going to return to form and comfortably cover the – 3 on the road in London. Jacksonville should’ve been pushing for a playoff run this year, but they look bad at the moment.
Baltimore Ravens @ Carolina Panthers 44
The Panthers have been getting stuck in some very tight games recently. The biggest margin on their games has been 10 points all year in their win against the Bengals. The Ravens offense occasionally has been firing this year. So a combination of those things makes me think the total of 44 should get covered in this in a high scoring shootout, Cam vs Flacco (ugh).
 
Eagles -3   
Ravens/Panthers over 44

JOHN DI BARI

(last week: 2-2/season: 10-12-1)

Indianapolis Colts @ Oakland Raiders 50.5
This contest features the fifth highest total of the weekend. I’m not buying it. The Raiders just placed Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve and traded away Amari Cooper. Reports out of Oakland is that the team isn’t happy with what Gruden has done thus far and I think they quit this week. I can’t see them getting close to their projected team total of 23.75. Yes, the team quitting applies to the defense too, but I’m a but suspicious of a Colts team on the road, outdoors, no matter what they’ve got going on. I think this number was set a little too high.
Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs 53.5
Another weekend, another Chiefs over. The over is 4-3 through 7 weeks, and I’m sticking to my guns- as long as it’s under 60, I’m taking it.
Green Bay Packers +9 @ Los Angeles Rams
I think the Rams hype has gotten a little out of control when Aaron Rodgers is getting 9 points facing a banged up secondary. The Rams have given up 20+ points in 4 of their last 5 games and allowed 31+ points in 2 of their last 4 contests. I don’t see how the Packers can’t keep it within 9 points in what should be a shootout.
 
Cardinals +1   
49ers/Cardinals Over 42.5
Bengals -4
Browns +8
Lions/Seahawks Over 49.5

 

SPENCER SCOLED

(last week: 2-2-1 /season: 10-14-2)

San Francisco 49ers 42.5 @ Arizona Cardinals +1
I love a home underdog, especially when the OC is no longer Mike McCoy. It was painful watching DJ running up the gut over and over again. I expect new OC Byron Leftwich to get the talented running back out in space and run all over a San Fran defense that’s been lit up all year. The 49ers have allowed no less than 28 points against since Week 2, and the Cardinals haven’t been much better. I’ll take a rejuvenated Arizona to cover, and the over.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Cincinnati Bengals -4
The Bengals had a rough outing against the explosive Chiefs. Primetime Andy showed up despite playing the worst defense in the league. The guy just can’t handle the pressure. I expect the Bengals QB to settle in and bounce back. Both teams have horrendous defenses, but Cincy has been converting 72% of their red zone visits into touchdowns (good for 2nd in the league). Jameis should be good for an interception or two. I’ll back Cincy to pick apart the Bucs secondary using A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd.
Cleveland Browns +8 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 
Plain and simple, the Browns play the Steelers tough. The Steelers haven’t beaten the Browns by more than four points since 2016. The Browns should have beaten the Steelers earlier this year, but ya know, the Browns. The coaching has been poor, but this upgraded Cleveland squad has transcended it multiple times this year. They’re not winning (obviously), but I think the Browns can keep it within a TD.
 
Seattle Seahawks @ Detroit Lions 49.5
Both rushing defenses have been brutal. I don’t think we’ll see too many punts, setting up for a shootout. Seattle is No. 1 in the league converting red zone visits into TDs, while Detroit visits the red zone an average of 3.7 times per game.
 
Cardinals +1   
49ers/Cardinals Over 42.5
Bengals -4
Browns +8
Lions/Seahawks Over 49.5

 

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 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

In a bit of a weird week, we see more teams than usual projected for more than four touchdowns, and more teams than usual projected for less than three touchdowns. More teams are expected to be out on the extremes than we see most weeks, so look for Rams, Chiefs, Pats, Bengals, and Steelers to all be heavily owned this week.

 

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jdibari

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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