Welcome to the first edition of Weekend Best Bets: Football edition. I’m going to lean more towards NFL games, but there could be a sprinkle of College Football too. (If the players can’t make money, we might as well. Ha! I kid.) This article will be released every Friday around 3 EST. That should give you enough time to call up the bookie.
I’ll brag about my point for a while, then I’ll present a counterpoint and summarize it up.
1. Panthers (1-0) (+6) at Falcons (0-1)
a. I’ll put the odds near the team I’m liking for the weekend. My thinking here: I hate the Falcons. I will bet against them in any chance I get. Especially after seeing them last weekend. Matt Ryan looks off and maybe injured. Against any tough defense I’m betting against the offense being called by Steve Sarkisian. I liked what I saw from Carolina last week. Although it was against a perceived weaker Dallas team, the defense showed up with Luke Kuechly manning the linebacker position. The score was 16-8 and possibly could’ve been quite a bit bigger margin. Worst case scenario, I expect this to be a game that’s a tight divisional battle between 2 teams that are fighting for a playoff berth. That still leaves a game that’s decided by 3 points, either way; Panthers +6, lock it down.
b. Counterpoint: The Panthers played a terrible Dallas team while the Falcons had a slugfest with the Eagles and have more time off to recover.
c. Final summary: I don’t buy the counterpoint. I’m buying the Falcons to continue to struggle in the red zone and the Panthers to win with amazing defense and just enough offense.
2. Miami Dolphins (1-0) at New York Jets (1-0) (-2.5)
a. I will say this, I was impressed with the Dolphins last week. They battled through a 7 hour delay to defeat the Tennessee Titans. However, on the contrary, the longer the delay I feel like the home team gets a benefit. The home team locker room is a little bit nicer, there’s more food, the players are more comfortable, the family is there, and much more. Hint: the game was played in Miami. I expected the Titans to be better, but given the situation, it happens. I was more impressed with the adversity the Jets overcame. Rookie QB on the road in his first game and he’s playing under the lights. And then, throws a pick-6 on his first play. And they still come back to score the most points they ever had on the road. Another bonus, that defense looks really scary. They’ve invested a lot of draft picks and it seems they’re finally paying off. To make Matthew Stafford look that bad was very impressive. J-E-T-S -2.5, lock it down.
b. Counterpoint: The Dolphins really did play well against a team that had a playoff victory last year. Even though the game was 7 hours, they also got rid of a lot of bad chemistry guys and their head coach, Adam Gase, is a great coach. The locker room is full of a lot of good characters that will lead this team to a sneaky playoff berth.
c. Final summary: I don’t care. I’m rolling the dice with a team coming off a 31-point victory and a quarterback named Savior Sam!
3. Oakland Raiders (0-1) at Denver Broncos (1-0) (-6)
a. Denver won, Oakland lost – that should be enough to justify this line. However, I’m looking into it a little deeper than that. I was impressed with Denver’s win over Seattle. Watching the entire thing, it felt like a game that Denver was going to lose the entire time. Case Keenum threw 3 interceptions, they had to battle the entire game, and you felt like the team with best coach/QB would’ve won. Presumably Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson. However, that wasn’t the case. Denver battled back through turnovers and all sorts of problems to win. The offense looked really good. The RB combo of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman will be dynamite this entire year; and Demaryius Thomas + Emmanuel Sanders look like they haven’t lost a step. I like Denver to overpower Oakland. Denver (-6), lock it down.
b. Counterpoint: It was Gruden’s first game and the Rams may be the best team in the NFL this year. Case Keenum threw 3 picks and are we sure that wasn’t a fluke? This will be a tight divisional race.
c. Final Summary: I don’t care. I didn’t like how Oakland looked in week 1 and don’t expect them to suddenly become a really good team. I like Denver at home to win by 10.
What do you guys think? What football are you looking forward to watching this weekend? Comment and let us know!