WagerTalk NFL Week 2 Odds Report
Let's be honest, sportsbooks don't give out too many tools to help bettors. But one exception has emerged in the marketplace, and savvy sharps are taking advantage. More bookmakers are offering look-ahead lines and Game of the Year wagering opportunities, which provide a valuable look into where teams are perceived at different points of the season.
On May 1, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook released their 2019 NFL Games of the Year. Later that month, CG Technology released an opening line for every single NFL game between Weeks 2-16. Regional sportsbooks like FanDuel in the northeast have followed suit and released lines on every game involving their local teams.
So the bookmakers and bettors that wager into these markets have already told you what they feel the lines for this week’s games should be. Now, it’s up to you to account for injuries, public overreaction, and overall adjustments to determine if there’s value.
New England -18.5 at Miami
For a game to move ten points in the NFL, traditional rationale suggests that there would have to be a near-catastrophic event for one of the teams. Did the team lose its coach? What about its starting quarterback? Is the whole team battling the flu? When CG Technology opened this game in May, the Patriots were an 8.5-point favorite. Now, there are -19’s in the market. And none of those catastrophes happened. The Dolphins are relatively healthy with the same head coach and quarterback combo from the offseason. Since 1989, there have only been 13 games with a road favorite of 15 points or more. It hasn’t happened since 2007 when New England was a 20-point favorite at Baltimore (courtesy Ralph Michaels).
Baltimore -13.5 vs. Arizona
CG Technology originally opened this game at Baltimore -8.5 and the Westgate had it at -9.5 on last week’s look-ahead line. Now, the Ravens are pushing two touchdowns. I can see bettors wanting to avoid Miami because there appears to be some organizational dysfunction, but those issues don’t exist in Arizona (yet). The Cardinals don’t have high-level talent, but with a first-year head coach and rookie quarterback, you’ll definitely get plenty of effort. Last week, the Ravens became the eighth team since 2000 to score 58+ points in a game. While you might think that a letdown is in store, the seven prior teams to achieve that went 6-1 against the spread the following week.
Buffalo -2 at NY Giants
If you were interested in Buffalo in this spot, you could have gotten the Bills as an underdog up until Sunday afternoon. CG Technology opened this game New York -3 and the Westgate had this New York -1.5 last week. I think a lot of the Giants’ issues last week are correctable. First, it’s possible that the Dallas offense is really, really good. We might look back a month from now and New York might be one of several defenses that gets torched by the Cowboys. Buffalo doesn’t have a murderer’s row of Prescott, Elliott, Cooper and Cobb. And the other issue that should be fairly easy to remedy is getting the ball in Saquon Barkley’s hands a little more. No. 26 only received 15 touches against the Cowboys. Needing two yards for a first down on the Dallas 8, Barkley failed to receive the ball on third or fourth down resulting in a game-clinching turnover. That can’t happen again, and I’d be fairly confident in Pat Shurmur’s ability to recognize that.
LA Chargers -2.5 at Detroit
This one might be the chin-scratcher of the week. Yes, the Chargers needed overtime to get past Indianapolis, but Los Angeles still put together a very impressive performance averaging 7.4 yards per play. Since moving away from San Diego in 2017, the Chargers have failed to cover just two regular season road games. Los Angeles won all seven of their true road games last year, including victories at Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford is 6-52 straight-up against teams with a winning record (Courtesy The Gold Sheet). Since 2010, teams that participated in a tied game are 4-10 against the spread the following week. CG Technology opened this game LA -4 over the summer.
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