Few things bring as much joy and uncertainty as betting on the NFL. Teams adjust game planning week-to-week, the full extent of injuries is rarely known, and there’s a seemingly neverending way of quantifying a team’s success and failures. Still, there are plenty of angles to take, and we’re assessing the best bets to make in our weekly NFL parlay breakdown.
Primetime Road Underdogs
Bets: Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers -105, New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys +135
Payout: $458.25 on $100 bet
The San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys are riding on parallel roads. Both teams entered the 2022 season with ambitious goals and are now dealing with injuries to their starting quarterbacks. Although there’s a clear dropoff between Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush, there’s an argument that the Niners are better with Jimmy Garoppolo under center.
In Week 2, Jimmy G was an efficient 13-for-21 for 154 yards and a score, leading the 49ers on three scoring drives en route to a 27-7 win against the Seattle Seahawks. Conversely, the Russell Wilson era isn’t off to a good start with the Denver Broncos. Wilson completed 45.2% of his passes for 219 yards against the Houston Texans, scraping out a win in the fourth quarter. Additionally, the Niners are better on the defensive side of the ball, giving them an advantage that is not yet reflected in the betting price.
Defense will also be at the forefront of the Monday Night Football matchup between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. Granted, the Giants are 2-0 for the first time since 2009, but their metrics look much worse when adjusted for opponents. Further, the Cowboys’ defense is an improvement over what the Giants have seen this season. Dallas is the better team and even in hostile territory is worth a shot outright.
Short Home Favorites
Bets: Seattle Seahawks -1.5 vs. Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers -2.5 vs. Green Bay Packers
Payout: $357.17 on $100 bet
There was a time when bettors would line up around the block for a piece of the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks’ shine has worn off a little since then; however, with two generational quarterbacks, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers continue to draw their fair share of public money. Nevertheless, we’re taking a stance on the Bucs and Seahawks in Week 3.
Seattle and the Atlanta Falcons sit in the bottom half of the league in total offense and defense, with the Falcons holding minor advantages in both categories. Still, turnovers have been an issue for the NFC South also-rans. Those issues will be compounded by playing against the 12th man at Lumen Field.
Neither Tom Brady nor Aaron Rodgers looked great in Week 2, but at least Brady could look forward to his best receivers returning to the gridiron. Julio Jones and Chris Godwin were out against the New Orleans Saints, while Mike Evans was forced to leave early after being ejected. With all three potentially back in the fold next week, Brady has the edge over his counterpart, who continues to do the most with the least.
Bets: Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions over 51.5, Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers under 40.5
Payout: $364.81 on $100 bet
There’s been an increased emphasis on limiting opponents for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Mike Tomlin-led team has some shortcomings on offense, forcing them to prioritize defending. That’s analogous to the Cleveland Browns, who are waiting on Deshaun Watson to serve his suspension, biding time with Jacoby Brissett under center. We will see both teams play to their strengths in a short week, making Thursday Night Football a defensive struggle. Consequently, 40.5 points is too generous of a total, and backing the under is the preferred betting option.
The exact opposite is true of the Detroit Lions. Opponents are moving the ball easily against the Lions, with both contests going over the total. That’s excellent news for the Minnesota Vikings, who are operating one of the best offenses in the league. Minnesota put up 395 yards in their season-opener and are poised for another good showing against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2. We’re anticipating some offensive fireworks with both teams marching down the field, and we’re backing the over 51.5 in this NFC North battle.
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