Week 2 NFL Picks

We had some positive variance going 5-2 last week although the lines moved against us in three of the plays which is never good for future results.

Week 2 of the NFL season is all about not over-reacting to week 1. We should still be using around 85% of our preseason projections at this point, as one game just doesn't mean that much for sides. With totals, one game is a little more important because it gives us a better idea of how certain teams, particularly those with new coaches or schemes, are likely to play on offense when it comes to pace of play and run/pass mix. But we still hedge our bets heavily with the totals as well, because while we adjust play style for context there is still plenty of variance even in statistics such as seconds elapsed per play.

On to the plays (worst line to take in parenthesis):

Buffalo +7 -105 vs Chargers (+6) -

Obviously Buffalo is coming off maybe the worst game anyone has had in the NFL since ever and there's every chance we could see another 2016/2017 Browns scenario. However, other than at quarterback this roster is not really all that bad, with league-average talent on defense. Getting 7 at home against the Chargers who are missing two key players on defense is just a little too much to pass up. Another week of worst-ever offensive play and the model will probably stop picking Buffalo as it wasn't exactly high on them last week, but we stick to them for now. Let's hope that they can turn things around, or play terribly and get some turnovers; either will work.

Dallas -3 (-4.5) vs New York Giants

This is not really a wager on the Cowboys so much as against the Giants who appear to be one of the worst teams in the league particularly on defense. The Cowboys actually played an okay game last week and have a slight talent edge across the board here which combined with the home advantage gives us enough value for a wager.

Dallas / Giants over 42 (over 44)

Neither of these offenses are likely to light up the scoreboard and Dallas is particularly awful for totals as they run the ball more than most. However both of these defenses are terrible, and the total is just too low for a dome game.

Chicago / Seattle over 43.5 (43.5 only)

The Bears have switched to a pass-heavy offense while Seattle is very weak on defense this year and may also be favoring the pass more than in the past with a depleted offensive line and running back. The loss of Baldwin will hurt a little but there is still enough value here for a small play, although pass if the winds kick up above 15 mph.

Steelers / Chiefs under 53 (under 49)

These are two poor defenses, particularly the Chiefs who are missing Berry, and obviously the Chiefs put up a ton of points last week. However, both of these teams actually play a slow-paced style, and I have the Chiefs as the slowest-paced team in the league, running down the clock by two seconds per play more than the average team, a trend that continued last week. Although it sounds like he will play the knowledge that Big Ben is banged up further helps the under here. This is just a huge total and you have to really buy the hype that the Chiefs are one of the best offensive teams ever to take the over, in which case you probably have to bet the Chiefs as well.