Baltimore Ravens -10 -105
Grabbed the line earlier in the week and one of the rare situations in which I got robbed off a key line move. Early money pushed the line to 10, after that the money shifted towards CLE. Sharps are playing the DD divisional dog vs a team that didn’t win by 8+ since 2014 and pushed the line down to +8 at some books overnight. Betting splits show 50/50 but the money split is actually 77/23 in favor of CLE according to sportsinsights.
My preseason line for this game was close to -14. I honestly don’t know how the Browns are going to score today. You might say “hey suuma they have scored points in several games this year” – yeah, but not today on the road at Baltimore. Baltimore’s D is top-10 material and they are really healthy now except for Dumervil and Correa. Both have played under 10% of the snaps this year and the D was still the premium unit of the team. The first game CLE was up 20-2 quickly off a 85yard run (outlier) and a start deep in BAL territory. After that, the Ravens held them SCORELESS for 49 minutes until the final whistle.
The last four games the Ravens played against rookie QBs, they went 4-0, won by a combined 80-32 and held the rookies to 52% completions, 1TD and 5INT – never allowed a 210+ passing yard game. Do you think Kessler gonna roll over Harbaughs team today? I don’t think so. The Browns won’t run on the best run D in the league which makes Kessler air it out – I smell a disaster.
The Browns D gives up 29.8 PPG, 7.8 NYPPA and has a total DVOA of 20%. These numbers come VERY close to the Saints defense of 2015. They left Dallas’ receivers wide open, it’s like taking candy from a baby. Even the Jets offense which is really bad scored 28 points on CLE even though Fitzpatrick started 3/15 because his receivers dropped passes like hot coals.
Fading the sharps on this one, final score prediction: Ravens win 27-6
Pittsburgh Steelers -2.5 -110
The Vegas lookahead line to this game was -6 in April with Tony Romo starting. I personally also made this line a -2.5 on a neutral with a healthy Ben. So what has changed? Even if I discount points for Ben when he isn’t 100%, I don’t come up with -2.5. If I knew that Ben is 100%, I would make it a 2u play. People wonder why this line doesn’t drop even though ticket split is 75/25 in favor of Dallas. It’s because the money split is 53/47 in favor of Pittsburgh. Sharps and ‘pros’ keep this line at -2.5. Wouldn’t surprise me if we saw a -3 come Sunday.
I say it again and again – we have to respect what the Cowboys have done thus far. But I am just not sold out by that D and Prescott, especially not on the road where they have one quality win at GB against a team (not Rodgers) that isn’t what its used to be. Even the Colts jumped a lead and never looked back last week. The Steelers are a completely different animal at home where they won by 3+ in each of the last 7 games with Ben starting. I expect Ben to be much healthier than last week and to make that Dallas D finally pay. I know that Porcelainfist will say “Dallas has the 6th-best scoring defense” – true but the teams they have faced average 20.34 true offensive points per game. This PPG schedule would have ranked 27th last year. The Steelers offense will be a terrible matchup for the Boys defense and if the Steelers score early and often, Prescott can’t rely on his running game and has to air it out. Advantage Steelers.
I love getting the Steelers at -2.5 at home in a massive bounceback spot against a mediocre defense and a public dog.
Philadelphia Eagles ATS (2u)
This is a massive overreaction in my opinion – buy low sell high. The whole world is on Atlanta in a great bounceback game for Philly. The Eagles have played 4 of their last 5 games on the road and if their coach would let them kick just 3 FGs, they have the number ONE seed in the NFC and probably lay -3.5 here where this line should rather be. I don’t see the Falcons favored on a neutral field. The Eagles are 3-0 SUATS at home, outscoring opponents by a combined 84-23. I had the Giants last week because of the spot and the Eagles indeed came out very flat. But just because Doug Pederson decides to go for it on 4th & 1 with a run up the middle vs a decent defense with Damon Harrison and fails, this team isn’t worse. I got lucky in the end. The Eagles had 6 red zone trips, they had 6 yards per play vs. a very decent D. The Falcons defense isn’t any good and Trufant has a banged up shoulder. Wentz and company gonna move the ball in this one. They moved the ball against a much better D last week. The Eagles have the top-rated defense by total DVOA, the best pass defense. Atlanta played two tough road games against great defenses, at DEN and at SEA. They scored 24 and 23 points. The Seahawks held them to 3 points in the first half, blown coverages in the secondary leveled Atlanta the way. Denver had Paxton Lynch starting who is looking like Assweiler. In both games you were able to grab atleast 5 points with Atlanta, this time it’s a PK because Eagles blew two games and Atlanta are on a winning streak. If you ask me, as a home side I would definitely take Philly over Denver and I would definitely take Eagles at a PK at home over Seahawks -6. Eagles roll this week. I would gladly grab them at plus money though, so no rush.
Chargers & over: markets still undervalue the Chargers, but the injury report is concerning. Probably won’t lock in anything before Saturday. If the offense is healthy, I can see them dropping 40 on the Dolphins.
Seahawks +7.5 or better: Since they drafted Russell Wilson, the Hawks lost just 2 games by 8 or more points. Ive circled this game because it’s a body clock game for the Hawks. Since 1994, teams of the pacific time zone are 5-20 ATS in the eastern time zone on SNF or MNF. Pats are on a roll since Brady is back but none of their opponents has a winning record. Hawks +14.5 in teasers looks more than solid.
Bears: CHI made the top-15 in my preseason ranking and they are finally becoming healthy. They should be a decent ATS team in the second half of the season. Plain and simple: they are better than the Bucs.