Written by Steve Marcuz and Shaun Meyer, who go by @sidskeat and @deadduck on the Fantasy Life App, respectively.
Here we are again, even after a lackluster opening weekend, we will not stop and will vow to right the wrong that was bestowed upon you all last week! Remember, this is a long season, and we will make sure you end up there in the green! Overall, a 60-66% win percentage when it comes to sports betting is considered a really, really good rate. In fact, last season, the winner of the Las Vegas Super Contest won over $900,000 with a 69% pick percentage. So bear with us, we’ll get you there!
Like I said, off to a bumpy start but fear not, we’re back again and this will be a winning week for you and your wallet! Let’s begin!
Seattle @ Los Angeles (+7) Confidence LVL: 7
Based on my picks last week, I definitely had better luck with betting dogs so that is what I’m going to do this week and I’m starting with one that might leave you scratching your head. The Rams looked bad last week. The type of bad that doesn’t even make you mad at them, you just kind of started feeling sorry for them. It looked like they forgot how to play football. So why on earth would I pick them and take the points when they welcome in the Seattle Seahawks to town, who although they didn’t look great in their win against Miami, are a favorite for the conference? It’s because these terrible Rams ALWAYS show up against Seattle. They are 6-2 ATS (against the spread) in their last 8 against the Seahawks and have a couple things working in their favor this weekend. Much like how Monday Night season openers somehow make the 49ers seem like a competent team, the Rams will be playing their first home game in their new place, so the place should be bumping and that will help. Russell Wilson is also going to come in nursing an ankle so I expect this to be a low scoring game where both teams run the ball to control the clock.
Cincinnati (+3.5) @ Pittsburgh Confidence LVL: 7
This matchup has taken over as the best games in the division each year, as these teams are both gritty and tough and it just makes for good football. Pittsburgh looked great against Washington on Monday night, but this week they will be playing an actual defense in the Bengals. Cincinnati themselves won a hard fought game against the Jets, but now face a Steelers offense that seems to be hitting on all cylinders. I love that the Bengals are getting more than a field goal here. If the line were any lower I’d be looking elsewhere but Cincy is 12-3-3 in their last 18 games, going along with 7-0 ATS in September the last few years. We know the troubles they have in the January but September has been money for the Bengals. With so much going on last year between these teams (Steelers and Bengals were playing when both Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown were injured) I expect this to be another very hard fought game, but don’t expect either team to pull away. Both defenses will struggle to contain these all start WRs that will be featured here Sunday morning.
Los Angeles (+7) Confidence LVL: 5
Man this hurts. I work late and was nursing a lead vs Todd Gurley last Monday night, so I'm one of the three people that watched that whole game. The Rams were bad. Like, bag on your head fans bad. Footballs were landing nowhere near receivers. And on defense their favorite move was bear hugging the WRs and then acting shocked when the flag gets tossed. But, sadly, I know as a Seahawks fan that the Rams always play the Hawks tough and more times than not, beat them. 3 of last 4 to be exact. The Seahawks didn't exactly set the world of fire last weak vs the Dolphins, squeaking out a 12-10 win thanks to Kenny Stills, who played like he had money on the Seahawks. Russel Wilson comes out of the game with a hurt ankle but is supposed to play. I say Gurley is able to run at the soft part of Seattle's D and they control the clock in an ugly game. Jeff Fisher has to get his 8 wins somewhere.
Pittsburgh (-3.5) Confidence LVL: 4
The games between the Steelers and Bengals last year took on the feeling of the Steelers/Ravens rivalry of years back. Plenty of chirping, plenty of flags, and just two teams that plain and simple do not like each other. Pittsburgh surprised me Monday night by giving Washington's offense so much trouble. Cincinnati is coming off a big road win vs the Jets mainly because of AJ Green’s monstrous performance. The Steelers though, have beaten the Bengals 5 out of the last 6. I think Antonio Brown outdoes Green and the Bengals struggle to keep pace.
Steelers win 27-17
Jacksonville (+3) @ San Diego Confidence LVL: 8
The Jags are coming off a hard fought loss to the Packers in which they pretty much kept pace with one of the best offenses in the league. The Chargers are coming off a game with the Chiefs in which they squandered a 24-3 second half lead. Wide receiver Keenan Allen was carted off with a season ending knee injury and it effectively took the air out of the Chargers sails, eventually succumbing to the Chiefs in OT 33-27. San Diego is favored by a field goal at home although I’m not sure they should be favored over anyone at this point. The Bolts are 2-6 ATS at home over their last 8. The Chargers will score some points and I expect this to be a back and forth high scoring game of sorts, with the Chargers finding a way to lose it at the end.
Jags win 31 -24
Green Bay (-3) @ Minnesota Confidence LVL: 7
Aaron Rodgers and the offense looked a little rusty at first but regained form on the way to a 27-23 win over the up and coming Jaguars. The Vikings had a 25-16 win vs. the Titans on Sunday where their defense dominated the young squad from Tennessee. These teams are no stranger to one another and Sunday night’s contest should be a true offense vs. defense matchup. I know they say defense wins championships. There is a less popular saying that goes like this, “offense wins Sunday night matchups that happen on September 18, 2016.” The Packers are 5-1 in their last 6 vs Minnesota. I say Rodgers doesn’t make the mistakes that the young Titans did, and the Vikings struggle to score points with Green Bay. I typically don't take 3 point spreads but I bet this one early and got it for -2 1/2.
Jacksonville (+3) Confidence LVL: 4
Honestly there is not statistical evidence I can give for this pick. In fact, all the numbers I can find would point to San Diego being the right call in this one. The Jags are 0-5 straight up and ATS in their last 5 against the Chargers. San Diego is actually 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games, which includes a victory on the road against the Jags as a 5 point road dog. But for the life of me, I can’t get over the fact that losing Keenan Allen will have a spillover effect into this week and the Jags are able to pull out the victory straight up, for the first time ever in SD.
Green Bay (-3) Confidence LVL: 5
This is another one where I’m not really confident in my pick, as Minnesota has surprisingly been very good at home ATS, going 11-3 in their last 14. But this is a different home now, with their new being opened this week on Sunday Night Football. Minnesota also is not going into this season with the QB they had under center for the last 2 seasons, so I think those numbers can be tossed out the window. On the other side of the ball is old reliable Aaron Rodgers, who leads the Packers into Minnesota going 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games. With the Vikings secondary a little dinged up heading into this one, I think the Packers ruin the home opener and walk out of town with a decisive victory.
Steve’s Wildcard: Seattle @ Los Angeles UNDER 38.5 Confidence LVL: 7
We’ve already talked enough about this game and this is a low number. But there are a few trends that are important here that I see which make this bet intriguing to me. The Seahawks games have gone UNDER in 6 of the last 7 games. On top of that, their matchup with the Rams has gone UNDER in 9 of the last 12 games. And one of the rules of betting for me: when a number seems too good to be true, take the unlikely side. This number seems TOO low. Take the under.
Shaun’s Wildcard: Jacksonville @ San Diego OVER 48 Confidence LVL: 7
I’ve already given most of my reasoning for this game. The over is 7-3 in the Jag's last 10 non-divisional games. Double up and take the Jags with the over.