Written by Steven Marcuz and Shaun Meyer, who go by @sidskeat and @deadduck, respectively, on the Fantasy Life App
It's finally here. Real NFL football. And with that comes real game lines, real prop bets, real over/unders and all kinds of fun things for you to try and win money on! As you know, we here at FLAFFL House are committed to making you a winner, whether that be in your fantasy football leagues are in your local sportsbook. So for this season, here is what we are going to do for you each week. Steve and Shaun will pick 4 games each week and give you their take and which side of the line we are on. Then they will each give you a “wildcard”, something a little extra that they see value in and wanted to give you a heads up. Each week we will you give you their updated cumulative record so you can see how their doing throughout the year. Each pick will be given a confidence level of 1-10 (1 being least confident, 10 being most confident) so you know just how strongly we feel about each pick! So here we go, let’s get started!
San Diego (+7) @ Kansas City Confidence LVL: 7
Heading into week 1 of this football season, we don’t really know what to expect because we haven’t seen any of these teams on full display in real game mode since their seasons came to an end in 2015. So for me, this line represents what the betting public is remembering from last year. Kansas City was a playoff team, even won a game (yeah against Houston but so what) and many expect them to be in the playoffs again this year. San Diego on the other hand was…how can I say this nicely? I can’t, calling them a dumpster fire would be an insult to dumpsters and garbage in general. They weren’t good, and after Keenan Allen was lost for the season, that was all she wrote.
But alas, this is not 2015, I know, newsflash. The Chiefs head into this season missing a few pieces, Jamaal Charles being the most notable. But they also lost Sean Smith to division rival Oakland, a move that isn’t going to help them against a team that likes to throw the ball. Keenan Allen will be back and that will help San Diego and Philip Rivers a lot. Divisional games are always hard fought and typically closer than people want to believe (think the Rams and how they always seem to play the Seahawks tough). I’m taking the points here and loving the value, as I see this line being based of last season’s results.
New York Giants (-1) @ Dallas Cowboys Confidence LVL: 8
Taking favorites on the road is not something that is going to win you a lot of money, as they call it a “home field advantage” for a reason, but this one just seemed too good for me to pass up. The hype behind the Giants offense heading into this season has been growing and growing each week. Meanwhile in Dallas, they are preparing to start the season with a rookie QB under center handing the ball off to a rookie RB.
Now that in and of itself is not an automatic death sentence, because that RB is Ezekiel Elliot and the QB is Dak Prescott, who has looked really good so far, albeit being the preseason and not playing against starting defenses. With a spread of only 1 this game is essentially a pick’em, and I’ll put my money on the seasoned QB and offense that has been getting better and better over the last 2 years. We don’t know what Dallas is going to be yet, but we know the Giants are going to score points and their defense will be wanting to prove they were worth the investment. Lay the one point and enjoy the fireworks.
Kansas City (-7) Confidence LVL: 4
I usually stay away from 7 point spreads, but Steve decided we were picking this game and the more I look at it, the more I like it. Although I'm taking the Chiefs. The Chiefs swept the series with the Chargers last year and have beaten them 4 times in a row. I expect the same again this year. Someone has to finish last in that division and I like the Chiefs and Raiders this year and Denver's D will keep them competitive. I think the Kansas City ground game, along with Alex Smith's dink and dunk passing will control the clock and the D will harass Rivers enough to win by a touchdown at least. Chiefs win 24-13
New York Giants (-1) Confidence LVL: 6
The boys in Vegas are showing Dak some week 1 love after the highlight show he put on this preseason. One of the best lines in football ought to keep him upright, and we will see if Zeke can live up to the hype that has built around him all summer. Dez Bryant has been looking like a beast and it looks like he already has a rapport with Dak. Dallas was awful last year ATS and altogether so I won’t lean on a stat here but if you are curious they were (1-6-1) at home ATS. And while this year’s team is unproven, it can't be as bad as the Weeden/McFadden combo. The Giants however were (4-3) ATS on the road last year and I think the Giants defense is better this year, and they will give the youngster trouble in his first full game against a starting D. Eli and the receivers will put up numbers and they are going to Dallas and leaving with a victory. G-Men 31-20
P.S. If Dak goes on a tear, Romo might as well put his house up for sale.
Tampa Bay (+3) @ Atlanta Confidence LVL: 5
I really like the Buccaneers offense this year. The offense has a lot of weapons and I believe they may make a move in that division this year. Jameis Winston looks like he will be a legit QB and Mike Evans seems ready to bust out. A nice 2 headed monster in the backfield with Hamster and Sims gives them a strong running presence. A crazy TE who is a physical monster, and another TE ready to take his spot when ASJ crazies his way out if the lineup. Tampa was better on the road last year ATS (4-4) than they were at home (3-5). Atlanta on the other hand was equally disappointing at home and on the road ATS (3-5). Also, one thing I've learned about Matt Ryan is when it looks like he should have a good game…he doesn't. Give me the Bucs on the road 24-20.
Green Bay (-5.5) @Jacksonville Confidence LVL: 7
All aboard the Jacksonville hype train. Bortles, ARob, Hurns and the RBs are ready to make a move and become a big boy in the NFL. Well, hold on there, partner. Rodgers has all of his toys back and they are (allegedly) healthy. Even Eddy Lacy has stopped walking around with cheeseburgers in his pockets. This offense is going to hum this year and the Jags are going to learn a lesson week 1. Even as below average as the Pack was last year, they still boasted a 7-3 record ATS on the road, while the up and coming Jags were 3-4 ATS at home. I expect Green Bay to score early and often, with the Jags making it closer in garbage time. Pack win 35-27.
Falcons (-3) Confidence LVL: 4
This is actually a game that I would typically stay away from, but since Duck picked it, here we are! When the home team is only favored by 3 points that means that Vegas views them as equals in the betting world. The Falcons are getting 3 simply because they are playing at home. This is another divisional game, which as I mentioned earlier always seem to be tight, and I can see Atlanta driving down the field and kicking a FG as time expires to make this game a push. For all the woes Atlanta went through last year, they do always seem to start out hot before Matt Ryan forgets how to play football, so if I’m taking a side, it’s going to be the Julio and friends with the cover.
Jacksonville (+5.5) Confidence LVL: 6
Please don’t stop reading! I have my reasons, I swear! I think that many bettors would agree that underdogs playing at home (aka “home dogs”) are typically good bets and there is money to be made there. It’s not always the case, but if you know where to pick your spots, it can be profitable. I don’t even know if this is the one, but hell getting almost a TD head start in a game is enough to make anyone stop and think.
Yes I know, Jordy Nelson is back. Eddie Lacy is no longer Eddie Glazey and all is right in Packerland. For the most part, I tend to agree. I’m a huge fan of all their fantasy players but this is not fantasy football, this is gambling. I don’t think that the Packers offense is automatically going to be hitting on all cylinders right out of the gate so to assume that they are going to travel to Jacksonville and give almost a TD seems like a lot. And remember that these aren’t the Jaguars of old. They can score a lot of points and just spent an offseason investing millions of dollars into a revamped defense. Now same with the Packers offense, I don’t expect that defense to be water tight yet either, but maybe they have enough to stave off an Aaron Rodgers led drubbing. We all can agree that Blake Bortles throwing an INT as he tries to run a 2 minute drill for a tying field goal is the most likely outcome to this game. Take the points and root for the home dog!
Steve’s Wildcard: Cleveland @ Philadelphia OVER 41 points Confidence LVL: 8
I get it, this matchup of Bobby Three Sticks vs. Carson Wentz doesn’t exactly have you rushing to the television but that’s not what should concern you. What you should be focusing on is just how terrible these defenses were last season. I can’t get that out of my mind. It’s haunting, really. I think that both teams will be trying to prove that they have a functional offense, with 2 new head coaches leading their teams onto the field for the first time. Couple that with the terrible defenses I just mentioned I think you’ve got a recipe for points. It’s easy for me to see the scenario where this game is 21-14 going into halftime and both teams scoring in the 20’s seems very likely. Take the over and watch the scoreboard light up.
Shaun’s Wildcard: Washington (+157) Money line Confidence LVL: 3
I love a playoff team at home getting points, but for my wildcard pick I am leaving the points on the table and taking the Kirk Cousinskins straight up for the win baby. Washington was an impressive (9-5) ATS as an underdog last year, while being 5-4 ATS at home. Pitt is a popular pick for the Super Bowl and rightfully so. They have a high flying offense with ton of stars but they are missing Bryant and Bell and while I think they will still score plenty, I look for Washington to be able to keep pace with a healthy Reed, DJax and Kirk at the helm. A money line bet on Washington, especially included in a parlay, would make for a nice score. Give me Washington in a shootout 41-38