Welcome to my weekly Tuesday article focusing on NFL reactions, early lines, in-season win totals and Futures prices. During the season, the goal is to build a portfolio of bets that create middles and acquire the best numbers in the popular future markets. I will include the bets at the bottom of each article and the week they were placed so that we can track them as we go.
NFL Odds | NFL Betting Splits | NFL Matchups
Let’s look at the biggest two power rankings adjustments that I made from the games on Sunday:
Move them up: San Francisco 49ers
Not a shocker here with who got the largest upgrade. The 49ers closed as a 1-point road favorite vs. the Steelers, jumped out to a 17-0 lead, and never looked back. The defense showed out against a Pittsburgh offense that looked crisp in the preseason. That being said, the main reason for my upgrade was Brock Purdy. I have not been a big Purdy guy, mainly because of his days at Iowa State, but he was phenomenal moving around the pocket and delivering the football to the correct option. It helped that Brandon Aiyuk created a massive amount of separation every time Purdy looked his way, but the passes were on time and accurate. Last year, he put the ball in danger. On Sunday, he did not.
Move them down: Seattle Seahawks
Well, that one stung. I was higher than most on this Seahawks team heading into the season specifically because the defense had a chance to take a step forward and logical improvement second year tackles Lucas and Cross. In Week 1, the defense got cooked by Tutu Atwell and Puka Nacua. Not good. Cross and Lucas both left the game with injuries. Even worse. Without them in the second half, Seattle mustered up just one first down. I’d love to fade the Lions next week vs. Seattle in Week 2. The line opened Lions -3 and has been bet out to -5.5, but I can’t touch Seattle with both tackles questionable.
Early Week 2 Plays
Make sure you are tuning into The Handle from 6-7 PST (9-10 EST) on Sundays. Matt Brown and I rip through the following week's games and opening lines. If you listened and played along yesterday, you are sitting with the 49ers -6.5 in your account. That game has already been bet out to 49ers -8.
Of the numbers left on the board, let’s lock in the Under in Carolina on Monday night. Right now, Under 41 is readily available, and I’d play this down to Under 40. The Panthers look like a dead Under team this year. The offense was just as much of a mess in Week 1 as we saw in the preseason, and they should have a top-15 defense. The Saints didn’t exactly light it up in Week 1 either squeaking out a 16-15 win over the Titans. I was anything but inspired by the effort from Carr and company. With Kamera out and Olive getting banged up, this is a good spot for the under.
The bet: Saints / Panthers u41 (good to 40)
This is not a bad time to jump into the MVP market with current co-favorites in Tua Tagovailoa and Patrick Mahomes at +700. Both seem like unlikely winners at this point with Tua being bet off one performance and Mahomes facing wide receiver issues on top of winning the award last year. The issue is I don’t have a number that jumps out at me. Brock Purdy at +4000 is interesting, but if they end with the league’s best record, he will be the last to garner credit with the majority going to Kyle Shannahan and the weapons around him. Trevor Lawrence at +1500 would be my play if I was forced to add here however it will be a pass for now.
Season Win Totals
I did find a play here. Let’s take the Titans Under 6.5 wins. That Week 1 game was a huge loss for them. Six of their next seven games are very tough including the Chargers, at Browns, the Ravens and at Steelers. Their most likely win will be a coinflip game at the Colts. With the way Tannehill played and with Henry looking a step slow, this is a team that could very well blow it up if they are 1-7 or 2-6. While the back half of the schedule is slightly easier, they still must go to the Dolphins and play the Jags twice.
The Bet: Titans u6.5 wins
Editor's note: Somich emailed to mention that this line is now 7.5 and would be an even stronger position.
Nothing jumped out in this market. The biggest move that I found interesting was the Chiefs falling from -165 to -130. If that gets to +100, that would be a buy point for me. The Raiders were the only winner from the AFC West in Week 1 and are still the longest shot on the board. If KC falls to Jacksonville this week, that may create a buy opportunity for a team that is adding Chris Jones this week and cannot get a worse performance from the wide receiver position than they did in Week 1.
Season Long Bets Recap: n/a
Titans u6.5 (bet after Week 1)