NFL Week 2 Winners
Nothing feels better than getting a little frisky backdoor cover action to start the week on Thursday Night Football. The backdoor penetration with 5 minutes and change wasn't enough for you? Well, how about the Browns go through the Bengals defense like a hot knife through butter when you are hoping for a 5-minute drill to end the game? Oh, now the Bengals score a garbage touchdown to get firmly into coverage territory with like 10 seconds left?! What an electric ride... I don't know about you guys, but I couldn't get to sleep for like 2 hours after the final whistle blew because of that titillating ride.
Alright, 24-hour rule...the celebration is done and it's time to get back to business and ruin our bookies' lives this weekend. We have a STRONG Sunday slate and are getting a lot of points. It's par for the course for us to be on a lot of dogs early in the year, so get comfortable going against the public. In our internal discussions, I told the boys it was time to take out a second mortgage, lever it up with a home equity line of credit, and go for early retirement by 8pm on Sunday...that's how much I love our games this weekend. Is that completely ill-advised and against everything we preach with responsible bet-sizing and bankroll management, 100%, so don't be a dummy. Now on to the winners...
[6.6 Units] Jacksonville Jaguars (+8.5) at Tennessee Titans
6.6 Units – JAX +7.5 or more
3.3 Units – JAX +7
No Action – JAX +6.5 or less
It's pretty clear that our model is more bullish on the Jags than the public and it's also more bearish on the Titans. This makes it two weeks in a row we are both: 1. on the Jags and 2. against the Titans. Both of those things worked out well for us last week, so who are we to override it now? The Jaguars were extremely efficient against a Colts defense we have projected to be pretty damn good. The Titans obviously should have scored some additional points with the terrible kicking game, but that sort of early season rust has been a trend for them. Last year, they started off the season with a sluggish 2-4 record before finding a mid-season rhythm. The model has this at about a 4-point game, so there is a lot of value in the 8.5 and we actually like the Jags to potentially shock the world and get off to a surprise 2-0 start. Money line action?? We can't condone that activity, but we may be sprinkling in a little ourselves. Do as we say, not as we do.
[6.6 Units] Miami Dolphins (+5.5) at home with Buffalo Bills
6.6 Units – MIA +4.5 or more
3.3 Units – MIA +4
No Action – MIA +3.5 or less
The Dolphins played a respectable game against the Patriots in Foxboro last week. They were taking on a tough task of facing an offense that there was 0 film on. 98% of the film from the last two decades includes Tom Brady at QB, so how the hell do you prepare a defense to play Cam Newton at QB for the Pats? Let's not forget the Phins played very solid football once they found their footing under Flores in 2019 and have a better roster entering this season. The Bills are certainly the superior team if they are meeting on a neutral field, but they should be about 1.5-point road favorites, instead of the 5.5 they are laying.
[6.6 Units] Carolina Panthers (+9) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6.6 Units – CAR +8.5 or more
3.3 Units – CAR +7.5 or +8
No Action – CAR -+7 or less
The Panthers let us down in Week 1, losing by 4-points when we were only on the receiving end of an additional 3. We aren't ones to sulk about past performance, it's all about how the data and roster looks heading into the current week. Both of these squads have new quarterbacks in 2020, but fortunately, we think we have a pretty good read on both of their abilities. Closing in on a double-digit line is really only necessary when it's either the worst team in the league playing an above average team OR if it's the best team in the league playing a pretty bad one. Tampa may get to a point in the coming weeks where they are playing at a top-tier level, but they clearly were not there in Week 1. Conversely, the Panthers have enough talent to play at about a league-average level. In short, take the 9! This has public play on the Bucs hoping for a bounce back written all over it...we are on the winning side of that proposition more often than not.
[6.6 Units] New York Jets (+6.5) at home with San Francisco 49ers
6.6 Units – NYJ +6.5 or more
3.3 Units – NYJ +6
No Action – NYJ +5.5 or less
This is the most terrifying game of Week 2 for us. The Jets definitely are in the bottom-10 of the league, but with the long trip for the 49ers, our models have this as about a field goal spread. We went round and round looking for reasons to kick this one out of our plays, but there's not a significant data adjustment caveat that exists. The only reason we don't like it is because of our eyes and our hearts...both of those things lie to us more than the data does. You all have the license to bitch at us if it doesn't work out, but we have to trust the system and stay true to our stuff with this scrappy home dog play.
[6.6 Units] Houston Texans (+7) at home with Baltimore Ravens
6.6 Units – HOU +7 or more
3.3 Units – HOU +6 or +6.5
No Action – HOU +5.5 or less
Our intrinsic line on this game is pegged right on -3 in favor of the Ravens. They will likely get the win on their trip to the Lonestar state, but it's not going to be by a touchdown. The Texans play a lot better at home and had plenty of time to get rested up and gameplan after their Thursday Night Football game to open the season. Watson looked pretty good against the Chiefs, but he's going to need some guys to step up on the outside and make some plays down the field to open up the run game with Hopkins now absolutely eating for Arizona. Even if the Ravens get out to a quick start (doubtful!), at least we know we have the backdoor open for business for us to potentially close out the week the same way it started.