Not the best of weekends on the betting front from myself, typified by the Saquon Barkley longest rush bet, I tipped o16.5, so of course he finished with a long of 16. In fact, looking back it was a horrible weekend. I must apologise for the shitness of the tips. Fortunately, James is joining me for the preview tonight, he’s taken the NFC, so we’ll see how this Monday night double-header works out.
Tennessee Titans +10 @ Buffalo Bills: 47.5
The Titans opened the season with a home loss to the Giants as they failed to stop a 2-point conversion with a minute or so left and Randy Bullock missed a kick that most in the league would be scoring, he’s probably not going to be on the team for too much longer, the Bengals showed last year what getting rid of big bone Randy can do to a franchise, as it happens the Titans have won this match-up the last two times they’ve faced each other.
The Bills smashed the Rams in week 1 and have had extended rest as the Super Bowl favourites open their home schedule here as 10-point favourites. It’s a high line but the way they dismantled the Rams in the opening game it’s probably deserved.
So not the start the Titans wanted to the season last week, but it did seem somewhat inevitable after the loss of AJ Brown over the summer. They will still be run-first with Derrick Henry who finished last week with more carries than they had completions on the night, racking up 82 yards from 21 attempts. Obviously that will be their game-plan here, but against a high-powered offense it will be tough.
Ryan Tannehill had his usual game, 266 and 2 TDs, 106 passer rating and a couple of rush attempts, not a whole lot to say on him in fairness, he is who he is and he runs this offense well in general. He used rookie WR Kyle Phillips as his main target and the kid did well with 66 from 6, but he is officially listed as questionable for this which seems like it would be a big loss for them as they are already without pass-catching back Dontrell Hilliard who actually had a decent game last week. Treylon Burks has disappointed in camp but had 3 receptions last week, will be interesting to see how involved he is here.
The offensive line isn’t the best unit in the league and will have a tough job stopping the Bills pass rush which blew up the game last week, getting Henry going well will help keep them honest.
I like Ryan Tannehill o10.5 rush yards – he’ll be forced out of the pocket a lot and is an able rusher, keep an eye on Phillips availability if he can’t go then Nick Westbrook-Ikhene is probably worth a look on his yards 25.5 isn’t a high line.
The Bills opened the season as favourites for the Super Bowl and have shortened a little after that impressive win against the holders.
Josh Allen looked fantastic, his pre-snap stuff was improved from what we saw last year and he’s got one of the biggest arms in the league to find Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis down the field, it does look suspiciously like Davis will be missing this one which is significant for them. Diggs was brilliant last week and they have quite a lot of depth at WR with Isaiah McKenzie and Jamison Crowder who both got receptions last week. They may look to involve Dawson Knox this week after he only had one catch and without Davis they will probably have to matriculate a little more than chunk shots.
Von Miller led the team to that win last week as he ruined the Rams repeatedly and he should do well here too, they are still without Tred’ White but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue against this Titans team.
Dawson Knox o33.5 is a little higher than I’d like, but receptions aren’t available as they don’t know about Gabe Davis yet.
Who’s gonna win?
Well, the Bills… But I do think the Titans will keep it closer than the 10 so I’d be leaning to them on the handicap, but the Bills tend to keep their foot on the gas when ahead so could run away with it.
Minnesota Vikings +2.5 @ Philadelphia Eagles: 50.5
This matchup features two of the form teams in the NFC who were able to build on positive off-seasons with wins in week one. The Eagles survived a late scare to see off the Lions and also saw their route to winning the NFC East seemingly made a lot easier by Dak Prescott’s injury in Dallas. Meanwhile the Vikings laid down a marker in the NFC North with an impressive win over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
On paper it looks a very even matchup with the bookies giving the Eagles the edge thanks to them being at home.
The Vikings were very good on both sides of the ball against the Packers last week but the headlines were about how Kevin O’Connell’s offense was able to get one of the league’s best wide receivers to be seemingly wide open on every down. Justin Jefferson finished the game with two thirds of his teams receiving yards (184 of 277) and two touchdowns, with most of the damage being done in the first half. We should learn a lot about how serious of a competitor the Vikings will be this season in a tough road matchup in a time slot where QB Kirk Cousins traditionally struggles.
Jefferson will be the feature of the offense again but after his big week last week, his lines are understandably inflated. His total receiving line is set at 97.5 and his longest reception 28.5, numbers he practically doubled last week. I would lean the over on those lines again but will be avoiding due to the high numbers. I do like Adam Thielen to score a touchdown at 9/5 though, he had at least one in every game where he had four or more catches last season and should see more targets this week in a closer game.
The Eagles allowed D’Andre Swift and the Lions to run all over them last week, with Swift averaging almost ten yards a carry. The Eagles defense is better than that so I’m not expecting him to have the same luck but I do like Dalvin Cook to hit the over on 70 rushing yards. He is also around evens for a touchdown which might be worth a look.
The Eagles survived a late scare against the Lions last week but will be very happy with how quickly Jalen Hurts and AJ Brown were able to strike up rapport. Like Jefferson, Brown had over 60% of his team’s receiving yards (150 of 243). But as will be the norm with this team, the scoring came on the ground with all four of their touchdowns being runs. This included Miles Sanders’ first score for almost two years and I think there’s a good chance he keeps that going this week, you can get him at 7/5.
Against a Vikings defense who held Aaron Rodgers under 200 passing yards last week, I like the under on 239.5 for Hurts. His rushing line is 50.5 and I would be leaning the over on that.
Because Brown saw the majority of the targets last week, Devonta Smith was held without a catch for the first time in his career. That should change this week and I think I would take the over on 3.5 receptions for him in this one. I also like the price of an AJ Brown touchdown at 13/10 but will likely avoid for now based on how heavily they seem to lean on the run.
I am taking the Vikings and the points in this one, which is probably not something I would have said ten days ago. Both teams looked impressive on offense in their season openers but I will take the team that held Aaron Rodgers to one touchdown over the team that allowed a team led by Jared Goff to score 35.