Sandman Week 1 NFL Bets – SEA/IND DEN/NYG

NFL Week 1

Sandman here. These are going to be my plays for the NFL season long challenge between writers. Going to keep it short and sweet in order to get this out to you guys an hour before noon kickoff. BOL!

Play #1- Colts/Seahawks u49 (-110) 1u

Here’s a play that follows a lot of the logic I presented against the Colts in my futures piece. However, there is additional history to back up this play as well. In Carson Wentz last 6 starts, the under is 6-0 and is 24-16 in starts since 2018. On Seattle’s side, the under is 7-2 in their last 9 games. In the 3 opening games under Reich, the Colts have put up 20,23, and 24, while Seattle has averaged 22 points per game in their openers in 11 seasons under Pete Carroll. Both teams had top 5 units against the run last year in terms of total yards and YPC, and both teams ranked in the top half in rushing attempts last year. This should be a recipe for a lot of punts, and don’t expect either team to get away from the run too early, as Pete Carroll is known for committing to the run and Frank Reich may not be ready to ask Wentz to air it out over 30 times quite yet.

Play #2 – Giants +3 (-115) 1u

Note- Will be waiting to fire at whatever line is available at kickoff after Barkley is active. If not, I won’t be betting on this.

The Giants are going to be a lot better than people think if they can stay healthy. They were 6-5 in their last 11 games last year, and Daniel Jones showed improvement averaging an 86.4 passer rating over the last 10 games after averaging a 67.6 in the first 4 games in which the Giants went 0-4. Getting Saquon back will be huge as well to support Jones in the passing game. They were 7th to last in rushing attempts last year, which was partially due to trailing a lot, but also due to their lack of a playmaker at the position. Not only will Barkley help in the run game, but he should also force the defense to play the run a little more, freeing up more space for Jones. Getting Golladay on the outside to catch the ball along with Engram, Shepard and Slayton, this receiving corps is now above average and ready to help Jones take the next step. 

They also made a key signing on the defensive side adding Adoree Jackson into an already good secondary to help push this unit into the next tier. Denver’s strength of their team, the receiving threats, should be masked relatively well by a Giants secondary that was one of the most improved units in football over the course of the season. In their last 6 games, where they faced Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, and Baker Mayfield, opposing QBs had a 78.1 passer rating which would’ve ranked the Giants defense in the top 12 pass defenses in football last year. This should only get better with the addition of Jackson. 

History tells us the Giants are a good bet as well. The Broncos are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 as a favorite, and the Giants are 8-3 in the last 11 as underdogs. In 2020, the league was 54-48 as home underdogs.

NFL WEEK 1 – 9/12/21

Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta -3.5 (1PM EST)

I had a lot of faith in the Falcons last year despite their performance and I’m back to probably embarrass myself again. With the addition of Arthur Smith at HC, I think this team will be revamped and have a much more dynamic offense. Despite the loss of Julio Jones, I think there are enough weapons for Matt Ryan to get the job done in close games. Not to mention Calvin Ridley is slowing throwing himself into the category of best receivers in the game. Their defense was the issue last year and with some age I think it can get better. They were a rather young platoon and I think they will show improvement simply on experience.

If it’s Week 1, pick the spreads against the bad teams. It’s easy to pick the Chiefs or the Bucs this year at the top of the pack but sometimes there’s unexpected injuries or a bump in the road that causes predicted good teams to flop. Rarely do the teams you think are going to be terrible wind up being really good. The Eagles are not very good. At All. Jalen Hurts is the best quarterback in the locker room and Philly refuses to accept it so they continue to put pressure on a young quarterback who’s just trying to get comfortable. The Defense is nothing special, they have some good veterans on the D-Line and the 4th highest paid cornerback in the league but then you start to strike out everywhere else. Lastly, Nick Sirianni gets zero support from me due to his wildly puppet-like interview where he essentially said “We need guys to learn the playbook”. If you haven’t watched his interviews, go do it and have a good laugh.

Take Atlanta -3.5 today. The Eagles should be bad. The Falcons should be airing it out.

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots, Dolphins +3 (4:25 EST)

Mac Jones might be the second coming of Brady, I think he’ll be really good. However, the Dolphins return a defense that led the league in interceptions and were second in touchdown passes allowed. Tua will be in a true second year with no real pressure, he is the Dolphins guy (for now). They have given him tons of weapons and what should be a decent run game. They beefed up the offensive line and added Jaelen Phillips to an already solid defensive line.

Like I said, Mac Jones might be a true superhero. Every report coming out of camp and preseason is that he’s flexing on people, and he said Tom Brady “definitely did a good job”, like what? He might be, I’m telling you. But they have a couple key injuries heading into this game with Gilmore and a couple others on IR and 6 more questionable. I also still have no idea who Mac is going to throw the ball to, Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry play tight end. I couldn’t name another receiver besides butterfingers Agholor, and he might not even play today.

I think the Dolphins look better than they did last year and the Patriots work out some kinks to give Miami the opening win.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans, Jags -3 (1PM EST)

Trevor Lawrence has very high expectations with the way Herbert and Burrow came out swinging last year. I expect his debut to be no different. On offense he has a slew of weapons. Robinson in the backfield, with the company of Jones, Shenault, and Chark at receiver. They have a good mix of veterans and young guys with some potential and the defense got a bunch of extra help and a new coordinator so it can’t be as bad as years past.

If there’s any team to just crush this year, it’s the Houston Texans. It seems as though, every time we check in on Houston, something else worse than before has happened. With Tyrod Taylor at the starting quarterback this week they will have a chance to pull off some magic against a younger team and new coach Urban Meyer. The defense for them last year was atrocious, only forcing 9 takeaways all year and they couldn’t have stopped me from running up the middle if I told them I was going to. We’ll see and improvement on that side of the ball with Lovie Smith at coordinator, I’m sure of it.

 I think Trevor picks them apart in his NFL Debut. DUUUVAL

Bonus: Seahawks -2.5, Bengals +3

Sandman Week 2 CFB Plays

Play #1- Wisconsin -26 (-110) vs Eastern Michigan (1.5u)

This will be an angry Wisconsin team after showing poorly against Penn State, especially on offense. In the last 3 years under Paul Christ (not counting 2020 due to no non conference) the Badgers have beaten their non major conference opponents by 49,61,48,49,31,31,17 (11-3 FAU team), 34.

They have also lost one game by 3 points vs BYU. Since 2011, Wisconsin has played a MAC team 8 times, and have won by an average of 33 points. In 2020, Eastern Michigan was 120th of 128 FCS teams against the run, a facet of the game in which the Badgers absolutely have dominated against lower conference teams historically. Additionally, if you look at Graham Mertz last year, he was elite against bad teams and poor against good ones.

Against teams that finished under .500 (Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota), Mertz threw for 7 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, whereas he threw 2 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in the other games. This helps me get past his brutal week 1 vs Penn State and have confidence he will be fine vs this inferior opponent. Finally, you have the non quantifiable motivational factor. I think based on the numbers it’s clear that on paper the Badgers should cover this number. However, I do think there is a little bit extra motivation going into this game after their showing last week, and the Badgers are going to keep the pedal down for a little longer than maybe they usually would.

Play #2 – Iowa +4.5 (-110) in Ames 1u

Iowa State vs Iowa has been a great rivalry over the years, especially the last couple years since the revival of the Iowa State program. However, it has still been surprisingly one sided over the last few years (didn’t play last year).

Even with Brock Purdy and Breece Hall, the Cyclones have not won against Iowa in 6 years, and haven’t won by more than 3 since 2005. Additionally, Charlie Kolar, ISU’s All-American tight end is questionable and banged up. As is starting receiver Sean Shaw Jr, and even top linebacker O’rien Vance and the aforementioned Breece Hall are banged up, though likely to play.

The Hawkeyes are coming in with momentum after destroying Indiana last week, and are also completely healthy. The most impressive thing about the 34-6 win over Indiana is the fact that the offense didn’t even have to play that well. They put up 303 yards on 64 plays, which is a modest 4.7 per play, and they turned the ball over twice. The defense was the reason they won this game so handily, picking off preseason heisman hopeful Michael Penix Jr. 3 times. Indiana’s offense had big ten receiver of the year Ty Fryfogle as well, and was absolutely silenced. On the flip side, Iowa State squeaked by Northern Iowa, winning by 6 and getting banged up in the process. With all this in mind, I think Iowa gets to play their brand of football, control the game and the clock, and get out of Ames with a win or close loss.

YTD Record- 1-1(-.6u)

Week 1 NFL bets from Mr. FC – MIA/NE, CHI/LA, BAL/OAK

I kicked off the NFL season last night with a W (DAL +7.5), so I start the young NFL regular season 1-0 (+2.00u). On Sunday, there is one day game that stands out to me, as well as the Sunday night and Monday night matchup that I’ll be betting.

NE -3 over MIA

I bet this early so was fortunate enough to get -2.5 when it first dropped, but I would still be very comfortable with the -3, where it currently sits at most books. As we know, Mac Jones looked great in preseason, and in my opinion watching rookie QBs make the transition to the NFL is one of the only valuable things to gain from watching preseason football.

More importantly though, the run and short passing game is going to be what wins this game for the Patriots. With Xavien Howard and Byron Jones and the secondary being the strength of this Miami team, I expect New England to take the pressure off their rookie QB, shorten the game, and open up things with play action.

I have never been a big believer in Tua and the Dolphins so that adds to my gut feeling on this pick. On top of that, Tua might be missing his left tackle Austin Jackson (COVID), so the Patriots revamped pass rush should have a field day.

CHI +7.5 over LAR

With a similar line of thinking to my Cowboys pick, I simply think this spread is too high. The Bears are obviously going with Andy Dalton out of the gate instead of Justin Fields, but people seem to have this assumption that the Rams are suddenly going to become the team to beat with the addition of Matthew Stafford.

Do I think Stafford is a big improvement over Goff? Of course. Do I still think it may take a few games for their offense to get clicking? Yes as well. Because of this and the overhype the Rams have gotten, I’ll take my chances with the Bears and the points.

BAL -4 over LV

I also made this pick pretty early before the grim reaper of running backs came to visit the Ravens, but that isn’t going to change my pick because the two reasons I love them aren’t changing: regular season Lamar Jackson and a god awful Raiders defense.

Every year I hear about how Derek Carr showed up to camp “in the best shape of his life” and looks better than ever but I’m not buying it. Never have, never will. The Raiders seem to be the trendy underdog pick this week, but I see the Ravens putting up 30-40 on them and covering with ease.

NFL YTD: 1-0 (+2.00u)

Follow along here or on Twitter @itsafullcount.

Mr. FC

NFL Futures Part 1 from D Buckets

FIRST PICK: BAKER MAYFIELD MVP +3500

Haha just kidding. Imagine though? Yea, I can’t either. Ok here we go.

SF to win Super Bowl 16:1

Obsessed with Shanahan and his play calling*. If Lance gets the job by, I don’t know, week 10? Sky’s the limit. Now I may be wrong and Lance could be just bad. But if they had the best running game with Jimmy G… I’m getting riled up anyway!! The roster is loaded and healthy, especially defensively. Only roster in the NFC I’d want more is TB.

*Unless I’m on SF pickem in the Super Bowl vs the Chiefs and he STOPS RUNNING THE FUCKING BALL WHY KYLE WHY. Maybe I shouldn’t trust him as much as I do. I mean, his name’s Kyle. Yuck.  

LAR to win Super Bowl 16:1

Stafford’s impact won’t be overlooked come Sunday night. Defense worries me but not as much as their O-line depth. Whitworth is like my dad’s age and if he goes down Stafford’s going to feel like he’s back in Detroit.

LAC to win Super Bowl 35:1

Can you please stop laughing they have a good roster ok. If this new defensive guru turned HC is half-decent they can play with anyone. Still laughing? Well I don’t care. Bolt up! Is that the phrase? What the fuck is their phrase? Charged up? It should be charged up that’s one of Drake’s best songs. Also would be able to use the lightning bolt emoji even more if they make a run. Alright seriously you can stop laughing now.

CHASE YOUNG DPOY 8:1

Just a freak of nature. Not a ton of value but he’d be my pick if all odds were the same, might as well snag the +800.

DERWIN JAMES DPOY 22:1

Too talented and too cheap to pass up. Better than Jamal Adams and could probably be a shutdown corner. Not in love with this one but a good price. Also just a great guy to root for despite his college.

ZACH WILSON OROY +750

Favorite future bet. QB award, and playing for the Jets gives him a lower bar. Starting from the jump gives him edge over Lance and Fields. Talent gives him edge over Jones. Urban Meyer not running his team into the ground gives him edge over Lawrence.

KYLE PITTS OROY 12:1

Best tight end of all-time. Fav Kyle. Go Gators. Least fav Kyle you ask? That rapper with a lisp that talked about shooting it just like Derozan in a song called “I Spy”. How y’all let that song become popular man.

NAJEE HARRIS OROY 20:1

Mispriced. Despite usually being a QB award, his usage puts him in the conversation at least. Also plays for a popular team that probably helps the narrative.

KWITY PAYE DROY 14:1

Pass rusher I like. Good team/chance of making playoffs I like. His name I like. 14:1 I like.

MATTHEW STAFFORD MVP 12:1

Like Young, not the most value here, but love the chances of him grabbing hold of that narrative early. Always on bad teams, finally gets a great offensive mind yada yada. You can hear it already. People on ESPN who never really know what they’re talking about.. starting every player breakdown with: “WHEN YOU LOOK AT A GUY LIKE A PATRICK MAHOMES OR LIKE A JOSH ALLEN.” Anyway yeah I like Stafford’s chances. Pat and Lamar and Aaron have already won the award too, and we all know Pat’s going to get more. Maybe we’ll get the sympathy/”when else are we going to give it to him?” votes. Or just bet Mahomes again man, but how much fun is that? Ok fair, money is fun. Bet Mahomes and Stafford then.

Win totals and divisions coming by Saturday. Also more footy.

d_buckets on twitter. Dylan Moore in real life. (American) football is back!

vamos

CFB Plays for Saturday 9/11/21

South Carolina @ East Carolina, South Carolina -105 (12PM EST)

South Carolina is coming off an easy preseason level game with a 46-0-win vs Eastern Illinois. They also only allowed 109 yards of total offense which is pretty impressive considering the backups were playing most of the second half. East Carolina couldn’t get the run going against Appalachian State last week and South Carolina has a much bigger and badder defensive line to get through.

South Carolina is under new coaching and has an inconsistent offensive line, however. There is a chance that ECU can sneak a win out of this one if their passing game can get going. There is always a chance, but I think South Carolina is back to business “on the road”. The game is won and lost at the line, and I see the Gamecocks dominating both sides of the ball and getting their second consecutive win to start the season.

Buffalo @ Nebraska, Buffalo +13.5 (330PM EST)

The Buffalo Bulls are playing Nebraska this weekend and the spread just seems too large for a team as unstable as these Cornhuskers. The Bulls are coming off a 69-7 win over Wagner. They gained over 300 yards on the ground with 7 Touchdowns. Sorry, I’ll repeat that 312 YARDS AND 7 TOUCHDOWNS. While Fordham is no match, Nebraska gave up 4.6 yards per carry in that matchup. That won’t be a good matchup for them. Now the battle also begins with the clock, when we are talking spread let alone the actual score of the game which could shift in favor of the Bulls.

While Martinez is very good at quarterback for Nebraska, the turnovers seem to be a repetitive problem. Not Martinez necessarily but they turned the ball over once against Illinois while giving up 5 sacks, and then again turned the ball over twice against Fordham. And it appears that Buffalo’s defense is better than the past two that they’ve seen.

Buffalo +13.5 should be your favorite pick of the week.

Missouri @ Kentucky, Kentucky -4.5 (730PM EST)

Kentucky Wildcats football inches closer to being a good SEC Football team every year. I am very confident in this team this year. Penn State transfer Will Levis was slingin’ the ball all over the field last week and looks well adjusted in this offense. A nice change of pace to have a quarterback throw the football for UK. The offensive line is incredibly strong to compliment Levis and Chris Rodriguez, their speedy running back. Their defense lost a lot of superstars to the draft but they add Yusef Corker to the secondary as one of the better safeties in the SEC, and Marquan McCall to the Defensive Line who is a 380 pound monster in the middle.

Missouri is coming from a struggling win against Central Michigan despite a phenomenal showing from their pass rush, creating 9 sacks. However, with that they gave up nearly 500 yards of offense to a team that is not near the caliber of Kentucky. Missouri’s offense is just too shaky for me to have faith in. They went 1-11 on 3rd downs and Central Michigan had 10 penalties throughout this game to constantly keep Mizz in it.

Kentucky is also at home to give them an extra boost. Give it to UK by more than a Touchdown but only here at -4.5.

BONUS: Iowa +170, Tennessee +145, Michigan -6.5, Georgia UAB Over 44.5

Brewer’s NFL Futures – 9/8/21

Matt Stafford +2000

Matthew Stafford for MVP. As a Lions fan, I have a tad bit of bias. However, he is no longer suiting up for one of the worst teams in the league anymore. He is suiting up for a fantastic head coach in Sean McVay, a top 3 Power Ranked team, and one with weapons galore. During his time in Detroit, he would be lucky to have any sort of run game to support him or more than one dominant Calvin Johnson or Marvin Jones or Kenny Golladay.

Matthew Stafford is 33 years old, far from washed up and ready to win. Last year the MVP Aaron Rodgers had 4300 yards 48 TDs and 5 INTs, if that is our template for an MVP season, I’m going to tell you how Stafford can do it. Last year Stafford had just over 4000 yards, the Lions stink and he was without his top 2 pass catchers for a majority of the season lowering his touchdown total to only 26. That given he only threw 10 interceptions. 7 of his last 10 years he has thrown for over 4000 yards passing that will not be a problem. The Touchdowns should come with ease this year. Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee, Sony Michel. They will tally up and the Rams will have more than enough time on offense with an impressive defense. Stafford also will not have to force throws and constantly take a beating as I don’t see this team being behind in many games this season.

At +2000, I can definitely see him being a Top QB in the league on a Top 3 team. He will for sure be in the conversation.At the odds given, it’s a great value bet.

Browns +155

The Browns are no longer the Browns. This is their second year under Stefanski and Baker’s first time coming back to a system so far in his career. The run game should take an immense amount of pressure off him with a strong offensive line and the dynamic duo of Chubb and Hunt running the ball. Not to mention a commonly acclaimed top receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., returns fully healthy and with a chip on his shoulder to prove he’s not just a joke.

On defense, they added some depth in the secondary using their first-round pick on a Cornerback and returning two starters from injury. On the defensive line, while they lost some, they reloaded with Jadeveon Clowney, Malik Jackson, and Tak McKinley. You can’t expect any fall off, only positive.

The rest of the division, the only team that should really be worried about is the Ravens, but they seem to have lost an edge from last year and are suffering from lack of receivers and the loss of JK Dobbins on offense. The Steelers are aging and while they will be pushing for the top I see the Browns beating them twice unless they figure out how to run the ball this year. Which is possible with the addition of Najee Harris. Lastly, the Bengals are improving but will be nowhere close to the top of this division.

Take the Browns in the AFC North +155.

Cowboys +150

This one won’t be long, and I feel is self-explanatory. This is a two teamed division; the Giants and Eagles will be competing for the number one overall pick in the 22 NFL Draft. So, you look at Washington and Dallas. Many people are backing Washington this year because they are a fun team. I could not agree more, I would love to see FitzMagic win the MVP and they win 12 games, 8 by 4th quarter comebacks because their defense makes some crazy stops. Realistically though, this team has too many issues in the secondary, not enough help on the offensive line, and are just simply too young.

The Cowboys are a walking dream team if they can put it together. Dak is back. The offensive line is back with Smith, Collins, and Martin all back from injury. Which also means Zeke will be back and better. CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper are the main receivers this year with Michael Gallup close behind. While yes the defense was also atrocious, they have hired a new coordinator and used their offseason exclusively to muster up improvements using their first 6 draft selections on defense.

HAVE YOU WATCHED HARD KNOCKS!? Take Dallas +150.

Titans -110

Check out @SandmanPicks for his take on Titans -110 and his NFL Future’s as well!

NFL Futures from Sandman

NFL Futures

Washington Football Team u8.5 wins -110 (1u)

This is not me hating on this team. In fact, going into my research my gut told me to take the over. Let me explain. First off, you have a change in QB that has been overblown in it’s projected impact. This team ranked 28th in QBR last year at 80.1, which isn’t good. But you have to remember they started an uninterested Dwayne Haskins for 8 games and he put up a 73.0, good for 3rd last among qualified QBs.

The play of Alex Smith and Taylor Heinecke was not all that bad down the stretch. Over the course of the last 17 games Fitzpatrick has started, he’s had a QB rating at 89, which would’ve placed him 21st among QBs with 10+ starts over that same time. Yes, it might be an improvement. But it’s an improvement that might get you a few more shootout wins, but he is also going to kill you with turnovers more times than Alex Smith did to end the season. He’s another year older, and although he likely has a better supporting cast at the skill positions, that o-line is still a big question.

Second, this team is so young (pun intended) and have so many guys who are going to be so important for them while still on rookie contracts. Antonio Gibson came on as a rookie and played very well, but he’s still so inexperienced and has shown us 12 good games. Logan Thomas showed promise but again, although not super young, had ¾ of a good year.

On the defensive side, they have a great unit against the run, but expect them to regress in the secondary. They did rank well last year, but here’s a list of QBs that started against them last year. Carson Wentz, Daniel Jones x2, Jared Goff, Andy Dalton x2, Joe Burrow(and a half of Ryan Findley), Nick Mullens, Teddy Bridgewater, Jalen Hurts(with some Nate Sudfeld). That’s 10 games against very poor QB play. Yes, I know they still get to play Hurts and Wentz 4 times this year, but outside of that, it gets much much tougher.

They have a middle of the road schedule this year, but my biggest concern with a young squad is that the majority of their winnable games outside of the division come on the road. They go to Denver, to Carolina, to Atlanta, and to Vegas. Outside of that, you have @GB, @Buffalo and home to KC, Tampa, Seattle, New Orleans, and the Chargers, where you’d be happy to steal 2 or 3.₁ The fact that so many of their games that will be expected to be close are on the road does not bode well for a team with so much youth outside of the QB position. 

As a whole, I like this team for the future but I just don’t see where 9 wins come from. Take 4/6 from that dumpster fire of a division, which would be a big success, and they still have to take 5/11 from those games mentioned above.₁ They’re a trendy and lovable team that I hate to root against, but give me the under.

Titans to win the AFC South (-125) 1.5u

Yes, this might be an obvious, boring pick. Let’s be honest though, this division is a 2 horse race. Jacksonville and Houston aren’t winning anything, so that’ll be the only time I mention them. Indy on the other hand, is who most would be worried about.

However, I’m going to tell you first why I hate the Colts this year, which is half the reason I love this bet. I’m still confused at what the Colts think they’re doing at QB. Unless they’re starting my guy, the greatest college QB of all time, Sam Ehlinger, I hate their QB play for this year. I get it, Wentz had 1 and a half good year under Frank Reich in Philly, who’s now in Indianapolis, but did people just forget about last year? I mean the guy was 2nd to last in the NFL in passer rating last season among qualified QBs last year, while Phillip Rivers was 12th. Heck, even Rivers was 4 points higher last year than Wentz was in a decent 2019. So I’m expecting at the absolute best, for the Colts to get similar QB play as last year but likely will take a little step down. Other than that, they do get Darius Leonard and Marlon Mack back from injury, but who knows when TY Hilton and Quentin Nelson return. They didn’t lose much in free agency, but also added just about nothing.

Enough about the Colts. They didn’t do much to get better if anything and have a new QB, but what about the reigning division champs, the Titans. I’m not going to come on here and act like Julio Jones is going to go back 6 years and be the best receiver in football. But as a #2 option he’s about the best in football. A top 3 receiving corps in football, the best running back in the league, and a QB with the 5th highest QBR in football over the last 2 seasons? That sounds like a top NFL offense to me, even if they don’t put up the points like some other big dogs due to their run first mentality. 

We know the Titans offense is going to be sick, and yes, the Colts may be better defensively. However, bringing in Bud Dupree and Denico Autry (oh yes, from the Colts) who had an under the radar 2020, should help generate the pass rush after a disappointing season from Clowney last year.

They retooled a bit in the secondary, letting Kenny Vaccaro and Adoree Jackson walk and losing Malcolm Butler to retirement. However, 2020 second rounder Kristin Fulton looked more than ready last year and they brought in Janoris Jenkins to be a solid veteran. Combine that with another year of Jeffery Simmons development, and I expect this defense to be a serviceable, middle of the road unit this year. They aren’t great on that side, but they aren’t as bad as they showed last year giving up the 9th most points and 4th most yards in football, so expect some progression to the mean (oh and they still won the division with that bad defense last year).

To wrap it up, this bet is just as much about the lack of faith I have in the Colts (and the rest of the division) as it is about my confidence in Mike Vrabel’s team. I just don’t see the script flipping from the last few years given how the off-season’s went.

Why I’m Joining The Athletic (Just Kidding, Footy Picks)

d_buckets here, back like I left something. (insert the emoji that’s blowing smoke out his nose that the athletes always use when talking about #grindmode or #savageszn or whatever the fuck) Alright enough time wasting, here are 5 of my picks for the weekend. #grindmode #bagszn #ihatewhenwhitepeoplesaynocap

CRYSTAL PALACE under 2.5 (-120)

Palace have looked like nothing but a relegation level side. Not a believer in first year boss Patrick Viera or there talent/depth. But they should be desperate for a result after 2 draws and a loss in their first 3 games. Add that to an international break, a Spurs team who have yet to concede a goal OR score more than 1, and a 12:30 kickoff.. and it has all the ingredients for an under.

SOUTHAMPTON over 2.5/3 (-106)

Southampton haven’t shown many signs of an improvement on defense and West Ham have picked up right where they left off last season. The team is flying and playing open, attractive football. Look at West Ham as a potential parlay team this weekend, although they are on the road so tread cautiously.

LIVERPOOL -.5/-1 (-110)

Liverpool struggled last year vs Leeds but they did that against pretty much everybody. VVD is back and there’s plenty of depth to not worry about the UCL lookahead just a few days later. Raphinha and that luscious Leeds attack should certainly cause problems, but Liverpool should cause, and convert, more. If Fabinho starts, which he should, then the midfield battle between him and Phillips may decide it. Like Fab to keep him in check. (Note: Van Dijk just sustained an injury for Netherlands, but said he’s fine)

LEVANTE under 2.5 (-122)

Rayo have the most xG conceded thru 3 games, but neither of these teams have the firepower/style to scare me out of 2.5. Relatively even squads should make for a cagey affair. It’s La Liga, take the under.

ESPANYOL under 2/2.5 (-116)

Like that Espanyol are home, should be tougher for Atléti to score. 1 goal total in 3 Espanyol games and an xG and xGA both under 3 total. Both teams in top 6 in xGA. It’s La Liga, take the under.

YTD

PREMIER LEAGUE  18-10  6.38

LA LIGA                     6-3     3.72

vamos

3 best value bets for MLB today (+684 parlay) – 9/7/21

NYY -1.5 over TOR -105, Reds ML over CHC -158, SEA ML over HOU +146 (+684)

With this first bet there was no value on the ML so I went spread, but there is one possible trap I could fall into, the Yankees offense going onto another ice cold streak like we’ve seen this season. However, I’m going to chalk up their 5 hit zero run performance to open up their series with the Blue Jays as an anomaly as they’ve been so good in the second half of the season for the most part.

With Gerrit Cole on the mound, I have total confidence in 6-8 innings of 1-2 run ball minimum after his most recent dominant performance over the Angels, which with the Yankees offense and mostly rested bullpen should be enough to win and cover.

Next, I like Wade Miley and the Reds to take down the Chicago Cubs and Adrian Sampson. The Cubs seven game winning streak has to come to an end, right? I think so, especially with this pitching matchup.

Miley got roughed up in his last start, but has been one of the league’s best this season so I like his odds to bounce back against this Cubs lineup. Sampson is making only his second start of the season, his first since August 18th. With 4 innings being the most he’s thrown this season, even IF he’s able to be effective, it will turn into the Cubs bullpen against Miley so I like the odds on the Reds.

I’m going out on a bit of a limb on the last bet so feel free to leave it off for a two team parlay around +220, but I’m feeling risky. Maybe it’s personal bias, but I’ve bet on the Astros a lot this season and biggest takeaway is how inconsistent they are. With the amount of juice I’ve paid at times, I’m likely negative betting on them this season.

The pitching matchup is a wash in my opinion, Logan Gilbert of the Mariners who just shut out the Astros in his last start over five innings against Jake Odorizzi, who took the loss in that game giving up one run over five innings. With the plus money value nearing 150, in my opinion it’s worth it to take a shot on the Mariners to pull it out tonight.

I’ll be putting one unit on each game individually, as well as one unit on the parlay. Follow along here or on Twitter @itsafullcount.

Mr. FC