2021 NFL Predictions and Picks: Week 2
The 2021 regular season got off to a good start. Last week out of 14 wagers (all posted here on my site, and at POINTSPREADS.CA), the results were 9 wins, 4 losses, and 1 push.
I’m more pissed off about the four losses than happy about the 9 wins. Here’s the breakdown, by game, if you want to go back and take a look.
TEASER: Tampa Bay teased to -2 with San Francisco teased to -1.5 ($240/$200) — PUSH
TEASER: San Francisco teased to -1.5 with Miami +8.5 ($240/$200) — WON
MONEYLINE: San Francisco -385 vs. Detroit (BEST BET) ($1,140/$300) — WON
SIDE BET: Seattle -2 vs. Indianapolis ($220/$200) — WON
GAME TOTAL: Seattle/Indianapolis UNDER 50.5 ($220/$200) — WON
SIDE BET: Houston +3 vs. Jacksonville ($220/$200) –WON
FIRST HALF TOTAL: Pittsburgh/Buffalo UNDER 24.5 ($220/$200) — WON
SIDE BET: Arizona +3 vs. Tennessee ($220/$200) — WON
SIDE BET: NY Giants +3 vs. Denver ($220/$200) — LOST
FIRST HALF SIDE: NY Giants +1.5 vs. Denver ($220/$200) — LOST
SIDE BET: New Orleans +3.5 vs. Green Bay ($220/$200) — WON
FIRST HALF SIDE: Cleveland +3.5 vs. Kansas City ($220/$20 — WON
SIDE BET: Baltimore -4 vs. Las Vegas ($220/$200) — LOST
GAME TOTAL: Baltimore/Las Vegas UNDER 51 ($220/$200) — LOST
Betting-wise, the big news from last week was the success of underdogs. They went 12-4 and won 7 games outright.
Note: This week, I encountered some personal issues — a death in the family. This caused me some interruption in my research, handicapping, and betting. So, what you will read here this week will be a shortened version. I’ll be back to a full schedule and analysis of every game next week.
2021 NFL WAGERING RECORD
9 Wins — 4 Losses — 1 Push
Starting Bankroll: $10,000.
Current Bankroll: $11,020.
Best Bets: 1 — 0 — 0 (- $ 0.)
Last Week’s Results: + $1.040.
WEEK 2 PREDICTIONS AND PICKS
(all games are Sunday daytime unless otherwise noted):
GAME SIDE BET: New Orleans -3 vs. Carolina
I’ve been touting the Saints are underrated since August. Way too many bettors overreacted to the Saints’ preparation ritual being upset in the season opener — they hammered Green Bay on a neutral field by 5 TDs. My prediction on QB Winston possibly being an improvement from Drew Brees injury-plagued last season also fell into place, as he looked solid (credit outstanding offensive line play from the Saints, which will be critical this season to their success). I’m a little wary of laying points now with New Orleans, especially in their second game away from home. However, the Saints have dominated Carolina in recent games, winning the last 8/9 contests — including the last 4 tries. Is New Orleans as good as they showed last week? Probably not. But they have better personnel at every skill position, and the defense really looks solid. Meanwhile, it’s hard to gauge how meaningful the Panthers’ win was versus the inept Jets, last week. This will be a major step up in class for Carolina. This line opened at -3.5. I grabbed it on Monday (see ticket below), since I expect this line to close at NOR -4 or perhaps even higher. I bought the hook at -135 on New Orleans just in case something wacky happens. But New Orleans appears to be the play here at -3.
THE PLAY: New Orleans -3 (buying the half-point)
GAME TOTAL BET: LA Rams / Indianapolis UNDER 47.5
I’ve touted the Colts as an UNDER team until the market adjusts to this good defense and a more conservative offense run by QB Carson Wentz. The total stayed UNDER easily last week, and now the Colts host another home game versus a tough NFC West opponent. So, let’s go back to the well again and make a similar wager. The Rams defense is certainly above average and if the Colts are frustrated again offensively, this number should stay below 47.5. Do be careful, as I bet this early in the week anticipating a decline to 47. There’s some value with that half-point (we want a win on 47, not a push).
THE PLAY: UNDER 47.5
GAME TOTAL BET: Denver / Jacksonville UNDER 45.5
Jacksonville looked dreadful in the season opener last week at Houston. Losing by 16 points in a game that wasn’t even that close. Now, they face one of the NFL’s toughest defenses. It’s way too early to start leveling shots at JAX and its young players and new staff. But this team is going to struggle for a while. Meanwhile, Denver won at NYG in typical Broncos’ fashion, with ball control and solid defense. I don’t see the Jaguars reaching the 21 point mark here (most of their points and yardage came in garbage time, last week). And Denver grinds lots of clock and wins with time of possession. Accordingly, I made two wagers on this game. First, is the total to go UNDER 45.5, which is dropping to 45 in some spots. Try and get good numbers. I’m also on Denver just to win the game as a pick, on a teaser. Broncos are -6 early in the week and this looks to be a good spot to tease. Jacksonville looks like the worst team in the NFL. Maybe they will improve, but early in the season fade a market that apparently hasn’t adjusted to how weak this team is.
THE PLAYS: UNDER 45.5 and teaser on Denver pick (with Cleveland).
TEASER BET: Cleveland -6.5 / Denver pick
Browns off a loss (a game they probably should have won) should take it out here on Houston, which looked deceptively fantastic last week versus awful Jacksonville. Cleveland teased to within a TD has value. Meanwhile, Houston will have to go from facing one of the NFL’s worst offenses to one of the best. I don’t want to lay -12.5 here, but I see why the betting public may be tempted to wager on a rout happening.
THE PLAY: Teaser on Cleveland -6.5 (with Denver)
GAME TOTAL BET: MNF: Detroit / Green Bay OVER 48
Detroit played easily the highest-scoring game last week. Though the score was not indicative of the Lions’ offense, Detroit’s defense looked porous allowing 41 last week, and now gets to face Aaron Rodgers coming off one of his worst career games. Green Bay should rebound offensively here on MNF, while Jared Goff gets enough passes off to help push the total OVER 48. Note this total likely goes up closer to game time. Try to get 48 (not 48.5 or higher) if you can.
THE PLAY: OVER 48
THIS WEEK’S FINAL BETS (Lay amount/win amount):
GAME SIDE BET: New Orleans -3 vs. Carolina — Risking $540 to win $400 (BEST BET)
GAME TOTAL BET: LA Rams / Indianapolis UNDER 47.5 — Risking $330 to win $300
GAME TOTAL BET: Denver / Jacksonville UNDER 45.5 — Risking $330 to win $300
TEASER BET: Cleveland -6.5 / Denver pick — Risking $240 to win $200
GAME TOTAL BET: MNF: Detroit / Green Bay OVER 48 — Risking $330 to win $300
= 5 wagers. (screen shown for some online wagers, some bets are made with live tickets)