The NFL Lines – Week 2

Filed in NFL, NFL Tips by on September 14, 2011

The first week of action is in the books, but created as many questions as it answered. How far will the Colts plummet without Peyton Manning? Are the Ravens and Lions that good? Are the Steelers and Falcons set for a fall? Do Houston win the AFC South by default? Is Donovan McNabb completely washed up, or just 97 per cent washed up? And can a 2011 sleeper pick be dead in the water after just one week? Nick Tedeschi and Cliff Bingham return to try and sort through the pieces and put the week two puzzle together.

CB – A slow old start on our part last week, but as many an NFL team has come back from an opening week loss to make the playoffs and push on to Super Bowl glory, I’m not concerned yet. Mind you, if we dipped to 0-2 or even worse 0-3, that might be cause for some worry….. screw that, let’s just put one in the “W” column this week!


Summary of Week 1 results

NT – 6 selections, 8 units bet, return of $4.58, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -43%

CB – 4 selections, 4 units bet, return of $3.73, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -7%

Total – 10 selections, 12 units bet, return of $8.31, Profit on Turnover (POT) = -31%

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(Please note – all times are American ‘Eastern Time’ – add 14 hours to get the AEST)


Oakland at Buffalo, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Buffalo -3.5

NT – Very impressed by the Bills in week one and they seemed to build on their finish to 2010. Oakland are certainly beatable and if the line was down to 3 I would get on Buffalo but Darren McFadden scares me to the 3.5 and the early money for the Raiders has me shying away here.

CB – Things in Buffalo’s favour include home field and more particularly, a west coast team having to play on the east coast at 1pm Eastern Time (or 10am Pacific Time). The record of teams who have to play at the equivalent of 10am in their own time zone is not good. However as a long-suffering Bills fan, I want to see two consecutive good performances before feeling overly positive about this season. No bet.


Green Bay at Carolina, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Carolina +9.5 to +10

NT – Aaron Rodgers was a beast in his return, playing near perfect in the defeat of New Orleans. Cam Newton was impressive on debut and the Panthers look to be a better betting proposition this year but the 9.5 doesn’t interest me on them even at home. No play.

CB – Call me crazy, but I don’t think Cam Newton throws for over 400 yards again this week against the defending champs. Throw in the fact that Aaron Rodgers is a substantially better quarterback than Kevin Kolb and I think Carolina could be for a long day at the office. Nonetheless, I hate laying double digits on an away team. No bet.


Arizona at Washington, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Washington -4

NT – Not interested at all in this matchup. Both teams are bad despite week one wins. No play.

CB – Despite both posting wins in the opening week, I still think both teams miss the playoffs. Washington were the more impressive team last weekend and with home field advantage as well, I think the line is pretty much spot on. No bet.


Baltimore at Tennessee, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Tennessee +5.5 to +6

NT – I loved the way the Ravens destroyed the Steelers in the opening week, confirming my view that Baltimore would overtake Pittsburgh this year. The defence was at its menacing best but it was the running game of Ray Rice which seems to be at a new level. Saying that, the Titans are likely to be a solid defensive team this year and the 5.5 seems just a little too much to give up considering the last three between these two have been decided by less than a field goal.

CB – Tennessee sucked in the opening week whilst Baltimore exceeded expectations in demolishing the Steelers. As much as it could be a potential letdown game for Baltimore, I can’t trust either an over-the-hill Matt Hasselbeck or Jake Locker on debut against the Ravens’s D. No bet.


Seattle at Pittsburgh, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Pittsburgh -14.5

NT – Seattle were an abomination on the road last year, going only 2-7 ATS when outside of Seattle and they were soundly beaten on the road against San Fran in week one. When the Hawks get beaten, they get beaten well, losing all their matches in 2010 by double figures when going down. The Steelers are in a revenge situation after a shock opening week defeat. I hate laying big minuses but will call for a 0.5 unit play on the Steelers laying 14.5.

CB – Legitimate reasons for the Steelers to be a double digit favourite here include: (1) Another west coast team travelling cross country for a 1pm ET game; (2) Tarvaris Jackson taking on a Steelers’ D looking for retribution after the Ravens carved them up last week; (3) The AFC North hosting the NFC West; (4) the Steelers being far too good a side to start the year 0-2; and (5) Tarvaris Jackson again. 14.5 is a lot of points though. No bet.


Jacksonville at NY Jets, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  NY Jets -10

NT – The Jets were slow out of the blocks against the Cowboys but got the win and though I’m high on the Jags the big blitzing packages and quality secondary of the Jets are going to cause Luke McCown plenty of headaches. The Jags have covered all six between these two since ’99 but the line seems right in this one.

CB – The Jets were phenomenally lucky to escape opening week with a win, but that was against a much stronger opponent than they face here. Do you really want to trust Luke McCown against the Jets’ D? I didn’t think so. Another game to steer clear of.


Chicago at New Orleans, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  New Orleans -6.5 to -7

NT – The Saints were slow away against the Packers but fought back well and at home they look a good matchup against the Bears. The big worry for the Saints was safety Roman Harper continually getting found out in coverage. The Bears passing attacking is not nearly as threatening as the Packers. I doubt the Saints will be able to run the ball but they should be able to run in a big score. Bet the Saints -6.5 for a unit.

CB – The Saints should have lost no admirers in defeat against Green Bay and whilst the Bears defence did everything bar have their way with Matt Ryan last week, getting to Drew Brees in the Superdome will be a much tougher assignment. Sadly the bookies didn’t overreact to the Bears win and put up an enticingly small line. A touchdown feels about right. No bet.


Kansas City at Detroit, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Detroit -7.5 to -9

NT – The Chiefs are a bad team this year and will only get worse with safety Eric Berry done for the year. Detroit looked good opening week but I am yet to be convinced. The 7.5 to 9 points is a lot to be laying on an unproven team.

CB – A huge litmus test for the sleeper potential of the Lions here. Playoff bound teams take care of business against lowly opponents at home. They just do. Nonetheless, I’m still too accustomed to the Lions being one of the inept franchises in football to lay more than a touchdown here. No bet.


Cleveland at Indianapolis, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Indianapolis +2 to +2.5

NT – Cleveland enter this as a road favourite for the first time since December 2007. Even though Indianapolis were appalling opening week, I can’t have a Browns team coming off a loss to the Bengals and who I do not rate laying points against the Colts. Not even close to a bet here.

CB – Let’s put it this way: my 2011 sleeper pick is already in grave danger after losing to the Bengals and if they can’t beat a Kerry Collins-led Colts, an airlift may be needed to rescue victims from the 2011 Browns bandwagon. I’m staying away from this game.


Tampa Bay at Minnesota, 1.00 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Minnesota -3

NT – The Bucs allowed Detroit to come into Tampa Bay and man handle them. They now have to travel to Minnesota to take on a stronger NFC North opponent on the road. Donovan McNabb stunk it up and may do so again but Adrian Peterson is a beast and they did allow Jahvid Best and Jerome Harrison to run for 99 yards. Bet the Vikings giving 3 for 1.5 units. The line here should be closer to six.

CB – Lost in the mess of the Vikings nearly upsetting the Chargers last week was that Donovan McNabb played the entire game and still only threw for 39 yards. If Tampa Bay are going to be a legitimate player in 2011 (and I still think they are), they have to win this game. I’ll have one unit on the Bucs at the plus.


Dallas at San Francisco, 4.05 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  San Francisco +3

NT – The 3 point number is maybe a little short for a Niners team coming off a flattering win and a Cowboys team who should have beaten one of the Super Bowl favourites. I’m not sure how the Cowboys react to that loss. No play in this one.

CB – With the line at only three, I think the minus can be taken here. Yes, the Cowboys submitted an epic choke job last week, but for much of the game they had a quality outfit in the Jets on the ropes. Meanwhile, Alex Smith continues to be awful, with two special teams touchdowns from Ted Ginn Jr last week leading to a flattering scoreline against Seattle. Besides, when did betting against NFC West teams become a bad idea? I will go for one unit on the Cowboys at the minus.


Cincinnati at Denver, 4.15 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Denver -5

NT – The Broncos were disappointing opening week while the Bengals had a surprise win. No play here.

CB – Potentially an awful game. I want no part of either side this season.


San Diego at New England, 4.15 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  New England  -7

NT – The Chargers certainly didn’t flatter in the opening week win over the Vikings but they remain a class outfit and they can take it up to the Patriots in Foxboro. The Pats have won four of their last five against the Chargers but I think the Chargers are better on both sides of the ball this year. The number is too big at 7. Bet the plus for 2 units.

CB – In the last two seasons, New England are 16-1 at home, with the one loss coming against Baltimore in a playoff game. Meanwhile, the Chargers took an eternity to dispose of the subpar Vikings last week, signalling that their traditional slow starts to seasons look set to continue. That’s enough to steer me out of out my usual tendency to take the significant plus whenever a good side is in receipt of one. No bet.


Houston at Miami, 4.15 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Miami +3

NT – There is going to be a lot of action on the Dolphins this year and after a solid showing in the opening week against the Patriots where Chad Henne very nearly matched it with Tom Brady, they are in a great spot as a home underdog against a Houston team that may be overrated. This may be a shootout again but the Fins have shown they can mix it in a big scorer. Bet the Dolphins with the 3 for 2.5 units.

CB – Miami weren’t as bad as it looked in losing to a potential juggernaut in the Patriots. Meanwhile congratulations to Houston. You beat a 38-year old Kerry Collins who came out of retirement and had only three weeks to learn the Colts playbook, scored two touchdowns on an extremely shortened field, another from a punt return and had three turnovers of your own. This line feels like an overreaction to what happened in a single week, and you always want to bet against the overreaction – one unit on Miami at the plus.


Philadelphia at Atlanta, 8.20 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  Atlanta +2.5

NT – I have a lean here on the Eagles and rated the line at 3 but the Falcons were a good team last year and had little luck opening week while I wasn’t convinced with Michael Vick against St Louis. No play.

CB – Another potential overreaction candidate here with the Falcons dropping like a stone after last week. Unfortunately for me, that takes them from ‘drastically overrated’ to ‘correctly rated’, and thus I think the line is pretty close to the mark in this game. Pass.



St Louis at NY Giants, 8.30 pm

Bookmakers’ line:  NY Giants -6

NT – No bet with the number at 4.5. The Giants were dreadfully disappointing in opening week but with Steven Jackson and possibly Sam Bradford out for the Rams, there is no reason to be excited by St Louis.

CB – I’d feel better about the Rams at the plus here if it weren’t for injuries to Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson. Will stay out of this match.


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Recommended bet summary

NT – 0.5 units on Pittsburgh -14.5 at $1.91 (Centrebet), 1 unit on New Orleans -6.5 at $1.91 (Centrebet), 1.5 units on Minnesota -3 at $1.91 (Centrebet), 2.5 units on Miami +3 at $1.87 (Sportingbet), 2 units on San Diego +7 at $1.91 (Centrebet)

CB – 1 unit on Tampa Bay +3 at $1.91 (Centrebet), 1 unit on Dallas -3 at $1.87 (Sportingbet), 1 unit on Miami +3 at $1.87 (Sportingbet).


Thanks to Joe Robbins/ Getty Images North America for use of the photo




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