Know thyself, right?
Well, I don’t know thyself. At least I don’t remember thyself when it comes to the feeling of Week 1 of the NFL.
In the week leading up to it, I was excited. Placed a few bets at America’s sportsbooks, built a few DFS lineups, listened to a few (too many) podcasts. (My inner voice now sounds like a mashup of Davis Mattek, Adam Levitan, Pat Mayo, and Peter Overzet.)
Then, on Sunday morning, I spent — per usual — three hours in front of the computer, nailing everything down, readying myself for the action. Everything was fine. I was fine.
And then … not fine. And it was immediate. It was the comedown from the planning, the betting, the lineup-building, that did me in.
I was highly irritable and highly agitated. I felt like I had a ton of energy and nowhere to put it. And then I remembered: This is what Week 1 feels like. The buildup and then … the games.
But for me — and I’m sure, many others — it’s the buildup that’s the fun part. The games are cool, but whatever.
This is markedly different from betting/playing DFS for an NBA or MLB slate, as I do every day of the year. For starters, I’m playing with maybe 100x more money on a weekly NFL slate than a daily baseball or basketball slate, so that amps things up a bit.
I’m also spending much more time thinking about the NFL. During the season, I’m probably thinking about the upcoming Sunday slate three (or more) hours a day. For the other sports? Literally five minutes each day. It’s not a heavy lift.
There is something about the NFL — and I know I’m not alone — that drags us in. And Week 1 is the lowlight of it all. I simply forget how the buildup is the fun part, while the actual playing of the games is the not nearly as fun part.
There’s a slangy term for this: “anticipointment.” And boy howdy, isn’t that the right word?
Now that we’re on to Week 2, my brain has settled into the rhythm of the next four months and is telling me, in its best Mattek/Levitan/Mayo/Overset voice, to settle down.
It’s only football.
On to Week 2. (And remember, for the love of Vince Lombardi, I have no idea what I’m talking about below. All for fun.)
The +1000 or more parlay of the week
OK, we’re 0-1 on this thing, as I whiffed on just about all the legs last week. This will be a recurring theme, so … yeah. Not a betting expert.
But as Alexander Pope once said(?), Week 2 springs eternal, and as such, here we go: Jaguars moneyline over the Chiefs, over 47.5 in the Lions and Seahawks game, over 41 in Bucs/Bears, and Cowboys moneyline over the Jets for a +1056 payout at DraftKings.
Rationale: It’s possible the Chiefs are a 5-12 team if not for Patrick Mahomes, and I’m not entirely sure how the Chiefs — or, for that matter, any — defense handles everything the Jags can throw at you; the Lions are going to put up points, and the Seahawks are undervalued based on last week’s second half, in which they picked up 12(!) yards of offense, which included a nine-yard run to close the game; Bucs/Bears has sneaky shootout potential (more on that later); and I needed a heavy favorite to get me over the +1000 marker, hence the Cowboys, at home, against Stifler’s mom’s boytoy.
The on-paper, no doubt three-team teaser that’s bound to lose
Of course this lost last week. That’s what three-team teasers do. So what’s the pick to lose this week? Let’s go to BetMGM, where I will take the Bills giving 2.5 points to the Raiders, the 49ers giving 1.5 points to the Rams — both great bets, as we’re zooming right through the seven- and three-point barriers — and the Cowboys giving a field goal. Oh, how I wish the Cowboys were 8.5-point favorites instead, but alas, if you want +160, you’re only getting it down to three.
Favorite that makes me nervous
Well, I said the Saints giving three against the Titans made me nervous, and wouldn’t you know, the Saints won by a point. That’s the textbook scenario for this little part of the column.
This week’s nerve-racking favorite? The Chiefs giving 3.5 points to the Jaguars on the road. As I said earlier, I’m not entirely sure the Chiefs are even a better team than the Jaguars right this second. Definitely not comfortable taking them here.
Player props I like
This was bad. Went 1-3, with the only win coming on a late-addition Brian Robinson anytime touchdown, which did pay out a handsome +155.
This week? Here’s the card as of Friday morning …
Joe Burrow, under 10.5 yards rushing at -115 at DraftKings: He exceeded this number only six times last year, is still coming back from his calf injury, ran once for -1 yards last week while operating solely out of shotgun. He could get there on a broken play, but I’m betting against it.
Matthew Stafford, under 4.5 yards rushing at -120 at DraftKings: This one I don’t get. He went over this number once in nine games last year, and four times out of 17 games the year before. Love this one.
Keenan Allen over 6.5 receptions at +105 on DraftKings: The Titans have a stout run defense and practically beg teams to take 5-yard receptions over the middle. Enter Keenan.
Tyler Allgeier anytime touchdown, +187 at bet365: He had four carries inside the 10-yard line last week, resulting in two scores. This number is just too high.
Did I win the DraftKings Milly Maker?
Did DraftKings give a lot of thought to boosts on 9/11?
My mortal lock five-star only for my best customers can’t lose guaranteed best bet of the week
Had the Vikings last week. (Bleep) them.
This week, I’m taking the over in the Bucs/Bears game. I got it at 40.5 at BetMGM at -110. I know this one seems nutso, but the Bucs secondary got toasted last week and Justin Fields is a potential over unto himself.
On the other side, any time Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are on the field, Baker Mayfield threatens to be a reasonable NFL quarterback, especially against a team that can’t rush the passer. On top of that, the Bears’ run defense got smoked by the Packers last week. All told, I can see this as a shootout. Hammering the over.
Also: Don’t ever listen to me.