“It’s been a wacky NFL season” is something we can say every NFL season.
“But this year has been wackier than most!” is something that we can say every NFL season.
So I think it’s pretty fair to say the following: NFL = wacky.
This is the most wacky NFL season I have ever witnessed
— Bubba Campbell (@BubbaCampbell) October 24, 2022
Seriously, looking at the standings, I count nine legitimate, outright surprise teams that are either far exceeding expectations or are way worse than anticipated. Here’s my list: the Giants, Jets, Seahawks, and Bears on the high side, and the Broncos, Rams, 49ers, Buccaneers, and Packers on the low side. And those are just the obvious ones.
All this begs the question: What can we expect for the rest of the season? After all, we’re not even at the halfway point.
Better question: Is there anything exploitable among the betting options?
Short answer: Well, the division markets may be.
Here’s a list of some team divisional futures that could look like big bargains in the coming weeks:
- Jaguars to win the AFC South, +500 at BetMGM: The Jags are 2.5 games out of first place, which is a ton. But the 4-2 Titans have a woeful defense and no pass game, and the 3-3-1 Colts have turned the team over to Sam Ehlinger, so who knows (they’re at +325 at PointsBet). But the Jags? They’re not terrible. Heck, they’ve outscored their opponents by a 155-137 margin. (Worth noting: The Titans have been outscored by 13 points, the Colts by 27. The Jags’ defense is legit, Travis Etienne is a game-changer, and if Trevor Lawrence can take even a small step … )
- Cowboys or Giants to win the NFC East: The Cowboys are +500 at DraftKings, the Giants are +900 at the same. Do I think either will happen? Nope. But do I think either would happen if we played the season out 14 times? Yep. Worth a sprinkle.
- Seahawks or Cardinals to win the NFC West: The Rams look broken and the 49ers can’t seem to get things straight, and the Seahawks are sitting in first place with +550 odds at PointsBet to win the division. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are only a game back and … well, their defense is playing great, and their offense looked a ton better with DeAndre Hopkins back in the fold and they’re +1000 at Barstool. Why not?
And lastly …
- Falcons, Saints, or Panthers to win the NFC South: The now 3-5 Bucs, a team that has looked like one of the worst teams in the league over the last month, are -150 to win the division. The feisty Falcons are a half-game up on the Bucs in the standings but are +340 at FanDuel to take the division. As for the 2-5 Saints? They’re +500 at FanDuel. And the 2-5 Panthers, who may be the new poster child for the Ewing Theory? They’re +1100 at BetMGM to win the division. Worth noting: All these odds were pretty much double before the Bucs’ loss Thursday night. And lastly: Nothing like ending this bit while licking my chops over putting a few bucks down on the Panthers. Oh boy.
Ewing theory? 🧐
“Buccaneers at Panthers” https://t.co/a8v1OjoaXt
— Michael Phillips (@GRIMMYinthe604) October 23, 2022
On to Week 8!
The +1000 or more parlay of the week
For the love of all that’s holy, the Saints getting 1.5 points was my downfall last week, as I had the Giants and Jets winning outright and the Panthers getting 10 at home against the Bucs.
This week, I’m rolling with a simple three-teamer at +1019 odds on DraftKings: The Cardinals outright over the Vikings at +155, the Giants outright over the Seahawks at +130, and over 39.5 in the Commanders-Colts game.
Rationale: I think the Cardinals and the Giants are simply better than the teams they’re playing, and I think there’s a decent enough chance the Sam Ehlinger-Taylor Heinicke game will go full hair-on-fire.
The on-paper, no doubt, three-team teaser that’s bound to lose
Down to 1-6, got destroyed, I stink at teasers, let’s run it back at Caesars. Blech. You know what? Gonna just take my parlay and tease it. Those parlay legs are really the only three things I feel good about. So give me the Giants +9, the Cardinals +9.5, and over 33.5 in the hair-on-fire game.
This one is looking a little fishy to me
Brought the record up to 4-3 here by backing the Bengals, who were only giving 6 points to the Falcons last week. This week’s fishy special is the Steelers getting 11 points in Philadelphia. As we know, the Eagles take their foot off the gas in the second half, and the Steelers’ Kenny Pickett is going to be winging the ball all over the place in the second half. If the Steelers can avoid a pick-6 or three, I like their chances of covering.
Did I win the DraftKings Milly Maker?
No, sir, I did not. But I was over the field on Josh Jacobs, so, good for me?
DraftKings DFS play(s) of the week
This is what I wrote last week: “My plays of the week for now? The Panthers defense at home against the Bucs for $2.3K. Kenneth Walker III against the Chargers for $5.8K. Bengals stack against the Falcons with a Kyle Pitts bringback, heaven help me.”
Not too shabby, eh?
This week, the biggest pivot point is Derrick Henry at $8.5K against the Texans. Take a look at his last three games against Houston.
Derrick Henry last three games vs. the Texans:
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 26, 2022
Yeah. Fade at your own risk.
We’re also setting up for another round of Josh Jacobs chalk, which means it’s another perfect week to play some Davante Adams. And if Zeke Elliott is ruled out, even Jerry Jones will play Tony Pollard.
And as for $4K Sam Ehlinger, I think it’s a good play. Add in $2.5K Tanner Hudson at tight end, and $4K Robbie Anderson at wideout, and the Rams defense at $2.7K, and you can — ahem — play whoever you want.
My mortal lock five-star only for my best customers can’t lose guaranteed best bet of the week
Lost the Patriots game, which means my mortal locks are down to 2-5, making them very, very, very mortal. Gimme the over in Colts-Commanders.