Does God exist?
I’m not sure — I classify myself as an Agnostic Jewish Buddhist Jedi on census questionnaires and doctor’s intake forms — but if there is a God, he (or she; I prefer she) surely knows how to schedule things. (Or maybe there’s a whole scheduling department up there? Again, who knows. Anyway …)
Anyway, having the NFL season start the weekend after Labor Day is the most brilliant thing since “Let there be light.” I mean here we are, summer — which is always -700 to be the best season, I will accept no contrarian takes — is coming to an end, vacation season is coming to an end, kids are going back to school, wives and girlfriends here in the Northeast start threatening apple- and pumpkin-picking, the days are getting shorter, and it just sucks in a “Man, I don’t think we’re gonna make it out of this Red Sea situation here” way, and then whammo, best ball and season-long props and fantasy drafts and before you can say “I can buy perfectly good apples at Kroger!” football season is upon us.
I'm not emotionally prepared for my Instagram feed to be filled with photos of grown women picking apples for the next two months.
— Sophie Vershbow (@svershbow) September 9, 2021
And there’s nothing quite like Week 1 of the NFL season, when we’ve done all the research and we all think we know everything.
That is quickly followed by realizing we know nothing, which usually occurs no later than the end of the first quarter of the East Coast games.
Of course, that doesn’t stop us from placing a few wagers, rolling out those DFS lineups, and almost certainly betting entirely too much on the Sunday night game in a horribly misguided effort to get square. (By the way, as I’m typing this, the “E” on my keyboard got sticky. Clearly, this is a sign that I should be hammering the Eric Ebron over-29.5 yards prop on DraftKings. Clearly.)
But yes: There’s nothing in the sports gambling world like the NFL, and there’s nothing anyone needs more than a weekly column that takes a look at the world of NFL gambling. Pretty sure there’s no other column out there that looks at the NFL through a sports betting prism. Yep. I’m first. Positive of it.
Speaking of other things I’m positive about but on which I am clearly incorrect …
The +1000 or more parlay of the week
Who doesn’t love a good parlay? And by “good” parlay, I mean a parlay that is almost certainly not going to hit but you have stupid conviction about it and what’s a few bucks in the name of fun?
So with that in mind, my parlay of the week (I placed this, and most other game bets, on Wednesday) is:
- Carolina Panthers giving 5.5 points to the New York Jets (-110 on DraftKings at the time of the bet)
- Washington Football Team on the moneyline against the Los Angeles Chargers (-105)
- Cleveland Browns winning outright in Kansas City (+240).
That’s a +1167 situation right here. The Panthers certainly seem like they’re going to roll, I really like the WFT this year, and as for the Browns? Well, going into Kansas City is tough, the Chiefs are a better team, I think, but … I dunno. Something about the Browns this year, you know? (Note: In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not a professional handicapper. When it comes to picking games, I’m more like Dwayne Wayne from What’s Happening!!).
No-doubt, 3-team teaser that’s bound to lose
Headed over to FanDuel for this one — keeping it with the 6-point traditional tease — where I mashed Buffalo Bills down to -0.5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the San Francisco 49ers at -1.5 against the Detroit Lions, and the Chiefs 0.5 over the Browns (pay no mind to the parlay above). So basically I took the three biggest Sunday favorites for +140. Can’t lose. (By the way, you can skip the tease and just take the moneylines for +131, which is probably a better use of your money — especially when/if the Niners beat the Lions 17-16 and you test the tensile strength of your living room drywall.)
DraftKings DFS play(s) of the week
I love DFS, and much like everyone else you ask, I’m a profitable tournament player (but I really am, really). And once the season gets started, it becomes tough — especially on DraftKings — to put together a lineup you really like. The pricing tightens up, and the level of skill needed grows dramatically. But in Week 1? The pricing is ridiculous, and the cash game lineup is so blindingly obvious, I’ll give it out right here: Jalen Hurts, Christian McCaffery, Dalvin Cook, Rondale Moore, Elijah Moore, Marquez Callaway, Kyle Pitts, Alvin Kamara, Buffalo Bills.
So, who’s the play of the week? In the immortal words of Rotogrinders’ own Jordan “Blenderhd” Cooper, play whoever you want.
Survivor pick of the week
To be clear, I hate Survivor pools. Too much pressure. But if I’m picking one team this week, that team is the Los Angeles Rams at home against the Chicago Bears (-333 at FOX Bet as of this writing). Looking at the slate, it ain’t easy this week. Sure, the “big” favorites — the Rams, at -7.5, are the biggest — all look good, but there’s not one game that I see as a slam dunk.
Best odds boost of the week
Well, this one came and went, but to butcher the famed sportscaster Warner Wolf’s signature phrase … “If you had the Bucs and 73 points, you STILL won!” Thanks for the free $45.45, DraftKings.
As for Sunday’s boosts? How about the braintrust over at Caesars, who are going to give you a $150 credit for an NFL jersey over at NFLShop.com if you bet at least $100 (at -200 minimum odds) on NFL games. Totally putting my name on the back of a Browns jersey if my parlay hits.
Trap game of the week
Over at BetMGM, the Minnesota Vikings are 3-point road favorites over the Cincinnati Bengals. You know, the Bengals, the team that has Joe Burrow, who apparently forgot how to walk, and Ja’Marr Chase, who apparently forgot how to catch passes. They also have Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd. And a defense that isn’t terrible. Of course, on paper, the Vikings defense should smash here — they are good — and the offense should be fine, but … the Bengals have too many playmakers, and a lucky bounce here or there might be enough.
Player props I like
There are a lot. At the time of this writing, and via DraftKings: The over on Joe Mixon receiving yards (22.5 at -115); over on Antonio Gibson receiving yards (14.5 at -120 on DraftKings); over on Najee Harris receiving yards (22.5 at -110).
Noticing a trend here?
I also love Kyle Pitts over 40.5 receiving yards. He matches up too well with the Philadelphia Eagles secondary.
Will I win the DraftKings Milly Maker?
I think so, TBH.
My mortal lock five-star only for my best customers can’t lose guaranteed best bet of the year this week
Over 48 in the Eagles-Falcons game. Bet the farm. If you don’t have a farm, a homestead will do. (Please do not take my advice, for the love of maybe-or-not god.)