I don’t know what I’m talking about. We really should start there. I am not an NFL gambling analyst, I am not an NFL DFS expert. Just wanted to be clear.
I feel compelled to say this because this weekly column is going to feature things that NFL gambling analysts and NFL DFS experts say and do. Like, I’m going to tell you a little bit later why I like the Lions, and why I think Saquon Barkley and his $6.1K DraftKings salary is the lowest you want to go at running back this week.
Fact is, I’m going to sound a lot like an NFL gambling analyst and a NFL DFS expert.
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) January 17, 2021
But I’m not.
So what am I?
Just a dude who has been playing Fantasy Football — yes, I capitalized it, come at me, grammar police — since 1986 and betting on games for equally as long. If I haven’t learned a thing or two in these 36 years, well … come on. Of course I have.
Basically, I’ve learned what the best process is — for me. It goes something like this …
Monday morning: Guess the lines, see how I do, place bets on games where I’m “wrong” about the lines.
Monday morning, part II: Scroll through the DraftKings prices, commit them to memory instantaneously – even though when I call the pediatrician to make an appointment for one of my three kids, I hiccup when they ask me the birthdate of the child in question. And then I build out a few cash game lineups I like at this point in the week.
Monday morning, part III until Wednesday evening’s RotoGrinders “Pick Six” podcast: Wait around for content to start coming out.
Rest of the week: Read, listen, and digest every bit of news and opinion I can get my hands on to shape the rest of my lineup building and bet making.
You’ll notice my early week process — the only time I’m actually doing the “work” — is all gut-level stuff. Of course, my opinions will change during the week, but that “first look” work I do? I think it’s extremely important, and I put a lot of faith in it. Again: You do something for 36 years, you pick up a thing or two.
I trust my gut more than I trust any of you
— being human (@tulobh) September 5, 2022
And so that’s what this column is going to be. It’s gut check time, hopefully published Tuesday mornings, before the cavalcade of actual experts and analysts begin their weekly fusillade of takes (and taeks).
To be clear, again: I ain’t no expert, I ain’t no analyst. I’m just a guy checking my (ever-expanding) gut.
On with the show …
The +1000 or more parlay of the week
Well, I’m already cheating, as this one comes in at +960 on FanDuel, but I have to because at the time of this writing, I’m getting the 49ers giving 6.5 points to the Bears at -120 instead of the 7 points I see everywhere else. And I’m matching that with the Saints over the Falcons at -225, the Chiefs over the Cardinals at -198, and … the Lions outright over the Eagles at +166.
Rationale? Well, first of all, it’s week one, so don’t even get me started on “rationale.” No one knows nuthin’ right now, that’s my stance, but my know-nuthin’ness breaks down like this: If the Bears are as putrid as everyone thinks they are, this should be a 10-point spread; the Saints defense will be enough to win this game; the Chiefs aren’t all of a sudden going to crater without Tyreek, and … listen: I’m buying all the Lions hype. I might go as Dan Campbell’s facial hair for Halloween.
Dan Campbell’s answer to the question is well worth the wait
— Barstool Detroit (@BSMotorCity) September 7, 2022
The on-paper, no doubt, three-team teaser that’s bound to lose
Headed to DraftKings here, which is as good a time as any to note the following: Please line shop. For instance, FanDuel’s standard three-team teaser is +140. DraftKings’ standard three-team teaser is +160. Notice a difference? Yeah. Anyway …
Gimme the 49ers giving a point to the Bears, the Broncos giving a half-point to the Seahawks, and the Saints getting a point. We’ve already covered the Saints and Niners, and there’s zero chance Russ Wilson is going to lose his first game as a Bronco in Seattle, right? Right??? Right?!?!?
Russell Wilson to Pete Carroll pic.twitter.com/wYXMYcSLO3
— Denver Broncos 365 (@DailyBroncos) September 6, 2022
This one smells fishy
The Miami Dolphins are 3-point favorites over the New England Patriots. On paper, this makes sense. The Dolphins sure do appear to be the better team. Plus they’re home, plus it’s going to be 90 degrees. But uh … are we sure we want to bet against Bill Belichick in a game he’s had about four months to prepare for against a rookie head coach? I’m not sure.
Did I win the DraftKings Milly Maker?
Well, not yet. I just need to beat out 1,194,450 other people in the $5 Milly Maker. That seems like a reasonable goal. Of course, there’s the $100 Milly Maker — limited to 28,029 entries — but I’m not a Rockefeller, ya dig?
DraftKings DFS play(s) of the week
I hate week one DFS. Prices come out waaaaaay too early, so there’s going to be a ton of stupid value. Like Dameon Pierce at $4.8K, Wan’Dale Robinson at $3K, Kadarius Toney at $4.1K, Jameis Winston at $5.3K, and probably a dozen more.
Point is, on DraftKings, you can punt off tight end with Brevin Jordan, toss in Pierce and Robinson and the Dolphins D, and end up with Winston, Christian McCaffrey, Justin Jefferson, Alvin Kamara, and Ja’Marr Chase. And while that’s an awesome lineup — and, as of now, my cash game lineup, though I may go up from Kamara to Jonathan Taylor or Austin Ekeler and move down from Chase — the point is obvious: You can build any lineup you want.
And one lineup method I expect to be under-owned is the middle-of-the-road guys. It’s too easy to lock in the superstuds, so I feel like people are going to be ignoring guys like the aforementioned Saquon Barkley at $6.1K. I mean, if things go as planned for the New York Giants, Barkley is going to be $9K in a few weeks. He *should* be game script independent, he *should* be the goal line back, he *should* be the bellcow. If every “should” becomes an “is,” he might be the key to this slate.
My mortal lock five-star only for my best customers can’t lose guaranteed best bet of the century
Come on. The 49ers giving 6.5 points to the Bears. That’s a layup.