Barfield's Best Bets: Week 1

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Barfield's Best Bets: Week 1

Since moving to Denver earlier this year, I’ve turned betting into a nice little side income. Having legal books to shop for the best prices has been incredible. Colorado is the best. Legal everything. Honestly, PGA was my best sport in 2021 — I hit four big winning tickets on Colin Morikiawa at the WGC in Florida and at The Open, Bryson DeChambeau at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and Justin Thomas at The Players this year for a 110% seasonal ROI. A few of you have asked for it, so I will be posting my bets each week during the upcoming PGA season either on the site or on Discord.

You’re not here for golf, though.

After dabbling off-shore for years, this will be my first foray into full-time NFL betting. I’ve always bet on games, but it was never to the extent it will be this season and moving forward. My process for every NFL slate every week is to make a huge Google Doc of notes for every single game starting on Tuesday and then I update them throughout the week with news and tidbits I find researching. This space will be a place not only for the bets I’m making, but the research behind said wagers.

Here goes.

GAME PICKS

Cardinals at Titans

Bet — Over 52 points (-110, PointsBet)

Why? — The Cardinals were the No. 1 team in pace last year, getting to the line of scrimmage a full second faster (24.5) than the second place Cowboys (25.5). The Titans played fast, too, though — ranking fourth in pace (26.2) despite being one of the most run-heavy teams in the league. Mix in the fact that the Titans were a shootout team at home last year (7-2-1 towards the over with 7-of-9 games going over 51 points) and the Cardinals destitute secondary and we have a perfect situation for fireworks.

Seahawks at Colts

Bet — Seahawks -3 (-105, PointsBet)

Why? — The Colts have dropped three-straight openers in the Frank Reich era, two of which were as underdogs. Carson Wentz is no guarantee to be up to speed after missing a bunch of time while G Quenton Nelson (back) is dealing with yet another injury. To boot, the Seahawks are 20-10 straight-up in early-start (1pm ET) road games with Russell Wilson (H/T Rich Hribar).

Chargers at Washington

Bet — Washington moneyline + over 36.5 points parlay (+165, BetMGM)

Why? — While the Chargers offensive line is much improved, this Washington front-seven and secondary is downright scary. Washington generated pressure at the seventh-highest rate (43%) and permitted the fourth-fewest YPG through the air (222.4) last season and might be even better this year after adding the underrated former-Bengal CB William Jackson in free agency. Justin Herbert and the Chargers have their work cut out for him in his first start with a brand new coaching staff on the road. To boot, Washington was 6-3 at home ATS last year. This game is lined at WAS -1, but I got slightly more juice by just taking the WAS moneyline and got a teaser on the total (7.5 points).

Jaguars at Texans

Bet — Jaguars -4 (+105, BetMGM)

Why? — If it wasn’t already clear… the Texans are tanking. And they aren’t hiding it. Especially after trading Bradley Roby, Houston’s defense is going to be total Swiss Cheese. Better teams than the Jaguars are going to get way more respect against the Texans, but this game is lined way too low (Jags -3). I bought a point to get a little more juice, but would bet the Jags all the way up to -6. This could not be a better spot for Trevor Lawrence’s debut.

Ravens at Raiders

Bet — Ravens -3.5 (+100, PointsBet)

Why? — This line opened at Ravens -5 and has ticked down 1.5 points in the last week mainly because of all of Baltimore’s injury issues. While the Ravens are down all of their starters at RB and CB Marcus Peters, HC John Harbaugh has historically always had his team ready for Week 1. The Ravens have covered in five-straight season openers (H/T Brolley).

PLAYER PROPS

CeeDee Lamb

Bet — Over 61.5 yards (-110, FanDuel)

Why? — The Cowboys are 8.5-point underdogs here, which should lead to plenty of passing volume for Dak Prescott & Co. We have Lamb projected for 76 yards and that gives plenty of wiggle room for what is a fairly conservative yardage offering from the book.

Jaylen Waddle

Bet — Over 35.5 yards (-114, FanDuel)

Why? — Will Fuller (suspension) isn’t eligible to play this week, Stephon Gillmore is on the “PUP list” (he’s holding out), and the Dolphins are field goal underdogs which means they might have to throw a bit more than they want. Also, Waddle is just good at the game. He was the best receiver in the 2021 WR draft class after the catch and was out-producing Devonta Smith in Alabama’s first four games before he hurt his ankle. Waddle could beat his 35.5 yard prop on two catches. We have him projected at 52 yards.

Julio Jones

Bet — Over 61.5 yards (-120, BetMGM)

Why? — This is the healthiest Julio will be all year, and now he gets a chance to beat up on the Cardinals backup corners Byron Murphy and his former teammate, Robert Alford. This game has massive shootout appeal and we have Julio projected for 75 yards.

Ryan Tannehill

Bet — Over 245.5 passing yards (-115, PointsBet).

Why? — This correlates with my Cardinals-Titans over bet and Julio prop. We’re expecting fireworks here — our Tannehill projection is 290 yards.

Keenan Allen

Bet — Over 57.5 yards (-110, BetMGM)

Why? — In the 12 games that he played with Justin Herbert (without leaving early), Allen saw 8 > 10 > 19 > 11 > 13 > 12 > 11 > 7 > 19 > 10 > 11 > 11 targets (for an average of 11.8 per game). Allen cleared 58 yards eight times in those 12 contests and would obviously stand to benefit if Austin Ekeler (hamstring) misses or is limited.

Corey Davis

Bet — Over 54.5 yards (-110, BetMGM)

Why? — Jamison Crowder (COVID) is out and Keelan Cole (knee) is a game-time decision. Davis was Zach Wilson’s guy during the preseason and was routinely peppered with targets, so those two sitting is huge for his projection. We have Davis sitting at 65 yards in our projections.

Josh Allen

Bet — Over 274.5 passing yards (-114, FanDuel)

Why? — The Bills are going to air it out and throw the ball at will against the Steelers. Because that’s what they do. In fact, in this meeting in Week 14 last year, Allen dropped back to pass 71% of the time in the first three quarters before the Bills salted the game away in the fourth quarter. The Steelers secondary is stout, but 275 yards is a fairly conservative projection considering Allen is going to throw it 40+ times. We have Allen projected at 290 yards.

Zach Ertz

Bet — Over 24.5 yards (-115, DraftKings)

Why? — Like it or not, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are the 1A / 1B starters in some order. In Jalen Hurts’ three full starts last year, Ertz saw 17 targets… and so did Goedert. Devonta Smith is going to be the lead dog here, but Ertz’s target projection is in the 4-7 range on Opening Day. And against what was a terrible Falcons secondary against tight ends last year, this 24.5 yardage prop is very low compared to Goedert (42.5). Last year, Atlanta coughed up 59.5 yards per game to TEs (fourth-most) and a league-high 76% catch rate to the position.

Aaron Jones

Bet — Over 18.5 receiving yards (-114, FanDuel)

Why? — Seeing Jones’ receiving prop so low was a legitimate shock. Jaamal Williams played about one-third of the passing snaps last year, so Jones gets a massive boost in that department since AJ Dillon has never been a big time receiver even dating back to college. The Saints have one of the best run defenses in the league, so I’m expecting the Packers to try and get the ball in Jones’ hands in the passing game to begin with. We have Jones projected with 25 receiving yards.

Teddy Bridgewater

Bet — Under 262.5 passing yards (-115, DraftKings)

Why? — The Broncos are at such a massive advantage with their front-seven against the Giants basement-level offensive line, I think we are going to see Denver’s defense overwhelm New York. If that plays out, Denver is going to run the ball at will and limit Bridgewater to 25-30 attempts. We have Bridgewater projected for 220 yards, which is a massive gap from DraftKings’ prop. In fact, Bridgewater fell under 263 yards in 8-of-15 games last season and that was mainly because the Panthers defense struggled and forced Carolina to throw more than they probably wanted to.

Allen Robinson

Bet — Under 63.5 yards (-115, DraftKings)

Why? — The Andy Dalton + Jalen Ramsey effect. I have no confidence that Dalton can efficiently and consistently beat this vaunted Rams pass rush. Plus, Ramsey is one of maybe 3-4 CBs that actually scare me. Last year, Ramsey gave up the fourth-fewest yards per coverage snap among 86 qualifying CBs.

Javonte Williams

Bet — Over 6.5 rush attempts (-145, BetMGM)

Why? — Just way too low of a line.

Lamar Jackson

Bet — Over 1.5 Pass TDs (+110, BetMGM)

Why? — The Ravens backfield is like the ending of Hateful Eight. I think we’re going to see the Lamar show on Monday night.

Mark Andrews

Bet — Over 57.5 yards (-115, BetMGM)

Why? — Not only are the Ravens down their entire RB group, Rashod Bateman is out and Marquise Brown barely practiced during Training Camp. I think we’ll see Ravens lean more on Lamar’s arm until they get into a groove with their run game, and his main target is Andrews.

CORRELATED PROPS

Bet — Kirk Cousins (over 229.5 passing yards) + Adam Thielen (anytime TD) + Joe Mixon (over 49.5 rushing yards) — BetMGM (+300)

Bet — Over 46.5 Cardinals-Titans + Derrick Henry (anytime TD) + Ryan Tannehill (over 199.5 passing yards) + Kyler Murray (over 229.5 passing yards) + A.J. Brown (over 54.5 receiving yards) + Anthony Firsker (over 9.5 receiving yards) — Bet MGM (+325)

Bet — Ravens ML + Lamar Jackson over 194.5 passing yards + Mark Andrews over 44.5 receiving yards + Darren Waller over 59.5 receiving yards

Graham Barfield blends data and film together to create some of the most unique content in the fantasy football industry. Barfield is FantasyPoints’ Director of Analytics and formerly worked for the NFL Network, Fantasy Guru, and Rotoworld.

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