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Welcome to Fantasy Points Best Bets. This will be the main hub for our staff’s favorite NFL bets throughout the season. Our staff will give their favorite spread, total, and player prop bets every week during the season through the Super Bowl. Be sure to check back regularly before kickoff to see what wagers our crew has lined up for the week ahead.
Best Bets ATS Record: 38-38-3 (-4.67 units); W15: 1-4-1 (-3.1 units)
Overall ATS Record: 120-99-3 (54.8%); W15: 7-6-1 (53.8%)
Totals Record: 4-6 (-2.13 units)
Miami Dolphins (-2, DraftKings) vs. New England Patriots
Yeah, yeah, I know Bill Belichick absolutely owns rookie quarterbacks. The Patriots have won their last 11 games against teams starting first-round QBs, but the 2020 Patriots offense isn’t even in the same area code as those previous Patriots teams. New England averaged 33.4 points per game in those victories over first-round rookies dating back to 2009, which includes a 45-0 victory over Justin Herbert two weeks ago. However, the Patriots scored three touchdowns off of Chargers’ special teams miscues in that game, and Miami has a special teams unit that is the equal of the Patriots. Brian Flores is also a major upgrade over Anthony Lynn in the head coaching department, and Flores helped to scheme some of those Patriots defenses that frustrated rookie quarterbacks.
The Patriots’ offense looked completely broken against the Rams last week, and Cam Newton won’t be getting many breaks going against a Dolphins defense that made Patrick Mahomes look mortal for a stretch last week. The Dolphins offensive injury report looked a little better than I anticipated on Wednesday to give me enough optimism to grab the Dolphins laying under a field goal. The betting markets continue to undervalue the Dolphins every week as they’re now 8-1 ATS in their last nine games and 16-6 ATS in their last 22 games. Miami should be laying at least three points in this contest so I’m grabbing this short line. Risk one unit at -111 to win .90 units (Dec. 16)
Denver Broncos (+7, BetMGM) vs. Buffalo Bills
I’ve ridden an undervalued Bills team in my Best Bets the last two weeks, but I’m jumping off the bandwagon this week with their value skyrocketing off of yet another impressive victory on national TV. The Bills will be playing their third standalone games in just 13 days this week with trips from Arizona to Buffalo to Denver mixed in there. They’ve now covered five straight games and they’re now in mostly unfamiliar territory as touchdown favorites in a tough road environment in Denver. The Bills previously failed to cover against the Jets earlier this season when they were 9.5-point road favorites.
Vic Fangio continues to do a sneaky good job with an undermanned roster that’s been decimated by injuries and suspensions. The Broncos have covered in three straight games in which they’ve had an actual quarterback in the lineup, including outright victories over the Dolphins and the Panthers. The Bills are clearly better than the Dolphins and the Panthers, but the Broncos handled their business in their last major step-up spot in a 22-16 loss to the Chiefs as 13-point home underdogs in Week 13. I would hold off pulling the trigger on the Broncos at anything under seven points, but we’re starting to see some sevens pop up and the Bills should see more support on Saturday in this standalone game. Risk one unit at -115 to win .87 units (Dec. 16)
Indianapolis Colts (-7, DraftKings) vs. Houston Texans
I backed the Colts laying three points on the road in Houston two weeks ago. I was fortunate to book a winner in that contest because of Houston’s botched shotgun snap at the two-yard line in the final minutes of that contest. I’m going back to the well to support a surging Colts squad that gets a matchup with a decimated Texans team that just lost two more key players from their already terrible defense. Houston just gave up 36 points to Chicago’s offense, and they lost DT Brandon Dunn and S Justin Reid to season-ending injuries in that contest. We’ll see about the availability of Brandin Cooks (neck) this week who was clearly missed on offense, and I also think there’s an outside chance we get a limited Deshaun Watson this week. Watson could show up on the injury report after he took a helmet to his throwing elbow last week. Meanwhile, the Colts covered for the fourth time in their last five games after scoring a season-high 44 points against the Raiders. A major reason for their recent success is the emergence of Jonathan Taylor and T.Y. Hilton as their top playmakers. Taylor is the RB3 with 22.8 FPG over the last four weeks while Hilton has been the WR3 with 22.9 FPG over the last three weeks, and they’ll be helped by the absences of Dunn and Reid this week. I hate laying a full touchdown going against Watson, but I think it’s warranted this week. I’d grab -7s now since I could see this line threatening double-digits if Watson shows up on the injury report. Risk two units at -108 to win 1.85 units (Dec. 15)
Philadelphia Eagles (+6, FanDuel) at Arizona Cardinals
I broke this game down as part of my Week 15 Opening Line Report. I’m grabbing the Eagles at +6 early in the week with money likely to come in on the Eagles after Jalen Hurts’ impressive first NFL start. Hurts’ presence in the lineup kick-started the Eagles’ offense, especially their running game with Hurts and Miles Sanders combining for 32/221/2 rushing. Philly’s defense also kept another mobile QB Taysom Hill in check for most of the game until New Orleans’ final drive of the game with the Eagles holding a 10-point lead. The Cardinals won a lopsided affair (26-7) against the Giants, but I thought New York beat itself more than the Cardinals beat them. The Giants managed just 3.2 yards per play with Daniel Jones laboring through a hamstring injury, which led to 79 plays and only 390 yards (4.9 YPP) for the Cardinals offense. The Eagles with Hurts are playing a style that’s conducive for close, lower-scoring games so I’m going to grab the extra point or two early in the week. I’m also doing a smaller parlay with the Eagles +6 and under 48.5 points. Risk one unit at -115 to win .87 units (Dec. 14)
San Francisco 49ers (-1.5, DraftKings) at Dallas Cowboys
I broke this game down as part of my Week 15 Opening Line Report. I’m not ready to give the Cowboys a ton of credit for going to Cincinnati and beating arguably the league’s worst team at the moment, which was greatly aided by fumbles on the Bengals’ first three drives last week. The 49ers have been an overrated commodity the last two weeks off of their victory against the Rams in Week 12, and this week’s line seems to be an overreaction to their performances against two good teams in the Bills and the 49ers. The 49ers should be at least field-goal favorites against the Cowboys this week because they’re still extremely weak against the run, which is the strength of the 49ers. The Cowboys also can’t get to the quarterback like Washington or even the Bills can, and Nick Mullens has been one of the more pressure-sensitive QBs. The Deebo Samuel (hamstring) loss is a killer going forward, but Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson should be able to get it done on the ground against this run defense this week. I’m still not impressed by the Cowboy offense that generated just 272 total yards despite scoring 30 points. I’m grabbing the 49ers now just in case this line climbs to a field goal or more later in the week. Risk one unit at -108 to win .93 units (Dec. 14)
Los Angeles Rams (-16.5, DraftKings) vs. New York Jets
I broke this game down as part of my Week 15 Opening Line Report. I’m not one to typically rush to the window to lay north of two touchdowns, but I am this week with the Rams because I can only see this line going up after what we saw from the Jets and the Rams in Week 14. The Jets looked like they put a stamp on their season and mailed it in after Week 13’s debacle against the Raiders. New York got waxed 40-3 by the Seahawks last week after showing some fight in recent weeks. New York will play another game on the West Coast this week and they decided to fly home between games, which I see as a negative for the Jets. Meanwhile, the Rams are coming off a dominant 24-3 victory over the Patriots last week in which they choked out New England with Cam Akers and their running game and with their top-five defense. The Rams should be able to name their score again this week. I wouldn’t be stunned if this line closes closer to 20 points by kickoff so I’m grabbing a 16.5 now for a little extra value. Risk one unit at -115 to win .87 units (Dec. 14)
Record: 127-102 (+17.23 units); W15: 5-10 (-5.27 units)
All one-unit wagers unless otherwise noted.
Kalen Ballage (LAC) over 16.5 rushing yards (-112, DraftKings) (L)
Dawson Knox (Buf) over 2.5 receptions (+112, FanDuel) (L)
Aaron Jones (GB) over 60.5 rushing yards (-115, William Hill) (W)
Kenyan Drake (Ari) over 53.5 rushing yards (-102, FanDuel) (L)
DeAndre Washington (Mia) under 38.5 rushing yards (-112, DraftKings) — Voided, DNP
Todd Gurley (Atl) under 30.5 rushing yards (-110, William Hill) (W)
Sam Darnold (NYJ) under 202.5 passing yards (-110, FanDuel) (L)
Tyreek Hill (KC) over 77.5 receiving yards (-112, DraftKings) (L)
T.Y. Hilton (Ind) over 59.5 receiving yards (-112, FanDuel) (W)
Kendrick Bourne (SF) over 3.5 receptions (+120, William Hill) (W)
Gardner Minshew (Jax) over 16.5 rushing yards (-112, DraftKings) (L)
D.K. Metcalf (Sea) over 73.5 receiving yards (-112, FanDuel) (L)
A.J. Brown (Ten) over 66.5 receiving yards (-110, BetMGM) (L)
D’Andre Swift (Det) over 22.5 receiving yards (-105, BetMGM) (L)
Nick Chubb (Cle) over 85.5 rushing and receiving yards (-115, William Hill) (L)
Jarvis Landry (Cle) over 4.5 receptions (-112, DraftKings) (W)
Giovani Bernard (Cin) under 29.5 rushing yards (-110, BetMGM)
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Pit) over 5.5 receptions (+100, BetMGM)