Week 1 Sunday Trends and Picks

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Week 1 Sunday Trends and Picks

Examining trends for each team can help you make better-informed gambling and fantasy decisions. It’s never wise to bet a game based on a single trend and it’s also never wise to back off a wager based on a single trend, either. With that said, trends can point you in the right direction by corroborating stats and information you’ve gathered or they can make you reconsider making a bad wager based on flimsy data. I’ve gone game-by-game and compiled the most relevant trends for each team heading into this week’s contests. I’ve included any bets or leans I have for each game at the end of each writeup. Good luck with your wagers!

Sunday Player Props

Hayden Hurst (Atl) over 38.5 receiving yards (-118, DraftKings)

Cam Newton (NE) under 248.5 passing yards (-115, Sportsbook.ag)

Marquise Brown (Bal) over 50.5 receiving yards (-110, BetMGM)

Tom Brady (TB) over 23.5 completions (-110, DraftKings)

Josh Jacobs (LV) under 2.5 receptions (-106, BetMGM)

D.J. Chark (Jax) over 58.5 receiving yards (-110, BetMGM)

Joe Mixon (Cin) over 15.5 receiving yards (-106, BetMGM)

Amari Cooper (Dal) under 68.5 receiving yards (-115, FanDuel)

James Robinson (Jax) over 39.5 rushing yards (-112, DraftKings)

Antonio Gibson (Was) over 38.5 rushing yards (-115, FoxBet)

Jamison Crowder (NYJ) over 4.5 receptions (-108, DraftKings)

And a Monday Prop while we’re at it

Diontae Johnson (Pit) over 47.5 receiving yards (-110, FanDuel)

Early Afternoon Games

Seattle Seahawks (12-6, 8-9-1 ATS) at Atlanta Falcons (7-9, 8-8), 1 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Seahawks 25.75, Falcons 23.25

  • Spread/Total Movements: 1.5 to 2.5, 49.5 to 49

  • Weather: Dome

  • Seahawks Injuries to Watch: WR Phillip Dorsett (foot), TE Will Dissly (Achilles)

  • Falcons Injuries to Watch: CB A.J. Terrell (hamstring)

Seahawks Trends

  • The Seahawks are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 road games.

  • Seattle ended last season on a 1-4-1 ATS run in its last six games.

  • The Seahawks are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games in September.

  • Seattle has played under the total in eight of its last 10 games as a road favorite.

  • The Seahawks are 12-7-3 ATS (63.2%) in 1 p.m. East Coast games with HC Pete Carroll

  • Russell Wilson attempted just 20 passes against the Falcons last season with the Seahawks racing out to a 24-0 lead against Matt Schaub.

  • Chris Carson caught 37 passes last season, which was 10 more receptions than he had in his first two seasons combined. He did all of his damage against the Falcons on the ground last season with 20/90/1 rushing without a reception.

  • Tyler Lockett figures to get the slightly tougher matchup against Darqueze Dennard after running 69.4% of his routes from the slot. He hung 6/100 receiving against the Falcons last season before D.K. Metcalf emerged in the second half of last season.

  • Metcalf will take on rookie A.J. Terrell and second-year pro Isaiah Oliver on the perimeter this week. DK had just three catches for 13 yards against the Falcons last season but two of those catches went for touchdowns.

Falcons Trends

  • The Falcons ended last season on a four-game ATS winning streak.

  • Atlanta owns a 5-1 ATS record in its last six games as an underdog.

  • The Falcons haven’t covered a spread in their last four season openers, and they’re 1-5 ATS in their last six September contests.

  • The Falcons have played under the total in four of their last five season openers.

  • Atlanta has played to the under in nine of its last 12 home games.

  • The Falcons and the Eagles tied for the most plays per game last season at 68.5.

  • Matt Ryan has averaged more than 38 passes per game in each of his last four seasons. He’ll test new Seattle DBs Jamal Adams and Quinton Dunbar immediately. He didn’t play against the Seahawks last season.

  • Julio Jones remained in the top-five in WR targets (157), receptions (99), and receiving yards (1394). He hung 10/152 receiving on 12 targets with Matt Schaub at QB last season.

  • Calvin Ridley has scored 17 or more FP in the eight career games he’s seen eight or more targets in, and he averaged 17.8 FPG in six games without Mohamed Sanu last season.

  • Austin Hooper led the Falcons with nine end-zone targets last season. Hayden Hurst gets a matchup with a Seahawks defense that allowed the second-most FPG to TEs (15.3) last season, but Seattle did add Jamal Adams to the middle of the field this summer.

  • Todd Gurley saw his numbers plummet across the board last season but he still scored 14+ TDs for the third straight season. He should have his freshest legs at the start of the season against a Seahawks defense that allowed the 13th-most FPG to RBs (25.5) last season.

Brolley’s Bets

Seattle Seahawks -1.5 (Staff Picks lean)

Hayden Hurst (Atl) over 38.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)

Cleveland Browns (6-10, 5-10-1 ATS) at Baltimore Ravens (14-3, 10-7), 1 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Browns 20.25, Ravens 27.75

  • Spread/Total Movements: None of note.

  • Weather: 75 degrees, mostly cloudy, 5-10 mph

  • Browns Injuries to Watch: CB Greedy Williams (shoulder), LB Mack Wilson (knee, out), C J.C. Tretter (knee)

  • Ravens Injuries to Watch: RB Justice Hill (thigh)

Browns Trends

  • The Browns finished 1-4 ATS in their last five games last season.

  • Cleveland didn’t cover a spread in its final six road games last season.

  • The Browns are 7-3 ATS in their 10 trips to Baltimore, which includes their stunning 40-25 victory over the Ravens last season.

  • Kevin Stefanski and Baker Mayfield are in a tough spot to debut their new offense against a Ravens defense that allowed the third-fewest yards per game (300.5) last season. Mayfield is averaging 313.0 passing yards per game in four career matchups against the Ravens, but he owns a 7-to-6 TD-to-INT ratio in those contests.

  • Nick Chubb finished last season as a primary runner when Kareem Hunt came back last season so he’d be in a tough spot as a big road underdog if he’s stuck in the same role. Chubb exploded for 165/3 rushing in their shocking blowout victory over the Ravens last season, but he’s managed a combined 69 rushing yards and -4 receiving yards in the other two games he’s had a role in against the Ravens.

  • Hunt is the better option in the Browns backfield this week since they could be forced into a more pass-heavy script as eight-point underdogs. He managed just 7/33 scrimmage in a 16-point loss to the Ravens at the end of last season.

  • Austin Hooper figures to see a significant dip in volume this season moving from a pass-heavy in Atlanta to a run-heavy attack in Cleveland. He gets a brutal first matchup against a Ravens defense that allowed a league-low 7.9 FPG to TEs last season.

  • Jarvis Landry has averaged 143.5 targets per season in his first two years in Cleveland, but he’ll have to contend with Hooper in the middle of the field now. He’ll also have to contend with Marlon Humphrey in the slot this week, but he managed 7/74 receiving on eight targets in the final matchup of last season.

  • Odell Beckham managed just 6/64/1 receiving on 13 targets in his two matchups against the Ravens last season. He’ll mostly see Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith on the perimeter this week, and Peters has been prone to mistakes at times if

Ravens Trends

  • The Ravens have been Week 1 locks with four straight against-the-spread covers and four straight outright victories by a combined score of 139-20.

  • The Ravens have the second-highest implied team at 28.5 points.

  • Baltimore finished last season on a 9-2 ATS run in its final 11 games.

  • The Ravens are 4-1 toward unders in their last five games as a home favorite.

  • The last two MVPs (Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes) won the Super Bowl the year after they won the MVP so pencil in the Ravens as the 2020 champs with Lamar Jackson.

  • Lamar has scored 12 FP in touchdowns alone in each of his three starts against the Browns in his career.

  • It will be interesting to see how the RB touches are distributed in the season opener between Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins. Ravens RBs combined for 23/140/1 rushing and 6/75/1 receiving in their Week 16 matchup with the Browns last season.

  • The Ravens are set to release Marquise Brown on the rest of the league after he played just 51% of the snaps last season because of his Lisfranc injury. Hollywood managed just .43 yards per route run last season against the Browns with just 5/28 receiving on eight targets in two games.

  • The Ravens TEs combined for a league-high 42% target share last season, which is notable for Mark Andrews since Hayden Hurst and his 9% target share is no longer in the fold. Andrews’ bid for the TE1 this season could start in the season opener since the Browns are already down LB Mack Wilson (knee) and S Grant Delpit (Achilles, IR). Andrews hung 10/124/3 receiving on the Browns in two games last season.

Brolley’s Bets

Baltimore Ravens -7.5 (Best Bet)

Marquise Brown (Bal) over 50.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)

New York Jets (7-9, 7-9 ATS) at Buffalo Bills (10-7, 9-6-2), 1 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Jets 16.5, Bills 23

  • Spread/Total Movements: 40 to 39.5

  • Weather: 65 degrees, 50% chance of rain, 10-15 mph

  • Jets Injuries to Watch: WR Denzel Mims (hamstring), QB Joe Flacco (neck, out), S Marcus Maye (ankle)

  • Bills Injuries to Watch: CB Josh Norman (hamstring)

Jets Trends

  • New York has the lowest implied team total at 16.5 points

  • The Jets are 4-1 ATS in their last five as an underdog.

  • New York is 2-5 ATS in its last seven road games.

  • The Jets have played under the total in five of their last six games.

  • The underdog in this series has covered in eight of the last 10 meetings while the road team has covered in four straight games.

  • Sam Darnold has never thrown for more than 200 yards against the Bills in three career starts.

  • Darnold will be breaking in a revamped O-line and some new receivers, including Breshad Perriman who is likely to draw a lot of coverage from top CB Tre’Davious White. Perriman also dealt with knee swelling heading into the season opener.

  • Jamison Crowder is likely to be the most targeted receiver here out of the slot after easily leading the team with 122 targets last season. Crowder saw 22.1% of his targets (27) against the Bills last season, which he turned into 22/165 receiving.

  • Chris Herndon could challenge Crowder for the largest target share in this passing attack this season after basically missing all of last season. The Bills allowed the second-fewest FPG (9.3) to TEs last season.

  • Le’Veon Bell and Adam Gase continued to battle in training camp but this game should at least play to his favor to keep Frank Gore off the field with the Jets looking at a negative game script. Bell caught 11 passes and he totaled 167 scrimmage yards against the Bills last season.

Bills Trends

  • The Bills ended last year on a 1-3-1 ATS run in their final five games.

  • Buffalo played under the total in six of its final seven games last season, including its last four home games.

  • Bills games combined for the fewest points per game last season at 36.1 points.

  • The Bills upgraded their receiving corps for Josh Allen this season by trading for Stefon Diggs, who ran up 1130 receiving yards on just 94 targets (12.0 YPT). Diggs and John Brown will draw the easier matchups on the perimeter away from slot CB Brian Poole.

  • Brown will have a tough time matching his career-best numbers (72/1060/6 receiving) from last season with Diggs in town.

  • The Jets allowed the third-fewest FPG to TEs (9.6) last season, but they no longer have Jamal Adams patrolling the middle of the field — C.J. Mosley also won’t play but he barely played last season. Dawson Knox made just one appearance against the Jets last season in his professional debut (1/1 receiving).

  • Allen has steadily improved along with his weaponry in his first couple seasons, and we’ll see if he can take another leap now that he has a true #1 WR. He posted 254/1 passing and he added a rushing TD in his lone full game against the Jets last season.

  • We’ll see how the Bills break down the work in this backfield after Zack Moss gained a lot of ground on Devin Singletary in training camp. These backs should have a favorable game script to get carries as the Bills enter as 6.5-point home favorites.

Brolley

New York Jets +6.5 (Staff Picks lean)

Jamison Crowder (NYJ) over 4.5 receptions (Best Bet)

Las Vegas Raiders (7-9, 8-8 ATS) at Carolina Panthers (5-11, 6-9-1), 1 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Raiders 25.25, Panthers 22.25

  • Spread/Total Movements: None of note.

  • Weather: 75 degrees, mostly cloudy, light winds

  • Raiders Injuries to Watch: WR Bryan Edwards (knee), CB Damon Arnette (thumb)

  • Panthers Injuries to Watch: CB Eli Apple (ankle, IR)

Raiders Trends

  • The Raiders finished 2-5 ATS in their final seven games last season, and they went 6-1 toward unders in that same span.

  • Las Vegas is 0-3-1 ATS in its last four games as a road favorite.

  • The Raiders have played under the total in their last five road games.

  • Las Vegas scored the fewest points per game in the final six weeks of last season with 14.6.

  • Josh Jacobs gets one of the best matchups in the league right out of the gates against a defense that allowed league-highs in rushing yards allowed per game (125.7) and rushing TDs allowed per game (125.7)

  • The Panthers’ defense is young across the board, and Derek Carr will look to take advantage of it with his own young weapons. The concern for Carr is that Jacobs could dominate this game on the ground, which could limit his opportunities but Carr did the Raiders did average a career-high 7.9 YPA with limited weapons last season.

  • Luke Kuechly retired this off-season and top CB James Bradberry left for the Giants this off-season. CB Eli Apple (ankle, IR) will also miss this week so TE Darren Waller and rookie WRs Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards have juicy first opportunities this season.

  • The Panthers faced the second-fewest TE targets per game (5.2) last season but they allowed a generous 9.0 YPT.

  • This WR corps got thinned out a bit in training camp with Tyrell Williams (shoulder, IR) going down for the year, but we’ll see what kind of rotation the Raiders use at WR with Zay Jones and Nelson Agholor getting some hype behind Ruggs, Edwards, and Hunter Renfrow. The Panthers will likely line up their speedy CB Donte Jackson on Ruggs, who allowed a healthy 1.61 yards per coverage snap last season.

Panthers Trends

  • The Panthers finished 0-4-1 ATS in their last five games last season

  • Carolina is 0-3-1 ATS in its last four games as a home underdog.

  • The Panthers finished last season 5-1 toward over totals in their final six games.

  • Carolina is 6-18 straight up since getting blown out by the Steelers on TNF in 2018.

  • Christian McCaffrey was the #1 overall pick in just about every draft this summer after totaling nearly 2400 scrimmage yards with 19 TDs last season.

  • Teddy Bridgewater ran off a 5-0 ATS mark as the starter for the Saints last season. He gets a friendly first matchup against a Raiders defense that allowed the fifth-most FPG (21.01) to QBs last season.

  • D.J. Moore could be a perfect fit with the conservative Bridgewater since he thrives in the intermediate areas of the field, especially on in-breaking routes. The Raiders allowed the 13th-most FPG to perimeter WRs last season (210.9) and first-round CB Damon Arnette (thumb) could miss or play injured in the season opener.

  • We’ll see how Robby Anderson fits with Bridgewater, but he does get an enticing first matchup against a Raiders secondary that allowed the most 40+ yard pass plays last season with 16.

  • Curtis Samuel, who is expected to play in the slot, and Ian Thomas will be duking it out with Anderson to see who is the #3 receiver behind Moore and CMC. Thomas may not see a full allotment of snaps this week since he missed some time in camp to a turf toe injury.

Brolley’s Bets

Over 47.5 (Best Bet)

Carolina Panthers 3.5 (Staff Picks lean)

Josh Jacobs (LV) under 2.5 receptions (Best Bet)

Chicago Bears (8-8, 4-12 ATS) at Detroit Lions (3-12-1, 6-10), 1 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Bears 20.5, Lions 23.5

  • Spread/Total Movements: 43 to 44

  • Weather: Dome

  • Bears Injuries to Watch: RB David Montgomery (groin), OLB Robert Quinn (ankle)

  • Lions Injuries to Watch: WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), RB D’Andre Swift (hip), CB Jeff Okudah (hamstring), WR Danny Amendola (hamstring)

Bears Trends

  • The Bears finished last season 1-6 ATS in their final seven games.

  • Chicago is on a six-game ATS losing streak in its last six road games.

  • The Bears have lost six straight season openers. Chicago has played under the total in seven of its last eight games as an underdog.

  • Both the Bears and the Lions have played under the total in seven of their last nine NFC North contests.

  • Chicago has won four straight games against the Lions under Matt Nagy.

  • Bears games combined for the fewest points per game last season at 36.1 points.

  • The Lions allowed the most passing yards per game (284.4) last season. They traded away top CB Darius Slay this off-season, and they replaced him by drafting Jeff Okudah third overall and by signing Desmond Trufant.

  • Allen Robinson has reached 6+ catches and 86+ yards in three of his four games against the Lions the last two seasons.

  • Anthony Miller gets a juicy matchup with slot WR Justin Coleman, whom he beat up for 9/140 receiving on 13 targets in Week 13 last season.

  • Mitchell Trubisky excels when he can see it and throw it against man coverage, which is the bread and butter of Matt Patricia’s defenses. Trubisky is 3-0 against the Bears over the last two seasons. He’s averaged 288.0 passing yards per game in those contests and he has exactly three TD passes in each game with just one INT overall.

  • Trubisky averaged 4.2/17.3 rushing per game in his final 10 games last year after opening last season with just five carries in his first appearance. HC Matt Nagy could be a little more aggressive getting Trubisky on the move since they have Nick Foles as insurance now.

  • The Bears don’t seem too concerned about David Montgomery after his non-contact groin injury in training camp, but they could mix Tarik Cohen in a little bit more than usual since Montgomery missed a significant chunk of practice time. This spot favors Cohen a little more anyway with the Bears entering as three-point road underdogs. The Lions allowed the third-most receiving yards per game to RBs (54.0) last season.

Lions Trends

  • The Lions ended last year with a 2-9 ATS mark in their final 11 games.

  • Detroit owns a 6-1 ATS record in its last seven September contests.

  • The Lions have played over the total in six of their last seven home games.

  • Both the Lions and the Bears have played under the total in seven of their last nine NFC North contests.

  • Matthew Stafford ranked first in completed air yards (8.3) and intended air yards (10.7) last season. Stafford didn’t play against the Bears last season, who allowed the seventh-fewest FPG to QBs (14.85) last season.

  • Kenny Golladay turned in a pair of big games against the Bears last season without Stafford last season, combining for 7/215/2 receiving on 14 targets. Golladay has reached 14+ FP in each of his last four games against Chicago.

  • Marvin Jones reached 12+ FP in both contests against the Bears last year without Stafford despite seeing just 11 combined targets. Jones is averaging 17.9 YPR in his seven career games against Chicago during his four seasons with the Lions.

  • Bears’ opponents targeted TEs 8.2 times per game (fourth-most) last season. T.J. Hockenson saw 17 of those targets in two games without Stafford, turning those looks into 9/65 receiving.

  • Adrian Peterson reunited with his old Vikings OC Darrell Bevell, and he could step into a decent workload next to D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson with the Lions entering as three-point home favorites. This backfield could be a mess early on and the Bears were middle of the pack in FPG allowed to RBs (24.5).

Brolley’s Bets

Chicago Bears +3 (Staff Picks lean)

Indianapolis Colts (7-9, 7-7-2 ATS) at Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10, 7-9), 1 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Colts 26.5, Jaguars 18.5

  • Spread/Total Movements: 44.5 to 45

  • Weather: 87 degrees, humid and partly cloudy, 5-10 mph

  • Colts Injuries to Watch: TE Trey Burton (calf, IR)

  • Jaguars Injuries to Watch: RB Ryquell Armstead (COVID-19), RB Devine Ozigbo (hamstring, IR)

Colts Trends

  • The Colts ended last year with a 1-3-1 ATS mark in their final five games.

  • Indy has played over the total in five of its last six games as a road favorite.

  • The Colts have lost six straight season openers.

  • The Colts start the season with a potential juicy game script for this new-look backfield, and both Jonathan Taylor and Marlon Mack have the potential to come through. Both Mack and Jonathan Williams ran for 100+ yards in a Week 11 matchup against the Jaguars last season.

  • Philip Rivers had his best game in Week 14 of 2019 against the Jaguars last season when he threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns on just 22 attempts (14.3 YPA).

  • Jack Doyle is in a potential spot to succeed against a Jaguars defense that allowed 11.8 FPG to the position (20th-most) last season. Eric Ebron’s replacement Trey Burton is hurt (again!) and Parris Campbell (concussion) and Michael Pittman (rookie) could be slow out of the gates.

  • I’m concerned about T.Y. Hilton’s long-term outlook this season, but he’s healthy right now while Campbell and Pittman are facing a bit of a learning curve heading into the season. Hilton caught all three of his targets for 72 yards against the Jags in the season finale last season.

Jaguars Trends

  • The Chiefs (22% capacity) and the Jaguars (25%) are the only two teams that will have fans in attendance in Week 1.

  • The Jaguars are 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 meetings with the Colts, which includes a five-game ATS winning streak in Jacksonville.

  • Jacksonville ended last season with a 2-6 ATS mark in its final eight games.

  • The Jaguars are 4-1 ATS in their last five September contests.

  • Jacksonville has played under the total in nine of its last 13 home games.

  • Gardner Minshew completed 27/39 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns in his only appearance against the Colts last season, which did have some players sitting out on both teams in Week 17.

  • Minshew averaged 24.6 rushing yards per game because of his scrambling ability, and the rock could be in his hands more than usual right out of the gates. Jacksonville’s rushing attack could struggle out of the gates, and Minshew was already expected to be active with the Jaguars potentially chasing points as eight-point home underdogs.

  • D.J. Chark struggled at the end of last season through an ankle injury, which contributed to his dud 4/34 receiving line in Week 17 with Minshew. He blew up for 8/104/2 receiving against the Jags in Week 11 playing with Nick Foles.

  • Undrafted free agent James Robinson posted 364/1899/18 rushing in his final season at Illinois State in 2019. He’ll be the lead runner with Ryquell Armstead (COVID-19) and Devine Ozigbo (hamstring, IR) out of the lineup, but Chris Thompson should be the most active with a negative game script likely in the works with the Jaguars lined as eight-point underdogs. Thompson played under OC Jay Gruden in Washington, and the veteran receiving back averaged 3.8/34.4 receiving per game in 11 contests last season.

Brolley’s Bets

Jacksonville Jaguars +8 (Staff Picks lean)

D.J. Chark (Jax) over 58.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)

James Robinson (Jax) over 39.5 rushing yards (Best Bet)

Green Bay Packers (14-4, 11-7 ATS) at Minnesota Vikings (11-7, 10-8), 1 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Packers 21.25, Vikings 23.75

  • Spread/Total Movements: 46.5 to 45

  • Weather: Dome

  • Packers Injuries to Watch: None of note.

  • Vikings Injuries to Watch: DE Danielle Hunter (neck, IR)

Packers Trends

  • These teams have played under the total in five of their last six meetings in this series.

  • The Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last five September contests.

  • Green Bay has played under the total in nine straight NFC North contests.

  • The Packers are 7-3 toward under totals in their last 10 games.

  • Aaron Rodgers has failed to reach 220+ passing yards in each of his last three games against the Vikings, and he had just two TD passes in two games against them last season.

  • The Packers did nothing of note at receiver this off-season, leaving Davante Adams to dominate targets in this passing attack again. He posted 18+ FP in eight of his final nine games (playoffs included). The Vikings totally revamped their secondary last season, and they’ll be playing two rookies (Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler) and a third-year pro (Holton Hill) on the outside.

  • Aaron Jones is coming off a 19-touchdown season but the Packers drafted A.J. Dillon in the second round to add a third back to this rotation. Dillon could be eased into the rotation early in the season. Jones posted 24+ FP in both of his contests against the Vikings last season.

Vikings Trends

  • These teams have played under the total in every game hosted by Minnesota in the Mike Zimmer era (six games).

  • The home team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings in this series.

  • The Vikings have covered the spread in their last four season openers.

  • Dalvin Cook should be close to 100% after struggling through a shoulder injury at the end of last season. He finished behind only Christian McCaffrey in FPG with 21.0, and he totaled 191 scrimmage yards and a TD in his only game against the Packers.

  • Adam Thielen will be without Stefon Diggs in the lineup this season. He averaged 9.3 targets per game and 6.6 catches per game in his seven games without Diggs since 2016. Thielen is likely to see a lot of Jaire Alexander this week, and he managed just 5/75 receiving on 12 targets in two games last season against the Packers.

  • Cousins had the second-most dropbacks with two or more TEs on the field last season, and Irv Smith could be even more heavily featured with the #2 WR spot a bit unsettled between Justin Jefferson and Bisi Johnson heading into Week 1. The Packers were middle of the pack against TEs last season, allowing the 14th-most FPG (12.3).

Brolley’s Bets

Green Bay Packers +2.5 (Staff Picks lean)

Under 46.5 (Best Bet)

Miami Dolphins (5-11, 9-7 ATS) at New England Patriots (12-5, 8-8-1), 1 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Dolphins 17.5, Patriots 24

  • Spread/Total Movements: 43 to 41.5

  • Weather: 75 degrees, overcast, 5-10 mph

  • Dolphins Injuries to Watch: WR DeVante Parker (hamstring), TE Mike Gesicki (glute)

  • Patriots Injuries to Watch: CB Stephon Gilmore (hamstring), TE Dalton Keene (neck), OT Yodny Cajuste (knee, IR)

Dolphins Trends

  • Miami has the second-lowest implied team total at 18 points.

  • The Dolphins ended last year on a 4-1 ATS run in their final five games.

  • Miami has covered in five of its last six season openers.

  • The Dolphins are 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games.

  • Miami has played over the total in six of its last seven games.

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick posted 320/1 passing and 15/1 rushing in Foxborough in last year’s season finale going against a Patriots defense that allowed the fewest FPG to QBs last season (12.66).

  • Preston Williams averaged a full target more than DeVante Parker (7.5 to 6.5) before he tore his ACL last season. Williams posted 4/63 receiving in his only game against the Patriots last season with Josh Rosen at QB.

  • Parker is likely to be shadowed by DPOY Stephon Gilmore, whom Parker consistently torched in the season finale last season. Parker posted 7/119 receiving going against Gilmore on his way to 8/137 receiving overall.

  • Mike Gesicki needed Williams to leave the lineup to break through a bit last season as he went from averaging 5.7 FPG in his first eight games to averaging 11.4 FPG in his final eight games. Gesicki managed just 5/45/1 receiving against the Patriots last season.

Patriots Trends

  • The Patriots are 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games against the Dolphins.

  • New England is 1-5-1 ATS in its last seven games and the Pats 0-4-1 in their last five home games.

  • The Patriots have played under the total in five of their last six games in September.

  • Cam Newton and the new-look Patriots will be one of the more fascinating teams to follow in Week 1. The big question is how much will Cam run since his receiving corps isn’t going to necessarily elevate him. Newton has run for a touchdown in just one of his last 13 games.

  • That’s good news for Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead, who are likely to split up early-down snaps. Michel dusted the Dolphins last year for 39/159/2 rushing in two games, but Burkhead could mix in more than usual since Michel saw limited practice time in camp.

  • James White is the safest option in this backfield but it’s going to be interesting to see how much his production dips without pocket passer Tom Brady in the lineup. White had just 6/52 receiving in two games against the Dolphins last season, but he turned two of those catches into touchdowns.

  • Second-year WR N’Keal Harry will get tough matchups against Xavien Howard and Byron Jones on the perimeter so Julian Edelman will still be the top option here as he enters his age-34 season. Edelman finished with under 10 FP in each of his contests against the Dolphins last season.

Brolley’s Bets

Miami Dolphins +6.5 (Staff Picks lean)

Cam Newton (NE) under 248.5 passing yards (Best Bet)

Philadelphia Eagles (9-8, 7-10 ATS) at Washington Football Team (3-13, 6-10), 1 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Eagles 24, Football Team 18.5

  • Spread/Total Movements: 6.5 to 5.5, 43.5 to 42.5

  • Weather: 77 degrees, mostly cloudy, 5 mph

  • Eagles Injuries to Watch: RB Miles Sanders (hamstring), WR Jalen Reagor (shoulder), WR Alshon Jeffery (Lisfranc, out)

  • Washington Injuries to Watch: LB Thomas Davis (calf), CB Kendall Fuller (knee)

Eagles Trends

  • Philadelphia is 5-1 ATS in its last six meetings with Washington.

  • The Eagles are 5-2 in their last seven games as a road favorite.

  • The Eagles are 1-6 ATS in their last seven September games.

  • The Eagles tied with the Falcons for the most plays per game last season at 68.5.

  • DeSean Jackson should be heavily featured this week with rookie Jalen Reagor (shoulder) likely out of the lineup. D-Jax blew up in his one healthy spot against Washington in the season opener last season, hanging 8/154/2 receiving on the Football Team.

  • D-Jax is averaging 98.8 receiving yards per game against his former teams during his career.

  • Carson Wentz had the most dropbacks with two or more tight ends on the field last season with 367. Jalen Reagor (shoulder) and Alshon Jeffery (Lisfranc) are both expected to miss this week. The Football Team allowed the fifth-most FPG (14.2) to TEs last season. Zach Ertz posted 5/61/1 receiving on 10 targets against Washington in Week 15 last season while Dallas Goedert posted 5/55 receiving on six targets.

  • Miles Sanders (hamstring) has been getting limited work this week, which has him uncertain for the weekend. Washington is a matchup he doesn’t want to miss after the Football Team allowed 29.3 FPG to RBs (third-most) last season. Sanders exploded for 19/122/1 rushing and 6/50/1 receiving in Week 15 against Washington last season.

  • Boston Scott would be the next guy up if the Eagles play it cautiously with Sanders, and he caught seven passes for 39 yards in that Week 15 matchup against the Football Team.

Washington Trends

  • Washington finished last season 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games.

  • The Football Team is on a five-game ATS losing streak in the NFC East

  • Washington was 4-1 toward over in its last five games last season.

  • The Football Team ran by far the fewest plays per game last season at 55.3. Meanwhile, Scott Turner’s offense ran the sixth-most plays per game (67.3) last season.

  • Dwayne Haskins had his best performance of his rookie season against the Eagles in Week 15 as he completed 19/28 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns while adding 3/26 rushing.

  • Terry McLaurin will likely be shadowed by Darius Slay this week, whom he squared off against last year when Slay played with the Lions. McLaurin finished with 3/42 receiving on 10 targets in Slay’s coverage while ending with 5/72 receiving on 12 targets overall.

  • The big question in Washington is how they’ll use Antonio Gibson in this backfield. Adrian Peterson made it sound like Gibson would be the top back upon his departure last week, but Peyton Barber and Bryce Love will compete for early-down snaps while J.D. McKissic is competing for passing-down snaps. The Football Team could ease him into his in the season opener, and it’s a brutal first matchup that allowed the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game to RBs (69.6) last season

Brolley’s Bets

Washington Football Team +6 (Staff Picks lean)

Antonio Gibson (Was) over 38.5 rushing yards (Best Bet)

Late-Afternoon Games

Los Angeles Chargers (5-11, 4-9-3 ATS) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-14, 6-10), 4:05 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Chargers 22.25, Bengals 19.25

  • Spread/Total Movements: 3.5 to 3, 43.5 to 41.5

  • Weather: 83 degrees, partly cloudy, 5 mph

  • Chargers Injuries to Watch: S Derwin James (knee, IR) WR Mike Williams (shoulder)

  • Bengals Injuries to Watch: DT Geno Atkins (shoulder), CB Darius Phillips (knee)

Chargers Trends

  • The Chargers ended last season 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games last season

  • Los Angeles is 1-5 ATS in its last six games as a favorite.

  • The Chargers have played over the total in four straight road games.

  • Tyrod Taylor averaged 6.4 carries per game in his 47 games with at least 14 pass attempts in 2015-18, and the Bengals allowed the most QB rushing yards per game last season at 30.6.

  • The Bengals allowed the second-most yards per play (6.1) last season, which bodes well for an offense that may be without perimeter WR Mike Williams (shoulder) in the season opener.

  • Allen quietly stacked together three consecutive seasons with 16 games, 136+ targets, 97+ catches, 1100+ yards, and six TDs. He’s unlikely to maintain that pace with Philip Rivers gone, but he’ll still be the top option this week with Williams banged up. He’ll also likely square off the most with Mackensie Alexander in the slot, which is better than a matchup with William Jackson.

  • Hunter Henry would get a boost if Williams is unable to play. The Bengals allowed 11.34 FPG to TEs last season on just 5.9 targets per game.

  • Austin Ekeler is going to lead a three-man backfield with Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson filling in behind him on early downs. Ekeler cleared 25+ FP in three of his four games with Melvin Gordon out of the lineup last season. The Bengals were one of four teams to allow 110+ rushing yards per game and 40+ receiving yards per game to RBs last season.

Bengals Trends

  • Cincinnati ended last season with a 3-7 ATS mark in their final 10 games.

  • The Bengals played over the total in four straight games to end last season.

  • Quarterbacks taken first overall are 0-11-1 in their first career starts since 2003. David Carr was the last QB to win in his NFL debut in 2002.

  • Gus Bradley’s defenses typically aren’t hard to decipher for opposing QBs as his defenses are more execution-based, which bodes well for rookie Joe Burrow. The #1 overall pick completed a ludicrous 76.3% of his passes at LSU last season, and he averaged a silly 10.8 YPA for 5671 yards, which helped him throw for an FBS record 60 TDs with just six INTs. He gets a tough first test against a Chargers defense that allowed the third-fewest passing yards per game to QBs (210.9) last season.

  • Los Angeles did lose Derwin James (knee) in its secondary, but they added Chris Harris in free agency. The Chargers are expected to line up Harris and Casey Hayward on the perimeter against the likes of A.J. Green and company while Desmond King will play inside against Tyler Boyd. The Bengals could use a heavy rotation on the perimeter this week since Green, John Ross, and Tee Higgins each missed significant time during training camp.

  • Boyd averaged 9.3 targets per game last season, but he’ll have a lot more competition for targets this season with a full arsenal next to him. Burrow loved throwing to his slot WR Justin Jefferson last season as he finished with 111/1540/18 receiving last season at LSU.

  • Joe Mixon saw 33 more carries than the next closest back (Nick Chubb) in Weeks 10-17, but I’m most interested to see if he gets more passing game work. He’s failed to reach 300+ receiving yards in a season through three years, and the Bengals could face a negative game script as three-point home underdogs.

Brolley’s Bets

Cincinnati Bengals +3.5/+164 (Best Bets)

Joe Mixon (Cin) over 15.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9, 5-9-2 ATS) at New Orleans Saints (13-4, 11-6), 4:25 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Buccaneers 22, Saints 25.5

  • Spread/Total Movements: 49.5 to 47.5

  • Weather: Dome

  • Buccaneers Injuries to Watch: WR Mike Evans (hamstring)

  • Saints Injuries to Watch: DE Marcus Davenport (elbow)

Buccaneers Trends

  • These teams have played over the total in four of their last five games in this series.

  • Tampa ended last season playing over the total in 12 of its final 14 games.

  • The Bucs are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 road games.

  • Tom Brady’s 74-game streak as a regular-season favorite will come to an end this week.

  • Jameis Winston quarterbacked Bruce Arians’ offense last year, and he worked with many of the Bucs players for the last five seasons. You can bet Sean Payton has picked his brain for information on Winston’s old team this week.

  • Drew Brees and Tom Brady rank first and second all-time in career passing yards and career passing TDs. Brady and Brees are also the two oldest active players in the league and Sunday’s matchup will be the first time two 40 years old or older QBs have met.

  • Mike Evans would be shadowed by Marshon Lattimore if he’s able to play this week. He failed to catch a pass on three targets in Week 5 last season before posting 4/69 receiving in their second matchup.

  • The Bucs are going to use a lot of 2-TE sets this season, but they’d likely use even more if they’re down to just a healthy Chris Godwin and the likes Scotty Miller and Justin Watson at WR. Godwin finished with 10/172/3 receiving against the Saints last season, but he’d also see more of Lattimore without Evans on the field.

  • We can’t expect Rob Gronkowski to see a full workload after sitting out all of last season so O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate will each be heavily involved. Gronk managed just three TDs on 72 targets in 13 games in 2018, but he should be much healthier after a year off.

  • Brady posted a career-low 3.9% TD rate and a 17-year-low 6.6 YPA last season, but he’ll be surrounded by the best weapons he’s had in years even if Evans can’t go this week. The Saints have been a defense to attack early in the year as the Saints haven’t covered a spread and they’ve played over the total in six straight season openers.

Saints Trends

  • The Saints haven’t covered a spread in six straight season openers and all six of those games went over the total.

  • The Saints are 5-2 ATS against the Bucs in their last seven meetings.

  • The Saints ended last season on an 11-4 ATS run in their final 15 games.

  • The Buccaneers led the league in sacks from Week 8 on with 35.

  • The Buccaneers allowed the fewest rushing yards per game (56.7) last season so Alvin Kamara will likely have to do his damage through the air. He posted 10+ FP on 17 combined targets as a receiver in both of his contests against the Bucs last season.

  • Drew Brees had the highest TD rate of his career at 7.1% as he threw for 27 scores in just 11 games, which included three scores in a Week 11 matchup against the Bucs last year.

  • Michael Thomas ate up Tampa’s man coverage last season as he went for 25+ FP in both contests against the Buccaneers last season.

  • Emmanuel Sanders was a non-factor at the end of last season playing in San Francisco’s low-volume passing attack. Tampa allowed the most FPG to WRs (44.0) last season as the Bucs secondary saw the most WR targets per game (25.2).

  • Jared Cook will look to hold off Sanders for the high-leverage targets he saw last season. He averaged a ridiculous 14.0 yards per target in his 10 completed games with Brees last season. Cook also had an absurd 13.8% TD rate, and he easily paced the Saints with 11 end-zone targets. He scored two touchdowns on eight targets against the Buccaneers last season.

  • Good luck playing Leonard Fournette and/or Ronald Jones this week as Tampa figures out its backfield, especially in a difficult matchup. The Saints allowed the second-fewest rushing yards per game to RBs (64.9) last season, which is behind only their defense.

Brolley’s Bets

New Orleans Saints -3.5 (Staff Picks lean)

Tom Brady (TB) over 23.5 completions (Best Bet)

Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1, 9-5-2 ATS) at San Francisco 49ers (15-4, 11-7-1), 4:25 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Cardinals 20.5, 49ers 27.5

  • Spread/Total Movements: 7.5 to 6.5, 47.5 to 48.5

  • Weather: 72 degrees, clear, 5 mph

  • Cardinals Injuries to Watch: None of note.

  • 49ers Injuries to Watch: WR Deebo Samuel (foot), WR Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring)

Cardinals Trends

  • Arizona owns a 4-0-1 ATS record in its last five meetings with San Fran. The Cardinals are also 3-0-1 ATS in their last four trips to the Bay Area.

  • The Cardinals ended last season on a 7-3-2 ATS run in their final 12 games.

  • Arizona finished 5-1-2 ATS as road underdogs last season.

  • The Cardinals played at the fourth-fastest pace (25.71 seconds/play) last season, and they could go even faster this season. HC Kliff Kingsbury practiced at a blistering pace toward the tail end of training camp.

  • Kyler Murray finished second in quarterback rushing yards (544) last season and the 49ers allowed the third-most QB rushing yards per game (23.8) in 2019.

  • Kenyan Drake had at least 14 opportunities in each of his eight games with the Cardinals last season. He totaled 242 scrimmage yards and 10 catches against the 49ers last season.

  • DeAndre Hopkins gets a difficult first matchup with the Cardinals. The 49ers allowed the eighth-fewest FPG to perimeter WRs (173.8) last season.

  • Christian Kirk posted just 8/49 receiving in two matchups with the 49ers last season while Larry Fitzgerald fared a little better with 9/75/1 receiving in those games.

49ers Trends

  • The 49ers have played under the total in six straight season openers.

  • San Francisco is 6-2 toward over in its last eight home games.

  • Jimmy Garoppolo lit up the Cardinals for 741 passing yards and eight touchdowns last season, which accounted for 18.6% of his passing yards and 29.6% of his passing TDs last season.

  • George Kittle has the top TE matchup of the week against a Cardinals defense that allowed the most FPG to TEs (19.39) last season. The Cardinals drafted S/LB Isaiah Simmons in the top-10 of last April’s draft, but he’ll have a brutal first assignment trying to slow down Kittle.

  • This 49ers WR corps is up in the air heading into the season with Deebo Samuel (Jones fracture) and Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring). Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor, and Dante Pettis are the next receivers up (likely in that order) and whoever plays will get an enticing matchup against a Cardinals secondary that allowed the eighth-most FPG to WRs (37.95) last season.

  • Raheem Mostert has been running as the top back in this potent rushing attack since his remarkable run at the end of last season through the playoffs. He averaged 84.4 rushing yards per game and he scored 14 total touchdowns in his final nine games last season (playoffs included). He didn’t have a major role against the Cardinals in either game last season, but Arizona allowed the 10th-most rushing yards per game to RBs (99.4) last season.

Brolley’s Bets

Arizona Cardinals +7.5 (Best Bet)

Sunday Night Football

Dallas Cowboys (8-8, 9-7 ATS) at Los Angeles Rams (9-7, 10-5-1), 8:20 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Cowboys 27.5, Rams 24.5

  • Spread/Total Movements: 51.5 to 52

  • Weather: Dome

  • Cowboys Injuries to Watch: None of note.

  • Rams Injuries to Watch: RB Darrell Henderson (hamstring)

Cowboys Trends

  • The Cowboys are 7-3 toward over totals in their last 10 road games.

  • The Cowboys and the Rams have played over the total in matchups in three straight seasons, and they’ve averaged 60.7 points per game in those contests.

  • Dak Prescott threw for 212/2 passing against the Rams last season on just 23 attempts as the Cowboys blew out the Rams last season.

  • Amari Cooper could shadow Jalen Ramsey this week, and he’s had no success against him in two games. He posted just a 19-yard catch on two targets against Ramsey and the Rams last season, and Coop previously posted 4/29 receiving on five targets back in 2016 when he played for the Raiders and Ramsey played for the Jags.

  • Michael Gallup wasn’t much better against the Rams last season with a six-yard catch on three targets, but he did have a breakout performance against LA in the playoffs two years ago with 6/119 receiving on nine targets.

  • Rookie CeeDee Lamb is likely to see the most snaps in the slot. Randall Cobb did nothing in this matchup, as well, as he lost three yards on his lone catch against the Rams. Cobb averaged 3.7 catches per game and 5.5 targets per game last season.

  • The Rams allowed TEs to average 12.7 YPR last season while new starting TE Blake Jarwin has averaged 11.6 YPR the last two years as a role player. Jarwin had two catches for 40 yards in this matchup last season while Jason Witten added 4/36/1 receiving.

  • Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard each ran for 100+ rushing yards in their beatdown of the Rams last season. Zeke has scored five touchdowns with 365 scrimmage yards in this matchup over three games.

Rams Trends

  • The Rams ended last season with a 3-1-1 ATS mark in their final five games.

  • Los Angeles is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games in September.

  • The Rams have played over the total in seven of their last 10 games as an underdog.

  • The Rams played at the third-fastest pace (25.61 sec/play) last season while the Cowboys played at the second-fastest pace (25.54).

  • Jared Goff threw for 15 TDs and two INTs off play-action in 2018 but those numbers tanked to three TDs and five INTs last season. Goff needed some garbage-time production to get 284/2 passing against the Cowboys last season as he needed 51 attempts to get there (5.6 YPA).

  • Robert Woods will benefit from Byron Jones’ departure this off-season. With Goff struggling last season, Woods averaged a miserable 1.9 YPT with 4/17 receiving on nine targets. Cooper Kupp fared a little better by catching all six of his targets for 41 yards and a touchdown.

  • Tyler Higbee ended last season as the top fantasy TE in the final five weeks of the season by averaging 8.6/104.4/.4 receiving per game on 11.2 targets per game. In that stretch, he torched the Cowboys for 12/111/0 receiving on 14 targets.

  • We’ll see how the Rams divide the work between rookie Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown with Darrell Henderson (hamstring) looking iffy for Week 1. The Rams averaged just 3.7 YPA (sixth-fewest) and 93.7 rushing yards per game (seventh-fewest) last season with Todd Gurley leading the way. Hopefully, Akers’ role is bigger than anticipated as we saw with Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the season opener.

Brolley’s Bets

Los Angeles Rams +3 (Best Bet)

Amari Cooper (LAR) under 68.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 61.5% clip in 2019 and he was a perfect 8-0 on his Best Bets for season win totals in 2020.