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!
Added Friday night
Calvin Ridley (Atl) over 65.5 receiving yards (-112, DraftKings)
Diontae Johnson (Pit) over 56.5 receiving yards (-106, BetMGM)
DeSean Jackson (Phi) over 40.5 receiving yards (-112, BetMGM)
Logan Thomas (Was) over 29.5 receiving yards (-112, BetMGM)
Gardner Minshew (Jax) over 20.5 completions (-112, BetMGM)
Adam Thielen (Min) over 4.5 receptions (-129, BetMGM)
Zach Ertz (Phi) over 4.5 receptions (+130, BetMGM)
Added Sunday morning
Tom Brady (TB) under 277.5 passing yards (-117, DraftKings)
Marquise Brown (Bal) over 51.5 receiving yards (-110, FanDuel)
Jonnu Smith (Ten) over 37.5 receiving yards (-110, FanDuel)
James Conner (Pit) under 49.5 rushing yards (-112, DraftKings)
Damiere Byrd (NE) under 34.5 receiving yards (-112, DraftKings)
Early Afternoon Games
New York Giants (0-1, 0-1 ATS) at Chicago Bears (1-0, 1-0), 1 p.m.
Implied Team Totals: Giants 18.25, Bears 23.75
Spread/Total Movements: 6 to 5.5, 43.5 to 42
Weather: 64 degrees, clear, 10 mph
Giants Injuries to Watch: WR Golden Tate (hamstring)
Bears Injuries to Watch: OLB Robert Quinn (ankle), OLB Khalil Mack (knee), DT Akiem Hicks (illness)
The Giants have covered the spread as underdogs against the Bears the last two seasons.
The Giants are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games as a road underdog.
New York is 12-3 ATS in its last 15 road games.
New York has played over the total in eight of its last 10 road games.
Saquon Barkley finished with just six rushing yards on 15 carries in Week 1, but he led the team with nine targets. The Bears allowed 115/1 rushing and 6/36 receiving to Lions RBs last week.
Daniel Jones survived Week 1 with 279/2 passing against the Steelers, but he threw two more INTs to run his career total to 25 turnovers in his first 14 NFL games.
Darius Slayton made an opening bid to be Jones’ top receiver this year with 6/102/2 receiving on nine targets against a strong Steelers secondary. He’s now scored multiple TDs with 100+ yards in three of his first 15 games.
Sterling Shepard posted an ugly 5/15 receiving on nine targets against the Giants last season. Shepard has reached 5+ catches in six of his last eight games but he’s also fallen below 50 receiving in six games in that same span.
Evan Engram stumbled out of the gates by catching just two of his seven targets for nine yards in the season opener. The Bears allowed 5/56 receiving to T.J. Hockenson last week.
The Bears won’t have fans in the stands this week.
The Bears ended a six-game ATS losing streak with their comeback victory over the Lions.
Chicago is 1-5 ATS in its last six games as a home favorite.
The Bears are 9-2 toward the under in their last 11 home games.
Tarik Cohen saw a 46% snap share while David Montgomery played on 45% of the snaps with the Bears playing from behind for much of the second half last week, which was a positive sign for Montgomery coming off his groin injury. Benny Snell came on in relief last week to post 19/113/1 rushing against the Giants.
Montgomery also ran 14 routes compared to Cohen’s 18 routes, and Cohen finished with a disappointing 2/6 receiving with the Bears trailing for much of Week 1.
Mitch Trubisky didn’t play well (shocker!) last week, but he still got to 242/3 passing for a QB8 finish. Mitch posted 278/1 passing with a rushing TD against the Giants last season.
Allen Robinson is in the middle of contract negotiations with the Bears. He saw 25% of Trubisky’s targets last week, and he turned his nine looks into 5/74 receiving. A-Rob has totaled 11/210/1 receiving on 19 targets against the Giants the last two seasons.
Anthony Miller played on just 42% of the snaps last week as the Bears rotated Ted Ginn (43%), Javon Wims (35%), and Darnell Mooney (32%) behind A-Rob. Miller still came through with 4/76/1 receiving thanks to a fourth-quarter surge. He played 90% of his snaps from the slot and JuJu Smith-Schuster posted 6/69/2 receiver from the slot against the Giants last week.
Jimmy Graham fell one yard short of posting two touchdowns in his Bears’ debut last week. The Giants allowed just an 18-yard catch to Eric Ebron last week.
New York Giants +5.5 (Staff Picks lean)
Atlanta Falcons (0-1, 0-1 ATS) at Dallas Cowboys (0-1, 0-1), 1 p.m.
- Implied Team Totals: Falcons 24.75, Cowboys 29.25
- Spread/Total Movements: 7 to 4.5, 52 to 54
- Weather: Dome
- Falcons Injuries to Watch: LT Jake Matthews (knee), DE Charles Harris (ankle), CB Kendall Sheffield (foot), WR Julio Jones (hamstring)
- Cowboys Injuries to Watch: LB Leighton Vander Esch (collarbone, IR), LB Sean Lee (hernia, IR), TE Blake Jarwin (ACL, IR), RT Cameron Erving (knee, IR),
- The Falcons are on a four-game ATS winning streak in road contests.
- Atlanta had its four-game ATS winning streak snapped in Week 1.
- The Falcons have played over the total in four of their last five games.
- The Falcons finished -2 in turnover margin and 0-for-4 on fourth-down conversions.
- Matt Ryan could be slinging it plenty again this week with the Falcons entering as 4.5-point underdogs after attempting a league-high 54 attempts last week. Jared Goff averaged 8.9 YPA against the Cowboys last week.
- Julio Jones led the league with 157 receiving yards in Week 1 and he should see a lot of rookie CB Trevon Diggs this week.
- Calvin Ridley has scored 17 or more FP in the nine career games he’s seen eight or more targets in after posting 9/130/2 receiving on 12 targets last week.
- Russell Gage is averaging 7.8 targets per game in 10 games since Mohamed Sanu was traded. Gage excelled in garbage time with 4/60 receiving in Week 1, but he did lead the team in targets (7) and receptions (5) in the first half.
- Hayden Hurst had just a 9.6% target share in Week 1 but he led the league in tight end routes with 45 in Week 1. The Cowboys lost LB Leighton Vander Esch to give Hurst a chance to break out in Week 2.
- Todd Gurley ran fewer routes than Ito Smith (17 to 14) as the Falcons took him off the field with Atlanta losing big in the second half last week. His former backup Malcolm Brown posted 18/79/2 rushing and 3/31 receiving against the Cowboys last season.
- Dallas has the highest implied team total of the week at 29.25 points
- The Cowboys will have fans in the stands this week, but they haven’t revealed a specific number.
- The Cowboys have played over the total in five of their last seven games as a favorite.
- Dak Prescott completed just 10/21 passes for 79 yards (3.8 YPA) in the second half last week. The Rams pressured him on 42.2% of his dropbacks with Terence Steele forced to play RT after Cameron Erving (knee) got hurt. Russell Wilson as the QB1 last week going against the Falcons with 322/4 passing.
- Amari Cooper finished with a promising 10/81 receiving on 14 targets against the Rams last week, and he appeared to be the one player Dak Prescott trusted the most in a one-score game with eight fourth-quarter targets.
- Michael Gallup lost a 47-yard reception late in Sunday night’s game to ruin his night and the Cowboys’ night. Coop and Gallup get juicy spots going against young CBs Isaish Oliver and A.J. Terrell, who allowed a combined 12/180/2 receiving on 14 targets to Seahawks WRs last week.
- Cooper ran just 16% of his routes inside compared to 14% in 2019. Rookie CeeDee Lamb stepped right into Randall Cobb’s old role with 93% of his routes coming out of the slot. He gets the toughest matchup out of these WRs going against Darqueze Dennard this week.
- Ezekiel Elliott is averaging 22.8 touches per game and 117.6 scrimmage yards per game with eight touchdowns in his last five games. Chris Carson caught two touchdown passes against the Falcons last week.
Calvin Ridley (Atl) over 65.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)
Atlanta Falcons +7 (Best Bet)
- > I bet this one Monday morning but I still prefer the Falcons at 4.5
Detroit Lions (0-1, 0-1 ATS) at Green Bay Packers (1-0, 1-0), 1 p.m.
- Implied Team Totals: Lions 21.5, Packers 28
- Spread/Total Movements: 5.5 to 6.5, 47.5 to 49.5
- Weather: 65 degrees, clear, 10-15 mph
- Lions Injuries to Watch: WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), slot CB Justin Coleman (hamstring, IR), CB Desmond Trufant (hamstring), RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (foot)
- Packers Injuries to Watch: RG Lane Taylor (knee, IR), DL Kenny Clark (shin)
- The Lions are riding a six-game ATS win streak against the Packers in this series.
- The Lions are 2-10 ATS in their 12 games, including an 0-5 ATS mark in their last five road games.
- Detroit has played over the total in five of its last six September contests.
- Matthew Stafford is averaging 310.7 passing yards per game in nine contests since the start of 2019. His worst fantasy performance in that stretch came on the road against the Packers when he threw for 265 yards without a touchdown.
- Kenny Golladay (hamstring) will be in a race to play in Week 2. He’s topped 70+ receiving yards in his first four matchups with Green Bay. The Packers defense allowed 6/110/2 receiving to Adam Thielen in the season opener.
- Quintez Cephus finished with a team-high 10 targets (23.8% share) last week with Kenny Golladay out of the lineup, which he turned into just 43 yards (4.3 YPT).
- Marvin Jones disappointed with 4/55 receiving on eight targets with Golladay out of the lineup last week. He has just 3/25/1 receiving in his last two games against the Packers in 2018-19.
- The ancient Adrian Peterson, who the Lions signed a week before the season opener, dominated the touches in this backfield with 17 compared to 13 combined touches for D’Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson.
- T.J. Hockenson played on just 64% of the snaps in Week 1 as the Lions may have been easing him into his role after off-season ankle surgery. He just missed out on a two-touchdown day
- Swift dropped the game-winning, walk-in touchdown in the final minute last week as he finished his first pro game with just 3/8 rushing and 3/15 receiving on five targets. He luckily salvaged his day by scoring on a one-yard run. Swift did lead the backfield in snap share (44%) but both AD (31%) and Johnson (26%) saw enough snaps to make this a gross three-man backfield.
- The Packers won’t have fans in the stands this week.
- The Packers are 5-1 ATS in their last six September contests.
- Green Bay is 4-1 ATS in its last five home games.
- The Packers have played under the total in five of their last seven games as a favorite.
- The Packers averaged the second-most yards per play (6.9) last week with Aaron Rodgers throwing for 364/4 passing against the Vikings last week. The Lions allowed 242/3 passing to Mitch Trubisky last week.
- Davante Adams has 22+ FP in six straight games (playoffs included) and he’s averaging 13.5 targets per game in that span.
- The Lions top three CBs (Desmond Trufant, Jeff Okudah, and Justin Coleman) each could miss this week with hamstring injuries. Adams is going to feast against this banged-up secondary while Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are also in great spots. Lazard ran more routes (38 to 29) while MVS scored more FP (19.6 to 18.2).
- Aaron Jones played 53.8% of the snaps in Week 1 while Jamaal Williams saw 39.7% and A.J. Dillon had just 6.4%. Jones posted 17.6 FPG last week, and he’s got another good chance to score this week going against a vulnerable Lions defense that allowed 5.3 YPC to the Bears last week.
Green Bay Packers -6 (Staff Picks Lean)
Minnesota Vikings (0-1, 0-1 ATS) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1, 0-1), 1 p.m.
- Implied Team Totals: Vikings 22.75, Colts 25.75
- Spread/Total Movements: 46 to 48.5
- Weather: Dome
- Vikings Injuries to Watch: CB Cameron Dantzler (rib), RG Pat Elflein (IR)
- Colts Injuries to Watch: RB Marlon Mack (Achilles, IR), TE Jack Doyle (ankle), DE Justin Houston (calf), WR Michael Pittman (toe), WR Zach Pascal (ankle)
- The Vikings are 2-6 ATS in their last 10 games as an underdog.
- Minnesota has played over the total in five of its last seven road games.
- The Vikings ran a league-low 49 plays in Week 1, but they averaged a league-high 7.8 yards per play, which was aided by garbage-time production.
- Kirk Cousins attempted just five passes for 54 yards in the first half last week, but he ended up with 259/2 passing thanks to garbage-time production against the Packers. Gardner Minshew completed 95% of his passes against the Colts last week, and Mike Zimmer would love it if Cousins threw it just 20 times as Minshew did.
- Adam Thielen is the clear top option in this passing attack after accounting for both TD passes while owning a 42% receiving yards share and a 32% target share. The Colts secondary allowed three TD passes to Jags WRs on just 14 targets.
- Irv Smith ran just 16 routes while Kyle Rudolph ran 15 routes last week on Cousins’ 31 dropbacks.
- Dalvin Cook was extremely lucky last week scoring, scoring two touchdowns and converting a pair of two-point conversions on just 13 touches in Week 1.
- The Colts will have up to 2,500 fans in the stands this week.
- The Colts are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games
- Indy has played over the total in five of its last six September games.
- The Colts have played over the total eight of their last 11 games as a favorite.
- Philip Rivers is 0-5 against Mike Zimmer-coached defenses since 2010, with just four passing TDs and seven INTs. The Vikings allowed 364/4 passing to Aaron Rodgers last week.
- Colts RBs caught 17-of-36 of Rivers’ completions (47.2%) in Week 1. Nyheim Hines saw a 17.4% target share in his first game with Rivers and he saw four red-zone carries and two RZ targets.
- Jonathan Taylor has the potential to be an RB1 for the rest of the season. He saw a promising six targets in Week 1 and he saw 10 carries to Hines’ three carries after Marlon Mack (Achilles’) went down. The Vikings defense allowed 28/139/1 rushing and 9/37 receiving to the Packers backfield last week.
- T.Y. Hilton saw a 19% target share in Week 1 and he ran 90% of his route on the perimeter. Both Cameron Dantzler and Holton Hill allowed 6+ catches, 80+ yards, and a touchdown to Packers’ perimeter WRs last week.
- Parris Campbell saw a 19% target share in Week 1 and he ran 95% of his routes from the slot. Mike Hughes allowed 4/69/1 receiving out of the slot to Packers WRs last week.
Minnesota Vikings +3 (Staff Picks Lean)
Adam Thielen (Min) over 4.5 receptions (Best Bet)
Buffalo Bills (1-0, 1-0 ATS) at Miami Dolphins (0-1, 0-1), 1 p.m.
- Implied Team Totals: Bills 23.5, Dolphins 17.5
- Spread/Total Movements: 43.5 to 41
- Weather: 90 degrees, humid
- Bills Injuries to Watch: MLB Tremaine Edmunds (shoulder, out), WLB Matt Milano (hamstring, out), WR John Brown (foot)
- Dolphins Injuries to Watch: WR DeVante Parker (hamstring), LB Elandon Roberts (concussion), CB Byron Jones (Achilles), CB Xavien Howard (knee)
- Buffalo is 4-2 ATS against Miami in six games under Sean McDermott.
- The Bills are 7-1-2 ATS in their last 10 road games.
- Buffalo is on a four-game ATS winning streak in its last four games as a favorite.
- The Bills have played under the total six of their last seven September contests.
- The Bills played with four WRs at a league-high 29% rate last week.
- Josh Allen threw for 300+ yards for the first time in his career last week. He has finished as a top-eight QB in each of his four matchups against the Dolphins in his career.
- Allen had the second-most dropbacks (53) in Week 1 despite the Bills playing with a big lead for much of the game. Stefon Diggs (52) and John Brown (50) ran the most routes in the league and they combined for 35.6 FP against the Jets. They have much tougher matchups this week on the perimeter against Byron Jones and Xavien Howard
- Devin Singletary and Zack Moss split the carries in this backfield down the middle. Singletary saw seven targets while Moss had all three goal-line carries. The Patriots RBs totaled 153 scrimmage yards last week in a run-centric game plan against the Dolphins.
- The Dolphins will allow up to 13,000 fans to attend this week’s game.
- These teams have played over the total in eight of their last 10 meetings in this series.
- The Dolphins are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a home underdog, and they’ve played over the total in their last four games as a home underdog too.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick is in a tough spot with DeVante Parker (hamstring) potentially unavailable this week against a Bills defense that allowed just 12.2 FP to Sam Darnold last week. Fitz threw for 603 yards against the Bills last season but he had just one TD in those two games.
- Preston Williams will be the go-to perimeter WR if Parker is unable to play but this is a brutal spot against top CB Tre’Davious White. Williams managed 2/41 receiving on seven targets while Stephon Gilmore and company last week.
- Mike Gesicki ran a league-high 78% routes from the slot last week, and the Bills have been susceptible to inside receivers. He managed just 8/59 receiving in two games in this matchup last week but at least the Bills have cluster injuries at linebacker this week.
- Myles Gaskin shockingly played ahead of both Jordan Howard and Matt Breida in the season opener, seeing 25 more snaps than Breida and 30 more snaps than Howard (39 to 14 to 9).
Miami Dolphins +6 (Staff Picks lean)
San Francisco 49ers (0-1, 0-1 ATS) at New York Jets (0-1, 0-1), 1 p.m.
- Implied Team Totals: 49ers 24.25, Jets 17.25
- Spread/Total Movements: 7 to 6.5, 43.5 to 41.5
- Weather: 60 degrees, clear, 10 mph
- 49ers Injuries to Watch: TE George Kittle (knee), WR Deebo Samuel (foot, IR), CB Richard Sherman (calf, IR), CB Ahkello Witherspoon (concussion), DL Dee Ford (neck), CB Jason Verrett (hamstring), WR Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring)
- Jets Injuries to Watch: RB Le’Veon Bell (hamstring, IR), RB La’Mical Perine (ankle), WR Jamison Crowder (hamstring, out), LB Avery Williamson (hamstring)
- The 49ers are 3-1-1 toward unders in their last five games.
- San Fran is 0-4-1 ATS in its last five games against teams with losing records.
- With an ailing group of WRs and TEs, Jimmy Garoppolo targeted his RBs 44% of the time last week. Mostert caught four passes in Week 1 after catching just 14 passes all of last season.
- Raheem Mostert owned the backfield with a 60% snap share compared to a 31% share for Jerick McKinnon and a 10% share for Tevin Coleman. McKinnon did run 14 routes compared to Mostert’s 17 routes. The Jets held the Bills RB to 2.3 YPC last week (18/41 rushing) but they allowed 8/39/1 receiving.
- George Kittle gave us an injury scare when he had his knee hyperextended on a first-half target last week. He still played a near full allotment of snaps (98%), but he wasn’t featured as a receiver (or as a runner) in the second half even with the 49ers trailing at points. His status is up in the air this week.
- The 49ers are still hurting at WR after Kendrick Bourne led the group with 2/34 receiving in Week 1. San Fran was desperate enough to bring in Mohamed Sanu for help until Deebo Samuel (foot) and Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) are ready to play. The Jets did give up 23/247/1 receiving to the Bills WRs last week
- The Jets won’t have fans in the stands this week.
- New York has the second-lowest implied team total at 17.25 points.
- The Jets had a four-game ATS winning streak as an underdog snapped last week
- New York is 1-6 ATS in its last seven September contests.
- The Jets are 4-1 toward unders in their last five home games.
- New York has played under the total in five of its last seven games.
- Sam Darnold’s difficult opening slate continues with a matchup with the 49ers this week. San Fran limited Kyler Murray to 5.8 YPA last week and the 49ers allowed the fifth-fewest YPA (5.6) last season.
- Breshad Perriman was the only WR in the league to run a route on every dropback last week, which tells you how dumb Adam Gase is after Perriman missed several weeks to knee swelling in training camp. His matchup is improved this week against a 49ers defense that will be without Richard Sherman (calf).
- Jamison Crowder destroyed the Bills inside again, posting 7/115/1 receiving on 13 targets. He’ll get a tougher matchup against K’Waun Williams this week, who allowed just 2/9 receiving out of the slot last week against the Cardinals. Unfortunately, he was ruled out Friday morning, which means Braxton Berrios will play in the slot this week.
- Chris Herndon should see a post from Crowder’s absence. Herndon ran a route on a disappointing 53.7% of Sam Darnold’s dropbacks last week (22 of 41), but he did see a target on nearly a third of his route with seven looks against a tough Bills defense. He’ll now face a 49ers defense that allowed the fifth-fewest FPG (9.76) to TEs last season, and they didn’t allow a catch to a Cardinals TE (do they have one?).
New York Jets +7 (Staff Picks lean)
Los Angeles Rams (1-0, 1-0 ATS) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-1, 0-1), 1 p.m.
- Implied Team Totals: Rams 22.75, Eagles 22.75
- Spread/Total Movements: Eagles -2.5 to Rams -1.5 to pick-em, 48.5 to 45.5
- Weather: 60 degrees, clear, 10 mph
- Rams Injuries to Watch: TE Gerald Everett (back)
- Eagles Injuries to Watch: RT Lane Johnson (ankle), DE Brandon Graham (concussion), DT Javon Hargrave (hamstring), WR Alshon Jeffery (foot)
- The Rams are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games.
- Los Angeles is 4-1 ATS in its last five September contests.
- The Rams have played under the total in eight of their last 10 games.
- Jared Goff and Carson Wentz went first and second in the 2016 draft. They’ve combined for 66 career wins, which is the most for QBs that went 1-2 in the draft through five years in the league.
- Goff averaged 8.9 YPA and he totaled 275 yards last week but he failed to throw for a TD against the Cowboys. Philly will look to get Goff off his spot after pressuring Dwayne Haskins on 38.9% of his dropbacks last week.
- In their last eight games together, Robert Woods is averaging 10.9 targets per game compared to Cooper Kupp’s 6.1 targets per game. Woods gets the tougher matchup against Darius Slay this week, who allowed 2/28 receiving on three targets to Terry McLaurin last week. Kupp gets a matchup against his former teammate Nickell Robey-Coleman, who he surely had some battles with last year in practice.
- Tyler Higbee ran routes on just 64.7% of Jared Goff’s dropbacks last week, and he had a target share of 11.7%. Logan Thomas went for 4/37/1 receiving on eight targets against the Eagles last week.
- Sean McVay rode the hot hand by giving Malcolm Brown 60% of the snaps, which he turned into 18/79/2 rushing and 3/31 receiving on four targets. Cam Akers got the start but he failed to make an impression in his first professional action, finishing with 14/39 rushing while catching his only target for four yards on a 33% snap share. The Eagles allowed two rushing TDs last week to Peyton Barber, but they remained stout against the run overall, allowing just 3.7 YPC
- The Eagles won’t have fans in the stands this week.
- The Eagles are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games.
- Philadelphia is 1-7 ATS in its last eight September contests, and they’ve played over the total in five of their last six September games.
- The Eagles have played under the total in four of their last five games as an underdog.
- Carson Wentz led the league with a 12.0 average intended air yards against the Football Team last week. HC Doug Pederson nearly got him killed with his downfield game plan as his QB absorbed eight sacks. The Rams D-line caused havoc for Dak Prescott last week but the Eagles are expected to have Lane Johnson back at RT.
- The Eagles didn’t have a single receiver reach a 60% snap share as their five receivers played between 40% and 59% of the snaps. Jalen Reagor and DeSean Jackson each ran 30 routes and they combined for 3/101 receiving on 11 targets.
- Dallas Goedert finished as the TE1 last week with 8/101/1 receiving while Zach Ertz disappointed with just 3/17 on seven targets but he at least scored a touchdown. It wouldn’t be surprising if Ertz is a little more involved this week if the Eagles go with more of a quick-passing attack after Wentz absorbed eight sacks last week.
- Miles Sanders is fully expected to return this week off of his hamstring injury, and the Eagles may ease him into his first action after missing the last month. The Rams allowed 96/1 rushing and 3/31/1 receiving to Ezekiel Elliott last week.
Philadelphia Eagles +1.5 (Best Bet)
DeSean Jackson (Phi) over 40.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)
Zach Ertz (Phi) over 4.5 receptions (Best Bet)
Denver Broncos (0-1, 1-0 ATS) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0, 1-0), 1 p.m.
- Implied Team Totals: Broncos 16.5, Steelers 24
- Spread/Total Movements: 6.5 to 7.5, 41 to 40.5
- Weather: 60 degrees, clear, 5 mph
- Broncos Injuries to Watch: WR Courtland Sutton (shoulder), CB A.J. Bouye (shoulder, IR), RB Phillip Lindsay (foot), LT Garrett Bolles (elbow)
- Steelers Injuries to Watch: RB James Conner (ankle), RT Zach Banner (ACL, IR), RG Stefen Wisniewski (pec)
- Denver has the lowest implied team total this week at 16.5 points.
- The Broncos are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games as an underdog.
- Denver is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games overall.
- The Broncos are 9-3-1 toward under totals in their last 13 games.
- Denver has lost six straight games in September.
- Melvin Gordon will be the bell-cow back with Phillip Lindsay expected to miss the next couple weeks with a turf toe injury. Gordon totaled 18/86 scrimmage in Week One, with 10/53 scrimmage coming in the second half after Lindsay left the game. The Steelers suffocated Saquon Barkley in zWeek 1 by allowing just six rushing yards on 15 carries, but he did scratch out 6/60 receiving on nine targets.
- Drew Lock averaged 6.5 YPA in the first game of his second season after averaging 6.5 YPA in five games as a rookie. Another second-year QB Daniel Jones scratched out 249/2 passing against the Steelers last week.
- Jerry Jeudy led the Broncos in targets (8) in his first professional game with Courtland Sutton (shoulder) out of the lineup.
- Sutton averaged just 12.4 FPG in his five games with Lock last season. The Steelers secondary struggled against big X receiver Darius Slayton last week, allowing 6/102/2 receiving.
- Noah Fant tore up the Titans with 5/81 receiving on five targets in the first half last week, but he went catchless on one target in a close game in the second half. The Steelers frustrated Evan Engram in Week 1 as the tight end finished with just 2/7 receiving on seven targets.
- The Steelers won’t have fans in the stands this week.
- The Steelers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games.
- Pittsburgh has played under the total in five of its last six games as a favorite.
- The Steelers have played under the total in four of their last five games.
- Pittsburgh scored more points last week (26) than they did in each of its last eight games last season.
- Ben Roethlisberger didn’t show much rust in his first game back off of elbow surgery as he threw for three TDs while averaging 7.2 YPA. The Steelers did lose the right side of their offensive line in Week 1.
- Diontae Johnson led the team with nine targets and a 30% air yards share despite an uneven opening game to start his second season. Top CB A.J. Bouye (shoulder) will miss this week, and the Broncos just allowed 7/101 receiving to Corey Davis.
- James Conner had just six carries for nine yards before he went down with his ankle injury. Benny Snell, who came into training camp in much better shape, came in and averaged 5.9 YPC as the lead runner after Conner went out. Snell is expected to have a positive game script this week as 7.5-point favorites, which is big since Jaylen Samuel ran 19 routes as the passing back after Conner left. The Broncos run defense limited Derrick Henry to 3.7 YPC last week on 31 carries. Conner, a bit surprisingly, has been a full participant in practice this week so we could see a two-headed attack this week.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster ran a route on each of Big Ben’s 36 dropbacks in Week 1, and he turned his six targets into 6/69/2 receiving. Titans slot WR Adam Humphries posted 6/47 receiving against the Broncos last week.
- Eric Ebron caught just an 18-yard pass on two targets last week. Both of the touchdowns the Broncos allowed came against TEs last week.
Denver Broncos +7.5 (Staff Picks lean)
Diontae Johnson (Pit) over 56.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)
James Conner (Pit) under 49.5 rushing yards (Best Bet)
Carolina Panthers (0-1, 0-1 ATS) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1, 0-1), 1 p.m.
- Implied Team Totals: Panthers 19.5, Buccaneers 28
- Spread/Total Movements: 9 to 8.5, 49.5 to 47.5
- Weather: 88 degrees, humid, 15 mph
- Panthers Injuries to Watch: DE Yetur Gross-Matos (concussion), DT Kawann Short (foot),
- Buccaneers Injuries to Watch: WR Chris Godwin (concussion), WR Mike Evans (hamstring), LT Donovan Smith (knee)
- The Panthers are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six games.
- Carolina has over the total in six of its last seven games.
- Christian McCaffrey had his lowest receiving fantasy output (6.8 FP) last week since Week 2 of last season. He still ran a position-best 34 routes last week. Todd Bowles and the Bucs defense held CMC to under 60 scrimmage yards in both games last year — they were the only team to hold him under the mark.
- Teddy Bridgewater averaged an efficient 7.9 YPA and he attempted a pass 15+ yards downfield on 9-of-34 of his attempts (26.5%). The Bucs limited his former teammate Drew Brees to 5.3 YPA and 160 passing yards in Week 1.
- D.J. Moore saw a team-high 26.4% target share in Week 1, including three deep balls and two end-zone targets. He totaled 16/162 receiving against the Bucs last season.
- Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel each saw eight targets last week with Anderson turning his looks into 6/115/1 receiving and Samuel posting just 5/38. Samuel’s aDOT sat at 8.6 yards while Anderson’s sat at 11.8 yards as Samuel settled into his slot role.
- The Buccaneers won’t have fans in the stands this week.
- The Buccaneers are 2-5 ATS in their last seven September games.
- Tampa is 3-8-2 ATS in its last 13 games overall.
- The Buccaneers have played over the total in 13 of their last 16 games.
- Tom Brady became the first quarterback since 2013 to throw a pick-six in three consecutive games, joining his backup Blaine Gabbert and Matt Schaub as the last QBs to do it.
- Brady averaged 6.6 YPA in Week 1, and he also averaged 6.6 YPA last season in New England, which was a 17-year low for Brady.
- Mike Evans managed just a seven-yard touchdown reception on four targets against the Saints in Week 1 as he battled through his hamstring injury and a tough matchup with his nemesis Marshon Lattimore. Evans did at least draw two pass interference calls downfield, which resulted in 67 penalty yards.
- Bruce Arians said he wished he had moved Evans around more last week, adding that he “feels bad” when Evans receives fewer than 10 targets. Evans hasn’t scored against the Panthers in his last six games.
- Evans may have to be more active this week after Chris Godwin showed concussion symptoms on Wednesday. He torched the Panthers for 18/272/2 receiving in two games last season.
- Rob Gronkowski played 77% of the snaps, he ran 21 routes, and he saw three targets in Week 1 while O.J. Howard saw 53% of the snaps, he ran 19 routes, and he saw six targets.
- Ronald Jones led the Buccaneers backfield in work, which wasn’t unexpected since Leonard Fournette had just a few days of practice to get on the same page in a new offense. Jones played 47% of the snaps while LeSean McCoy actually finished second in snap share (36%), but he was used exclusively as a pass blocker as he saw just one opportunity. Fournette saw just 13% of the snaps, but he turned his six opportunities into 19 yards.
- The Panthers just allowed three touchdowns to Josh Jacobs last week, and they’ve now allowed multiple rushing TDs in six straight games.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -8.5 (Staff Picks lean)
Tom Brady (TB) under 277.5 passing yards (Best Bet)
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0, 1-0 ATS) at Tennessee Titans (1-0, 0-1), 1 p.m.
- Implied Team Totals: Jaguars 18.25, Titans 25.75
- Spread/Total Movements: 9.5 to 7.5, 43 to 44
- Weather: 71 degrees, clear, 5 mph
- Jaguars Injuries to Watch: DE Josh Allen (calf),
- Titans Injuries to Watch: WR A.J. Brown (knee, doubtful), WR Corey Davis (hamstring), RB Darrynton Evans (hamstring), CB Malcolm Butler (quad), LT Taylor Lewan (illness)
- The Jaguars are on a four-game ATS winning streak in September contests.
- Jacksonville is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games overall.
- The Jaguars have played over the total in seven of its last 10 games as an underdog.
- UDFA James Robinson saw the highest snap share (68%) of any rookie RB last week, and he saw every one of the Jaguars’ RB carries in Week 1. Derrick Henry, his Week 2 opponent, was the only other back to get every RB carry in Week 1. Chris Thompson ran just 11 routes compared to Robinson’s 12 routes, but this week’s game script is expected to work in Thompson’s favor with the Jaguars entering as big underdogs.
- Gardner Minshew completed all but one of his 20 passes last week while throwing for three touchdowns. He threw for 204 yards and two touchdowns against the Titans early last season.
- D.J. Chark scored a touchdown last week but he had an otherwise forgettable first game with Minshew attempting just 20 passes. Chark has now finished with fewer than 50 yards in five of his last six games that Minshew has played in.
- The Jaguars made Dede Westbrook a healthy scratch last week, signaling that Laviska Shenault could be ready for a big role in this offense this season. He started alongside Chark and Keelan Cole, and the rookie finished with 3/37/1 receiving on four targets. He even received two carries for 10 yards with the Jaguars featuring Shenault as the Wildcat QB.
- The Titans won’t have fans in the stands this week.
- Tennessee is 5-1 ATS in its last six meetings against Jacksonville in this series.
- The Titans 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games.
- Tennessee is 5-2 ATS in its last seven September games.
- The Titans have played over the total in five of their last six home games.
- The Jaguars were the only team not to force a punt in Week 2.
- Derrick Henry reached 100+ rushing yards even with Ryan Tannehill attempting 43 passes, which was more than he attempted in a game all of last season. Henry ran a career-high 22 routes. The Jaguars limited Colts RBs to 3.8 YPC last week, but Henry figures to get his volume this week in a positive game script as nine-point favorites.
- Tannehill averaged just 5.8 YPA last week, but he’ll get a friendly matchup against a Jaguars defense that allowed Philip Rivers to throw for 363 yards last week. Tannehill torched the Jags for 259/2 passing with a 14.4 YPA and he added 40/2 rushing.
- Tannehill just overthrew an open A.J. Brown for the potential game-winning TD last week. Brown has just 10/103 receiving in his last four games dating back to the playoffs last season. The second-year WR blew up the Jags for 4/135/1 receiving the last time these teams played.
- Corey Davis saw a 20% target share and he cleared 100+ receiving yards last week. He now has 12/166 receiving with 15 targets in his last two games with Tannehill.
- Jonnu Smith reached seven targets last week for just the third time in his career, and he turned those looks into 4/36/1 receiving. Smith didn’t have a target in his last game against the Jaguars, who gave up 5/69 receiving last week to the Colts.
Jacksonville Jaguars +9 (Staff Picks lean)
Gardner Minshew (Jax) over 20.5 completions (Best Bet)
Jonnu Smith (Ten) over 37.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)
Late Afternoon Games
Washington Football Team (1-0, 1-0 ATS) at Arizona Cardinals (1-0, 1-0), 4:05 p.m.
- Implied Team Totals: Washington 19.75, Cardinals 26.75
- Spread/Total Movements: 6.5 to 7, 46.5 to 47.5
- Weather: Dome
- Washington Injuries to Watch: None of note.
- Cardinals Injuries to Watch: C Mason Cole (hamstring), TE Maxx Williams (ankle)
- The Football Team has played over the total in four straight games.
- Ron Rivera was the only new head coach to win straight up and against the spread in Week 1.
- Peyton Barber saw a league-high six goal-line carries in Week 1, J.D. McKissic saw a 16% target share, and Antonio Gibson didn’t play on a single third down. We were hoping for a bigger role for Gibson in his first game but the Football Team is going to ease him into a bigger role this season. The Cardinals allowed a league-high 267 scrimmage yards and two TDs to 49ers RBs last week.
- Dwayne Haskins posted just 178/1 passing after averaging 175.0/1.0 passing per game in his seven starts last season.
- Terry McLaurin posted an acceptable 5/61 receiving on seven targets against Darius Slay and the Eagles. The Cardinals secondary wasn’t tested last week by the 49ers WRs as Kendrick Bourne finished led the San Fran WRs with 2/34 receiving.
- Logan Thomas saw a 25% target share and he finished as the TE7 last week. Our Greg Cosell said LB/S Isaiah Simmons struggled in his first professional game, and the Cardinals easily allowed the most FPG (19.4) last season.
- The Cardinals won’t have fans in the stands this week.
- The Cardinals are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four games.
- Arizona has played under the total in five of its last seven games as a favorite.
- The Cardinals took a page from the 49ers playbook last week and dominated the ball by running 78 plays to just 61 for San Fran.
- Kyler Murray averaged just 6.9 YPA with a limited cast as a rookie last season, and he opened his 2020 campaign by averaging 5.8 YPA. He made up for his passing woes by leading all QBs with 13/91/1 rushing in Week 1. He actually had 100 rushing yards on the nose before he lost nine yards on two kneel-downs at the end of the game.
- DeAndre Hopkins saw a ludicrous 40% target share in his first game in the cardinal and white, which he turned into 14/151 receiving against a nasty 49ers defense in Week 1. San Francisco allowed more than 29.1 FP (Hopkin’s Week 1 total) to just two opposing WRs all of last season — Julio Jones and Michael Thomas topped the mark.
- Hopkins tripled up the next closest WRs in targets in Week 1 as Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald, and Chase Edmonds each saw five looks in Week 1. It already looks like Hopkins could be as big a ball-hog as he was in Houston — he’s seen 150+ targets in five straight seasons.
- Edmonds saw five targets compared to Kenyan Drake’s two targets in Week 1, but Drake led the backfield with 18 touches to nine in Week 1. Washington allowed a league-low 11.6 FP to Eagles backs last week, but they were playing without Miles Sanders. The Cardinals are projected to have a positive game script as nearly touchdown favorites.
Washington Football Team +6.5 (Staff Picks lean)
Logan Thomas (Was) over 29.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)
Baltimore Ravens (1-0, 1-0 ATS) at Houston Texans (0-, 0-1), 4:25 p.m.
- Implied Team Totals: Ravens 28.5, Texans 21.5
- Spread/Total Movements: 6.5 to 7, 52.5 to 50
- Weather: Dome
- Ravens Injuries to Watch: LT Ronnie Stanley (hip), CB Jimmy Smith (hip)
- Texans Injuries to Watch: RB Duke Johnson (ankle), WR Brandin Cooks (quad), DE J.J. Watt (hip)
- Baltimore has the second-highest implied team total this week at 28.5 points.
- The Ravens are riding a four-game ATS winning streak as a road favorite, and they’re 5-0 ATS in their last five road games.
- Baltimore is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games.
- The Ravens have played under the total in five of their last six games as a favorite.
- Lamar Jackson has 27 passing TDs with one INT in his last eight regular-season games. No other player in NFL history has thrown for 27+ TDs and with one or fewer INTs in any eight-game span. Lamar threw for four TDs on just 24 passes against the Texans last year, and Patrick Mahomes threw for three TDs against Houston last week.
- Mark Andrews ran a route on 90% of Jackson’s dropbacks last week and he turned his six targets into 5/58/2 receiving. Travis Kelce caught all six of his targets for 50/1 receiving last week.
- Hollywood Brown posted an effortless 5/101 receiving on six targets last week against the Browns. Another speedster Tyreek Hill slightly disappointed with 5/46/1 receiving against the Texans last week.
- J.K. Dobbins led the Ravens backfield in snap share in Week 1 with 39% compared to Mark Ingram’s 36% and Gus Edwards’ 25%. Dobbins scored two touchdowns on the team’s two goal-line carries last week while Ingram led the backfield with 10 touches. The Chiefs pummeled the Texans with their rushing attack last week with a league-high 163 RB rushing yards last week, which is trouble going against the Ravens this week.
- The Texans won’t have fans in the stands this week.
- The Texans 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games
- Houston is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 home games.
- The Texans have played over the total in four of their last five games as an underdog.
- The Texans went 5-0 after losses last season with Deshaun Watson throwing for 12 combined TDs in those contests. He squeaked into the top-12 of the position last week with some garbage-time production. Watson struggled mightily in this matchup last year, posting just 169 passing and 12 rushing yards without a touchdown in a 41-7 loss.
- Will Fuller stepped into DeAndre Hopkins’ old role as the #1 WR with a 31% target share and 50% air yards share. Fuller finished with 8/112 receiving on 10 targets while off-season additions Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb combined for just 4/43 receiving on eight targets. Cleveland WRs combined for just 10/104 receiving in the season opener against the Ravens, including just 3/22 receiving on 10 targets from Odell Beckham.
- David Johnson played on 81% of the snaps last week thanks to Duke Johnson’s ankle injury, who is on track to play in Week 2. David Johnson looked spry last week by posting 3/32 receiving, and he could be active in the passing game this week since the Texans enter as touchdown underdogs.
- Jordan Akins made two impressive plays last week, which included a touchdown on a seams route. The Ravens did give up 6/70/1 receiving to the Browns TEs last week.
Baltimore Ravens -7 (Staff Picks lean)
Marquise Brown (Bal) over 51.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)
Kansas City Chiefs (1-0, 1-0 ATS) at Los Angeles Chargers (1-0, 1-0), 4:25 p.m.
- Implied Team Totals: Chiefs 28.25, Chargers 19.25
- Spread/Total Movements: 7.5 to 8.5, 48 to 47.5
- Weather: Dome
- Chiefs Injuries to Watch: CB Charvarius Ward (hand)
- Chargers Injuries to Watch: C Mike Pouncey (hip, IR), DE Joey Bosa (triceps), RB Justin Jackson (quad)
- Kansas City owns an incredible 27-3 record against its AFC West counterparts over the last five years, which is the best five-year stretch for any team against their division opponents since the NFL realigned divisions in 2002.
- The Chiefs have a seven-game ATS win streak in Los Angeles/San Diego. They’re also 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven meetings with the Chargers in this series.
- The Chiefs are 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 games.
- The Chiefs are 11-1 ATS in their 12 games in September.
- Kansas City has played over the total in seven of its last eight September contests.
- The Chiefs have played over the total in four of their last five games.
- Patrick Mahomes needs 377 passing yards to become the fastest QB to reach 10,000 career passing yards in just his 33rd game. Kurt Warner holds the record by doing it in 36 games. Mahomes has never topped 260 passing yards against the Chargers in four games so he might have to wait a week to get that record.
- We pumped up Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s receiving ability this summer but the first-round pick dazzled as a runner in Week 1 by posting 25/138/1 rushing. He didn’t catch a pass in Week 1 but he still ran seven more routes than Darrel Williams (17 to 10). The Chargers limited Joe Mixon to 19/69 rushing (3.6 YPC) so they could get CEH more involved as a passer this week.
- Travis Kelce dominates just about every team, but the Chargers have been able to contain him with just one TD allowed in 12 games. That touchdown did come last year in his first real blow-up spot against this defense with 7/92/1 receiving.
- Tyreek Hill also struggled a bit against the Chargers last season with just 4/61 receiving on five targets in his only full game against LA last season.
- Sammy Watkins played on 80% of the snaps last week compared to 48% for Demarcus Robinson and 29% for Mecole Hardman. Watkins managed just 3/34 receiving on six targets against the Chargers last season.
- The Chargers won’t have fans in the stands this week.
- The Chargers are 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games.
- Los Angeles is 7-3-2 ATS in its last 12 games as an underdog.
- The Chargers are 3-8-2 ATS in their last 13 September games.
- Los Angeles has played under the total in six of its last seven home games.
- Austin Ekeler saw a career-high 19 carries in Week 1 but he saw just one target in his first game without Philip Rivers. Ekeler at least still ran 22 routes but Tyrod Taylor targeted his RBs just 3.5% of the time. Joshua Kelley also received both goal-line carries in Week 1. This week’s negative game script could help him get more involved as a receiver but we can’t expect last year’s usage.
- Tyrod Taylor ran for just seven yards and he didn’t throw for a TD last week. This week’s negative game script should open things up for this passing attack but his lack of scrambling last week is a major concern.
- Keenan Allen is going to miss Rivers this season as he had just 4/37 receiving on eight targets last week. Tyrod seemed much more comfortable targeting Mike Williams downfield in Week 1, who saw 4/69 receiving on nine targets.
- Hunter Henry outproduced both Allen and Williams by posting 5/73 receiving on eight targets in the season opener against the Bengals. Henry finished with 11/111/1 receiving in his two games against the Chargers last season.
Kansas City Chiefs -8.5 (Best Bet)
Sunday Night Football
New England Patriots (1-0, 1-0 ATS) at Seattle Seahawks (1-0, 1-0), 8:20 p.m.
- Implied Team Totals: Patriots 20.5, Seahawks 24.5
- Spread/Total Movements: 45.5 to 44.5
- Weather: 68 degrees, mostly cloudy, light winds
- Patriots Injuries to Watch: WR Julian Edelman (knee), WR N’Keal Harry (shoulder), LB Brandon Copeland (knee),
- Seahawks Injuries to Watch: LT Duane Brown (knee), WR Phillip Dorsett (foot)
- The Patriots are underdogs for just the second time since 2016.
- The Patriots are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games.
- New England is 2-5-1 ATS in its last eight games overall.
- The Patriots have played under the total in six of their last seven September games.
- New England easily ran the ball at the league’s highest rate in Week 1 at 66.7% of the time, and the Patriots called a run or used play-action 82.5% of the time last week.
- Cam Newton joined Tim Tebow (2011) and Lamar Jackson (2018) as the only QBs to have 15 or more rushing attempts and fewer than 20 pass attempts in a game over the last decade. Cam is going to have to throw a little more this week in a much tougher road matchup that projects to have the Patriots chasing points.
- Julian Edelman continued to lead this receiving corps last week with 5/57 receiving on seven targets (36.8% target share), and he even got involved in the rushing attack with a 23-yard carry. Atlanta’s WRs combined for 12/179/1 receiving out of the slot last week while playing in extreme catch-up mode last week.
- N’Keal Harry may also be more involved this week after he fumbled a potential touchdown through the end zone last week. He finished with 5/39 receiving on six targets (31.6% targets share), which was a new career-best receiving line.
- No Patriots back saw more than a 30% snap share in Week 1 with James White, Sony Michel, and Rex Burkhead each seeing 29.7% of the snaps. Sony Michel scored on a goal-line carry last week while James White turned his eight opportunities into 52 yards. White should get more opportunities than his three targets last week with a tougher matchup this week.
- The Seahawks won’t have fans in the stands in Week 2.
- The Seahawks are 2-7 ATS in their last nine home games.
- Pete Carroll (69 years old) and Bill Belichick (68) will be the oldest head-coaching matchup in NFL history.
- The Seahawks came out slinging the rock against the Falcons with Russell Wilson finishing with 322/4 passing and 29 rushing yards. The 20 rush attempts the Seahawks had were the fewest of any game under Pete Carroll in which the Seahawks won by nine or more points.
- Chris Carson played 28 snaps compared to Carlos Hyde’s 21 snaps. He actually caught two passes last week, which matched his entire 2019 receiving TD total. Carson’s snaps should continue to rise since he was in his first game after hip surgery this off-season. The Patriots allowed just 3.1 YPC against the Dolphins last week but slowing down this Seattle rushing attack will be a little more difficult.
- D.K. Metcalf posted 4/95/1 receiving on eight targets in an easy matchup to start his second season, but he’ll have a much tougher matchup against Stephon Gilmore this week.
- Tyler Lockett caught all eight of his targets for 92 yards after catching 77.2% of his targets in 2018-19. He’ll get the easier matchup in the slot against Jonathan Jones, but there isn’t an easy matchup against this Patriots secondary.
New England Patriots +4 (Staff Picks lean)
Damiere Byrd (NE) under 34.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)