Welcome to Tom Brolley’s Best Bets. This will be the main hub for my favorite NFL bets throughout the season. I will give my favorite spread, player prop, and total bets every week during the season through the Super Bowl. Starting Monday mornings, be sure to check back regularly before kickoff to see what wagers I have lined up for the week ahead.
Best Bets ATS Record: 4-7 (36.3%, -3.38 units); W2: 2-4
Overall ATS Record: 17-13-1 (56.7%); W2: 8-7
Totals Record: 1-1 (50%, -.09 units); W2: —
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-5.5, BETMGM) VS. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
I wouldn’t be betting this number if the Raiders weren’t in such a brutal spot this week. They’re coming off an emotional comeback victory in overtime over the Ravens on Monday Night Football in their first game in front of their fans in Las Vegas. The Raiders now have to fly across the country on short rest to take on a Steelers’ defense that looked in mid-season form in Week 1.The Steelers aren’t going to be bringing zero blitzes every play like the Ravens seemingly did at the end of MNF, which Derek Carr carved up. In fact, the Steelers suffocated Josh Allen last with three sacks and a 41% pressure rate all while blitzing just once on 56 dropbacks. The Raiders will be without OG Denzelle Good (knee, IR) and OG Richie Incognito (calf) so their revamped offensive line will be tested again this week. The Steelers offense needs to kick it into gear but this is a defense they should find some success against. I like this line up to -6 if it continues to tick north. Risk one unit at -110 to win .91 units. (Posted 9/16)
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (+3.5, FANDUEL) VS. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
The NFL is coming off a historic week with a record 12 underdogs covering spreads in Week 1, and I’m sticking with some dogs this week, including the Eagles who treated me right last week. The Eagles are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games, and they’ve covered five straight games as a home underdog. The 49ers lost CB Jason Verrett (ACL) and RB Raheem Mostert (knee) to season-ending injuries, and they’ll be playing their second straight road game in the Eastern time zone. Philadelphia is stepping up in class after they easily handled the Falcons a week ago, but the Eagles are healthy and can keep this one competitive with offensive and defensive lines. This line is starting to touch +3 at some sportsbooks so I’m going to grab the hook just in case this line settles at +3, but I believe this line will move back and forth between +3 and +3.5 up to kickoff. Risk one unit at -110 to win .91 units. (Posted 9/15)
CAROLINA PANTHERS (+4.5, FANDUEL) VS. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The Saints had the most impressive victory in Week 1 but I’m pinning most of that result on an absolute no-show from the Packer. New Orleans also left its season-opening victory a little worse for wear without three major contributors CB Marshon Lattimore (thumb) DE Marcus Davenport (pec), and C Erik McCoy (calf) out for this week. The Saints have some of the worst depth in the league and it will be tested this week against a Panthers squad that dominated at home last week against the Jets. FanDuel still had +4.5 as of late Tuesday morning with the rest of the market mostly at +4s. I still like +4s and +3.5s this week because I think this line will get down to +3 by the end of the week. Risk one unit at -118 to win .85 units. (Posted 9/14)
MIAMI DOLPHINS (+3.5, FANDUEL) VS. BUFFALO BILLS
This line seems like a bit of an underreaction to what happened in Week 1, which almost never seems to happen. The Dolphins went on the road and beat the Patriots as 3.5-point underdogs and they saw a steady stream of money come against them before kickoff. Meanwhile, the Bills managed just 16 points in a seven-point loss to the Steelers as 6.5-point home favorites, with Pittsburgh pressuring Josh Allen 19 times. The Bills destroyed the Dolphins 56-26 in last season’s at Orchard Park but the Dolphins covered as 5.5-point underdogs back in September in a 31-28 loss with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. The Dolphins will be getting more offensive firepower with Will Fuller returning to the lineup to help them keep pace with the Bills. I have the Bills projected more as two-point road favorites this week so I’ll take the key number of three with a hook in this one. Risk one unit at -110 to win .91 units. (Posted 9/13)
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-4, BETMGM) AT NEW YORK JETS
The Jets played poorly in their season opener against the Panthers but a pair of late touchdowns covered up some of the stench in their 19-14 loss. Zach Wilson was already under enough pressure in Week 1, and he’ll be without his best offensive lineman with LT Mekhi Becton spraining his MCL late in the season opener. The Patriots could also be without their left tackle Trent Brown after he suffered a calf injury in Week 1, but the Patriots have much better offensive line depth to absorb the injury. The Patriots dropped a disappointing 17-16 decision to the Dolphins as 3.5-point home favorites, but a Damien Harris fumble inside the Dolphins 10-yard line with under four minutes left flipped the potential result. The Patriots are the superior team and I wouldn’t be surprised if this line moves into the six-point range by the end of the week so I’ll take the line value now. Risk one unit at -110 to win .91 units. (Posted 9/13)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-2.5, BETMGM) AT BALTIMORE RAVENS
The Ravens are in a brutal spot this week with a showdown coming against the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football after playing on Monday Night Football in Las Vegas. The Ravens have been ravaged by injuries early in the season, including at cornerback with Marcus Peters tearing his ACL before Week 1. The Chiefs will look to test their CB depth this week with Tyreek Hill, and Patrick Mahomes typically thrives against the blitz and against man coverage, which the Ravens will deploy this week. The Chiefs have won and covered in their meetings the last two seasons, including a lopsided 34-20 affair in which the Chiefs entered Baltimore as 3.5-point underdogs. I wouldn’t be surprised if this line moves -3.5 this week if the Ravens look pedestrian and fail to cover in Las Vegas. Snatch up -2.5s while you can before this line moves to a field goal or more (I’d still take -3s this week). Risk one unit at -115 to win .87 units. (Posted 9/13)
Player Props Record: 20-16 (55.6%, +3.13 units); W2: 7-8 (-1.1 unit)
All one-unit wagers unless otherwise noted.
Kenny Golladay (NYG) over 51.5 receiving yards (-115, BetMGM) (L)
- Jones started to show some trust in Golladay with 3/47 receiving in the second half after limited preseason work. Finished with a 16.3 aDOT and Mike Williams went for 8/82 in this matchup last week.
Chase Claypool (Pit) over 44.5 receiving yards (-115, Caesars) (W)
- Fares well against Cover 3 per Wes Huber, has cleared 44.5 yards in five straight games and in 9 of last 11.
Derek Carr (LV) over 35.5 pass attempts (-120, DraftKings) (W)
- No Jacobs, projected pass-heavy script as touchdown road underdogs
Nick Chubb (Cle) over 100.5 rushing + receiving yards (-115, DraftKings) (L)
- 100+ scrimmage yards in seven of his last nine games, 126/1 rushing against the Texans last season.
Jonathan Taylor (Ind) over 79.5 rushing + receiving yards (-115, DraftKings) (L)
- Seven targets last week and 116 scrimmage yards, Montgomery went for 108/1 rushing in this matchup last week.
Robert Woods (LAR) under 5.5 receptions (-110, Caesars) (W)
- Troublesome rotation last week. Ran five fewer routes than Jefferson (23 to 18) with DeSean Jackson rotating in for 10 routes.
Myles Gaskin (Mia) over 3.5 receptions (+130, Caesars) (W)
- Gaskin is averaging 4.2 catches/game in 2020-21, 4+ catches in both matchups last season.
Jakobi Meyers (NE) over 4.5 receptions (+115, Caesars) (L)
- Ran most routes despite being slot WR, posted 18 catches in two games against the Jets last year.
Jonnu Smith (NE) over 27.5 receiving yards (-110, Caesars) (W)
- FP projection: 47 yards, promising five targets despite split with Henry
DeVonta Smith (Phi) over 47.5 receiving yards (-115, BetMGM) (L)
- Going back to the well with Smith while still underpriced, ran 10 more route than next closer Eagle, 49ers secondary thinned out
David Montgomery (Chi) over 60.5 rushing yards (-114, FanDuel) (W)
- Hitting his prop again, still being undersold by books, 706 rushing yards in his last seven games.
Ja’Marr Chase (Cin) over 56.5 receiving yards (-115, DraftKings) (L)
- Led the Bengals in route %, target %, and air yards in W1, Bears’ secondary ripe for the picking.
K.J. Hamler (Den) over 35.5 receiving yards (-115, DraftKings) (L)
- Slides into a great spot with Teddy in Jeudy’s old slot spot, could top this number on one bomb
Amari Cooper (Dal) over 72.5 receiving yards (-115, DraftKings) (L)
- 80+ receiving yards in last five full games with Dak, no Gallup, potential pass-heavy script
Patrick Mahomes (KC) over 2.5 passing touchdowns (+120, BetMGM) (W)
- 3+ TDs in last two games vs. Baltimore, Ravens secondary thinned out by recent injuries
Aaron Rodgers (GB) over 2.5 touchdowns (+120, Caesars)
- Hit 3+ TDs in 10 last 13 games last season, ready to take some frustration out on lesser opponent.
T.J. Hockenson (Det) over 50.5 receiving yards (-115, DraftKings)
- Hitting him for second straight week with some great value again, his line will be 10 yards higher in a week or two
DRAFTKINGS PRO FOOTBALL MILLIONAIRE PICK’EM
This weekly contest from DraftKings requires users to pick five games against the spread for each of the first 17 weeks of the season. Every user gets to throw out their worst week and the person with the most correct picks throughout the season wins a top prize of $1,000,000 — the top 135 finishers win prizes.
Full disclosure: I split my entry with a fellow degenerate so these are five picks we agreed upon for the contest. Look for my picks to be posted mid-Sunday morning.
Last Week: 3-2
Denver Broncos (-6.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (W)
Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) at Indianapolis Colts (L)
New England Patriots (-5.5) at New York Jets (W)
Minnesota Vikings (+4.5) at Arizona Cardinals (W)
Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) at Baltimore Ravens (L)