Joel Bartilotta shares his 5 best bets from Week 2 of the NFL, which he is entering into the #abepickscomp
Click here to Enter the ABE Picks Competition this weekend, and be in with a chance of winning an NFL jersey of your choice.
My last article here was a Denver Nuggets bubble outlook piece, looking at their eight games in Orlando. I actually went 7-1 with those picks and we cashed the under for their win total. In addition, I told you to grab them at 25-1 to win it all and that’s looking like a great hedge ticket now. In any case, we’re going to look to keep that momentum rolling here. The NFL is a different beast though and it’s nice that we have a week of action behind us. I’ll be providing my five best bets of the week, mixing spreads, totals and player props. With that in mind, let’s get into it!
If you have any comments or questions, reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel
Pick 1: Green Bay Packers (-6)
This is my favorite play of the week. It’s hard to understand why Green Bay’s line isn’t more like -7.5 or even upwards to -10. The reason I say that is because they looked great in the opener and get to face a subpar Lions team here. It happens to be a Detroit team that blew a 17-point fourth quarter lead, collapsing against a lackluster Chicago Bears squad. The simple fact is, Detroit doesn’t have enough to compete with Green Bay. Losing Darius Slay in the offseason is a huge loss and it’s going to allow DeVante Adams to feast, who had 14 catches for 156 yards and two TDs in Week 1.
Most importantly, Aaron Rodgers looked like the MVP we remembered in that Week 1 win. He finished that game completing 32-of-44 passes for four TDs and no INT’s. That’s scary considering they didn’t even get Aaron Jones going last week, despite dropping 43 points on a stingy Vikings defense. That doesn’t even take into consideration the Kenny Golladay absence for the Lions which makes Detroit even worse. Not to mention, the Packers own a 29-10 record over Detroit since 2000 and they’re likely to continue that ownership this season with the two clubs headed in opposite directions.
Pick 2: San Francisco 49ers (-7)
The 49ers had one of the most shocking losses in Week 1, losing to the Arizona Cardinals, 24-20. That’s mind-boggling from a club that won 13 games last season and it seems likely that they’re not going to lose in back-to-back games. The reason I say that is because they didn’t do that once last season. What I really like is the fact that they beat up on weak competition. In the eight games where they played teams who were 8-8 or worse, San Fran went 7-1, winning by an average of 15 points per game. In addition, they held their opponents to just 14.9 points per game in those outings.
That’s the elite defense we expect to see from this stingy unit and it’s horrifying that the Jets have to face them without Le’Veon Bell (hamstring). We’re talking about a NY offense who’s 28th in yardage through Week 1 after ranking dead-last in total yardage last season. Look for San Fran to take care of business and don’t overlook the Jets team total of 17.5 landing an under bet as well.
Pick 3: Atlanta Falcons/Dallas Cowboys (Over 52)
Someone once told me that if you bet the lowest total under and the highest total over on every slate, you’ll win more often than not. I thought that was silly when I first heard it but the older I get, the more it makes sense. That’s just what we have here, as this game should be an absolute shootout. The team that’s really going to get us there is Dallas. This is a team that ranked first in total yardage last season and could run wild against Atlanta. I say that because the Falcons just allowed the Seahawks to score 38 points on them, allowing Russell Wilson to compete 31-of-35 passes for 322 yards and four TDs. That’s a running team that threw all over this terrible secondary and it’s scary that they have to match up with Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Ceedee Lamb through the air.
They’re not the only ones who will score though, with Matt Ryan attempting an absurd 54 passes in that Week 1. He actually finished with 450 yards and 25 team points for Atlanta. These passing attacks should get us over the total but don’t forget about Ezekiel Elliot and Todd Gurley on the ground. These are two of the most dangerous running backs in football and it’s scary to think that Dallas just lost their best linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch, as well. I honestly think we could be looking at 60-plus points in this potential bonanza.
Pick 4: Derrick Henry (Over 96 Rushing Yards)
Henry didn’t look his best in Week 1 but he still carried the ball 31 times for 116 rushing yards. Those 31 carries tell us one thing, that this team wants to run the ball down your throat. He happened to do that against a solid Broncos run defense and he’ll likely have a much easier time here. Jacksonville ranked 26th in rushing yards allowed last season and lost many of their weapons in the offseason.
That fantastic matchup looks even better when you consider this game script, with the Titans entering this matchup as a 10.5-point favorite. If you look at the 11 games that Tennesse won last season, Henry averaged 24.2 carries and 139.6 rushing yards per game. He actually had 159 rushing yards on 19 carries in his most recent meeting against the Jaguars and it would be truly shocking if he didn’t surpass the century mark here.
Pick 5: Raheem Mostert (Over 60 Rushing Yards)
If we like the 49ers to cover the spread, we have to absolutely love this prop bet. The biggest reason I say that is because George Kittle and Deebo Samuel are both injured. That’s going to make this run-happy team even more run-heavy and that means at least 15-20 carries for Mostert. We’re talking about a guy who hasn’t had less than 53 rushing yards in any game over his last eight outings dating back to last season, averaging 89.4 yards on 14.6 carries in that span. That equates to a 6.1 YPC average which is also an insane clip for a guy who could be fed in another game script that we love. If the 49ers cover this game like we anticipate, there’s no way that Mostert isn’t covering this total or maybe even doubling it.