Dan Wettstein takes a new approach to his picks this week in the #abepickscomp as he hopes to make it a 5-0 week!
If you have had the luck I have so far in 2 weeks of NFL betting by 4 teams losing within the last 30 seconds of a game. Or the infirmary list of injuries so far. It’s time for a change in strategy.
When the season started, I was of the belief that sticking to the teams with veteran leadership and consistency of coaching/roster would be the “safest” bets in the beginning (Such as Dallas, San Fran, and KC). That has been blown up by the litany of injuries across the league as well as inconsistent play on defense for practically every team. The names on the list are obviously the most important. And the ones that are on the 2020 list so far would make a super-bowl contender roster. The list includes names like Jimmy G, Joey Bosa, Solomon Thomas, Drew Lock, Von Miller, Raheem Mostert, and Courtland Sutton.
There is always an important onus on checking the injury list daily when betting on any sport. But this year has put an even bigger onus on this. This is not the revelation, though. The revelation comes from the fact that every 2-0 team has a young/mobile QB within an offense that incorporates, or completely rips itself from the college game. These teams have been feasting on the poor tackling and defensive confusion caused by their ability to extend the play.
Remember there was no pre-season or off-season for that matter to hone tackling techniques. Most teams never even allowed their players to tackle to the ground at any point to try and avoid injuries. Now there is no way to prove there is a causation here, but the correlation is uncanny to the amount of injuries and defensive confusion in the first 2 weeks.
So, when you look at the work of the 2-0 QB’s like Pat Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, and Russell Wilson. They all have a common thread, an other-worldly ability to escape and evade the rush while extending the play by keeping their eyes down field. Even the Josh Allen’s and Mitch Trubisky’s of the world are taking advantage of their athleticism against defenses still trying to find an identity.
Pick 1: New England Patriots -6.5
My first pick is to go with the Return of Superman in New England on the spread. Even though Derek Carr and this Raiders team has looked good against some suspect defensive secondaries. They are about to run into a buzzsaw of a Patriots team that had to deal with pissed off Bill after a loss to Seattle last week. Add in a West Coast team playing at 11 a.m. on the East Coast. You have a recipe for a blowout. So I’m happy to take the -6.5 points here.
Pick 2: Tennessee Titans -2.5
My second pick is going to be another one on the spread, this time I’m taking the -2.5 and betting the Titans beat the Minnesota Vikings and that suspect offense that has Kirk Cousins at QB who seems to have forgot how the mechanics of throwing a football work. Yes, they squeaked by Denver and Jacksonville by a total of 5 points. Those teams actually have shown some fight so far, the Vikings have looked completely listless and truly seem to miss Stefon Diggs to take the heat off Cook and Theilen.
Pick 3: Green Bay Packers ML
My third pick is going to the Green Bay Packers on the Moneyline as all indications have Michael Thomas being out at least one more week. We all seen on Monday Night against the Raiders how integral Thomas is to this offense and Drew Brees. This Green Bay defense has played well, and tackled even better. Aaron Rodgers is on a scorched earth tour, Superdome will be essentially empty, and there is no traveling across time zones. So taking the road team here gives me no trepidations.
Pick 4: Chicago Bears ML
My fourth pick is another Moneyline bet as I pick the Chicago Bears over the Atlanta Falcons. The Bear’s D is legit and scary. Mitch Trubisky seems to be having “one of those years” where everything turns up roses. He’s hitting throws he has never been able to come close to completing before. Maybe he’s a late bloomer? Maybe they are an early season pretender? Either way, Atlanta having 7 starters on the Injured List this week to Chicago’s 1 back up gives me even more confidence in this pick. Especially with Julio Jones looking to be out or at least severely limited due to a hamstring injury.
Pick 5: Texans/Steelers Over 45
My fifth and final pick is my first O/U of the week, and it’s the over on the Houston vs Pittsburgh game that is set at 45. The Steelers front 7 is legit and scary, but like I said last week, that secondary is suspect to say the least. Jeff Driskel threw for almost 300 yards in less than 3 quarters against this defense with 2 rookies, a 4th string WR, and the worst tackle duo in the league. What do you think Deshaun Watson, Will Fuller, and company will do to them? Add in the Texans are 2-0 vs. the Over so far(Yes it’s as much do to the opponents as them, but with the O/U it doesn’t matter where the points come from). This was quite possibly the easiest pick of the week for me.