My fellow gamblers, good evening. Estimates say that up to $90 billion dollars will be wagered on football during its season. That's including the NFL, the NCAAF, fantasy football, survivor pools, and side bets between friends in bars. Even if you're not betting money, we all watch sports, so we're gambling with our emotions just by being fans. I'm here to help guide you through a portion of that.
To introduce myself a little further: I'm a semi-professional poker player with a background in statistics, I helped found and still moderate a sports betting forum with over 20,000 subscribers (https://www.reddit.com/r/sportsbook), and I've known Spooner for over ten years now, so I'm happy to take a role as this blog's gambler-in-residence.
If your league was anything like mine, with the Seahawks, Chiefs, and Texans all winning week 1, most people are still in. I personally was with the Texans so they’re off the board for me. Using the numbers from ESPN's Eliminator Challenge, the most popular pick this week will most likely be the Panthers. Not a bad pick since the 49ers probably looked better than they really are against the Rams, but I'm not certain I can pick a team that lost their opener to a rookie QB. I really don't like the 2nd most popular pick of the Ravens playing at the Browns. I will never under any circumstances take the road team in a divisional match-up as a survival pick.
Personally, I'm going with Lions at home against the Titans. The Lions put up an impressive win week 1 and showed a lot of heart with a late drive to beat the Colts in Indianapolis. Now they get a home opener against a team that gave up 25 unanswered points at home to the Vikings. I could also see strong cases being made for Oakland at home against Atlanta and Denver at home against the Colts.
Thursday Night Football
Last week I went 5-0 against the spread. I know it sounds like one hell of a boast, and I'm hoping this week I don't come crashing down. But you can see my posts with time stamps here: https://redd.it/5266v8 and https://redd.it/51o0z7.
We have two 0-1 teams facing off. Buffalo managed a total of 160 yards of offense against the Ravens. That's not for a quarter or for a half, that's for the entire game. Over the 2015 season, the Ravens defense allowed an average of over double that per game. It's Buffalo's worst offensive yardage total in over a decade. Meanwhile, Jets QB Fitzpatrick is 1-8 and completing under 50% of his passes facing teams that have Rex Ryan as either head coach or defensive coordinator. The Jets should have won or at least sent it to overtime last week against the Bengals, but their kicker missed an extra point and had a 22-yard field goal blocked in their one-point home loss.
On paper the Jets have more talent and should win the game, but that's what I would have said for last year's Bills at Jets game in which the Bills won 22-17. Instead, I like under the total of 40.5 points. I see two offenses that aren't clicking and a head coach that definitely has the number of the opposing QB. I feel much more confident in it being a low scoring affair that I am in the Jets ability to not choke away a game at home that they have plenty of right to win.
Welcome! My name is Chris Spooner. I am an overly-passionate Dolphins fan who has many opinions about his team, and the sports landscape as a whole. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy voicing them.