Expert NFL Week 2 Picks Against The Spread
**Urgent: This Post includes a Week 1 Monday Night Pick**
This is my second pick post of the 2012 season and includes mostly Week 2 NFL picks. However my first play is a 2-team 6-pont teaser that uses one of tonight’s Monday night football games that is part of Week 1. I’m getting this out Monday morning so hopefully many readers have a chance to take advantage of this first bet.
Top NFL Free Pick
I’ve found a strong play at www.5dimes.eu. This is a 2-team 6-point “ties win” teaser. The tease gives Baltimore Ravens -1 / Arizona Cardinals +21, but because ties win I actually have Ravens -0.5 and Cardinals +21.5. Again the first game (Ravens) is part of Week 1, where the second game (Cardinals) is a week two pick. Ravens are playing the Bengals and the Cardinals are playing the Patriots. You’ll make this bet at either -115 or -105. I’m making it at -105, and let discuss this for a minute.
The reason I have -105 odds is I changed my rewards package at 5Dimes away from reduced juice, to their option #5 rewards package which is point mover special advantage. This package provides better teaser odds. I don’t live in the US and have NETELLER available so I have plenty of options for reduced juice betting, so this wasn’t a major loss for me. There are many places I can bet reduced juice, but only one site I can get this good of teaser odds. If you live in the US you’ll probably want to stay on reduced juice and bet this at -115. As far as tracking my record, this will wash over the season, as my point spread picks will be at full juice at 5Dimes and you can sometimes get better. I’ll track units won/lost at the odds I’m actually getting.
This teaser has significant value. I’ve covered many times in the past that implied probability is a term for how often a bet needs to win on average to break even. The formula for implied probability is risk/return=. Here at -105 if I risk $105 and win I get return of $205 ($105 stake + $100 win). Therefore at -105 I need to win 105/205= 51.2% of the time. Because a tease has two teams, put this back into a decimal 0.512 and calculate its square root. This solves to 0.716 which is 71.6%. This tells me if each team covers the tease 71.6% of the time I’ll achieve the required 51.2% break even rate.
Looking at the moneyline on tonight’s game at 5Dimes, I see Ravens -325 / Bengals +295. Using same risk/return=implied probability I can see Ravens have a 76.47% implied probability and Bengals have a 25.32% implied probability. Add the together and they total 101.79%. The reason they total more than 100% is the bookmaker’s advantage called vig. To remove it, just divide both probabilities by 101.79%. Here we’re only concerned with the Ravens, so 76.47/101.79=75.13%. That’s the probability without vig that the 5Dimes odds makers have Ravens winning this game. In the teaser we have them -0.5 and need them to win only 71.6% of the time. This is obviously a +EV teaser section.
In the second game the betting odds are +13.5 -110 almost everywhere, but 5Dimes has shaded the line to +15 -130. The -110 and -130 portions don’t matter in teasers. Here we’re essentially getting an 8 points on the point spread due to the way 5dimes has priced this. Push charts are hard to find for point spreads this high, but this is a +EV teaser selection as well.
Not a big factor but to discuss a bit, the Cardinals had an intense QB controversy when John Skelton was named the starter giving Kevin Kolb the backup position for this season. As some might remember Kolb was the third QB selected in the 2007 draft behind draft bust JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn. In 2009 when Donovan McNabb was injured he made his first two career starts for Philadelphia and threw for over 300 yards in both games. The Eagles traded McNabb the next season and named him starting QB. He got injured in the first game, Michael Vick got his chance at an NFL return, and when Kolb was healthy again, Vick was named the starter. The next season he was traded to the Cardinals, had a great first game, but was playing on a poor team, and had many injury challenges.
Kevin Kolb has long been expected to be a future NFL starting QB, but now one has to wonder if he’s ever going to get full season to develop as he’s now in sixth season and was named the backup. Well lucky for him John Skelton was injured Week 1, Kevin Kolb came into the game and completed 6 of 8 passes for 68 yards, had 1TD and no interceptions. The TD was the decisive one that won his team the game. With a possible high ankle sprain and potentially capable Kevin Kolb, I’d surprised if Kolb the starter next week. The bet is +EV as is, but I do like this added element of having Kolb under center.
NFL Week #2 Picks
The remaining picks this week do not need a large write up. They all follow the common theme of “what you saw last week doesn’t matter”. This is beauty of NFL Week #2. Handicappers last week had data filled with adjustments over team’s offseason changes. Then Week 1 plays out and a good portion start to make further adjustment based on only one game’s performance. This is a trap we won’t fall into. To a fan who watched week 1 my plays might not make complete sense, but we’re making our bets without giving too much credit to what happened last week.
Chicago Bears +5 -110 @ Green Bay Packers -5 -110
Last week the Bears blew out the Colts by 20 points at home but were expected to win big, as they closed 10 point favorites. The Packers lost to the 49ers at home. At the start of the season I had Patriots, Packers and 49ers neck and neck as #1 in the power rankings (my rankings probably are not the same as say ESPN). It turned out by mere fractions of a percent 49ers were #3 and Packers #2. This of course flops this week, but the Packers played and lost to a legit Super Bowl contender last week. The Bears I have as outside shot at best at winning the Wild Card and had them #11 in the rankings. No matter how I cap this I’m getting Packers -6.5. The current spread reflects if this game was in Chicago then Green Bay they would be +1, which isn’t accurate; this an overreaction to last week. The other factor is the Packers played a close game loss will be motivated in practice. This game is played Thursday night and the short week and circumstances favors the home team. My pick Packers -5 -110 @ Bookmaker.eu.
New Orleans Saints -3 +105 at Carolina Panthers +3 -125
Just before the 2012 NFL Season started the Las Vegas Hotel (formerly Hilton Las Vegas) had advanced odds on this game. Those odds were Saints -3 -120 / Panthers +3 +100. The Saints getting beat 40-32 last week to the Washington Redskins in a game they closed an 8-point favorite has really swayed the odds makers’ opinion. Defense was already a sincere concern this season for the Saints. In fact everything about this game should make many punters give the Panthers serious consideration. However, over the past decade of betting NFL football, I’ve learned last week doesn’t matter. Nothing has changed since the line was Saints -3 -120, and now I get them +105. This is pretty standard play, that I’ve made dozens of times in career. My pick:Saints -3 +105 @ www.bookmaker.eu
Bonus 2012 NFL Week 2 Leans
The above are my only three picks for 2012 NFL Week #2. However as a bonus I’ll provide what I would pick if I had to pick on three more games. Again these are not bets I made, and are not counted in my record, they are just here for the guys who like action.
Texans -8.5 +110 @ 5Dimes
Viking Moneyline -125 @ 5dimes
Steelers -6 -110 @ Bookmaker.eu
Best Week 2 NFL Bonus Offer
The lines are not currently out at www.bovada.lv yet, but some of these bets can probably be placed there. If you don’t have an account already the great news is Bovada is offering a 50% up to $250 sign up bonus for this weekend’s Week 2 NFL games.