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NFL Week 2 Picks from an Expert

Considering I’m going to conclude this article with addressing a topic unrelated to week 2, let me go ahead and forgo an introduction and jump right into my 2011 NFL week 2 picks and predictions.

Chicago Bears @ New Orleans Saints

My favorite bet this week is New Orleans Saints -6.5 -110. First of all my sincere condolences to Brian Urlacher and his family – literally 26 minutes after making my wager the news wire broke that his mother age 51 passed away unexpectedly. Again, though – I made this bet at www.betonline.com prior to this news breaking.

One the biggest factors this week – The Bears are coming off an emotional victory where they crushed the Falcons, and the Saints are coming off a semi-tough loss. A mistake early in the game led to them going down 14-0 to one the most elite teams in the NFC, the Green Bay Packers. Still it was a confidence builder – Drew Breese completed 32 of 49 for 419 yards, 3TD and no interceptions. The Saints are going to be hugely motivated to get a win this week.

Now a few things the market fails to account for often enough:

  1. Motivation – Underdogs that win a blowout victory, often struggle the following week. Meanwhile teams that come off tough losses often come back even stronger.
  2. Bye Weeks – The effects of the bye week is one the toughest factors to properly cap in the NFL. While this isn’t a bye week, the Saints have are playing on 10-days rest where the Bears are playing on the road after only 7-days.
  3. Home Field Advantage – The Saints have a decisive home field advantage. Due to some key injuries and a tough schedule this didn’t show as strong last season as it has in the past, and even though the market might account for it, there is potential it will be under accounted for.

If you look closely you’ll see bullet point #1 was two things in one – both favoring the Saints. If you read my article on the effects of the NFL bye week, you’ll see teams that are better coached benefit more from the added days of rest. Keep in mind the contract extension through the 2015 season Sean Payton singed last week wasn’t a fluke; he’s the most successful coach in New Orlean Saints history. So what we have is several factors that are often overlooked in the market (or not properly accounted for) all pointing New Orleans Saints.

My Pick: Saints -6.5 -110 @ BetOnline
1.10 units to win 1 unit

Tampa Bay Buccs @ Minnesota Vikings

The totals offered this week are rather shocking. Yes, last week games scored a lot more than expected, and yes Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff for 103 yards last week so it still does happen, but teams kicking off from the 35 should lower the expected totals from last season. In any case the game on the board I feel the total is most inflated for this week is this one. I could give the detailed write up about the Buccs being more likely to put it on the ground this week, and how pathetic the Vikings offense was last week – but the fact every method I can use to cap this game has the total at less than 40,

My Pick: I’m taking Under 42 -110 @ Bodog.
1.10 units to win 1 unit.

Third and Final Pick This Week

2-Team 6-point “Ties Win” Teaser -105 at 5Dimes.com
My Pick: Detroit Lions -2.5 and Washington Redskins +3.5
(Note: my ticket read -3 and +3, but seeing as ties win those are the correct lines)
1.05 units to win 1 unit.

For the reason why, see my article on teaser betting strategy which I’m going to rant slightly about to close this post.

A Topic Worth Addressing (Teaser Betting)

With my three NFL Week 2 picks now provided, before concluding this post let me address an issue that I’ve seen on sports betting forums frequently as of late. Despite the hundreds of articles that have been written and rehashed on profitable teaser betting since 2006, quite a few forum posters are still in the dark. To give an example last week a poster wagered Chargers -3 and Patriots PK, to do this he used a 2-team 6-points teaser at -120.

The first problem here: he could have used BetDSI where the lines were Chargers -8 and Patriots -7 at the time of his post. So here he easily could have had Charger -2 and Patriots -1 in a 2-team 6 point teaser at -110, and while it’s not basic strategy that would have been a +EV bet.

The biggest problem with his play though is not the horrible odds – the problem is you NEVER tease to -3 in 2-team teasers, unless you have the rare Las Vegas rule that gives you an instant push should any of your team push. Meaning a push/loss = a push. To my knowledge no US friendly betting site offers that rule, except for www.5dimes.com when you take their teaser promo instead of reduced juice (not a good move). The reason for this is 3 points is by far the most common margin of victory in the NFL – and should your team win by exactly 3, you’re going to be in a situation on the next game where your bet can either lose or push – basically the bookmaker has a complete freeroll as you have no option to win.

If more people understood the odds they were actually getting on a teaser, a lot less people would be making these sucker bets. Listen check this out: A 2-team 6.5 point teaser @ -120 – is the same thing as a 2-team parlay where each team is priced -282.5. To make sure we understand why – let’s say your wager on the 2-team 6.5 point teaser at -120 was $120 to win $100. Now let say instead you wagered that $120 @ -282.5, the bet would be $120.00 to win 42.48. Now if that first bet wins you get back ($120+42.48) $162.48. Now bet this $162.48 @ -282.50 and you have a bet of $162.48 to win $57.52. If this wins you get back ($162.48+$57.52) $220 – the exact same as a $120 to win $100 wager on a two team teaser -120 would have paid. So again a 2-team 6.5 point teaser at -120 is the same as a 2-team parlay where both teams are price -285.5.

So the question becomes is moving the line 6.5 points worth paying -285.5 instead of the -110. While not likely, it still might be, but even if so – consider this: At DSI the odds were -8 -110 and DSI sells up to 3 half points at 10 cents each. Therefore a wagering option on this Chargers leg was -6.5 -140. So is worth paying the 142.5 more cents to move Chargers -6.5 -140 to Chargers -3 -285. That’s an entirely different topic I’ll address in some other article. For now I’ll just tell you the answer is no.

If you’re going to wager teasers online be sure you understand the information covered in my article on teaser betting strategy.

Recapping Week 2 Wagers

Bet One: Saints -6.5 1.10u to win 1.00u
Bet Two: Buccs/Vikings u42 1.10u to win 1.00u
Bet Three: Lions -2.5 / Redskins +3.5 (Ties win teaser at 5Dimes.com) 1.05u to win 1.0u

Good luck to everyone with your own NFL week 2 wagers!