Beating The Book

Beating The Book

This article is part of our NFL Observations series.

Last week was ugly – I went 5-9 ATS, lost my best bet (Bengals) by a mile and went 2-3 in the Supercontest. You probably won't believe me, but I actually had the Titans as my best bet before the game was put in doubt, so I switched off them. Had the Bills won, I probably wouldn't be mentioning it, though. 

This week, I especially like the Vikings (probably a sucker play given how off I am on the line), the Cowboys, Jaguars and Steelers. The ones I like least are the Eagles, Buccaneers and Bills, and I'm lukewarm on the Titans, Jaguars and Niners. 

For the podcast version of the article click here.


Bears +2.5 at Panthers

It feels like a bit of recency-bias to ride with the streaking Panthers, but I made the line three, and the Bears are only getting 2.5. Take Carolina. 

Panthers 24 - 21

Lions -3.5 at Jaguars

I made this line a pick 'em, so I'm on the Jaguars. After beating Indy in Week 1, Jacksonville has not been good, but Detroit isn't good enough to lay more than a field-goal on the road against anyone. Take the points. 

Jaguars 24 - 23

Falcons +3.5 at Vikings

I made this line eight, so I'm not even close to the market number. The Falcons could get a dead-cat bounce from their organizational purge, but the Vikings played the Titans tough, beat the Texans on the road and nearly beat the Seahawks in Seattle. They're better than the Falcons by a decent margin, especially if Julio Jones can't go. Lay the wood. 

Vikings 34 - 23

Texans +5.5 at Titans

The Titans looked great last night, but they're coming off short rest, and the Texans are a desperate divisional foe. I made this line only four (before the game), but I feel like it will move up. It might be the public side, but I'll switch to the Titans who are far and away the better team. 

Titans 27 - 20 

Football Team +3 at Giants

The Giants aren't good, and they can't pass protect, something that could be a problem against Chase Young and the Football Team. But the Giants defense hasn't been terrible, and the Washington offense is arguably the worst in the league. Lay the wood. 

Giants 24 - 19

Browns +3.5 at Steelers

Again, I'm on the obvious side, but I can't get behind Baker Mayfield against the Steelers defense on the road, getting this few points. Lay the wood. 

Steelers 26 - 20

Ravens -7.5 at Eagles

The Ravens are bullies and usually crush weaker opponents, but I made the line 6.5, guarding against recency bias after last week's drubbing of Cincinnati, (though the real recency bias might have been to dock the Ravens too much for a bad showing against the Chiefs.) Take the points.  

Ravens 27 - 20

Bengals +8 at Colts

The Colts have a sound defense and offensive line, but Philip Rivers is a bottom-three starting QB, and this is enough points for me. Take the Bengals. 

Colts 24 - 17

Broncos +8.5 at Patriots

I made this line 9.5 as I expect Cam Newton to play, and even though Drew Lock should play I'm not sure that'll help much against the Patriots defense. Lay the wood. 

Patriots 27 - 17


Jets +8.5 at Dolphins

My only good call last week was making the Cardinals 10.5-point road favorites, but this week I didn't set the line high enough and am stuck with the Jets. They won't go 0-16 against the spread, and the Dolphins might be a sell-high off the impressive win in San Francisco. 

Dolphins 24 - 19

Packers -1.5 at Buccaneers

I set this line at minus 2.5, thinking if the Bucs were getting the full three I'd have to take them, but they're not, so I'm not. It feels a bit reactive to treat the Packers as a top team, but how do we know the Bucs are any good? Lay the wood. 

Packers 27 - 24


Rams -3.5 at 49ers

The 49ers secondary is decimated, and it's unclear who will start at quarterback for them, which explains this surprising line. That and getting destroyed at home by the Dolphins. In any event, I made it 2.5, so I'll take the home dog. 

Rams 26 - 23


Chiefs -3 at Bills

This line might jump after Buffalo got throttled in Tennessee, but I made it minus 2.5, and I'll stick with it. The Chiefs should bounce back after getting knocked around by the Raiders, but the Bills should move the ball against their defense too. 

Chiefs 27 - 26

Cardinals -2.5 at Cowboys

I made this line the straight plus three, so I'm on Dallas, who admittedly has a terrible defense, but Andy Dalton's competent enough to move the ball on a so-so Cardinals defense. Take the points. 

Cowboys 30 - 27

For the podcast version of the article click here.

I went 5-9 last week to bring my season-long record to 36-40-1, lost my best bet (Bengals 2-3) and went 2-3 in the Supercontest to go 10-14-1 overall. Last year, I finished 127-123-6 on the regular season, 8-9 on best bets and 43-40-2 in the Super Contest. In 2018, I went 141-106-9 on the season, 10-7 on best bets, 48-36-1 in the Super Contest. From 1999-2019, I've gone 2,690-2,496 (51.9%), not including ties.

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Chris Liss
Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.
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