Believe it Or Not - NFL Week 2
Talking heads grace the media, airwaves, and print waxing about the latest insight from NFL Week 2. In our Believe it or Not Series, we will look for actionable intelligence to drive our handicapping moving forward. What is fact? What is fiction? Which teams do we fade? Which teams do we play? In this week's Believe it or Not, we answer those questions and more.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS / MIAMI DOLPHINS
We spoke about both of these teams at length in NFL Week 1: Believe It or Not and everything we thought came to fruition. I don't see it stopping here. New England is the first team to cover the spread by 20 or more points in consecutive weeks to start the season. Miami is the antithesis. They are not a dumpster fire, but the ashes that remain after a dumpster fire. Both of these teams will have absurd spreads moving forward. The sharps will inevitably have to fade the Patriots and play on the Dolphins because the number will just be too high. However, I strongly caution both of these actions. Sometimes there are outliers and situations that cannot be quantified. I believe the Patriots and the Dolphins are two anomalies. Believe it!
The Arizona Cardinals may be winless, but they are 2-0 against the spread nor are they a team that will make a run at the playoffs, but they have found a way to get backdoor covers in consecutive weeks. That is not an aberration. The Cards are a fast paced offense that can get up and down the field quickly. By the second half of the games, the defenses get tired and they will have a propensity to give up some points. Kyler Murray also thrives in this style of play, which just happens to be very similar to what he ran successfully at Oklahoma. Look to fade the Cards in the first half and jump on them in the second.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to steal a victory from Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, which evened up their record at 1-1. Make no mistake about this, both teams are going to underperform. Certainly, getting a road victory is an accomplishment in the NFL, particularly as a 6.5 underdog. However, I am not moving the needle on them moving forward. Jameis is still a turnover machine and will continue to be at the detriment of the Bucs and their backers.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Drew Brees is expected to have surgery and be out 6 weeks. Teddy Bridgewater has been billed as one of the best backups in the NFL and the drop off from an aging Brees to Bridgewater will not be as big as some expect. The eye test tells a different story. This Saints team seems to be falling apart before our eyes. Granted, they traditionally disappoint to start the season, but Brees arm fell off as the season progressed last year. How could he improve with a hurt thumb? I think the Brees injury has rocked the franchise and I don't think Bridgewater is the type of quarterback to put the team on his back. I am going to take a hard look at fading the Saints this week in Seattle.
WEEK 2 NOTES
NFL Underdogs: 8-6 ATS
NFL Road Teams: 10-5 ATS
NFL Unders: 12-3 ATS
Season Long Stats
NFL Underdogs: 18-12-1 ATS (60%)
NFL Road Teams: 20-10-1 ATS (66.7%)
NFL Unders: 19-12 (61.3%)