We can all hold hands and rejoice in the year 2020 because the NFL is back. It was a quick reminder that in this strange year, some things remain the same. The Browns are still, well the Browns. And to put it frankly, the NFL is hard to predict. I would love to say I thought that Jacksonville and Washington would both win. In my defense, if I would have predicted that in last week’s article I would have probably been considered crazy by anyone who read it.
One week of football is not a large enough sample size to make many longer-term predictions about the entire season with any sort of conviction. Ahh who cares, let’s do it anyways.
I will do a breakdown of the Sunday games and give you my take on what I am buying or selling. As someone who made a living off the stock market, I like to look at the NFL as a market of; teams (offensive/defensive), players, and coaches that I can buy and sell. If you play fantasy football you have already been doing this as well.
The goal is to help you, as the bettor, make some informed decisions for betting on the next week or maybe a futures bet. Go to our sportsbook to place your bets all NFL season. Follow up-to-date NFL news on our Locker Room page.
NFL Sunday Headlines
- Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, and Russell Wilson all put up huge numbers in season-opening victories.
- Tom Brady threw two interceptions in a bad loss to the Saints.
- Gardner Minshew of the Jaguars played nearly perfect in an upset victory over Philip Rivers and the Colts.
- Kyle Murry and DeAndre Hopkins scorched the 49ers in a close Cardinals’ victory.
- Cam Newton looked like MVP Cam, rushing for 2 TDs in a demanding Patriots’ win over the Dolphins.
- The Washington Football Team´s defense forced eight sacks and three turnovers in a 27-17 victory over the Eagles.
- Detroit blew a 23-6 fourth-quarter lead in a loss to the Bears.
- The Cowboys struggled offensively in a close loss, which is the same story as last year.
- Josh Allen ran for two TDs in a Bills victory over a dysfunctional Jets team
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense
Aaron Rodgers was 32-for-44 for 364 yards and four TDs in a 43-34 victory over the Vikings. All-Pro WR Davante Adams gobbled up 14 receptions for 156 yards and 2 TDs on 19 targets. RB Aaron Jones added 66 yards and one TD on 16 carries. Green Bay was in control of the game the whole day. The Packers’ time of possession was a whopping 41:16, which helped them to gain more than 500 total yards.
I’m buying that Rodgers & Co. can keep this up, which will have him in the conversation for MVP come December. Rodgers is receiving +1000 odds to win the MVP award at our sportsbook. I think Adams will lead the NFL in receptions and yards this year and the Packers will win their division. I am still not sold on their defense which could hold them back in the playoffs.
— NFL (@NFL) September 14, 2020
Cam Newton and the Patriots
Cam Newton ran the ball 15 times for 75 yards and two TDs in a 21-11 victory over an improved Dolphins team. Once again, Bill Belichick outsmarts the NFL by letting Tom Brady sign with the Bucs. The deal cost the Bucs about 22x as much as what the Patriots are paying Cam Newton.
Belichick created an offense to mold around the elite skills that Newton brings. New England will lead the league in rushing yards, led by one of the best athletes to play the QB position in Newton. I’m buying that Belichick is still the best coach in the NFL and knew exactly what he was doing by letting Brady walk. Sorry Bills’ fans, the Patriots are going to win the AFC East — again.
Seattle to win the NFC West
In a year where there is a lot of change and uncertainty, I am buying players and teams on past performances. Breaking news!! Russell Wilson wins football games. Under coach Pete Carroll, Wilson has won at least nine games every year since he has come into the league. He’s actually only won nine games once and he is averaging 10.75 wins a season.
In my opinion, the NFC West is the most competitive division. The Rams upset the Cowboys while looking good on both sides of the ball. And the Cardinals upset the Niners who are coming off a Super Bowl loss. The whole division looked good in Week 1, but the team that has Wilson performed the best. Wilson finished with 322 yards and four TDS on 31-of-35 passing in a 38-25 victory over the Falcons. The game was not as close as the score says with the Falcons scoring 13 points in garbage time.
The Ravens are as Good as Advertised
The Browns are the best team in the NFL — at disappointing their fans each year. They continually gain hype each year, and like clockwork they disappoint. That being said the Browns played one of the best teams in the NFL in Week 1. Baltimore will win more than 11½ games this season and will have the highest point margin of any NFL team. They have a top-5 offense and defense which is going to cause problems for most teams they face.
NFL – Selling
Baker Mayfield and the Browns Organization
Mayfield threw for 189 yards with one TD and one interception on 21-of-39 passes. That performance got him a QBR of 33.4. The Browns trailed practically the whole game and Mayfield could not lead his team into scoring position for three straight quarters. I expect the Browns to be dysfunctional all year. They were projected to win 8½ wins which I think they will fall short.
The Browns did a fake punt on their own 31 yard line on their SECOND possession of the season. That is bad coaching. Bad coaching does not win football games. Browns’ QB Baker Mayfield is going to continually fail and the Browns may be looking for their fourth coach in as many years.
Philip Rivers and the Colts’ Defense
I may be overreacting here, and I hope I am. I like Rivers and his gunslinger mentality, but he has not proven he can win games lately. Week after week and year after year he throws interceptions at the wrong time. He has led the league in interceptions twice during his career and has thrown 20 or more in three seasons. The Colts are a good team but I no longer expect them to win the AFC South. They will need better play out of their defense and Rivers to make the playoffs this year.
The Colts also lost their starting running back Marlon Mack for the season due to a torn Achilles. They did draft Wisconsin RB Johnathan Taylor in the second round. He will become their primary running back in the upcoming weeks. Taylor averaged more than 2,000 yards per season in his three-year career at Wisconsin. He also managed to fumble the ball 18 times in 41 games. A rookie running back and a turnover-prone QB could be problems in Indianapolis.
Tom Brady and the Bucs
He is 43 years old and playing for a new franchise that hasn’t proven it can win under head coach Bruce Arians, who is in his second season with Tampa Bay. I think the Bucs will be better this year but I am not high on them winning their division.
The offense should be able to turn it around against Carolina’s young defense next week. Brady is the ultimate competitor but he is 43 and does not bring the same type of competitive edge in a system he is still learning. I can see myself wanting to buy-back the Bucs later in the year but right now I am selling.
Tom Brady is the first QB to have three straight games with a pick-six since Matt Schaub and Blaine Gabbert in 2013.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 14, 2020
The Eagles and their injured offensive line
QB Carson Wentz was sacked eight times in the Eagles’ shocking loss to the Washington Football Team. The Eagles were already without three of their starting offensive linemen before Sunday, when they lost rookie right tackle Jack Driscoll to injury. Offensive-line play is often time overlooked when it is good. When it is bad, nothing works offensively. Wentz needs to get better at getting rid of the ball a bit quicker if he wants to play the entire season.
I was tempted to write about the Football Team’s defense as something I buy. Coach Ron Rivera is a master at getting people to buy into his system, especially on defense. I think that Washington’s defense will be good this year but I want to see it compete next week against the Cardinals’ high-powered offense before I buy. They took advantage of an offensive line that most defenses will be happy to play against. Injuries are hard to overcome for any team.
A look ahead at NFL Week 2 – Betting Tips
Lions at Packers-6
Detroit blew a 23-6 lead in the fourth quarter against the Bears in Week 1. Neither the Bears nor Lions looked good. The Lions’ defense made Bears’ QB Mitch Trubisky look like an All-Pro. Trubisky is not an All-Pro, but Aaron Rodgers is. Rodgers is going to make short work of the Lions’ defense. If the Packers’ defense shows up, the Packers should cover the 6-point spread easily.
Ravens at Texans+7
Similar to the Chiefs, the Ravens are going to blow out the Texans. I do not think the Texans are a bad football team but they are running into another juggernaut in Week 2. I do not expect the Texans’ defense to slow down the high-powered offense of the Ravens. The Ravens’ defense will get after the Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson all game, making it hard for him to get much going offensively. The Ravens cover the spread easily.
Rams at Eagles (pk)
The Rams just upset a Dallas team that people are projecting big things out of this year. They held a high-powered offense to 17 points. Widely considered the best offensive line in football, the Cowboys’ OL gave up three sacks to the Rams’ defense. I expect DT Aaron Donald & Co. to have a field day against the Eagles makeshift offensive line. The NFL is hard to predict but the Rams seems like an easy pick.
Panthers+9 at Buccaneers
In what I considered the Game of the Week, Brady had some bad turnovers. The Bucs’ offense could not find its rhythm. The Saints were not overly happy with their performance even though they won by 11 points. Carolina was part of what turned into the game of the week. The Panthers lost a shootout with the Raiders 34-30. I expect another shootout with the Bucs in Week 2. I like the Panthers +9