Week 2 RedZone Picks: Trust the Process
Week 2 gives us a full ten games in the 6pm UK timeslot on NFL RedZone with ample opportunities to try and get stuck into and create an interesting acca for your Sunday evening.
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Week 1 Recap
Getting two out of five selections wrong would usually be a massive worry. However, to use a David Brailsford phrase, it is important to concentrate on the processes rather than the result. Seeing the two teams that let the bet down waste 17-point leads is disappointing but a good sign that the bets were solid in the first place.
Don't Overreact to Week 1
The biggest fluctuation in odds and betting lines are always before Week 2 as people take as gospel everything they saw in the opening week. One game is too small a sample size and the reason for this is the sheer lack of context that those games give.
For example, the Vikings giving up 43 points to the Packers last week looks horrendous. However, if Aaron Rodgers ends up as the league’s leading passer and an MVP candidate, it puts it in perspective. Equally, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense looked all out of sync in Week 1, but if the Saints end up being the number one defense in the NFL, hindsight will then tell you that putting up 23 points is a decent return.
No betting line has fluctuated more this week than the one in the Rams at Eagles game. The Eagles started the week as favourites in some places, ended up as underdogs at times in other places and now it is basically being offered as an even game. It is easy to see why given the way the Eagles defensive line was destroyed in Week 1 and Aaron Donald about to enter town. Despite this, no matter how dominant the Redskins defensive line were, the Eagles still managed to get to a 17-0 lead. This is a peak example of overreaction and will happily take the much better odds that the Eagles (23/25 with Unibet), a team that need this win much more than the Rams, are as a result.
Finding advantages in the 2019 tape
Another thing that will help is if you can find a play in Week 2 that you can base on more than just one week of film. For that we are going to head back to those Buccaneers but to the defensive side of the ball. Tampa return their entire starting front seven, which was the number one run defense in the NFL last year. Entering Week 2 the line for Christian McCaffrey’s rushing yards is 60.5 (10/11 with William Hill).
That returning Bucs front seven held McCaffrey to just 68 rushing yards COMBINED in two games last year, so to ask him to do that in just one game against the same front seems huge. We even have an equivalent comparison with Alvin Kamara, who managed just 16 yards on the ground in Week 1.
Is Trubisky for real? Prove it
Going against Mitch Trubisky didn’t work in Week 1 but there is nothing to overact to there. At one point when the Lions were winning, Trubisky had hit just nine of his first 22 passes against a secondary that is at least as bad as the Giants one they take on this week.
Meanwhile the Giants themselves managed to hang around against the much vaunted Steelers. If it wasn’t for Daniel Jones ability to turn the ball over, and the dreadful offensive line infront of him, they might be worth backing to win. However, in a game that is almost guaranteed to be close, giving the Giants +5.5 (10/11 with various) points seems too good to turn down.
Take advantage of injuries
One thing that does not lie in Week 1 is injuries. A Week 1 loss is just one defeat out of 16. The loss of a star player in Week 1 can totally change the dynamic of that team and leave unexpected holes in a team.
With Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee out, the Cowboys linebacking core will now be starting one of Joe Thomas or Luke Gifford. To say that is a downgrade is a serious understatement. As it was, they gave up over 100 yards rushing to Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers.
This is gift from heaven for Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, a man who loves a 2nd & 8 run play. Todd Gurley got a decent start with 56 yards on debut and with the opportunity to take on the scrub linebacking core that the Cowboys have left, he should do even better, making Todd Gurley over 55.5 rushing yards (10/11 with William Hill), very attractive.
Bad spreads = Good Bets
Finally, any chance you get to get a good 10 points on a team that only scored 16 themselves in Week 1, it is probably a good idea to take it. The Titans looked good enough to be a very good team against the Broncos, certainly good enough to beat the Jaguars. However, the Jaguars themselves look a competent unit who won’t make too many mistakes. As a result, they should keep things down to single digits against the Titans, meaning Jaguars +10.5 (8/13 with William Hill) is the last tip of the week.
ACCUMULATOR: Eagles ML, McCaffrey Under 60.5 Rushing, Giants +5.5, Gurley Over 55.5 Rushing, Jaguars +10.5
NFL Betting Analyst