Koerner: NFL Bets Worth Making on Sunday Morning
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jurrell Casey, Jacoby Brissett
- Sean Koerner identifies four NFL bets to make in the final hours before kickoff.
I release my projected spreads and over/unders for each week’s games on Wednesdays, comparing them to posted odds to identify the best bets. But sometimes the market is a little too close to my projections, and better value can be found once lines reach certain thresholds later in the week.
So which games could be worth a bet in the final hours leading up to kickoff?
Odds as of Sunday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can exclusively bet every NFL spread this season at reduced juice (-105).
Let’s take a look at the four numbers we should look to grab on Sunday morning.
Bengals at Bills
Odds: Bills -6; 44
My Projections: Bills -6.5; 42
This total opened 1.5 points below my projection, but has been bet up to two points higher than my projection with 85% of money flooding the over as of Sunday morning.
It still doesn’t look like the market has reached its apex, as this number could go up to 44.5. Forty-four is a fairly key number, so it’s worth waiting to see if we can get the hook with 44.5. Once it reaches that number, I think the sharps will come in and quickly send it back down to 44 — or even 43.5 — before kickoff.
Falcons at Colts
Odds: Colts -1.5; 47
My Projections: Colts -2; 47
While the Colts might not be Super Bowl contenders without Andrew Luck, they’re still equipped to be competitive in close games.
They came away with a two-point road victory over the Titans last week following a hard-fought road loss to the Chargers in overtime. Now the Colts get back-to-back home games against the Falcons and Raiders.
The Colts should be able to establish the run behind their solid offensive line and lean on their defense to keep them in games, so Jacoby Brissett should only need to manage both games to win them.
The market is trying to push this game to a pick ’em, so if that happens, we can come in on the Colts as they should be favored by a couple points here.
Raiders at Vikings
Odds: Vikings -9; 43.5
My Projections: Vikings -8.5; 42.5
The action on this total has been completely split, yet it’s been bumped from 43 to 43.5 since opening. Despite my number only being a point lower, it’s worth pulling the trigger on the under if the total reaches 44.
Both teams are 2-0 to the under, and while we don’t give a whole lot of weight to small sample sizes like that, their game plans are conducive to a low-scoring matchup.
The Vikings will try to run the ball at will, and if they get out to an early lead, they’ll continue to lean on their run game and defense to preserve it. The Raiders should have a similar game plan while the matchup is still competitive. And they don’t have the talent to stage a comeback if they fall behind and are forced into a pass-heavy game script.
This game has under written all over it.
Rams at Browns
Odds: Rams -3.5; 47.5
My Projections: Rams -2; 49
The 2-0 Rams have somehow exceeded expectations after being the Super Bowl runner-up and are 2-0 against the spread.
But their wins have come against the Panthers, who have clearly been playing Newton at less than 100%, and the Saints, who lost Drew Brees during the first quarter of their Week 2 matchup. So one can imagine how the Rams could a tad overrated right now.
On the other side, we have a Browns team that has started off 2019 on a shaky note, with their only win coming against the Jets who were forced to play their third-string QB for most of the game. I actually pointed out the potential for the Browns to get off to a slow start as the first half of their schedule is full of potential playoff teams while the second half is the exact opposite.
This is our first real buy-low opportunity on the Browns. The line finally reached +3.5, which we had been waiting for the market to drive it up to for the hook on the most valuable key number in NFL betting (3).