Sonny Banks: Why Over/Unders in Pats-Bills & Seahawks-Cardinals Provide Betting Value
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tre’Davious White
- Sonny Banks (aka @so_money_sports) details the three NFL games he bet right away, including Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
For those who have followed @So_Money_Sports on Twitter, he’s now bringing his written analysis to The Action Network.
Those of you who follow my bets (for free) in The Action Network app have probably noticed I regularly bet NFL openers on Sunday afternoon/evening. The reason? The NFL betting market is extremely efficient overall — as the games get closer, the market starts to push the odds to where they should be — but you can actually find spreads and over/unders that are a few points off when you’re targeting openers.
I did just that on Sunday, playing three games at the open:
- Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers
- New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
- Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Below I’ll detail the bets I made, all of which still have value when compared to my power ratings.
Let’s dive in.
Odds as of Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers
- Opening odds: Packers -3.5 / 47.5
- Current odds: Packers -4.5 / 45
- Date/time: Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET
The market is starting to overvalue Green Bay, as evidenced by this spread moving from 3.5 to 4.5 early. The Eagles injuries, notably WR Alshon Jeffery and CB Ronald Darby, are contributing to this, as well.
Don’t get me wrong: The Packers’ defense is legit, and you can tell the market has caught onto that with a 2.5-point downward line move on the over/under early on. At the current number of 45, I won’t be getting involved with the total, but I have made a bet on the spread.
The lookahead line for this game was Packers -2, and the market’s reluctance to back the Eagles after their unlucky loss to the Lions, combined with their injuries, has pushed this to an inflated 4.5.
Where the line goes from here will depend on who is healthy for the Eagles, but I have moved on the 4.5 with the expectation that a couple of their offensive guys will return. (From the sounds of Doug Pederson’s comments on Monday, I’d expect Jeffery and LT Jason Peters to suit up.)
My Line: Eagles +2.5
Pick: Eagles +4.5 (-110)
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
- Opening odds: Patriots -7.5 / 43.5
- Current odds: Patriots -7 / 42.5
- Date/time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
I’ve been on Patriots unders every week so far and am going back to the well again. While the market is slowly catching on (the total has ticked down one point from the opener), it still isn’t adequately adjusting their totals.
These are two of the top defenses in the league by any metric and both teams are very familiar with each other. Patriots have given up 17 points this season in three games, which would be impressive in a vacuum. But it’s even more noteworthy when you see 14 of those points came via a Jets defensive score and special teams TD in garbage time.
New England is also giving up an incredible 3.5 yards/play. The Patriots’ defensive domination should be tempered considering the teams they’ve played (Steelers, Dolphins, Jets), but while their current numbers are not sustainable, I don’t think the Bills are the team to provide the adjustment.
My Line: 41
Pick: Under 43.5 (-108)
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
- Opening odds: Seahawks -4 / 47
- Current odds: Seahawks -5 / 48
- Date/time: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
We have seen for three weeks now that the Seahawks’ secondary is not what it once was. They rank in the middle of the pack for yards allowed per pass attempt, but you need to also factor in the QBs they’ve faced (Andy Dalton, Mason Rudolph for a half, and Teddy Bridgewater). They’re also not getting to the QB as much as previous seasons with a 5.08% sack rate.
Seattle is stout against the run, but the Cardinals have shown that they prefer to employ a fast-paced offense with Kyler Murray airing it out. The concern with taking the over is Seattle’s 27th-ranked offensive pace, but this should be countered by Arizona allowing 6.3 defensive yards/play, which ranks in the bottom-third of the league.
My Line: 49
Pick: Over 47 (-113)