NFL Football Best Bets: Week 2 (2021)

Season Total: 3-0, Up 270% (Won -115, -110 and -120 bets)

Week 1 has come and gone, but when making predictions it’s important to keep in mind that we are still very early in the season, with limited data. It’s important to properly weight last season’s information, solidifying priors and ensuring we don’t overreact to week one data. Similar to week one, we encourage a process that looks something like this:

  • Shore up your priors (where did each team rank last season by TRUE performance indicators, such as SIS EPA/Play Rank
  • Adjust prior based on clear changes to the team (OC/DC changes, key personnel like QBs coming/going etc)
  • Incorporate regression analytics where necessary (which teams were most/least lucky/performed well with “non-sticky” Year over Year variables)

With that here are the top picks our model is picking for week 2

Best Bet #1: Dallas Cowboys at +156 to win SU over the Los Angeles Chargers

You can read more in-depth about this game in my weekly preview (LINK), but this selection simply comes down to this:

  • The Cowboys have a top-5 Offensive Roster.
  • The Chargers have a average-to-bad defensive roster that is trying to fit a certain new scheme among of set of players that are not equipped to run it
  • Herbert is good, but it feels the market is pricing his ability as if he will take another leap this year, but it is very likely we saw his peak last season (propped up by 3rd down/vs pressure) stats

I genuinely was shocked when I saw the Cowboys were dogs for this game. If you want an extra push here: Remember the “1-0 / 0-1” play that many astute bettors utilize (that is, teams “want” to get to .500, so when 0-1 vs 1-0 teams play, they usually come out 1-1). Its silly, but I know very smart people that swear by this.

Bet: Dallas SU at +156

Best Bet #2: Carson Wentz longest completion UNDER 35.5 (-115)

If you have been following our work, you’ll know we, along with many other sharp bettors, have been using this prop to make a lot of money the past couple years. 

Frankly this opportunity seems like a miscalculation by the market makers: The Colts simply don’t want Wentz pushing the ball down the field. Last week he had the 3rd worst ADOT of any QB at 5.2 yards. He only attempted 2 deep balls and almost 8x-ed that many to his RBs.

Take this coupled with the fact he now gets to face the Rams defense with Jalen Ramsey and co. Beyond being just “darn good” last year, the Rams gave up the league’s lowest rate of explosive plays altogether.

Bet: Carson Wentz UNDER longest completion of 35.5

Best Bet #3: Justin Herbert Over .5 Interceptions (+105)

It’s very likely that Herbert will be throwing a lot of passes this weekend trying to keep pace with a strong Cowboys offense. And yes the Cowboys defense is a trash pile, but interceptions are usually more a function of QB decision and aggressiveness than any other variable.

When looking at NFL Next Gen Stats for Week 1, although the Chargers offense had the 28th ranked Expected Completion rate (how open are WRs getting schemed), Herbert had the 5th highest aggression rank (throws into tight windows), which is typically an indicator of interceptions to come down the road.

I feel very strongly that Herbert throws at least one pick this weekend.

Bet: Justin Herbert > .5 Interceptions this week

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