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The NFL Betting Column with Ben Rasa: NFL Odds, Lines and Picks Against the Spread

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Adam Pfeifer's matchup column, previews Mason Rudolph and the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the San Francisco 49ers Fantasy Football Lineups

One week down and now we set our sights on Week 2 of the NFL Season. The opening week didn’t feature any major upsets, but we had some games come down to the wire with a few backdoor covers changing the results late. Since it is early in the season we have all 32 teams on the schedule giving us plenty to look at and breakdown in the betting markets. Let’s give out some FREE NFL Picks against the spread, & discuss some NFL Odds and NFL lines heading into Week 2.

** When looking at lines one of the important aspects is making sure you shop around for the best number available. Over time this can make a massive difference in the results so make sure to stay tuned for all the resources available to help you find the most value when looking across the markets**

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Week 2 Schedule/Spreads

Thursday

Buccaneers at Panthers -6.5

Sunday

Niners at Bengals -1.5                      Chargers -2.5 at Lions                             Vikings at Packers -3           

Colts at Titans -3                               Patriots -19 at Dolphins PK                    Bills -2 at Giants         

Seahawks at Steelers -3.5               Cowboys -4.5 at Redskins                      Cardinals at Ravens -13.5

Jaguars at Texans -9                         Chiefs -7.5 at Raiders                              Bears -2.5 at Broncos

Saints at Rams -2.5                            Eagles -1.5 at Falcons

Monday

Browns at Jets +2.5

Sunday NFL Bets     

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 , O/U 46

Seattle was one of the biggest favorites on the Week 1 slate and they really weren’t close to covering at home vs the Bengals. In fact they were lucky to just escape with a win and start the season 1-0.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers went to Foxboro and got blown out 33-3 so clearly they weren’t ready to play. But the Patriots are going to blow a lot of teams out this year so dropping a game in New England isn’t going to cost you if you take care of business during the rest of the season. And that starts this week for Pittsburgh as -3.5 point favorites at home against the Seahawks. This is the type of game the Steelers need to take care of.  In 2018 they were just 5-3 at home, which by Steelers standards isn’t good enough. Clearly in Week 1 they were searching for answers offensively and it remains to be seen if Ben Roethlisberger and the weapons around him can help fill the void left by the losses of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown in recent years.

Seattle Seahawks

On the Seahawks side they are 1-0, but its hard to think they were pleased about how they looked at home against Cincinnati. The running game was terrible registering just 64 yards on 21 carries and that is the calling card of what Seattle wants to do on offense. They did win the turnover battle against the Bengals and that is what made the difference and allowed them to escape with the one point victory, but clearly they will need to be sharper across the board this week.

The Bengals racked up 418 yards passing on the road in Seattle and that is a number that is hard to ignore despite it just being Week 1 of the season. Now Seattle travels to Pittsburgh for a 1 PM game which isn’t a massive issue, but its certainly not ideal for a west coast team. Pittsburgh returns home after the beat-down and should come out with a much better effort and execution in front of the home fans and against an easier opponent then New England presented. I expect Seattle to struggle on the road in this one and if the Steelers are able to limit the turnovers they should move the ball on this defense and put a lot of pressure on Russell Wilson and that Seattle running game to keep pace on the road.

My Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5

Chicago Bears -2.5 at Denver Broncos, O/U 40.5

In the afternoon slate we have a matchup between the Bears, who are coming off a Thursday night game and the Broncos who have the short week having played Monday night against the Raiders. The Bears were taken down by the Packers at home and that offense still has a lot of work to do before they become a legit NFC North contender. On the Broncos side they were one of the most disappointing teams in Week 1 as they made the Raiders look competent, and Joe Flacco and that offense was just terrible managing only 16 points.

The Broncos and Bears were both playing catch up last week so in the second half they opened it up, but at the core these teams aren’t dynamic offenses. Both want to run the ball, limit turnovers and allow their defenses to do the heavy lifting making this an interesting game to breakdown. Looking at the pace stats from Week 1 we see the Bears ranked 9th while the Broncos ranked 11th which are both in the upper half of fastest paces in the league. However more important than that to me is the 1st half pace stats which show the Bears at 27th and the Broncos at 25th which indicates they sped up due to game script not because they are looking to actually play fast.

I expect both teams play at a reasonably slow pace in this one, and with the defenses in this game points could be at a premium. The over under sits at 40.5 which is one of the lowest of the week, but I still think this falls under the total in game that should be dominated by the defenses.

My Pick: Under 40.5

** Make sure to head over and check out our AwesemoOdds weekly show Friday mornings 11:30 EST that breaks down the upcoming weeks NFL and College schedules from a betting perspective **

Cleveland Browns -2.5 at New York Jets, O/U 46

Cleveland Browns

This is the Monday Night game, and last year we saw these two teams on Thursday night in Week 3 when Baker made his debut and rallied the Brownies to their first win in a very long time. A lot has changed since then for both teams, and the Browns were one of the most hyped offseason story lines across the entire league.

It was only Week 1, but man did the Browns look awful and get their season started on the worst possible note. Seeing Cleveland start slow was a positive because I shorted them a lot before the season started as it felt like people were way too high on a team with a lot of questions. Tennessee went into Cleveland and won going away, while Baker Mayfield was under constant pressure and responded with three interceptions in the game. All the talent on Cleveland didn’t seem to be clicking. Dropping a home game right out of the gate isn’t the best start, especially with AFC North rival Baltimore looking sharp.

NY Jets

On the Jets side they were in an ugly AFC East matchup with Buffalo and despite scoring a defensive TD and a safety they ended up giving up 14 points in the 4th quarter to lose 17-16. Those are games you have to win. Even though expectations are low and not many people have the Jets doing much in a division that the Patriots have dominated for what feels like decades at this point. QB Sam Darnold didn’t even cross 200 yards passing last week and the Jets are going to have to find ways to put up more points if they want to get in the win column against quality opponents like Cleveland.

Its only Week 2, but for the Jets dropping two home games is a terrible start while if Cleveland loses this game sound the alarm because the pressure is going to go up exponentially. The Browns next two games after this one are the Rams at home and then at Baltimore so clearly you don’t want to be going into that stretch 0-2 and in almost must win scenarios. I have mentioned I wasn’t sold on this Browns team, but that is more on a macro level and I expect them to respond to the ugly Week 1 showing by going into New York and leaving with a win. The Browns should be able to put up points, and unless Darnold can start keeping defenses honest over the top its hard to see the Jets keeping pace and being able to hang in this game.

My Pick: Browns -2.5

If you have any questions find me in the Awesemo Premium slack chat or on Twitter @JazzrazDFS

Good Luck everyone!

*Ben Rasa (aka Jazzraz)* has been involved with sports and numbers for quite some time dabbling in the poker world , sports wagering and of course finding a home in the DFS world. While he enjoys playing NFL, NCAAF and NBA he has found his best advantage on the links with PGA and the Euro Tour. Jazzraz focuses on GPPs and uses a analytical approach to try and find pricing inefficiencies as well as trying to go against the grain to find those under owned lesser know players that can make the difference in giant field tournaments. You can contact Ben by emailing support@awesemo.com.

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