NFL Betting Tips: Early Season Observations To Cash In On (Part I)
We’ve seen two games from every NFL squad and that’s enough time to start forming opinions on teams and adjust some of their offensive and defensive ratings. I’m generally a little bit slower to make adjustments to my preseason ratings than most, mainly because small sample sizes can be deceiving and I firmly believe that Week 1 results are often misread or should be thrown out completely in some cases. But there are certain things that really stick out and require immediate attention.
Here are some of my key observations that I’ve made so far in the NFL. Some of these I fully expected heading into the season and now I have full confirmation. Others are complete surprises that have resulted in me shifting my opinion and/or rating on a team quite a bit. Both are equally as valuable as a sports bettor.
Kellen Moore is a Game Changer for the Dallas Offense
I was excited when Jerry Jones announced that Kellen Moore would not only be the Cowboys offensive coordinator, but that he would also be calling the plays. Moore has always had a bright mind and he’s all about innovation and deception. The Dallas offense is no longer predictable. Moore is somehow making Dak Prescott look like he actually deserves that $40 million a year that he’s requesting. Dak is tops in the league with a 96.2 QBR and is completing 82.3% of his passes with a 7-1 TD-INT ratio. He’s been throwing deeper and utilizing the entire field on a consistent basis. Zeke Elliott hasn’t even gotten into game shape yet and he’s going to find more holes now that defenses can’t stack the box anymore. Both of the Cowboy’s games went OVER the total and I think we’ll continue to see that trend play out.
Jacksonville Will be an Under Team with Gardner Minshew
Doug Marrone loves conservative football. I thought acquiring Nick Foles and bringing in new Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo could potentially change the narrative. But that lasted less than one half of football as Foles went down with a broken collarbone versus Kansas City. Rookie Gardner Minshew has been given the “kid gloves” treatment with short, high percentage passes and limited downfield strikes. It doesn’t help that Minshew really doesn’t have any true playmakers around him. The Jags will be relying on their top 10 defense to keep them in games while the offense sputters to muster even 20 points a game.
Todd Bowles is Bringing Tampa to Another Level Defensively
Todd Bowles wasn’t successful as a head coach with New York Jets. He’s better served as a defensive coordinator and he’s shown why in his first two games in Tampa. The Bucs defense has held opposing offenses to 17 and 14 points, respectively, in their first two contests. Those games were against San Francisco and Carolina – not exactly pushovers offensively. Bowles scrapped the traditional “Tampa 2” style and switched to a 3-4 defense. This scheme fits the Bucs’ personnel much better and they should continue to improve with a lot of young players still getting better.
Jacoby Brissett is a Game Manager Extraordinaire
Andrew Luck’s retirement sent shockwaves through the NFL and for good reason. Luck was a top five MVP candidate for an Indianapolis team that had a legitimate chance at the Super Bowl this season. Many praised Jacoby Brissett as a top-level backup that was capable of starting for many teams. I didn’t agree with that sentiment and nothing I’ve seen so far has changed my mind. Brissett is 20th in QBR through two games and I expect that to drop once teams start to study the film on him. Indy will rely on its top 10 defense and running game to win them games. Teams are going to force Brissett to throw and he’s not the kind of guy you want throwing the ball 35-40 times a game.
The Lions Could be a Top Five Defense
Not many people realize that Detroit had a top five defense in the second half of last season. Defensive Coordinator Paul Pasqualoni’s system took a while to implement last season. But once he got everyone on the same page, it was a very strong unit. Adding DE Trey Flowers in the offseason was huge and I think most people are sleeping on Detroit’s defensive unit this year. They could be a top five-ish caliber defense for the entire season. They did get gassed at the end of the Arizona game, but bounced back nicely holding the Chargers to just 10 points this past weekend.
Lamar Jackson is a Legitimate MVP Candidate
Before the season, you could find Lamar Jackson at 75-1 or better to win the league MVP. Now? Good luck finding 15-1 in the market. In two games, Jackson is second in the league in QBR and has shown us that he can throw the ball effectively. There was a lot of hype in the preseason about Jackson’s improved passing abilities, and I’m a firm believer now. I think Jackson will end up in the top five of the MVP voting by season’s end if he stays healthy (a big “if” given how much he runs the ball). And his Baltimore team is now the third-best team in the AFC right now behind New England and Kansas City.
Stay tuned for Part II of my early season NFL observations tomorrow at BettorIQ.
Eric Waz had a monster season in the NFL last year, bringing home +15.1 units of profit overall for clients while connecting on nearly 60% of his selections. Click HERE to receive every selection Waz makes from this week through the Super Bowl.