Last night’s wild win by the New York Jets officially put Week 1 in the rearview mirror. Now the real fun begins. Every bettor finds himself in the precarious position of trying to get his first look at all 32 teams in the right perspective. What we saw in Week 1 isn’t always indicative of what we’ll see in Week 2, or the rest of the season.
Surprisingly enough, in the first week of the championship not everything went as everyone expected. On Monday, the overreaction was in full effect. In fact, overreactions are the only thing you can confidently count as a hang-up this time of year. After all, we are all football-hungry human beings who have waited seven months to watch a meaningful match. Passion drives the league’s popularity, but it also fuels the overreactions that bettors must guard against if they intend to have a profitable season.
Let’s take a look at three of the most important questions bettors will need to answer before dipping into their bankroll this coming Sunday.
Are the Dolphins serious Super Bowl contenders?
Bettors holding Tua Tagovailoa MVP tickets were doing the Macarena in their living room after Miami’s 36-34 win over the Chargers. The Dolphins quarterback threw for 466 yards and three touchdowns, starting the season strong for the second straight year. Tagovailoa also led all QBs in PFF passing grade (92.8) and finished second in EPA/adjusted play (.525). The Tua-Tyreek Hill connection looked like nightmare fuel for opposing defenses, as “Cheetah” blazed his way to 11 receptions for 215 yards. Miami’s offense, entering its second season under Mike McDaniels, averaged 8.2 yards per play against the Chargers.
The Dolphins’ ability to keep Tagovailoa healthy was the caveat whenever their value was discussed in the futures market this summer. Bettors who were comfortable inheriting risk hold some tickets at valuable numbers. Tagovailoa’s MVP odds have dropped considerably from +2200 to +700, making him the co-favorite along with Patrick Mahomes. Miami’s Super Bowl odds haven’t seen much of a change, as they currently sit at +2000. With the Chiefs and Bengals starting the season slowly, there could be meat on the bone at current odds. Explosive plays win in the NFL, and Miami’s offensive explosion is even more impressive considering Week 1 is typically lower-scoring. ‘Tis the season to overreact, but over the summer I’ve put everything on this attack. After a week, I’m not sure there’s a better value on the board than Miami right now.
Can the Giants recover from such an embarrassing loss?
Every team gets beat down in the NFL. What really matters is how quickly you can move on and focus on the next week. Brian Daboll now faces his greatest challenge as coach of the New York Giants. After being dismantled by the Dallas Cowboys, 40-0, New York finds itself in a must-win game in Week 2. I’m sure Giants fans saw the Arizona Cardinals on the schedule, penciled in a W, and not they never thought twice about the game.
Now it seems that everything is at stake. The Cardinals were tough on the Commanders as they blanketed the underdogs by 7 points. Jonathan Gannon’s group held on until the final minutes, giving the surviving competitors the sweat of their lives.
The Giants haven’t done well enough to take anyone lightly. They still find themselves 4.5-point favorites after surrendering three turnovers and allowing seven sacks to a Cowboys defense that relentlessly pressured Daniel Jones. Arizona’s defense was very aggressive under defensive coordinator Nick Rallis, drafting Sam Howell for six sacks and finishing in the top 10 in both EPA/defensive play and drop-back success rate. The Cardinals could smell blood when faced with the shaky Giants offensive line. New York is now 4-8-1 in their last 13 games, raising the question of whether the market is overvaluing them after last season’s playoff run. He’s not a favorite I’d look to score points with in Week 2.
Are we sure Kenny Pickett is Pittsburgh’s future?
We overreacted last season, when Pickett put together consecutive scoring streaks every time he stepped on the field. After the 49ers defense brought him back down to earth, we’re overreacting again. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, but it’s fair to say the Steelers sophomore has a lot to prove. It’s still a bit of an enigma whose success is directly tied to the level of competition it’s faced. All seven of Pickett’s opponents during the Steelers’ 6-1 run to end last season failed to qualify for the postseason. Sunday’s game against the 49ers was a litmus test, and the results weren’t pretty. Pickett averaged just five yards per pass attempt, threw two interceptions and ranked 29th out of 32 quarterbacks in EPA/game.
Monday night might not get any easier against a Browns defense that made Joe Burrow miserable. The Steelers went from favorites to +2.5 underdogs at home following their demoralizing loss to San Francisco. It will be a game that will prove that and give us good indications on how to bet the Steelers against the best teams in the league this year.
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