NFL playoff odds: Redskins underdogs, Cowboys favorites

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The Washington Redskins have followed up their surprising first-place finish in the NFC East last year with a productive offseason, inking pivot Kirk Cousins and free agent cornerback Josh Norman. However, they remain underdogs on the odds to make the NFL playoffs in the upcoming  season at a betting line of +160 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Redskins open the upcoming NFL campaign with a visit from Pittsburgh, followed by a stretch of six games against clubs who amassed losing records a year ago.

But with the division-rival Cowboys and Giants expected to improve on their poor 2015 performances Washington trails on the NFC East futures at +275, and are also pegged as early 3-point home underdogs in their Week 1 game against the Steelers at FedExField.

While the Redskins sit as a -200 wager to miss next year’s playoffs, the Cowboys are favored to return to contention following their worst campaign since 1989.

With their backfield bolstered by the addition of fourth-overall pick Ezekiel Elliott, and a healthy Tony Romo expected back under center, the Cowboys’ odds of returning to the playoffs are a strong -140 at the sportsbooks.

However, Romo’s good health remains central to the club’s success, and is a factor in Dallas’ short +110 odds of missing the playoffs yet again.

Dallas has strengthened their position as favorites to win the NFC East, improving to +175 after opening at +200, while the Giants have risen slightly to +225 and are an even-money bet to clinch a playoff berth after winning just six games a year ago.

Confidence in the Philadelphia Eagles is far lower, with the team tumbling as far as +450 on the NFC East odds, and listed as a -275 wager to miss the playoffs for a third straight season.

Meanwhile, the departure of quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler and defensive tackle Malik Jackson have made it a difficult offseason for the Denver Broncos, but the defending Super Bowl champions are a solid -150 bet to reach the playoffs.

The Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, and Seattle Seahawks own the best odds of seeing playoff action, each sitting at -500, while the Carolina Panthers closely trail at -450.

At the other end of the board the Tennessee Titans have taken significant steps to improve on last year’s feeble 3-13 record but maintain low +400 odds of claiming a playoff berth, ahead of the Cleveland Browns at +600 and the San Francisco 49ers at a distant +750.

Falcons set to duel Packers as betting favorites on Sunday Night Football

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The Atlanta Falcons might never live down their Super Bowl LI collapse, but that was one game and Matt Ryan and cohorts are reliable when they are laying points.

The Falcons are listed as three-point favorites on the NFL Week 2 odds against the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers with a 55.5-point total in their Sunday Night Football matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Falcons are 7-0 straight-up and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games as a favorite, as well as 7-1 both SU and ATS in their last eight games in Week 2. The Packers are 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games against the NFC South division.

The teams’ last three matchups, including last season’s NFC Championship Game, have had totals of 65, 65 and 80 points.

Green Bay, which is 1-0 SU and ATS, can likely count on Rodgers continuing his success (325.6 yards/game in seven career games) against Atlanta. Having WR Jordy Nelson, who was out all last season, available this time around should help Green Bay move the ball. They will have to contend with Atlanta being deep on the defensive line, particularly in the interior where it’s added DT Dontari Poe. Getting pressure up the middle is usually about the only way to disrupt Rodgers.

Two of Rodgers’ primary protectors, LT David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and RT Bryan Bulaga (ankle/illness) have not had a full week of practice. Their health will factor in whether the Packers extend a trend of being 9-1 SU over their last 10 games.

The main concern for Atlanta, which is 1-0 SU and 0-1 ATS, is that it bogged down in the rushing phase during its Week 1 road win against the Chicago Bears, as RG Wes Schweitzer in particular struggled. However, notwithstanding disruptive DT Mike Daniels, Green Bay doesn’t appear to be as deep in the front seven at Chicago.

When Atlanta clears space for RB Devonta Freeman and RB Tevin Coleman to get going, Ryan and the passing game is that much more dangerous.

Julio Jones and fellow WRs such as Taylor Gabriel will have a tougher matchup than they did in the NFC Championship Game in January, now that CB Davon House and CB Damarious Randall have shored up the Packers’ secondary. Ultimately, Atlanta just has too many dangerous receivers to be shut down totally.

The total has gone over in seven of the Packers’ last eight games, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone over in four of the Falcons’ last five games in September.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Best Fantasy Football waiver wire pick-ups for Week 2

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By Rotoworld.com

Welcome to the 2nd edition of Waiver Wired for the 2017 season. The opening weekend did not produce a large number of injuries, but that will not help ease the pain of David Johnson, Allen Robinson, and Danny Woodhead owners. Kevin White owners were already in pain at having Kevin White on their team, but his injury is yet another blow. Unfortunately for Robinson and White, their seasons are already over, although there is a slight chance White makes a late-season return. Johnson’s and Woodhead’s timelines are less certain, but both likely will miss significant time. All of that added to several surprise performances creates a hectic situation on the Week 2 wire.

As a reminder, the drop list consists of players who are no longer must-owns, recommended adds are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list consists of players who are worthy of a roster spot if possible, and deep cuts are players owned in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

The Drop List
QB: Andy Dalton
RB:
Eddie Lacy, Darren McFadden
WR:
Allen Robinson, Kevin White
TE: 
C.J. Fiedorowicz

There were concerns about how Dalton would fare behind a bad offensive line, and at least through one week, those seem legitimate. With the Texans coming to town on Thursday night, Dalton is almost impossible to trust this week, and he is not good enough to stash on the bench. Even with Thomas Rawls out, Lacy only played seven snaps against the Packers. He looks done. McFadden was a surprise inactive Week 1, and it looks like Alfred Morris has earned the backup job behind Ezekiel Elliott. There are not any receivers owned in enough leagues I feel comfortable calling a drop, so I will take the cop out with the injured guys. After suffering a concussion Week 1, Fiedorowicz is unlikely to play on a short week, and he is not good enough to stash.

Quarterbacks
1. Alex Smith
2. Sam Bradford
3. Tyrod Taylor

Running Backs
1. Tarik Cohen
2. Buck Allen
3. Chris Carson
4. James White
5. Kerwynn Williams
6. Alvin Kamara
7. Chris Johnson
8. Darren Sproles
9. Andre Ellington

Wide Receivers
1. Corey Davis
2. Kenny Golladay
3. Cooper Kupp
4. Nelson Agholor
5. Danny Amendola
6. Paul Richardson
7. Marqise Lee
8. Zay Jones
9. Kendall Wright
10. Markus Wheaton
11. Allen Hurns

Tight Ends
1. Cameron Brate
2. Jared Cook
3. Charles Clay
4. Julius Thomas

Defense/Special Teams
1. Ravens
2. Bengals
3. Raiders
Looking Ahead: Packers

Kickers
1. Giorgio Tavecchio
2. Cairo Santos
3. Phil Dawson
Looking Ahead: Graham Gano