Without Brady, Patriots Set as Betting Underdogs on Road at Cardinals

Leave a comment

The New England Patriots have more intrigue than usual entering their daunting matchup against the Arizona Cardinals in the first Sunday Night Football game of the NFL season.

The Patriots, ahead of backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo making his first NFL start in place of suspended Tom Brady, are 6.5-point underdogs against the host Cardinals with a total of 45.5 points at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The line has shifted since reports that All-Pro TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring), along with LT Nate Solder and RG Jonathan Cooper, did not travel on the Patriots’ flight to Arizona on Friday, although there is the possibility they have stayed back for treatment. New England has not been an underdog by this large a margin since Brady was out with a knee injury in 2008.

The Patriots are 3-4 straight up and 3-4 against the spread in their last seven games as a road underdog according to the OddsShark NFL Database. Garoppolo, a third-year NFLer, did not throw an interception in the preseason, but he might be hard-pressed to keep that up against a talented Arizona pass defense that includes All-Pro CB Patrick Peterson and FS Tyrann Mathieu.

If Gronkowski, who is officially listed as questionable, is unable to play, the next TE up for the Patriots is Martellus Bennett, a former starter with the Chicago Bears. The Patriots’ concerns on the offensive line also raise questions about whether they will be able to limit disruptions by Cardinals OLB Chandler Jones, whom New England traded away last season.

Arizona is 8-2 SU but only 2-8 ATS in its last 10 home games vs. AFC teams, and was also just 3-6 ATS last season at University of Phoenix Stadium. Quarterback Carson Palmer, RB David Johnson and veteran WR Larry Fitzgerald have their work cut out for them against what was a top-10 defense last season and has playmakers such as OLB Jamie Collins and CB Malcolm Butler.

Who will generate a pass rush for New England in the Sunday Night Football matchup remains in question, since Jones is gone and DE Rob Ninkovich is suspended for testing positive for a banned substance.

The Cardinals are 20-4 SU in Palmer’s last 24 starts, as well as 7-0 SU in their last seven September games. The total has gone over six of the last seven times that New England was listed as an underdog. The total has gone under in four of the last five Patriots-Cardinals games.

Sunday Night Football: Raiders road favorites vs. Redskins

Leave a comment

Perhaps fittingly for a franchise headed for a new home, the Oakland Raiders and quarterback Derek Carr have been an outstanding road team recently.

While West Coast teams playing three time zones from home can make bettors uneasy, the Raiders are listed as three-point road favorites against the host Washington Redskins with a 54.5 total in their Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Raiders are 10-3 against the spread in their 13 most recent road games. They are also 3-0 straight-up and ATS in their last three games as a favorite on the road. Washington, led by Kirk Cousins, has been a poor prime-time performer lately, going 3-11 SU and ATS in their last 14 games at night.

The Raiders, who are 2-0 SU and ATS for the first time in 15 seasons, expect to have a full contingent of offensive threats complementing Carr. Running back Marshawn Lynch has a good matchup against a Washington defense that has allowed the 11th-most rushing yards in the NFL since the start of last season.

Assuming Washington shutdown CB Josh Norman (shoulder) plays, it should be a great matchup in the passing phase with the Raiders’ Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree going against Norman and CB Bashuad Breeland.

Oakland’s offensive line has allowed only two sacks through two weeks and it looks like TE Jared Cook is good to go after getting in a full practice on Friday.

With the Redskins, who are 1-1 SU and ATS, there are some concerns with the offense, which was a top-5 unit in 2016. Cousins and his receivers, including newcomer Terrelle Pryor, have yet to connect on a deep ball – something Oakland doesn’t defense particularly well. Bettors should keep on eye on whether TE Jordan Reed (ribs/sternum), who is key in the short- and intermediate-range game, suits up. Even if he’s good to go, Reed might play limited snaps.

Washington’s offensive line will have to contain Oakland OLB Khalil Mack, one of the game’s best pass rushers. However, it has been run-blocking very well and that should continue whether Rob Kelley (ribs), Samaje Perrine or Chris Thompson is in the backfield.

The total has gone over in 18 of the Raiders’ last 23 games after a win. The total has gone under in 10 of the Redskins’ last 11 games when hosting a West Coast team.

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 3

Leave a comment

By Rotoworld.com

Welcome to the 3rd edition of Waiver Wired for the 2017 season. Luckily we did not see the big injuries of last week, but the sheer volume of departures made it almost as painful. Five of the top six tight ends in average ADP will enter the week at least questionable, and Greg Olsen is set to miss at least six weeks because of a broken foot. At receiver, both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are questionable for Week 3 while Corey Coleman is set to miss at least a month and a half with another broken hand. Running back did not escape the carnage, either, with Rob Kelley and Jordan Howard questionable with a rib and shoulder injury respectively, while Sam Bradford sat out Week 2 and may have to miss more time with a knee injury, although the Vikings are hopeful he will be good to go this week. All of that means the competition on the wire and in FAAB bidding might be a bit more competitive this week, especially at tight end.

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: Eli Manning
RB:
Bilal Powell, LeGarrette Blount
WR:
Corey Coleman, Mike Wallace
TE:
Greg Olsen

Manning is not getting any help from his offensive line or pass catchers, but he also deserves blame for the Giants’ slow start. Unfortunately for Manning, things do not get any easier, with the Eagles, Bucs, Chargers, Broncos, and Seahawks next up on the schedule before the bye. Unless something changes, he will not be usable in any of those matchups. The running back cuts are risky, but it does not look like either of these guys is going to be worthy of a start in the near future. Powell is in what now looks like a three-way timeshare for the worst offense in the league while Blount played behind Wendell Smallwood in Week 2. Perhaps the Jets come to their senses or Blount starts routinely falling into the end zone, but neither is a must-hold if something enticing is sitting out on the wire. Coleman would have been Kenny Britt before the injury, but Britt has to be held to see if he can do anything with the young receiver out – the safe bet is on no. Teams with an open IR spot should hold onto Coleman, but he was at best a WR3 when healthy and could miss multiple months. Olsen is a tougher case because he has been a high-end option at a thin and getting thinner position, but he struggled down the stretch last year, did not open this season strong, and is now going to miss at least six weeks.

Quarterbacks
Carson Palmer owned in 60 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 QB if available
1. Jay Cutler
2. Joe Flacco

Running Backs
Buck Allen owned in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 RB if available
1. Chris Carson
2. Darren Sproles
3. Chris Johnson
4. Chris Thompson
5. Samaje Perine
6. Wendell Smallwood
7. Alvin Kamara
8. Alex Collins
9. D’Onta Foreman

Wide Receivers
1. Danny Amendola
2. J.J. Nelson
3. Rashard Higgins
4. Jermaine Kearse
5. Kendall Wright
6. Marqise Lee
7. Allen Hurns
8. Mohamed Sanu
9. Jaron Brown
10. Devin Funchess

Tight Ends
1. Cameron Brate
2. Ben Watson
3. Jared Cook
4. Ed Dickson
5. Evan Engram
6. Austin Seferian-Jenkins
7. Zach Miller

Defense/Special Teams
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Philadelphia Eagles
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Looking Ahead: Atlanta Falcons

Kickers
1. Graham Gano
2. Dustin Hopkins
3. Blair Walsh
Looking Ahead: Phil Dawson