Football is officially back! And that means time to bet the games on DraftKings Sportsbook. Per usual, we get a marquee game in the TNF opener, with the defending Super Bowl champion Rams playing host to this year’s favorite to win it all in the Bills.
Almost all of my football futures and week-to-week plays will be posted in article form, but as always follow along on Twitter, as some will just be posted here — @julianedlow.
LAR +2.5 (-110) — 1-unit
The Week 1 NFL board has been available to bet for about six months now. These games have been sitting there taking money for a while. And as Johnny Avello told us on the Unreasonable Odds podcast, the Bills have been getting pounded in the opener. Remember, the Rams opened as slight favorites in this game, but between the Buffalo hype and some preseason elbow issues for Matthew Stafford, this one has moved about four points since open. That gives us some value on the home team here, with the public sleeping on the defending champs.
I can’t knock the Bills on offense. They were damn near perfect in their two postseason games, and should be reloaded and ready to go. But we can poke some holes in the Buffalo defense, particularly in the secondary. No Tre’Davious White can be a big issue at corner, particularly against a team with elite QB/WR play. The Bills did use a first-round pick to help fill the void at CB, but we’re going to see multiple rookies operating back there. Going against Stafford with the likes of Cooper Kupp and newly added veteran Allen Robinson, I have a big advantage for the Rams. The Rams performed very well in the underdog role last season, going 3-0 straight up in those contests.
Of course, if you’re betting a side in this one, make sure you’re doing it on DraftKings Sportsbook and opting in to the Early Win promo. Whether you like the Rams or Bills in this one, just bet your side after opting in, and if your team goes up by seven of more points during the course of the game, you cash your ticket regardless of the final score.
Allen Robinson Receiving Yards OVER 64.5 (-125) — 0.75-units
Robinson enters his ninth season in the NFL following four year stints in both Jacksonville and Chicago. The former second-round picks has flat out had awful quarterback play throughout his career, but still managed to make a name for himself. That said, Robinson has put together three 1,000-yard seasons, including a 80-1,400-14 line in 2015. I understand we’re talking about seven years ago, but there’s nothing to go on that would suggest Robinson can’t still play at an extremely high level.
With all the attention on Kupp on the other side following his historic season, I expect Robinson to thrive in the Robert Woods/Odell Beckham Jr. role. He gets a great opening matchup against an inexperience Buffalo secondary that’s missing its best player. I also would’ve be surprised to see Stafford looking to get his new weapon involved early and often.
Take out last year’s mess in Chicago in which A-Rob was also battling through injuries, and he managed to average just shy of 75 yards per game in the 2019 and 2020 season’s combined. That should only go up in Los Angeles.
Josh Allen Rushing Yards OVER 35.5 (-130) — 0.75-units
Allen exceeded this total in 11 of 17 regular season games last season, a finished just a yard shy in a blowout game that didn’t require Allen to put his body on the line late in. If we bump this up to include the postseason, Allen cashed the over on this number in 13 of 19 contests.
The Rams ranked dead smack in the middle of the league last season in rushing yards allowed to the QB position, so the matchup doesn’t really hurt or help Allen here. But in bigger/closer games, Allen did have a tendency to find more times to get out of the pocket and run the ball and finish with higher rushing totals.
The game script here of a competitive game should play into Allen being in a position where he goes all out to make more plays later into the game. The Rams have a stout run defense when it comes to stopping running backs, which could also help play into Allen needing to do more in the scramble game.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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