Quarterback Josh Allen was fantastic last year, but the Bills enter 2021 with a world of hype around them, and this number feels inflated. And, historically, bettors have not had success going against the Steelers, who are a fantastic 40-21-3 against the spread as underdogs under head coach Mike Tomlin.
If you even wanted to back the Steelers on the moneyline (+250 at DraftKings), I wouldn’t blame you.
This line is 52 or 52.5 at every other major book, so there’s some line-shopping value in the 51.5 at BetMGM.
The thesis for this play is pretty simple: The Cardinals play fast, and the Titans put up points.
The Cardinals play at a blistering pace, and last year they had a league-high no-huddle rate of 38.4% (per our No-Huddle Offense Stats Tool). Against a Titans defense that had bottom-four marks with 19 sacks and 66 quarterback hits in 2020, the Cardinals should be able to move the ball.
And all the Titans do at home is score. With quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the over is 11-3-1 at Nissan Stadium. With wide receiver Julio Jones, the Titans offense should be even more dynamic this year.
On top of that, head coach Andy Reid is 6-2 ATS in Week 1 since joining the Chiefs eight years ago, and that’s not a fluke: He regularly starts the season hot. In Weeks 1-4, Reid is 22-10 ATS with the Chiefs.
And quarterback Patrick Mahomes is 31-21-2 ATS for his career and 10-2 ATS in Weeks 1-4.
Coming off last season’s Super Bowl loss, the Chiefs I expect to start the season focused and ready to dominate.
This line is -4.5 at every other major sportsbook, so I’m happy to get the -4 at DraftKings.
But, honestly, even on the road, the Ravens still feel like a value at -4.5: I think they should be favored by close to a touchdown against the Raiders, who last year allowed a league-high 50.3% of drives to end with an offensive score.
In his 13 years with the Ravens, head coach John Harbaugh is 10-3 ATS in Week 1, and that’s probably not luck given that he is also 9-4 ATS off the regular-season bye. If Harbaugh has sufficient time to prepare, his team performs.
Player prop lines move quickly, so these are my six favorites only as of writing. As Sunday approaches, I will surely find new favorites, which I will add to my prop card in the Bet Tracker.
Leonard Fournette over 7.5 carries (-120, DraftKings Sportsbook): In the playoffs, Fournette averaged 16 carries per game and never had fewer than 12 in a game — but, yeah, 7.5 carries makes sense. (Read: Sarcasm.) I’d set this closer to 10.5 if I were trying to be conservative.
Ben Roethlisberger under 291.5 passing yards (-110, BetMGM): This line is in the 260s at every other sportsbook. Don’t hate me because I’m a good line shopper.
Tyrod Taylor over 16.5 rushing yards (-110, Caesars): We have Taylor slated for 20 yards rushing in our FTN player projections. In his 48 career starts, Taylor has rushed for more than 16.5 yards in 35 games (including playoffs).
A.J. Dillon over 27.5 rushing yards (-110, Caesars): Dillon is essentially the new Jamaal Williams in the Packers offense, and Williams averaged 8.3 carries per game with the Packers over the past four years. The Packers are favored and could lean on the running game: If Dillon gets eight-plus carries against the Saints, his wonderfully muscular legs should carry him to the over.
Sony Michel under 9.5 carries (+100, Caesars): The Rams are significant home favorites, so maybe Michel will see extra carries to close out the game, but 9.5 rushing attempts is a lot for a backup back, especially one who joined the team just a couple weeks ago. I’d set this line around 6.5.
Sony Michel under 40.5 rushing yards (-120, Caesars): If Michel doesn’t get the carries, he’s not likely to get the yards — and I don’t think he’ll get the carries. I’d set this 15-20 yards lower.