For the last four NFL seasons, we’ve picked games in this space and, well, the 2021 season is here. We’re back for another run. Week 1 is already underway at the time of this post, but Sunday and Monday bring every football handicapper’s dream of a full slate. For those unfamiliar, our central tenet is to find value, often in zigging when others zag. That usually leads to underdogs (and Unders when we veer into the totals market), and it sometimes presents hideous situations where you simply have to hold your nose.
With that quick introduction out of the way, let’s take a peek back at our record in 2020.
- Last Week (Super Bowl): 3-2
- 2020 Season: 54-46-2
Come get these winners.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+6.5) over Buffalo Bills
The Bills are very popular and likely very good. The Steelers ended last season with a giant thud and there are questions about their offense. Naturally, we’re taking Pittsburgh. Mike Tomlin is fantastic as an underdog, sporting a 40-21-3 record against the spread when getting points, and I do trust Pittsburgh’s defense. Buffalo is rightly favored, but this number is a touch high in what could become a slugfest.
Arizona Cardinals (+3) over Tennessee Titans
I’ll admit, the Cardinals have been kryptonite at times in this space, but we’re doing it again. Arizona is undervalued in the market in my view, and old pal Kliff Kingsbury has done his best work as an underdog on the road. Moreover, this is a bit of a fade of Tennessee, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
New York Giants (+3) over Denver Broncos
Denver’s defense could be quite good and I’ve always been supportive of Teddy Bridgewater. I still think this number is too high for the Broncos as a road favorite. New York should at least be frisky defensively and, with a total in the low 40’s, the full field goal is nice to have.
New Orleans Saints (+3.5) over Green Bay Packers
At one point in the offseason, the Saints were a field goal favorite in this game. A lot has changed since then, including the venue of the contest, which has been moved to Jacksonville. New Orleans is easy to sleep on without Drew Brees but, um, the drop-off from Brees to Jameis Winston may be nil, and the Saints are still pretty loaded from a roster standpoint. I get why the Packers are favored, but more than a field goal? Give me the candy.
Las Vegas Raiders (+4) over Baltimore Ravens
This is hideous, but it’s right. Baltimore is the better team, but they are down a starting cornerback and their top two running backs. Las Vegas can score (12-3-1 to the Over last season), and should be able to hang around in front of their home faithful. Play the number, not the teams.