NFL nut Kyle Robins (@AhhYeahKyleYeah) shares his expert opinion on the best bets in the ante-post Over/Under markets ahead of 2020/21.
Certainly, my first piece of advice for this weekend’s action is to maybe take a step back instead of getting too heavily involved. Given there was no pre-season, there’s sure to be a bedding in period for most teams. So it may take a couple of weeks for players and teams to hit a higher gear. But let’s get straight into my three favourite bets heading into Week 1.
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills | Sunday 13th September 2020, 18:00
For the first two, we head to New York, in a divisional match-up between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. If you read my AFC Divisional preview, then you might well be able to guess the direction I’m going with these. Buffalo are one of my higher ranked teams this season, whilst the green gang of New York are one of my lowest.
My first thought when the Week 1 schedule was released was my immediate interest in the handicap line Vegas would set this game at. The Jets really don’t head into this season with much hope whatsoever, if any at all.
Jamal Adams requested a trade and got one, whilst C.J Mosley perhaps saw the warning signs and chose to opt out for the season. Their two best players, gone in blink of an eye.
Buffalo, on the other hand, has plenty of be optimistic about. They added strength and depth in pretty much every position, and now have what is possibly the best defensive secondary in the entire NFL. The addition of Steffon Diggs also adds another dimension to their offense, and whilst their offensive line isn’t the strongest in the league, quarterback Josh Allen has the ability to make plays with his feet when need be.
For context (although we obviously can’t gage too much off it), this Jets team, albite a few players, barley managed to get a Week 17 victory over the Bills reserves at the back end of last year. Now yes, the game might obviously not have been the most competitive, but the simple fact is this, Buffalo just has a far superior roster.
The line is currently set at 6.5, and personally I think there is more than a touchdown between these two in terms of both talent and coaching. Take the Bills -6.5 with BetVictor. I’m certainly rolling with it as my Week 1 NAP.
Surprisingly, my other area of attack in this match-up, leans over towards the Jets receiving corps. The teams’ current unit consists of Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman, Chris Hogan and rookie Denzel Mims. One of the more underwhelming units to say the least.
Sam Darnold will have his work cut out with this outfit. One thing we do know from last year however, and can be sure of going into this season, is Darnold throws the ball to Crowder a lot. An awful lot. Think of Crowder as Darnold's safety blanket.
Crowder amassed 78 receptions on 122 targets last year, including 14 in Week 1 against Buffalo. Now add in the loss of Robby Anderson and Demaryius Thomas this off-season, who combined for 88 receptions on 154 targets – Crowder should be in line for an even higher workload this year.
Now whilst I am more intrigued by his receptions over/under line for this match-up, but as of writing this can’t seem to locate it anywhere, I’ll be diving into his receiving yards line instead.
Given the sheer amount of volume he should see in the passing game, and his rapport with Sam Darnold, his line being set at 55.5 seems a little low, even despite the Bills strong secondary. So whilst there is a chance Buffalo focuses their defence around Crowder, given how I have the game panning out, the Jets could be throwing the ball more often than they would like to.
Take the Over 55.5 Receiving Yards on Crowder with Betfair.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington | Sunday 13th September 2020, 18:00
My third and final play for opening weekend takes us over to Philadelphia, where the Eagles also host a divisional match-up against the originally named Washington Football Team.
Whist I’m attracted to Terry McLaurin in the same way I am to Crowder with the Jets, the Total Points is where my interest lies.
I read an interesting stat the other day, and whilst the circumstances are not the same, it’s certainly the closest thing we’re going to get, and that’s the opening weekend to the 2011 season after the lockout.
Whilst teams did play pre-season back then, their camps and preparations where certainly affected, yet we still saw the overs line hit on 14 of the 16 Week 1 games. Some may argue that defence is the unit that will suffer most from no on-field action to this point.
For some odd reason, the line for this Eagles v Washington game is one of the lowest of the weekend. In Week 1 last year, we saw a 32-27 Eagles victory, followed by another-high scoring affair in Week 15, with the Eagles coming away with a 37-27 win.
Whilst question marks remain around the limitations of Washington’s offence heading into this season, the same can be said of the Eagles defence. There’s no doubt Philly will score points in this game and could maybe even reach the line themselves, but it’s more a case of how many Washington can put up. But I certainly do think they’re more than capable against a questionable Eagles outfit.
The 42 Total Points seems incredibly low, and even more so when you consider it’s the same line as that set in the Lions v Bears clash. Take the over 10/11 with William Hill and run with it.
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills – Buffalo Bills -6.5 (10/11 BetVictor)
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills – Jamison Crowder Over 55.5 Receiving Yards (5/6 Betfair)
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington – Over 42 Total Points (10/11 William Hill)