Broadway Best Bets is a weekly NFL betting article selecting our preferred NFL lines to gamble on each week. Note: Sports gambling advice is intended for recreational purposes only. All odds and lines are from William Hill US Sportsbook unless otherwise noted.
The Green Bay Packers predictably whipped the Los Angeles Rams, helping Broadway Best Bets reach 3-1 after the early game yesterday. However, the Baltimore Ravens, like their feathered friend from the Pacific Northwest, proved to be outmatch and unworthy as they got absolutely stifled by the Buffalo Bills.
Today we have some games that have some fantastic storylines. Are the Cleveland Browns for real? Who is the better aging QB between Drew Brees and Tom Brady?
Let’s dive into Sunday’s games from a betting perspective.
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CLEVELAND BROWNS at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-9.5)
Total Points: o/u 57
Kickoff: 2:05 p.m. CT
The Pick: Kareem Hunt rushing/receiving yards over 51.5 (-112)
Sign me up for the Kareem Hunt revenge game narrative. He’s facing his old team in the Chiefs that cut him November of 2018. Revenge game aside, this is a no-brainer bet.
Kareem Hunt has surpassed the 51.5 totally yards mark in 14 of 17 games played. He’s also done this with or without Nick Chubb in the backfield. On top of that, he has done it in all of the away games except for one.
The key for this one is Kareem Hunt’s skillset as a pass catcher. That is really where you see the difference between Nick Chubb’s usefulness in this game and Hunt’s.
Being that Hunt doesn’t have to come off on third downs, he still sees a lot of action, and in a game where they could easily fall behind, the Browns may have to utilize him more.
Even with a healthy Chubb, Hunt averages 30.7 offensive snaps a game, which is an average of 45% of Cleveland’s snaps. That is a very healthy amount of opportunities for a “back-up” running back.
The Kansas City Chiefs defense has the Achilles heel of being very mediocre to below average versus running backs. The Browns will exploit that using both Chubb and Hunt.
The Chiefs have allowed opposing running backs to rush for 1,954 yards on the ground at 4.5 yards per carry. That’s an average of 122.1 yards allowed to running backs per game on the ground.
Through the air is another piece of the story. The Chiefs have allowed running backs to catch 736 yards out of the backfield, which is an average of 46 yards per game.
Now that may not sound like much, but that’s a large amount of yardage when you’re looking at placing a bet like this. On top of that, they’ve allowed at least seven RB targets in their last three games. Here is what running backs did through the air in those last three games:
Taking this Chiefs defense and combining it with an angry and talented Swiss-army knife like Kareem Hunt, and you have a recipe for greatness.
Alternate Bet: Kareem Hunt anytime touchdown (+155)
Browns Player Prop: Nick Chubb over 2.5 receptions (+126)
Chiefs Player Prop: Tyreek Hill/Travis Kelce anytime TD (+189 parlay)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3)
Total Points: o/u 52
Kickoff: 5:40 p.m. CT
The Pick: New Orleans Saints -3 (-106)
A lot of people are really high on the Tom Brady led Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I don’t blame them, they have a lot of shiny toys and their offense is pretty hot. It’s also hard for any team to beat the same opponent three times in a row in the same season, and the Saints have victories in their last two match ups this season.
However, here’s what I say to that: The Saints have beaten the Bruce Arians led Buccaneers four times by a combined 137-67. The Saints have also scored over 30 points in every game versus a Todd Bowles defense, averaging 34.3 points per game. (Spoiler: This is important to remember for the alternate bet.)
Drew Brees has played against this defense over the last two seasons a total of three times. In those three games he has thrown a combined nine touchdowns. That is an average of three touchdowns through the air per game. (Spoiler: This is important to remember for the player props below.)
Let’s not forget this Saints defense. The last time they played Tom Brady, they were able to hold him to zero touchdowns while amassing three interceptions. Brady has also been sacked three times in each of their regular season match ups.
You can always point to Brady having all of this weapons. However, Evans is routinely erased by this Saints defense. Evans only has four touchdowns in 13 career games, and only has one game over 100-yards.
All this to say, the Saints seem to out-coach and outplay the Arians-era Buccaneers every time they meet. The smallest win margin over the last four games has been the Saints by a touchdown.
Public bettors have a bad case of recency bias when looking at this Tampa Bay team being led by Tom Brady. They don’t understand that the Saints have absolutely owned this team when it matters.
Not-so-confident Alternate Bet: Total Points over 52 (-110)
Buccaneers Player Prop: Leonard Fournette anytime touchdown (+110)
Saints Player Prop: Drew Brees passing touchdowns over 2.5 (+176)
How Betting Lines Work
A quick reminder for anyone unfamiliar with betting lines. “Favorites” are listed next to a negative number, which represents how many points they must win by to “cover the spread.” Titans -2.5, for example, means that Tennessee must beat the Broncos by 3 points or more for bettors to win. Gamblers can also bet on the game’s “total,” betting on whether or not the teams’ combined score in the game is over or under a pre-selected number of points.
“ML” or “moneyline” is not against the spread, just picking the winner of the game. Many people refer to the moneyline as “straight up,” but this can be confusing, because if you’re ever at a betting window in Vegas, a “straight bet” means you are betting on the point spread. Instead of saying “straight up,” you’d want to say “moneyline” when you mean to pick the winner of the game regardless of the point spread to avoid any possible confusion.