Time for another week of Gamble Ramble! Last week was kind of a mixed bag. We got great value on the Raiders money line but got burned betting big on Josh Jacobs. This week, we have a great shot at three winners.
All lines come via Draft Kings as of Saturday morning. Let’s get into the picks, starting with our best value pick.
Best Value: Daniel Carlson Over 1.5 Field Goals (+124)
Carlson got off to a slow start to the 2023 season last week, at least by his lofty standards. He only notched one short field goal and a couple of extra points. However, it wasn’t his fault, as he hit every kick that he attempted.
Nevertheless, the lack of opportunities last week has influenced the oddsmakers into setting a very generous line. The 1.5 total field goals made is extremely achievable. Last year, Carlson nailed at least two field goals on 12 occasions. Despite the high probability of this hitting, the bookies are still giving plus odds. You have to hammer this over.
Speaking of overs…
Lock of the Week: Jimmy Garoppolo Over 5.5 Rushing Yards (-105)
Garoppolo showed last week that the Raiders have something this year that they haven’t had in a long time: a quarterback with a propensity for taking off and running. Jimmy G ran several times against Denver, including an eight-yard scramble to ice the game. He finished the game with 11 yards rushing, comfortably ahead of this week’s line.
The oddsmakers clearly believe that last week was a fluke. The likely reasoning is that Garoppolo will revert back closer to his career average of 3.1 yards per game on the ground. However, that is a misleading stat.
That number is lowered by his years as a backup playing spot duty and by the several games in which he left early due to injury. History aside, the fact that he had success running the ball last week suggests that he will look to continue doing so this week. You can feel pretty safe putting money on Garoppolo to rush for at least six yards this week. Time for something a little less safe!
Long-shot of the Week: Raiders Money Line (+320)
This isn’t as long a shot as last week’s pick, but this one is too good to pass up. The NFL is designed for parity, probably more than any of the other four professional sports leagues. The talent gap from the top of the league to the bottom is not that wide. While “any given Sunday” may seem like a cliche, it is a very real concept. Any time you get +300 odds or better on an NFL money line, it warrants strong consideration.
Obviously, the Raiders are still significant underdogs in this matchup. They are playing on the road against a team with more talent on paper, especially at the quarterback position. However, there is cause for optimism after what we saw last week. Buffalo certainly looked less dominant than they have in recent years, losing in overtime to a Zach Wilson-led Jets team. On the other side, the Raiders looked like the better team in a road game against what we think is an improved Broncos squad. The Raiders and Bills do not seem that far apart.
If I were to handicap this week’s game, I would probably have the Raiders at +180. At +320, you have to take it.
*Top Photo: Getty Images