NFL Sunday Betting Picks (9/15/19)

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers

New Orleans Saints at LA Rams

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

Betting Pick: Redskins +5.5

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Time: Sunday 15th September 1:00 p.m. EST

Both teams got off to a blazing start in Week 1, but only one was able to hold the lead. The Cowboys made quick work of the Giants, eventually winning by the score of 35-17. Meanwhile, the Redskins got out to a 17-0 lead against the Eagles, before getting smoked in the second half – Philly would win the game by the score of 32-27. 

Odds Analysis: Cowboys at Redskins

The line opened at -6.5 for the Cowboys at BetMGM. Now, the overwhelming majority (85 percent) of public bets are on them, which caused the line to drop down to -5.5. It makes sense, considering everyone watched Dallas dismantle New York in the opener. Not to mention, this is a team with a huge national fanbase.

Lastly, the total rose 2.5 points from 44 to 46.5, with 79 percent of public bets going to the over.

Cowboys Betting Form

Dak Prescott threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns in the season-opening victory. However, the Cowboys’ QB hasn’t had much success in this matchup, averaging 201.2 net passing yards per game since 2016. It’s worth noting Prescott has thrown 20 touchdowns in 12 games since team acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper – eight of those coming in two games against the Giants. 

However, it could be the Cowboys’ running game that gives them the most success in this one. Washington ranked near the bottom of football in advanced analytics in rushing defense last season. Running back Ezekiel Elliott got a game underneath his belt after an eventful offseason, looking decent in the process. 

Redskins Betting Form

Washington will be missing Derrius Guice (knee), but Jordan Reed (concussion) might be able to give it a go. The Redskins will need all of their weaponry in order to keep this game close, and it’s not as crazy as you might think. Adrian Peterson will be activated for this matchup and the Skins will want to lean heavily on the run.

We talked about the Cowboys’ running attack, but it’ll be important for the Skins to shut that down early. If they’re able to neutralize the Dallas offense, we’re going to have one of those good old fashioned NFC East battles – and that’ll bode well for Washington bettors. 

Betting Pick: Redskins +5.5

With so many public bets coming in on the Cowboys, we’re getting great value on the Redskins in this game. We would love to see this game get back up to +6, with the potential of even buying up to +7, so those are some key numbers to look out for closer to kickoff. Nonetheless, this a heated rivalry where the two teams usually play each other close. We’ll take the points and look for the Redskins to keep this one close. 

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Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers

Betting Pick: Steelers -4.5

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Time: Sunday 15th September 4:05 p.m. EST

The Steelers were absolutely embarrassed on national TV during their Week 1 matchup against the Patriots. However, there’s something to be said about redemption – especially with grown men. Meanwhile, the Seahawks squeaked out a victory over the Bengals in their opener. But there’s one particular factor in this matchup that we like, and it should be the determining factor. 

Odds Analysis: Seahawks at Steelers

Betting has been even throughout the week at Play Sugarhouse Sportsbook, with the Steelers getting 53 percent of public bets/55 percent of money wagered. On the other hand, the total going over has received 63 percent of public bets/70 percent of money wagered.

Seahawks Betting Form

The Seahawks have a distinct disadvantage having to come East for a 1:00 p.m. EST game; it means this will basically be a 10:00 a.m. game for their internal clocks. We have seen plenty of teams struggle in this setting before. Not to mention, Seattle is also facing a team that has plenty of motivation to get back on the good foot. 

Pete Carroll has tried to reinvent this Seahawks team with a heavy running scheme over the last couple of seasons. However, the Steelers’ defense held six opponents to under 100 yards in eight home games last season. While we didn’t see it much in Week 1, Pittsburgh’s defense does have a ton of talent that can be overbearing on a below-average Seattle offensive line. 

WR Tyler Lockett has a back injury he’s dealing with. If he’s limited or can’t go, that’ll make this an even laborious task for the Seahawks. 

Steelers Betting Form

The Steelers have a major home-field advantage here against the West coast team and should be able to capitalize on that. Although, an even bigger mismatch could be the Steelers’ passing attack against a Seahawks’ defense that allowed the most passing yards in Week 1 – albeit, to Bengals QB Andy Dalton. While we didn’t see the Pittsburgh aerial attack flourish in the opener, this is definitely a matchup to take advantage of. 

There was some question earlier this week if RB James Conner and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster would be healthy for this matchup. Not to worry, both logged full practices on Thursday and will be ready to go. However, C Maurkice Pouncey and CB Joe Haden are both dealing with injuries and haven’t practiced before Friday.  

Betting Pick: Steelers -4.5

The key to his game is motivation and travel. When favored by -3 or more after a loss since 2010, the Steelers are 18-5 against the spread. Once again, that cross-country trip is going to be a tough pill to swallow for the Seahawks. There’s no doubt in our minds that Pittsburgh wins this game by a healthy margin.

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New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams

Betting Pick: Rams -2

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Time: Sunday 15th September 4:25 p.m. EST

The Saints have had this game circled on their calendars for quite some time. While nearly everyone expects them to come out wallop the Rams, we’re going to have to look at this matchup more closely. After all, the Saints did have a short week after playing on Monday Night Football, and that could certainly be a detriment in this matchup. 

Odds Analysis: Saints at Rams

Surprisingly, the overwhelming number of bets subsided during the week in favor of the Saints. Right after the win on Monday, the Saints had over 2/3 of public bets, but the number has decreased dramatically. Perhaps, more people are starting to catch on to how short weeks affect teams, which is why it’s more around 50/50 now.

Early action on the under pushed this total from 54 to 52 but, just like the team bets, that has also gone to more of a 50/50 level. 

Saints Betting Form

The Saints pulled out a dramatic come-from-behind on Monday, and you have to wonder if they can have that same type of urgency. Typically, teams on a short week, aren’t at their best. Not to mention, the Saints are a much different team away from The Superdome. It’s worth noting, Drew Brees didn’t throw for over 203 yards in each of his last three outdoor games last season.

That New Orleans defense could be in trouble here as well. Texans QB Deshaun Watson looked great, but the real story was that his team gained 180 yards on the ground against the Saints. Boy-wonder Rams head coach Sean McVay is one of the best at offensive schemes, so look for them to get it going on the run and setting things up in the passing game.

Rams Betting Form

Speaking of that Rams’ passing game, this is the key to victory on Sunday. The Saints had a hard time defending the great wealth of Texans’ receivers and, overall, we can agree the Rams have one of the best three-man sets. Each New Orleans CB allowed a catch of at least 37 yards last week. In Week 9 of last regular season, Brandin Cooks (6-114-1), Cooper Kupp (5-89-1) and Robert Woods (5-71-0) all had a day.

For those saying that Rams’ rushing attack may never be the same again with RB Todd Gurley in his current condition, yikes! All they did was rack up 150 yards between Gurley and fellow RB Malcolm Brown last week. The Texans and their well-below-average offensive line tore up the Saints’ run defense, so Rams’ bettors have no choice but to be optimistic going into Sunday.

Betting Pick: Rams -2

There’s tons of value taking the Rams at this -2 number, and there are even some books offering them at -1.5. While the LA Coliseum doesn’t offer much of a home-field advantage, it’s no secret that the Saints don’t perform as well outside of New Orleans. We like the Rams to move the ball up and down the field all day against the Saints.

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Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer