2021 Week 1: NFL Best Bets

We went 3-2 with our bets last week, but because we placed twice as many units on the Chargers-Eagles game, we came away with +2 units last Sunday.

Can't complain about making money. Hopefully, you are following our advice, as we are now 12-8 over the last four weeks.

Week 9 was a wild ride full of crazy upsets. The Bills lost to the Jaguars 9-6, the Dallas Cowboys were dominated by the Denver Broncos, Cleveland defeated their AFC North rivals in the Cincinnati Bengals, the New York Giants escaped with a victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, the Saints lost on a last-second field goal to the Atlanta Falcons, and the Rams were outplayed by the Tennessee Titans on Sunday Night Football despite the absence of Derrick Henry.

If you thought we would get a return to normalcy in Week 10, you were very much wrong as the Baltimore Ravens got spanked by the Miami Dolphins in primetime on Thursday Night Football. As the postseason picture begins to become more clear, it's time to gear up for this week's edition of NFL best bets. It takes a lot of energy and research to have success over the course of a season when it comes to sports betting. Here at FantasySP, we are committed to helping you cash. Remember, if you win 55% of your bets, you are a really good gambler. We are looking at some eye opening odds this week and will help you decipher the best games to place your money on, whether it's moneylines, over-unders, or prop bets. With that, let's dive in.

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WEEK 10 NFL BEST BETS

Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders (+2.5)

What in the world is going on in Kansas City? The Chiefs barely escaped against the Giants in Week 8, and almost lost to a Green Bay Packers team that was missing MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers in Week 9. Although Kansas City is coming off back-to-back victories, the team is not performing at a high level. The offense is what is most concerning as Patrick Mahomes has been somewhat careless with the football, and Tyreek Hill has had to really struggle for every single yard. Kansas City only posted 13 points against a Packers secondary missing their two best corners in Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes. That said, I think this is a get-right game for Mahomes and the offense. The defense has actually played pretty well as of late, allowing just 16 points per game over their last four contests, in which the team has a 3-1 record.

As of the publication of this article, 64% of bets on the spread have been in favor of the Chiefs. But more importantly, 76% of the money is on the Chiefs. That means that professional gamblers are placing large sums on Mahomes to get it together in Vegas this Sunday. With an over/under of 52 points, we are likely looking at a high-scoring affair. Look for Mahomes to eclipse 300 yards and find both Hill and Travis Kelce for touchdowns.

The Pick: Chiefs (-2.5)

Prediction: 31-23 Chiefs

Bonus Bet: Over 52 points

Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots (-2.5)

Cleveland will be without the services of Nick Chubb, who is coming off a huge 137-yard performance with two trips to the end zone. Kareem Hunt is still on Injured Reserve and Odell Beckham Jr. has been waived and claimed by the Los Angeles Rams. While the Beckham news might actually be good for Baker Mayfield and the Browns, Cleveland is a run-first offense and will have to rely on D'Ernest Johnson. Even Demetric Felton and John Kelly have been ruled out with COVID-19, so Johnson's backup running back is still unclear up to this point. Johnson could be the only healthy running back ready to suit up.

Meanwhile, New England has dominated the Browns in Foxborough over the last 30 years. The last time that the Browns defeated the Patriots in Foxborough was back in 1992. Although only 47% of bets are on the Patriots against the spread, a whopping 67% of the money is backing New England even as 2.5-point favorites. The high-stakes professionals clearly believe in rookie Mac Jones and Bill Belichick. New England may have running back concerns of their own as Damien Harris and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson are still in the concussion protocol and are unlikely to suit up on Sunday. However, Brandon Bolden and J.J. Taylor have proven to be fairly efficient. New England's defense has been playing great defense and I think this is the game where Mac Jones proves he is here to stay in the NFL. This one will come down to the wire, but I'm expecting New England to barely cover.

Pick: Patriots (-2.5)

Prediction: 27-24 Patriots

Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys (-9)

The Cowboys were essentially blanked by the Denver Broncos last week before scoring two late garbage-time touchdowns to make the score somewhat respectable. After losing money on the Cowboys last week, I'm going back to the well. I think this is the perfect opportunity for Dak Prescott to air it out against an Atlanta Falcons secondary that has struggled all season long. CeeDee Lamb is going to have his best game of the season against the team that passed on him in the NFL Draft.

While the Falcons are coming off a huge victory over the Saints, I don't think Matt Ryan will be able to keep up with Dallas' potent offense. Without Calvin Ridley, his only real weapons are rookie tight end Kyle Pitts, and perhaps the best story of the year in Cordarrelle Patterson. Did you know that Patterson has more scrimmage yards than Dalvin Cook, more receptions than DeAndre Hopkins, more touchdowns than Travis Kelce, and more yards per catch than Tyreek Hill? Yeah, I didn't think so. Still, it will take the Falcons playing at their very best to keep up with Prescott, Zeke, Lamb, and Amari Cooper, plus an offensive line that is anchored by Tyron Smith. Dallas is 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games dating back to last season. Look for them to increase that number to 9-2.

Pick: Cowboys (-9)

Prediction: 34-21 Cowboys

Bonus: Lamb OVER yards and receptions

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team (+9.5)

The only team that came somewhat close to ending Tom Brady's quest for a Super Bowl in his debut season with the Bucs was Washington. Taylor Heinicke did a remarkable job in the Wild Card game last season, and he'll get another chance in Week 10. It looks like the Bucs could be without the services of Chris Godwin. If so, I think it's very hard to pass on taking Washington and the points. Even if Godwin plays, Heinicke has played well in Ryan Fitzpatrick's absence, and tight end Logan Thomas is expected to make his long-awaited return. Call it a gut feeling, but I think Chase Young forces a sack-fumble that Washington takes back to the house. Still, Tampa should win this game, but I am very comfortable betting on Washington against the spread. Consider a parlay with the over as well. After all, Washington has been allowing the most points per game to opposing teams and Tom Brady will look to get back on track after losing to the Saints in Week 8 before Tampa's bye week.

Pick: Football Team (+9.5)

Prediction: 31-27 Buccaneers

Bonus: Over 51 points

Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5)

Has any team played in as many one-possession contests as the Vikings? No. The question is whether the Vikings will be able to win this game outright on the road or at least cover the spread. Minnesota is 7-3 in their last 10 games as road underdogs. Considering Dalvin Cook will still be suiting up despite the domestic abuse rumors swirling around that locker room, I expect Minnesota to try to slow the game down and keep the ball out of Justin Herbert's hands as much as possible by giving Cook the rock. Minnesota has said they are going to throw the ball more, and they should with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen catching passes from Kirk Cousins, but it's hard not to give one of the best running backs in the league the ball 25 times per game. The Chargers' defense has been very generous to opposing running backs so Cook should steamroll Joey Bosa and the Los Angeles defensive line. While I think the Chargers still escape with a victory, Los Angeles will need a game-winning field goal to get the victory.

Pick: Vikings (+3.5)

Prediction: 27-24 Chargers

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

Getty Images

Miami conceded Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Boston Celtics at home. Tonight, they will look to close the series out back in the TD Garden. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have continued to play phenomenal basketball throughout this series. Miami’s injury struggles have affected Tyler Herro specifically for this series, and Kyle Lowry for the entirety of the postseason.

While the Celtics undoubtedly have the upper hand heading into tonight’s game and likely have cemented the series, they will be facing off against a desperation mode squad for the Heat that will shoot better than they did in Game 5. Let's take a look at tonight's best NBA Playoff Bets and props.

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 2:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics -8.5 (BOS Leads 3-2)

Bet 1: Boston Celtics -8.5 (-110)

While the Heat are likely going to lose on the road in Game 6, they will look to keep things interesting tonight. They could lose by eight points and you’d still come out on top. Based on that fact alone, they will play with a desperation factor. The Heat once again have a long list of players listed as questionable for tonight’s game. This includes Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, PJ Tucker, Max Struss and Gabe Vincent. In Game 5, both teams could have shot better. Miami truly had an abysmal night shooting from the field. On Wednesday night, they only converted 31.9 % from the field and a brutal 15.6% from downtown. Miami’s current roster depth among available guards is simply abysmal. While Marcus Smart and Robert Williams are listed as questionable for the Boston Celtics, they have too much upside over the Heat heading into tonight’s Game 6 at the TD Garden.

Bet 2: Over 201 Total Points (-110)

Despite a very low-scoring contest in Game 5 where only 173 total points were scored (BOS 93 - 80 MIA), the desperation factor for the Heat will push them to shoot quicker and better than they did in Game 5. Miami only converted 30-of-94 field goals as a team and an abysmal 7-of-45 shooting from downtown. Miami quite simply had a miserable outing in Game 5, they will lose tonight, but they really couldn’t score any less than 80 points. Although Boston should win tonight's matchup by double-digit points, the Heat will shoot better and maintain a high volume of shots attempted. They should score 95-100 points tonight.

NBA Props of the Night

Game: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics -8.5 (BOS Leads 3-2)

Prop: Al Horford 10+ Points & Boston to Win (+106)

We’ve already discussed why Boston is the heavy favorite for tonight’s game. With Robert Williams currently listed as questionable heading into tonight, Al Horford is ready to go. Even if Robert Williams plays tonight, he might not be as healthy as he needs to be. As a result, expect Al Horford to get more looks from the field and score at least 10 points at home in tonight’s crucial Game 6.

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Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After three consecutive victories, the Golden State Warriors conceded Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals to the Dallas Mavericks. In Game 5, the Warriors will look to close out Luka Doncic and the Mavs in front of the home crowd. As a team, the Warriors were efficient from the field, converting 48.8% of their shots taken. One of the main reasons Golden State lost was a result of poor free-throw shooting. The Warriors missed nine of their 27 free throws on Tuesday night (65.4 FT%). In comparison, the Mavericks were full-throttle in Game 4 facing elimination. Dallas’ Reggie Bullock (18 PTS) and Dorian Finney Smith (23 PTS) combined for 42 points, adding to Luka’s 30.

Ultimately, no team has ever come back from a 3-0 lead in the playoffs, meaning that the Warriors will almost certainly be heading back to the NBA Finals. Let’s take a look at what the best bets are for tonight’s Game 5.

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 2:00 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors -6.5 (GSW Leads 3-1)

Bet #1: Dallas Mavericks, +6.5 (-110)

We like Dallas to keep it close. Perhaps Dallas has a 10-point lead going into the third quarter which the Warriors could then overtake in the second half. Regardless of the scenario, the Mavericks won against a Warriors team that still put up 109 points in Game 4 on close to 50% shooting from the field. Dallas shot above 50% from the field in Game 4 and took many shots to get there just like they did in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semis against the Phoenix Suns. Even Jalen Brunson said in the post-game interview with the guys from Inside the NBA that his team needs to "take it one game at a time (...) like four Game 7s."

While the Warriors are in it to win it tonight, the Mavericks seem to perform best when facing elimination this 2022 postseason. While they might lose tonight, the Mavericks seem to play well under pressure. As a result, take them +7 tonight as the Warriors will have a bigger challenge on their hands than they anticipate.

Bet #2: Over 215.5 Total Points (-110)

In two of the series’ four games, both teams combined for at least 220 points. In Game 2, 243 points were scored while in Game 4, there were 228 points tallied. The Mavericks shoot more when facing elimination. This has been a trend we have seen throughout the postseason. In Game 7 of the Western Conference Semis, the Mavericks scored 123 points while in Game 4 against the Warriors on Tuesday, Dallas scored 119 points. Not much more needs to be said about the Warriors’ high-power offense that will likely outscore Dallas regardless of how many points they get on the board.

NBA Player Props of the Night

Game: Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors -6.5 (GSW Leads 3-1)

Prop #1: Dorian Finney-Smith Over 11.5 Points

Dorian Finney-Smith erupted for 23 points in Game 4 to help the Mavericks rally past the Warriors. Throughout the 2022 playoffs, he’s averaged 11.6 PPG shooting 46.5% from the field. He’s also seeing 38.2 minutes per contest this postseason. Expect Finney-Smith to score at least 12 points tonight after his 23-points in Game 4.

Prop #2: Klay Thompson Over 18.5 Points

Klay Thompson was held to 12 points scored in Game 4. Despite going 5-of-10 from the field, Klay was limited by Dallas on defense in 28 minutes on the floor on Tuesday night. He should definitely be taking more shots tonight and perform better overall being back home for a Game 5. Thompson should easily hit at least 20+ points tonight, and take a handful more shots from the field in this contest than in Tuesday’s.

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Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Tom Pennington, Getty Images

In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Bam Adebayo's 31-point and 10-rebound double-double led the Miami Heat to a 109-103 victory over the Celtics on the road. That was followed by a dominant second-half performance by Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins who led the Warriors to a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.

Tonight, we'll get the first of these two matchups. Boston will look to come back in their second home game against a Heat team that is clearly not at 100% healthy. Tyler Herro has been ruled out for Game 4 while Kyle Lowry remains questionable. Here are some of the best bets for tonight's and tomorrow's big Game 4s.

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 3:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

ECF Game 4: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics -7 (MIA Leads 2-1)

In Game 4, the Celtics rallied back from double-digits to make things interesting in the fourth quarter. However, Boston conceded Game 3 to the Miami Heat 109-103. On Sunday, Bam Adebayo was getting everything he wanted down low. He finished with 31 points, 10 boards, six assists, four steals, and one block. Ime Udoka will need to boost the presence of his big men down low, perhaps by extending Daniel Theis’ minutes or having him share the floor more with Al Horford. The major reason for which the Heat are considered the seven-point underdogs for tonight’s game is injuries. Tyler Herro has already been ruled out for Game 4, and the Heat have four or five other players in their lineup currently listed as questionable. This includes Max Struss, Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, and P.J. Tucker. Butler is dealing with knee inflammation which sidelined him for the second half of Game 3.

Even if all of the players in the Heat’s rotation are good to go tonight (outside of Herro), Boston has not lost back-to-back home games since late October. Plus, Jaylen Brown is shooting much better than he did earlier in the postseason. In fact, he’s elevated his shooting to 50% from the field through the 2021-22 playoffs through 14 games played. Expect Boston to bounce back big in Game 4, with multiple players on the Miami Heat not at full strength.

The Pick: Boston Celtics -7 (-110)

WCF Game 4: Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks -1 (GSW Leads 3-0)

Well, it’s looking like the Golden State Warriors are returning to the NBA Finals. With the emergence of Jordan Poole late this season and into the postseason, Andrew Wiggins’ First-Team All-Star season, and Klay Thompson’s return to basketball, Golden State has been simply phenomenal. Golden State is simply that good this year, with anyone on the team capable of stepping up. Stephen Curry erupted in Game 3, while it was Andrew Wiggins that caught fire in the second half of Game 4. Any given night, the Warriors have one or two guys who they can count on for scoring approximately 25+ points. Considering the Mavericks' struggles this round, particularly behind the three-point line, bettors should go with the Warriors as the slight underdog. Teams get swept sometimes. Just ask the Brooklyn Nets. The Warriors will bring out the brooms and sweep the Mavericks as they punch their ticket to the NBA Finals Tuesday night.

The Pick: Golden State Warriors ML -104

NBA Player Props

Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks -1 (GSW Leads 3-0)

Prop #1: Stephen Curry, Over 27.5 Points

Stephen Curry has scored 31 points and 32 points over the last two games. He’s done so by converting at least 50% from the field in each contest. It makes sense that he would score at least 28 points in a series-clinching victory tomorrow night. Curry is averaging 27.1 PPG on 45.9% this postseason but has certainly put up more points and done so more efficiently over the last few games.

Prop #2: Luka Doncic, Over 3.5 Threes

Luka has drained nine three-pointers over the last two games. He’s knocked down at least four threes in three of his last four contests. Facing elimination and hoping to not let down the home crowd in back-to-back home playoff games, Doncic will convert at least four baskets from downtown in Game 4.

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