This article is part of our DraftKings Sportsbook series.
It's interesting how a one-week sample can affect our tendencies and we think we can now accurately draw some conclusions. While that's usually the case, that's not necessarily accurate. The NFL is a flowing league that can change week-to-week but as with fantasy, now isn't the time to completely change a preseason idea you had about a team or a player. So let's see if we can actually take advantage of some either over or under-achieving performances from Week 1.
The game of the week that seems the oddest is seeing the Eagles as one-point favorites at home against the Rams. Los Angeles looked impressive in beating the Cowboys last week on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, the Eagles lost to Washington for the first time in their last seven games. There's a few factors to take into account here. First, the Eagles were beat up on offense with both Miles Sanders and Lane Johnson being out. The latter might have had the bigger impact as the Washington football team dominated the line of scrimmage on defense. Both players should be back for the Eagles this week drastically improving the offense. Don't be surprised if the public's perception of this game is that the Rams should roll and this line moves to either make this a pick 'em or gives Philadelphia a point or two.
Speaking of the Cowboys, this is a great bounce-back spot for one of the teams I feel should be a top-5 favorite to win the Super Bowl. The Falcons showed they can give up a lot of yardage and points last week against Seahawks and it won't get easier for the defense in Dallas. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott should be able to move up and down the field and put up a lot of points. The Cowboys defense is good enough to get a few stops on the defensive side and this line should be more towards a full touchdown, in my opinion. So there's the option of taking the Cowboys -4.5 points for a decent amount and then take an alternative line like Dallas -10.5 at +205 odds for a smaller amount (think 10-25 percent).
Here are some money line plays that I think can pay off.
New York Giants +200: The Bears should have lost last week and were bailed out by an improbable fourth quarter comeback. D'Andre Swift still had the chance to win the game for the Lions but the opportunity slipped through his hands. The Giants looked better defensively and I'll back Daniel Jones over Mitchell Trubisky both this year and in the long run.
Las Vegas Raiders +195: The Saints don't play as well on the road during the Drew Brees era and now he'll be without Michael Thomas. I don't think the Raiders are a great team but there's enough around Josh Jacobs for them to move the ball in this matchup. I think Henry Ruggs gets deep for a long touchdown as well and we don't know how the chemistry is between Drew Brees and Emmanuel Sanders.
Diontae Johnson +175 to score a touchdown: He hit for over his receiving yards last week and played a high percentage of snaps on offense. Johnson is home and should be able to find the soft spots in the Denver defense to get loose.
Marvin Jones +150 to score a touchdown: There's some hype of Quintez Cephus (+325 for his backers) but Jones is the elder statesman of this group. He should be the top target sans Kenny Golladay and Matthew Stafford looked Jones' way more than one in the red zone last week.
Jonnu Smith +220 to score a touchdown: Everyone knows that without A.J. Brown that Corey Davis will be a popular pick. However, Smith has a ton of athletic ability and should be the second receiving option. These are really good odds for a guy who'll create mis-matches in the red zone.
Henry Ruggs +225 to score a touchdown: I mentioned this earlier and I'll stick to my guns, Ruggs gets open down field for a score. When the over/under for longest touchdown of the game comes out (probably around 41/42 yards) hit the over and you can double-dip if this prediction comes true. His status will be worth monitoring, however, as Ruggs did not practice Friday due to a knee issue.