Vegas vs Fantasy Week 2 2018

By Armando Marsal
Armando Marsal

Vegas vs. Fantasy Week 2
By: Armando Marsal

It was not until I began playing DFS that I started using Vegas lines as part of my research and a determining factor when setting up my lineups. These lines can provide so much information each week. It gives you an idea of the potential game flow we could expect. High totals and close spreads, usually indicates a potential shootout. Whereas, a low total with a low spread is a game that is not expected to have a lot of fantasy goodness aside from maybe a defense. These lines are set by math wizards and some of the best handicappers in the world. They spend countless hours studying patterns, teams, and situations. For those who are not familiar, spreads are the amount of points a team is expected to win or lose by. The point total is the amount of points both teams combined are projected to score.

My goal each week is to look through the lines, paint a picture as to what to expect in different situations, and how to attack that game. Let’s dive right into it.

The chart below shows the two games this week with the highest point totals. I included where it opened and the current live line. This can give you an idea of where the public is putting their money on. Generally if the total opens at one number and it begins to rise, the public is betting the over and vice versa.

Game Open Total Live Total Movement
Steelers vs. Chiefs 50 53.5 +3.5
Saints vs. Browns 47.5 49 +1.5

We have two potential high scoring games according to Vegas, the first one is the Steelers and Chiefs game that has a 53.5 over/under. The Steelers are 5.5 point favorites and have an implied team total of 29.5 points, while the Chiefs have a 24 point implied team total. Currently, 78 percent of the bets are being placed on the over and the Chiefs are receiving 72 percent of the bets against the spread. This is going to be a very popular game in DFS this weekend and rightfully so. The Chiefs have a terrible secondary at this time and got torched by the Chargers last week, so targeting Ben Roethlisberger is something that makes a lot of sense. Especially since the game is at Pittsburgh where he plays much better. The receivers for the Steelers very strong plays as well, and so is James Conner. Essentially this is an offense you definitely want to have exposure to on Sunday. On the Kansas City side of the ball, there are two players that really stand out to me, Kareem Hunt and Travis Kelce. Both of them had subpar performances in Week 1, but can certainly bounce back this week in a game script that should favor them. Tyreek Hill is also an interesting option, but he is the one I have less exposure of this week from this offense. Overall, this game should produce plenty of fantasy goodness as it should be high scoring.

Once again the Saints are in a game with one of the higher projected over/unders. This week they host the Browns in a game that New Orleans is favored by 10 points and have a team implied total of 29.5. The Saints are receiving 67 percent of the bets against the spread and 74 percent of the bets are on the over for this contest. Cleveland has an implied team total of 19.5 points, one of the lowest on the slate. The Saints trio, Alvin Kamara, Drew Brees, and Michael Thomas are all strong plays this week once again. They should be able to find success in this matchup and if this game blows out as it is expected to, at least one of those players will be the reason why. Normally I would have interest in the defense in this situation, but the Saints defense looked awful last week and I am still trying to figure out if they are back to being bad or if last week was just an outlier. That said, I am not playing them, but I am also hesitant to have a lot of exposure to the Browns because this was a strong defense last year. However, being that this should be a lopsided game and that Browns should be chasing points, players such as Jarvis Landry, Tyrod Taylor, and David Njoku are somewhat interesting. I left out Josh Gordon because he has a tough matchup, but he too could see a good amount of volume. The blowout factor here is real, but the Saints should put up plenty of points on the board this weekend, making them an offense worth targeting in DFS.

The next thing I want to focus on is the game with the lowest point total.

Game Open O/U Live O/U Move
Chargers vs. Bills 44 42.5 -1.5

The Chargers head to Buffalo to take on the Bills in the game with the lowest over/under of the slate. Actually, the Dolphins and Jets game has the same over/under, but this game is probably the one that will draw more fantasy appeal. The Chargers are favored by 7.5 points and are receiving 82 percent of the bets against the spread. They also have a healthy implied team total of 25 points. The same cannot be said about the Bills who have a 17.5 team total. Not many people think this game will even reach the 42.5 points as 59 percent of the bets are on the under at this time. From the Bills side, I have nothing. Josh Allen is under center against a strong secondary, so there is no reason to be excited about his first start. Not to mention, the offensive line is terrible for the Bills. On the other hand, the Chargers offense is in a really good spot. Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen, and Melvin Gordon are all viable options this week. Austin Ekeler is also interesting as he could get some garbage time if this game gets out of control. The only concern I have about the Chargers is that they are traveling from the West Coast to the East Coast. Aside from that, there is a lot to like about this offense. The Chargers defense will be without Joey Bosa, but still make for a strong play, going up against a rookie quarterback.

The last thing I want to cover is the game with the biggest spread.

Teams Spread
Rams -13.5
Cardinals +13.5

The Rams are the heaviest favorites on the board at 13.5 points and are receiving 60 percent of the bets against the spread. They have an implied team total of 29 points and the over under of this game is 44.5 points, with 58 percent on the under. The Rams showed why they are considered one of the best teams in the league last week with a victory over the Raiders. This entire offense is firmly in play, but I would be prioritizing Todd Gurley and Cooper Kupp. The Rams defense has to be considered one of the best plays of the week at their position; the Cardinals struggled against the Redskins last week, so could have trouble to get much going this week once again. I’ll never talk anyone off of David Johnson and in season-long leagues, I am rolling him out regardless of the matchup, but I will be tempering my expectations for sure. In DFS, it is not a spot I am targeting. The one player from this offense that I will have exposure to is Ricky Seals-Jones. Rams defense the outside really well, but as we saw in Week 1, they can be vulnerable in the middle of the field, so I expect Seals-Jones to be busy this week as the Cardinals chase points. Aside from that, there is not much else to like from this offense.

Vegas lines are very helpful and prop bets can be as well. You can see yardage totals, projected touchdowns, and all sorts of different lines that can help you project what a player is expected to do. Best of luck to all this week.

If you have any questions, you can always find me on Twitter: @Armando_Marsal