The house always wins. Regular gamblers, moviegoers, and most people can recognize what this phrase means. When it comes to gambling over the long run, the casino/house will always win out. They have been doing it long enough to know all the tricks and all the ways to separate you from your money. What if we could work together with the house? And we could use the years of knowledge and data that sportsbooks pour into game lines? What if we could harness this power to help win our dynasty fantasy football league?. This, my friends, is winning WITH Vegas.
If you are new to the series, please check out the explanation in the following two paragraphs. If you are a returning reader, you can skip down to the games and players we picked this week. All lines are courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook.
The premise of this series is to look at weekly over/unders and implied team totals to find fringe starters in our deeper fantasy football leagues. If these terms confuse you, don’t worry. Here is your crash course on sportsbook betting terminology we will be using. Every NFL game has three basic things to bet on; spread, money line, and over/unders. The spread is the number of points a team is projected to win or lose by. A team favored by -7 is projected to win by a touchdown or more. The reverse would be a team as +7 underdogs are projected to lose by a touchdown or less. Moneyline is just the straight-up winner and over/under is the projected combined total of both teams’ scores.
In this series, we will be concerned with over/unders and spreads to figure out implied team totals. The implied team total would be the final projected score for a team based on Vegas lines. To figure this out, we must determine the final score Vegas is projecting. Let us set up a scenario where a game has an over/under of 42, and the favorite is projected to win by 8 points. We must use math to come up with a final score that will meet both of these criteria. In this example, a final score of 25 – 17 will match both projections. By going through every game in a week, we can quickly see which teams Vegas has scoring big, and that will give us a clue as to what players have the best touchdown upside.
Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) at Washington Football Team
Implied Final Score: Chiefs (32) Washington (25)
Mecole Hardman, WR, KC
Hardman has emerged as the clear third receiving option in this Kansas City offense. That, combined with Hill being slightly hobbled, could leave Hardman in a smash spot this Sunday against the Washington Football Team, a team that, despite being touted pre-season as a great defense, is currently allowing the most fantasy points per game to the wide receiver position. Hardman can easily be started as a WR3 with WR2 upside, depending on how much Hill plays.
Ricky Seals- Jones, TE, WSH
With the absence of Logan Thomas in Week 5, Ricky Seals-Jones was able to command 8 targets which converted to 5 receptions and 41 yards. These are very respectable numbers for a tight end and equated to a mid-tier TE2 finish. Washington is currently targeting their tight ends at a 16% rate, all of which is now going to Seals-Jones. He can be started as a TE2 in this matchup, with the chance to finish as a TE1 if he can find his way into the endzone.
Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-3)
Implied Final Score: Chargers (25) Ravens (28)
Jalen Guyton, WR, LAC
When trying to find players to start who will only see three or fewer targets per game, we want to make sure to concentrate on the most athletic ones on the field. These players will have the best chance of hauling in a 60-yard bomb and provide you with WR3 numbers on a single snap. Guyton is someone who can fill this role for your fantasy team. Guyton ran a sub 4.4 40 yard dash at his pro-day. On the field, he may be even faster than that. Guyton is quite the desperation start, but he can find that one deep target he can produce WR3/4 type numbers.
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I hope you enjoyed this dive into Vegas implied team totals, over/unders, and how math can help us in fantasy football. For more content like this, be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @DanT_NFL. DMs are always open for any questions, comments, or craft beer recommendations!
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