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Editor's Note: Steve Rieder has accumulated a 205-166-1 record, +22.06 units over the course of the 2021 & 2022 NFL seasons. Get access to his full record, pick by pick, on our NFL bets tracker spreadsheet
STEVE RIEDER'S NFL LOOKAHEAD FORECAST HISTORY:
Week 4 Lookahead Forecast: SF -1. Closed SF -2, but the 49ers won going away by a score of 24-9. (WON)
Week 5 Lookahead Forecast: MIN -6.5. With the market currently painted -7.5, we got ahead of the move and are sitting on a +EV play. (WON)
Week 6 Lookahead Forecast: PHI -5.5. With the market at -6.5, we find some value, but because of the Eagles struggles in last weeks win, coupled with their offensive line injuries and the Cowboys dominance, we only had a point of CLV as Philly failed to cover the spread and won by just three points. (LOST)
WEEK 8 LOOKAHEAD BEST BET: NYG/SEA O43
The Giants are currently averaging 21.2 points per game, which is probably the best scenario given the circumstances that has surrounded this team. A majority of their offensive line was brought in this offseason and has fought through injuries at multiple positions. Their tight end group was described this offseason as “the worst position group in the NFL.” Their receiving corps is littered with no-name contributors because brand names, like Sterling Shepard, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Wan’Dale Robinson have all been hurt for much of the season. The mainstays, Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones were expected to be jettison this upcoming offseason as the Gettlemen era was finally laid to rest. Yet somehow, through perseverance, good coaching, and perhaps a little bit of luck, the Giants find themselves 5-1 all while posting over 21 points per game.
The Giants defensive opponents have been approximately league average (17.5 according to DVOA), so they aren’t exactly beating up on bad teams. In Seattle, they will face a defense that is 22nd in DVOA and have given up the 3rd most points per game (27.2) in the entire league. Seattle is bottom third in the league in run defense and they will go up against Saquon Barkley that is 2nd in the league in rushing yards. All that rushing success has set up the Giants efficiency in play action. Daniel Jones is a league best off play action with a nearly 92 PFF grade. There is also a chance that Kadariuis Toney may be back by next week. Although he has been labeled as DNP, Toney is doing straight line runs with relative ease during practice. If he comes back, he may be the secondary playmaker than unlocks this offense, which should help get us over the number.
Seattle’s offense is one of the more pleasant surprises this NFL season. Geno Smith, on his 4th team in his 9 year career, has been a revelation. He ranks 2nd in PFF, solely behind Josh Allen, and 4th in QBR against opposing defenses that average 17th according to DVOA. A team that was expected to be in the doldrums after Russell Wilson departed, find themselves at 3-3 exceeding just about everyone’s expectations. With two extremely talented receivers on the outside, the Giants’ defense could find difficulty containing both, especially considering their CB2 has been a turnstile throughout the year.
The Giants defense has allowed under 19 points per game, good for 7th in the league. On the surface, New York looks like a dominant defense. But the analytics crowd will point to the 5.8 ypp allowed per game, which ranks them tied for 23rd in the league, as cause for concern. Football Outsiders rank the Giants as the 3rd worst team in the entire league. Perhaps the truth is somewhere in between. Previous games indicate this should be lined at 46, and we are only playing over 43. With a Giants offense that should be better moving forward and who’s defense has over-performed above expectation and a Seattle offense that has been firing on all cyclinders and whos defense is a sieve, I fully expect this line to reopen Sunday night north of 43. There is also belief, with the scoring down across the league, the NFL would like higher scoring and more entertaining affairs. Whether or not they get what they want, it remains to be seen, but with sharper books posting 44 and 44.5, this is a clear indication of value for our lookahead.
By Steve Rieder
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