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Real or fake? Sizing up the early-season NFL betting surprises


We look at those results and tell you whether these records are real or fake

Real or fake? Sizing up the early-season NFL betting surprises | News Article by

We are only two weeks into the NFL season, but football bettors have been left slack-jawed by some of the early results. There are a number of teams sitting 2-0 on the year and cashing in for NFL bettors, and there are some teams that have burned up bankrolls in first two weeks of the schedule.

We look at those results and tell you whether these records are real or fake, and if those betting trends will continue into Week 3 and beyond at the top sports betting sites.

FAKE: Carolina Panthers 0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS

The Panthers are off to a better start than last season, when they suffered a season-long Super Bowl hangover. Carolina opened with a one-sided road win over San Francisco and then edged Buffalo at home in Week 2, covering against the 49ers but not the Bills.

The Panthers boast the top-ranked defense in the NFL right now, allowing an average of only 196.5 yards and a total of six points to start the season. However, those opponents aren’t high-powered offensive threats by any means, and those defensive numbers should be taken with a grain of salt.

The Panthers are also terribly banged up at key positions. Quarterback Cam Newton is still playing with a tender shoulder after offseason surgery and is nursing an ankle injury as well. Due to these ailments, the Panthers are hesitant to use the dual-threat in the option offense, taking a major weapon out of the playbook. Add to that the loss of tight end Greg Olsen to a broken foot until at least November, and Newton is without his check down – AKA safety blanket – when plays break down.

REAL: Kansas City Chiefs 2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS

The Chiefs turned heads with their dominating performance over the Patriots in Week 1, outscoring the defending Super Bowl champs 28-10 in the second half of that Thursday nighter. Kansas City followed that with an impressive win against the Eagles at home, once again turning up the intensity in the final two quarters and outscoring Philadelphia 21-17 to secure the win and cover.

The Chiefs’ once-conservative offense is averaging 7.6 yards per play – over a yard more than the second-ranked team – backboned by quarterback Alex Smith, who is connecting on almost 78 percent of his throws, and rookie rusher Kareem Hunt, who has exploded for 355 total yards of offense and five touchdowns.

Kansas City can keep this momentum rolling for the next three games, visiting the Chargers in Week 3, hosting the Redskins in Week 4, and traveling to Houston in Week 5. The Chiefs defense suffered a blow when it lost safety Eric Berry for the year, but as long as the offense keeps putting up big points, the pressure is off the stop unit to win games.

FAKE: Seattle Seahawks 1-1, 0-2 ATS

The Seahawks haven’t looked great through two weeks of football, losing a low-scoring affair at Lambeau Field in Week 1 and barely beating the feeble 49ers at home last Sunday. Seattle’s offense is not producing, putting up only 268.5 yards per outing and averaging just 10.5 points. Russell Wilson is struggling to move the chains and has been sacked six times through two games.

Before the 12th Man pushes the panic button, take a look back at the Seahawks’ starts in past seasons. Seattle was 1-1 in disappointing fashion through two weeks last year, scoring 15 total points in those games. In 2015, the Seahawks lost their opening two games while star safety Kam Chancellor held out. And in 2014, the team also began the year 1-1.

This is a veteran squad that will figure things out before the ship starts to sink. The defense is still an elite unit, one that limited Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to 17 points at home. It’s only giving up an average of 13 points to start the year, so there the offense doesn’t have to improve too much to get Seattle back on track. The Seahawks have a tough road game at Tennessee Sunday, then should have two softer games at home in Indianapolis and at the L.A. Rams before a bye in Week 6.

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