Top NFL Defensive Props To Bet: Week 1
If you follow sports, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying defense wins championships. Well, while that’s become slightly less accurate in the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did win a Super Bowl because they held the high-powered Chiefs’ offense to just nine points.
Anyway, while the offense is all the rage, defense is still an essential part of the game, and we see some impressive defenses in the league today, especially when it comes to getting after the Quarterback.
Let’s try to make you some money on some props, with defense being the focus here in week 1 of the NFL season.
Von Miller Over 1.5 Tackles (-140)
It’s been a long time since Von Miller has stepped onto a football field. He missed the entirety of the 2020 season but back in 2019, he was still productive, sacking the QB eight times with 46 tackles on the season.
That’s an average of just over three tackles per game, and he finished with three or more tackles nine times in 15 games in 2019. So when looking at the Giants’ offensive line, it’s likely a safe bet that Miller will find himself in the backfield quite a bit.
Giants Quarterbacks were sacked 50 times last season, which was tied for second-most in the NFL. With Andrew Thomas, who struggled as a rookie tasked with blocking Miller, he may hit the over on sacks alone this week.
Race to 25 Points - Tennessee Titans (+105)
This is a reverse bet. Allow me to explain. While you’re betting on the Titans to score 25 points before the Cardinals do, the reasoning behind it is due to the defense of the Cardinals.
While Arizona was 12th in the league in points allowed and 13th in yards in 2020, the matchup against Tennessee is curious. Robert Alford hasn’t taken a regular-season snap in two years, one of the projected starting corners for the Cardinals.
The team signed him before the 2019 season, and he hasn’t seen the field since due to season-ending injuries each of the past two years. Plus, on the other side is Byron Murphy Jr., who has underwhelmed so far in the NFL.
The moral of the story, with A.J. Brown and Julio Jones running the show for the Titans on the outside with Derrick Henry wreaking havoc on the ground game, it could be a long day for the Cardinals’ defense. Also, for what it’s worth, Tennesse scored 25 points or more ten times last year.
Chicago Bears Under 18.5 Team Total (-110)
Chicago has a new QB at the helm this year. No, not Justin Fields, at least not yet, but Andy Dalton will be leading the show. In games where Andy Dalton started for the Cowboys last year, they scored less than 18.5 points four times.
The Rams, on the season, averaged 18.5 points per game allowed in 2020. So unless you look at Chicago as this elite powerhouse offense -- which I don’t know why you would -- then it’s probably a safe bet that they don’t score many points.
Here’s a list of the seven teams the Rams kept under that number last year: New England, Arizona, the Giants, Chicago, Washington, Seattle, and Dallas. Is the 2021 version of the Bears, with Andy Dalton starting, better than any of those offenses from last year? I say no.