Saturday - Jan 16, 2021

Home / Wagering / HITTING PAYDIRT: Week 1


Welcome to Hitting Paydirt for Week 1. This season we will cover players to score touchdowns in their games. When looking for anytime touchdown scorers, value is important. Some sites offer in-game betting on touchdown scorers so if you can hold off on taking Christian McCaffery at -250 to score, wait until late in the first quarter or second quarter to place a bet at a better number if he is still scoreless.

I am not suggesting to play all of these touchdown scorers below, but if there is value they will be listed. You should not bet the same amount per each player and depending on your book, you may be able to parlay some of these. This week we will use the lines from DraftKings and Fanduel. Be sure to shop your books for the best lines as they can be drastically different from site to site.

The best price from each site is listed next to each player as of Saturday at noon.

One last note I will mention is many books offer “Any Other Player” to score. Many coaches have been on record saying they are worried about special teams. A lot of teams kick or punt returners are not listed so they would qualify as that “Any Other Player” and those odds tend to be +500 or better. You will also get most defensive players in that category.

I have put an asterisk* next to my five favorite plays of the week based on value.

Anytime Touchdown Scorers

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens

Marquise Brown +200 (BAL)
J.K. Dobbins +350 (BAL)

Brown could be another breakout player in 2020 and after a big Week 1 in 2019, we are going back to the well. The Dobbins play is not a strong one as his workload is unclear but the +350 is appealing.

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots

Cam Newton +300 (NE)*
Mike Gesicki +500 (MIA)
Rex Burkhead +550 (NE)

The Patriots running game is very unclear so taking a flier on Burkhead at these odds instead of Sony Michel at just above even money looks much better. Cam Newton is also a threat at the goal line so +300 on him seems to be great value. Gesicki was a sleeper TE this season and at 5/1 odds, that would project just 3 touchdowns on the season for him, so his +500 number is a good one to take a chance on.

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

Aaron Jones +108 (GB)*
Davante Adams +130 (GB)*

There is a very good chance that either of the Packers top two options score this week and you are getting both at plus money. Of course Aaron Jones’ touchdown  production is expected to regress this season, but at +108, he needs to be bet.

Seahawks @ Falcons

Calvin Ridley +160 (ATL)*

Every player on DraftKings is listed at plus money except for Todd Gurley. With a total listed at 49 points, there is expected to be about 6 touchdowns in this game and Ridley has the best odds of the top six players in this game. Ridley scored 17 TD’s in his first two seasons compared to Julio Jones’s 14. Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson are both expected to throw for 2 TD’s in this game. Each team’s top wide receivers are listed at +125 or better. DK Metcalf (+125), Julio Jones (+130), Tyler Lockett (+140) are the other numbers and all good plays.

Las Vegas Raiders @ Carolina Panthers

D.J. Moore +220 (CAR)*

Moore is expected to be a Top-10 wide receiver this season and is the second most dangerous weapon on Carolina’s offense. McCaffery at -250 is a pass at that price so look to the next best Carolina option with Moore at great odds in a game that should have plenty of points as well.

Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers

George Kittle -112 (SF)

Picking players at minus money is not going to be common, but Kittle’s price can’t be passed up in this game. The Cardinals have been poor against opposing tight ends over the last few years and in Kittle’s only game against them last year he put up a line of 6-79-1.

Tampa Bay Bucs @ New Orleans Saints

Leonard Fournette +260 (TB)

While Fournette’s situation is fuzzy in Tampa, he is worth a flier at this price. Ronald Jones is +200 and at this point it should be about 50/50 on who scores the rushing touchdowns in Tampa.

Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Rams

Tyler Higbee +275 (LAR)
Robert Woods +275 (LAR)

There is value on Rams pass catchers in this one and I would much rather take +275 on these two instead of taking Cooper Kupp at +160.

That’s it for the NFL Sunday games. Remember if you are betting most of these players at plus money, you only need to hit on 30-40% of these to breakeven or be up a few bucks.

Follow @nicky_stats on twitter for any live plays or Monday night picks. Good luck on opening weekend…

About Nick Pagliuca

Nick has been competitively playing fantasy sports for over 15 years and has been very active in sports betting analysis. Nick participates mainly in fantasy football and offers gambling advice on all major sports.