Bryan has the hot hand right now, coming out of the gates swinging for the fences, putting up two straight 4-1 weeks. I’m feeling the pressure but not too worried after making it through the first two weeks with a solid 6-4 record. Sixty percent plays in this game just fine. However, I’m doing better than that in real life as I’ve been hitting some prop bets on the nationally televised games. For those that enter betting with a lot of fantasy experience, take a look at the yardage prop bets for players that appear before some of the big games. I cashed both on the Thursday Night game last week (Joe Burrow passing yardage and Nick Chubb rushing yards) while successfully offsetting my lost bet on the Sunday night game with betting on Tyler Lockett to eclipse 57 yards receiving. So, my 3-2 week was really 6-2 with some nice props.
Onto week three as we are starting to understand the league a little more but so is Vegas. The big factor throwing a wrench in everyone’s plans right now are the injuries. League-wide, we’re seeing a surge of injuries to key players throughout the league. Just how much of an impact will missing Saquon Barkley or Nick Bosa be to their respective teams? Will their backups step up or can their coaches make adjustments? That’s going to be a recurring question over the next few weeks of betting because it adds unknowns into a world that is already volatile.
We’re glad to have you around for the ride. Let’s get into this week’s picks!
The following lines were captured on Tuesday. Betting lines can vary by site and move throughout the week so check yours to make sure that you have similar information.
|Las Vegas||New England||NE -6||47|
|LA Rams||Buffalo||BUF -2.5||47.5|
|San Francisco||NY Giants||SF -4.5||41|
|NY Jets||Indianapolis||IND -10.5||43.5|
|Carolina||LA Chargers||LAC -7||44|
|Tampa Bay||Denver||TB -6||43.5|
|Green Bay||New Orleans||NO -3.5||51.5|
|Kansas City||Baltimore||BAL -3.5||53.5|
|Analyst||Jeff Berckes||Erik Smith||Bryan Sweet|
|Pick #1||TEN -2.5||BUF -2.5||LAR +2.5|
|Pick #2||ARI -5.5||CHI +3.5||TB -6|
|Pick #3||PIT -4||WAS +7||NYG +4.5|
|Pick #4||IND -10.5||NYJ/IND U43.5||GB +3.5|
|Pick #5||SEA -4.5||NO -3.5||LV/NE U47|
Jeff Berckes: The Titans were one of my favorite teams coming into the season and it’s simply because they’re built differently. They were pushed by the Broncos in Mile High in the opener but gutted out a victory, and then were unexpectedly pushed by the Jaguars before pulling out a late win. The Vikings on the other hand have looked out of sorts and are spinning out of control. Kirk Cousins needs positive game scripts to be successful and the Titans are more than happy to ugly it up and let him make mistakes. TEN -2.5
Few people are more excited than I am about this Arizona Cardinals start. Kyler Murray clearly looks like he can take advantage of bad defenses and put up points. Enter the Matt Patricia Lions in the desert. I think Kyler has his way with the beat up and abused Lions secondary and while my first instinct was to put money on the over, that 54.5 line is making me nervous. Give me ARI -5.5 instead.
Those poor Houston Texans, starting off the year with the Chiefs and Ravens and now the Steelers, three strong AFC contenders. A lot of people were worried about the Texans before the year (Vegas had their O/U win total at 7.5) but the schedule makers decided to really punish them. The Steelers have one of the best defenses in the league and have ample weapons on offense. This line simply feels too low for me despite my love for Deshaun Watson. PIT -4
The most obvious bet for me this preseason was fading the Jets. Taking under 6.5 wins felt almost like I was stealing money. I should’ve taken out a mortgage on the house… Anyway, a 10.5 underdog going into Indianapolis is a huge line this early in the season but the Jets have certainly earned it. The Colts looked great last week in destroying the Vikings at home. I’m essentially just betting that nothing has changed in seven days. IND -10.5
What’s kind of crazy about Seattle’s hot start is that they have historically been slow starters and get tougher as the year progresses. If that’s the case, the Seahawks are going undefeated and winning a second championship because they look like they’re in playoff form right now. Dallas has as much talent as anyone on offense and so this could be another shootout (I really thought about the over but 55.5…) but I truly believe in the Seattle team more than anything right now. SEA -4.5
Erik Smith: The Bills seem perfectly suited to gut out a three-point win at home, and Jared Goff has had the advantage of going against some less than stellar defenses through two weeks. With Buffalo’s newfound ability to air the ball out on offense, I also like their versatility to adapt to any game script. I expect this to turn into a messy game, and I like the Bills more than the Rams in a game like that. Buffalo -2.5
If you’ve checked my bets this year, you’ve probably learned that I don’t like the Falcons. Last week, although they covered the spread, they squandered a bunch of early fumbles by Dallas to shockingly lose a game that they had a 99% chance of winning. I don’t see how they recover in time, and Chicago has squeaked out two wins against lousy teams so far. Give me the better defense and the three and a half points. Chicago +3.5
The Browns are favored by seven points? The Cleveland Browns? I know they beat up on a lousy Bengals defense last week, but Washington shouldn’t be the same pushover on the ground. They limited Kenyan Drake to 86 yards on 20 carries last week, only getting gashed by Kyler Murray’s legs, an advantage that the Browns don’t have with Baker Mayfield. I think the Browns are the better team, but seven points are just too many. Washington +7
I expect this Jets/Colts game to be a boring, grind out the clock type game, so let’s take advantage by betting the under! We all know about the mess that the Jets are, and they’ve put up a combined 30 points over two weeks. Meanwhile, Jamison Crowder is looking doubtful and the receiving corps is in shambles. The Colts look like a team that is more than happy to grind out the clock with a bunch of rushing attempts, so I expect this game to move quickly. As long as Jonathan Taylor doesn’t start ripping off long runs, I think we could be looking at a 20-10 type game here. NYJ/IND Under 43.5
Sometimes you have to just assume that Vegas knows what they are doing, throw out all analysis, and go against what the crowd thinks. Why in the world would I take the Saints (-3.5) coming off a disappointing loss to the Raiders, against a Packers team with a fire-breathing Aaron Rodgers looking like an MVP again? I don’t know, but I promise everyone is going to jump on this Packers side, so I’ll go contrarian here. I do think that we should give Sean Payton and Drew Brees a little more credit here, and I expect them to have a better gameplan this week. Both teams may be without their number one receivers, so it could be a grind it out type game, and the Packers struggle to defend the run. New Orleans -3.5
Bryan Sweet: The Rams are much better than I thought prior to the start of the season and Josh Allen has looked great against the Jets and Dolphins. The Bills beat a BAD Jets team by 10 and held off a mediocre Dolphins team by 3. The Rams eked out a win against a very good offensive team in Dallas and dominated a weakened Philadelphia team. I think the Rams are a better team top to bottom and have arguably the best defensive player in the NFL in Aaron Donald. Despite the cross-country trip, I’m taking the Rams and the points. Rams +2.5
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers have not looked in sync during the first two weeks but there was a visible improvement from week 1 to week 2. Denver has been decimated by injuries through the first two weeks and will be without their starting QB and one of their top WRs as Courtland Sutton has been placed on I.R. Brady should get Chris Godwin back this week and Tampa Bay has an underrated defense. Tampa rolls in this one. Tampa Bay -6
The New York Giants are not a very good team and lost Saquon Barkley for the season and Sterling Shepherd for at least three weeks during the team’s week 2 loss to Chicago. San Francisco is going to be without Jimmy Garoppolo and Raheem Mostert for sure and rumors are circulating that George Kittle is considering opting out of the game due to the turf at the Meadowlands. The 49ers also lost both Nick Bosa and Soloman Thomas for the season last week. This is shaping up to be a rough game to watch, so give me the points. New York Giants +4.5
Anyone that watched the Monday Night game between Las Vegas and New Orleans might come to the conclusion that either Michael Thomas is a bigger part of the Saints’ offense than previously thought or Drew Brees has finally lost in his battle against Father Time. On the other hand, Aaron Rodgers has been given a dose of motivation with the first-round drafting of Jordan Love and is slinging the ball all over the field. Derek Carr just dissected this Saints defense and it would stand to reason Rodgers can do the same. Green Bay +3.5
What happens when you take two teams who want to run the ball and pit them against each other? You get a game in which the clock keeps running and the score is low. That’s exactly the scenario when Las Vegas travels to New England this weekend. Cam Newton has been playing, and running, like his MVP season and Josh Jacobs just keeps getting fed. The issue is compounded when each team’s best receiver are possession-type guys in Darren Waller and Julian Edelman. I don’t know who walks away with the victory, but it’s probably not going to take many points. Las Vegas/New England Under 47
What are your favorite picks of the week? Put in your comments below to play along. We’ll be updating our records all season!
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)