Welcome back to another week of Beating the Spread. As always, I’m Jake Roy and I’m joined by Brennan Rampe and Tyler Gentile. We’ll be here every Friday throughout the season, posting our picks along with some analysis.
I took a metaphorical bath in week three, bringing me to a not-so-respectable 5-10 on the season. My work is cut out for me the rest of the way. Brennan had an excellent week, taking him back over 50% at 8-7, while Tyler continues his streak of 3-2 weeks to lead the way at 9-6.
You can play along in the comments or find us on Twitter (@Jake3Roy, @808Paperboi, @phdinnfl). Assuming -110 odds we need about 53% to break even, let’s see if we can hit that magic number for the season and come out with some profit. So, without further ado, here are the lines we’ll be using for Week 3!
|Jake Roy (@Jake3Roy)||Brennan Rampe (@Phdinnfl)||Tyler Gentile (@808PaperBoi)|
|Pick #1||Raiders -2.5||Bills/Ravens over 52.0||Bills/Ravens over 52.0|
|Pick #2||Cowboys -3.0||Eagles -6.5||Broncos/Raiders under 45.5|
|Pick #3||Patriots +10.0||Packers -10.0||Cowboys -3.0|
|Pick #4||Chiefs/Buccaneers under 45.5||Chiefs -2.0||Cardinals +1.5|
|Pick #5||Buccaneers +2.0||Rams +2.0||Chargers -4.5|
One win and four losses last week for yours truly. In a season with less scoring than ever, I can’t even manage to pick under correctly. In gambling, you can only lose if you quit while you’re down or if you run out of money, and because gambling isn’t legal in my state (yet), I’m going to continue to throw darts and see if I can climb out of the hole. None of that is serious advice, don’t chase your losses and seek help if you need it.
I hate the board. I really hate it. I have absolutely no feel for it at all right now, but I’m going to power through. The Raiders haven’t won a game yet this season. They need a win desperately, or their season could be over before it ever got off the ground. Hungry dogs run faster, though, and Derek Carr and company should come out firing at home against a divisional opponent. Josh McDaniels doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence as a head coach, but it’s hard to have a worse start to your coaching career than Nathaniel Hackett. Hackett manages to say and do the exact wrong thing at every turn. It’s a miracle the Broncos have two wins. I’ll take the Raiders to cover the small number and get their first win of the season at home. LV -2.5
The Cowboys don’t really jump off the page as a good team, especially with Cooper Rush at quarterback. The offense is lackluster with the departure of Amari Cooper as well as injuries to Michael Gallup and the offensive line. The defensive line, however, is a bear. Micah Parsons is a game wrecker and moves all over the formation, while Demarcus Lawrence comes off the edge. The Commanders, for some reason, still employ Carson Wentz. What’s worse is that they ask him to play quarterback. He’s already been sacked 15 times this season, and I don’t anticipate Sunday being any more comfortable for him. The Commanders are allowing over 27 points per game this season; if the Cowboys get to 27, they should cover this spread with ease. DAL -3.0
This is a dumb pick. I’ll preface it by saying that I am a Patriots fan, so there may be some bias here. Aside from my bias though, ten points is a ton with these two teams. Yes, the Packers’ offense started to put it together against the Bucs, but they still don’t have a ton of weapons. The Patriots’ defense is solid, despite the Ravens scoring over 30 on Sunday. If they want any chance at winning the game, it will have to be in a low-scoring, grind-it-out game. With Brian Hoyer at quarterback, expect the Patriots to do their best to keep the clock moving and their defense off the field. The Patriots have lost a few games big, but in large part due to turnovers. Hoyer will likely be very conservative and have instructions to take care of the ball. I trust Belichick to cook up a solid game plan and keep this one within a touchdown or so. NE +10.0
Primetime under have been money this season. That’s all there is to this pick. As I said, I don’t have a feel for the board at all right now, so I might as well follow the trend. The Buccaneers’ defense is very solid and has had a few looks at Patrick Mahomes over the past few years. On offense, they’ve struggled to move the ball while they’re missing some of their receiving threats. The Chiefs have shown they can survive without Tyreek Hill, but they don’t have the offensive firepower they once did. The weather may also play a factor with the game staying in Tampa Bay. Hurricane Ian may have passed by game time, but the field will likely be in rough shape. I’ll go with another prime time under on Sunday night football. KC/TB under 45.5
Last pick, based on very little fact. Hurricane Ian is tearing through Florida, donate some money if you can. If you can’t donate, why are you reading this article about gambling picks? Take the money you would bet this week and send it to the Red Cross or something like that. Back to the football – if you are gambling, take the Bucs. Teams rally around their cities; there might not be numbers to back it up, but it’s a fact. The Red Sox won the World Series after the Boston bombing, the Astros won it after Hurricane Harvey, and the Saints won the Super Bowl after Katrina. Tampa Bay getting points when the city needs something to take its mind off the destruction and loss of the hurricane? Automatic bet. TB +2.0
After a horrible 1-4 performance Week 2, I rebounded and went 4-1 this past week. Hopefully I can keep this up, but this looks like a very challenging week!
The best game on the board this week has the highest total as well, but that’s not scaring me away from taking the over here. Led by Lamar Jackson’s incredible play, the Ravens are producing better than anyone on offense and lead the league in yards per play; however, they are also allowing the second most yards per play on defense. If the Patriots and Mac Jones were able to put up 26, then I’d guess Josh Allen and the Bills are scoring 52. Simple math, really. Buffalo has an extensive injury report on the defensive side of things, particularly the secondary, and will be without Tre’davious White and Micah Hyde once again. They had to sign Xavier Rhoades from free agency to get some depth back there. The weather is a bit of concern here, so keep that in mind, but this should be a shootout between two of the best quarterbacks in the game. BUF/BAL over 52.0
Shockingly my Broncos found a win last week. Un-shockingly, the total sailed under once again. The under is 3-0 in Denver games this year with an average of about 27 points per game. Granted, these games have featured some of the weakest offenses in the Seahawks and Texans, but the 49ers are no slouch, typically, and the Raiders’ offense hasn’t been flowing by any means either. They’re averaging 22 points per game, and are 26th in red zone scoring. The Broncos have the best red zone defense in the league and are 5th in defensive DVOA. Quality of opposition has likely contributed to that ranking, but this defense has some legitimate pieces including budding star Patrick Surtain III who should shadow Davante Adams this week. The flaws of the Denver offense are very obvious, and it’s hard to fathom them turning it around just yet on the road. Is Danger-Russ toast? I hope not, but keep fading him and the Broncos until they show anything on offense. DEN/LV under 45.5
I typically avoid divisional matchups as they tend to be very close, but the edge is pretty clear here and it lies in the trenches. Michah Parsons and company might have ten sacks on Sunday facing that Commanders’ offensive line which has allowed the second most sacks (15) so far this season. Here are some geekier stats to back the edge up: the Cowboys are fourth in pass-rush win rate, while Washington is tied for 27th in pass-block win rate. Here is another way to explain why Dallas will cover: the Commanders are terrible. They are 29th in yards per play and 28th in opponent yards per play. Cooper Rush is a competent quarterback, and maybe the Cowboys aren’t out of it just yet. They should win and cover against a divisional opponent once again. DAL -3.0
This is a stinker of a game, but if it’s a toss-up between two ugly defenses, give me the better quarterback in Kyler Murray. One thing that should fluster Baker Mayfield is the consistent blitz-heavy approach defensive coordinator Vance Joseph will bring. The Cardinals have blitzed at the 8th highest clip so far this year (3rd highest last year) and have the best pass-rush win rate% in the early going. Mayfield has looked awful with Carolina so far and has looked particularly bad against the blitz since last year. There are also some rumblings that Christian McCaffrey might not play either. Kyler Murray is leagues better than all of the QBs the Panthers have faced so far, and this looks like a get-right spot for him and the offense. Honestly, this is a much better 6-point teaser look (my favorite teaser leg of the week with this low total too), and probably not worthy of a bet, but this is a tough week, and we’re forced to take 5 for the article, so I’m rolling with Arizona! ARI +1.5
Close your eyes and fade one of the worst teams in the NFL. It’s no secret that the Chargers are banged up, but as long as Justin Herbert plays, and I think he does, then the Chargers should find a win and cover against the Texans despite last week’s drubbing. As poorly as they played, the Jaguars also showcased that they might be a decent side this year. The AFC South is a mess, and the Jags might be a value buy right now at around +225 to win the division. The bottom-feeders of that division are the Texans and they are 32nd in yards per play and are bottom ten in opponent yards per play. Even without Joey Bosa, the Chargers’ defense should still feast against Davis Mills. LAC -4.5
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)