MIA (0-2) @ JAX (1-1) / JAX -2.5
- While this AFC clash on TNF won't be one for the ages this game actually does have the potential to be relatively high scoring. On one side you have Fitzpatrick who can either be electric or far from it with no in between and for the Jaguars you have an equally eccentric QB in Gardner Minshew who many thought would be on the way out of Jacksonville after this year. However, Minshew has played relatively well and is a very close loss in Week 2 away from being undefeated. Right now we like the weapons that the Jaguars have more, even though Chark didn't practice. In the same breath Miami also had a big name WR of their own, DeVante Parker, limited this week. The Jaguars seem to have found a replacement of Fournette in James Robinson whereas the Dolphins are still struggling at that position. In the end though, both of these teams have an about equal chance to win this game as both of the defensive units aren't anything special. The spread is close to a pick'em but as of right now with neither team having an immediate advantage we would suggest hedging your bets here. We like the Jaguars outright barely in what should be a close game as they are a bit healthier and have slightly better weapons.
CHI (2-0) @ ATL (0-2) / ATL -3.5
- It's not often that an undefeated team and a winless one faceoff where the winless one is favored but that is the case here and honestly that's the way it should be. Now sure, the Falcons might be coming off one of the most gut wrenching losses in NFL history last week BUT at least their offense, weapons, and QB look legitimate which we can't really say for Chicago as they have mostly taken advantage of the soft part of their schedule in wins that have both been way too close for comfort. In reality, this is a matchup that has two very different styles clashing as the Bears are a pedestrian offense with a bad QB but really good defense that will keep them in the game. Whereas the Falcons are an elite offense with a great QB but a defense that can't hold a lead and is very susceptible. Due to this it's kind of difficult to predict how this game plays out as it could see Chicago score a bunch vs this defense or see them get worn out by this Atlanta offense and ultimately lose. But in our opinion the most likely scenario here is a close game where the Bears defense will keep the Atlanta offense in check for the most part until Matt Ryan just makes a few more plays than Trubisky. For that reason we like the Falcons outright but think taking the Bears on the spread is a smart move as they could very well pull off the upset here especially if Julio isn't at 100%.
LAR (2-0) @ BUF (2-0) / BUF -2.5
- The Rams vs Bills will serve as a good test to see which one of these teams is more legitimate and a closer approximation to their undefeated record and which one has benefited from easy matchups. No doubt on paper the Bills have had one of the biggest cupcake schedules so far with games vs the Jets and Dolphins but credit to them they looked like the much better team both times. The Rams however are coming off a big win over the Eagles and by far have the best defense that the Bills will face so far. Due to these reasons we don't expect to see Josh Allen dominate quite as much as the last two weeks but we still see him as the better QB option compared to Jared Goff. Both QB's have an excellent WR tandem and good defenses but we think the X-factor here will be the rushing ability of Josh Allen and his superior offensive line which is why we like the Bills in a back and forth game. The spread is tough here as it's close to a pick em but we just feel like the Bills are the more complete team overall so we will give them the slight edge there too.
CIN (0-2) @ PHI (0-2) / PHI -6.5
- While the Eagles are winless, just like the Bengals, and Carson Wentz has looked pretty shaky, Philadelphia are still somehow heavy favorites in this game. To be fair we do expect them to bounce back as well, since they have the more experienced QB and the Bengals defense can't compare to that of the Rams and Washington, but the Eagles are EXTREMELY limited at WR. On the flip side the Bengals have A LOT of good weapons around Joe Burrow and they have been competitive in both of their games so far. For the Bengals, we saw last week that Burrow could air it out, the problem has been that two of their biggest stars, Joe Mixon and A.J. Green, haven't stepped up (with the bigger issue probably being Mixon as Boyd has picked up the slack for Green). If Joe Mixon can get over 100 yards in this game we wouldn't be shocked to see the Bengals win but right now we just view this Bengals defense as too much of a liability and this seems like the perfect rebound game for Wentz. For that reason we'll take the Eagles outright but the Bengals on the spread is also a great play.
WAS (1-1) @ CLE (1-1) / CLE -6.5
- The Browns are coming off a nice win vs the Bengals and they are almost a TD favorite in this game, but we've said it before and we'll say it again, "Don't sleep on this Washington defense". Yes, Washington gave out last week vs Kyler Murray but don't confuse Baker with Kyler as Mayfield is nowhere in the same neighborhood and will likely struggle for a while in this game. Favorably however, the Browns remain one of the most loaded teams in the NFL and have two great RB's so they have the pieces to get this victory. However, this game will still ultimately come down to how much can Haskins do since he is the guy holding back Washington right now. In the end, we still haven't seen enough from Haskins to make us believe that he can capitalize on his good defense so for that reason we have to go with the Browns outright. On the spread though we don't think Cleveland will blow out Washington so we like WAS there.
TEN (2-0) @ MIN (0-2) / MIN +2.5
- Boy it sure looks like the Vikings miss Stefon Diggs right about now but it also doesn't help when your QB is coming off the type of performance Cousins had vs the Colts. Also not being talked about enough when it comes to the Vikings is all of the overturn on defense and how now that has become a possible weak point. On the flip side, Tannehill is coming off a great game and right now seems like the more trustworthy QB between him and Cousins with a more overall balanced team. For what it's worth though we think Cousins will clean up some mistakes as this should be the Dalvin Cook show vs a team in the Titans that hasn't been stout vs RB's but that one man army probably won't be quite enough to get the Vikings the win. In reality these are two teams that are built similarly with average QB's on run first offenses so the edge will go to the team whose QB can step up. And even though Tannehill isn't the picture of consistency we think he has the slight advantage here and that is why we like the Titans to win this game by between 3-5 points.
LV (2-0) @ NE (1-1) / NE -6.5
- Against all odds the Raiders are still undefeated as they shocked the Saints on MNF but we think that streak comes to an end here as they face the Patriots who are also 1-yard away from being 2-0. Simply put, this game comes down to Cam Newton vs Derek Carr, who will make more plays and who will do more with less. Neither one of these teams are loaded offensively but like we've said before a healthy Cam Newton is a Top 10 QB and at his current pace an MVP favorite. The Raiders simply don't have enough impact pass catchers outside of Waller and Josh Jacobs can only do so much. While this game might be close to begin with we believe that Cam will break off a couple of runs late and help the Patriots pull away. On a side note if the Raiders pull this upset off then it will be time to give them some serious credit and look at them as contenders come Week 3 but for now we are going with Cam in his comeback season.
SF (1-1) @ NYG (0-2) / NYG +4.5
- This might be the most injury plagued matchup we have all season and that's an unfortunate storyline, but that's the type of luck these teams have had. For the 49ers there might not be a more defensively injured team in the league than them as their elite unit from 2019 is far from that right now. And for the Giants you also have the loss of Saquon Barkley for the entire year but don't overlook the turf toe injury to Shepard either. But even with all of that the Giants will likely have an advantage here as the early expectation is that Gorappolo doesn't play either and Kittle might sit due to field conditions. If that's the way this thing plays out then we feel good about taking the Giants as we expect Daniel Jones to outperform Mullens. As it stands right now the Giants are a great sleeper pick with good odds but the status of Gorappolo is the main thing that needs to be monitored because if he plays then slight advantage 49ers.
HOU (0-2) @ PIT (2-0) / PIT -3.5
- The tough start to the season for the Texans does not get any easier in Week 3 as they face one of the best defenses in the Steelers who are currently 2-0. In all honesty though, Watson hasn't played all that great to start the season and the absence of Hopkins is being felt as Cooks and Fuller have not put up consistent performances. While the upside is definitely there for this Houston offense, on paper this is not the team it will happen against. For the Steelers offensively they are healthy and when that's the case they are a Top 10 unit in the NFL and with the growth of Diontae Johnson they could be even better. As long as Big Ben doesn't implode in this game the Steelers should win as we like them outright. We also tend to favor the Steelers on the spread as we think this defense is good enough to prevent late garbage time scoring from Houston which would be the main way they cover there.
NYJ (0-2) @ IND (1-1) / IND -10.5
- There's not too much to say here, the Jets are one of the worst teams in the NFL and they continue to suffer injuries to their WR's which obviously isn't helping things. And while the Colts with Rivers have shown us that they can blow a game to an underdog they should win this matchup. Sam Darnold has little to no help in this game and if the Colts are smart they just ride Jonathan Taylor to an easy victory. The edge for the Colts is so large that even without Hooker and Campbell they should still be able to get the easy win here. The Colts should be a lock outright but we have seen the Jets put up some garbage time points before and with a spread of 10.5 we think that the Jets could get a sneaky back door cover.
CAR (0-2) @ LAC (1-1) / LAC -7.5
- The Panthers are unfortunately another team that has seen their star RB, Christian McCaffrey, go down with an injury that will keep him out for 4-6 weeks. With that being the case and Bridgewater not having the skill to carry this team on his shoulders this should be a simple win for the Chargers. Couple this with the fact that the Chargers have a very good defense and that means this will be a LONG day for the Carolina offense. And even though rookie Justin Herbert will be starting for the Chargers this is probably an improvement for the Chargers as they looked more potent with him under center compared to Taylor last week. But in all honesty, even if Taylor was starting, the Panthers defense is so bad that the Chargers should be able to ride Austin Ekeler and Josh Kelley to a comfortable victory.
DAL (1-1) @ SEA (2-0) / SEA -4.5
- After a miracle victory last week the Cowboys are somehow 1-1, but we think that will end real quick when going up against a Seattle team that looks like an early championship contender. Simply put there isn't anybody playing at a higher level than Russell Wilson who has looked like the clear favorite for early season MVP and we think this will continue in another high scoring affair. And while Dak has the better overall weapons at WR and RB, the deciding factor will be the play of these two QB's and we have to give the advantage to Wilson. Partner this with the fact that Wilson very rarely turns the ball over and that this Seattle defense is coached well enough to avoid a bid defensive collapse and we think Seattle comes out victorious. While this game will be back and forth for a while Seattle will likely pull away late as they could very well score close to 40+ points.
TB (1-1) @ DEN (0-2) / DEN +5.5
- The Bucs are coming off a get right game vs the Panthers while the Broncos are in a world of trouble after losing Courtland Sutton for the year and Drew Lock for several weeks. That means it will be Jeff Driskel under center mainly relying on rookie pass catchers and that's not the combination you want when going up vs Tom Brady. And while the Denver defense will do its part and try to slow Brady that will only work for so long. With the return for Chris Godwin and breakout of Leonard Fournette this TB offense is trending in the right direction and should get the victory here. In all honesty we would be surprised if Denver scores more than 20 points vs a good TB defense and that's why we liked the Bucs on the spread as well.
DET (0-2) @ ARI (2-0) / ARI -5.5
- Well good news for the Lions, they finally get Kenny Golladay back, bad news however is they have to face the Cardinals who have looked excellent with Murray and Hopkins. And while Stafford definitely has the talent to hang in this game for a bit, the weapons for the Cardinals starting with Murray and his rushing ability are just too much here. I anticipate that this will be a close game for the first 3 quarters and that we will see a lot of points scored but as the game continues Murray or Kenya Drake should be able to break off a few runs that put the Lions away. The Cardinals should be a comfortable lock and while the spread is a bit of a question mark we ultimately like the Cardinals there too.
GB (2-0) @ NO (1-1) / NO -3.5
- Boy oh boy the Saints sure looked like they missed Michael Thomas in their loss vs the Raiders on MNF. There might be some that question how much of that is due to MT and how much is it Drew Brees just maybe losing step? Unfortunately, it will take a bigger sample size for us to know the answer to that question, but right now this Saints offense definitely felt the loss of Thomas. However, with a HC like Sean Payton we expect a lot of those mistakes to be cleaned up and for the Saints to have a better showing in Week 3. But opposing them will be a Packer team that has looked great behind the leadership of Aaron Rodgers. Funny enough though there might be a slight chance that the Packers could also be without an elite WR in Davante Adams but that is still TBD at this point. If that is the case then we do think the Saints will have a much better chance to win but ultimately both teams would be on fairly even playing fields offensively when looking at their weapons. And if that's the case we give the edge to GB who have had the better QB play so far. Either way though we think that this will be a very contested game with both teams having a chance to win and the deciding factor maybe a game winning FG. For that reason the Packers are a GREAT pick on the spread and as of right now also our outright pick as well.
KC (2-0) @ BAL (2-0) / BAL -3.5
- Talk about an early favorite for game of the year as this is exactly what could happen on MNF with the MVP's of the last two years set to clash. While the Chiefs are coming off an OT nail biter vs the Chargers the Ravens yet again had a comfortable victory in Week 2. This might be a reason that the spread on this game favors the Ravens but getting that extra half point could be a BIG DEAL for betting purposes. What we mean is that we don't see the Chiefs losing by more than a FG and that's IF they lose. The reason we say that is because Mahomes is the better equipped QB here in terms of weapons and also more accurate than Jackson. The counter to that would be what Jackson can do with his legs but if there is one team in the NFL that can overcome that offensively we believe it is the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes. Both defenses have good pieces so we see that as a wash which means this will come down simply to Mahomes vs Jackson. When looking at it from that perspective we give the edge to Mahomes in what should be an epic shootout.
- IND, LAC, TB, ARI