Jimmy McGinty previews Week 3 of the NFL and he has bets on the Dolphins, Redskins and the Cardinals.
Week 2 recap: The bet was over early as the Saints struggled badly against the Browns. They should’ve lost, not to mention cover 9pts! The Lions covered a silly spread and Bears did so with ease due to their significant mismatch upfront. 2 from 3.
Also went 2 from 4 in the honourable mentions; Jags and Falcons covered but Giants and Broncos let us down.
Treble: +1.6pts (4.5 from 6). Mentions: 5 from 9
Those I’m struggling with:
Texans v Giants is a battle of bad offensive lines. Whilst the Vikings Bills is not a fair battle.
The Seahawks appeal in their first home game, last Monday night’s loss was a bad spot for them. However, the Cowboys strong defensive front will have a lot of success getting to Russ who still has no talent to work with.
Broncos enjoyed a strong home advantage so far this year, so I want to be against them now. They flopped in wk3 on the road 12mts ago however I’m against the Ravens this season so I can’t take them -5.5pts here, even off extra Thursday night rest. Keenum has yet to face a decent D but the lack of CJ Mosley and Jimmy Smith make this Ravens D weak.
New Orleans have a great matchup against an injury hit Falcons defense. Kamara and Brees will combine for a lot of yards but the Saints have been bad against lesser opposition the past two weeks so no bet here.
Jags coming off a big win are in a bit of a let-down spot and the Titans do stop the run fairly well, so Bortles will have to throw well again. He looked good last week but I wouldn’t bet on it happening every week.
I want to take Indy as Wentz will be rusty and Jeffery, Hollins and Wallace are all missing from the Eagles receiving core. The Philly D hasn’t looked elite yet this season either. But there is still a big talent gap between these sides so no bet.
The Steelers play an out of conference road game, in hot Tampa and they face Baltimore next. They’re also possible missing top corner Joe Haden and their starting centre DeCastro. Fitzmagic to start 3-0?
San Fran (+6.5pts) go on the road to Kansas City on Sunday. The Chiefs are overrated after high-scoring wins over Pittsburgh and Chargers. Both of those had absent defences (Bosa, Liuget, Haden all inj). With Rueben Foster back from suspension the 49ers D will turn up. They’ve faced good sides in Vikings and Lions and performed admirably themselves. I’m not convinced the Chiefs are suddenly one of the League’s top sides. Patrick Mahomes is not going to throw 4+ TDs every week. Marquise Goodwin potentially back for SF would be a nice boost as well. Shanahan versus a bad defense isn’t a far match.
Cincinnati (+2.5pts) miss their star running-back Joe Mixon on Sunday yet it might help their cause. Weird. The Panthers secondary is poor, but they stop the run very well. Gio Bernard is a decent backup but hopefully the absence of Mixon causes Dalton to air it out more often rather than using Gio. Green, Boyd, Ross & Eifert will have loads of success. On the other side of the ball the Bengals DL (Atkins, Dunlap & co) will consistently get to Cam. The Panthers OL is weak so this is not a good matchup for them at all. The Bengals coming off Thursday Night Football get some extra rest, always a positive.
Chargers (+7pts) featured heavily on my preseason previews and this is a fine chance for them to show their ability. The Rams are a fraction overrated after beating bad teams, Raiders and Cardinals. And the Rams have no real home advantage, so this spread is a fraction high. The Rams have a new kicker this week which could be the difference at the death, Greg Zuerlein was a machine for them in the past. Final anti-Ram point is they face the Vikings in a big NFC game on Thursday night. Joey Bosa is still out but the Chargers defense has many playmakers who’ll be hoping to upset Jared Goff who hasn’t faced a decent defense yet.
Detroit (+7pts) get a mention for the third week in a row. They flopped in week 1 but bounced back ok to run San Fran close in the Bay last weekend. Now they are at home against the Patriots who are on back to back road games themselves. Bortles threw all over the Pats D last weekend so there’s no reason Stafford and his trio of receivers won’t have lots of success. Safety Patrick Chung, if out, is a big loss for the Pats. Matt Patricia should know the Pats very well which is obviously a help to the Lions cause this week. Miami up next for the Patriots is a more important game as well.
Week 3 Picks:
Miami (-3.5pts) are in a perfect situational spot this weekend. Oakland need to travel from the west coast for an early kick-off. It’ll also be the Raiders second week in a row on the road. And it’ll be hot in Miami! Three issues for Oakland to overcome. Home wins for Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville so far this year is no surprise; it’s hot in September and northern teams aren’t used to it or conditioned to cope. Just to exaggerate the effect the Raiders will be cooking in black whilst the Dolphins wear white.
Making this more than a situational bet – I rate the Dolphins well ahead of the Raiders and have this as a 5.5pt spread rather than the 3.5pts available. Tannehill played very well last week and the Dolphins defense has been solid. Over the first two weeks the Dolphins have been very good at stopping the run which is key to shutting down the Raiders as Marshawn Lynch is running hard. In addition, the big loss of Josh Sitton up front won’t be noticed here as the Raiders pass rush is weak. A good matchup for Miami and they cover 3.5pts.
Washington (+3pts) were on everyone’s radar after their demolition of Arizona in week 1 but they flopped badly last weekend. They lost 21-9 but it actually wasn’t that bad. Redzone efficiency (0 from 2) and 3rd down conversion rates (only 5-15) cost them. They outgained the Colts (who were decent in wk1 as well) in total yardage and won the turnover battle just conceded on every Indy redzone trip (3 from 3) and only scored field goals themselves. Back at home they can get back on track. This is still/again an underrated Redskins side.
The Green Bay Packers come to town in what is their first road game of 2018. It’s important to remember they enjoy a significant home advantage at Lambeau Field. After playing two divisional rivals this is a little dip in their schedule. Aaron Rodgers still isn’t 100% fit and the Packers have struggled to move the ball on the ground. They also should’ve been destroyed by the Bears in week 1 so there are numerous issues to iron out before this Packers side begin to resemble a Super Bowl type side. Giving up 3pts on the road I’m happy to take Washington. The Bears got to Rodgers in wk1 and this Redskins DL is potent also.
Arizona (+5.5pts). Really, Arizona. They have lost 24-6 and 34-0 in their two games to date. And those weren’t fluke results, the Cardinals looked bad. However, in week 1 they faced a decent Redskins side who were suited to being in front, running regularly and an efficient Alex Smith controlling the game. In week 2 the Cardinals, for some bonkers reason, didn’t use their star attacker David Johnson and top receiver Larry Fitz hurt his hamstring. Remember they also played against a top Rams side who’ll destroy plenty others. Now at home and being written off by everyone they can come out fighting. Larry Fitz is expected to play. This side isn’t as bad as the first two weeks have made them look, it’s not the Bills we are talking about. Sam Bradford can definitely be better than he has been, he’s playing for his job on Sunday.
Chicago must travel off a shorter week after playing Monday night. Whilst the Bears won that game easily it should be noted that 1) Seattle are brutal and they were on back to back road games, where Chicago enjoy a strong home advantage. 2) Trubisky isn’t the real deal. He looked limited and made mistakes despite facing a poor defense. Trubisky has also been sacked a few times already this season so Chandler Jones (Arizona and potentially the League’s best rusher) will be eyeing him up.
The Cardinals traditionally enjoy a strong home advantage. Getting 5.5pts at home is significant when the opposition QB doesn’t look like the sort capable of putting up 300+yds and multiple TDs. The Bears D will have some joy and the Cardinals aren’t suddenly good, but this spread is too big.
1pt treble Cardinals +5.5, Redskins +3, Dolphins -3.5.