Week 2 is now behind us and Quentin and Jake appear to be seeing things pretty clearly. We went a combined 6-2 on our individual best bets in week 2, but our ‘Best of the Best’ (0-2) and ‘Other Action’ (4-7-1) brought us back down to earth. We continue to crush our risky business section (3-1 last week, 4-2 overall), which is made up of teasers and parlays. If not for an absolute stinker of a game between the Cowboys and Chargers we would have cleaned house on risky business in week 2. We have yet to win a Best of the Best NFL pick this year…so the law of averages would suggest a big week is in store.
Bet smarter, not harder in week 3 and let’s pick some winners.
Q’s Best Bets (3-3 Overall)
Carolina Panthers @ Houston Texans – Thursday, 9/23 (8:20 PM EST)
Pick: Total Points Under 44
Talk about a surprising combined record between these two teams to start the season.. If you would’ve told me that the Panthers and Texans would combine to be 3-1 after week 2, I’d probably say don’t quit your day job. Joke’s on us though. The Texans were able to steal a win in week 1 and the Panthers have looked fantastic on both sides of the ball thus far. The Panthers defense has been arguably the best defense in the league through week 2 and is loaded with young talent (turns out building through the draft works). I don’t even recognize Sam Darnold who has fit right into Joe Brady’s offense, utilizing both his improved WRs as well as the best RB in the league (Christian McCaffrey). With Tyrod Taylor going down last week and the Deshaun Watson drama appearing to have no end in sight, Davis Mills will get his first start as a professional tonight against this stingy Panthers defense. While QBs that have debuted on Thursday nights have actually fared pretty well over the years, the Panthers have hit the under in each of their last 5 games and I just don’t see Davis Mills putting up huge numbers to change that streak. I also expect the Panthers to rely heavily on the run given how terrible Houston’s defense is this year. Combine the Texans inability to move the ball against this Panther’s defense with the likelihood that Carolina will more than likely suffocate this matchup through the run game early and you get Carolina’s 6th under in a row. Speaking of the run game, Christian McCaffrey is the best RB in the league and has yet to explode this season like we’re accustomed to seeing. Expect that to change tonight… VOLUME, VOLUME, VOLUME. The Panthers are definitely going to ride their star RB all game against a struggling Texans run defense and I’m confident that he won’t disappoint. Trusting Carolina’s defense to come through with the under and Christian McCaffrey to have his first massive night of the season against Davis Mills and the Bad News Bears tonight.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ LA Rams – Sunday, 9/26 (4:25 PM EST)
Pick: Total Points Over 52
This pick is somewhat of a gut feeling over quantitative analysis. While both of these teams have combined this year to hit the over in their matchups by a differential of 17 points, they both also tout potent defenses which have the potential to drastically slow down the pace of this game. Bringing pressure has proven to be one of the only effective ways to slow down Tom Brady and you can bet the Rams will do just that on Sunday with the best defensive player in the league (Aaron Donald). That said, this a new look Rams offense with Matt Stafford under center, this game appears to be a playoff sneak preview and Tom Brady looks like he might actually be getting better at the age of 44. I’m expecting a shootout in this one with Stafford and Brady trading blows all game. Matt Stafford is an underrated absolute gamer who is finally armed with a talented offense after being stifled by a sub par Lions organization his entire career. Best believe Stafford is going to come out firing against the defending world champs at home and Tom Brady to answer the call accordingly. Hard to say who will come out victorious here but I feel pretty confident that this will be a high scoring result. Strap in for this potential instant classic and watch the points fly.
Seattle Seahawks @ Minnesota Vikings – Sunday, 9/26 (4:25 PM EST)
Pick: Total Points Over 52
This Minnesota Vikings team is not nearly as bad as their 0-2 record would suggest. They were victims of some Joe Burrow overtime magic in week 1 and they missed an easy field goal as time expired last week to lose to the Cardinals (one of the best offenses in the league this year). The Vikings could easily be 2-0 this year, they’re loaded with talent on offense (Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, etc) and they’ll be playing a Seahawks team coming off a brutal overtime loss to the Titans last week. Both teams can put up big numbers and neither team has an elite defense by any means. Expect the Seattle air attack to continue and a balanced Vikings offense to keep up with the pace in this close matchup. I’m thinking the Vikings ultimately pull this one out and avoid falling to 0-3 but I’m more confident in the path either team will have to take to get the W, POINTS. Take the over and enjoy huge chunk plays all game. Pray that this over doesn’t come down to a Vikings field goal.
DPJ’s Best Bets (5-2 Overall)
New Orleans Saints @ New England Patriots – Sunday, 9/26 (1:00 PM EST)
Pick: Patriots -2.5
This should be one of the best games of the early slate on Sunday. While I expect it to be close in the first half, I trust Mac Jones and Bill Belichick to game-manage their way to a second half victory. Simply put, Jameis Winston was horrible last week. I don’t necessarily expect that to happen again…but this Pats defense is the real deal and should slow him down plenty. Another huge factor for me is the Saints are on the road for the third week after hurricane Ida ripped through New Orleans before week 1. They had to play a home game in Jacksonville vs. the Packers, then on the road in Carolina and now on the road in New England. I find it hard for a team to maintain the necessary focus to beat a Belicheck defense on the road after that type of adversity.
Atlanta Falcons @ NY Giants – Sunday, 9/26 (1:00 PM EST)
Pick: Giants -3
The Giants did everything in the power to lose a game they should have won in week 2 at Washington. Several mental mistakes at the end of the game (and an offsides call on a missed FG that was arguably incorrect) cost them their first win. I can’t think of a better bounce-back game than coming home to face this Falcons team that is completely out of sorts. We know the Giants want to run the ball, get Saquon going and open up play action and bootlegs for Daniel Jones. Well guess what, the Falcons are allowing almost 5 yard per carry, 6th most in the league. I think this line should be closer to -6 and I like the Giants to win by a TD+.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys – Monday, 9/27 (8:15 PM EST)
Pick: Cowboys -2.5
Two NFC East teams in a primetime spot…feels like we get one of these every week. From what we have seen thus far, these appear to be the two best teams in the NFC East. The Cowboys offense is real, as we saw in week 1 at Tampa, and their defense kept the Chargers in check in week 2. The Eagles defense looks good on paper but they haven’t faced an elite passing attack yet. I envision a big stat line from Dak, and Dallas should be fired up for their home opener in Jerry’s World on MNF.
Miami Dolphins @ Las Vegas Raiders – Sunday, 9/26 (4:05 PM EST)
Pick: Total Points Over 45
You might be reading this wondering why I am taking the over on a team that scored zero points in week 2, yes ZERO points for the Dolphins in week 2. While they absolutely looked awful after Tua went down… I think week 3 will be a much different story. Jacoby Brissett will have a full week of practice under his belt as QB1, and the Raiders defense is a much softer opposition than the Bills D coming for revenge after a disappointing week 1. Brissett also went for 265 yards and 3 TDs against Gruden’s Raiders in 2019 which is encouraging. To hit 45 points we need what like 15-20 points out of Miami? Do I smell some garbage time for Brissett? We know the Raiders are gonna put up points…don’t look now but Derek Carr is leading the league in passing with 817 yards. I like the Raiders to cover the -4 and this total should be well over 50 points.
Chicago Bears @ Cleveland Browns – Sunday, 9/26 (1:00 PM EST)
Pick: Total Points Under 46
The Bears defense is certainly not what it used to be. BUT…they can still stop the run, holding a solid Rams run game and a good Bengals run game to 4 YPC over the first two weeks, good for 8th best in the league. The Browns whole offense starts with the run game…which opens up easy passes for Baker. I think the Bears will slow that run game down enough to keep this one close. Fields appears to be looking at his first career start for the Bears. I wasn’t a big Fields guy pre-draft, I have warmed up to him a bit (although I think the hype has gotten a little out of hand), but I think this is a tough matchup for him. The Browns D has been a bit disappointing through 2 weeks and this should be a statement game for the defense. Myles Garrett should be living in the Bears backfield. 46 is not a ton of points but I see this one as a battle in the trenches, think Big 10 college football. I see something like a 20-13 Browns win.
Best of the Best Bets – DPJ & Q approved (0-4 Overall)
Arizona Cardinals @ Jacksonville Jaguars – Sunday, 9/26 (1:00 PM EST)
Pick: Cardinals -6.5
Despite not covering the spread last week, we still have a lot of faith in this Cardinals squad. NFL MVP front runner (and my preseason NFL MVP favorite) Kyler Murray is simply just fun to watch. The guy can do it all… Crazy elusive, cannon for an arm and has one of the best WRs in the league to throw to in veteran Deandre Hopkins. While the Cardinals’ defense fell back to earth last week, they still appear to be serviceable with a high ceiling for dominant performances from JJ Watt and Chandler Jones on any given Sunday. Now for the Jags… While I love Trevor Lawrence, he’s definitely found himself between a rock and a hard place in Jacksonville. Urban Meyer seemingly has no idea what he’s doing in the NFL so far and I don’t see a 180 on the horizon anytime soon. He was quoted saying that playing in the NFL is like, “playing Alabama every week”. Yeah… it’s the NFL Urban. I’m expecting the onslaught to continue to the Jags this week and for Kyler to lead the Cardinals to a two score victory. Take the Cardinals with confidence and enjoy watching the future MVP do his thing. – Q
Other Action (8-10-1 Overall)
Panthers @ Texans: Panthers -6.5
Chargers @ Chiefs: Chiefs -6.5
Cardinals @ Jaguars: Total Points Over 50
WFT @ Bills: WFT +10
Colts @ Titans: Total Points Over 47.5
Bengals @ Steelers: Bengals +7
Bengals @ Steelers: Total Points Over 44
Ravens @ Lions: Total Points Over 49
Dolphins @ Raiders: Raiders -3
Packers @ 49ers: Total Points Under 50 points
Risky Business (4-2 Overall; currently up 4 units)
3 Team Parlay (+620 odds): Chiefs Money Line, Vikings Money Line, Packers Money Line
3 Team – 6 Point Teaser (+180 odds): Bucs (+7), Chiefs (-0.5), Cardinals (-0.5)
3 Team – 6 Point Teaser (+180 odds): Browns (-0.5), WFT (+14), Saints (+9.5)
3 Team – 6 Point Teaser (+180 odds): Panthers (-1.5), Chiefs (-0.5), Cardinals (-0.5)
3 Team – 6 Point Teaser (+180 odds): Bengals (+10.5), Rams (+7), WFT (+14)
Bengals @ Steelers: Bengals Money Line (+150 odds)
Bengals @ Steelers: OT prop bet (game will result in overtime) (+950 odds)
Seahawks @ Vikings: Vikings Money Line (+120 odds)
Packers @ 49ers: Packers Money Line (+160 odds)
Bears @ Browns: Bears Money Line (+280 odds)
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