Week 3 seemed like a tougher week for me, not a lot of the games jumped off the page and even the ones I like have some things that scare me. Anyways here are the picks.
Game 1 SD +2.5 @ Buf
Bet % SD 64 BUF 36%
Both San Diego and Buffalo are coming off big wins in week 2, SD beat Superbowl champion Seahawks while Buffalo won their home opener vs divisional opponent Miami. Buffalo is off to an 2-0 start, so the question for me is, is it sustainable? When looking at what Buffalo has done so far in first 2 weeks compared to their results last season then either this team has improved to elite levels or they have simply outperformed the first 2 weeks. Considering their minimal roster improvements in off season it does not seem likely they have improved to these levels especially the yds/pt against and the yard/pass attempt. We also know how important turnover margin is winning and losing games, Buffalo is +4 in TO margin, it is impossible to think that can keep up.
One of the key points in this game is the idea of this being a let down game for San Diego, last week they beat Seattle at home have to fly accross the country to play on east coast in an early start. The west coast team playing early game in east is overstated in its importance, last year SD won in Philadelphia and Jacksonville an lost in wash in OT. With Den playing in Seattle this week, a win in Buf and Den loss would have them tied at top of the division and I think that’s important to the Chargers.
I personally think that Buffalo is in a greater let down spot. Last week, at the home opener it was one of the most emotional games in Buffalo in years, the jubilation of Bills being sold and remaining in Buffalo combined with Jim Kelly being there after his battle with cancer and playing against a divisional rival wont be matched his week. Already at 2-0 I think it will be harder for Buf to get up fr this one.
Wash @ Phi-5.5
Bet% Was 49% Phi51%
This is really a bet against Kirk Cousins or at least the perception of Kirk Cousins. All week I have heard NFL talking heads talk about how RGIII being injured is a good thing for Was and that Cousins is the better QB. Cousins was fantastic in week 2, stepping in against the Jaguars and going 22/33 for 250 yds 2Tds and a QBR of 93.7 and that has everyone excited. But here is the thing we have seen cousins before, he started the last 3 games f the season in 2013. And it wasn’t pretty.
On the Eagles side, they ae 2-0 and have yet to get a complete game from Nick Foles who has got off to a rough start in both games this year. The Eagles continue to put up points a pretty efficient manner averging 13.7 yards per point and were 2-0 vs Washington last year.
This will also mark the return of Desean Jackson to Philadelphia, his release was the first major controversy of Chip Kelly’s tenure, the one thing that struck out to me when the move was made is that most of Jacksons Eagle teammate’s seem to side with Kelly there was very little talk against the move. I think the team, especially on offense will look to put on good performance as to say we do not need Desean.
EDIT- As of Saturday night and Sunday morning this line continues to drop and is now, an hour before kick off, at 4. This certainly worries me as I have a bad number and the line move seems to indicate I am on the wrong side. I will stay with my bet but I dont feel great about it.
Game 3 GB @ Det -1.5
Bet% GB 62 Det 38
I was on GB last week and was surprised by how easily the Jets moved the ball against them in the first half of the game but maybe I shouldn’t of been. Last season GB was one of the worst defensive teams in the league, by DVOA their defence was ranked 31st and they were especially vulnerable vs the pass on the road where they gave up 8.3 yards per pass attempt. We expected to see an improved defense this season but so far that hasnt been the case as they have given up a point for an every 11.8 yards.
For Detroit, they are coming off a loss against one of the best defense’s in the NFL in Carolina where they still managed 323 yards of offense but were ultimately undone by turnovers including 2 fumbles which as we know are highly random. Coming off of a loss, this is a good spot for Detroit against GB whom they have played well especially at home. Last season Lions beat GB 40-10 in Detroit, Aaron Rodgers was injured in that game so this game will be different but the Lions offense should be able to put up points vs the struggling Packers defense.
Game 4 SF -2.5 @ Ari
Bet% SF 77 Ari 23
This is a very public play which is’t a god thing but I got this early in he week at 2.5 which is a much better than the 3 it moved to. Colin Kaeperick had a terrible 4th quarter vs the Bears on SNF that cost his team the game and this is really a bet that he comes back and makes amends.
The Cards had one of the best defenses in football last year ranked #2 in Defensive DVOA, they were especially good vs the run and have continued it this year giving up 3.6 yards per rush attempt so far. While I expect Ari to handle the 49ers run game, I do think Kaep has a chance to pay well against them as he did last year, in his 2 games vs Ari last year he totalled 560 yards with 4Tds and 1 Int.
As for Arizona, for the 2nd week in a row Drew Stanton will start for Carson Palmer and while I think injuries get over rated by the market in the week of the change I do think there is value in going against that player in the 2nd week, especially if they won in the first week. The 49ers will now a have full game tape on Stanton and should be able to keep the cards passing game in check.