I don’t start really using this seasons stats until after week 3, at that point even though the sample is small, we at least have every team play 180-200 plays and have a start at home and road.
Week 3 to me is very often similar to week 2 in that we see a lot of reacting to recent results and I think again there is an opportunity to take advantage. We saw last week 7 of 9 0-1 teams playing 1-0 teams cover including the Rams who had the worst performance of week 1 not just cover but beat Seattle straight up.
This week’s card is going to be heavy in teams that got blown out last week, so pro tip: remember to forget what you saw last week.
Last Week 3 – 2
2016: 8 – 2
2015: 63 – 37 – 3
Game 1: Bal (2-0) @ Jax +1 (0-2)
Bet% Bal 48% Jax 52%
A week after being applauded for playing the Packers tough in their opener everyone is back off the Jags bandwagon in week 3 after getting blown out by the Chargers 38-14. I was on the Chargers last week and thought there was an overreaction to their blowing the game in KC and people getting a little too excited about the Jags game vs GB.
The Jags were a preseason darling because of their offseason upgrades on defense and sharps heavily bet them over 7.5 wins, now at 0-2 there is a lot of “these are the same ol’ Jags” talk. They may not get to 8 wins but I do see them being a tough team at home and I think this week’s matchup is good one for them to get their first win.
The Ravens have not been able to get their run game going and even the pass game has been relying heavily on big plays to Mike Wallace. The Ravens struggled to score at home vs the Bills who then gave up 37 to the Jets at home on TNF. Last week vs the Browns the Ravens were down 20-0 and managed to engineer the 2nd biggest comeback in team history.
After 2 tight wins including huge comeback against the leagues worst team I think this sets up as a spot where the Ravens aren’t able to hang offensively with the Jags. Jags should get Chris Ivory back to help the run game and I can see this being Allen Robinson’s game to breakout.Gus Bradley needs a win bad, I think he knows he is on the hot seat and needs to get his young team feeling good about themselves heading into their first divisional showdown with the Colts next week.
Game 2: Det (1-1) +7 @ GB (1-1)
Bet% Det 48% GB 52%
For the 3rd straight week I will be on the Lions and for the 3rd straight week I will be betting against the Packers. The Lions lead last week for 3 quarters before allowing the Titans to come back in the 4th quarter and erase a 12 point lead and with it were laments of “these are the same old Lions” The offense was pretty good in the first and had opportunities to score late in the half but had 2 TDs called back due to penalties. One thing that was very real in this game ere the Lions injuries. The Lions missed DeAndre Levy going into the game and ended up losing Ansah and Abdullah during the game and it looks like all 3 will miss this week.
Green Bay lost a high-profile game on SNF where over 80% of bets were on them as a short road fav but I think most people feel that being back home should be able to cure whatever is ailing the Packers especially on offense. Through the first weeks GB is 25th in offensive DVOA, now of course its only 2 games, both were on the road and one against a very good defense in Minnesota. Still I think the idea that Jordy Nelson coming back, Mike McCarthy calling plays and Eddie Lacy being ‘in shape’ would get the Packers right back to where they were in 2014 nd previously doesn’t feel like quite the lock it did in preseason.
And then there is this, Aaron Rodgers has now gone 14 straight games (including the 2 2015 playoff games) without hitting a passer rating of 100. From 2009 to 2014 he averaged a passer rating of over 100 for the season and on a game by game basis, in 2014 he did it 9 times and in one of the games he didn’t he was at 99.7.
We are beginning to hear some whispers about the problems the Packers are having on offense but in most of the mainstream media it is still pretty quiet and because of that I think there will be some value betting against the Packers.
The Lions played the Packers very tough last year, winning in Green Bay and then losing that heart breaker at home via the Rodgers patented hail mary. I think they can be close again this week and have a chance to win. Missed on the 7.5 which is disappointing but hopefully the 7 is enough.
Game 3: Oak -1 (1-1) @ Ten (1-1)
Bet% Oak 67% Ten 33%
The Titans are the team that I may be the most wrong about, I bet against hem last week and again this week the Titans line doesn’t make sense to me. Even with the week 2 results I don’t see these teams anywhere near the same tiers and it feels like we are getting value. If the Titans end up winning this game I will probably sit out Titans games for a while.
The Raiders through 2 weeks are the best offensive team and the worst defensive by DVOA. That defense has been especially bad against the pass so far, teams are averaging 10.6 yards per pass agaist them whichis obviously a problem. I’m just not convinced teh Titans pass game can take advantage of the raiders secondary the way that the Saints and Falcons did. Atlanta and the New Orleans were both top 10 passing games last season while the Titans wee 24th in yards per attemt last year and 23rd to start this season.
Mike Mularkey wants to run the ball he has made it clear and I expect that will be the key to their gameplan, the Raiders last year were 15th vs th run and overall I expect their defense to start moving towards last years levels when they were 15th overall in DVOA, 16th vs the pass. The drop from Drew Brees and Matt Ryan/ Julio Jones to Mariotta/ Sharp should let them get back on track.
Game 4: LA (1-1) @ TB (1-1) -4
Bet% LA 29% TB 71%
The TB-Ari game last week was my biggest regret for missed opportunity, I liked the game at -6.5 but when it moved to 7 I decieded to lay off even though I still felt it was likely a double digit win for the Cardinals. It just felt like teh perfectspot with Arizona coming off of a terrible high profile loss and the Bucs going on the road after a big home win.
Well we have almost the exact same sitatin here with the Bucs on the other side. The Bucs come back home after being blown out 40-7 in a game they lost the turnover battle 5-0. Arizona scored 24 inthe 2nd quarter and at that pointthe game was pretty much lost.
The Rams played the worst game of week 1 and then in their opening game in Los Angeles againsttheir biggest rival and the teamthey always seem to give trouble, came back to beat Seattle even though for the second straight week they failed to score a touchdown.
If we go back to last season, we have a similar situation. The Rams beat Seattle in their home and season opener as a big home dog and then went east the following week to play in Washington. In that game they were 3.5 favs and ended up losing 24-10. This time they are under dogs but the flight from LA to TB is much longer and they will be playing in a very hot and humid stadium where the Bucs will be opening their season at home.
I wouldnt be surprised to the Rams lose by a very similar score to last years 24-10.
Game 5 Chi (0-2) +7 @ Dal (1-1)
Bet% Chi 33% Dal 67%
Continuing our trend of teams that got blown out last week, things could not have gone worse for the Bears. Playing at home on MNF against a team that had a rookie QB not only did they lose 29-14 but also lost starting QB Jay Cutler & starters Lamarr Houston & Eddie Goldman to injuries.
I like the Bears this week because I think there is an overreaction to both the loss on MNF and also an overreaction to the loss of Jay Cutler.Cutler is undoubtedly a more talented QB than Hoyer but he is also prone to very bad games and being the single biggest reason his team loses. Hoyer is not a player you want as a starter if you are trying win a SB but as a backup he is more than capable of being serviceable in the short term.
While I don’t think Win Loss records are a good way to judge QB’s there is something to take from Hoyers career 15-11 record and that is this, he doesn’t generally lose games for his team. This line is about 3 points off of what the line would have been with Cutler but to be honest I’m not sure the downgrade should be more than a point.
As for the Cowboys, I was on them last week and think there will be weeks where they offer value but this week isn’t one of them. Making a team with a bottom 10 defense and and lead b a rookie QB who through 2 games has 0 passing TDs a full TD favorite is a lot to ask.
Game 6: Ari (1-1)@ Buf +5 (0-2)
Bet% Ari 81% Buf 19%
This is the largest split on the board with over 80% of bets on the road fav. There is not a lot to write for this game other than we have seen 80% of bets on one side yet the number has stayed pretty much the same even though we have seen some injury news with Sammy Watkins out.
The Bills fired their OC Greg Roman this week despite the problems of their team being clearly on the defensive side. I expect the Ryans to eventually pay for this season with their jobs but I think for this week they may get a little bump from the coaching change.
The Cardinals are clearly the better team but with an extra few days to prepare for the Bills and their season being on the line, they look like the rights side.