Last Week: 3-2
Game 1: Ari @ Cin-3
Bet% Ari 70% Cin 30%
These are objectively two of the worst teams in the league and statistically there is not a lot to separate them, ex in DVOA Arizona is 30th and the Bengals are 31st. For me the reason to bet the Bengals is just the spot. The Bengals played one of the worst games of the season on national TV on Monday Night, they couldn’t have looked worse and everyone saw it. The result of that game is we have 70% of bets on the winless Cardinals this week, on the road, a west coast team flying across country and playing in the early game. The Bengals have 2 games they were in position to win, week 1 in Seattle and week 3 in Buffalo, they lead both games 17-14 in the 2nd half before losing. That Buffalo loss followed a dismal home game vs the 49ers where Cincinnati got blown out 41-17, so we have seen the Bengals follow up a terrible performance with one of their best. The Bengals are home after 2 straight road games and go back on road next week, this has to be a circle game to get their coach is first win.
Game 2: Jax @ Car -3 (-115)
Bet% Jax 56% Car 44%
Gardner Minshu vs Kyle Allen, not exactly the matchup anyone would have expected a month ago but both these back up QBs have won their last 2 games got their teams to .500. The major difference between these teams is the defenses, the Panthers defense has been playing at an elite level to start the year especially vs the pass. Carolina is 5th in defensive DVOA, #1 in adjusted sack rate, 4th vs the pass, 5th in opp passer rating, this is going to be very difficult game for Minshu and the Jags passing game. The Panthers run defense has not been very good, 29th in DVOA but despite a huge game last wee, the Jags are 23rd in run offense so it shouldn’t be a huge advantage.
The Jags are playing their 2nd straight road game and the 3rd in 4 games and Jalen Ramsey is once again expected to miss this game. This is a really good matchup for the Panthers and really the only thing that scares me is that Kyle Allen has been fumbling at a very high rate.
Game 3: Min -5.5 @ NYG
Bet% Min 68% NYG 32%
The Vikings have been one of the major stories this week after Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs both openly discussed their frustrations with the passing game and basically the QB. Meanwhile Daniel Jones has been the toast of NY after 2 straight wins and the Giants are feeling much better about their season. This is just a major step up in competition for the Giants, specifically for Jones and the offense after playing the Bucs and Washington. The Vikings are 9th in DVOA on defense, last week vs Washington who is 25 Jones showed some chinks in the armor with 2 picks and has only one completion with 15 air yards.
The Vikings last week faced one of the best defenses in football in their game against the Bears, this week the Giants defense offers a great opportunity for the offense to get right. The Giants are 20th vs the pass and 16th vs the run, I think with all the talk this week the Vikings open up the offense and let Thielen and Diggs have some opportunities vs the Giants to make plays. I like the Vikings by a TD+ in this game.
Game 4: Was @ NE under 42
Bet% Over 42% Under 58%
The spread in this game is over 2 TDs, 15-16 depending where you look so it certainly looks to be an ugly game. Jay Gruden seems to be actively trying to get fired, Washington is playing Colt McCoy at QB and they have been a total mess on offense so there is certainly a part of me that wanted to take the Pats. The reason I didn’t take NE is at -16 you need a lot to go right and the under seems like the better play. Washington is the 29th ranked offense and this week they face the #1 defense with it’s back up QB, their #1WR Terry Mclaurin questionable and a coach that seems checked out. If Wash scores more than 10 this game I would be very surprised.
The Patriots are coming off of their worst offensive performance of the season and Washington is 27th on defense so they should have no problem moving the ball but I just don’t see Belichick going all out in this game on offense. Julian Edelman is questionable but because the Pats play on TNF this week I could see them holding him out or at least limiting his snaps. The other thing with a TNF game is that if NE gets up early I can see Belichick trying to run and grind this game out and getting on to Thursday. I also think it helps that this is the first Pats game without their kicker Gostkowski, a missed kick or 2 could really help cash the under.
Game 5: Den +6.5 @ LAC
Bet% Den 44% LAC 56%
The Broncos continue to drop games in excruciating fashion and now take their 0-4 record to LA to face the Chargers. Denver has lost 2 very tough games in last second FG’s and because of that I think we end up getting 2 -2.5 extra points this week. The Chargers are 2-2, their 2 wins came against the Colts in OT in week 1, a game where the Colts kicker missed 3 kicks including an XP in regulation and last week vs the Dolphins. The Chargers are 19th in DVOA, 5th on offense but 28th on defense and both units are getting hit hard with injuries. Already without key players like Russell Okung, Derwin James and Hunter Henry, every WR not named Keenan Allen is hurt this week, Mike Williams is questionable & Dontrell Inman is out. The defense is also getting hit more injuries as last week Melvin Ingram got hurt and is also questionable for this game.
The Broncos offense has been producing at pretty good rate so far, 12th in DVOA and should be able to do well in this matchup. The Chargers are 30th vs the pass and Sanders and Sutton have had a lot of success so far this season. The Broncos defense has been much worse than expected so far and last week they lost Bradley Chubb so we should expect Rivers to play very well here. With all of the injuries this feels like a good spot for Denver to possibly get their first win but unlike last week even if they do lose to a late FG we can still cash the ticket.