I really liked last week’s card and it looked like there was a shot at a big week but once again we ended up splitting the cards with the SNF loss for the Saints.
Game 1: Jax +3 @ Cin
Bet% Jax 63% Cin 37%
This is one of the few games I bet early this week and got the best of the number with the full 3. I really don’t see how you can make a winless Bengals team that has been a dog in every game this year, a fav of this size. I think based on the first 3 weeks of this season I would make the Jags a fav on a neutral field and I don’t know how you can make the home field worth much here, maybe a point.
I like getting the Jags off of their worst effort of the season and especially since it was a Thursday so they are on extra rest.
The total in this game has been bet up this week from the 45 opener to 49 and in that type of game I like the team with the better offense to win. The Jaguars offense has been extremely efficient to start the year, they are 7th in offensive DVOA and 5th in success rate, the Bengals rank 27th and 21st comparatively.
The Bengals have covered 2 of their 3 games and pushed the other and Joe Burrow has looked good late in games but I am not sold on Zach Taylor’s game management and the poor offensive line play creates erratic throws from Burrow. I think the Jags win this one straight up.
Game 2: Sea @ Mia +6
Bet% Sea 71% Mia 29%
This is not a game where we are going to find a lot of numbers or matchups that favor the Dolphins, this really all about the situation and trying to catch the Seahawks in a bad schedule spot. Seattle is off to a great start due almost entirely to the incredible play of Russell Wilson who is the early favorite for MVP. Seattle is coming off of 2 very high profile games at home vs the Patriots on SNF and then the Cowboys and ended up winning both games in exciting shootouts. Now Seattle has to fly across country and play the Dolphins in hot and humid Florida where Miami is waiting with extra rest after playing on TNF. Seattle’s defense is 23rd in DVOA and should leave the back door cover open for Fitzpatrick.
Finally, just following the line move here, this game opened at Sea -6.5, over 70% of the bets are on Seattle yet the line is dropping to 6 and 5.5 in some spots so clearly there is money on Miami.
Game 3: LAC @ TB Under 43
Bet Over 54% 46%
This line has been dropping since the opener at 45.5 as sharps bet under 45, under 44 and at 43 I definitely have a bad number but I am jumping in as the I think the matchups and injuries definitely point this game to a low scoring game.
Lets start with the injuries, TB will be without #1 or 1A WR Chris Godwin, #3 WR Scotty Thomas missed practice all week and is doubtful and Lenard Fournett is out.
The Chargers injury situation is even more grim, The Chargers will be minus 3 starters on the offensive line, and WR Mike Williams. This will be an impossible situation for Justin Herbert in his first road start, flying cross country, playing the #2 DVOA defense while missing 3 starters on the offensive line. I can see a game script for TB where they get up early and play conservative, run the ball and try to just get out with a win.
Game 4: Min @ Hou -3.5
Bet% Min 32% 68%
We have two playoff teams from last year that are off to 0-3 starts but for me they are in very different situations. Houston has had to start the year with the most difficult schedule for the first 3 weeks of any team in the league opening @ the Chiefs, then playing the Ravens and last week against the Steelers. I think you can make the case that Houston has started with the top 3 AFC teams and the top 2 teams in the entire league. This feels like a good buy low spot for Houston based on who they have played.
For Minnesota, they have lost an incredible amount of talent on defense, and are giving up almost 300 yards passing per game, their only road game was at the Colts and they were blown out in that game.
We also get good news on the injury front for Houston as they are expected to have Will Fuller back at 100% and Minnesota will be minus their top 3 corners.
Game 5: Ind -2.5 @ Chi
Bet% Ind 53% Chi 47%
I struggled pulling the trigger on this game as it is one where I keep thinking it feels too easy and maybe it’s a trap. The Colts are the #1 team in DVOA, both their lines are in the top 5 in adjusted sack rate and will have mismatches in this game.
The Bears are 3-0 but in both week 1 and week 3 they were down 2 TDs going into the 4th quarter before having incredible 4th quarter comebacks. The Bears have probably upgraded at QB with Foles but he can be quite volatile in his performances week to week and Frank Reich is one of the coaches that knows Foles game the best so he should have a good plan to defend the Bears passing game.
Adding Game 6: SNF Phi +9.5 @ SF
Bet% Phi 51% SF%
With all the injuries the Eagles have on offense, they only team that has more is the San Francisco 49ers. It’s hard to make a case for the Eagles based on what we have seen in the first 3 weeks but if you were to list the players available in this game and name the top 4, Kittle would probably be the #1 available player but I think you can make a case that the next 3 would be Wentz, Sanders, and Ertz. Obviously wentz has been nowhere near his previous level of play this year but I am going to take one more shot here as a huge dog and see if they can pull out a good performance.
The Eagles under Doug Pederson have a history of winning these road games as big dogs when everyone is counting them out. Last year after starting 1-2 with 2 bad losses @ Atl and home to Detroit, the Eagles went on the road to Green Bay who was 3-0 and won that game straight up as a 6.5 point underdog. In 2018, the Eagles were double digit underdogs to the Rams after a terrible loss to the Saints and missing a number of key guys and won that game straight up as well.
As ugly as the Eagles start has been, a win tonight and they move to first in the terrible NFC East, I think that matters. As for the 49ers, they have done a great job despite all of their injuries but it is hard to expect back ups and young players to play at a high level week in and week out and this is a huge number for Nick Mullins to cover at QB. One last shot on the Eagles with a sprinkle on the moneyline as well.