NFLbets' Best Bets for NFL week 3: Choose football over feckless faith

Sunday, 22 September 2019 09:17 EST

The proper NFL bettor should never be afraid of slaughtering sacred cows; all superstitions and beliefs must be tossed aside like so many losing betting slips every time you consider your options on any given Sunday. Sure, a leap of faith every once in a while may be required – as long as the bettor doing the leaping is well aware of the element of risk he/she has just added into the bet. That old nonsense about the Green Bay Packers’ infallibility at Lambeau or West Coast-East Coast advantages without the hard numbers must go.

Warning: Looking at our best bets for week 3 of the 2019 NFL season may test some common beliefs. Hopefully, that isn’t a problem.

Chicago Bears -4 at Washington, over/under 41 points

Can a team with a quarterback and running game as poor as the Bears still be a viable team in the NFL in 2019? Maybe. Can the Chicago defense keep this team in games long enough to at least manage a winning record? Maybe. Can the Bears muster enough to take an away game from a Washington team whose coach could well be playing for his job? Maybe.

But can the Bears hold the hapless and discouraged Washington to, likesay, fewer than 20 while undoubtedly scoring fewer than three TDs themselves? Absolutely. Betting the under on Chicago games is valid until further notice. Take under 41 points in Chicago-Washigton.

Pittsburgh Steelers -6½ at San Francisco 49ers

Geez, with all the buzz on the 49ers plus the East-Coast-team-on-West-Coast bugaboo, you’d figure this line would be higher – and it probably should be, but bettors are gaining a good 1-1½ points on pure reputation. Seriously: You’ve got an 0-2 team which missed the playoffs last year and enters week 3 with what amounts to a second-string QB traveling across the country to play an away game and you’re still getting less than a touchdown? Hell, the Broncos are only going to Green Bay and they’re getting 7½!

Say what you will about the inconsistencies of the 49ers offense, but the truth is that this team can score points. In Jimmy Garoppolo’s past nine starts for the Niners, the team averages just over 31 points per game, and they’ve only scored less than 25 once. On the other side, the Steelers have managed to top 20 points just four times in the past nine games – and all four were in losing efforts. Until we see this team score consistently *with* Ben Roethlisberger (not to mention Antonio Brown), we sure ain’t betting on them to.

As for Minkah Fitzpatrick, sure, great acquisition for Pittsburgh. We’d be shocked, though, if a second-year player whose only exposure to the NFL thus far has been through the cracked prism of the Miami Dolphins could make a measurable impact immediately. Take the San Francisco 49ers by 6½ vs Pittsburgh.

Houston Texans +3 at Los Angeles Chargers

It’s as though folks weren’t paying attention all 2018 season when folks were placing audible quotation marks around the “Los Angeles” in “Los Angeles Chargers.” As though to prove everything we know about homefield advantage wrong, the Chargers went 4-3 SU (3-4 ATS), barely eked out a SU win/lost ATS in the “home” game at London against the Titans, and just for good measure traveled across town to lose SU/ATS to the Rams.

Last week, the Chargers got their “home” run off in grand fashion, getting two touchdowns called back and enjoying two missed filed goals in a limp SU/ATS loss to the Detroit Lions, who any would-be .500 team has no business losing to. The good news for the Chargers is that WRs Mike Williams and Keenan Allen will be returning (though Allen reportedly not at 100%) as well as bona fide PK Michael Badgley.

NFLbets realizes that any, ahem, faith placed in the Texans, meanwhile, must include the supposition that the offensive line will improve. With Laremy Tunsil in at LT for the second week, that Houston OL allowed “only” four sacks of DeShaun Watson to good results; heck, a late-game field goal was all that kept the Texans from winning the opener against New Orleans, despite six sacks to Watson. We’re looking for still better line play from Houston and so we’re saying take the Houston Texans +3 “at” the Chargers.