NFL best bet: Top must-wager weekly


No matter what you call it – Pick of the Week, Lock of the Week, Best Bet, etc., a regular column delineating the one must-bet wager weekly is a staple of any NFL prognosticator in any medium. On this page we present only the cream of the crop, *the* bet you’ll want to make in a given week. In addition, we promise complete transparency: We’ll leave up our past picks, win, lose or push so you can judge for yourself whether or not to take NFLbets’ advice (but we think you will).

As we’ve stated elsewhere, a primary rule within the NFLbets dogma is this: Don’t force your bets. There is absolutely no requirement to make a minimum number of wagers weekly. Heck, the ideal situation would be to throw down as much money as possible on those three to five occasions in any given NFL season when the outcome is crystal-clear obvious days beforehand. But where’s the fun in that? After all, one or two bets are always worth making.

NFLbets’ “Pick of the week” is primarily for the conservative NFL bettor, because the truth is that in gambling, conservatism is the way to go. We stake our reputation on our best bets, so let’s enjoy making some money this year!


NFL betting, week 11 picks: We see points, lots of points…

Wednesday, 13 November 2019 18:03 EST

In NFL betting, it’s often more prudent to bet the under – hey, other than a cover-the-ass bet on Julian Edelman for MVP, the under was about all NFLbets hit in Super Bowl LIII – but it’s always more fun to bet on the over.

Our picks of the week is grounded in that desire that all football fans secretly foster, i.e. to see a ton of points fly by on the screen on any given Sunday: The interception may be the most glorious play in football, but there’s a reason the Red Zone concludes their broadcast with a rundown of the day’s TDs. We hope you feel the same way we do about NFL football and betting going hand in hand like Peanut Butter and Jelly, or Sprinkles on your Ice Cream or, a stack of $1 bills in a strip club. Money won is just better than money after taxes and working for 2 weeks. lol!

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Houston Texans +4½ at Baltimore Ravens, over/under 49½ points

How ironic that back in the day (likesay, two years ago), the Texans and Ravens were noted for their defense: In week 11, they’re entering a game with perhaps the two most exciting quarterbacks in football right now and an over/under implying seven TDs.

But you know what? We’re all over it. For NFLbets’ money (literally), this could well be the best game of the year and a seemingly inevitable semifinal, no. 2 vs no. 3 matchup. And we may be biased – every so often we dig a real scoreboard-spinner – but we’re anticipating some serious scoring here. DeShaun Watson has accounted for 23 touchdowns (18 passing, 5 running), while Lamar Jackson’s notched 21 (15 passing, 6 running). In an average meeting, then, five TDs should be expected from these two for starters.

NFLbets also figures the weather will not be a factor, with early weather predictions putting kickoff temperature in the low 50s with a 10% chance of precipitation. Sounds like scoring weather to us…Take the over on an O/U of 49½.

New Orleans Saints -5½ at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, over/under 51½ points

What, did we say the Texans/Ravens over/under was high? We know the Buccaneers have been scoring points in bunches – 29.9 per since game 3, including the 24 rung up against the Saints in a 7-point loss in week 5 – and they could very well put up 30+ against a New Orleans defense that’s above average in all statistical categories except, unfortunately, the Buccaneers offense’s weakness, namely turnovers.

So the Bucs will score, probably. But will the Saints?

It’s amazing both a) how sentimental fans are about Drew Brees and therefore still expect him to be throwing like he’s 25 years old and b) how willing certain clickbaiters were to throw him under the bus after a single bad game. Brees is 2-1 SU (1-2 ATS) in full games this year, and he produced essentially the same stat line in the first two: 32-of-43 for 370 yards, 2 TDs, 1 pick; in week 8, the line was 34-of-43 for 373 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception. Last week in the so-called benching-worthy loss? Brees went 32 of 45 – but for just 273 yards, a long of 36 – and six sacks.

Those six sacks are increasing the difficulty curve on betting this game sharply. The offensive line is solid and injury-free. Week 10 was the much ballyhooed return of Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook, playing with Brees at the same time for the first time this season, so the excuse that Brees held the ball too long is irrelevant. Under normal circumstances, we’d probably write this result off as an anomaly – after all, the SU win against the biggest point spread of the year is by definition an exceptional result. So why not the over here?

The scariest number against the over? The Buccaneers are on an incredible 7-0 ATS run, they’ve already topped two consecutive 50-poin O/Us and 51½ is the highest they’ve faced in 2019. However, the over in Saints games in on a 1-3 run and is 4-5 overall.

Who doesn’t want more points, anyway…? Take the over on an O/U of 51½ points.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 3-1.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 30-16.

Check here for the current NFL Weekly Odds.

 

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Week 10 Picks of the Week: Doing the opposite (or rather the reverse)

Wednesday, 06 November 2019 14:24 EST

All right, NFLbets is changing things up this week. After our typical slow start to the season, several good weeks in a row have put us back in the black – under the “Picks of the Week”, rubric, that is. Our so-called “Best Bets” were a total whiff again last week to dump NFLbets’ record for 2019 down to 9-12.

So, yeah. This week, we’re Costanzianly doing the opposite. This week’s Picks of the Week are stealthily our Best Bets and vice versa. NFLbets doesn’t know how that’ll affect your wagering, but full transparency, eh?

What we’re calling NFLbets’ Picks of Week 10 follow.

“Los Angeles” Chargers -1½ at Oakland(/Las Vegas) Raiders

Throw out the numbers: This line is essentially asking you to choose which is the better team: The veteran-stocked team without a home or the surprisingly ragtag bunch getting set to leave home? The Chargers window of Super Bowl contention may already by closed, while Chucky and his plucky Raiders are doing their damnedest to pry that sucker open and force their way into the playoffs.

And consider the greater trends, the actual football these teams are playing. The Raiders recently came off five consecutive road games, including three against prospective playoff teams (Minnesota, Green Bay and Houston) or four (depending on how you feel about Indianapolis’s chances with their third choice at quarterback the rest of the way), plus the London game, at a respectable-enough 2-3 SU (3-2 ATS). Last week, they handled Detroit in front of a raucous crowd and this week face a team with no discernible fanbase at all.

So what about those homeless, fan-less Chargers lately? Sure enough, they won SU/ATS in Los Angeles in front of a just-as-raucous crowd of Packers fans for their first “home” win of the season. Prior to that, the Chargers scored 17 points to eke out a 1-point W in Chicago. Prior to that, a 1-5 run had removed them from serious discussion of the 2019 NFL playoffs temporarily.

Both teams, then, are trending upward and both are currently in serious contention for the no. 6 spot. But you know what? Only the Raiders have Josh Jacobs, who has been tormenting defenses over the past four weeks. This dude plus homefield advantage should be enough in this one. Take the 1½ points if you must, but here at NFLbets’ we prefer to take the Raiders ML at +105 for well better value.

Los Angeles Rams -3½ at Pittsburgh Steelers

Whoa, have the Rams been good to bettors this season. The 2018 NFC champs are at 6-2 ATS (including a spiffy 5-0 ATS outside of Los Angeles), tied for league best along with the New Orleans Saints. Of course, this gaudy record makes NFLbets want to bet against the Rams just weekly – but what are we supposed to do when L.A. is currently in one helluva soft spot in the schedule?

Seriously, after a couple of tough losses against fellow NFC West playoff contenders Seattle and San Francisco, the Rams drew Atlanta and Cincinnati, followed by a bye. Next week, they draw Chicago, which may become the first NFL team ever to field an offense without a quarterback. Not that the 2019 Los Angeles Rams need a puff schedule to look scary; though the pass defense has lost a beat from last year, the offense is top-10 in most statistical categories and, until the 49ers game, scoring had hardly been a problem.

Pittsburgh meanwhile features second-/third-string quarterback Mason Rudolph, whose 3-2 SU record as a starter looks impressive enough until you realize that tops among the wins was last week’s over Indianapolis with *their* third-string QB and Adam Vinatieri’s old foot and depended on a 96-yard pick-six.

On one hand, the Steelers’ starting quarterback seems not to matter. Regardless of QB, Pittsburgh’s is a poor offense which is bottom-5 in passing yardage, rushing yardage and first downs. Because of freak plays like Minkah Fitzpatrick’s TD, however, the Steelers have managed 20 to 27 points in every game after the 33-3 drubbing the Patriots handed them in week 1. And gifts like Vinatieri’s shank has them on a 5-1 ATS run going into this game.

Which is exactly why we’re saying take the Los Angeles Rams -3½ at Pittsburgh. Sometimes you just have to back the better team – especially after a bye week.

Seattle Seahawks +6 at San Francisco 49ers

The Seahwaks this season have proven the diametric opposite to the Rams to NFL bettors. While arguably one of the surprises of the league, the ’Hawks are a mere 3-5 ATS and an incredible 0-5 ATS in Seattle. This team’s propensity for just doing enough for the win may make for exciting football, but it’s maddening for those with money down.

So why is NFLbets even considering the eventuality that Seattle’s numbers stay so wickedly imbalanced for one more week? Because the 49ers have been absolutely whupping the ’spreads in 2019. San Francisco has apparently put together a Super Bowl contender about a year early: the Niners are a healthy 5-3 ATS, including a 3-0 ATS mark at home.

About that home record of the 49ers … NFLbets is inclined to neuter that particular number this week because the Seahawks have proven not only this season but in general to enjoy the advantage over West Coast teams: Since Russell Wilson’s debut in 2012, they’re 6-3-1 ATS (5-5 SU) at Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The 49ers haven’t been playing the most impressive of competition – only two of their eight wins came against teams with winning records – but that no. 1 pass defense cannot be denied and since the bye week have enjoyed a turnover differential of +5. Then again, this D has yet to see the likes of Wilson, again tops in the league in passing when pressured.

Fair enough, Seattle squeaked past the inferior-if-exciting Buccaneers last week in OT, but many were thinking upset when center Austin Britt was reported out. The key to the Seahawks keeping this one close will be improving upon the three sacks allowed to a pass rush that isn’t half as deadly as San Francisco’s.

In the final analysis, though, NFLbets is making a football call here. We believe that Russell Wilson is probably the MVP right now. We also believe that the Seahwaks are a true Super Bowl contender. And MVP QBs leading Super Bowl contenders win these sorts of games. SU, we’re talking. Sure, take the Seattle Seahawks +6, but also take the Seahawks ML at +230 – a payout here is like three wins for the price of two!

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 4-2.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 27-15.

Check here for the current NFL Weekly Odds.

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Week 9 picks: We’re probably betting way too much this week

Wednesday, 30 October 2019 11:11 EST

Well, last week was certainly like shooting fish in a barrel: Between our Picks of the Week and Best Bets, NFLbets went an insane 8-1 in betting.

Now.

The trick when such good fortune and prescient prognostication pays off is of course not to immediately turn the winnings into too many reache – but there’s just so much good stuff in week 9…

NFLbets Picks of Week 9 follow.

San Francisco 49ers -10½ at Arizona Cardinals, over/under 43 points

On the surface level, the 2019 Arizona Cardinals are overachieving nicely with rookie Kyler Murray at the helm and playing in what is clearly the NFL’s best division. The Cards stand at 3-4-1 SU going into this Thursday night football matchup and are averaging a respectable 24.5 points per game.

But take a closer look: Sure, they ran up 34 points on Atlanta and 27 each against Detroit and at the Giants. But against teams with winning records – specifically, at the Baltimore Ravens, vs the Carolina Panthers, vs the Seattle Seahawks at the New Orleans Saints – the Cardinals are a predictable 0-4 at home win/loss record but are a decent 5-3 ATS, averaging a measly 14.0 points. And don’t forget those 26 sacks taken by Murray against just 7 TDs. The 49ers are bringing a defense which is the 2nd-stingiest in points allowed, tops against the pass and just a flat-out badass at bringing the pass rush.

And we haven’t even gotten to Jimmy Garoppolo and that 49ers offense yet. So yeah, we’ll say take the San Francisco 49ers -10½ at Arizona. Normally, we’d also advise to take the under in a TNF game, but the Niners just might score 43 all by themselves in this one…

Chicago Bears +5 at Philadelphia Eagles, over/under 43 points

NFLbets is thinking about this one abstractly first. To put it plainly, the 2019 Bears appear to have contracted a case of Blake Bortles Syndrome – and it’s terminal. Mitch Trubisky and his inability to throw a pass more than 10 yards is utterly demoralizing a team that looked like a Super Bowl contender, never lost a game by more than 7 points and were very good to bettors with a league-best 12-5 ATS.

This season? Five times the opposition has been held to 17 points or less – and the Bears went 3-2 SU (2-3 ATS) in those games. The offense is bottom-10 in most statistical categories; one of few exceptions in pass attempts. And in a year when visitors are just killing it, particularly ATS, the Bears and the Atlanta Falcons are the only teams which have yet to win ATS on the road.

Normally, NFLbets’d stop right here, write “regression to the mean” and advise taking Chicago +5, but these Bears are a tough sell to NFL bettors for sure.

Plus, there is the opposition: The 2019 Philadelphia Eagles, the league’s most frustrating team. At 4-4 SU (3-5 ATS), these Eagles stymied bettors repeatedly over the first 7 weeks of the season and were at a league 2nd-worst 2-5 ATS before taking care of business at the Buffalo Bills last week. Oddly enough, Philadelphia has played four teams with winning records – Packers, Vikings, Cowboys and Bills – and all four were away games.

So despite the shortcomings of these Eagles, NFLbets figures that after three consecutive road games, they’ll be ready to exploit homefield advantage. At just 1-2 ATS in Philly thus far, this is the regression that NFLbets is looking for here. Take the Philadelphia Eagles -5 vs Chicago and take the under on an O/U of 43 points

Houston Texans -1½ at London Jaguars, over/under 46½ points

The fact that NFLbets is betting on this or any AFC South game suggests that we indeed have let last week’s success go to our head, but who can resist betting the UK games? It’s time for another hallowed NFL betting tradition: The breaking out of stats on the Jacksonville Jaguars playing in their second home. NFLbets doesn’t like to lean on history too much for insight into current games, but we’ll make an exception for the UK games due to the special relationship between the Jags and London, not to mention the difference experience makes on this game.

So since the Jaguars/NFL games in London became rote in 2013, the Jaguars are – you guessed it – 3-3 SU/ATS at Wembley. However, the stat we dig lots more is the over/under record in UK Jags games, i.e. the over is 5-1, with the first under hitting last year by 2 points.

How geeked is NFLbets by recent success? We’re going completely against our own grain – not to mention the 50% chance of good old London rain – to advise NFL bettors to take the over on an O/U of 46½ points. J.J. Watt’s absence aside, these are a couple of scoreboard-spinning offenses already. For the record, the most points scored in a U.K.-hosted game is 69 scored by the Saints and Chargers back in 2008. We probably won’t see that many, but NFLbets wouldn’t be surprised if this game produced the most points in week 9.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 5-1.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 23-13.

Check here for the current NFL Weekly Odds:

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NFL Week 7 picks: Ride or Die Raiders, Rams Skepticism

Friday, 18 October 2019 16:26 EST

Who’s ready for week 7? NFLbets is, as our Picks of the Week are beginning to consistently cash in – good thing we don’t believe in jinxes, eh? – and some good opportunities are out there for NFL bettors. This despite no Tampa Bay Buccaneers game; bang goes that weekly over bet!

We’ll print our Best Bets tomorrow, and the following are some other good Picks of the Week, games that we’re digging on not so much for the viewing but the potential winnings. Enjoy and good luck!

Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders +5½ at Green Bay Packers

Prior to Monday Night’s game in which the Packers and Referees (oooooh, did he just say/write that?) squeaked by the Detroit Lions game, Green Bay was favored by as much as 7½ at mainstream sportsbooks. This line shed a full point after the MNF game, and by Friday 3pm ET, that line now reads Raiders +5½.

In terms of biological consideration, the advantage is all Raiders’. Oakland/Vegas is coming off a bye after the “home” game in London, while Green Bay is playing on a six-day week. Is that enough to balance some significant mismatches?

Completely viscerally speaking, NFLbets just doesn’t get any serious thinking devoted to the Raiders. Sure, they’re 3-2 SU/ATS and might even be, insanely enough, favorites to near-favorites to win the AFC West with Patrick Mahomes out.

However, the Vegas Raiders (sounds fantastic) were manhandled by their best competition, the Mahomes-led Chiefs and the Minnesota Vikings. They beat Denver, whose fall to the bottom of the West will be broken by the “Los Angeles” Chargers, and the Bears in a game which proves none of us should ever beat those U.K. games. The Colts game was a quality win, fair enough, but even after six weeks NFLbets is simply not yet buying these Raiders.

I mean, stats don’t lie, right? The truth is that these Raiders are not outstanding – or even well above average – in nearly every aspect of the game. Outstanding draft choice Josh Jacobs has the team in the top-10 in rushing yardage and yards per attempt. And Derek Carr, beyond his general weak statistics, has only thrown 3 interceptions in 161 attempts. While the latter could well be shut down by the Green Bay D (more on this momentarily), the former may be the Raiders’ sole chance at the upset win (or even the ATS win, for that matter).

Green Bay is in general enjoying their best year defensively since the glory days of Brett Favre. The turnover differential has been particularly excellent: Six different players have already notched at least one interception along with six fumbles forced. Carr has run up his nice interception ratio against inferior pass Ds, rather than the Packers’ ballhawks.

(Incidentally, as good as Carr’s efficiency has been, Aaron Rodgers has lost just 2 interceptions against *219* attempts.)

In the final analysis, then, simply nothing indicates that the 1-1 ATS Raiders can keep this to within a touchdown; this might even get ugly. Take the Green Bay Packers -5½ vs the Raiders.

L.A. Rams -3 at Atlanta Falcons, over/under 55 points

Okay, NFLbets feels your skepticism already; we’ll increase it even further by spoiling that we’re going with the Rams. Yes, Los Angeles is on an ugly three-game SU (1-2 ATS) run during which they surrendered 55 points to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and managed just 7 points on 48 passing yards against the San Francisco 49ers.

As weak as Jared Goff looked last week, the Rams can’t help but score points this season. As the Falcons have surrendered at least 20 points in every game to date, whereas L.A. has topped three TDs in every except against the Niners.

Want more reason for skepticism? Great: We’re ready to back the Rams on psychological grounds: This week’s acquisitions of Jalen Ramsey, Kenny Young and Austin Corbett might not pay immediate dividends, but NFLbets believes the mere addition of new blood to the average offensive line, underachieving linebackers and brutal secondary is enough to push the Rams through a manageable bit of upcoming schedule: this week at Atlanta, then vs Cincinnati in London, bye, at Pittsburgh, vs Chicago, vs Baltimore.

As defending NFC champions, the Rams have been quite underwhelming, but the Falcons have morphed into, like the Dolphins, Bengals and Washington, essentially a practice squad. Why else would the bookmakers set the over/under at 53 in a game involving a team which managed just one TD the week before? The growth of this line to 55 – while the point spread has been completely stable – shows us how much NFL bettors think the Atlanta defense will open the turnstile to L.A.’s offense.

The sole argument for betting the Falcons in this matchup, in fact, may be the good old regression to the mean. Atlanta is a pitiful 1-5 ATS this season, a record seemingly crying for a regression bet, but these Falcons may yet be bad enough to finish at 5-11 ATS or so. (Hell, the Chargers, Dolphins and Washington are all 1-4 ATS or worse – so you wanna bet on them, too?)

Take the Los Angeles Rams -3 at Atlanta, and take the under on an O/U of 55 points.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 4-2.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 15-12.

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NFL Week 7 (TNF) Thursday Night Football - Chiefs at Broncos

Thursday, 17 October 2019 16:51 EST

Now this is one classic Thursday Night Football betting conundrum: Do you run with the team picked by many for at least the AFC championship game but coming off two straight losses? Or do you side with a team expected to be a bottom-5 or -10 team on a two-game winning streak and enjoying a sizable homefield advantage? This is what awaits NFL bettors in

Kansas City Chiefs -3 vs Denver Broncos, over/under 48½ points

According to at least one source, nearly 80% of the money has come in on Kansas City, which in and of itself should set off a red alert. So the Broncos aren’t exactly entering this game with a lot of reputation and they’re still sitting at just 2-4 SU – but they’re coming off a shutout in which the offense played just 58 snaps, a meaningful number in relation to the 4-day rest prior to this game.

Meanwhile, the rather surprisingly bad Kansas City defense was on the field for over 10 minutes in the 4th quarter alone as DeShaun Watson and the Texans had their way; hardly a shocker from a D ranked dead last in opponent time of possession and first downs surrendered, but certainly of note. Again, four days’ rest.

Those beating on K.C. are also likely touting Patrick Mahomes’ 3-0 SU (2-1 ATS) lifetime record against the Broncos, though each win was within 7 points and the first of the three wins came in week 17 of 2017, a meaningless game in Mahomes’s “rookie” year. But here’s a balancing stat: Against Andy Reid-coached teams, QB Joe Flacco is 1-3 SU but 4-0 ATS.

But against those two undefeated streaks is the evilest stat of all: Thus far into 2019, the Broncos are just 1-2 ATS away, meaning, that’s right, they’re 3-0 at home.

Then we can factor in all the “goodies” that TNF games produce. For Denver, Emmanuel Sanders left last week in the first half, so he’ll not be at 100%, while Mahomes still appears to be nursing an ankle injury.

All in all, the numbers just keep evening out. The temptation is to cover a Chiefs win on the Money Line (ML) at -180 and cover the Broncos +3, but NFLbets just doesn’t trust TNF games enough to likesay, make that sort of investment. So we’re going to ignore the point spread altogether and reckon on one of two eventualities paying off: 1) Fatigue and high-altitude rule, resulting in (at least) a very low-scoring first half on the way to a typical Thursday night score and/or 2) the frankly less-talented Broncos show their true colors against an above-.500 team – Denver’s 0-3 SU (1-2 ATS) against winning teams thus far.

So take the under on an O/u of 48½ points and hope against fluke touchdowns.

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NFLbets’ week 6 picks: Betting on a scoreboard-spinner, a snoozefest and two trainwrecks

Saturday, 12 October 2019 11:36 EST

Excuse NFLbets while we pat ourselves on the back, but our 4-1 record for “Picks of the Week” was easily the most success we’ve seen in 2019, getting us back over breaking even. The proper bettor shouldn’t let one good week go to the head, so neither will we – after all, this kind of performance should be expected. As we enter into the second-third of the season, we’d better know enough about these teams or we just shouldn’t be betting at all.

And that’s not going to happen. As evidenced by these, NFLbets’ Picks of the Week for week 6 in NFL betting…

Houston Texans +4 at Kansas City Chiefs, over/under 55 points

First off, taking the over in this game is too easy – thus highly dangerous and NFLbets won’t be throwing any moneys there.

The 55 points could be considered purely a byproduct of the simple “points scored” statistic, which produces a “final score” of Chiefs 29.3, Texans 26.2. (Surprising the over/under wasn’t set at 55½. Hmmm…) In 2018, the Chiefs won 42-34 in Houston, and the Kansas City defense isn’t quite as porous as usual in the Andy Reid era, currently surrendering 22.6 points per game against a reasonably tough schedule (at Jacksonville, at Oakland, vs Baltimore, at Detroit, vs Indianapolis).

But NFLbets smells a rat here. Call us crazy, call us irresponsible, but NFLbets is among the few who believes that Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ 13-point, zero passing TD performance was not a massive outlier. We’re not saying that K.C.’s spinning in a graveyard spiral on the way to 9-7 SU and missing the playoffs, but did anyone honestly believe that this team would score 30+ per game forever?

In week 6, the Chiefs will be playing without OL Andrew Wylie, who had already been playing out of position due to OT Eric Fisher’s injury in week 2. Tyreek Hill may be back this week, but recent history shows that reintegration of “skill players” doesn’t always translate to instant success (Melvin Gordon, anyone…?) Normally, Mahomes might not fear the aggressive and counterproductive Houston defense – the Texans rank 4th in tackles for loss, and are top-10 in passing yards, sacks and interceptions – he just may not be as prolific when improvising or in the pocket.

This must be the reasoning behind all the money coming in on Houston: This point spread started the week at Chiefs -8. The Texans are playing at nearly full strength, missing only center Greg Mancz, who got a concussion in week 4; however, Mancz has played only one full game in 2019, and Nick Martin’s been doing a decent enough job; Deshaun Watson has yet to fumble off a snap, and the Houston OL actually managed to keep their QB sack-free last week.

The numbers say that the Texans are just 3-10 ATS in their last 13 road games, but we’re thinking regression here. Watson could have a field day against a pretty damn ineffective D which is bottom-5 in stat categories like first downs allowed, rushing yardage and opponent’s time of possession. The Kansas City defense relies primarily on turnovers – they’re 9th in the NFL in that statistic – for stops, but the Chiefs haven’t faced a top-30 receiver yet this year. And all the Texans are bringing are DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, who are averaging 149.4 yards and one TD per game combined.

NFLbets is riding the wave of bettors here: Take the Houston Texans +4 at Kansas City, and the Texans money line (ML) at +175 is mighty tempting, too…

Tennessee Titans -2½ at Denver Broncos

NFL bettors definitely need an excuse to watch a Tennessee Titans game this season, and it says here that no better excuse exists than a wager – against the Titans, that is.

Just as we’re not ready to proclaim the Chiefs extinct, we’re not about to call the 2019 Denver Broncos a contender or even a .500 ballclub, but after last week’s 20-13 win at the “Los Angeles” Chargers, we’re believing that the Broncs are competent enough to again exploit their mile-high homefield advantage. The Broncos in Denver are 0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS, the latter because the sportsbook inexplicably set them as favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 4.

As has been the case in recent years, the Denver defense remains top-10 quality statistically, allowing 21.2 points and 338.6 total yards per game. The Tennessee offense is again fairly well average – except in one category: Turnovers, and specifically interceptions. Very quietly, Marcus Mariota has thrown for 17 TDs while tossing exactly zero picks. Luckily for Denver, this area is hardly their forte, anyway. This defense has produced admirably, but incredibly rank just 29th in total turnovers: a proverbial “bend don’t break” posture.

The main issue for Denver plays well into the NFL bettor’s favor, too; lest we forget, football is still all about the points scored. Defend Joe Flacco if you can (he’s got a career high in completion percentage going!), but the truth is the Broncos offense has been “good” for a measly 18.0 ppg thus far in 2019. Fair enough, they’ve seen some top-notch defenses this season (Jacksonville, Chicago, Green Bay), but this is clearly one anemic offense.

But again, it’s Denver. And mediocre teams should never win ATS in Denver. Take the Denver Broncos +2½ vs Tennessee, and definitely take the under on an O/U of 40½ points.

Washington -3½ at Miami Dolphins, over/under 42 points

Unlike watching that snoozefest of a Titans-Broncos game that will require wagering to justify, tuning into the 2019 Toilet Bowl should be freakin’ awesome. NFLbets will be tuning in to enjoy the devastation, and we’ll throw a few moneys at the game as well. We will, not, however, be expending a lot of verbiage in this space because these two trainwrecks just ain’t worth it.

We won’t be playing the over/under in this game, since enough turnovers – both offenses are bottom-5 in the statistical category, and how in Lombardi’s name is Miami not dead last? – could produce more accidental scoring and/or red zone opportunities than NFL bettors are accounting for. In fact, we’re counting on some chaos ball here and so are covering a proposition bet: I the “Defensive or Special Teams Touchdown Scored” prop, take YES for a +220 payout.

On a purely psychological level, meanwhile, NFLbets is figuring that Washington will be so relieved to be finally over the questionable-of-competence Jay Gruden that – gasp! – some talent may shine through. Whereas the Dolphins are still attempting to trade away any remaining NFL talent they may have. I mean, there’s a reason that Miami is a 3½-point underdog at home after a bye week … Take Washington -3½ at Maimi.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 4-1.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 11-10.

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NFLbets’ Week 5 picks: Betting on big point spreads and the Air Raid Offense

Saturday, 05 October 2019 12:05 EST

Well, that Thursday night game was fun – especially if you had the Seattle Seahawks money line covered. Sunday has a few more appealing options for NFL bettors – especially if you dig points. Following are NFLbets’ picks of the week for week 5, and fret not: We didn’t forget the two best bets of the week – those are coming soon.

New York Jets +14 at Philadelphia Eagles

NFLbets knows we said we were going to stay away from these double-digit point spreads on the Jets and Dolphins for a while, but apparently that “while” lasted two weeks.

Sam Darnold, still getting held out thanks to complications from mononucleosis, is but one missing piece on this offense: Josh Bellamy and Demaryius Thomas will play hurt if at all, and OT Kelechi Osemele is listed as doubtful as of Friday; that's just on the starting offense. The Jets’re also short LBs C.J. Mosely and Jordan Jenkins while Quinnen Williams is questionable and saw limited practice this week. In short, the Jets are quite unfortuitous in 2019 thus far in general and particularly so to be drawing the Eagles in Philly this week.

The Eagles snapped an 0-3 ATS losing streak with a nice 34-27 SU win against the Green Bay Packers in Wisconsin. In contrast to the Jets, the Eagles’ sole key player out this week is DeSean Jackson. Carson Wentz certainly didn’t produce a gaudy stat line at 16-of-27 for 160 and a long of 20 yards, but his 3 TD passes against zero turnovers against the bets defense he’s faced this season speaks to the efficiency this offense is capable of.

Do you believe the Eagles’ win represented something of a turnaround? We’re going that way, and we’re looking for the Eagles to finally stretch the proverbial win this season while finally putting together of a win of more than 7 points difference. Take the Philadelphia Eagles -14 vs the New York jets.

New England Patriots -16 at Washington

And you bet (so to speak) NFLbets’ll double down on the big ’spreads this week. This matchup at this point of human civilization just isn’t fair. On one side is a team winning games SU by a margin of 23.75 per and boasting a historically great defense; on the other is an offense “powered” by one QB on the way out and a rookie who’s not ready.

As for coach Jay Gruden, for whom the writing on the wall is scripted in 20-foot tall letters of flame, let’s say (write?) this: NFLbets doesn’t imagine Bill Belichick has a personal grudge against Gruden, but by game’s end, it may appear so. Take the New England Patriots -16 at Washington.

Arizona Cardinals +3 at Cincinnati Bengals, over/under 47 points

Others may see two also-rans when considering this matchup, but we see the possibility of some glorious chaos – not to mention opportunities to cash in. Tastiest for the NFL bettor in this game are the wonderfully porous defenses on both sides.

While the actual spread has almost shrunk to acceptable levels for covering the Bengals minus points after starting the week at Cardinals +4½. All the action that’s apparently coming in on the Cardinals has got to be based on faith in Kyler Murray, whose offense is showing some pretty glaring limitations. Fascinatingly, Murray and the Cardinals rank no. 3 in pass attempts – perhaps a consequence of literally having never played with a lead this entire season – but are third-worst in net yards per attempt.

Whether Murray can find Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk often enough against the Bengals remains a question, but he and coach Kliff Kingsbury may finally get the change to properly display that hyped “Air Raid Offense.”

Cincinnati’s defense doesn’t look statistically nearly as bad as Arizona’s, but the Bengals are bottom-5 in that most important category: points allowed. Intriguingly, their own stats against the pass are a mirror image of Murray’s: The Bengals D has seen the fewest pass attempts but are second worst in YPA. Crazy!

Arizona’s defense is just brutal, ranking bottom-5 in allowing points, yards, passing TDs and rushing yards. Neither team generates many turnovers or brings any pass rush to speak of. While Andy Dalton is hardly making anyone forget Tom Brady, as a 9-year veteran, he’s certainly capable of completing passes under no pressure. This one could be a scoreboard-spinner: Take the over on an O/U of 47 points.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 3-4.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 8-10.


NFLbets’ early pick for week 5: Seahawks -1½ vs Rams (Yes, we know betting TNF is folly…)

Thursday, 03 October 2019 17:01 EST

NFLbets knows that betting Thursday Night Football can be a mug’s game. Typically far too many more X-factors muddy the waters, incidence of injury (and thus randomness) increases and, let’s be honest here, often the matchup itself isn’t intensely interesting.

But NFLbets is temporarily changing our tune for this week’s TNF game, a proverbial clash of division rivals that could prove quite lucrative thanks to a certain quarterback who’s overly generous with the turnovers. We’re talking…

Los Angeles Rams +1½ at Seattle Seahawks

The line on this game opened at Rams -1½, moved to Seahwaks -2 by Tuesday night and had fallen back down to Seahawks -1½ on Thursday afternoon. No matter; we’re considering it a “pick ’em.”

In short, time is not on the Rams’ side here, as they’ve traveled from Florida on the south East Coast to Seattle on the north West Coast in time for a Thursday night meetup with the divisional rival Seahawks. And whereas the Seahawks got to take the foot off the pedal for much of a 27-10 win over the hapless Arizona Cardinals in Phoenix, the Los Angeles offense was on the field for 68 pass attempts alone in a 95-point scoreboard-spinner – there’s a reason NFL bettors hastily swung this line 3½ points in rapid fashion.

Certain trends could also flip on the Rams this week as well. For what is certainly the first time in years, perhaps even in the 21st century, Seattle has started the season 0-2 ATS at home – and even more oddly, the Los Angeles Rams are 2-0 ATS on the road. Now, four games is hardly a huge sample size … unless we’re talking about the famed homefield advantage of the Seahawks and the “12th Man” up there.

And finally, there is the elephant (or perhaps more appropriately, the mouse) in the room, namely Jared Goff and his incredible ability for turnovers at the costliest possible moments. How does a QB pass for 500+ yards and lead his team to 40 points and still look bad? When it’s part of a greater trend! To wit:

•  Goff’s last 12 games: 276-of-459 passing (a 60.1% completion rate) for 3,107 yards for 6.78 yards per attempt plus 13 touchdowns against 14 interceptions and 12 (!) fumbles lost.

•  Goff’s previous 12 games: 282-of-426 passing (66.2%) for 3,806 yards (8.93 YPA), 27 TDs, 6 INTs and 6 fumbles lost.

And after another week of consistently missed wide-open wide receivers, NFLbets believes that, if Goff’s teammates aren’t yet losing confidence in his competence, this game against a top-10 side in takeaways just might shake things up. We’re even willing to overlook the biggest mismatch on the field this week, namely Aaron Donald and a ridiculous Rams pass rush versus a weak-albeit-improving Seattle offensive line.

As good as nearly every single other aspect of the Rams’ game is, Goff is becoming an albatross. The truth is that the Rams haven’t enjoyed a quality regular-season win since the 105-point game against the Chiefs last season, and their last good win was due in no small part to a referee’s call egregious enough so as to call for rule changes.

Sure, maybe the Rams defense can carry this team again, but after seeing 71 offensive snaps themselves four days ago in Tampa, how sharp can they be? The more one considers the circumstances aligning against L.A., the longer the odds feel on a Rams win. Take the Seattle Seahawks money line (ML) at -125, and figure that we’ll be getting a “classic” low-scoring TNF game, too: Take the under on an O/U of 49.

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NFLbets’ week 4 picks: Going against the Giants, pushing the AFC South, counting on the Chiefs

Friday, 27 September 2019 15:53 EST

Now the picture is coalescing in the NFL a little further, and these lines are starting to make more sense. (Well, except for that Jacksonville-Denver ’spread this week…) As such, NFLbets has a few Picks of the Week for your week 4 NFL betting; we’re taking a few chances this time out, but a couple of key gambles (Lions! Bengals!) saved our bacon enough so that we’re still trying to make up for our week 1 foolishness. Here’s what we’re ponying up betting cash for this weekend.

Washington -3 at N.Y. Giants, over/under 49 pts

Washington will be looking to pull off the upset and pick up their first win of the season when they hit the road to take on the division rival New York Giants in one of their two annual regular season meetings in Week 4. The Skins are as healthy as they have ever been all season with the exception of losing Jordan Reed who has yet to play a game due to concussion protocol. He’s only 29 so I do see him back in a couple weeks as that is his intention, he wants to play. The week 3 MNF game vs the Bears was pretty much a throw away game. They lost it in the first half at a 28-3 start and showed life in the 2nd half finishing with a 31-15 loss to the Chicago Bears.

Case Keenum hasn’t been as good as Washington would have liked. He’s a cheaper version of Kurt Cousins and if he doesn’t pick it up he’ll be on the docket for replacement next season. While Washington has gone 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games, they are an uninspiring 1-5 ATS in their last six against their NFC East division rivals and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games against their NFC counterparts.

Conversely to Keenum, the sky is the limit for New York’s Daniel “Danny Dimes” Jones. Although he’s only replaced E. Manning as starter for one game, Jones has lots of upside. Recent history may be taken with a grain of salt, as Jones is but 1-0 SU/ATS, but the Giants are an 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games against NFC teams.

The G-Men are feeling good right now: Jones had one hell of a debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, building on a strong preseason to lead an 18-point comeback win. Even with Saquon Barkley sidelined during the game, this offense looked better in the second half than it had in quite some time. Jones impressed during the preseason and could be able to move the ball against this subpar unit.

But here’s the thing: Exciting new quarterback or no, these are mostly the same old New York Giants. Jones last week was sacked five times, once leading to a short-field fumble, thanks to a deadly combination of tissue-paper OL and a lack of living WRs. Sterling Shepard may again fleetingly be a fantasy football waiver-wire darling after bagging 7 catches for 100 yards and a TD, but NFLbets is here to make money and gives precisely zero fucks about fantasy.

O, and you may have heard: The Giants will be playing without Barkley for 4-6 weeks with his ankle injury.

On the defensive side of the ball? Well, last week, the Giants D gave up 31 points and allowed Jameis F. Winston to complete consecutive passes of a combined 64 yards to set up a field goal attempt most NFL kickers would have converted. And New York produced just one turnover out of the Buccaneers, last season’s “leader” in the statistical category.

Another question is how well Washington can contain TE Evan Engram – or how much they’ll need to after a statistically fluky 75-yard TD reception. Rookie QBs tend to lean on the tight end as a safety valve (particularly on teams with gaunt receiver corps and the Giants like we said), and Engram may now become a key weapon in the Barkley-less offense. Through three games, Washington ranks 12th and 14th in receptions and yardage allowed, respectively, to TEs.

In the final analysis, we’re not so much betting *on* one side or the other as against the New York Giants, who have still well too shaky a roster to trust, and for certain regressions to the mean. We’re saying take Washington +3 at the New York Giants. Additionally, precisely because these two teams are both bottom-3 in points allowed – guess who’s the third – we’re advising NFL bettors to take the under on an O/U of 49 points.

Indianapolis Colts -7 at Oakland Raiders

The best reason to bet this game? Jon Gruden’s Raiders are involved. But you knew that.

Um, OK. The *second-* best reason to bet this game: because just one AFC South team is playing. The South’s four teams are an early-but-impressive 4-1-1 ATS combined against all others. With Jacoby Brissett getting Frank Reich’s offense going in Indianapolis and the Jacksonville Jaguars rallying behind the wonderful Garnder Minshew II, this division has once again morphed into a round-robin eliminator pool.

The Houston Texans, for example, could easily finish first or third in the South, with a playoff home game or no postseason at all. And either outcome would seem justifiable: On the one hand, DeShaun Watson-to-DeAndre Hopkins could well be the NFL’s best QB-WR hookup in 2019; on the other hand, rarely does a team in among the bottom 5 in pass protection see much success late in the season.

Similar narratives may be constructed for the Jaguars and Colts. As for the Tennessee Titans, wellllll, they always, likesay, keep things competitive.

So until further notice, NFLbets is staying away from intra-divisional AFC South games and taking long hard looks at these teams’ other games – particularly against the Raiders, Dolphins and that ilk. This may not be much in the way of deep analysis, but how much more do you need? Oakland/Las Vegas is a bottom-5 team in offensive yards and points scored and bottom-10 in yards allowed and points surrendered. Come on, now… Take the Indianapolis Colts -7 at Oakland.

Carolina at Houston, Jacksonville at Denver

NFLbets will also double-down (or maybe that should be “triple-down”) on the AFC South this week and take the Houston Texans -4½ vs Carolina and most definitely take the Jacksonville Jaguars +3 at Denver – yes, we know all about the homefield and time zone advantages of Denver, but have you seen that offense? Going under-38 would also be pretty damn tempting if we weren’t afraid of multiple pick-sixes from Joe Flacco.

Detroit Lions +7 at Kansas City Chiefs, over/under 55 points

From Monday to Friday, this spread has slowly progressed from Lions -5½ and with good reason. This is one of those lines that can wrap your optic nerves in knots from staring. Why set the line so relatively low, only to encourage lots of money on Kansas City? Seriously, what nonpartisan NFL bettor is backing the Lions here?

Just on a mundane level, the Chiefs are currently on a run of 22 consecutive Patrick Mahomes starts – every one of his NFL career, to be blunt – in which the team scored *at least* 26 points. (Of course, they’ve surrendered an average of 25.4 points per game in those 22; we’ll get back to this.) Meanwhile, in Matt Patricia’s tenure as head coach, the Lions have topped 27 in just three of 19 games. In 2018, Detroit was 2-4 ATS (1-5 SU) versus playoff teams, including losses in the last four such games by an average differential of 11.75 points.

Whether or not the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles are a playoff team remains a matter of conjecture (NFLbets’ guess: probably not), but we surely all agree the 2019 Chiefs sure look like one. The conclusion is obvious: Take the Kansas City Chiefs -7 vs Detroit.

As for that over/under – Finally, we’ll make a fun recommendation! At 55 points, that’s a projected final score of 31-24. The Lions, even under Patricia, can occasionally punch their weight on offense, and the Chiefs’ point-a-minute offense is matched only by its point-a-minute-allowed defense. Matthew Stafford can still throw deep, and he will early and often against an accessible secondary. Take the over on an O/U of 55 points.

NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 3-3.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 4-5.


NFLbets’ Picks of week 3: Looking for Rams to roll, Patriots to paste, Ravens to run up points

Saturday, 21 September 2019 08:43 EST

You can’t cry for want of good lines and odds in week 3 of this NFL seasons: NFLbets has got six good options on which to wager, and these are only our official NFLbets Picks of the Week; tomorrow, we’ll break out the true Best Bets. For now, consider spreading the weekly bankrool around a bit on these point spreads…

Baltimore Ravens +6½ at Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs will welcome QB Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to Arrowhead this Sunday for Kansas City’s first hoe game of 2019. Jackson is building an early case for MVP with 722 total yards and 7 touchdowns accounted for through two weeks.

The Chiefs are currently 6½-point favorites at home, so NFL MVP titleholder Patrick Mahomes will need to stay sharp. He passed for 443 yards and four touchdowns with a 131.2 rating in the Chiefs’ 28-10 win at Oakland. Through the first two weeks, Mahomes has four touchdown passes of at least 40 yards or more. We still think the absences of RB Damien Williams due to leg injury and WR1 Tyreek Hill to an arm leave some questions for depth against this loaded Ravens team.

Baltimore has all the tools to edge out the Chiefs roster in what could be the highest-scoring matchup of week 3. Jackson completed 24-of-37 passes for 272 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. He converted 16 carries into an additional 120 scoreless yards on the ground. Tight end Mark Andrews caught 8-of-9 targets for 112 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens’ week 2 win. Andrews has now caught 16-of-17 targets for 220 yards and a pair of scores in two games this season.

The Ravens have gained the third-most yards on offense (1,083) through the first two regular season *ever*: Only the 1991 Buffalo Bills and 2011 New England Patriots ran up more, and both were Super Bowl teams. The Ravens defensive side and special teams also seem to hitting all the right notes and mofos on the other side of field. Take the Baltimore Ravens +7 at Kansas City.

Cincinnati Bengals -6 at Buffalo Bills

Did you know that the Bills are 2-0 SU? I’m not saying that their competition (i.e. the New York Jets and N.Y. Giants) was the greatest but going undefeated after 2 weeks is nothing to scoff at. The Bills are a good team, with a solid defense, a rapidly improving QB in Josh Allen and dependable RB crew with Devin Singletary and Frank Gore. The notable in the receiving corps has been John Brown ¬– yes, the same John Brown that was a deep threat for a number of years with Arizona and one with Baltimore.

On the other hand, the Bengals are … well they’re the just a depleted group of underachievers. Their longtime talented offensive roster with (injured) starting RB Mixon and 3 wideouts that can all play deep ball in (injured) A.J. Green, John Ross III and Tyler Boyd. Cincy even has two studs TEs in Tyler Eifert and C.J. Uzomah, yet predictably these players can’t seem to put anything together with Andy Dalton at the helm.

The Bengals are licking their wounds coming off of a 41-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Coming into this game, news has emerged that the Bengals offensive line is severely undermanned, and that is bad news for Andy Dalton & Co. Give me the Bills and the points in this one, as they will move on to 3-0. Take the Buffalo Bills -6 vs Cincinnati.

Detroit Lions +6½ at Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles were so close to going 2-0 SU. Driving with little time left, QB Carson Wentz dropped a dime down the left sideline to a wide-open Nelson Agholor for what would have been a game-winning TD … if only Agholor hadn’t dropped it. The Eagles never recovered, and fell to 1-1 on the season. The Lions are coming off a huge Week 2 victory against a tough Chargers team, 13-10, showing their defensive prowess in the process. They are still undefeated through two games, albeit at 1-0-1.

The Eagles are 6-point favorites coming into this one, and while on paper that seems fair, this is not a normal week at the office for the Eagles. If you watched their SNF game, their players were dropping like flies. The damage has carried over into Week 3, as receivers Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery are both looking unlikely to play in this one, leaving Carson Wentz’s receiving corps looking very thin this week.

I think that will be trouble for the Eagles in this one. The Lions have a good defense, and can put up points on offense with Stafford at the helm; this line should be closer to “pick ‘em.” Take the Detroit Lions +6 at Philadelphia.

Carolina Panthers +2½ at Arizona Cardinals

The classic 0-2 vs 0-2 game. If you told me before the season that the Cardinals would be 0-2 after two weeks, I would’ve expected it, but the Panthers? Well, that’s where we are right now, and not only are the Panthers winless, Cam Newton is the biggest question mark of their season right now. He’s deemed to be uninterested and still playing hurt after two offseason shoulder surgeries, an injury that seemingly should require one year minimum to heal.

Newton is not ruled out for Week 3 yet, but it’s looking that way. That leaves the Panthers with Kyle Allen, who played well in a meaningless game in Week 17 last season, at QB. He’s no slouch, but nobody is mistaking him for Newton.

Despite the losses, Arizona has been close in both Weeks 1 and 2. They’re winless, but they’ve proven to be a tough out. With rookie QB Kyler Murray proving to be as dynamic as advertised, this team can produce fireworks in the right setting. The Cardinals are listed as 2-point favorites at home in this one, and it’s looking like they’re about to push one across the finish line. The Panthers conversely have not looked good in either game, and now just lost their QB. Take the Arizona Cardinals -2 vs Carolina.

New York Jets +22.5 at New England Patriots

To be honest, there’s not much to write about this one. Vegas has set this line at a historic clip, making the Patriots 22-point favorites at home against the banged-up Jets; this marks just the second time in history an NFL team has given point spreads of 19 or more points in a game; the first was in the undefeated 2007 Patriots season. I still don’t think this ’spread is high enough.

The Patriots beat the Dolphins 43-0, and while that score looks pretty, they really didn’t play that well. The offense sputtered at times, and if it wasn’t for two pick-sixes, the score would be much closer.

The Jets are a bad, plain and simple. I picked them to have a solid year, but that was before disaster struck. Sam Darnold was out for 2-3 weeks after a diagnosis of mono, and then his backup Trevor Siemien hurt his ankle or lower leg. Now they’ve got Luke Falk, as their 3rd string QB against the Patriots, who are historically motivated against the Jets. And LB C.J. Mosley is out as well.

Oh, and I almost forgot – the Jets are coming off a short week. Take the New England Patriots -22½ points (that’s right) against the New York Jets.

Los Angeles Rams -3 at Cleveland Browns

After losing 43-13 in Week 1 to the Tennessee Titans, everyone jumped off the Browns bandwagon. After beating the Jets 23-3 in Week 2, many are back aboard. The Browns are not as bad as they looked in Week 1, and are not as dominant as they looked in Week 2. Somewhere in the middle is an average team that can score no more than 25 points and will give up just as many.

For the Rams, it’s business as usual. The defending NFC champs are 2-0 coming off a blowout of the New Orleans Saints last week, although Drew Brees left early with an injury. The Rams look as good as advertised. The offense is still explosive, and the defense is flying around making plays all across the field.

The Rams are 3½-point road favorites in this primetime matchup. A fair enough line, but the Rams are simply the better team and should win by a TD. The defense is good enough to give Baker Mayfield fits, and I don’t see Odell Beckham getting off for another 86-yard touchdown like last week. Take the Los Angeles Rams -3½ at Cleveland.