The NFL has been pretty smooth sailing so far this season. I’m sitting at a nice record of 36-21-3 (63.16%) +18.28u and have consistently been profiting every week. I haven’t taken any big shots in the NFL yet but I am finally consistently picking up a few units every week rather than taking a big shot on one play. Going forward I am going to be previewing the full NFL slate and attaching my full card in this weekly piece. That’s a lot of writing so without further ado, let’s get into the games (full card at the bottom of the blog).
TNF- Eagles (+7) vs. Bucs o/u 52.5
The Eagles are a fascinating team this year. They are a top-10 offense in Y/P but are outside the top-15 in scoring. However, that means they are due for some positive regression towards translating good offense into points. Nick Siriani seems to be very focused on making this a pass-first offense which has hurt them some this season but I think will help against a Bucs defense that ranks dead last in the NFL in passing defense. Jalen Hurts should have a lot of success through the air and that will set him up to be able to scramble a lot when the Bucs drop extra guys into coverage. The Eagles defense also matches up well with the Bucs offense- the Birds have been elite against the pass so far this season but have struggled against the run which is what you need to do to stop Brady. Home dogs on TNF are usually a good bet and I think the Eagles keep this thing close. Brady is 0-2 ATS on TNF with the Bucs, winning a close one against the Bucs to start this season and they lost outright on the road against the Bears in a similar situation in Week Five last year. I would recommend buying to +7 at -120 or better and avoiding the Bucs who are a popular teaser piece this week. Don’t be shocked if the Eagles win outright.
Pick: 1.5u Eagles +7
London- Jags +3.5 vs. Dolphins o/u 47
Another game across the pond, lads. The Jets and Falcons played a stinker last week and these two teams look to top that with an even stinkier game. The Dolphins currently have a big question mark at QB as Jacoby Brissett has struggled and Tua is potentially ready to return but might not be 100% if he does. Normally that can be an advantage for a team if the other coaching staff doesn’t know which QB to prepare for but Tua and Brissett don’t play an overly different style and honestly a banged up Tua and Brissett with a hamstring injury don’t scare me. I think the Jags defense will be fine and on the other side, the Jags rushing offense has been really good so far this season. Last week the Jags failed to cover but they did compete for most of the game so I don’t think the Urban thing is going to be a long-term distraction for this Jags team. They won’t have a lot of opportunities to win games this year and I think they jump on this shot in a weird environment that evens the odds somewhat. James Robinson is the star of this game. Buy to +3.5 at -120 or better but 3 is just fine.
Pick: 1.5u Jaguars +3.5
Browns -2.5 vs. Cardinals
The Browns went down to the wire with the Chargers last week in what was maybe the game of the year in the NFL so far. They were robbed of a win on a horrific DPI call late but that only gets us a better price here. The Cardinals are hugely overvalued because of their undefeated start to the season but this isn’t a top-5 team in the NFL. The Browns have the better team here and have a huge edge in the coaching department. I have actually bet all 5 Cardinals games this year and I’m 4-1 in those bets so I’ve had a good read on this team. The weather is supposed to be pretty windy and that is a huge advantage for the Browns elite rushing attack over the pass-heavy Cards offense. The Cards also have a lot of injury issues at the moment- TE Maxx Williams is out for the season, Chandler Jones is expected to miss Sunday’s game, and so is C Rodney Hudson. Kyler is also dealing with a nagging shoulder injury which we’ve seen really hurt his arm strength in the past. The Cards finally drop one here in Cleveland and this is my biggest bet of the weekend. Make sure to snag a 3 before they’re gone.
Pick: 2u Browns -2.5 (0.5u will be graded at -3 in case of a push as the last 0.5u was added late)
Lions +3.5 vs. Bengals o/u 47.5
The Lions continue to compete week in and week out and just can’t quite get a win. They were heartbroken by the Vikings last week after Dan Campbell actually made an incredibly +EV decision to go for 2 and the win in the final minute of the game. I mean how can you not root for this guy…
Dan Campbell is by no means a genius head coach but he clearly cares about his players and his players are clearly playing hard for him and from an ATS perspective, that means a lot. On the other side, I think Zac Taylor has actually proven to be a -EV head coach and is a shocking 2-14-1 SU as a road team since becoming the Bengals head coach, the worst mark in the league. I don’t think the Bengals should be road favorites against anybody, especially with Joe Burrow’s health issues. I mean the guy literally wasn’t allowed to talk earlier this week because his throat was so messed up from the big hit he took. I think this game stays tight and low-scoring and the Lions have a chance to win late.
Pick: 1.5u Lions +3.5
Chargers @ Ravens (-2.5) o/u 51.5
The Chargers have been incredible so far this season and they will be riding high after last week’s dramatic win over the Browns but I think this spot is perfect for the Ravens. The Chargers will be off their big win and having to travel across the country to Baltimore to face a Ravens team that seems to feel disrespected that they continue to be left out of the conversation of the elite teams in this league. The Ravens are coming off a resilient dramatic win themselves and I think Lamar will be extremely confident as he had what was maybe the best game of his career. This Chargers team is not designed to stop the run and we saw CHUNT do whatever they wanted last week. I expect the Ravens to be able to do the same thing on the ground this week and their defense will be more competitive than the Browns’ defense. When in doubt, back Jim Harbaugh.
Pick: 1u Ravens -2.5, 1u o51.5
Bears +4.5 vs. Packers
Home divisional dogs are always a great angle in this league and I think the Bears will be able to compete with the Packers on Sunday. The Packers have not looked great the last 3 weeks despite surviving with 3 wins. They had the crazy game last week against the Bengals with all the missed field goals, an unconvincing ugly win against Pittsburgh at home the week before, and a last second win over the 49ers the week before. This Packers defense is simply not very good and they rank dead last in the league in red zone defense- when teams piece a drive together against this Packers D it results in a touchdown. Justin Fields is only going to get more confident and add more to his game every week so I expect him and this solid Bears run offense to be able to score some points. On the other side, this Packers OL has some holes and the Bears front-7 can most definitely exploit them. This Bears defense is the opposite of the Packers in that they are elite in the red zone. I think it will be hard for the Packers to get 7s on the board and that will make this a close one.
Pick: 1u Bears +4.5
Patriots (+3.5) vs. Cowboys
The Cowboys are a good team, there is no denying that at this point. The offense has lived up to the hype but it’s really the improved defense that has made the difference. However, if anyone can scheme up some offense to beat a Dan Quinn-led defense, it’s McDaniels and Belichick…
This Patriots defense is also really really good and can match up with the Cowboys electric offense across the board. I think this game will be really competitive and wouldn’t be surprised to see the Pats win outright. Since 2003 (as far back as ATS data goes) the Patriots are 30-17-1 (63.8%) ATS as underdogs. Bill is not in this situation often but when he is, he usually comes up big.
Pick: 1u Patriots +3.5
Those are all of the sides and totals I’m betting, now I’m just going to run through the rest of the games and try to give a quick angle on each.
Rams -9.5 @ Giants- This is a bad spot for the Rams but with the Giants injury issues and their struggles at MetLife this one is hard to read. Best angle is Rams in a MLP.
Houston +10 @ Indy- The Colts are on a short week but they’re starting to play better so I think they take care of business against Houston. This Texans team is still really really bad. Best angle is Colts in a MLP.
Chiefs -6.5 @ WFT- You can’t bet this Chiefs team ATS until you see something has changed there. I think this is a desperation spot for them and they take care of business here and probably cover but I can’t lay it. Really good tease piece down to -0.5.
Vikings -1.5 @ Panthers- This is a true coinflip game. Two good, not great, teams that matchup decently well with one another. I included the Vikings in a teaser when this line opened Vikings +1.5 but at the current line, the best angle is Panthers +7.5 in a teaser.
Raiders +3.5 @ Broncos- This is a tough one because of all the Gruden distractions. I don’t think the players hated Gruden so I don’t think they’ll play up because it’s a relief to have him gone, but they might play up to prove they are above the distractions. Also, I love backing Teddy but usually only as a dog. Total stay away for me but I think best angle is o44.5 if I had to choose.
If I end up having any plays on SNF or MNF I will put them out on Twitter separately from this piece so that’s all! There’s a good angle on basically every NFL game this weekend including on TNF tonight. I’ll type out the whole card below to sum things up but let’s make it another great NFL weekend. CFB preview coming tomorrow. As always if you have real questions about what number to bet things at or anything like that, hit me on Twitter @BlakeyLocks.
2u Browns -2.5 (0.5u graded at -3)
1.5u Eagles +7
1.5u Jaguars +3.5
1.5u Lions +3.5
1u Patriots +3.5
1u Bears +4.5
1u Chargers/Ravens o51.5
1u Ravens -2.5
1.5u KC -0.5/LAC +9 teaser
1.5u DET +9/MIN +7.5 teaser
1u KC/LAR/IND MLP (+102)