Season: 10-2, +34 units
Plays are rated from 1-10 units with 10 being the strongest.
Wk 1 recap: 5-0-1, +19 units.
Wins on: BUF, ATL , ARI, SD & MIA (BUF won as underdogs vs. the Colts + ATL won as ‘dogs over the Eagles as well).
Wk 2 recap: 4-2, +12 units
Wins on: NYJ, TB, MIN, & GB (TB won straight-up as a 10 pt. underdog + NYJ won as 6.5 ‘dogs in Indy).
Wk 3 so far: 1-0, +3 units (W on NYG)
Time for Sunday. Time to start new success. As the season goes on sometimes it gets more and more difficult waiting for Sunday to come. It’s that anticipation all week of waiting for those 1PM games to kickoff. Maybe you know the feeling, maybe you don’t. For me there is no better competition right now than picking winners. Handicapping the NFL is a combination of sports + business + investing and all 3 are a thrill & a challenge. Let’s tackle that challenge right now.
*ALL plays free here until Week 5 as I launch this site.
- Operation: “Sorry, Milton” continues here in Week 3. Newcomers – Milton Friedman was the economic guru who said ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’. I made it my mission in Week 1 to prove that genius wrong and feed all of you a bunch of free lunches and I’ve done just that with a 10-2 start (I accept free lunches as a return of the favor….by the way).
- Currently I am in 34th place out of 1,727 contestants in the Las Vegas Supercontest – this tournament is filled with some of the best Professional Sports Bettors in the World and there is $2.5 million in prizes. 1st place gets $1 million. You bet I’m gunning for #1.
Now let’s get into Sunday’s plays….
1- PIT @ STL +1
Everyone’s in love with the Steelers and their offense. They should be – they’re a good offense and they put up 48 points last week vs San Fran and now Le’Veon Bell is back. This challenge they face in St. Louis is steep, though. This is a St. Louis team that is as good as it gets at home – they have now beaten the Seahawks the last 2 times at home and last year beat the Broncos when Manning was “authentic Manning.”
I know what you’re going to say – “This Rams team just lost to the Redskins last week and they’re playing a better team this with with Le’Veon back.” Here’s what you need to know: The Rams, to me, suffered a hangover on the road last week after beating the Seahawks. They’re better than they showed last week. Now they have a chance to bounceback at home. Last season with a backup QB this team beat Denver the week after losing by double digits and did the same thing to Seattle after losing by double digits. They started last season 6-0 ATS after a loss and that is a mark of character. They return the majority of their stout defense from last year + have an offense that is in a different class than last year’s team now that they have Nick Foles to throw to all of their weapons. Tre Mason is good enough to control the clock in this game and keep the ball away from Pittsburgh’s juggernaut offense. Todd Gurley, the highly touted 1st round pick for the Rams, may be back in this one. Either way this team should be able to move the chains on the ground.
When Pittsburgh has the ball expect Roethlisberger to be uncomfortable. The Rams boast five 1st round draft picks on the defensive line and have one of the best front 7’s in the league. The Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey is hurt and that is a huge blow for a team on the road versus a strong pass rush.
Here’s what really sells me on the Rams: I’ve seen this Steelers team lay eggs on the road all last season because they’re very young on defense and still don’t handle adversity very well – they lost @ NYJ last year, got blown out by 21 @ CLE, and needed miracles to beat JAX + TEN on the road last year. This is a different team on the road than at home. Without their captain Troy Polomalu on the team this year that inexperience creeps in a little bit more. There were points Week 1 @ NE where the Pittsburgh defense wasn’t even setup properly and receivers were open before the play even started.
The Rams should be fired up for this one and have all of the tools they need to surprise the Steelers on Sunday.
STL +1, 5 units
2- PHI +2 @ NYJ
The Eagles went from being Super Bowl favorites 2 weeks ago to now being “one of the worst teams in the league.” You kiddin’ me? Look they laid a few eggs to start the season (which I predicted in our top-rated winner on the Falcons +3 in Week 1) but this team has a ton of talent and will get better as the season goes on. The public can’t help but overreact to the scores they see and they don’t bother challenging what goes on behind the scenes. Well here’s the secret – like I said in Week 1, this Eagles team needs time to gel and that’s the explanation for the early season woes. They have a great shot to move in the right direction against the Jets though.
Now, before you go on saying that you love the Jets, just know this – I was one of the few who predicted them Monday Night +6.5 to win over the Colts. I loved them Monday Night but I do not today for a few reasons:
a- They’re coming off a short week of preparation after MNF. That affects performance.
b- They’re playing an 0-2 team who is desperate for a win. The Jets are 2-0 and don’t need this game as badly.
c- The Jets play in London next week in an important division game vs Miami. Teams the week before London are 6-14 ATS (ever have a vacation booked and try to get work done the days before? Your performance was probably worse than normal… similar situation here).
I’m backing Chip Kelly and the Eagles today to be better than what they’ve shown. Teams can and do improve from week to week (remember how much better the Browns looked last week? How about the Jags upsetting the Dolphins after they lost in Week 1? I can go on and on with examples). This week I’m counting on the Eagles to get the job done when they need to and show their offensive potential in this game. Eagles should come out on top with a road W.
PHI +2, 5 units
3- ATL -1.5 @ DAL
I’m a Falcons believer. They have a veteran offense with great leadership in Matt Ryan, Julio Jones & Roddy White + now they have a very good Head Coach. If you don’t know this already then take note – Dan Quinn was the Seahawks Defensive Coordinator during their Super Bowl run and is now the HC for the Falcons. That has elevated the play of their defensive unit and it has shown in wins vs the Eagles and Giants.
The Cowboys are hurt for this one. No Romo. No Dez. Weaker running game than last year. I do believe the Cowboys will have a “next man up” mentality and rally on defense to make this game competitive but Brandon Weeden is just awful – he is 4-17 for his career as a starter which includes his time with Dallas last year. He makes bone-head plays and if I’m the Atlanta Falcons I am jumping at the opportunity to face this guy.
This game may stay close for a little while so if it comes down to trusting the team with the better QB in the 4th quarter then I am backing Matty Ice strongly.
ATL -2, 5 units
4- CIN @ BAL -2.5
The Ravens are in desperation mode at 0-2. I’m taking this game simply because they need this game so much more than the Bengals and because the Ravens are a tough out at home:
a) If the Ravens were to lose this game they’d be 0-3 + the Bengals would be 3-0 + the Bengals would win the tiebreaker. The Ravens could kiss the division goodbye if they lose this game. The same isn’t true for the Bengals.
b) The Ravens are 12-4 their last 2 seasons at home.
John Harbaugh knows the importance of this game and he will pass that sense of urgency on to his men. Whether or not that translates into a win remains to be seen, but this team should be ready for the fight that they face on Sunday.
BAL -2.5, 3 units
My two cents on the rest of the games:
- Tease the Cardinals down to -1 with another play you like (I am releasing a play on the Chiefs +6.5 tomorrow and would recommend moving them to +12.5)
- Don’t go crazy with your play on the Colts -3: This is a Titans team that 2 weeks ago looked amazing with Mariota. It seems as if the Titans had a Week 1 hangover last week (which is not uncommon for young teams) and I don’t think they’re as bad as they looked last week. This is their home opener and it’s a division game. The Colts have a ton of injuries in the secondary still and, even though they need this win badly, I would be wary of how much I lay on them in this game. Over 46 looks like the play here in a game that may be a shootout between Luck & Mariota.
- The Panthers -9 aren’t as much of a lock as you may think – now that Brees has been scratched from this game the Panthers could be thinking “this game is a cakewalk for us.” Not so fast. Any given Sunday is a real thing…especially in a division game. Panthers should definitely win but I’m not running to the Las Vegas betting window to take the Panthers.
- I’m really curious to see how this Bucs +6.5 @ Texans game plays out – on one hand you have a desperate 0-2 Texans team who I think is better than 0-2. On the other hand you have a Bucs team with momentum catching almost a touchdown. This may be a worthwhile teaser play on the Texans but I’m going to sit back and learn something about these two teams.
- If you have a solid read on the Bills & Dolphins game then good for you – Dolphins are -3 and both teams are 1-1 + know each other inside & out. This is a tough divisional game to play.
- The Broncos -3 @ Lions SNF game is interesting – the Lions are in a good spot to bounceback at home but their defense is so injury-riddled and Stafford still has injury concerns that this is a no-play for me. The total is low @ 45 but it may be the right move here as the Broncos are clearly a run first team now and like to control the clock.
- This is a big day for the Seahawks. Kam Chancellor is back and that should bring an energy and swagger to this defense that’s been lacking. The Bears are in trouble.
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