CoverMonster Covers All
I want to go over these games from multiple points of views. There are so many ways to look at a game. You can look at the fundamentals of a team, the analytics and stats, the eye test, your gut, or even your knowledge of public perception and how it affects lines and movement. I am available for questions, thoughts, deeper dives, betting tips, bankroll management tips, or anything else you may not to help you make the best decision possible. Look at the bottom for my betting tip of the week! Enjoy!
Miami Dolphins (+2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (47.5)
This is our opening game of week three. A Thursday night matchup between two of the three Florida teams. Two of the teams people feel will be at the bottom of the league this year. For the Dolphins I can definitely say that they likely will. The Jaguars, despite seemingly losing a massive number of key players lately (Ramsey, Campbell, Fournette) are actually not playing terrible football. They ended up fighting tooth and nail vs the team that eliminated the Ravens in last year’s playoffs and then had their quarterback throw 95% in a win against what some people view as the favorite to win the division,Indianapolis. Is Minshew mania in affect? Let’s dig into the matchup. The Dolphins are awful. They rank bottom 5 in the league in coverage, and the bottom quarter of teams in pass blocking. That does not bode well for this matchup, because Jacksonville ranks top 5 in pass blocking, and anyone that knows football knows that one of the biggest drivers of QB success is protection. Gardner Minshew is getting as much protection as nearly anyone, thus allowing him to pick apart defenses with the time he has in the pocket. A team that can’t rush the quarterback and can’t cover the receivers doesn’t appear to be a team that has a chance to hang around in this matchup.
Chicago Bears (+3.5) @ Atlanta Falcons (47.5)
The undefeated Bears go into Atlanta to square off against the most high-powered winless team in the league. The Falcons are averaging 32 points a game. Unfortunately, they give up an average of 39 points a game. I can’t completely fault them, as they went up against my prediction for MVP (Wilson) and a Cowboys offense that has the talent to be as explosive as anyone in the league. They also enjoy watching onside kicks roll around as if it is a foul ball down the third base line. The Falcons offense is absolutely stunning. Even with Julio Jones being hobbled, this team lit up the field with their high -powered arsenal. The Bears has a very solid defense, but I don’t think they will shut down the Falcons. They may slow them down, which I think will yield the Falcons to 24-27 points.
When we look at the Falcons offense, it should have at least a decent level of success. We have to look at the Bears' offense. Outside of the 4th quarter that the Lions collapsed and the first half of the Giants, the Bears have mustard 6 points in the other 5 quarters. Their offense seems to lack the consistent efficiency needed to keep up with the high-flying Falcons.
SF 49ers (-4.5) @ NY Giants (41)
The first question I asked myself was ‘’If the Niners didn’t leave New York, why on earth are they only laying 4.5 vs the worst offensive line in football?’’ Upon review, Jimmy G is likely out, along with Nick Bosa being confirmed out.
Nevertheless, we have this game, and it appears very ugly. The Giants cannot protect their quarterback and their star running back is out for the year. The 49ers rank top ten in pass rush and top 5 in coverage, which does not bode well for a team that ranks dead last in pass blocking. I truly see Daniel Jones struggling. The issue I have with the 49ers is that I have no idea how they are going to put up points themselves. Jimmy G is unlikely to play, and BOTH Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert are doubtful to play. Matt Brieda is out of town and Deebo Samuel is on the shelf. It is a mess on both sides of both teams. I would not touch a side in this game with a 10-foot pole. The total of 41, suggests that either both teams will score 20+ or one team will score in the mid 20’s while one scores in the high teens. I truly apologize, but I just don’t see these teams putting up 40 points. Two awful offensive situations facing off against two top 10 defenses is what this matchup lines up to be.
Cincinnati Bengals (+6.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles (46.5)
The Bengals are coming off of a long rest week after losing a close game to the Browns that wasn’t as close as the scored indicated. The now have to travel to Philly to face a seemingly hapless Eagles team that after a great first half versus Washington, seemingly vanished, and morphed into a complete mess. They were shut out versus Washington in the second half. The Rams came to down and put up a lot of points on this Eagles team. Right now, the Eagles JUST DON’T have it. They rank dead LAST in receiver ranking and rank DEAD last in passing game rating. Carson Wentz is really struggling. Losing Agholor, and having Alshon Jeffery out is affecting his game. Desean Jackson, at this stage in his career is not a viable number one receiver. He stretches the field, but that is only effective when there is a threat to pull coverage away. The Eagles offensive line is a mess, giving up 8 sacks to Washington. The only thing that gives this team hope is being in the worst division in the NFL.
The Bengals have shown the ability to be competent on offense and are playing teams close. They were a missed FG away from tying the game with the Chargers and they put up 30 versus the Browns (not a major feat, but 30 is 30). Joe burrow has shown that he is here to stay and here to play.
Tennessee Titans (-2.5) @ Minnesota Vikings (47)
The weirdly undefeated titans go to Minnesota to face the weirdly winless Vikings. The Titans was a team that ran through, around and over teams all year and through the playoffs last year. This year, they rank bottom 5 in the run game. Wow! They managed to scrape by the Jaguars and managed to scrape by Denver. Logic tells me that they will get it together and begin to turn things up Minnesota was able to put up 30+ points vs the packers, however the 4th quarter was just a scrimmage after Green Bay had put the game away and proved that Minnesota was not going to stop them. They went to Indianapolis and just allowed the Colts to practice their playbook on them while they looked incapable of stopping anything. Getting rid of Diggs, has proved to be detrimental to the Vikings as the offensive consistency just isn’t there anymore. Overall, neither of these teams have not showed the ability to stop anything (Playing Drew lock and the Broncos inept offense does not count as good defense)
Houston Texans (+4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (45)
When I look at this game, I see a game that appears to be two teams going in two different directions. Pittsburgh was a top 5 defense last year, and they have NOT gotten worse this year. Some people argue that Houston was the luckiest regular season team last year, severely overachieving and have a very below average head coach. Top that off with losing their best receiver, who in my and many other's opinion is a top 3 WR in the NFL, and this does not appear to be a promising season for Houston.
Analytically, and using the eye test, Pittsburgh is an excellent defensive team. This may be a test, because Pittsburgh did just face the Giants with the worst pass blocking in the NFL and the Broncos with the 3rd worst pass blocking. Pittsburgh ranks number 1 in pass rush. You must ask; are the Steelers good because of who they played? Or are the teams they played bad because they faced the Steelers? I guess the answer to this will sway how you view this game.
Los Angeles Rams (+2.5) @ Buffalo Bills (47.5)
''Josh Allen for MVP!'' That is the going consensus nowadays. I want people to slow down and understand that Josh Allen just faced arguably the two worst teams in the league in the Jets and the dolphins. As we touched on the Dolphins earlier, they are the worst in the league in covering wide receivers, and they are near the bottom in rushing the passer. They also are bottom 5 in pass blocking. This means that they can't move the ball because their QB gets pressured andthat keeps their defense is on the field. As I mentioned how terrible the Dolphins are at pass protection, the Jets are worse. Both teams are bottom 6 in overall defense, and bottom 3 in covering receivers. I say all of that to say that in my opinion the Bills have not been tested.
The Rams will provide a formidable test for Buffalo. They hold the number 2 spot in offensive rating, being 3rd in passing and 6th in running. Their overall defense is top ten, but they are top 3 in coverage.I think We will see if Allen has what it takes to keep up with the Rams efficient offense and sold defense. The Bills are top ten in every metric except for rushing the ball, but again, I feel as if they have had the easiest path to success thus far. I truly feel like the Bills are getting high praise because of the eye test
Washington Football Team (+7) @ Cleveland Browns (44)
This game shapes up to be the battle of two 1-1 teams that were both deemed to be the worst in their respective divisions. They each have a chance to start the season above .500. This game is interesting because it pits the overall ranked #1 defense in the NFL (Washington) against a team with arguably the best offensive line in football. The Browns are #1 in run blocking, and top three in pass blocking. I try to remember the Washington is traveling from Arizona AND the Browns are coming off a long rest week after a win. Depsite a team's talent, rest, travel and scheduling can have a major affect on how a team performs.
Las Vegas Raiders (+6.5) @ New England Patriots (47)
I wish I had written this game up before the Raiders beat the Saints Monday night, because I called that they would. I feel like this will shift the public perception that the Raiders are better than they really are. A win like that, usually leads to a let down spot, especially after a short week. They must travel across country on this short week to play the new-look Patriots, with Cam Newton at the helm. Metric wise, there aren't any severe mismatches between the two teams. The Patriots however are the second-best team in the league in pass blocking. Normally this would affect the pass game positively. It has. Cam is throwing at a very high percentage this season, but because of the frequency of Newton's running, this pass blocking in a sense also works great for blocking for Cam's runs.
New York Jets (+10.5) @ Indianapolis Colts (43.5)
Here we have the lowly Jets coming to Indianapolis to visit the Colts who, despite being 1-1 and not looking pretty doing it are one of the best overall rated teams in the NFL. They are top 5 overall, top ten in offense, number 2 in defense and has the best coverage in the entire NFL. They are no metric that the Colts rank lower than 19th in the NFL. That is hugely impressive and shows that this is a balanced team that appears to have minimal weak spots. They seem to do everything at an average, good, or great level. The Jets are a mess. They are bottom 6 in Defensive rating, and offensive rating. The are bottom 3 in coverage. The have scored the 2nd least amount of points and have given up the 9th most. The best thing about this team is their special teams, which they are 2nd in the league.10.5 is a lot of points to give any team in the NFL, but this would be tough to confidently back. I will investigate what their team total gets to. I can see the Colts moving the ball, controlling the game efficiently. The only question is will the Jets be able to muster anything when they do have the ball.
Carolina Panthers (+7) @ Los Angeles Chargers (43.5)
When a team loses their best player, it usually does not bode will for them. McCaffrey was put on IR. Being that he is their best player, this could only hurt the Panthers. I feel like the Panthers were bad even with him though. The Chargers are coming off a tough lost vs division rival Chiefs in overtime and should be a tough opponent for the Panthers. The Panthers ranked 4th in rushing rating coming into the game, however I can only assume that they will perform worse than that with their bell-cow back going down. The Chargers seem to not do anything great, but nothing terribly. One thing that the Panthers does terribly is tackle, so if the Chargers' playmakers can get into open space, it could spell trouble. The Chargers, after controversial handling of Tyrod Taylor's pain killer injection will be starting their rookie quarterback, Justin Herbert.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6) @ Denver Broncos (43)
America's new favorite team with all of the shiny weapons heads west to take on a Broncos team with an identity that I can't seem to pinpoint. I don't have to go over who the Buccs have on offense because it's been talked about all summer, but I will say that they are top 5 in run blocking. This could only bode well for the newly acquired Fournette who broke out last game by going over 100 yards, and scoring a touchdown. Tampa Bay is top 5 in pass rushing, and 6th in the league in coverage. That could be a nightmare for a young QB that sits behind the 3rd worst pass blocking offensive line in the league. Just in case Denver tries to run, they will be running behind a bottom 5 run blocking offensive line. Scary hours for Denver indeed.
Detroit Lions (+5.5) @ Arizona Cardinals (54.5)
This game looks to be the second most fun game on the slate! We have a very fast paced Arizona team, with a newly added Hopkins, who is a top 3 WR in the NFL. We have the Lions, who seemingly refuses to play football after the 1st quarter and who couldn't stop a nose bleed if the nose wasn't bleeding. They gave up 21 to the Bears in just the 4th quarter! That is not an ideal way to lose a game. To make matters worse, after taking a 14-3 lead against the Packers, they decided to let them go on a 39-7 run to lose by 21. The Cardinals do not rank well in offensive categories, but I truly think this is due to the nature of their fast-paced offense. They aim for quantity of plays over quality. Kyler Murray has rushed a lot this year, so the quality of their offense isn't that high, but they boast a 2-0 record and are tied for first place in the division, so I don't think they care.
Dallas Cowboys (+4.5) @ Seattle Seahawks (55.5)
The reason the Lions/ Cardinals affair is the second favorite game of the week is because THIS is the game that every has been and will be clamoring about. We have the extremely HOT Seahawks team that has my choice for MVP as their quarterback heading home to play a Dallas team that has not looked very impressive. We all know the story of the Falcons game. This team should be 0-2. Seattle is coming off a huge primetime victory against the Patriots. The Seahawks are a top 3 offense in the NFL. The problem with them is that the are DEAD LAST in rushing the passer. I am not sure you want to give Dak all day to throw with those weapons that he has at his disposal. All signs point to a shootout, especially with Dallas playing at the fastest pace in the NFL.
Green Bay Packers (+3.5) @ New Orleans Saints (51.5) SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Drew Brees is not the same as he's been. He used to be Superman at home. Now, he is just a man. He has been inaccurate on throws that he normally throws with surgical precision. He has missed alot of these throws 2 weeks in a row now. The Saints are bottom 10 in all offensive passing metrics. This is shocking. I told a friend of mine that Brees is the 3rd best quarterback that was in the stadium on Monday night. I stand by that. I have a hot take, that we will see Jameis Winston with a helmet and on the field, while Brees is healthy before years end. The Saints will need to keep up with the Packers. The Packers are the best overall rated team, the best offensive team, the best passing team and a top ten running team. Aaron Rodgers is proving why he is a top 2 quarterback in the league, neck and neck with Wilson in my opinion. He has turned Aaron Jones into a FORCE on offense and is in the process of making stars out of middle of the road receivers such as Lazard and MVS. I honestly believe that the Saints are only favored because of the public perception of them at home. Being the 8th worse offense in the league facing off against the best, is a scary sight for Saints backers here. I shudder to think the Saints will start of 1-2, but the thought of a team slowing down the Packers when they couldn't slow down the Raiders is an even stranger thought.
Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5) @ Baltimore Ravens (53.5) MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
WOW! I truly miss the days of the BEST game of the week being on Monday Night Football. We have arrived at that point today. The Ravens are very good and they have looked very good. The Chiefs are very good but did not look strong versus the Chargers. I believe the Chiefs were looking ahead to this game which caused them to underperform against a tough nosed Chargers team. The Chiefs showcased their explosiveness against the Texans a couple of weeks ago on Thursday. The Ravens' defense is not what it once was, but Lamar Jackson is a true weapon and a powerful one at that. The threat of him running causes the defense to defend his pass catchers less efficiently, allowing him to pick defenses apart. Pat Mahomes is a top 5 quarterback in the league. He has no visible weakness and can make plays with his legs in a very smart manner. I think of Russell Wilson with a stronger arm when I think of him. As far as the game goes, I cannot choose who I think will when this game, but I would not think the Chiefs will be looking to establish themselves and remain in the elite category of teams in the league.
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Betting tip of the week: Get the best number possible. If you love a team and a number, get on it early in the week because by time gameday rolls around, that line is as sharp as it will be, and value has been sucked out from both sides. (Example: Titans Vs Broncos closed at 2.5 so you lost if you bet Titans late)