Welcome back to everybody’s favorite weekly gambling write-up. I ask you not to judge me on my winners; I ask you to judge me on my losers, because I have so few.
After a slow start in Week 1, last week my picks went 4-2, bringing my season total to 7-5. The first couple weeks are the hardest to bet on, so it’s a good sign that I’m already almost at a 60% win percentage. Lets recap last week:
Tennessee Titans (-1.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars WIN
Cleveland Browns (+8) @ Baltimore Ravens LOSS
Philadelphia Eagles @ Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) WIN
Miami Dolphins @ Los Angeles Chargers (-4) LOSS
Washington Redskins (+2.5) @ Los Angeles Rams WIN
Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons (-3) WIN
Here’s what I learned last week:
- DeShone Kizer sat out with a MIGRAINE for half of the game against the Ravens. I thought migraines were just a made up thing that girls used to get out of sex. Kizer returned to the game after Kevin Hogan stunk up the joint and the Browns had 3 consecutive possessions to get the backdoor cover. Instead, Kizer threw an interception in the end zone, another one past midfield, and then a turnover on downs just outside the red zone to end the game. So that was pretty aggravating.
- Keenan Allen did his thing with 100 receiving yards, but stop me if you’ve heard this before; Phillip Rivers decided to suck his own taint down the stretch. To make matters worse, their kicker Younghoe Koo shanked a FG as time expired.
Class dismissed. Onto Week 3:
Denver Broncos (-3) @ Buffalo Bills
I hate being “I got the early line” guy, but I got the Broncos -2 early on Monday. Anytime you can hop on a line under 3, 7, 10, or 14, it’s clutch and increases your odds of winning.
Normally, I avoid betting on west coast teams traveling east during the 1 PM slot since their body clocks aren’t usually adjusted, but defense always travels. This Denver Broncos team is built on defense with studs at all levels. Von Miller and Derek Wolfe can cause havoc off the edge while Brandon Marshall cleans up between the tackles. Then the Broncos have 2 of the top 10 corners in the league in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr.
The Buffalo Bills scored THREE points last week against a Panthers defense that can’t hold a candle up to the Broncos D. LeSean McCoy ran for 9 yards on 12 carries. The Broncos held Ezekiel Elliott (a better RB than Shady) to 8 yards on 9 carries last week behind the best offensive line in football. The Bills don’t have enough talent in their receiving corps to alleviate any potential pressure by the Broncos. They’re going to stack the box and pressure Tyrod Taylor over and over and over and over and over….and over and over and over and over. Rookie WR Zay Jones caught a case of the drops last week, and Jordan Matthews has been close to useless. Talib and Harris Jr could handle those two with one arm tied behind their backs. The only weapon on the Bills worth monitoring this week is TE Charles Clay. Clay is 2nd on the team in receptions and targets, and he’s going up against the Broncos defense that allowed 75 year old Jason Witten to rack up a 10-97-1 stat line last week.
Talib might be in store for another one of these:
On offense, Trevor Siemian has been one of the top QBs in the league through 2 weeks. He’s bound to regress eventually, but with CJ Anderson becoming the early favorite for comeback player of the year, the Broncos have an efficient enough run game to control the time of possession if Siemian does falter this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5) @ Chicago Bears
The Steelers are headed into Chicago to face a borderline incompetent Bears team. Da Bears have been decimated by injuries already and Mike Glennon has looked lost at QB. The Steelers have outscored their opponents 47-27 so far this year and neither Antonio Brown nor Le’Veon Bell has found their way into the end zone yet. I think this week will be Le’Veon’s time to shine. After holding out for seemingly all of training camp, Bell said himself that he still had to get himself into playing shape. After two games which could be considered preseason games (the Browns and the Sam Bradford-less Vikings), Le’Veon should be ready to be back to his old self in both the running and passing game.
With Martavis Bryant being on the field and finally not being suspended, Antonio Brown already has 244 receiving yards. Bryant is taking the top off the defense, which in turn is allowing AB to run free underneath in short to intermediate routes. So while Bryant has the long play capability, Antonio can now catch the ball in space and make plays in the open field. As the Steelers offense works together more and more, they’ll all start to click, and the Bears defense that is already banged up will be eating their dust.
The Steelers have a nasty front 7 and the Bears may be without starting guard Josh Sitton. The Steelers are expecting DE Stephon Tuitt and rookie OLB TJ Watt to return from injuries this week. Their offseason addition of Joe Haden at CB should be more than enough to handle Kendall Wright, Markus Wheaton, or whoever the Bears trot out at WR.
The Bears only ran for 20 yards last week en route to a 29-7 loss at Tampa Bay. Glennon threw 2 picks and lost a fumble. Rookie RB Tarik Cohen lost a fumble as well. This Bears team is trending in the wrong direction and they’re about to get swept up by the Steel Curtain.
Atlanta Falcons (-3) @ Detroit Lions
The matchup of the game is Lions DE Ziggy Ansah vs Falcons LT Jake Matthews.
Ansah dismantled Giants LT Ereck Flowers last week on MNF and recorded 3 sacks. Matthews held his own against the Packers Nick Perry last week and even threw some blocks on his cousin Clay. This is the biggest matchup of the game. If Ansah replicates his Week 2 performance, Matt Ryan will be forced out of the pocket and more prone to turnovers. If Matthews holds it down, Matt Ryan will be able to sit back and pick apart a Lions secondary that is actually a pretty solid unit. However, it doesn’t really matter who is covering Julio Jones, as we saw last week.
An important injury to keep a tab on is Lions rookie MLB Jarrad Davis. He suffered a concussion last week and hasn’t practiced yet this week. Even if he does play, he leads all inside linebackers with 10 receptions allowed. So while he’s a playmaker between the tackles and in the backfield, his inefficiencies in coverage must have Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, and Austin Hooper salivating.
I think that this will be a similar game to the Packers-Falcons game last week. The Falcons are going to put up points no matter what. The Lions don’t have enough firepower to keep up with the Falcons. Even with the Falcons losing Vic Beasley for a month, their defense is still solid enough to force some turnovers and get big stops. If they can do it to Aaron Rodgers, they can do it to Matthew Stafford.
The Lions best chance to stay in the game this week falls in Stafford’s ability to get the ball to Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay deep down the field. If he dinks and dunks to Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, and Theo Riddick, the Lions will find themselves way in over their heads before halftime.
The Lions can battle, but I think that there are too many “ifs” that need to happen, while the Falcons have proven time and again that they are an offensive juggernaut and that they are as close to a sure thing to hang 28+ points a week that there is.
Oakland Raiders (-3) @ Washington Redskins
Yeah, I’m taking another road team favored by 3. It’s Sunday Night Football and I don’t think that the Redskins are ready for the bright lights. The Redskins have yet to put it together, by losing to the Eagles in Week 1 and only beating the Rams by 7 last week. On the other hand, the Raiders beat a potential playoff team in the Titans in Week 1, and then murdered the Jets last week. Last week’s victory over the Jets could be viewed as a “tune-up game.” To quote Paul Crewe from The Longest Yard, “You need a tune-up game. In college, we’d start every season against Appalachian State or some slack Division II team. Kick the living shit out of them. Get their confidence up.”
So the Raiders are going to come into DC riding high off of a victory in which Derek Carr threw only 5 incomplete passes in 28 attempts. Three players rushed for touchdowns, including a guy who nearly only returns kicks. Michael Crabtree scored a hat trick of TDs. Khalil Mack, Karl Joseph, and Mario Edwards Jr all recorded sacks.
Does this look like a guy planning on letting his team lose anytime soon?
A potentially huge injury to monitor is Redskins’ TE Jordan Reed. His career has been littered by injuries and his most recent one is apparently a chest contusion. He missed several weeks with a shoulder injury last week, and his initial diagnosis was that he re-aggravated that. So who truly knows whats going on with him. If Reed is unable to go, dinosaur Vernon Davis would take his spot. It’s also worth mentioning that this is a revenge game for Terrelle Pryor, so he’s bound to score a TD.
That’s all for this week. We’re going 4-0. Call me the movie It because every Penny you spend with me will be Wise.