Walking the Line: Week 3 Betting

Written by Steve Marcuz and Shaun Meyer, who go by @sidskeat and @deadduck on the Fantasy Life App, respectively.

Remember after week 1 of the NFL, all of us fans were left wanting more. Then week 2, we got more, and then people’s players started dropping like flies and we all walked away with a sour taste in our mouths. Luckily for us, there is more football right around the corner which means more opportunity to put some money in your pocket. We were able to pull even last week as we vowed to get you headed in the right direction and we look to continue that trend this week, so let’s get to it!

Last Week

Steve: 2-3                                            Season Record: 4-5-1

Shaun: 3-2                                           Season Record: 4-5-1

Again, there are 15 weeks left in the season. We’ve got a long way to go and we vow to get you to the top!

Steve’s Games

Oakland (+2) @ Tennessee Confidence LVL: 7

Before last week, this game looked like a total mismatch, and then Tennessee went to Detroit and handed the Lions a loss on their home field and now the Raiders find themselves heading to Nashville as a two point dog. Oakland is coming off a loss to the Atlanta Falcons where their defense failed to stop anyone for the second straight week. The Titans’ offense isn’t quite the caliber as that of the Saints or Falcons so we’ll see how they do with a less formidable opponent.

Now Oakland is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games against the Titans in Tennessee, but before you freak out, think about how spread out these games are? Well they actually played there last season (a 3 point Raiders victory) but before that it was 2010. And before that, the last time Oakland was in Tennessee was in 2007. So those numbers don’t mean much to me. What matters most to me is that Oakland is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games and 4-2 ATS in their last 6 total meetings. Meanwhile, Tennessee is 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 games, and an amazing 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games. Give me the Raiders to win this game straight up, but if you’re giving me points, I won’t pass them up.

Arizona @ Buffalo (+4.5) Confidence LVL: 8

Look, you thought I was crazy when I picked the Jaguars to cover at home against the Packers week 1, well I might have outdone myself now. Arizona looked to right the ship last week against Tampa Bay with a drubbing in the desert. Buffalo lost a divisional game on Thursday night and just didn’t look like a team interested in playing football. So, why? Why on earth would I pick them to cover against the beloved Cardinals? Sometimes when you see a line, it just screams TRAP and when I saw this, it’s all I could think about.

A few things lead me to think this way. When teams travel from the west coast to the east coast for morning games, it usually has a profound effect which leads to a letdown. The Bills are only 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games overall, but 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games. The Cardinals on the other hand are only 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games, and what’s more is that they are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games when favored by 4 points or more. Bookmakers know that the Cardinals are a public favorite, and that means they can make larger spreads knowing that people will bet on them. I think this game will be much closer than people imagine and think Buffalo covers easily.

Shaun’s Takes

Oakland (+2) Confidence LVL: 6

The Raiders are coming off a home loss to Mr. (Setting the NFL on fire) Matty Ice. They haven't been the team I expected to challenge for the division. The sleeper defense everyone liked as a late streamer have slept through the first two weeks. First giving up 34 to the Saints then 35 to the Falcons. The Titans are coming off a surprise come from behind win vs the Lions. The Raiders are in the dreaded "travel west to east for the 1:00 games" slot, but they are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games. Meanwhile the titans are 3-9 SU in last 12 non division games. Raiders are better on the road. I say the Titans finally score more than 16 points. Oakland 23-17.

Arizona (-4.5) Confidence LVL: 5

Buffalo fired their offensive coordinator after putting up 31 points. Yet Rob Ryan's D gave up 37 and he is still safely employed. Arizona is coming off their "get right" game, spanking the Bucs 40-7 after a disappointing loss to the Patriots the week before. Arizona was 6-3 last year on the road. While the dynamic duo Rex and Rob haven't covered a spread yet together through 2 games. I think Tyrod will struggle against Peterson and the Cardinal D, while Palmer, DJ, Fitz and Floyd will take that famous Rob Ryan D out behind the ol' woodshed. Embarrassing home loss for the Bills, give me Cardinals 34-17.

Shaun’s Games

San Francisco (+9) @ Seattle Confidence LVL: 7

Beware. I'm warning you in advance, this seems too obvious. I mean, I know historically the Seahawks are a different team at home, but come on, 9 pts? The Hawks only managed 3 all of last week in a loss to the lowly Rams. A loss which I saw coming and called in last week’s article. Plus in week 1 they only managed 12 in an unimpressive win vs Miami. To say they are struggling on offense is an understatement.

The line may be the worst in football, and Wilson, usually able to run for his life, is nursing a bum ankle and lacking mobility. Baldwin and Rawls have been invisible and are coming out of week 2 banged up as well. Seattle is a habitual slow starter, and this year is no different. San Francisco is coming off a beat down by the Panthers, but at least they scored some points. I'm stopping short of calling the upset this week but the 49ers cover. Seahawks 16-14.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-4) @ Philadelphia Confidence LVL: 8

There hasn't been a team more impressive thus far in the 2016 season than the Pittsburgh Steelers. They made short work of the Bengals last week, disposing of their bitter rivals from last year in a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicated. 24-16. The Eagles are an impressive 2-0 also, less impressive after you see they've only beaten the RG3 Browns and the Chicago smokin' Jay Cutlers. Still 2-0 is something. Rookie Carson Wentz has been solid, with 3 TDs and 0 INT's through two games while holding a 94.1 passer rating. But the Steelers are in a different class than the Bears and Browns, and the rookie will struggle to keep pace with Big Ben, Antonio, and DWilly. Pitt 27-20.

Steve’s Takes

San Francisco (+9) Confidence LVL: 5

I really wanted to pick Seattle in this game, and I really don’t feel very confident about taking San Francisco, but the numbers were too overwhelming in their favor. Seattle’s offense just doesn’t look right and until they do, it’s hard to take them when they’re laying 9 points on the board. It’s not so much that the trends for the 49ers look good, it’s just that Seattle’s oddly enough look just as bad. San Francisco is only 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games on the road, but that’s to be expected. They suck, and sucky teams usually don’t do better on the road. But what’s odd to me is that Seattle is 4-7-1 at home against the spread, something that you would not expect from a team that has been as good as they have the last few seasons. I can totally see San Francisco getting blown out again here, but these divisional games are always tough and something tells me they keep it around a touchdown.

Pittsburgh (-4) Confidence LVL: 4

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. The Steelers are a real football team and Carson Wentz is going to learn what it means to play against a real defense. I’m not confident in this pick because the Steelers have let me down before in a similar spot, but Duck picked it so I’m forced to face my demons. The Eagles are only 2-4 ATS in their last 6 home games while the Steelers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games against the NFC. The Steelers are rolling and traveling to Philadelphia is hardly a road game. Steelers in a route.

Wildcards

Steve’s Wildcard: San Francisco @ Seattle UNDER 40 Confidence LVL: 8

I’ll try to keep this one shorter and sweeter. The offenses on these teams both suck and points will be hard to come by. The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the last 6 games for San Francisco and for Seattle, the total has gone UNDER in 7 of Seattle’s last 8 games, including last week’s exhilarating 9-3 loss in LA.

Shaun’s Wildcard: San Francisco @ Seattle UNDER 40 Confidence LVL: 6

Seahawk games so far this year haven't hit 30 yet, let alone 40. The Hawks have been under the number six straight games. Ride the suck streak. Take the Niners and the under.

Alright that’s it for us this week! If we are both taking the UNDER as our wildcard, you know it must be a good one! Check back in next week for some more action and for another winning week!