By Steve Marcuz (@sidskeat) and Shaun Meyer (@deadduck77)
Slow and steady wins the race. Which is good for me, because I’ve definitely gotten off to a slow start. Luckily Shaun righted the ship last week and brought us a winning week. I was one terrible Green Bay Packers game away from doing the same. But it’s a much better week all around and we will continue that trend. Here is what we did last week and where we stand for the young season:
And now, we’re on to Week 3!
Miami Dolphins (-6.5) @ New York Jets
The Dolphins opened their season in Week 2 after the rare Week 1 bye and surprised the Chargers by rolling into their new home and getting the win. They looked up to their old ways too, with Jay Ajayi running all over the place and Jarvis Landry getting 43 catches for 25 yards. I was impressed. The Jets on the other hand looked even worse than the week before, heading into Oakland and getting easily handled. This team is bad, and I’m not a big fan of taking large road favorites, but until I see this Jets team put up a fight, I don’t think they can keep up with anyone. The Dolphins are 9-3-1 ATS in the last 13 games and that includes a 5-2 ATS record in their last 7 road games. The Jets on the other hand are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games and are 1-4 SU in their last 5 home games. I’ll take the Dolphins 31-17.
New Orleans Saints (+5.5) @ Carolina Panthers
I love me some division rivalries. Especially nowadays in the NFC South where every team seems to be in the hunt. Except maybe the Saints, whose defense has proven to be one of the worst in the league yet again. But they still have Drew Brees, which means they still have a chance. The Panthers are coming off of one of the least exciting wins I’ve ever seen. A TD-less game against Buffalo but hey, a win’s a win. The Saints play well against the Panthers, and despite their dome life, they are 8-2-1 Against the Spread (ATS) in their last 11 on the road. Although the Saints are 1-4 Straight Up (SU) in their last five when facing the Panthers, they’re still 4-1-1 ATS over that span. The Panthers are 1-2-2 ATS in their last 5 home games and I think they put another mark in the loss column on Sunday. Give me the Panthers to win, but the Saints to cover in this one 28-24.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5) @ Chicago Bears
So I said that I didn’t like taking big road favorites, but here I go again. Two in one article might be asking for it. But I got nothing to lose at this point. The Steelers have been covering spreads like crazy, especially during the early slate of games where they are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 in that time slot. They’re also 5-2 ATS in their last 7 on the road. I know Soldier Field is no easy place to play, but the Steelers are like the honey badger, they dgaf and will go in there and do work against this Bears team. Chicago did just cover a large spread against a Falcons team just 2 weeks ago, but I think this Steelers offense is better, and have been waiting to release Bell for the first time this year. I’ll take the Steelers in a route, 31-10.
Seattle Seahawks @ Tennessee Titans UNDER 42.5
I took the UNDER in Tennessee’s game last week and they ruined it almost single handedly in their handling of the Jaguars in Jacksonville. But I don’t think things will get as nearly out of hand as that one did last week. That’s mostly because the Seahawks are coming to town and their defense isn’t going to be giving up 36 points. That’s a double bonus because Seattle’s offense is so anemic right now that I don’t think we’re gonna many points scored in this one. Hell they just had trouble putting up 15pts at HOME against the 49ers. The Titans will be a much harder defense to try and score against. I think this one ends with a similar score to what we saw in Seattle. I’ll take the Seahawks to win 20-17 - Bet the Under.
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Last week the Ravens beat the pants off the lowly Browns. The defense has been nasty, ranking first in fantasy points through two games. You might say “but that's been against the Bengals and the Browns. Let's see what happens when they play a real team”. Well that will have to wait at least one more week as this week they get the Jags in jolly old England. Week one’s Sacksonsville turned back into Crapsonville week two, getting pummeled by the Titans. Bortles looked bad enough week 1, but Fournette and the D couldn't hide his terribleness in week 2. He was flat out awful. So awful in fact that the Jags went out and signed another crappy QB not named Kaepernick. I think the Ravens have high tea with the Queen, and the Jags are left to cry on their crumpets. Baltimore wins 20-13.
Denver Broncos (-3) @ Buffalo Bills
Denver put the spank on Ol’ Zeke and the Cowboys. Siemian was winging it around and ended up with four touchdowns. The defense has been stout and the ground game solid with CJ Anderson and even Jamaal Charles looking good. The Bills are flat out bad. They lost in a stinker of a game to the Panthers last week 9-3. They failed to get anything going through the air (Tyrod 125yds) or on the ground (McCoy 43 YDs combined). You can probably give some credit to the Panthers D but Buffalo's offense looks clueless out there. I feel like the only reason they won week one was because they played the Jets who are openly tanking. I'm not saying Trevor keeps lighting it up, but I don't see the Bills suddenly putting it together versus this Denver D. Denver loves September, going 7-0 ATS in their last seven September games. Denver wins 31-16.
Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) @Tennessee Titans
Seattle is at it again. You would think that a team that keeps getting busted for practicing when they aren't supposed to be wouldn't start off every season looking like they've never played football before. The Seahawks managed to top the 49ers last week in a 12-9 snorefest. Tennessee got right after a week one loss to Oakland by bullying Blake Bortles and the Jags to get to 1-1. The Seahawks defense hasn't been the issue, meaning that it's Russell Wilson and the offense that's failing to live up to expectations. Last year he was hurt and that took the blame for the offensive struggles. But it's been like this every year. So you might say it sounds like I'm picking the Titans. Well, not so fast. The Seahawks tend to turn it on when “disrespected” by Vegas. They have a 19-7-1 ATS record in their last 27 as underdogs. The Titans however are a meek 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS at home vs NFC teams. I'll take the Seahawks 19-16.
Oakland Raiders @ Washington Redskins (+3.5)
Oakland put an old fashioned whooping on the T-A-N-K TANK JETS TANK!! Crabtree was blowing up for 3 TDs. Marshawn was dancing on the sidelines. This is a team on fire right now and it looks like they are having a blast. Washington still wasn't looking great in week 2 having to hang on late to secure the win vs the LA Rams. Cousins has been less than stellar in two games passing for a mere 179 yards in the win last week. Everyone argued all summer over who was the WR to own in Washington, Pryor or Crowder? Turns out so far it's neither. Little Chris Thompson has been the only Washington player worth your fantasy start thus far. Kirk Cousins though is big on momentum throwing for 300 yards in 4 of his last 5 games following a win. I bet one of, if not both the WRs, get it going. I think the win over the Rams has Kirk feeling good and under the prime time lights, give me the home team getting more than a field goal. Raiders 26-24
Steve- Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars (London) OVER 40
I know London games have a bad reputation, but the Jaguars have been there 4 times, and the over has hit every time. The OVER has also hit in 4 of the Jaguars last 6 games. I like the way the Ravens offense has looked and think the Jaguars will be able to keep pace. This one will come down to the wire, but it will hit. Ravens win 24-20.
Shaun - Miami Dolphins @ NY Jets OVER 42
Jay Cutler and the Dolphins opened their season up with a week 2 win over the Chargers in LA. It wasn't super impressive but Ajayii, Landry, and Parker owners came away feeling okay about the smokin Jay era in Miami. The Jets laid down for the first half last week, but after the loss was in hand actually looked like an NFL team at times in the 2nd half. Kearse was a trade that paid off immediately catching 4 of 5 targets for 2 TDs. I expect somewhat of the same in this game. Dolphins go up early, Jets score some late. 3 of last 4 between these two have hit the over. Dolphins 30-20