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Posted by on Sep 26, 2020 in Blog, Sports Betting, Video 1 | 0 comments

2020 NFL: Week #3 Picks



Watch my video “Let’s Talk Football” with this week’s analysis and picks here:





Wins — Losses — Pushes          13 — 13 — 1

Starting Bankroll:   10,000

Current Bankroll:   9,860.

Best Bets:  2 — 0 — 0 (+$700)

Last Week’s Results:          + $910.





Washington @ Cleveland
Cleveland -7  / Total — 44.5

Comments:  On paper, the Browns should easily handle Washington, win the game, and get the cover.  Washington trailed 17-0 and 20-0 in their two games this season.  Now, they go on the road a second consecutive week versus a more rested team coming off a confidence-building win.  CLE, with ten days rest, should be the clear choice here.  They’re more talented at virtually all skill positions and should be able to dominate both yardage and time of possession.  However, one thing concerns me and that’s Washington’s “no-quit” attitude.  In both games, they fought back and won one game and came somewhat close to a cover in the other.  So, while I’m not comfortable laying a full touchdown with the unproven Browns, I am confident they’ll win the game.  Accordingly, a teaser in recommended here, taking CLE and moving the spread down to -1.  The pick:  TEASE CLEVELAND TO -1


Las Vegas @ New England
New England -5.5 / Total — 47.5

Comments:  This is a perfect storm for the Patriots.  A talented, well-coached team coming off a loss, facing a team that may be a little overrated coming off their biggest win in years and now having to travel on the road to the East Coast.  Terrible spot here for the Raiders on a short week (they won the MNF game at home).  Bill Belichick coming off a loss is a cover machine — since 2013, Patriots are 16-8 ATS coming off a loss.  Last 5 years, NWE is 25-13-1 ATS as a home favorite.  There’s compelling reasons to like NWE here — based on trends, personnel, and the situation.  Cam Newton has also looked solid running the offense. Last three years, Raiders are just 9-14 ATS as a road underdog.  I feel good about laying -5.5 with the favourite, but the play here will be to take Patriots on the teaser.  Normally, we don’t tease across the “0,” but given we can take NWE plus a half-point, I’ll make that the play.  The pick:  TEASE NEW ENGLAND TO +.5


Houston @ Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh -4 / Total — 45

Comments:  HOU getting points should be the play here.  Texans dismal showing in their first two games can be partially explained by facing the best two team in the NFL — BAL and KC.  Things don’t get too much easier this week with a road game at PIT.  However, strength of schedule disparity is what leads me to believe the dog is the play.  PIT played two of the weakest offenses in the NFL their first two, which sets them up for a possible letdown here as they step up slightly in class.  I also suspect the PIT defensive rankings could be inflated after facing two inept offenses — tougher test here.  HOU probably needs this game to save their season given divisional rivals TENN and INDY look like playoff teams.  Even with huge concerns the Texans aren’t the same team without WR Hopkins, there’s still enough talent on this team (what’s wrong with QB Watson?) to keep this close.  HOU at +4 is worth a strong look and I expect many solid cappers will take the Texans with their backs against the wall.  But for me, the value is with HOU in the first-half getting +3.  That’s a nice edge for a team that should come out of the locker room with some intensity.  HOU may find PIT an easier foe than their last two opponents, so that’s the play in this game for me.  The Pick:  HOUSTON +3 (FIRST HALF)


Tennessee @ Minnesota
Tennessee – 3 / Total — 49.5

Comments:  These two teams are a combined 0-4 ATS.  Both have underachieved, but TEN is content with a 2-0 start.  Meanwhile, MIN looks like a disaster ward.  This is a critical game for the Vikings, who could fall to 0-3 and essentially be bounced out of the playoff race in September (some picked this team to win the NFC North).  Linesmakers might have overreacted here.  QB Cousins will never be a Top 5 QB, but he’s not as bad as he’s looked the first two games.  One expects a better effort this week.  If JAX posted 30 on the Titans’ defense as they did last week, there’s no excuse for MIN not to produce some points.  Lean strongly to Minnesota in the game based on motivation and some concerns TEN might not be as good a team as I forecasted (I had them challenging BAL and KC in the AFC).  But I’ll skip making any wagers.  NO PLAY 


Chicago @ Atlanta
Atlanta -3 / TOTAL — 47.5

Comments:  An 0-2 team is laying a field goal to a 2-0 team.? This might look odd, but a closer examination of the team strengths and weaknesses shows ATL is the superior team.  Add some extra motivation for this game off the DAL debacle last week (ATL should have won, and would have except for a special teams blunder), and the Falcons should be included in your portfolio of Week #3 wagers.  ATL offense is rocking.  Big concern is on defense.  CHI won its first two games, by four points each, and ran the ball for 149-135 yards in those games.  So, I expect CHI will pound the ball.  My initial lean was to the UNDER based on some expectation CHI will eat lots of clock with that ground attack, and neither team will blow the other out, leading to more conservative play (both ATL games were early blowouts, leading to pass-happy catch-up).  Unfortunately, I missed the 47.5 and now that total is at 47.  That’s just enough to make me skip the total wager, opting instead for ATL -3 which is certainly more talented offensively, playing at home, and will be desperate for a win.  CHI is 2-0 with turnovers and also got to play a cupcake schedule (DET and NYG).  I’ll take ATL which faced SEA and DAL and now gets a much softer opponent, especially with a weak offense.  Even a bad ATL defense won’t be tested versus the Bears.  The Pick:  ATLANTA -3 {BEST BET}


Cincinnati @ Philadelphia
Philadelphia -4.5 / Total — 47

Comments:  Bengals lost their first two games, by 3-5 points.  But their most glaring weakness is defense — allowing 370 rushing yards in their first two games.  This would normally make PHILA an attractive play, but there’s no way to back this team in its current funk.  Eagles lost their first two games, and were outscored 36-3 in 2nd half.  Eagles turned the ball over three times in both games, and is currently -5 in turnovers.  Eagles are just 4-10-1 ATS in last 15 games as a home favorite.  Despite their well-deserved reputation as a horrible franchise, CIN is actually undervalued on the road — Bengals are 15-8-1 ATS as a road underdog last three seasons.  I don’t think we are getting enough points for the game, but the first-half line hooked me in with CIN getting +3.5 with extra juice.  Ten days of prep time (CIN played last Thurs.) and some sparks of optimism, especially with the offense led by QB Burrow puts me on the Bengals in the first half, though we lay some extra vig.  Not sure PHILA deserves to be laying points to anyone until they show they can actually win a game.  The Pick:  CINCINNATI +3.5 (-125) IN FIRST HALF  


LA Rams @ Buffalo
Buffalo -2 / Total — 47

Comments:  LAR are a bit of a surprise at 2-0 in their two games both SU and ATS, running ball for 153-191 yards, converting 16-29 on 3rd downs.  LAR is also 6-2 ATS in their last eight games as a road underdog.  Tempting to play LAR catching points, and I will do exactly that.  Not sure +2 is enough to bite, but in a predicted close game I see some value with LAR, who can run the ball and move the clock, catching +1 in the first half.  BUF has played well, but look who they’ve faced — NYJ and MIA.  We haven’t seen BUF beat good teams yet, and this is their first test.  In what looks to be nearly a toss-up, I’m taking the more proven team getting a point.  The Pick:  LA RAMS +1 IN FIRST HALF   


San Francisco @ NY Giants
San Francisco -4 / Total — 42

Comments:  Injuries for both teams makes this a tough game to handicap.  NYG star RB Barkley (overrated) is out for the season, but what does that matter since this offensive line is so horrid — just 1o4 yards rushing so far in two games?  SFO lost a whopping NINE starters (nine!), including QB Garopollo, which means they’ll likely struggle on both sides of the ball.  Looks like a possible spot for an upset, but given NYG woeful play so far, I can’t back them.  Optimal wager here is probably the UNDER, which is close to league average, despite numerous injuries to players at skill positions.  49ers spending this week practicing in West Virginia, after playing in NY last week, so it’s a rare back to back road trip to the same stadium.  NYG are a dismal 1-11 ATS in last dozen games as a home underdog.  But it wouldn’t shock me to see NYG get their first win here.  I look for heavy running by SFO and NYG offense to continue to struggle, so the UNDER looks to be the play.  The Pick:  SAN FRANCISCO/NY GIANTS UNDER 42


NY Jets @ Indianapolis
Indianapolis -11.5 / Total — 44

Comments:  NYJ are widely considered the NFL’s worst team, with justification.  Jets lost their first two games, by 10-18 points — they trailed both games 21-3 at the half.  That shows a complete lack of preparation.  Oddly enough, NYJ do tend to be a pretty good bet at home when catching points, but as a road underdog, they are a horrid 8-17-1 ATS in their last 26 road games.  So, that’s why NYJ are the biggest underdog on the board this week.  Add INDY’s impressive offensive output in two games, nearly 2-1 in yardage superiority in those contests, and this should be blowout if recent trends continue.  QB Rivers has looked surprisingly efficient in this Colts offense, which is a balanced run and pass threat.  INDY enjoys just about every calculable advantage here, but they’ve also been known to letdown to opponents like this (recall home losses to CIN and OAK last season).  As a general rule, I don’t lay double digits in the NFL, but I can’t fault anyone who does in this situation.  Head coach Adam Gase likely be to be fired soon.  NO PLAY


Carolina @ LA Chargers
LA Chargers -6.5 / Total — 44

Comments:  LAC played a much better game than were expected in the nail-biting loss to KC last week and now get a massive step down in class, versus CAR.  Thing is, LAC just aren’t a team that blows out its opponents, even dating back to the Rivers era.  Last week, KC was caught off guard by the gametime change at Qb (a freak injury to Taylor mandated that Herbert got the surprise start).  These were very two different styles of QB and now CAR will have time to prepare for the young rookie.  Trouble is, CAR defense is horrible.  So, while I’d be inclined to take the points here, I can’t bite.  For those thinking LAC are the easy money here, consider this sobering stat:  QB Teddy Bridgewater (CAR) is 17-8 1 ATS on the road in his career starts.  And Bridgewater is now GETTING +6.5 versus a rookie starting QB?  Really?  If anything, it’s CAR on this game that deserves the money.  But I’m going to skip it for better opportunities elsewhere.  The Pick:  NO PLAY


Tampa Bay @ Denver
Tampa Bay -5.5 / Total — 43

Comments:  Since when does Tampa deserve to be laying close to a TD on the road against anyone?  DEN is a very quiet 2-0 ATS in two losses.  DEN lost its first two games, by 2 and 5 points, respectively.  Meanwhile, TB nearly got backdoored at home versus CAR last week.  DEN QB Lock is out for two weeks with injury, so backup Driskel gets the start — just 1-7 as a starter for the Bengals/Lions the last few years.  He’s on a better team here, especially on defense, so I’m not sure the drop off is really significant.  It’s not like QB Lock was successful moving the ball.  DEN is 7-3-1 ATS in its last 11 games as a home underdog and has historically been a very solid early season team at home.  TB has no business laying this number since DEN showed they can slow down PIT and TEN offenses, so even with the QB change I’m fading the public misperception on TB here (still unproven IMHO) and taking generous points in both the first half and the game.  The Pick:  DENVER +5.5 IN GAME and DENVER +3.5 (-120) IN FIRST HALF


Dallas @ Seattle
Seattle -5 / Total — 57

Comments:  Seahawks won their first two games, scoring 38-35 points (10 TD’s in 20 drives — which is NFL best percentage).  DAL scored 40 points last week, though that was due to a crazed catch-up desperation mode offense.  Points won’t be nearly as easy to come by, this week.  SEA-NWE game on SNF produced 64 points, so all those factors have driven the total up to a whopping 57 points, the highest in the NFL so far this season.  I’m fading that movement, which I think is an overreaction.  Total is too high here, perhaps by 3-4 points.  A closer game is expected, and since both teams can run the ball, that may eat up some clock.  Both defenses are certainly capable of better performances than they’ve shown through two weeks, and if one of them shows up, this game should fall UNDER the number.  The Pick:  DALLAS/SEATTLE UNDER 57


Detroit @ Arizona
Arizona -6 / Total — 55.5

Comments:  I don’t like laying lots of points in the NFL but I don’t understand why ARZ isn’t getting more credit.  They should be laying at least -7 in this spot, especially given the offense is improving and arguably may be right up there alongside BAL and KC.  They get another woeful defense in the Lions this week, so given the high game total, they should get into the 30s.  Credit DET for playing pretty well in first half of games, but in the second half, they’ve been dismal — Lions have been outscored 46-17 in 2nd half.  Is it a lack of conditioning, or coaches failing to make adjustments?  I don’t know.  But ARZ should be able to take advantage of the glaring pass defense lapses on the Lions side of the ball.  Also worth noting — Cardinals pounded the ball for 180-160 yards in first two wins, so that’s a balance this team didn’t have in years past (I know it’s early, but I”m very bullish on the Cardinals as the next possible dominant team in the NFC).  I’m laying -6 with confidence.  DET was destroyed by GB pass attack last week.  It’s not any easier here with ARZ’s multiple weapons.  The Pick:  ARIZONA -6


SNF: Green Bay @ New Orleans
New Orleans -3 / Total — 52.5

Comments:  Green Bay won its first two games, scoring 43-42 points (9 TD’s on 18 drives). Packers also ran ball for a staggering 417 yards, threw for 593.  NOR defense got shredded in last week’s game, and will be put to the test here in a game that suddenly has some urgency for the Saints.  Some concerns in NOR and NFL circles that QB Brees could be showing some signs of age, losing some velocity with passes.  I’m not ready to bench him just yet (joking), but I don’t want to lay points on the Saints in their current situation.  NOR is also a really bad early-season home favorite dating back last 5-6 seasons, so I’m not laying a FG to the Packers.  Saints are 5-11 ATS in last 16 games as a home favorite.  Some issues with injuries at well for the Saints.  GB probably deserves a wager, but I’m going to wait until gametime since the line is (inexplicably) moving to -115 and -120 in some places on the Saints at -3.  The Pick:  NO PLAY


MNF: Kansas City @ Baltimore
Baltimore -3.5 / Total — 54.5

Comments:  Another high total makes me go UNDER the number.  This looks to be the best MNF game in a long while, so many fans will expect fireworks.  But I also see two very good defenses.  I expect one of them to step it up here and keep this total under the number.  A close game would also help the cause for the UNDER here, as these two powerhouse teams typically build big leads, wear out opponents, and the games fly over the number as opposing offenses have to throw every down.  But here, we may see a different outcome.  Similar to last season’s 20-17 epic defensive battle (SFO at BAL), we could see something similar here if things break right and linebackers on both teams are able to pass defend (that’s the key to stopping both offenses IMHO).  Looks like a game that could go 27-24 either way, so I’m going to bite on the UNDER.  Also, tempting to play BAL here which I think has something more to prove, but the hook keeps me off them for now.  The Pick:  KANSAS CITY/BALTIMORE UNDER 54.5




TEASER:  CLEVELAND -1 / NEW ENGLAND +.5 — $480 to win $400

BEST BET:  ATLANTA -3 vs. Chicago — $550 to win $500

HOUSTON +3 (FIRST HALF) vs. Pittsburgh — $220 to win $200

CINCINNATI +3.5 (-125) IN FIRST HALF vs Phila. – $220 to win $200  

LA RAMS +1 IN FIRST HALF  vs. Buffalo — $22o to win $200

SAN FRANCISCO/NY GIANTS UNDER 42 — $275 to win $250

DENVER +5.5 vs. Tampa Bay — $220 to win $200

DENVER +3.5 (-120) IN FIRST HALF vs. Tampa Bay — $360 to win $300

DALLAS/SEATTLE UNDER 57 — $275 to win $250

ARIZONA -6 vs. Detroit — $330 to win $300

KANSAS CITY/BALTIMORE UNDER 54.5 — $220 to win $200


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