Note: Sports gambling advice is intended for recreational purposes only. All odds and lines are from William Hill US Sportsbook unless otherwise noted.
Two weeks are down in the NFL season and Justin and I hope we’ve made you a little bit of money. I had a much better week last week (4-1) than I did Week 1 (2-3), so you know what that means? Improvement. You deserve our best, so here are our picks that can’t lose this week.
Austin’s Season Record: 6-4
Justin’s Season Record: 3-2
San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) @ New York Giants
Before we start, let’s talk about the NFL giving the Niners back to back games at Metlife Stadium. What a nightmare.
These two teams were hit the hardest by the injury plague of Week 2. Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas and Saquon Barkley all tore their ACL’s and are out for the season. Jimmy Garoppolo left early with an ankle injury which will leave him out of this game against the Giants as well. That means Nick Mullens will start. This game is so tough to gauge because the 49ers are missing so many players and the Giants have just looked back through the first two weeks.
The Giants have not found their identity on offense as they are averaging a league worst 14.5 PPG. Daniel Jones has looked okay so far, but he has thrown three interceptions already. With no Barkley, I don’t see who is going to start producing for them. The 49ers can get stops, but will they be able to score with so many players on offense out? They come in as the favorite with traveling across the country again, but I think the NFL is a league full of weekly surprises, so I wouldn’t be shocked if the Giants get their first win here. Whoever wins, it’s going to be a low scoring game. Take the under.
The Pick: Under 42
Las Vegas Raiders @ New England Patriots (-5.5)
If Cam Newton bounces it outside at the goal line in Seattle last Sunday night, we would be talking about a 2-0 New England team. Instead, the only undefeated team in this match up are the… Raiders? The Raiders opened up the Las Vegas home era with a pretty convincing win on Monday Night. Derek Carr looked… good? The defense looked… solid? So far, so good for the Raiders, right?
Wrong. The Patriots already look like a playoff team. Cam Newton warned us about sleeping on him and he’s surely waking up all of his haters. Las Vegas has the 30th-ranked pass defense and I think we see Newton have another big day. I like the Patriots.
The Pick: New England -5.5
Los Angeles Rams @ Buffalo Bills (-2)
I think this is going to be one of the best games of the weekend. The Rams have covered a +1.5 underdog spread in each win this season. Another interesting nugget: The Rams are 5-0 in 1 p.m. games in the Eastern Time Zone since Sean McVay took over, scoring 30 points in each game. These are two of the top five best offenses in the league in terms of yards. The Rams are running the ball well, but they will be without Cam Akers, and Malcolm Brown just had surgery earlier this week on his thumb (but should be good to go).
Let’s talk about the Bills. The Bills, man. They look good right now. Josh Allen is off to a red hot start. The addition of Stefon Diggs has opened up the offense and they’re clicking. But, they’ve played the Jets and Dolphins. They haven’t had a true test until now. This is a good Rams defense and I don’t expect them to let up 350+ yards to Allen. Take the Rams to get an impressive road win.
The Pick: Los Angeles +2
Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens (-3.5)
Okay, now THIS will be the best game of the weekend. Or is it week since it’s on Monday night? Whatever, you know what I mean.
These teams met last season in Kansas City where the Chiefs won 33-28. I’m expecting another game similar to that. The Ravens look like the best team in the league at the moment. Their offense is putting up 35.5 PPG, but it’s the defense that should be getting the praise as they are only allowing 11.0 PPG.
We already know what the Chiefs can do through the air, but they are averaging the 8th most yards on the ground. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been great so far. Also, on top of how great these teams already are, they have the best kickers in the game. I just want to see Justin Tucker and Harrison Butker kick 60-yarders all night. Make sure to have both these teams’ play-makers in your fantasy lineups because I have a feeling we’ll see a lot of scoring.
The Ravens want to make a statement that the AFC runs through Baltimore, but these are still the champs. I like Kansas City to cover.
The Pick: Kansas City +3.5
Lock of the Week
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5.5) at Denver Broncos
Talk about another unlucky team that has gotten bit by the injury bug? The Broncos. Courtland Sutton tore his ACL last week and Drew Lock will now be out a few weeks with a shoulder injury. Jeff Driskel will be starting and he did have a decent game after Lock went out. But, this game will be more about the Buccaneers than the Broncos.
Last week, Bruce Arians blasted his receivers and said they “dropped about 125 yards worth and three touchdowns. Tom has a 400 yard day if we catch it,” according to ESPN.com. For the first time this season, the Bucs are fully healthy on offense. It’s going to be an air parade and I expect Tampa Bay to roll.
Tom Brady already called John Elway and apologized in advance for what he is going to do Denver’s defense.
The Pick: Tampa Bay -5.5
How Betting Lines Work
A quick reminder for anyone unfamiliar with betting lines. “Favorites” are listed next to a negative number, which represents how many points they must win by to “cover the spread.” Titans -2.5, for example, means that Tennessee must beat the Broncos by 3 points or more for bettors to win. Gamblers can also bet on the game’s “total,” betting on whether or not the teams’ combined score in the game is over or under a pre-selected number of points.
“ML” or “moneyline” is not against the spread, just picking the winner of the game. Many people refer to the moneyline as “straight up,” but this can be confusing, because if you’re ever at a betting window in Vegas, a “straight bet” means you are betting on the point spread. Instead of saying “straight up,” you’d want to say “moneyline” when you mean to pick the winner of the game regardless of the point spread to avoid any possible confusion.