The NFL season is heating up at this stage and, prior to the start of bye weeks across the league, 16-game slates provide nearly endless entertainment. That was the case in Week 2, including a Monday doubleheader, and there is another coming this week. At any rate, Week 2 was kinder than Week 1 in this space, with a genuinely profitable week at the office. Bryce Young got us home with a friendly push on Monday evening but, aside from an errant venture in Houston, the swing feels good.
Week 3 picks are on the way but, before the grand reveal, let’s take stock.
- Week 2: 3-1-1
- 2023 Season: 5-4-1
Come get these winners.
Denver Broncos (+6.5) over Miami Dolphins — Widely Available
Denver (somehow) leads the NFL in points per drive right now and things have broken against the Broncos twice. I think the market is a little bit over its skis on Miami, too, and I’d play this down to +6. Let’s ride.
TEASER: Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5) over Houston Texans and New York Jets (+8.5) over New England Patriots — Widely Available
Key numbers galore here. We’ll take Jacksonville through two keys as the (much) better team against Houston. Also, a rookie quarterback on the road is usually an adventure, and that plays against the Texans. From there, it is easy to make fun of the Jets offense, and you’d be right to do so. However, taking New York up to 8.5 is a value side against an uninspiring Patriots offense in a game with a total in the mid-30’s.
Cleveland Browns (-3) over Tennessee Titans — PointsBet
Cleveland’s offense took a real hit with Nick Chubb going down and Deshaun Watson continues to struggle mightily. Those realities, in combination with a nationally televised loss to Pittsburgh, pushes this number down to a range we like. Tennessee just beat Los Angeles, which also helps, and we’ll buy the dip on the Browns.
Los Angeles Chargers (+1.5) over Minnesota Vikings — FanDuel
We broke the rules by taking the Chargers at home in Week 1. We’re course-correcting this time to our principles of liking Los Angeles much more away from home, where they have basically no home-field advantage. Moreover, the Chargers are just better than the Vikings and, while Minnesota has the same urgency in this battle of 0-2 teams, we’re crossing our fingers and going with talent. Hey, we still win if the Chargers lose by one.
Cincinnati Bengals (-3) over Los Angeles Rams — Widely Available
If this ends up riding on Jake Browning, I’ll hate it. I accept that. I’m banking on Joe Burrow and relative desperation from the Bengals, with a sprinkling of the Rams being overvalued following two encouraging weeks. I wouldn’t go above three but, if we knew Burrow was playing, I think the Bengals should be favored by four or more points.