Last week, I stumbled a bit in our best bets, going 1-2 and bringing my season total to 4-2. Trends are beginning to emerge, and although it’s early in the season, we can compare the current trends to what we observed last year. One noteworthy observation is that road underdogs are still winning against the spread at a very high rate. After two weeks, road dogs boast a 13-6-1 ATS record (68.4%). This continues the trend from last season when road underdogs achieved a 55% win rate for the year. However, it’s crucial not to follow trends blindly. At this point in the season, the only bets I’m actively avoiding are double-digit favorites. There isn’t enough data yet for me to feel comfortable with those types of lines.
Through two weeks, my model has been very successful. I always point out that I don’t necessarily go with the model’s picks 100%, but it would have been very profitable if I had. Here’s where it stands after Week 2:
- Straight Up: 22-4
- ATS 22-7-1
- Moneyline: 21-9
- Over/Under: 16-13-1
Make of that what you will when looking at the model picks this week. See all staff NFL Picks Here.
|Away||Home||Spread||Game Winner||Spread Pick||Total||Moneyline|
|NYG||SF||-10.5||SF 93.9%||SF||O 43.5||SF -535|
|TEN||CLE||-3.5||CLE 77.3%||CLE||U 39.5||CLE -166|
|ATL||DET||-3||DET 54.5%||ATL||U 46||ATL +140|
|NO||GB||-1.5||GB 51.5%||NO||U 42.5||NO +102|
|DEN||MIA||-6.5||MIA 69.7%||PUSH||O 48||DEN +225|
|LAC||MIN||-1||MIN 56.1%||MIN||O 54||MIN -112|
|NE||NYJ||2.5||PUSH||NYJ||U 36.5||NYJ +120|
|BUF||WAS||6.5||BUF 66.7%||WAS||U 43.5||WAS +225|
|HOU||JAX||-9||JAX 84.8%||JAX||U 44||JAX -410|
|IND||BAL||-8||BAL 78.8%||BAL||U 44||BAL -375|
|CAR||SEA||-6.5||SEA 68.2%||CAR||U 41.5||CAR +235|
|CHI||KC||-12.5||KC 97.0%||KC||O 48||KC -750|
|DAL||ARI||12.5||DAL 98.5%||DAL||U 43||DAL -650|
|PIT||LV||-2.5||PIT 53.0%||PIT||O 43||PIT +120|
|PHI||TB||5||PHI 63.6%||TB||U 46||TB +180|
|LAR||CIN||-3||PUSH||LAR||O 43.5||LAR +130|
Week 3 Best Bets
Jets +2.5 vs Patriots
The Jets are hosting the Patriots this week in a game with the lowest total of the week. New York finds itself as a home underdog due to their quarterback situation. However, even in Aaron Rodgers’ absence, the Jets boast a more well-rounded roster. Mac Jones is the better QB in this matchup, but he appears to be regressing after a promising outing against the Eagles.
The Jets’ offense has been nothing short of terrible. They’re allowing their opponents to run 26 more plays per game than they’re running. While the Jets’ offense may have appeared lackluster in the first two weeks, one must consider the quality of their opponents. The Cowboys completely shut down the Jets’ run game, leaving Zach Wilson with limited options. He was forced to throw, and bad things usually happen whenever Wilson is forced into that situation. However, the Patriots’ defense just allowed a staggering 6.7 yards per rush to Raheem Mostert. With the talent in New York’s backfield, the Jets should find success moving the ball against the Patriots’ defense.
The real advantage for the Jets lies in their defense. They have allowed just 4.6 yards per play, one of the better marks in the league. The Jets’ defense has been highly successful at preventing third-down conversions and red zone scoring. Their defensive prowess should be the X-factor in the game.
Both the Patriots and the Jets possess high-ceiling defenses, but their offenses have been somewhat unreliable. The Jets might have a less potent offense than the Patriots, but is it a significant enough difference to justify the Patriots being favored by almost a field goal on the road? I don’t think so. In fact, there is a real possibility that the Jets’ offense outperforms the Patriots’, especially if they can exploit the Patriots’ struggles against the run.
I have this line as a pick’em. I’ll take the Jets at +2.5 at home.
Steelers +2.5 at Raiders
The Pittsburgh Steelers have encountered a challenging start to the season, facing two of the toughest defenses in the league in their first two games. The Steelers’ offense has raised concerns, ranking dead last in total DVOA after two games. Kenny Pickett has also struggled, sitting at 32nd in QBR. However, despite their offensive struggles, they managed to get an ugly win against the Cleveland Browns at home, primarily thanks to their defense.
The Steelers’ offensive prospects might improve when they face the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders’ defense currently ranks 31st in EPA allowed, success rate, and DVOA. They’re also one of the most penalized defenses in the league through two weeks. The Raiders have had difficulty in generating pressure on opposing quarterbacks, with a pressure rate of just 10.5%. This lack of pressure has impeded their ability to disrupt opposing passing attacks, potentially allowing Kenny Pickett and the Steelers to find their rhythm.
Under Mike Tomlin’s guidance, the Steelers have posted a 54-31-4 record against the spread. I believe Tomlin will add another win to his record this week.
Rams +3 at Bengals
There’s some uncertainty surrounding Joe Burrow’s availability for this game. Burrow, working his way back from injury, has shown glimpses of his usual self but has not yet fully regained his pre-injury form. His performance in a close 27–24 loss to Baltimore showcased his progress, but the comeback effort ultimately fell short.
Regardless of Burrow’s status, the Los Angeles Rams have displayed a potent offense. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has thrown for over 300 yards in both games this season. Despite not having Cooper Kupp, Stafford has been supported by a talented receiving corps, including emerging rookie Puka Nacua, Tutu Atwell, and Kyren Williams. The Rams’ offense ranks among the NFL’s best, averaging 26.5 points per game. They rank third in the league with 315.5 passing yards per game.
Both teams share a common issue heading into Week 3: defensive struggles. They rank in the bottom 11 of the NFL in opponent yards per play. The Bengals give up 5.4 yards per snap, while the Rams allow 5.5. These defensive woes could potentially lead to a high-scoring affair.
I’m taking the Rams +3, whether Burrow plays or not, but they have an excellent chance to leave Cincinnati with a win if he’s out and Jake Browning is leading the Bengals’ offense.
Doug Burrell finished 2022 as Fantasy Nerd’s Most Accurate Expert in NFL Picks and Tallysight’s #1 ranked expert Against the Spread Expert out of 200+ experts. He is a veteran, a runner and an avid fantasy sports enthusiast since 1999. You can reach him on Twitter @dougwburrell.
Doug is a veteran, an avid runner, and works as a copywriter. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and three dogs. You can reach him on Twitter @dougwburrell.