4:25 PM EST
Giants +6 over Bucs
It’s not like the Giants don’t have offensive talent on this team, they have a top 2 running back, and top 5 tight end, and plenty of serviceable talent at the wideout position. I’m expecting an energized effort from the Giants offensively here in Daniel Jones first career start. Eli has been awful for years and his red zone pick last week before halftime last week was truly demoralizing. Jones showed all kinds of “‘bet-on” potential both at Duke and in the preseason and at 0-2, fighting for their season to be relevant, I’m expecting to see plenty of fight from the road underdog in this one. Jones needs to limit the turnovers (fumbles especially) but if he can do that, I look for this to be a battle throughout and a little sprinkle on the moneyline isn’t a bad play either. Take the Giants.
4:25 PM EST
Seahawks -4 over Saints
Maybe this is the trap game of the week, but I just cannot wrap my head around how this line is this low. Seattle has my #1 rated homefield advantage in the NFL, worth four points alone. There is no way that the Seahawks led by Russel Wilson is only a half point better than the Saints led by Teddy Bridgewater, I need to see way more out of him before I can buy into that idea that he is only a 4 point downgrade from Brees. Bridgewater gets all of this hype as being one of the best backup QB’s in the league, but I strongly disagree with that. He has not looked good at all since his surgery, struggling in the preseason and was absolutely atrocious in his sole start last year in Week 17 where he mustered 118 total yards the entire game. This is now his first road start since 2015 and will be in a very hostile environment. I fully expect Sean Payton to throw the kitchen sink at the Hawks in this one and there is already talk of using two quarterback sets and I’m sure he will have some good trick plays up his sleeve, but you don’t win football games in the NFL running a gimmick offense like that. The Seahawks are getting healthier defensively as well, with Ziggy Ansah set to make his season debut, which will only strengthen the front four which already got a big boost from the newly acquired Clowney last week.
Seattle at home when they are laying 6 or less points under Wilson are 28-10-2 ATS, have won 15 straight home games in September and are 12-3 ATS during that stretch. I get it that the Seahawks offense hasn’t look great so far this season (despite being 2-0) and they had the benefit of playing against a Pittsburgh team without Big Ben last week, but how this line isn’t at least a touchdown is beyond me. My only concern in this game is the Seahawks offensive line is still an issue and the Saints should be able to get pressure with their front four, but Wilson is the best there is at making plays on the run and should be able to do enough to win this game. I am willing to take the bait and fade Bridgewater in this road start against a superior quarterback. I fully expect the Hawks to win this game so covering a four point spread isn’t asking much at all. Take the Seahawks.
4:25 PM EST
Steelers +7 over 49ers
This is a great opportunity for a “buy low, sell high” type game. The Steelers have looked putrid in their first two games and their defense is a concern, but this is just way too many points for a veteran team with their season on the brink against an overrated opponent. The Niners have looked very impressive so far, especially last week, but now they are in the role they are very unfamiliar with, a large home favorite. Levi Stadium is hardly a homefield edge, with the second worse homefield advantage only second to the Chargers in their soccer stadium. The 9ers are 7-16 ATS in their last 23 home games, the last time they covered as a home favorite was during their Super Bowl year under Jim Harbaugh. All World left tackle Joe Staley is also out this week which is a big concern for Jimmy G who struggles with getting the ball out on time and with fumbling issues. The Niners at 2-0 are impressive but they played two poor teams so far. They are sitting pretty compared to the 0-2 Steelers who’s season is very much on the line in this game, they lose this they can just about kiss their post season hopes goodbye.
I also absolutely love the fact the Steelers just traded a #1 draft pick for CB Minkah Fitzpatrick, a clear message to the locker room that they are still very serious about making the playoffs THIS YEAR. Mason Rudolph has been in their system and he’s shown plenty of guts and guile in his career – I still remember him leading Oklahoma State to the outright upset win at Oklahoma in his second career start, as a freshman. He looked good last week against a better defense than he will be facing today and even sans Bell and aB Rudolph still has plenty of weapons at his disposal including former Oklahoma State teammate and deep-ball threat James Washington who is primed to have a big day this afternoon. Mike Tomlin’s hasn’t lost a single road game by more than a TD since 2016 – I look for the Steelers to hang tough in a game that comes down the wire, Pitt ML is also very live in this one as well. Take the Steelers.
4:25 PM EST
Panthers ML +120 over Cardinals