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*This is the transcript of our Handicapping group wager chat on our Blazing Five. Taking it as it is, so forgive any typos, etc. It's just casual opinions shared. Also we may veer way off topic, but that's half the fun of it.
Savage:19-12; Blazing 5: 5-5; Best Bet: 2-0
Katz: 17-14; Blazing 5: 4-6; Best Bet: 0-2
FFM Computer: 17-14; Best Bet 2-0
Skolman: 15-16; Blazing 5: 2-5; Best Bet: 0-2
RC: 14-17; Blazing 5: 5-5; Best Bet: 1-1
Rabbitt: 14-17; Blazing 5: 4-6; Best Bet: 1-1
Lions +3 (best bet) - Both teams are coming off primetime blowouts, but the Falcons seem to be getting a ton more respect. They beat Aaron Rodgers, while the Lions were the team lucky enough to face the Giants in week 2. In reality, the Falcons caught the Packers on a night where both starting tackles didn't suit up and their two best non-Rodgers players got hurt in the early stages. The O-line issues and lack of Jordy directly led to 2 turnovers, which gave the Falcons a big lead. In many ways I was more impressed by what the Lions did, going on the road after a big win in the home opener and outplaying the Giants wire to wire. Now we get the Lions back at home, where they're much better, and the Falcons back on the road, where they were last seen nearly losing to the Bears. I think its very unlikely the Lions get blown out here, espeically since the Falcons won't have Vic Beasley in obvious pass situations. I think Detroit can win or at least make this a game that gets decided by a field goal.
Panthers -5.5 - I'm not even sure the Saints care about winning or losing anymore. They seem totally comfortable down 14 points so its easier for Brees to chase Favre and Manning in the record books. I see Carolina as an 8-9 win team at home against a 5-6 win team that is notoriously bad on the road. The line should be at least 7, but the books know they're always going to get money on Brees and Payton because those guys are great for your fantasy team!
Chargers +3 - The dreaded 0-2 team at home. As an added bonus, the Chargers have played well enough to be 1-1 or even 2-0 (where have I hear that before?). The question with the Chiefs is whether they can sustain multiple 40+ yard plays on offense every week. I tend to think their output thus far is somewhat flukey, especially if they're only going to give Tyreek 6 touches.
Bengals +9 - The Packers are riddled with injuries and I'm going to guess that they will air on the side of caution with some of their gametime decisions, given that they have a Thursday game against the Bears coming up next week. I think we see a better effort from the Bengals after a long week and the cathartic firing of their coordinator. This game will be closer than it should be.
Redskins +3 - I'll go back to the well one more time betting against the Raiders. I've liked what I've seen from the Redskins so far - they could/should be 2-0. I think there isn't as much difference between these 2 teams as the line shows, so I like the home dog in primetime.
BAL vs JAX +3.5
The London Jaguars have won outright the past 2 years as underdogs. There were forces of the universe pulling Ten to victory because they couldn't start 0-2 and Jax sure as heck couldn't start 2-0! There are no such imaginary but real things happening here. Ravens have the Steelers next week and this is their first trip to London...injuries...more than enough reasonable doubt to take the points.
CLE at IND +1.5 **Best Bet**
IND +1.5 - My favorite thing I heard all week is that the Colts players really hate Grigson (now with the Browns) and as a result really want this win. I haven't been able to find that in print but I'm rolling with it. The Colts players seem to be taking the blame for missing opportunities vs Ari and standing behind Brissett who has had all week to stew on the late game pick. I'm not a Kizer fan.
DEN at BUF +3.0
BUF +3 - This one hurts so it must be the right thing to do. I'm 2-0 picking Broncos games so I'm staying in one of the few places I've won so far. No bigger commercial than the Dallas beat down so I'm playing both sides of what seems like an overreaction this week. First road game for Den vs a defense that has played well...if the universe is kind enough to give us this one then we are set up for Broncos/Raiders next week.
NYG at PHI -6.0
NYG +6 - I still love this Giants defense...with the WRs a week healthier, some more injuries in the Eagles secondary and the force of gravity that seems to keep scores between these teams close I'll take the points. Also, Wentz.
DAL at ARI +3.0
DAL -3 - I have to bet against the thing I heard this week that I most disagree with. A podcast host said Dal at Ari, Cardinals have one of the few true home field advantages left in the NFL. Say what?! I don't love the Dal secondary but I do like a max effort out of the Cowboys here after last week's public flogging.
DAL -3.0 Best Bet. Is this a homer pick? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s more of an anti public perception that Dallas isn’t that good because they appeared to get blown out by Denver pick. The Cardinals are one of the worst teams in the NFL. Carson Palmer is done. Larry Fitzgerald also looks done. They don’t have any offensive players without David Johnson. This line is where it should be, I guess, but Dallas is winning this game by multiple scores.
TEN -2.5. The Titans are one of the better teams in the NFL. The Seahawks are also one of the worst teams in the NFL. Russell Wilson is officially overrated. The team already struggles on the road and they’re facing a very good team in the Titans. My dark horse Super Bowl pick builds on last week’s performance with a home win against a terrible team.
GB -9.0. After the first two, I ran out of games I really like, but I’m required to pick three more, so here goes nothing. Is Angry Aaron Rodgers a thing? I don’t know, but we’re certainly going to find out. The Bengals have yet to score a touchdown. The Packers are going to score many touchdowns. Perhaps the new OC will provide a spark. I’ll probably be wrong about this in that case. I’ve mentioned my policy against picking underdogs that I don’t think can win. The Bengals cannot win this game. I’m banking on the Packers not letting it be close.
TB -2.5. Bradford is out. Case Keenum is terrible. It’s really that simple.
CHI +7.5. This line strikes me as an overreaction to the lopsided score in both teams’ games last week. The Steelers beat up on a Vikings team starting Case Keenum. The Bears faceplanted at Tampa with a medley of turnovers. Chicago now returns home to the place where they should’ve beaten the Falcons in week 1. The Steelers head back on the road having barely beaten Cleveland in week 1. Big Ben is a different QB on the road. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s a reality we must accept. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Bears won this game. They should at least keep it within a score.
Den -3 (best bet)
NE -13.5 over HOU
I think this is probably the bet of the week. The Patriots are that team we thought could go 16-0…they just happened to lose to KC opening week. It's still that great team. They are hosting a Houston team with the worst convergence of factors you could ever want to enter a game with…
One starting corner out, the other questionable/hurt.
Starting linebacker is out and they are rolling with the worst backup they have in his place.
The offensive line may be the worst in the league.
Deshaun Watson is not good, behind a bad O-Line, and facing Bill Belichick…a rookie v. Belichick.
CHI +7.5 over PIT
The Steelers are sloppy on the road. The Bears haven't been as bad as their 0-2 start. Should have beaten a very good Atlanta team opening week. A strange bit of play cost them against Tampa last week…when I thought the Bears were the better team until it got away from them.
I am thinking Jake Long and Prince Amukamara back, plus Markus Wheaton adds an extra body to the WR group. T.J. Watt out for PIT.
I wouldn’t be shocked if the Bears won this outright.
NO +5.5 over CAR
Carolina's defense has shut down Brian Hoyer and Tyrod Taylor…Drew Brees is a bit different. I think the Saints can win this outright or just cover.
JAX +3.5 over BAL
I'm all in on this game if Jalen Ramsey is really playing. The Ravens have played Cincy and Cleveland…so they haven’t faced a tough opponent yet. The Ravens losing Marshall Yanda and Brandon Williams is a big deal. The Jags have the better defense and RB – in a game between two teams wanting to win with running and defense.
DAL -3.0 at ARI
I love this game, and it could be the bet of the week as well. Everyone selling Dallas stock and still respecting Arizona…a perfect storm. Arizona is secretly one of the worst teams in football…like NY Jets bad. Dallas huge here.
Computer Blazing Five:
JAX IND, BUF, ATL, NO
Colin's Blazing Five: SEA, DAL, LAC, BUF, JAX