DALLAS -8.5 vs. Los Angeles Rams
Jerry Jones locked arms with his team last Monday night. His gesture showed solidarity with the players. His face showed his true feelings.
During Monday night's broadcast, John Gruden referred to Dan Bailey as "argueably the greatest kicker in NFL history". Yeah, he went there. NFL history! Even worse, he gave the Gruden Grinder award to head coach and Princeton graduate Jason Garrett. Congratulations Coach Garrett, your constant clapping on the sideline and the worst challenge call (sorry Bruce Arians, you were quickly usurped) in history earned you this meaningless award. Really, there's not even a turkey leg awarded with this honor.
Dallas is still not impressing me. Sure they have won two games, but their performance has been rather pedestrian. Both games were there for the taking but the Giants and Cards did not take advantage of the opportunity. The Rams are coming off 10 days rest and will be looking for a statement win to solidify their lead in the NFC West.
This line is ridiculously high. Vegas must think Jeff Fisher is still on the sidelines for the Rams. Instead they have a millennial head coach who trusts the defensive play calling to Wade Philips so much that he doesn't even watch. 31 year old head coach Sean McVay sits down with a PBR and some avocado toast and designs a killer offensive scheme. Take the Rams as they may win this on the field. If not, the 8.5 will make it an easy MeUndies Backdoor Cover (our 2nd of the week).
PICK: Rams +8.5
MINNESOTA -1.5 vs. Detroit
God and the NFL hate Detroit. Without a doubt. There is no other explanation for the end of the Falcons/Lions game last week or any of these past events:
No way Detroit recovers quickly enough from that heartbreaking loss to be up for a tough division match-up. Vegas is showing the Lions some love make them short dogs on the road. With a healthy Sam Bradford, this gane would be Vikings by +3.5 or more. Case Keenum looked just as good last week carving up the Tampa secondary. This will likley be a close game, but the Vikings win by more than field goal, easily covering the 1.5.
PICK: Minnesota -1.5
ATLANTA -8 vs. Buffalo
Atlanta snuck out of Detroit with a close win last week. The Falcons tried their best to give the game away, but remember everybody hates the Lions. Without Vic Beasley, the Falcons D is vulnerable. But the offense is too good and has too many weapons for Matt Ryan to utilize.
Last week, Buffalo dashed the Survivor Pool hopes of many knocking off the Broncos as a home dog. Watch out for the short home dogs - it's always a trap. Buffalo outplayed the Broncos and looked like they have a legitimate shot at finishing second in the AFC East. Falcons will struggle with Tyrod Taylor's mobility and TE Charles Clay should have a good day against the Falcons depleted LB core. Clay would be a good pick in "Daily Gambling", I mean "Fantasy" if you partake.
Expect there to be a lot of points scored this week and we think the Falcons will win. But 8.5 points leaves the backdoor wide open. Expect a late score from Buffalo to cover, making it a 3 pack of MeUndies Backdoor Covers this week.
PICK: Buffalo +8.5
NEW ENGLAND - 8.5 vs. Carolina
Cam Newton has never been the same since facing off against Von Miller and the Broncos in Super Bowl 50. Not only did Von own Cam during that game (2.5 sacks & SB MVP), Miller continues to own Newton on Instagram.
And it shows. Cam's body language has never been worse. Although he's bigger than a lot of D lineman, Cam has been sulking around like Charlie Brown after Lucy pulls the FG hold. His shoulder is still hurting but not enough to stop him from vulturing short TDs. McCaffery will again have to be the feature of the offense since Cam has no time (center Ryan Khalil is out again), no receivers (Olsen out and Benjamin is hurt too) or ability to throw downfield (shoulder).
On the other side of the ball, 40 year old Tom Brady doesn't have any of these problems. Armed with great passing options and a full back-field of running backs, the Patriots offense finally clicked last week. And I think it will just keep on humming. No worries of a backdoor cover here as Carolina hasn't proved they can score. All money will be on the Pats but I don't think they suffer a let down after last week's scare. Take the Pats and give Carolina the 8.5.
PICK: New England -8.5
Jacksonville -3.5 at NEW YORK JETS
Jacksonville absolutely dismantled the Ravens last week in London. And the Jets did the same to Miami in East Rutherford. We were high on the Jags coming into this season as we felt they made some positive upgrades to the defense, coaching staff and front office. However, one big negative remains, Blake Bortles. Playing with a lead, he looks fine. Playing from behind, he looks horrible until the 4th quarter when he picks up his garbage time stats. Be sure to check out @BortlesFacts on Twitter. Definitely worth the follow.
We were also high on the Jets feeling like everyone was too quick to write them off as the worst team in the league. We've been on them since week one as the lines are just TOO DAMN HIGH! And we'll be on the Jets this week as well. A home dog getting 3.5, yes please. Jaguars will be feeling the hangover of international travel and will limp out of the gate early Sunday. Jets are riding high after the win last week and will be happy they won't be relegated from the Premier League after this season. These early London games are messing with me.
PICK: NY Jets +3.5
Cincinnati -3.5 @ CLEVELAND
Mike Lombardi raised an interesting question this week - "Is Andy Dalton color-blind?" Through 3 games, Dalton has thrown 4 interceptions. But worse than that, he has missed countless wide open receivers electing to throw the ball out of bounds or check down to a RB. The Bengals offense has looked terrible over this span which is a shame given how many weapons Dalton has at his disposal. Maybe he is color-blind. If so, shouldn't the "Red Rocket", the NFL's premier ginger, be able to target his guys in orange? Good news for Browns fans - they also wear orange.
The Browns failed to win (and cover) last week as road favorites in Indy when their late rally only got them to within three. There are signs of hope for Browns fans as the team has been competitive in all 3 games this year. Expect the "Dog Pound" to be loud and for lots of mistakes to be made. Getting 3.5 at home in an intra-state division rivalry is too good to pass up. Take the Browns as they will win outright. Enjoy the win Cleveland fans, it's only 8 more months of passive aggressive tweets from LeBron before he signs with LA and rips your heart out again.
PICK: Cleveland +3.5
Pittsburgh -2.5 @ BALTIMORE
We do our best to keep politics out of our commentary, but it's too hard to avoid the 600 lb. gorilla in the room after last week's protests. No, not the entire Steelers team staying in the locker room for the anthem (except for former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva). It was the Ravens protest against playing in London by refusing to make first downs.
I hate the Ravens. I hate that they wear purple and black and that they beat the Giants so badly in SB XXXV that it was hard to watch. But most of all, I hate that they continue to celebrate accused murderer (allegedly) Ray Lewis with a statue in front of their stadium. Btw - Lewis missed no games and was only fined $25K for his role in the double murder. If only Goodell was commish back then, but I digress.
Both teams are in disarray. Ravens have some major injuries to the offensive line. Steelers have some major locker room turmoil as a result of last week's anthem protest. I think the locker room thing is something that should not be underestimated. The team is mess. It's a genuine "he said, he said" over the decision to protest. As much as I hate to say it, I'm taking Baltimore as a short home dog. Justin Tucker from 50 for the win (and 5 fantasy points for me).
PICK: Baltimore +2.5
Tennessee -1.5 @ HOUSTON
Another short home dog. Easy, peasy. Take Houston and the 1.5. Done
Houston has looked pretty good since turning over the reins to Deshaun Watson. Such a cliché, but that guy is a winner. And a good dude too. He donated his first game check to three ladies that works for the Texans who lost everything in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Good stuff and good karma! However, on the other side of the ball is Marcus Mariotta, the nicest guy in football. The NFL is in good hands if these young QBs become the face of the game.
Tennessee handled Seattle pretty easily in week 3. But you know what, Seattle isn't good. Seriously, they are not good. Houston went toe to toe with New England and should won the game. And you know what, New England is good. I like Houston to pull out the W in the return to NRG Stadium and the city of Houston still recovering from Harvey. The Texans blew the home opener against JAX. It was too soon after all the chaos. They won't blow this opportunity. Houston is worth the play on the money line.
PICK: Houston +1.5