Every NFL season’s opening weeks are nothing but pure chaos, but this year already feels different. We have three playoff teams from a year ago starting 0-2, including the defending AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals.
And the Bengals aren’t losing to good teams. They dropped their opener to Mitchell Trubisky and the desiccated remains of the Pittsburgh Steelers and then fell last Sunday to the Dallas Cowboys quarterbacked by Cooper Rush, who I’m almost positive took my order at Chipotle back in August. I had to ask twice for my extra guac, so it’s a good thing Rush found a new career. The service industry was not his calling.
The shocking upsets continued, but none that I picked and one that went against my lock, so I have to rebuild this trust now. With myself. I let me down. But I’m a forgiving person and hitting both worst games of Week 2 did a lot to repair my faith in me.
With that, we’re going to peruse the Week 3 odds, lines and totals courtesy of MaximBet to make things right. I can forgive myself. But can I ever forget? Pocketing some serious cash would be a nice start.
Lock of the Week
Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) at New England Patriots
I think the only person more shocked than I was that Matt Patricia and Joe Judge teamed up to produce a winning gameplan a week ago was Bill Belichick. The Pats are 1-1 now and, much like Steve Belichick after his weekly Saturday night bath, the stink has dissipated for a little while.
I’m not a fan of the way the Ravens play offense. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman runs a Pop Warner attack that feels as if it’s designed to get Lamar Jackson’s spleen forcibly removed on the field. But Jackson is playing at an MVP level already in a contract year, costing the Ravens more money with every touchdown throw and highlight run. I think he rings up a lengthy CVS receipt by the end of this contest.
Take the Ravens at -2.5.
Worst Games of the Week
Houston Texans at Chicago Bears (-3.5)
Cincinnati Bengals (-4.5) at New York Jets
The Bears remain a great mystery to me. They won their season opener against the San Francisco 49ers (hampered by Trey Lance’s start), then once again proved Aaron Rodgers’ paternity over their franchise with a 27-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Maury Povich didn’t even have to open the envelope on that one. Chicago just immediately ran from the stage to dive face-first into the designated crying couch.
The Texans are the worst team in the league, run by a weird religious cult leader in Jack Easterby and boast the least talented roster in the NFL and still somehow manage to win a handful of games every season. They should go 0-17 every year, but they’ve already fucked that up with a tie. Houston can literally do nothing right.
The Jets single-handedly murdered every single survivor pool in America a week ago. Meanwhile the Bengals are now trying to be the first team since 2018 to make the playoffs after an 0-2 start. Here’s a fun fact — only six teams since the 1970 merger have ever made it to the postseason after going 0-3 and only one, the 1992 San Diego Chargers, made it after going 0-4. If Joe Burrow loses this game, he might want to look into a Barcalounger promotional deal because he’ll be spending a lot of time on his come January.
Take the Bears moneyline (-143) and/or the Bengals moneyline (-250).
A Shocking Upset of the Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles (-5.5) at Washington Commanders
Do you have any idea who the top two quarterbacks in the NFL in passing yardage are after two weeks? Unless you just closed out a browser on your viewing device right before seeing this, you probably have no clue that No. 1 is Tua Tagovailoa with 739 yards in two games and No. 2 just so happens to be Commanders QB Carson Wentz with 650.
The Eagles come into this game hot. They’re 2-0 and just put a beat down on the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night that has Logan Paul blowing up their DMs to set up a pay-per-view.
The game is in Washington. Ron Rivera remains one of the league’s better coaches and, hopefully, Dan Snyder is still out dodging subpoenas in international waters on his yacht so his bad mojo won’t be in the stadium. Though, you know, a raging river of human waste might be.
The beauty of this “upset” pick is that the Commanders don’t have to win. They just need to keep Philly from covering -5.5 on the road in their giant open-air toilet. I’m feeling good about it.
Take the Commanders at +5.5.
Drop $10 on a Four-Team Parlay
Never gonna take no loss. Never gonna lose my sauce. All I know is chase this whoa. And get money thanks to this sweet little four-team parlay.
I’ve already talked about the Commanders (+210) keeping the Eagles from covering, but what if they actually win? Philly’s not going undefeated, even with one of the easiest schedules in the league. The teams that get you are usually in your division.
So, we use that pick as our foundation and build on it. To it, we add the Dolphins (+200), the Titans (+105) and the Falcons (+110).
Miami his hosting the Buffalo Bills, the NFL’s best team. But, again, they are not winning every game. South Beach is a tough place to play for these northern teams and Tua Tagovailoa, as I mentioned above, has opened the season hot in Mike McDaniel’s new offense.
The Titans and Raiders are in a pitched battle to keep from opening the year 0-3 for every reason I listed. Derrick Henry has yet to have one of his “Holy Shit” games and this one, with the season possibly already on the line, would be the perfect time to do it in front of his home fans.
Lastly, we have the Falcons traveling to Seattle to do battle with the Seahawks and their 12th man. Atlanta has been a tough out in the first two weeks of the season and Marcus Mariota might just be an upgrade over Matt Ryan. He’s certainly better than any QB Seattle has on the roster.
A $10 parlay bet on these moneylines pays $390*.
Adam Greene is @TheFirstMan on Twitter
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