Two weeks of the NFL season are in the books, and it’s desperation mode for the league’s 0-2 teams.
Only 11 percent of NFL teams that have started the season 0-2 dating back to 2002 made the playoffs, so the Jets, Dolphins, Bengals, Steelers, Jaguars, Broncos, Giants, Redskins and Panthers have their work cut out for them.
Keep that in mind when making this week’s picks, as desperation mode may, very well, play a part in the action. With that said, here are our top five value bets for the Week 3 slate.
Playing off the angle mentioned above, we’re backing the team with one of the best defenses and its back against the wall, in desperate need of a win. The Jaguars were a failed two-point conversion away from beating the reigning AFC South title winning Texans, and history states that home underdogs do extremely well on Thursday Night Football.
Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew has shown he can play in this league, making plays with both his arm and his legs. Minshew has shown he does not lack confidence, and the moment is not too big for him, and we’re backing him in this must-win spot on Thursday night, with the Titans being forced to travel on a short week of rest.
Packers -7 (-120)
The Packers are the NFL’s most surprising 2-0 team, with new head coach Matt LaFleur already paying dividends for the team. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had made it clear that he was looking for an innovative, offensive-minded head coach, and LaFLeur appears to be exactly that, finding ways to get receivers in space, and also employing a perfect mix of runs and passes.
As for the Broncos, their quarterback woes have followed them from last season. Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco is immobile, and the Packers’ pass rushers have been flying off the edge this season, which could be a nightmare for the pocket passer. Look for the Packers defense to lead the way en route to victory on Sunday.
The 49ers are in a prime letdown spot, coming off back-to-back road victories, and playing in front of the home crowd at Levi’s Stadium for the first time this season. And sure, the team is 2-0, but they’ve beaten two quarterbacks who are in the bottom-third of the league, in Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton. This defense is not as good as it has looked in the first two weeks, and now they face a hungry Steelers team in need of a win.
Ben Roethlisberger’s injury may have been a blessing in disguise in a way, as young Mason Rudolph stepped up in a big way last week, even entering the game in an extremely difficult spot, without notice. Rudolph completed 12 of 19 passes he attempted for 112 yards, with two touchdowns, and one interception, which actually wasn’t his fault, as Donte Moncrief dropped it. The Niners don’t really have any tape to break down on Rudolph, and we look for the Steelers to keep them off balance, riding the hot hand of Rudolph.
The Ravens defense is one of the best in the league, but when we get the opportunity to back the best quarterback in the league at home — laying less than a touchdown — we’ll usually jump at the opportunity. Baltimore’s defense doesn’t travel as well, and we expect Kansas City to move the football at Arrowhead Stadium, with a number of big plays mixed in.
As for Lamar Jackson, he’s put together two great games, but hasn’t really been tested this year, squaring off against the hapless Dolphins and new-look Cardinals. The crowd noise at Arrowhead could give the second-year signal caller some issues, and possibly some jitters as well. Take the Chiefs, and look for them to win by 10-13 points, proving that they and the Patriots are the teams to beat in the NFL.
Patriots – 22.5
The Jets have some solid skill position players on their roster, but still a number of gaping holes, which has been made very clear over the past two games. New York had hoped that quarterback Sam Darnold running Adam Gase’s offense could help cover them up, but now he’s out for a few weeks, dealing with mononucleosis.
Well, the team looked anemic on offense in Week 2’s embarrassing 23-3 loss to the Browns, and things aren’t going to get any better on the road in Foxboro, especially not with third-string quarterback Luke Falk under center.
As for the Patriots, they’re coming off a 43-0 thrashing of the Dolphins, so don’t expect them to take it easy on the division rival Jets in this spot. Expect a similar type of score this week, with the Jets failing to score more than 10 points.
Time to Make Your Bets!
Those are our five value bets for Week 3. If you’re looking to make a wager this Sunday, we recommend MyBookie for all your NFL betting needs.