Week 3 has some interesting things going for it. After the Tampa-Atlanta game, we’ve already had one of the biggest beatdowns in league history. We have two teams favored by double-digits, which will provide some more evidence on the ‘double digit dogs are a good bet’ front. Two supposed-to-be-good teams, the Saints and Colts, try to get their first wins in very winnable games (the Saints are one of those double digit favorites). There’s that Seattle-Denver game. And generally speaking we have no idea how good many teams are, and this is going to be an informative game. Read on to see what the models think will happen.
If you had to guess the highest-scoring game of the week, you might not have gone with Tampa-Atlanta. But if any other game is going to get close to 70, it could be Detroit-Green Bay or maybe Philly-Washington.
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In terms of winners, the models think your best bet is Buffalo. But in terms of who’s worth looking at against the money line, they have a number of consensus picks. The surprising ones are probably Minnesota and Oakland, which makes this a good place to point out that money line bets don’t have to be expected to win per se, just expected to win often enough. I think my favorite upset pick this week, for no particular reason, is Arizona over the 49ers.
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Moving on to the spread, I mentioned the two double-digit favorites. Those have typically gone the underdog’s way in recent years. The other underdog-y pick is to look for home underdogs. This week that would be Arizona, Jacksonville, Cleveland, and St. Louis (and maybe the Giants depending on what line you see). The models are usually all about home dogs, but not when it’s the Giants. It also isn’t the Jaguars, but only because Luigi’s prediction is too close to their touchdown spread.
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Bill Simmons’ picks are here for the curious, and in the table below. I need to catch up some, so I’m hoping for the Chiefs, Raiders, Broncos, and Browns to at least cover.
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The SuperContest picks weren’t great for Luigi last week, so we’ll see if these go any better. He’s going with Buffalo -2.5, Oakland +14, Minnesota +10.5, Detroit -2.5 (probably dooming the Lions to a loss), and Houston -2. Yoshi 2’s line differences are a bit more tightly packed than Luigi’s so while they mostly line up he’s going with Buffalo, Oakland, Minnesota, Detroit, and Arizona +3. Yoshi 1 likes to make his own choices, and this week they are Oakland, Denver +5, Arizona, Tennessee +6.5, and Washington +6.5. The Washington pick thankfully just beat out Tampa, which is just ahead of taking Jacksonville, so I could be wrong but I feel good about that set.