There are four games that we have our eye on this week that we’re looking to capitalize on:
- • The Vikings taking on the struggling Saints in London.
- • The Lions look to bounce back from a tough loss to Minnesota this week when they host the Seahawks.
- • The new-look Falcons will host the Cleveland Browns as home dogs.
- • A battle of two 1-2 teams as the Panthers host the Arizona Cardinals.
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints
Sunday, October 02, 2022 – 9:30 AM EDT at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Vikings the Better Team on Neutral Field
The Minnesota Vikings come into this game being played in the U.K as -3 point favorites against the struggling New Orleans Saints. They’ve lost two games in a row and have only scored a total of 24 points in the last two weeks.
Jameis Winston hasn’t been terrible, but it’s obvious his injury issues are really bothering him. Winston has fractures in his L1 and L2 vertebrae and reports are that he did not participate in the last team practice. Even when he’s healthy, Winston is prone to erratic play so it’s hard to expect consistency when he’s hurt.
This team is also without Alvin Kamara, one of the best offensive players in the league. I’m laying the points with the Vikings in this game because I don’t think the Saints can score enough to keep up. No matter what you think of Kirk Cousins, he’s clearly the much better quarterback in this matchup.
His offensive line has also been giving him time to throw and he has one of the most unstoppable players in the league in Justin Jefferson.
NFL Pick: Vikings -3 (-110) at DraftKings
Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions
Sunday, October 02, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Ford Field
Lions Look to Bounce Back Against Lowly Seahawks
The Seahawks are one of the league’s worst teams at the moment, especially on defense. While quarterback Geno Smith has played better than some thought he was capable of, he hasn’t been great either.
The stats look ok but if you’ve actually been watching games, there are signs that all is not well in the northwest. Smith’s receivers have been amazing so far with no drops on the season. His offensive line, however, was not with Smith in the top three quarterbacks under the most pressure.
The line for this game is opened at Lions -1 and has been steamed all the way up to -4.5 with some 5 showing on the market as well. The Lions are averaging over 31 points per game while the Seahawks have 47 points total on the season, so the line movement isn’t shocking.
That said, laying anything over 3 with the Lions is a risky proposition at the moment because their defense hasn’t exactly been great. In fact, while they’re 2nd in the league in points per game, they happen to be last in points allowed at 32.
NFL Pick: Over 48 (-110) at BetMGM
Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, October 02, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Falcons Have Value Against Browns
The Cleveland Browns opened as -2.5 road favorites in a game that Atlanta can win. Sharp action agrees with me and the line has been steamed down to Browns -1.5.
New quarterback Marcus Mariotta is playing the most aggressive football of his career through three weeks and Atlanta’s offense has legit weapons. The Browns have had success in the early part of the season due to their running game and their pass rush. The thing is, they’ve had the lead for 95% of the time in their first three games, which is no coincidence.
They’ve played three of the league’s worst offenses so far this season, but Atlanta will give them their first true test. If Atlanta can get an early lead and force Jacoby Brissett to have to throw more, the Falcons have a real shot of winning this game.
They’ve been in all of their games so far this season and I think that continues here. My initial lean was to the over 45 when the line opened but that has been steamed up to 49.5 at most of the top online sportsbooks.
NFL Pick: Falcons +1.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers
Sunday, October 02, 2022 – 04:05 PM EDT at Bank of America Stadium
Battle of Young Quarterbacks Favors Cardinals
These are two struggling teams right now and their young quarterbacks have to take some responsibility for that. It’s not all down to them, but it’s hard to ignore that both are not playing their best football right now.
Baker Mayfield was supposed to have a fresh start in Carolina but that has not worked out as planned. With each passing week, the Browns look like they made the right call by not offering Mayfield a long-term deal.
The issues in Arizona are a little different since Kyler Murray’s eventful offseason where he seemed to be having a Twitter war with his own front office. On the field, Murray has been better than Mayfield but that’s a pretty low bar at this point. What has to be most concerning for Cardinals fans is Murray’s average yards per pass attempt which sits at 5.8 right now. That’s down from 7.1 for his career which is a big drop if you compare that to other QBs.
The line for his game opened at Cardinals -2.5 but sharp action has seen that flip all the way to Panthers -1.5, which I disagree with. Carolina isn’t good on any level and if you compare strength of schedule, it isn’t even close.
The Cards have lost two games this year to the Rams and the Chiefs, two of the league’s best teams. Carolina came into this season with no expectations whereas the Cardinals fully expect to compete for the NFC West, which is one of the league’s toughest divisions. This is a must-win game for Arizona and I believe that’s the energy we see from them in this game. I’m taking the points with what I believe is the better team in this situation.
NFL Pick: Cardinals +1.5 (-110) at FanDuel