So I’ve started every NFL blog saying the same thing; that it’s still too early to really evaluate these teams. The same stays true for this week. So I’m going to lightly touch on some games I like once again and not go too much into detail. Even with my 18-5-1 record this year, I have been in this game long enough to know that every week is another battle and that it’s too early to judge these teams.
Ravens @ Chiefs -5.5
I’m going to bury the lead here and let you know I’m on the Chiefs. Despite this line opening at Chiefs -6.5 and moving through the key number of 6 to where it now stands at 5.5. The Chiefs have won their first two games in convincing fashion and did so on the road as well. Which makes this game their home opener. Arrowhead stadium is a tough place to play and even though the Ravens took the Chiefs into overtime there last year, both of these teams have a different makeup this year. For one I think the Chiefs defense has vastly improved and has been a bit underrated up to this point. The other factor is the Ravens offense has completely changed. Last year’s game featured 40 rushing attempts to 28 passing plays for the Ravens. The new Ravens offense features a more balanced attack but we haven’t seen them be challenged at all. I think 5.5 is buying low on the Chiefs at home. Especially against a relatively untested Ravens team that have not had a lot of success against a team with a winning record since Lamar Jackson took over.
Falcons @ Colts -1
This line is interesting because it seems that people are still not very confident in the Falcons. Which is valid considering their struggles in the red zone and the mistakes Matt Ryan has made this year. However this game is still being played in a dome and we all know about Matt Ryan’s splits when he is playing in a dome vs playing outside. He is much better and the Falcons offense is much better. The Falcons are a team I thought would get better as the season goes along. I was right picking against them week 1 and I was right picking them in week 2. Now I like them in week 3 and I think this is the lowest we will be able to buy them at for a lot of the season.
Steelers @ 49ers -6.5
So this is line is the way it is for a couple of different reasons. One reason is Ben Roethlisberger being out for the Steelers and another reason is the 49ers recent success. The 49ers were on fire last week and looked great in a 41-17 win against the Bengals. One thing to keep in mind about that matchup though is that the 49ers spent the week in Ohio getting prepared for that matchup. Even though they are the home team here there are exponentially more distractions coming back home after being away for a week. It is important to remember that NFL players are people too and even they have to deal with all the same things normal people have to deal with after being away for a week. Whether it be bills or personal drama, all of those things come back when you’re back from vacation. Another thing is the Steelers defense has been pretty good this year. Now they have a full week to prepare Mason Rudolph for his first start and I see them doing well. At least well enough to cover the spread which at 6.5 seems way too high. As good as the 49ers have looked they have yet to be tested against a good team. I’m taking the Steelers and the points and this game is my lock of the week.
Rams @ Browns +3.5
This line is such a rat line. The Rams have looked great this year. Coming off a super bowl appearance last year where they looked great all year. This is a game where you look at the two teams and you pick the Rams almost out of habit. Not for me though. This feels like Vegas is just dangling a piece of cheese in a rat trap and they’re waiting for us to eat it and die. The Browns didn’t look great in their win last week and definitely came into the season a bit overrated. At the end of the season I think we will be able to definitively say the Rams are a better team than the Browns. But the NFL is a week to week league and the only thing that matters from a gambling perspective is this week. I just like the Browns in this situation. At home in their first Sunday night game since 2008. Their defense has looked very impressive and I think they will have some success against the Rams offensive line. Jared Goff doesn’t just become average when he is pressured, he is below average. We have seen when he goes up against a good defense just how bad he can be. The Super Bowl is one example and another is the game he has last year in Chicago. Weather could play a factor here too as there coupld be some rain in Cleveland tonight. All signs are pointing to take the Browns tonight and that is what I will be doing.
Steelers +6.5 LOCK