The quality of play this season is clearly largely lacking across the league, but that doesn't necessarily mean things have been boring. If nothing else, the results in the gambling markets thus far have been quite interesting.
Sure, so many games going Under (just under 59%!) is less than ideal and has made for some ugly prime time games. But it's also worth noting that underdogs of four points or more are 37-19 this season against the spread, and we continue to see a bunch of huge spreads this week. There might be some investment potential in those games. It's also an interesting time in the season with the trade deadline looming, byes in full force, another international game on tap and some of the heat around = these coaches seemingly cranking up, based on what I hear.
It should be another wacky week of football. Here's what I have my eyes on:
Commanders +3 vs. Colts
I loved them last week, due in large part to their ability to wreak havoc with their defensive front, and that should be a determining factor in this game as well. Sam Ehlinger getting his first start is a bit of a wild card for sure -- and frankly I would have liked the moneyline more here if what's left of Matt Ryan was still at quarterback -- but not enough to get me off a team that is finally playing solid ball and feeling good about itself. Washington is second in the NFL in pressure rate and second in third-down defense. That unit has been legit for about a month now. The Indianapolis offense is fairly broken. Jonathan Taylor been good for just 56 rushing yards per game over his last four outings, and the Colts are 30th in the league in rushing yards per game overall. The offensive line has been getting whipped all season. So a novice QB, with no impact tight ends and a broken running game against a frothing defense? Hmm. Taylor Heinecke has plenty of faults, but he is clearly the leader of this team and they respond with effort and energy to him. He is also 7-2 in his last nine ATS. The Colts pass defense is suspect (23rd in opposing QB rating) and Heinecke will buy time to make plays to a multitude of downfield receiving threats.
Titans -2.5 vs. Texans
The Texans get more respect in these markets than they deserve. They still aren't really trying to win, Davis Mills is getting exposed, they are wide open for business to deal more vets ahead of the deadline. The head coach isn't particularly malleable in terms of adapting his scheme to his opponent. Outside of rookie running back Dameon Pierce, there isn't much to like. I like the Titans in this spot even if Ryan Tannehill doesn't play -- I'm kind of intrigued to see this running game with Malik Willis -- but maybe wait on this to see if the number comes down if Tannehill looks out or limited. Houston beat the Titans twice last year, but Derrick Henry missed both games. Henry has gone for 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns in each of his last three against Houston. The Texans are giving up 5.2 yards per carry (29th in the NFL). The Titans won last week without an offensive TD against a far better opponent. They could do it again if need be. Tennessee has won four in a row, covering in each, allowing just 16.5 points per game in that span.
Raiders at Saints Over 49.5
This has shootout written all over it. Both defenses have all kinds of holes and both offenses should be able to exploit them. The Over is a combined 9-3-1 with these teams this season. The Saints rank 23rd in points allowed per drive and the Raiders are 30th. The Saints have allowed 28 or more in four straight games and, with Andy Dalton as their starter this season, average 31 points per game (17 with Jameis Winston). New Orleans has also gone Over in every Dalton start. Josh Jacobs will be a factor -- he's been dominating the past three times out with an expanded role -- and the Saints are 31st in yards allowed before contact. I see a lot of points here, even if the ground games are rolling like expected.
49ers at Rams Under 43
This opened at 40 and I love it here. Neither of these offenses have established much this season. They combined for 33 points last time out (a24-9 San Francisco win a few weeks back) and while the 49ers defense doesn't look quite as dominant now as it did a month ago, it's still been a bad matchup for Sean McVay's offense. When the Rams have faced legit defenses this season, they have amassed 10, 9 and 10 points. The Los Angeles offensive line remains a major issue and the 49ers might not get seven sacks like last time, but there will be ample pressure. Matthew Stafford has a QBR of 81.2, with two touchdowns and four interceptions when throwing to anyone other than Cooper Kupp. The Under is 10-3 for these teams this season, and with the Rams coming off a bye I suspect that defense tightens up a little bit too. Aaron Donald should have more of an impact than he did in his first meeting with San Francisco.
Jets Team Total Under 19.5
Zach Wilson is playing poor football right now. The Jets lost by far their best player from scrimmage for the season (Breece Hall), and their already brutal offensive line lost arguably is best player (Alijah Vera-Tucker) for the season. Bill Belichick got carved up by Justin Fields and the Bears on the ground Monday night, but Wilson isn't Fields and that won't happen twice in a row. This isn't as quick or twitchy of an attack and Matt Judon will go off in the Jets backfield. Wilson is brutal against the blitz and I'd be shocked if The Hoodie doesn't throw the kitchen sink at him.
Dolphins at Lions Same Game Parlay (+750)
- Tua Tagovailoa INT
- Tyreek Hill Over 84.5 Receiving Yards
- Raheem Mostert Anytime TD
The Dolphins passing game should be sitting on a tee for Tua Tagovailoa. The Detroit defense is a failure, and it is worst in the NFL in yards per attempt. The receiving duo of Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill is the best in football. But Tua has also had some remarkable luck when it comes to dropped interceptions, and there will be volume in the pass game, I figure. Detroit is 30th in opposing QB rating and 32nd in touchdowns per drive and points per drive. They are terrible in the red zone, which means Raheem Mostert should have a chance to punch it in.
Player Props of the Week
Trevor Lawrence Under 214.5 passing yards (-117)
The Denver defense is beyond stingy, the Jacksonville passing game has lost whatever early steam it had, and this ain't the week it turns around. Lawrence has a 77.2 passer rating over the last four weeks – all losses – and he's really bad against the blitz, which he is going to keep seeing more off after Wink Martindale did what I expected last week. Denver can't score a lick, so even if the Broncos are holding the Jaguars down, I imagine the game stays close enough to keep running the ball.
Travis Etienne Over 18.5 receiving yards (-133)
As mentioned, I think Lawrence is going to be under some duress and it's hard to push the ball down the field against this Denver defense. I see Doug Pederson leaning into a bunch of check-downs and screens. Etienne is rounding into form after a terrible injury and can make people miss. That element will be essential against the Broncos.
Taysom Hill Anytime TD (+165)
I see a high volume of offensive plays in this game for both teams and with Dalton throwing all pick-sixes a week ago, costing the Saints a game, the handcuffs will be on and Hill will get plenty of action. Alvin Kamara has been a scrimmage demon but hasn't been able to get in the end zone; that's where Hill comes in. Running, throwing, receiving, whatever. I like the value here against a Raiders defense that is horrible in the red zone.
Josh Jacobs Over 83.5 Rushing Yards (-117)
Wouldn't be surprised in the least if he has the volume and explosion to go over 100 yards here. There's not enough value in his TD props after his hat trick last week.
Jalen Hurts Anytime TD (+150)
I think this game stays closer than the line would indicate. I foresee the Eagles having to pull out all the stops and I wonder if the Steelers break tendency and blitz Hurts more (it's been a bugaboo). Either way, coming off a bye, with how dynamic this QB is and how effective he is in tight space, and what a big part of that red zone offense he is, I'm going back to a prop that has paid off in the past.
The Seattle defense is the worst in the NFL against running QBs. I would not be surprised at all if Daniel Jones does to them what Justin Fields did to New England on Monday. Keep an eye on this prop. Also, Tony Pollard numbers are not on the board yet, but I like him to have a big day. And I expect Wink Martindale of the Giants to blitz the heck out of Geno Smith, who has struggled against it but not seen much of it. Take a gander at the value on Geno to throw an INT.
Looking for the best picks against the spread, sharp plays on the total, and props you can take straight to the pay window? Join Jonathan Coachman on the Early Edge as he speaks with SportsLine's top handicappers to preview the day's biggest games. We promise to keep it short, sweet and to put some green in your pocket. Early Edge is in your feed every single day by 11 a.m. ET. Subscribe right here on YouTube to watch daily, plus don't miss the Early Edge specials and live shows!
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