Sun – (1:00pm ET) St Louis @ Chicago (-7.5) o/u 43
St. Louis is not a team to sleep on. Sam Bradford seems to finally be healthy and comfortable. The Rams were a three point underdog at home but came away with the three point victory. I may be a lot higher on the Rams than most people but I’m also just as down on the Bears prospects this season after two games. The Bears biggest problem the last three seasons has been consistency and through the first two weeks these seem issues seem to still be plaguing the Chicago still. The supposed bump in Cutler’s production with the addition of his Denver partner Brandon Marshall has not been realized. I like Bradford’s renewed chemistry with Danny Amendola and the addition of Brandon Gibson opposite him. Even though the game is in Chicago I see St. Louis keeping it close enough to cover the spread
Line: St. Louis +3
Total: Over 43.5
Sun – (1:00pm ET) Tampa Bay @ Dallas (-7.5) o/u 46
Dallas came out of the gates with a solid overall performance in New Jersey against the Giants only to go to Seattle and lay and absolute egg against a young, mediocre Seattle Seahawks team. Dallas couldn’t run, they managed barely anything in the passing game and were overwhelmed by Seattle’s defense for most of the afternoon. Hopefully for Jerry’s Boys they can rebound at their palace in Arlington. Miles Austin seems to be the only consistent receiver in the Dallas offense and even he has been dinged up lately. Jason Witten is not the same player he once was and is also dealing with injuries. The one positive Dallas can look to is that they are still 1-1 with a home game against a surely heartbroken Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa managed to let a sizeable lead slip away last week against Eli Manning who led the comeback and eventually finished with 510 yards through the air. Josh Freeman and Vincent Jackson have developed a solid chemistry quite early and they can clearly score points. I would like this line a lot better at 6.5 because a 7.5 point line means Vegas is going to make money if even Dallas wins by a TD. I think Tampa Bay keeps this one close and I like this game to go after 46
Line: Tampa Bay +7.5
Total: Over 46
Sun – (1:00pm ET) San Francisco (-6.5) @ Minnesota o/u 43
San Francisco finished last year very strong and nearly beat the Giants in the NFC title game. I think if they would have topped the Giants, it would have been San Francisco holding the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year. The Niners defense looks absolutely BRUTAL to play against and matchup with a still recovering Adrian Peterson and an improving but inexperienced Christian Ponder things again are looking up for Jim Harbaugh’s boys. This game has all the red flags of a trap game and if the line moves up closer to 8 points I don’t know if I’d bet the game at all, but at 6.5 I like it. West Coast team, going East, playing a 1 PM game….this line looks odd to me but Im not biting. I like San Francisco based almost totally off of their defense and ability to limit the Vikings to less than 14 points. Take San Francisco if your line is -6.5 and the o/u is up to you because I could see this game being a toss up at 43.
Line: San Francisco -6.5
Total: Under 43
Sun – (1:00pm ET) Cincinnati @ Washington (-3) o/u 49
Cincinnati looked better in Week 2 and their passing game seems to be clicking, their defense on the other hand needs to tighten up. Giving up 24 points to Cleveland in a game they almost let slip away, the Bengals hung on for the win and a nice boost after and awful Week 1 showing. Washington on the other hand started with a solid defense that is suddenly reeling after IR placements of linebacker/rush specialist Brian Orakpo and defensive end Adam Carriker. The loss of these two is a big hit for the Washington pass rush but these losses will also spill over into other areas of their D. Cincinnati needs desperately to improve on defense as well if they are going to contain the explosive Robert Griffin III. I don’t see either team struggling to put up points and neither does Vegas with a line approaching 50. I like this game to be VERY close and although I don’t feel all that comfortable with it, my gut tells me take Cincinnati with the points.
Line: Cincinnati +3
Total: Over 49
Sun – (1:00pm ET) New York Jets (-2.5) @ Miami o/u 41.5
This game is another matchup that sticks out to me as an odd line. The Jets were feeling positive after a Week 1 dismantling of the Buffalo Bills but laid an egg in Week 2 against the Steelers. This team literally cannot run the ball if their lives depended upon it. Through two weeks, the combination of Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight and Shonn Green has done little to dispel preseason talk of talk of the running game being a glaring hole in this team’s playoff chances. With all this being said Miami is no powerhouse and although Reggie Bush EXPLODED in Week 2 against an awful Raiders team, I don’t know about the Dolphins prospects against the Jets. Miami plays much better at home and I could see them keeping this game close until late 3rd, early 4th quarter, but eventually I see the Jets getting by in this one and covering the line.
Line: New York Jets -2.5
Total: Over 41.5
Sun – (1:00pm ET) Kansas City @ New Orleans (-9) o/u 53
Kansas City looked downright unwatchable at points last week during their match with the Buffalo Bills. Although they scored a few garbage time points with Dwayne Bowe late in the game after it was long over, Kansas City has the look of a team that will drafting in the Top 5 come April. The Bills were thoroughly handled by the New York Jets in Week 1 and served up the same for Kansas City in Week 2. Something tells me a horrible defense going on the road to New Orleans against that offense is not what Kansas City needs to bounce back from a bad loss. The Saints are reeling early and the leadership void created by the season-long absence of Sean Payton may have been underestimated by almost everyone yet I don’t see Drew Brees being allowing his team to continue their downward tumble. With a line of -9 points I like the Saints to take this one and I see them turning this in to a track meet early that Kansas City will have no ability to control.
Line: New Orleans -9
Total: Over 53
Sun – (1:00pm ET) Buffalo (-3) @ Cleveland o/u 44.5
Both Buffalo and Cleveland bounced back from Week 1 setbacks with statement games in Week 2, albeit with Cleveland’s game ending in a different result. The Browns came out with a more polished offensive game but couldn’t seem to keep Cincinnati’s offense in check en route to a loss to a divisional foe. Brandon Weeden looked much better in Week 2 and Trent Richardson had his breakout game as well. With a matchup against the Bills, Cleveland has to like the chances for their first win of the season if they can keep the came close early. Buffalo is notoriously slow starting on the road and has not won a game away from The Ralph since the opening day matchup with Kansas City in 2011. If Buffalo is to remedy their road woes, a game in Cleveland seems to be just what the doctor ordered. CJ Spiller’s emergence is undeniable and if Ryan Fitzpatrick can put together a few sustained drives resulting in points I see no reason the Bills can’t cover three points and send the Browns to an 0-3 start.
Line: Buffalo -3
Total: Over 44.5
Sun – (1:00pm ET) Jacksonville @ Indianapolis (-3) o/u 43
I don’t know why, but I really don’t like any games so far this year involving the Jags. They have not looked good at almost any point this season, but with MJD in the backfield they could rush for 200 yards on his back alone at any point and it makes their AWFUL quarterback seem an obstacle that could be overcome. I don’t see it though. Especially this week against Andrew Luck and a Colts team that will surprise some people and may end up finishing the season closer to .500 than a lot of people thought going in to the 2012 season. I’m staying well away from this game as far as my own money but if you plan on taking this game, I like the Colts to cover the three points and I also like the under.
Line: Indianapolis -3
Total: Under 43
Sun – (4:05 pm ET) Philadelphia @ Arizona (-3.5) o/u 42.5
Philadelphia escaped for a second Week with a win in a close game and now lead the NFC East. Arizona as well starts out the season 2-0 and is coming off of a surprising statement win on the road in Foxboro against the Patriots. The Eagles are the ultimate boom or bust team. With the fragility of Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson and the toughness throughout this division I don’t see this Eagles team either winning the division OR making the playoffs. That aside, I don’t like this game for the exact same reasons I don’t like the Jacksonville/Indianapolis game. I have my opinions and predictions for the game, but the purpose of my posts are to direct you towards the best possible games to bet money on and I don’t like this game for betting purposes whatsoever.
Line: Philadelphia +3.5
Total: Under 42.5
Sun – (4:05 pm ET) Atlanta @ San Diego (-3) o/u 47.5
Ladies and Gentleman, Payton Manning is still human after all. I admit to taking Denver’s Week 1 performance a little too seriously going into Atlanta in Week 2 and I paid for it, literally. Manning had one of the worst 1st Quarter performances of his career yet somehow managed to resurrect himself and his team in the second half to make a game of a contest that easily could have been over half way through the 1st Quarter. Atlanta, and especially their offense looked great in their win last week over Denver. San Diego on the other hand has managed an undefeated record as well and looked much better last week in a huge win over a clearly overwhelmed Tennessee Titans squad. I like this game to be a shootout and ultimately in the fair weather city of San Diego, I see Atlanta’s offense being on full display this week again and taking the Dirty Birds to t 3-0 record to open 2012
Line: Atlanta +3
Total: Over 47.5
Sun – (4:25 pm ET) Houston (-2) @ Denver o/u 44.5
So Payton Manning, are we going to get your 1st Half performance or your 2nd Half performance from last week? That’s the question everyone in fantasy and betting circles will be wondering this week. Manning seemed to have recovered from his disastrous 1st Half but it was ultimately too little too late. Personally, I think the home crowd will be the factor in a close game and a road team giving two points to a home team seems like too much of a proposition to pass up. Although I like Houston’s prospects of winning a weak division and the 1-2 punch of Arian Foster and Ben Tate, I don’t like them going on the road to Mile High and covering two points. Manning is just too good, too experienced and too professional to not rebound from last week’s performance behind a home crowd in Denver.
Line: Denver +2
Total: Over 44.5
Sun – (4:25 pm ET) Pittsburgh (-4) @ Oakland o/u 45
Pittsburgh responded from a disappointing loss to Denver in Week 1 with a statement game in Week 2 against Rex Ryan and the New York Jets. Although it was a plodding, slow moving game, Pittsburgh wore down the Jets who struggled to contain Pittsburgh’s offense as well as to put any points of their own on the board. Pittsburgh does a great job of turning over defensive players and keeping talent flowing through their system on defense side of the ball and some of their young stars are really starting to emerge and take over from the “Old Guard.” Oakland on the other hand looks to rebound from a disappointing outing in Miami where their defense gave up a career game to Reggie Bush. Oakland has the looks of a team that has no real identity. They will struggle week to week to find themselves and I don’t think this is the week Oakland grabs their first win. Pittsburgh is a too complete of a team to not be able to handle an overmatched Raiders team. I don’t think Oakland’s offense is prepared for the type of pressure and schemes that Pittsburgh will bring and I really like the Steelers in this one.
Line: Pittsburgh -4
Total: Under 45
Sun – (4:25 pm ET) Baltimore (-3) @ New England o/u 49
I’ve learned a lot in my short betting past by betting against the Patriots two weeks in a row. It does not pay to bet against the Patriots twice. Ever. I made money on whim last week with Arizona and I take no credit other than “I had a feeling.” The Ravens are a solid team and have the makeup to again meet these same Pats in the AFC title game this season but I have the same problem with Baltimore that I have with many teams in the NFL. They are not consistent. Betting, and winning on bets, relies almost entirely on your ability to spot consistency and trends before Las Vegas does and Baltimore is not the type of team you can count on on weekly basis. The fact that Baltimore is going in to Foxboro as a 3 point favorite blows me away. I like the Pats in this game.
Line: New England +3
Total: Under 49
Sun – (8:25 pm ET) Detroit @ San Francisco (-6.5) o/u 45
San Francisco went in to Green Bay on the NFL’s opening week and handled their business. This team looks a lot like the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. Unbelievable defense with a mediocre QB that can take his team a long way by limiting turnovers and simply managing his team to a few touchdowns. They beat Green Bay and put a significant amount of points. I like this team a lot. But, Green Bay still put up some points. Detroit can score some points as well. I see this game being a lot lower scoring than 45 points but I like the Lions to keep it real close and possibly go into San Francisco and steal a win. Lions to cover 6.5 in a low scoring affair.
Line: Lions +6.5
Total: Under 45
Monday Night Football
Mon – (10:15pm ET) Green Bay (-3) @ Seattle o/u 46.5
Bet this game ALL DAY. Ok, Seattle beat the Cowboys at home last week. Great. Does anyone really think that Green Bay doesn’t come in to Seattle and cover a field goal? Green Bay is not much different today than the team that won a Super Bowl in 2010. Russell Wilson is decent and improving every week. I think long term he is a legit quarterback in this league but I find it very hard to believe that Green Bay cannot beat the Seahawks by at least a touchdown. Please…take Green Bay this week.
Line: Green Bay =3
Total: Under 43.5
Week 3 Lock: Green Bay -3
Week 3 Avoid: Jacksonville Vs. Indianapolis
Week 1 Parlay: 100 points to win 500 points
New Orleans -9
San Francisco -6.5
-Thanks for reading and best of luck this week! Follow @ErikTheLineMan