This is always an intriguing week to place NFL picks and study the betting odds. You have teams that are 2-0 and 0-2 and you have to wonder if either record is actually a true assessment of their talents.
You also have clubs playing their first home or road games, thus, for the first time as football handicappers, we can start to get a truer indication of these squads in different scenarios.
After last week's perfect 3-0 mark, that leaves me at 5-1 in the early season for these NFL picks.
The present listed betting odds are courtesy of Heritage.
Top Dog - Chargers Jolt Minnesota
With how San Diego was pushed around by Cincinnati at the line of scrimmage, football bettors are obviously wary of backing the Chargers on their second quick trip into the Midwest region. The Bengals rushed for 175 yards on San Diego and the Vikings are coming off running up 199 yards on Detroit, thus, what chance would the Chargers have in stopping Minnesota right?
With the money flow on Minnesota, sportsbooks shifted the Vikes from -1 to -2.5. However, let's go back to the original number, why was San Diego only a one-point underdog when the team in purple normally gets three points in the land of 10,000 lakes? That tells me that the oddsmakers set NFL odds based on the fact that the Chargers are the somewhat better team and though Philip Rivers can be turnover-prone, they preferred him over Teddy Bridgewater.
With the Bolts 8-1 ATS in their last nine September outings and 4-1 ATS after losing the first of two consecutive road games, make San Diego a top underdog and outright winner.
NFL Pick: Chargers +108 at 5Dimes
Top Dog - Eagles Soar Over Jets
Depending on the betting outlet, even after losing to Dallas, Philadelphia was at -1 or a Pick against the New York Jets as of Monday morning. By the time Gang Green had rode the Colts hard in a 20-7 upset, the money on New York came like flood waters over the banks, making the Eagles +2.5 point underdogs.
I will not question the validity of the line move, you can make a very good argument that the Flyboys should be favored. However, in my opinion, the NFL truly is week to week and often, more desperate teams find ways to overcome obstacles and supposed overachievers let their guard down and are beaten.
Philadelphia has played basically six quarters of dull, emotionless football and I think that they really come to play and stun the Jets, moving to 9-1 ATS as underdogs off a double-digit spread loss in the first quarter of the season.
NFL Pick: Eagles +2.5 at BetOnline
False Favorite - Miami Not to be Trusted at Home
Both Buffalo and Miami were desultory Week 2 losers. The Dolphins should have the edge, this being their first home game and the Bills leaving the Empire State for the first time. One problem for sports bettors is backing Miami at Sun Life Stadium, as they are pathetic at home.
The Fins are 37-42 SU and 13-30 ATS when in the role of home favorites over the past decade. This is a team which should have a big edge playing in the heat and humidity, but obviously does not. Let's also factor in one other situational handicapping element relating to Miami, who is 14-30 ATS after a two-game road trip, losing by 2.5 points on average. I'm backing the Bills outright, making the Dolphins false favorites.
NFL Pick: Bills +130 at The Greek