Here is a 5-Pack of NFL value plays for Week 3 to build your bankroll, including Rex Ryan taking his new team the Buffalo Bills down south to visit the Miami Dolphins.
After finishing 79-57-2, 58.1%, +21.50 units over all of our NFL picks last season as documented in the Sportsbook Review Forum, our struggles early on in 2015 continued last week as our record currently stands at 7-10-1 for -3.36 units. Hopefully the inevitable turnaround will come soon given our winning past in this sport, and it would be nice if the comeback starts now as we are back again with another of our Friday 5-Packs of Sunday plays.
This Week 3 began on Thursday night as usual, and it was a good game for the betting public as the favored New York Giants covered the point spread of -3 in a 32-21 victory over the Washington Redskins in a game that was not that close, as the Giants led 25-6 in the fourth quarter before some cosmetic last scoring. The final score was also pleasing to the many ‘over’ bettors out there with the posted total closing at only 45.
But now we move on to Sunday, and our 5-Pack this week includes three sides, all of which are underdogs, as well as two totals split between one ‘over’ and one ‘under’. And as has become our custom in recent years, all of these NFL odds come from Pinnacle Sports.
Sunday, September 27th
San Diego Chargers +2½ (-105) over Minnesota Vikings (1:00 ET): The Chargers are playing their second consecutive 1:00 ET game on the road, which has historically been a bad spot for west coast teams, but San Diego did not really play badly in a 24-19 loss at Cincinnati last week as Philip Rivers completed 21-of-27 passes for 241 yards and rookie running back Melvin Gordon looked like the real deal rushing for 88 yards on 16 carries, so the early start time could be a bit overblown. The Minnesota defense is better vs. the pass than it is vs. the run, but the Chargers can use that to their advantage by running Gordon early and often, which, if successful, could in turn open things up a bit for Rivers and the passing game. And while many are harping on the west coast team playing at 1:00 ET angle, the Vikings could be the team in the worse scheduling spot here. That is because Minnesota just won a huge divisional game vs. a playoff team from last year in the Detroit Lions, and it next has a high profile date visiting the Denver Broncos next week, making this a dangerous sandwich game that may mot have the Vikings’ full attention. And it appears that the oddsmakers agree by keeping this point spread under a field goal with Minnesota being home.
Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots ‘under’ 48 (+102) (1:00 ET): The Patriots look like, well, the same old Patriots so far as the reigning Super Bowl Champions are 2-0 and scoring in droves, opening up with a 28-21 win at home over the Pittsburgh Steelers and then going into Buffalo vs. a supposedly great Rex Ryan defense and having no trouble in a 40-32 win that was not as close as the score. Still, this is an obvious breather for the Patriots and they have a marquee game vs. the Cowboys up next, so there is really no reason to run up the score on an outclassed non-division opponent. Unfortunately the Jaguars are in no position to take advantage of that as they should have a tough time scoring even with the Patriots being a little beat up in the secondary. Yes, Blake Bortles engineered the game winning drive in an upset of the Miami Dolphins last week which to this point is probably the highlight of what figures to become a nice career, but Bill Belichick has always been masterful at game planning vs. young quarterbacks, so just like Tyrod Taylor had some turnovers for the Bills last week, Bortles may do the same. The end result should be a relatively low scoring affair.
Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys ‘over’ 45 (-102) (1:00 ET): Most of the publicity surrounding this game has centered around the high profile injuries to the Dallas offense, namely quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant. Now, those are huge injuries no doubt, but at least the Cowboys have a backup quarterback that was a starter in the NFL before in Brandon Weeden, who completed all seven of his passes and threw a touchdown while averaging 10.4 yards per attempt after entering the game vs. the Eagles last week, and they still have perhaps the best offensive line in all of football. In other words, the Dallas scoring production may not decrease by as much as this deflated total may suggest. And while the Atlanta defensive front seven has performed better than expected, the secondary has not and Weeden can exploit that with long throws to Terrence Williams, with whom he connected on the 42-yard touchdown last week. The Falcons meanwhile now have possibly the best wide receiver in the NFL in Julio Jones, who is matchup-proof vs. even the best of secondaries let alone a still suspect Dallas one, so the Falcons should also score their share of points in this contest, especially if Devonta Freeman can give them some balance with at least some semblance of a running game.
San Francisco 49ers +6½ (-110) over Arizona Cardinals (4:05 ET): Who would have predicted before the season that the 2-0 Cardinals and the 1-1 49ers would both be ahead of the 0-2 Seattle Seahawks after two games? In fact, the two-time defending NFC Champion Seahawks are in last place, as the Rams are also 1-1 in the NFC West. So can the Cardinals improved to 3-0 here? Well, maybe but it should not be as easy as some people think. Many experts felt that San Francisco could be the worst team in the entire NFC this season and those experts have some added fuel after the Niners lost 43-18 to the Steelers in Pittsburgh last week. Still, that was a non-conference game and the 49ers did look better than expected in a season opening 20-3 demolition of the Minnesota Vikings to begin the year. And lost in the blowout loss last week was that quarterback Collin Kaepernick completed 33-of-46 passes (71.7 percent) for 335 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are 2-0 thanks to Carson Palmer having a seemingly smooth recovery from his torn ACL, as he has completed 64.3 percent of his passes so far for 492 yards while averaging 8.8 yards per attempt with seven touchdowns vs. one interception. However, those two performances have come vs. two of the worst pass defenses in the NFL in Chicago and New Orleans, and before the events of last week, this game had an advanced line of Arizona -4½, so we will snag the two added points of line value in this spot.
Buffalo Bills +2½ (+111) over Miami Dolphins (4:25 ET): After looking so good vs. Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, the Buffalo defense laid an egg at home in a 40-32 loss to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots last week. Now, Coach Rex Ryan takes his new team on the road for the first time this season, and we see the defense returning to normal and playing closer to the way it did in Week 1 vs. a Miami offense that is struggling so far. The Dolphins are having serious offensive line issues right now, which is why they were lucky to beat the lowly Redskins 17-10 in Week 1 with the help of a punt return for a touchdown and they then lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars, which is never a good sign, 23-20 last week. We look for the great Buffalo pass rush to overwhelm that Miami offensive line here, and remember that the Bills have fared well in Miami even with worse defenses than this one, going 6-2-1 in their last nine visits. Also keep in mind that Ryan covered both games vs. the Dolphins last year when he was coach of the Jets, and that was with a New York team that won just four games all season.