NFL Picks Week 3: Three Best Over/Under Bets On Opening Odds Board

Rivers McCown

Monday, September 21, 2015 3:04 PM GMT

Monday, Sep. 21, 2015 3:04 PM GMT

Rivers is back with another slate of over/under bets after yet another winning week. What will Week 3 bring us? Some games that immediately jump off the screen. 

Last week we ran into our first roadblock of the season, when Denver and Kansas City put up 14 non-offensive points to swing a defensive slug-fest late. Bad beats are bad beats, and we've all seen our share. Going forward, let's hope that Gary Kubiak just lets Peyton Manning play his Peyton Manning offense early in the game. This week, a couple of games instantly popped off the board to me. This means this column is either a) in the zone or b) bracing for a massive correction next week. Let's hope it's the former.

As always, I'll be giving myself $1000 of monopoly money to bet every week. $500 of it is getting stashed for later weeks when we know a bit more. I'll be referencing pace statistics from the last few seasons often, because pace does tend to dictate how many points a team can score. Obviously, there's not enough information from 2015 to make those reliable indicators yet. 

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans OVER 40.5 ($200)
If you don't believe that Bill O'Brien can commit to a fast-paced offense, keep in mind that Ryan Mallett threw the ball 58 times this week. That much Mallett should be outlawed in the Geneva Convention. However, it gives us a nice little opportunity here. These are, perhaps, two bad offensive teams. But they're also two fast teams. Tampa and Houston were both in the top-10 in situation-neutral plays per second after Week 1. 

Keep in mind that the Bucs defense that got pounded by Marcus Mariota didn't disappear forever. When I say there's a chance at 58 more Mallett attempts, that's 58 more chances for Chris Conte or Major Wright to fall down and let up a big play. 

The biggest obstacle in this game might be the Houston defense, which has underpeformed to this point. There's a chance they prey on Jameis Winston. But the Panthers and Chiefs have had no problems running on the Texans so far, and Doug Martin hasn't looked half-bad for Tampa. But even if Houston's run defense plays better, there's some strong turnover scoring potential here. More than enough to find a 31-10 win in that game scenario, and helping to make the 'Over' the first of our NFL picks

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Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots UNDER 47.5 points ($150)
Last week's game aside, Blake Bortles has not shown that he should be taken seriously as a starting quarterback. I do think a change may be coming there. But consider the following:

-- Joe Philbin is perhaps the worst head coach in the NFL. Bill Belichick is perhaps the best. 
-- Up until garbage time, Tyrod Taylor was muzzled by the Pats.
-- The dream Jags game script is to run the ball 40 times and get out of Foxboro with a 21-20 win. 
 

I just think there are way more avenues that this game falls under the posted NFL odds than over. If I'm betting over, I'm believing that either a) Bortles is for real and can key a dominant drive or three against a good defense or b) he's so bad that he's giving the Pats multiple touchdowns off turnovers. I can't bet on either of those things with confidence.

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Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins UNDER 43.5 points ($150)
To review: the Buffalo Bills have the most dominant defensive line in the NFL. The Dolphins are starting Branden Albert, Mike Pouncey, and three massive sieves. Ryan Tannehill has taken plenty of criticism for his play under pressure, and deserved or not, a lot more of it seems likely to happen on Sunday. 

On the other side of things, one never knows when Rex Ryan will change quarterbacks, running backs, or tattoos. I'm not sold on this offense at all, and Miami did just spend a lot of money on Ndamukong Suh

I view this game as one where neither quarterback is able to get comfortable, and neither run game is able to get a whole lot of traction. Always dangerous to bet the under on these sorts of games, because you get comfortable just long enough for a coach to actually rev up a two-minute offense that swings things. But in this case, a tight divisional game, I'm expecting a lot of field goals.

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Season: 5-1
Season total: +$921
Last Week Winnings: +$467
Banked for future gambling: $1000

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