With Tony Romo out for the next six weeks or so, the Dallas Cowboys aren't getting much love from the sharps and their Week 3 NFL picks. Can Brandon Weeden save the day?
Jason's 2015 record as of Sept. 20: 10-4 ATS; 0-1 ML (–1.00 units); 5-3 Total
Well, that's more like it. Variance did a number on our 2014 NFL picks here at the home office, but the first two weeks of the 2015 season have been very kind to us. The Jets-Colts Monday nighter has yet to be played; otherwise, we nailed all our Week 2 picks – except for that utter disaster of a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. Hoo-boy.
It was an especially bad game for the Cowboys. They won 20-10 as 7-point road dogs, but they also lost QB Tony Romo to a broken collarbone. Uh-oh. That means Brandon Weeden is up next for Dallas when the Atlanta Falcons come to town this Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX). Naturally, the sharps are pounding the Falcons in early betting, giving the Dirty Birds 68-percent support as a pick 'em (–120) on our NFL odds provided by 5Dimes
Save the Eagles
It's very important not to fall into results-oriented thinking anytime you bet on football. Decisions have to be judged on their own merit. So while we're happy with our Week 2 results, our Cowboys-Eagles trifecta was riddled with bad thinking, particularly the OVER 55. The ATS pick was defensible, but honestly, we've been too giddy about Chip Kelly the past couple of years.
That doesn't necessarily mean it's time to jump ship. The early action for Philadelphia's game against the Jets this Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) has been mostly on the Eagles, driving them from a PK at the open to –2 road dogs as we go to press. Not a lot of love for the Jets this year; they're only getting 39-percent consensus for Week 3. We'll see if that changes after the Colts are done with them. As for the Eagles, their offensive line just isn't keeping up. Beware.
The biggest rush of early support for Week 3 has been for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who did us a solid last week by beating the New Orleans Saints 26-19 as 9.5-point road dogs. According to our consensus reports, 96 percent of first responders were on the Bucs at +7 for Sunday's away game (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) against the Houston Texans. That support was tempered to 67 percent by Monday morning, with the juice on +7 rising from –120 to –130.
Seeing Tampa cash in last week was lovely, although once again, there was a glitch in our process. We figured it would be better to wait until closer to kick-off to fade the Saints, looking for the betting public to perhaps move the line from Bucs +10 to Bucs +10.5. The line moved in the other direction instead. Were the books trying to goose some more public money by “artificially” bumping the Saints down to –9.5 (some went as low as –9) on Sunday morning? Maybe. Let's stay on our toes, and put more weight behind where the early sharp action is landing.