Writer's note: I'm Carl’s intern who made him a bunch of money for years with my independent NFL betting blog before stepping up to Barstool all of last season.
Over Weeks 1-3, I've broken down 7 games and I've only been wrong once. That's good.
Seahawks (3-0) @ Dolphins (1-2); 12pm CT
Pick #1: Dolphins +5.5
Action: 36% of bets on Dolphins
Oh, you want to bet on an undefeated Seahawks team that is 3-0 against the spread and led by the odds-on favorite for MVP against the bottom-feeder Dolphins? No shit, so does everybody.
Here's the thing: sportsbooks opened the line at SEA -7 knowing most bets would be placed on Seattle, but the line moved down to SEA -5.5. That's a reverse line move, meaning that sportsbooks are ignoring lots of small bets on Seattle, and taking cue from a few professional groups placing BIG money on Miami.
The argument for Seattle is pretty obvious (Russell Wilson), but here's why pros are taking the points with Miami:
- The Dolphins had extra time to prepare from Thursday night with a trustworthy coaching staff, and they're welcoming Seattle cross-country for an early start.
- Seattle's pass D is atrocious and they can't get a pass rush. Their best pass rusher is a safety (not what you want), Jamal Adams, and he's out this week.
- In Week 4 over the past couple decades, if you blindly bet against 3-0 teams that were undefeated against the spread, you'd be hitting at a 61% clip. It's "sell high" time.
Despite Wilson playing near-perfect football, Seattle is still barely winning games. It's the same shit as last year where Wilson is masking all of the shortcomings of his team to steal one-possession victories. Russell will cook, but with time behind a much improved O-line against a sofffft Seattle D, so will Fitzmagic. Both teams will score at will, and whenever you can get more than a field goal in that scenario, you take it.
The Seahawks will probably get the dub, but you'll get the cover with Miami.
Jaguars (1-2) @ Bengals (0-2-1); 12pm CT
Pick #2: Jaguars +2.5
Action: 47% of bets on Jaguars
These teams are the Spiderman meme. Inspirational QB play, interesting skill position players, and shit else. The difference here is the situation: the Jags had extra time to prepare while the Bengals are coming off a 10-minute Zoloft commercial that they called "overtime" resulting in a deflating tie against the Eagles.
With the majority of bets falling on the winless Bengals, the public's affection for Joe Burrow is clear. But professionals are focused on the multitude of non-Burrow factors, and that's why the line dropped from CIN -3 to CIN -2.5
Both teams stink, but I'll take the fresher squad that doesn't have Zac Taylor as its head coach. And I get points? Done deal.
Now allow me to lift the velvet rope and cordially invite you to the Overs Club:
Eagles (0-2-1) @ Niners (2-1-0); 7:20pm CT
Pick #3: Over 45
Action: 73% of bets on Over
If you're gonna bet a public Over for a night game, you might as well do it in the A.M. before all the drunks (no judgment, I am one) bet the total up with bail-out bets minutes before kickoff.
San Fran's D is fuckin decimated. They're missing Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Solomon Thomas, Dre Greenlaw, and Richard Sherman. Their defensive metrics still look good, but that'll happen when you play the Jets and Giants in consecutive weeks.
I know Wentz is a shell of himself and all his receiving options are dead, but Philly's O-line has been incredible. Wentz will be able to take his time, calm his mind, and find easy options (running and throwing) with a simplified game plan against the tattered San Fran D. And if he doesn't? Fuck it, I'll take some back-breaking INTs as long as they result in points.
As for Shanahan's offense, you should know by now that it's more about the scheme than the personnel. He can move the ball with anybody, as evidenced by his revolving door of 100 RBs. With that said, the return of Deebo Samuel and George Kittle won't hurt. As for the absence of Jimmy G, no need to worry.
Sure, I won't stop mistakenly calling Nick Mullens "Nate." And yeah, I'm not encouraged that he looks like a mix of Josh Hartnett and Butthead:
But if you've earnestly watched him play, you would know that he's kinda a fuckin baller. There's a reason why Shanahan cock-blocked teams in the offseason to retain him on a 1-year contract. Against a Philly D that is stout up the middle but vulnerable on the outsides and at the second level, Mullens will shock the public with command of this offense. Shanahan has been drooling over the offensive display that his buddy Sean McVay put on tape against the Eagles in Week 2, and he'll play to his scheme's strengths through Mullens to replicate that performance and pick on Philly's weakest links in the linebacking corps and secondary.
With Overs hitting at roughly 59% in this young season, aided by the lack of crowd noise and uptick in defensive penalties, let's hop on that train and hit this modest total by the 3rd quarter.
Alright, let's get it. Money up, drinks down.