With two weeks in the books, we start to get a better feel about all the teams in the NFL. It has been a tumultuous two weeks of action, with top sportsbooks showing strong profits. Yet, a review of some notable handicappers and sharp bettors has gotten off to incredible starts.
As has been discussed, the lack of play in the preseason has resulted in shoddy play and likely lower scores (Under’s are 22-10). However, that could begin to change this week.
New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers
Sunday, September 25, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Bank of America Stadium
For a team that was highly thought of coming into the season, New Orleans has not ventured close to expectations. Only a late sense of urgency saved them against Atlanta. And despite a super defensive effort versus Tampa Bay, Jameis Winston has played, like... Well... Jameis Winston for all but one quarter this campaign.
Carolina gets the “close but cigar” treatment for their 0-2 start, twice unable to hold onto second-half leads.
Why the Saints Will Cover
We know the reported right thing to do is back home underdogs (9-5-1 ATS to date) and the Panthers are off two close setbacks.
Nevertheless, New Orleans has not featured the run enough (19.5 carries a game) and Carolina’s two foes have averaged 36 rush attempts for 160 YPG. Make that the plan and don’t expose Winston to must-throw situations and the chances of scoring success and execution go up.
This being a third straight division battle for the Saints should add urgency and their defense is more than capable of containing the Panthers, who are 4-13 ATS in Charlotte.
Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears
Sunday, September 25, 2022 - 01:00 PM EDT at Soldier Field
It came as a bit of a surprise the total climbed two points to 40.5 for this nonconference confrontation. Houston has played two contests where the average score is 32.5 and Chicago has always taken the gridiron twice and is at 33 total points.
Offensively, Texans quarterback Davis Mills is serviceable at this level, but does he rank in the upper two-thirds of QBs in the league? Not really. Outside of receiver Brandin Cooks, it is hard to find another playmaker of note for Houston, which limits their offensive production.
The same is true for Justin Fields of the Bears, as nobody stands out in the receiving group, with Darnell Mooney having two catches in two games for five yards. (not a misprint)
David Montgomery is a hard-running back with a superior jump-cut, yet, with no pass-catching threat, Fields' accuracy in question, Chicago faces a lot of eight or nine-man fronts in first and second down.
Follow the Flow
We’ve explained how this confrontation could go Under and added another point. Both defenses rank in the Top 7 in yards per point allowed.
Now that scenario only covers two contests, nonetheless, given the weak offenses, a higher total between Houston and Chicago would appear to offer value against the NFL odds.
NFL Pick: Under 40.5 (-110) at BetOnline
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Sunday, September 25, 2022 - 04:05 PM EDT at SoFi Stadium
Jacksonville heads west after convincing drumming of Indianapolis. After two weeks, the AFC South looks more wide open than the pictures from Mars, with the Jaguars a true contender.
The Los Angeles Chargers lost a winnable battle at Kansas City in the first skirmish of Week 2 on Thursday and have tumbled from -10 betting odds to -7.
Why the Bolts Will Cover
Though Jacksonville has done their part to generate 6 turnovers (3 each game), that happened versus Carson Wentz and seemingly aging before our eyes Matt Ryan. Justin Herbert is not that kind of quarterback and while he had a Pick Six last week, his pass was on target, but the receiver never got there, running an improper route.
The Jaguars allowed 305 passing yards to Wentz, which is why they lost their road opener and Herbert can certainly match or surpass that number.
Lastly, know this for your NFL picks. September teams off a blowout upset win by 21 or more points are 8-30 ATS, including not covering the spread the last 11 times.
NFL Pick: L.A. Chargers -7 (-110) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.