Top sportsbooks have released their NFL odds for this week’s action. Two games, in particular, interest me as worth investing in: Jets vs. Steelers and Broncos vs. Raiders .
For reasons that I will explain, you should play the spread for the first game and the total for the second. Feel free to parlay these bets at one of our best sportsbooks in order to maximize your profit.
New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, October 02, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Acrisure Stadium
Steelers Missing TJ Watt
After losing to a beleaguered Cleveland team against which they normally had enjoyed success, the Steelers dropped to 0-6 SU in games without TJ Watt, their star linebacker and pass rusher who suffered a torn pectoral muscle.
Watt's absence removes the "Under" from consideration of potential plays because, without him, the Steelers achieve 1.8 fewer sacks and allow 5.9 more points per game.
Besides the defense as a whole, Watt's absence also affects other key defenders. Cameron Heyward, for example, has achieved zero sacks since Watt left the field in the season opener. Without having to worry about Watt, opposing defenses are able to devote increased attention to stopping Heyward.
Also, without Watt generating quick and effective pressure, increased strain is placed on the pass coverage abilities of Pittsburgh's linebackers and defensive backs.
Quarterback Zach Wilson should return to action for the Jets. Observations of his poor passing metrics last year are a bit disingenuous because they obscure the improvements that he achieved particularly towards the end of the season.
His improved performances persisted even without the services of then-top receiver Elijah Moore and Corey Davis whose absence pitifully left Jamison Crowder and Braxton Berrios to be Wilson's top targets.
This year, Wilson gets speedy deep threat Moore and fellow deep threat Davis again, upstart rookie Garrett Wilson, and valuable acquired tight end Tyler Conklin. Relying on excellent route-running, Wilson is his team's co-leader in receptions along with Conklin.
Measuring Pittsburgh's Offensive Problems
The obvious worry with Wilson is the time that he may require to develop chemistry with his new targets, although he already has Davis and Moore among other familiar friends available to him.
But such a concern ignores Pittsburgh's pass pressure issues, which will ensure that Wilson remains comfortable in the pocket, although Wilson is also notoriously elusive, and he ably makes plays outside the pocket.
Such a worry also feels disingenuous in view of the problems suffered by Pittsburgh's entire offense. Plagued by uncertainty at offensive coordinator, a terrible quarterback, and an anemic running game, the Steelers' offense is averaging 18 points per game, which includes overtime and a defensive touchdown.
Mitch Trubisky and Najee Harris
Trubisky regularly struggles to reach 200 yards passing despite attempting more deep balls than any other quarterback. He normally suffers from inefficiency despite averaging all of 5.5 YPA.
Trubisky will want to rely on play-action because that is arguably his absolute strength as a passer, but play-action depends on strong running back play to be effective, and that is something Trubisky cannot count on.
Held back by run-blocking issues and his characteristic lack of vision, Najee Harris is averaging a paltry 3.2 YPC.
NFL Pick: Jets +3 (-102) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Sunday, October 02, 2022 - 04:25 PM EDT at Allegiant Stadium
Russell Wilson Struggling
Before Russell Wilson's first game as a Bronco, people asked what effect his downgrade in pass-catching targets would have on his performance.
Wilson had superb wide receivers in Seattle but now has to rely on Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, although running back Javonte Williams actually has the second-most targets on the team.
Largely as a consequence of this downgrade in pass-catching ability, Wilson is suffering career lows in completion percentage, YPA, and touchdowns per game.
Lack of Blocking
Pass protection is also an issue: Denver ranks 23rd in limiting its rate of sacks allowed. This is a factor that Las Vegas is primed to exploit with two-star pass rushers in Chandler Jones and the especially productive Maxx Crosby.
Denver's rushing numbers are a bit inflated by facing Houston's atrocious last-placed run defense. But YPC are especially harder to come by for Broncos' running backs now that guard Quinn Meinerz is injured.
The Raiders' run defense enters this game well-tested after stymying Chargers' running back Austin Ekeler and most recently largely holding Titans' star Derrick Henry in check, limiting him to 3.1 YPC apart from one 24-yard scamper.
Broncos' Defense Against Raiders' Offense
One may say that the Bronco defense has benefitted from facing soft tests. But two of the three quarterbacks it's faced had their worst passer rating of the season in their game against Denver.
Plus, Derek Carr is having one of the worst seasons of his career in terms of passer rating, especially since he and Davante Adams have done little together since the season opener against a beleaguered Chargers' secondary.
For Denver, cornerback Pat Surtain excels at limiting separation. He's yielding a 63.1 passer rating when targeted largely because of his ability to prevent his opponent from gaining a big reception if any reception at all.
NFL Pick: Under 45.5 (-110) at BetOnline
NFL Parlay Verdict
With your NFL picks, expect the Jets' offense to have a decisive edge in its upset over Pittsburgh and Denver to be engaged in another low-scoring battle that foregrounds Crosby, Surtain, and other key defenders.
For the above reasons, parlay the Jets ATS and the Broncos/Raiders "Under." Be sure to use our trusty parlay calculator for your parlay betting needs.
NFL Parlay Picks
- Jets vs. Steelers: Jets +3 (-102)
- Broncos vs. Raiders: Under 45.5 (-110)
NFL Pick: Two-Legged Parlay (+278) 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.