With two weeks in the books in the NFL, we look ahead to the last weekend of September. We are gathering excellent information to make our selections and have gotten off to a four-two start for this article.
Last week, though the underdogs didn’t cover quite as many games as the opening week (12), they still checked in with nine and five outright upsets. However, the betting public was on several underdogs and the top online sportsbooks needed Baltimore’s upset on Sunday night to earn a small profit for the week.
For Week 3, finding underdogs with teeth against the betting odds is a tougher deal, but here are our three best early in the week.
Chicago Bears vs. Cleveland Browns
Sunday, September 26, 2021 – 01:00 PM EDT at FirstEnergy Stadium
The Cleveland Browns got in the win column last week, but it was not as easy as many thought it would be, winning 31-21 as 13.5-point home favorites over Houston. Cleveland’s running game again was strong and the passing game efficient, but they committed two turnovers for a second straight week, which prevented them from covering and caused a loss to Kansas City.
Chicago only mustered 206 yards of offense against Cincinnati as an injured Andy Dalton and Justin Fields only had 83 yards via the pass.
However, the Bears defense remains strong and they seemed to have worked out issues on deep passes outside the hash marks line they suffered in Week 1. With the current line at +7.5 for Chicago, we have the hook in play and with the total at 46.5, the Browns are 7-18 ATS in home games when the total is between 45.5 and 49 points. If Chicago forces a miscue or two, they take this NFC-AFC encounter to the wire.
Miami Dolphins vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Sunday, September 26, 2021 - 04:05 PM EDT at Allegiant Stadium
We took Miami here last week and they were pathetic in losing 35-0 at home to Buffalo. Though, most assumed the Raiders would be flat off a Monday home game and traveling East to Pittsburgh, Derek Carr was sharp and the improved Las Vegas defense did the rest in the upset of Pittsburgh.
It seems impossible the Dolphins will be that bad again, whether they have Tua Tagovailoa or Jacoby Brissett starting at quarterback. Coach Brian Flores was emphatic to describe the Miami shutout as "not good enough".
Though Las Vegas is an impressive 2-0, haven’t we been down this path with the Silver and Black countless times? Just when you think the Raiders have turned a corner, we get a John Madden “Boom” and they disappoint us again.
Miami won in Sin City the day after Christmas last year 26-25 and is 19-8 ATS on the road after two AFC East battles. The Raiders are an unsettling choice for NFL picks with a 2-11 ATS mark after gaining 300 or more passing yards in two straight outings.
NFL Pick: Dolphins +4 (-110) at Bovada
Seattle Seahawks vs. Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, September 26, 2021 - 04:25 PM EDT at U.S. Bank Stadium
Minnesota has their home opener this week after a pair of excruciating setbacks to Cincinnati and Arizona on the final play of the game. Catching Seattle off an OT loss in which they lead by fourteen points with thirteen minutes remaining in the four-quarter could be difficult.
Nonetheless, the Vikings have to be super frustrated, knowing they could easily be 2-0. QB Kirk Cousins has played very well and RB Delvin Cook is averaging almost 100 yards a game on the ground and faces a Seahawks defense permitting 162 RPG rushing.
With Russell Wilson's deep ball skills, the Vikings pass defense will have to do better than to concede 294 YPG, but just the fact Seattle is only a one-point road favorite speaks volumes. The Vikes are 14-5 ATS after a loss by six or fewer points and again, 14-5 ATS after consecutive losses.
NFL Pick: Vikings +1 (-105) at Bovada
*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.