What a wild slate of games yesterday, I mean really could we have been welcomed back to NFL football any better? Big dog went 4-2 this past week, and if it wasn’t for the longest game ever played in Miami and Big Ben forgetting how to play the game of football we would have had a perfect week.
Some of the big story lines from the weekend that we will keep an eye on moving forward:
- Aaron Rodgers and his knee injury. Rodgers come back last night and was nothing short of incredible, but it’s never a good sign when a quarterback can’t plant off of his front leg. It’s an injury to keep an eye on as the week progresses.
- Tennessee saw Marcus Mariota, Taylor Lewan and Delanie Walker all leave Sunday’s game with injuries. That will be an important injury report to monitor as the week goes on. Walker will most likely miss significant time with a dislocated ankle, but even a few games missed for the other two will have big impacts when it comes to gambling and line movement.
- Two other big injuries to keep an eye on are Greg Olsen and Leonard Fornette, both are big parts of their team’s offenses and you were able to see how their absences affected their teams on Sunday.
- Long Live Fitzmagic! The Saints were a popular pick in suicide pools this weekend as they were the biggest favorites coming into week one. Not only did NY Jet all-time single season passing TD record holder Ryan Fitzpatrick put up 4 passing TDs, he added on a rushing TD for good measure. Fitzmagic shows yet again why so many teams have over paid for his services in the past and “fingers crossed” will do so again.
- Cleveland Browns off to the best start in a season since 2004, as they tied the Pittsburgh Steelers. I saw this stat on twitter today “The Browns are +5 in takeaways today. Since the Browns returned to the NFL, teams with a turnover margin of +5 or better in a game are 132-4-1. The Browns are responsible for two of those losses and the tie.” – Bill Barnwell on Twitter. That is one of the most quintessential Browns statistics of all time.
Obviously a lot more happened this weekend, but I am going to have a lot of free time Wednesday so I will break down each game further and some key points when it comes to betting moving forward.
Now onto my Monday Picks:
Jets @ Lions (-7)
This first pick will come as no surprise as I am going with the Jets +7. Matt Patricia’s first game as head coach comes in primetime, and so far this season first year head coaches are 0-5. I think Patricia will dial up a lot of blitz packages to try and rattle Darnold, but a fully healthy Jets O-Line will hopefully make the difference in keeping Darnold upright. Stopping the run on early downs will be key for the Jets tonight and hopefully with McClendon returning to the fold the Jets will be able to do so. Forcing 3rd and long and allowing to blitz Stafford will allow the Jets to limit long completions. Jets 20 Lions 16
Rams @ Raiders (+5.5)
The Raiders were the butt of the joke Sunday night as America collectively laughed at their decision to trade Khalil Mack as he put on a defensive display against the Packers. Like I said above, first year head coaches are 0-5 this year and while Gruden is returning to coaching I still think he will suffer the same fact as other new hires. The Rams are a popular choice as peoples Super bowl favorites and rightfully so as they added, Suh, Marcus Peters, Talib, resigned Donald and picked up Cooks on offense. I think the Rams are going to roll in this one, I don’t think the Raiders 1-2 punch of Doug Martin and Marshawn Lynch is putting any fear in defenses around the league and Jordy Nelson coming off an ACL injury will likely need a week or two to get back to form. Rams 30 Raiders 13