Nothing makes you more excited to jump into a slate of games than coming off a great week the week before.
As those of you who are following along know, we were undefeated last week with only a “GB-DEN under 43” push costing us the elusive five-for-five week. On top of that we hit our parlay and our teaser and avoided all of the trap games that were sitting out there.
Riding that high, we are going to try to come back down to earth here and make some level-headed picks, but a couple more weeks like that and I’ll be writing these columns from a Chateau in France.
Now, remember, the early week look is my first thoughts that might help us jump a line before it corrects. You are only betting these if you feel strongly about anything I am saying.
With that said, get those wallets ready, because here we go on our EARLY Week 4 picks:
DAL -2.5 @ NO
I do not blame you if you have whiplash from the picks I’ve made surrounding New Orleans. After spending all week touting them as a good team who is being undervalued, I am now going to spend a couple hundred telling you why they are being overvalued here.
But in a way, this makes sense. We always want to be a step ahead of what is happening, and when we see something coming that others don’t, they will over react when it happens and we can swerve back the other way. In other words, America was too low on the Saints last week and now they are overcorrecting to too high. We’re balancing them out and winning money in the process.
In terms of this game, however, it is tough to find a lane where this number doesn’t go up. Dallas has a new an innovative offense that has Zeke off to one of the best starts of his career (and Tony Pollard has 100 yard game as well), Amari Cooper as one of only four receivers to catch a touchdown in each game, and Dak leading the league in QBR.
Meanwhile, New Orleans’ defense has not been able to stop anyone. After getting torched by Houston in Week 1, dominated by the Rams in Week 2, and run all over by the Seahawks in Week 3, they now face the best offense of the bunch. And, although they were in control of the Seattle game with Bridgewater, they relied on defensive and special teams scores that probably won’t be there this week.
It is true that Dallas hasn’t played a good team yet, and that New Orleans is a tough place to win a game, but this line is an opportunity to believe in a Dallas team that has given us no reason to doubt them. It is also a chance to stay one step ahead of Vegas, and one step ahead is where they keep all the money.
CAR +5 @ HOU
This week on Owl Eats Football, you are going to see a lot of positive Panthers takes.
The main reason for this is that we want to be ahead of the curve on positive or negative shifts, and Carolina is making a positive shift.
We do not need a huge referendum on whether Kyle Allen is better than Cam Newton. What we do need to acknowledge, however, is that Newton was not healthy in the first two games this season, and that he led the league in uncatchable throws.
Given a quarterback who can make throws, Carolina’s offense is unlocked. Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore all of a sudden become the weapons they are designed to be, Greg Olsen becomes relevant, and Christian McCarffrey doesn’t have to contend with stacked boxes. Against Arizona last week, this turned into a 38 point explosion.
In terms of Houston, they are a talented team, but one that can be thrown on defensively. We also have made a big deal on this site about how poorly coached they are, and that is another great reason to jump on this line. Through three games they have blown a game late against New Orleans, losing by 2; they almost blew a game late against the Jags, winning by 1; and although they beat the Chargers by 7, LA has a chance to tie that game in the final seconds.
Add in the fact that in each of those games the opposing teams number one receiver went off and it seems like Carolina will be able to move the ball. Also add in the fact that Houston’s offensive line is non-existent and Brian Burns is dominating in his first three professional games for the Panthers, and it could also be a long day for Deshaun Watson.
We like to be the early bird here at Owl Eats Football, and right now this game is a big, fat worm.
GB -4.5 vs PHI
Ok, so every week we have a “don’t overthink it” bet, and this is ours for the week.
Perhaps the research and the numbers will push me in a different direction, but if I’m not overthinking this, Green Bay has looked awesome on defense and capable on offense. Philadelphia has looked lost on defense and is banged up on offense.
Although the first three weeks have not yielded the Aaron Rodgers of years past (and although they have me worried the Matt LaFleur is the offensive lovechild of Mike McCarthy and Jeff Fisher), there might be no remedy like the Eagles secondary for such woes.
After allowing 300 yards in Weeks 1 and 2 to Case Keenum and Matt Ryan, Philly’s defense was able to contain Matthew Stafford, but only because Detroit scored on a kick return and Matt Patrcia is the second love child of McCarthy and Fisher.
Put more simply, Philly’s secondary is bad and Aaron Rodgers is good.
Continuing to not overthink things, Green Bay’s defense has looked like on of the best in the league, and Philly might be without two or three of its top five threats in Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Dallas Goedert. Their run game has looked non-existent and Carson Wentz can’t do everything.
So without doing too much thinking: Philly D bad, Green Bay O decent; Green Bay D great, Philly O mediocre. Game in Green Bay on a short week, Green Bay wins us money.
KC -7 @ DET
This is one of those bets that feels too easy, but that is actually even easier than that. Kansas City might be the best team in the NFL. Detroit might end the season under .500.
If you read this week’s What Didn’t Happen column (America’s favorite column, I hear) then you know that Kansas City was one fourth down, miracle completion away from blowing the doors of Baltimore.
Beyond that, they have won their first three games by averaging over thirty points and allowing twenty per game. Some may say, “but wait this game is in Detroit”, and the scary part of that is that the Chiefs are the team that seems like it is built to play in a dome.
To clarify, though, this is equal parts a bet for Kansas City and against Detroit, so let’s go through each side.
Looking more closely, Detroit is the worst type of bad team because they are a bad team who does enough well to win some games and make you think they are better than they are. Rest easy, though, they are a bad team (more to come on that later in the week).
In Week 1, they snatched a tie from the jaws of victory by allowing what is now, clearly, a bad Arizona team to come back from 18 points down in the fourth quarter. In Week 2, they got incredibly lucky to beat the Chargers as LA had two touchdowns called back and a fumble on the 1 yard line. This past week they beat a banged up Philadelphia team, but almost blew that too as JJ Arcega-Whiteside dropped a would be game-tying touchdown.
Quite simply, this team could be 0-3, but instead finds itself at 2-0-1. While Vegas is certainly favoring Kansas City, imagine the line here if Detroit was winless. That’s the line we want to be, and that line is way higher than seven.
Let’s look past the records and at the reality, which is that we can win a lot of money on this game.
SEA @ ARI over 47.5
This feels like free money. In fact, hold on, I’m going to go get this locked in…
Alright I’m back. I honestly cannot stress enough how much I love this line. I thought when I went to look at this game that the line would be starting with a five in front of it, and even then I was going to be happy to bet it.
Arizona is currently at the top of the league in pace, meaning they run more plays, which means the other team runs more plays, which means there is more scoring. In their two games at home, the totals have been 54 and 58, and their lone road game was the infamous three 20 yard field goal game that could have easily been in the fifties as well.
Beyond pace, though, this game sets up to be all about the pass. Arizona is still without its best cornerbacks and just gave up 4 passing touchdowns to Kyle Allen. Seattle, meanwhile, has a secondary that has struggled to contain the likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Mason Rudolph, and Andy Dalton.
When we factor in that Chris Carson is in the dog house, Rashaad Penny is dealing with an injury, and CJ Prosise is mainly a pass catcher and it becomes clear that this game is going to fall on Russell Wilson’s shoulders.
So, to recap, we have a high paced game featuring two bad pass defenses and two offenses that will be relying on the passing.
Hold on while I got put some more money on this line…