We’ve got a bone to pick with the Cleveland Browns after Week 2 in the NFL.
The best-bet parlay was this close to hitting for a second straight week — at 8-1, no less — but fell just short because the Browns couldn’t hold a lead against the lowly New York Jets.
Such is life in the parlay game, of course, and to be honest, it goes both ways. The over in the Cardinals-Raiders game felt like a relatively sure thing, and it did hit — by a half-point off a scoop-and-score touchdown in overtime. Giveth, taketh, etc.
Anyway, we’re still up on the year by virtue of the Week 1 win, and we’re onto Week 3 with the weekly best-bet parlay.
Atlanta Falcons moneyline (-106) over Seattle Seahawks
I can’t help it: I’m smitten with the Falcons, especially their offense. Arthur Smith finally has some weapons to play with, and he’s looking like the offensive genius he was expected to be. Teams understandably have keyed in on Kyle Pitts, and that has made Drake London’s Rookie of the Year stock skyrocket. Cordarrelle Patterson remains one of the NFL’s more underrated playmakers. And Marcus Mariota has played three solid halves over the first two weeks. Meanwhile, Seattle’s Week 1 win over Denver will be the exception, and if the Atlanta offense gets going, Geno Smith and company can’t keep pace. This is basically a pick ’em at this point, hence the Atlanta moneyline play.
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams OVER 48.5 (-110)
This thing opened at 51.5 and has been bet down to the 48.5. No worries here — in fact, it makes the over even more appealing. These two defenses really haven’t been that good. You have the two worst third-down defenses in the NFL so far, and neither team has much of a pass defense. Granted, it’s still a small sample size, but in terms of EPA allowed per dropback, the Cardinals and Rams rank 30th and 29th in the NFL, respectively. Injuries and ineffectiveness have limited the capabilities of the respective offenses so far, but there’s no doubting the talent on either side. In their two regular-season meetings last season, the teams combined for more than 50 points in each. This has the makings of a shootout.
Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers UNDER 42 (-110)
Even before getting into the defenses, what about these offenses has impressed through two weeks? Tampa Bay’s offense ranks 25th in EPA through two weeks, and now it’s going into this one without the suspended Mike Evans. The Bucs have scored no more than 20 points through two weeks against admittedly stout defenses, and while Green Bay’s run defense might still be a work in progress, it’s a talented unit itself. And there’s still not a ton to love about the Packers’ offense, either. They’ve had the most success when they’ve been able to run the ball, but that’s not going to be easy against the Tampa Bay front. Aaron Rodgers and his receivers are still working on their chemistry, so it’s hard to rely on the passing offense to generate points, either. Oh, and on top of all that, both offensive lines have injury issues going into this game. Rodgers and Tom Brady might be under siege all day, but given how both are great at limiting turnovers, we could end up seeing a lot of punts Sunday in Tampa.
Payout: 1 unit to win 6.02 units
To-date: UP 3.23 units