Current Record: 7-6
With the fourth installment of my NFL best bets series, we look to keep the hot streak going. After two consecutive weeks in the green, we have finally climbed out of the week 1 hole. This week of NFL action presents us with many lines that could go either way, but also a few lines that seem like no-brainers. We just have to stick to what works and don’t get too cute with our picks. After all, it is called ‘Best Bets’ for a reason.
Cleveland Browns (-1) @ Minnesota Vikings
The one thing that really sets these teams apart is the Cleveland Browns’ pass rush. Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney are an EDGE duo that can give opposing quarterbacks nightmares. Along with those two, Takkarist Mckinley has been a huge surprise for the Browns. In fact, the three of them claim the 4-6 spots on the list of pass rushers with the best win rates against offensive linemen in the entire NFL.
Outside of the pass rush, these teams are virtually identical. Elite talent at the skill positions on offense, with quarterbacks who can be great or terrible on any given Sunday. I give Kirk Cousins the slight edge over Baker Mayfield this year. However, Cousins will have a long day with the Browns’ pass rush in his face all day. I also think Cleveland’s running back tandem is better than Minnesota’s. Dalvin Cook and Nick Chubb could go either way, but Cook is also listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Even if he plays, he will not be at 100%. I see Cleveland winning this game by a score of 20-16.
Tennessee Titans (-6) @ New York Jets
Until Zach Wilson proves he can play a full NFL game without turning the ball over, I’m going to assume he’s going to do just that. The Titans will probably double New York’s time of possession in this game. They accomplish this by simply giving the ball to Derrick Henry and he’ll pick up four yards per carry. In all honesty, I see this being one of the most boring games of the week. The Jets look like they’re already dead and the Titans don’t really have a flashy offense. They play bully-ball and Ryan Tannehill does enough with his arm to let them win football games. I think the Titans win this game 27-10.
Indianapolis Colts @ Miami Dolphins (-1)
The Dolphins are dangerously close to hitting the panic button on the season. They were hoping to be in contention for the AFC East coming into this season and things have not gone their way ever since week 1. The Colts are off to a very rough start to the season, still searching for the first win entering week 4. They have some really big injuries on offense, including Jack Doyle, Jonathan Taylor, and Carson Wentz. They are all questionable for Sunday, so they may play, but will not be at their best.
Playing in Miami at 1:00 pm is absolutely brutal for northern teams this time of year. This is a factor that gets overlooked a lot when teams play in South Beach. It is expected to be in the mid 80’s tomorrow, which can be pretty warm for a team that is used to playing up north. I think Miami is still fighting for something this season, and they get things back on track tomorrow with a big win against the Colts. I believe the Dolphins win by a score of 23-17.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Green Bay Packers (-6.5)
If anybody was wondering how the offseason drama was going to affect Aaron Rodgers coming into this season, he has put their worries to rest. Aaron Rodgers looks back to his MVP form and the Packers are a real threat to win the NFC this year. Green Bay is coming off a huge win against the 49ers and looks to continue the win streak.
I think Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl window is officially closed. After an all-time collapse last season, from starting 11-0 to losing four of their last five games and getting bounced in the wildcard round, this team is dead. Big Ben is just way past his prime and doesn’t have the talent around him anymore to make up for that. It also does not help that Pittsburgh currently has three offensive linemen out with injuries this week. The Packers are just rolling right now and will roll past the Steelers 31-17.
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