Week 3 is upon us, and as a guy who plays the dogs, I love this week’s slate of games. It was hard to whittle it down to my three favorite plays, but some late line movement provided a degree of clarity. I’m always going to try to pick teams that are at least three-point underdogs, preferably even bigger.
My favorite play all week has been the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Los Angeles Chargers, but when Justin Herbert was listed as doubtful on Friday, the line swung from +7 to +3. And while I still love the Jags at this number (call it a bonus pick), I couldn’t put it among my top three picks.
We’re off to a 5-1 start, and this week I’m going against Super Bowl-quality teams. As always, hold your nose and believe…
Colts +5 ½ vs. Chiefs
I know, I know. The Indianapolis Colts could and probably should be 0-2 and put up an absolute stinker last week, getting shut out by the Jags (we were on the right side of that one in last week’s blog). But they return home with a chance to change their narrative and season direction against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Colts D is still without tackle monster Shaq Leonard, but the offense gets its top receiver Michael Pittman back, and Jonathan Taylor should find plenty of room to operate, especially with no Willie Gay, who begins his four-game suspension. Here’s the stat of the week: teams coming off a shutout, catching at least 3½ points in a non-division matchup are 51-14-3 (78%) over the last 30 years or so. The Colts will be focused and angry. They will look nothing like a winless team on Sunday.
Commanders +6 vs. Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles’ stock couldn’t be higher after Jalen Hurts dissected the Minnesota Vikings’ defense in the first half in prime time, and the defense helped Kirk Cousins live up to his Monday Night reputation. Meanwhile, the Washington Commanders are coming off a loss to the Detroit Lions, and their defense looks to be toothless against the explosive Eagles.
I say the line should be 3 or 3½. This is a tough divisional road game against a rival on a short week. Carson Wentz gets a chance to prove something to his former team, but he’s always a wildcard and could break our hearts late with one of his signature turnovers. Still, I think they keep this one close, and it wouldn’t shock me if they pull the upset.
Dolphins +5 vs. Bills
Injuries are the story in this divisional matchup, as the Buffalo Bills are down three or four defensive starters, and the Miami Dolphins may be without Xavien Howard and Terron Armstead. The entire world loves the Bills, and for good reason. But they’re also dealing with a short week and heading down to play in a tough climate against a resurgent Dolphins team that just put up an astounding 28 in the fourth quarter in Baltimore. New head coach Mike McDaniel may just have unlocked Tua Tagovailoa‘s potential, and with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle facing a banged-up Bills secondary, I think Miami hangs around and matches them point for point. I like them on the money line and am happy to take the five points.
Last week: 2-1