NFL (0.5 Unit) New Orleans Saints -3 @ Carolina Panthers (-110; Odds via Caesars): 6:15 PM CT on ESPN
Normally I hate laying points on the road in a divisional game, but I’ll do it here anyway. Smart money didn’t seem to have much problem with it as they drove this line up a couple of points from the open, and I agree that the Saints are likely coming out of this with a win. I just can’t trust Bryce Young yet, especially behind a bad offensive line that will see an even tougher pass rush than last week.
While Derek Carr doesn’t inspire tons of confidence, his weapons are quietly excellent and should benefit from a depleted Panthers secondary. This feels like a close game and might be a push on the number, but I’m willing to lay it until the Panthers prove themselves.
Bonus Bet (0.25 Unit) Jamaal Williams Anytime Touchdown (+120; Odds via DraftKings)
This is a short number for the touchdown market, but Williams is in a solid spot here. He’s all New Orleans really has at running back right now, and faces a much more forgiving run defense than last week. The Panthers allowed 5.0 yards per carry in Week 1, and all 3 touchdowns they gave up went to running backs. Williams has a nose for the end zone and I think he finds it tonight.
NFL (0.75 Unit) Cleveland Browns -2 @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-110; Odds via Caesars): 7:15 PM CT on ABC
Again I find myself laying points with the road team in a divisional game, but once again it’s a side that was driven up by smart money. The Browns might not be as good as they looked in demolishing Cincinnati, and the Steelers might not be as bad as they looked in getting whipped by the 49ers. But it still signals a pretty significant gap between these teams right now, and that should show again tonight.
I’m just not sure Pittsburgh can stop what Cleveland wants to do and does best, which is run the ball. With Cam Heyward headed to IR, the Steelers defense takes a massive step back in being able to stop the run, so Nick Chubb might go wild tonight.
And if you’re in need of some PR work, hire whoever convinced the league that Kenny Pickett was ready to break out. This could get ugly against a defense that smothered a much better Bengals offense, especially with Diontae Johnson out tonight. Cleveland has historically been terrible playing in Pittsburgh, but the injuries and matchup have me thinking they’ll turn that around here.
MLB (0.5 Unit) Philadelphia Phillies Team Total Over 4.5 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 6:20 PM CT on Bally Sports South
Something went completely haywire with Atlanta’s pitching over the weekend, as they let the light-hitting Marlins score 36 runs in 3 games. Here comes a much better hitting team in the Phillies, and they should get to another troubled Braves starter. Kyle Wright just gave up 6 runs in 3 innings to Philadelphia in his last start, and just isn’t a trustworthy pitcher right now. He’s also working his way back from a 4-month stint on the injured list, and isn’t going to pitch deep into this game. That brings in the vulnerable Braves bullpen that was just worked over in Miami, so I see the excellent Phillies bats capitalizing here.
MLB (0.75 Unit) Detroit Tigers/LA Dodgers Over 8 (-110; Odds via Caesars): 9:10 PM CT on SportsNet LA
This is just too good to pass up, as you’re hardly ever going to see a Dodgers home game with a total this low. Unless of course it’s an elite pitching matchup, which this is definitely not. While Eduardo Rodriguez has had strong moments this season, his ERA has been on the rise all summer and he’s also a lefty. The Dodgers lead the league in scoring against left-handed pitching and are second in weighted runs created.
The Dodgers have also been in plenty of slugfests lately, with their past 20 games averaging 10.3 runs and going 14-6 over this total. Even the light-hitting Tigers have averaged 8.4 runs in their past 20 games, and should jump on Lance Lynn here. After his improbably hot start as a Dodger cooled off, Lynn has posted an 8.18 ERA and 1.68 WHIP. I’m just asking the Tigers to contribute a little here against a poor pitcher, and let the Dodgers rake as usual to get over this low number.
No degenerates today.
Tiny Nick is 1515-1360 ATS (+73.4 Units) on his Locks since joining Zone Coverage.
Every day he will offer his Locks and Degenerate picks. Locks are the games he’s confident in. Degenerates are entertaining but riskier picks.