Loading scores...
Columns - Magazine

The Gambling Solution: Week 3

by Jeff Baldwin
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

Jeremy bounced back nicely in Week 2 as he finished with a 3-1 mark which resulted in 80 units of profit.  Winners were on the Patriots, Cardinals and over in NO/CLE.  His only loss was on the Titans.  Jeff had a week he'd like to soon forget as he dropped all of his selections which included the Lions, Saints, Jaguars and over CIN/ATL.  Can Jeremy extend his lead?  Can Jeff close the gap as he currently trails Jeremy by 120 units on the season?  Let's get to the picks for Week 3.

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $350,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 3's games. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $30,000. Starts Sunday, September 21st at 1pm ET. Here's the link.

 

 

Jeff Baldwin

Record: 2-6 (Last Week 0-4)

Units: 890

 

Jeremy Wardwell

Record: 4-5 (Last Week 3-1)

Units: 1,010

 

Chargers at Bills (-2.5) - 35 units
The Chargers look to build off of their upset win over the Seahawks as they travel to Buffalo to face the undefeated Bills.  The Bills come off a solid home victory over the Dolphins.  A lot of people are thinking the Chargers come out flat in this game after an emotional win over the Super Bowl Champs as this line has move 1.5 points in favor of the Bills since it opened.  I think there are some factors working against the Charges to include the travel and early start time from a West coast perspective.  However, I think this team is up for the challenge and will be ready to play.  QB Philip Rivers should be able to have great success in the passing game as the Bills have been giving up 275 yards/game through the air which ranks them 27th in the league.  WR Keenan Allen and TE Antonio Gates will be heavily targeted in this matchup.  One downside to the Chargers victory a week ago was the loss of RB Ryan Mathews.  RB Donald Brown will be called upon to take over a majority of the carries to include the goal line.   RB Danny Woodhead will also be leaned on more due to Mathews’ injury.  In the end, I think the Chargers find a way to get the road win in what will be a close game throughout.  
Pick: San Diego Chargers +2.5

Vikings at Saints (-10.5) - 35 units
After a difficult week off the field, Minnesota travels to the Big Easy to take on the winless Saints. The Vikings got spanked by the Patriots last week and continue to deal with the Adrian Peterson saga. Peterson will again be out of the lineup with Matt Asiata starting in his place. This will put even more pressure on QB Matt Cassel who was brutalized by the New England defense last week getting sacked six times and throwing four INT’s. The Vikings rank dead last in the NFL in passing and thus far have seen highly touted rookie WR Cordarrelle Patterson struggle with the exception of his Week 1 rushing exploits. Patterson’s counterpart, WR Greg Jennings, has also been invisible, having been targeted only four times last week with one reception. One player that will benefit significantly from the loss of Peterson is TE Kyle Rudolph. Despite being limited in practice all week with an abdomen injury Rudolph will play and see more targets as Cassel continues to have limited time to get the ball downfield. After giving up an average of 446 yards per game in the first two weeks, facing the Vikings will be just what the Saints need to get back on track. Despite ranking near the bottom in defense, the Saints, to no one’s surprise, rank 3rd in total offense with over 430 YDS/G and 29 PTS/G. QB Drew Brees has a 90.0 passer rating and has thrown for 570 yards and 3 scores in the first two weeks. Add to that the team plays significantly better inside the Superdome where they didn’t lose a regular season game last year. The Saints will be without RB Mark Ingram who was off to a solid start. He will be replaced in the running game by Khiry Robinson but Pierre Thomas will continue to receive the majority of receptions out of the backfield. I see the Saints getting back on track big time against a lesser opponent facing major distractions.
Pick: New Orleans Saints -10.5

Broncos at Seahawks (-4.5) - 35 units
In what will be a rematch of last season's Super Bowl, the Seahawks will host the Broncos looking to get back in the win column after a down performance in San Diego.  The Broncos enter this contest at 2-0 with home victories over the Colts and Chiefs.  The Seahawks will look to RB Marshawn Lynch to get the ground game going.  He was forced from last week's game due to ongoing back issues.  I think he'll be ready to roll in this matchup.  QB Russell Wilson should have success in the passing game as the Broncos have given up 300 yards/game through the air which ranks them 30th in the league.  Look for Wilson to do what he does best which is spread the ball around and find open receivers.  The Seahawks defense should be all fired up after a disappointing effort against the Chargers.  I think this defense will be swarming all over the field on Sunday as they will prevent QB Peyton Manning from getting into any type of rhythm offensively.  I think the Seahawks come up big here.  I really like the fact they are coming off a loss where they didn't play well, and they get the chance to rebound on their dominant home field.
Pick: Seattle Seahawks -4.5
Bears at Jets (-2.5) - 35 units

After an impressive comeback victory on Sunday night, Chicago looks to continue their winning ways against the New York Jets who found yet another embarrassing way to lose last week against the Packers. The Jets watched an 18 point lead evaporate as Aaron Rodgers used WR’s Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb to pick apart their secondary which struggled with CB Dee Milliner injured and Dawan Landry and Antonio Allen ineffective. They will have to find an answer quickly as the Bears come to town with one of the top WR tandems in the NFL. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery who combined for over 2,700 yards receiving last year with 19 touchdowns and have carried that success over to this year. On offense, the Jets simply don’t have enough weapons to compete. If they get into a shootout or have to play catch-up they don’t stand a chance. QB Geno Smith has been ineffective and the Jets have actually averaged more yards rushing per game (179) than passing (178). Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory will lead the way against a Bears run defense that is giving up over 5 yards per carry. The Bears will have to get maximum production from Jeffery and Marshall along with TE Martellus Bennett as they will find it difficult to move the ball on the ground against a Jets defense which ranks #1 in the league giving up a paltry 52.5 YDS/G. The last time these teams met was back in 2010 when they combined to score 72 points. I don’t see that many points being scored this time around. Look for a close game with big plays when the Bears have the ball and a deliberate pace from the Jets offense.  
Pick: Chicago Bears +2.5

Steelers at Panthers (-3.5) - 30 units
The Panthers will look to open the season with three straight wins as they host the Steelers on Sunday Night football.  The Panthers come off an impressive home win over the Lions as they pulled away in the fourth quarter.  The Steelers came up flat against the Ravens as they were defeated 26-6.  I was surprised how sharp QB Cam Newton was especially coming off the rib injury, and having limited reps with his new receiving corps.  Newton will only get better as the season progresses as he gets healthier each week.  Newton faces a defense that has been gashed on the ground so far this season.  Look for the Panthers to exploit that vulnerable Steelers rush defense as they will turn to RB Jonathan Stewart and RB DeAngelo Williams who will most likely be back on the field after he missed last week's game.  The Steelers defense will also have to contend with Newton's scrambling ability.  As for the Panthers defense, this is a stingy group that makes it difficult to move the ball on.  They should be able to keep RB Le'Veon Bell in check which will only put more pressure on QB Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game.  Look for the Panthers to come up with another solid effort at home on both sides of the ball as they'll get the victory over the Steelers.
Pick: Carolina Panthers -3.5

Texans (-2) at Giants - 30 units
The undefeated Houston Texans travel to the Meadowlands to take on the winless NY Giants. The Texans have taken advantage of a relatively weak schedule to jump out to 2-0 and will face a Giants team that continues to struggle on offense. RB Arian Foster has regained his Pro Bowl form as he has averaged 120 yards rushing per game. This has allowed QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to pick and choose his spots to get the ball to Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins who have each had strong starts to the season. Hopkins and Johnson will be the focus of the Texans offense this week as the Giants have allowed 241 yards passing per game and don’t have any shutdown talent in the secondary. The Texans will again be without Jadeveon Clowney and will rely on J.J. Watt and Brian Cushing to lead a defense that has forced seven turnovers. Eli Manning and the rest of the Giants offense have struggled with turnovers all season as they have racked up four INT’s and two additional fumbles. With the team still working out the kinks while installing a new offense, the defense needs to step up and to this point have yet to do so giving up an average of 30 points per game. The Texans will have success passing the ball against a porous secondary and will take advantage of a couple turnovers as the Giants will still look lost on offense.
Pick: Houston Texans (-2)

Titans at Bengals (Total: 43 points) - 20 units
The Bengals defense came up big last week as they held QB Matt Ryan and the high-powered Falcons offense to ten points while intercepting him three times.  The Titans fell to the Cowboys as RB DeMarco Murray tallied 167 yards against this porous Titans rush defense.  The Bengals game plan for Sunday will be simple, pound the ball on the ground with RB Giovani Bernard and RB Jeremy Hill and play solid defense.  If WR A.J. Green plays I don't think they'll ask him to do much.  The Bengals have their bye in Week 4 so I don't see them coming out flat or looking past this matchup.  The Titans will struggle offensively against this solid Bengals defense.  So far this season both of these teams have played all their games roughly in the point total range of the mid- to upper-thirties.  I can see a very similar result this weekend.
Pick: Under 43
Raiders at Patriots (Total: 47 points) - 20 units
Oakland travels to New England to take on the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in this matchup of AFC teams. Last week the Patriots defense gave Tom Brady and the offense great starting field position throughout the game as they rolled the Vikings. Look for the defense to again play the starring role as they face rookie QB Derek Carr and a poor Oakland running game. It is never a good sign when your leading passer is also your leading runner but that is the case with Carr who has 57 yards rushing on the season. Carr has been serviceable passing the ball and improved last week as he threw for 263 yards against Houston. He was picked off twice however and will struggle against a strong Patriots secondary headlined by Darrelle Revis who had his first INT of the season last week. The Raiders defense has stumbled out of the gate allowing 365 yards per game while the offense is scoring only 14 PPG. For the Patriots, Brady has looked remarkably average in the first two games and has looked downright bad on deep passes. Against the Vikings the running game was featured with Stevan Ridley breaking the 100 yard mark for the first time this season as the Patriots sat on their lead in the second half. While I don’t see the Raiders posing much of a threat to the Patriots, I do feel the posted total in this game is a bit high. With their struggles on offense, the Raiders won’t put up many points and the Patriots will use this game to focus on improving their passing game as Tom Brady looks to integrate more receivers.
Pick: Under 47

You can follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffBaldwin4 and Jeremy @jdwardwell5.

Jeff Baldwin
Jeff Baldwin has written Rotoworld's 'Gambling Solution' on Season Pass since 2011. He can be found on Twitter @JeffBaldwin4.