Some observations from Week Three of the NFLx slate:
The Dallas Cowboys still look like they will no better than middle of the road on defense, especially with CB Scandrick gone for the year. I think they’re going to have to be a ball control offense to succeed and with no dominant RB on the roster, that’s going to be a challenge.
The Bills went 30/33 through the air against the Steelers. QB was considered the biggest concern for the Bills and that might still be the case. But Rex Ryan has to be pleased with what he’s seen so far. Meanwhile, it’s time for the Steelers to start worrying about their stop unit. Pre-season or not, those are some ridiculous numbers.
Miami is a contender if they stay healthy. Ryan Tannehill is starting to look like a savvy veteran, and this team’s first unit on both sides of the ball appears solid. No excuses for Joe Philbin if he can’t lead the Dolphins to a playoff berth.
The learning curve is going to be steep for Jameis Winston. The rookie Bucs QB was pretty bad as Tampa Bay got slammed by the Browns. The Bucs defense is going to log a whole lot of playing time this season.
AJ McCarron looked good for the Bengals as they beat the Bears. I’m not suggesting he’s about to take Andy Dalton’s job away, but McCarron is starting to look like a viable backup.
The 49ers are horrible on offense. But the defense played well again in keeping Peyton Manning out of the end zone and NaVorro Bowman looks like he’s all the way back to good health. Bowman was the best player on the field for either team on Saturday night as the Broncos picked up a somewhat sloppy win. The Denver offensive line looks lousy and if they can’t protect an aging Manning, it’s going to be decline time for the Broncos.
Melvin Gordon has been very unimpressive for the Chargers. I’m kind of shocked at how tentative Gordon has been and his numbers in the two games he’s played are very mediocre.
The Redskins were almost amazingly lucky in the first half of their game with the Ravens, with a couple of totally fluke plays resulting in big gains. But John Harbaugh has to be getting worried about his team, as Baltimore has simply not played well in the pre-season.
Then there’s the Eagles. Aside from the Tim Tebow experiment looking like a complete waste of time, this team looks downright dangerous. Yeah, the Packers went through the motions on Saturday night, but Sam Bradford looked like he was born to run Chip Kelly’s offense. Philly looks to me like the team to beat in the NFC East.
Not a particularly good Saturday here, with the big swing being a rough loser on the Cowboys first half play. I was giving -2, and a late Vikings FG made the half land on one. Minnesota also had a 107-yard kickoff return, so this one falls into the bad beat landing zone, but the bottom line is that it made for a red ink day.
I doubt that I’ll be involved in either of the two remaining Week Three NFLx games, so my next football plays will be on Thursday when the colleges kick off. I’m going to have a heavy first week slate and fully expect to do very well. If you want in on the same exact games I’m on myself, released at the same time I play them, make sure to get in touch. All the costs and details explained in concise fashion, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Ween Three NFLx free plays ended up showing a net loss of 0.1 units. The Broncos came through, but the half unit calls on the Steelers and Under were way off. Sunday’s comp is on the diamond.
ORIOLES (Gonzalez) at RANGERS (Holland)
Take: RANGERS -125
I’m going to lose my pre-season Under wager on the Rangers win total. I’m already resigned to that inevitability. This team has been an absolute stunner to me, as with the status of their pitching staff when I made the play, which was actually before the Yu Darvish injury, I really didn’t see them winning more than perhaps 70 games. But they’ve played some really solid ball thanks to what I think have to be called unexpected contributions from a few players and Texas has a real shot to still be playing in October.
One of the numerous pitchers on the shelf for much of the season has returned to the Texas rotation, and Derek Holland will be throwing for the Rangers today. The opposition will be provided by Miguel Gonzalez, who doesn’t shape up as a stopped for a Baltimore staff that needs a really good start in the worst way.
This is all team stuff as Holland has been so-so in his first two starts back, and therefore really doesn’t own an edge over Gonzalez. But the Orioles are in a miserable funk right now, having lost all but one of their last ten outings. The Birds have not been a good road team this year, and they’re simply not hitting very well right now.
I’m a little surprised to see this betting line where it is when considering present form. I made the price here Rangers -145 so I think we’ve got a bit of a bargain here. Don’t misread that into thinking this is some kind of slam dunk as even if my price is right, that’s still less than 60% when converting to odds rather than money line. But I have to think it’s not a bad value spot and it’s good enough to warrant some action on the Rangers side.