You can tell the NFL regular season is well underway once we start having bye weeks. Sure enough, they begin this coming week.
After just three games both Indianapolis and Pittsburgh will be on the sidelines as the other 30 NFL teams complete the first quarter of their season by playing Game 4.
Prior to last weekend there were just six unbeaten teams after two weeks of play. We knew those ranks would shrink by at least two when two pair of 2-0 teams faced one another. Arizona and Atlanta remained unbeaten by defeating Philadelphia and San Diego respectively.
The NFL is full of surprises and another unbeaten team, San Francisco, surprisingly were upset in Minnesota by the nearly touchdown underdog Vikings. Considered by many to be the most complete team in the NFL, the 49ers were in something of a flat spot. Many of the wiseguys played Minnesota plus the point, but few expected the Vikes to pull the outright upset.
The other remaining unbeaten team is Houston. The Texans were impressive in winning at Denver as they stepped up in class after defeating Miami and Jacksonville. Only two teams remain winless after Jacksonville, Kansas City, Oakland and Tennessee broke their maidens last Sunday. One 0-3 team is not a surprise although Cleveland has been reasonably competitive in its losses.
The other winless team may or may not be a surprise considering the unique circumstances surrounding the franchise. New Orleans continues to play horrible defense and the offense has not been sharp.
The suspension of head coach Sean Payton for a full year seemingly is having the negative impact forecast by many observers. Two of the Saints’ losses have come at home to teams considered average at best (Washington and Kansas City).
Things do not get any easier for the Saints as they travel to Green Bay. If there is any edge the Saints may enjoy is that they will catch the Packers off of a Monday night game in Seattle.
Home underdogs were 8-3 ATS after the first two weeks of the season and there were eight such home dogs in Week 3, including Seattle which hosted Green Bay on Monday night after we went to press.
Sunday’s seven home underdogs went 4-2-1 ATS, assuming you were able to get +3 on Miami as the Fish lost to the Jets, 23-20 in overtime. All four of the home underdogs that covered the spread also won their games straight up, making money line backers of Arizona, Minnesota, Oakland and Tennessee very happy indeed!
Home underdogs are now 12-5-1 ATS with 11 of those covering home dogs also winning outright. Only Cleveland, in Week 1 covered as a home pup but did not win straight up, falling by just a single point to Philadelphia.
Thursday, Sept. 27
Browns +12 at Ravens (44): Baltimore has won eight straight in this series, but three of the last four have been decided by 10 points or less. The Ravens are playing their fourth game in 18 days. Cleveland has upside potential. BROWNS.
Sunday, Sept. 30
Patriots -3½ at Bills (51): Had the Pats defeated Baltimore last week they might have been on “upset alert,” especially having lost to the Bills here last season. But it’s tough to bet New England will fall to 1-3 especially since they very well could be 3-0. PATRIOTS.
Vikings +5 at Lions: Detroit QB Matthew Stafford was banged up in the loss at Tennessee and his status is uncertain. A critical game for the Lions playing their only home matchup in a 6-week stretch. LIONS.
Panthers +7½ at Falcons (49): This is Carolina’s only road game in a 6-week stretch. In what could be an uptempo game, the Panthers cannot trade points with the Falcons whose defense has also played well. FALCONS.
49ers -3½ at Jets (40½): The Jets’ win at Miami was costly as their top defensive player, Darrelle Revis, suffered a season ending injury. Last season the 49ers followed all three losses with wins and covers as Jim Harbaugh is proving to be an outstanding NFL coach. 49ERS.
Chargers -1½ at Chiefs (44): The Chiefs have defeated the Chargers in each of the past two seasons on this field.There was also much to like about the KC defense in the second half last week in New Orleans. CHIEFS.
Titans +12 at Texans (44½): The Titans are being outgained by 152 yards per game, second worst in the league. Houston is outgaining foes by an average of 138 ypg, second best in the NFL. Houston’s balance makes them tough to beat when playing a team with as many weaknesses as Tennessee. TEXANS.
Seahawks -3 at Rams: Coach Jeff Fisher clearly has made a difference with the Rams as they’ve played well in all three games, despite winning just once. Seattle is a team on the rise but is clearly capable of losing on the road. RAMS.
Dolphins +6½ at Cards (40½): Both teams have defenses that bend without breaking. And neither team is above average at QB. Miami may be without RB Reggie Bush who has provided the bulk of their offense thus far. UNDER.
Raiders +6 at Broncos (47): Surprisingly, Oakland has won the last four games played in Denver despite being the lesser team in most of those seasons. This makes the underdog Raiders worth a look. RAIDERS.
Bengals -1½ at Jaguars (43): The Jags remain a weak team with many deficiencies and are being outgained by 144 ypg. It’s hard to win back to back road games but the Bengals did exactly that last week. And that was with a rookie QB and WR who have been even better early this season. BENGALS.
Saints +7½ at Packers: New Orleans QB Drew Brees should have success against the Green Bay defense. We could see a game similar to the 42-34 shootout on this field that opened the 2011 season. OVER.
Redskins +3 at Bucs (48): Both teams have defended the run rather well but have been vulnerable to the pass. Washington’s games are averaging a league high 67 ppg with their defense allowing 429 yards per game. Tampa has been limited offensively but their defense is allowing an average of 400. OVER.
Giants +2½ at Eagles (46): Although the teams split their meetings last season, the Eagles are on a 6-1 SU and ATS run against the Giants since 2008. They lead the NFL in outgaining foes by an average of 141 ypg and have yet to play their best. EAGLES.
Monday, Oct. 1
Bears +3½ at Cowboys (43): Both teams are among the league leaders in total defense. Chicago’s 41-21 opening week win over Indianapolis is the only game played by either team that has produced more than 41 total points. Bears and Cowboys a combined 5-1 to the…UNDER.
Andy Iskoe and his Logical Approach is one of the most popular statistical breakdowns in sports betting. Andy is also a longtime baseball and football columnist at GT. Contact Andy at Andy[email protected]