Forget about the actual spread, and let’s take a look at the over/under number of 42. This matchup is typically a grudge match and here is how the numbers look since 2010: Three games have gone completely over, two of those games have been right at 42 and three of those games have gone to 43 points (one of those meetings needed overtime to do so). That leaves the other 7 meetings to obviously go under our “magic number.” This year the Steelers look “uneven” and Baltimore looked like they had the best defense in the league until (excuse me as I double check the stats) Blake Bortles threw for 244 yards and 4 touchdowns against them – yeah, I know. . . The Steelers lost to a Chicago Bears team whose offense is as one-dimensional as one can get and had to squeak by a Cleveland Browns team, that is ___________ (you can fill in the blank). Bottom line is, Joe Flacco and the Baltimore offense is probably just as hard to watch as the Panthers are nowadays and it seems that “Big Ben” Roethlisberger may have finally lost a step. Expect a 13-10 thriller, and it doesn’t matter who wins. We all lose if we watch this game.
The Pick: The Under at 42 points
Philadelphia Eagles +1.5 at the Los Angeles Chargers
We’re taking a look at this game because of the optics. Both teams got worked by Kansas City, but if not for two botched field goals, the Chargers would be sitting at 2-1 much like the Eagles. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has gotten off to a slow start this season averaging less than 7 yards a pass, with 4 touchdowns mirroring 4 interceptions. The public is riding high on the Eagles this week with 68% of the money going that way, which isn’t surprising because of the national and local public pay no mind to the Chargers anyway. The Eagles escaped with a win against New York, as the Giants realized too late that the Eagles have no secondary. The Chargers, when compared to the Giants have a formidable group of wide-outs, a better offensive line and yes, a better quarterback. On top of all that you got a team coming off a win against a division rival traveling 3000 miles to the team football forgot. Great time for the home team to pick up their first win of the season.
The Pick: The Chargers -1.5
Here at Beating Vegas, we’re feeling good about those two picks. The rest of the match-ups don’t look too pleasant but for the sake of writing down a third “lock” as we always do, here we go. . .
Cincinnati Bengals -3 at Cleveland Browns
Last week told us two things, the Browns aren’t good enough to beat the Colts and the Bengals should be almost good enough to beat the Packers. It might sound crazy, but that tells a lot. The Colts possess one of the worst rosters in the NFL this season (and last season) so for the Browns to put up the “L” against them is atrocious. The Bengals, came out the gates looking like the NFL’s only punchline. A firing of an offensive coordinator and the discovery of using Joe Mixon gave the offense some life though. The Bengals actually DO have a good roster – that’s never been the problem, it’s been coaching – eh, yeah and sometimes it’s Andy Dalton as well. . . Bottom line is people keep looking for the Browns to turn the corner and for the Bengals to stump their big toe on the curb – truth is, neither of that will happen. At least not this year.
The Pick: The Bengals -3
Good Luck and Wager Wisely!