October football is here, which means it’s time to separate the contenders from the pretenders. We get you ready for the week ahead in NFL betting, with our best picks and predictions. And we’re not stopping at pointspreads and totals – no, no. We’re digging into team totals, player props, derivative odds and more. Welcome to Wednesday.
Last week we won a little money on Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. The “King of Inconsistency” will possibly face off against Matt Barkley and the Buffalo Bills as a 3-point favorite. We aren’t going to put our winnings back on MarMar but will be hoping he and Barkley will be hitting the dirt early and often.
Although Mariota has yet to throw an interception this year, he has been sacked 17 times – fourth-most in the league. With Josh Allen still in concussion protocol, Barkley will have to face a Titans defense that is getting to opposing QBs 3.2 times a game while the Bills are allowing 2.5 sacks a game.
You may have to wait closer to game time to get this prop but when it opens, hit the Over 5.5 sacks (value at O/U 6.5 as well).
In Week 3, Russel Wilson threw for over 400 yards at home versus the Saints secondary in the pouring rain. On Thursday, he’ll be back at CenturyLink Field facing an L.A. Rams defense that allowed 55 points to Jameis Winston (385 yards and four TDs) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Last year, Wilson tossed three TDs and ran for 92 yards on the road versus the Rams. With L.A. getting embarrassed last week, look for it to be tough sledding for the Seahawks’ running game versus a Rams run defense that still ranks eighth in DVOA.
With the Sean McVay & Co. able to put up points against a middle-of-the-pack Seattle defense, we’re taking the Over on Wilson’s 19.5 rushing yards and Over 30.5 pass attempts, as the Rams are averaging 37.5 pass attempts allowed through four games.
CASHING ON THE CARDS
Last week we mentioned how terrible the Arizona Cardinals have been at defending tight ends this year. Seattle’s Will Dissly hit the trifecta by going Over on his receptions, yards and scored a plus-money TD in the second quarter. This week Tyler Eifert will get his chance to pad the stats in Week 5’s edition of Cashing On the Cards.
The Cincinnati Bengals TE has seen at least five targets in three of his four games this year and will have a better time making more of his snaps as the Cardinals are averaging a passer rating of 118.4 to opponents – ahead of just the Dolphins. The Cincy offensive line got embarrassed on the national stage Monday night and will be a motivated to give Andy Dalton a little more time to pass.
We’re going back on the trifecta with Eifert’s unassuming totals: Over 2.5 receptions (-128), Over 30.5 yards (-114), and a touchdown anytime (+224).
OVER THEM MOUNTAINS
The Carolina Panthers have failed to hold a visiting team to under 17.5 points in eight of their last nine home games. On the other hand, Jacksonville Jaguars’ “Uncle Minshew” has led his offense to 46 points over their last two games: against the Titans’ No. 7 DVOA defense and last week in the thin air of Denver.
Don’t like trends? OK, we hear you. The Panthers put Pro-Bowler and starting DE Kawaan Short (83.7 PFF grade 2018) on IR and will be starting practice squader Brian Cox Sunday. Also, corner Donte Jackson, who has two INTs this year and is graded positively per PFF, is questionable with a groin injury that held him out last week. On top of this, the Panthers rank as the fourth-worst rushing DVOA defense.
We don’t have a good lean on the side or the total, but we are going to play the Over on Jacksonville’s team total of 17.5 points in what is looking like a perfect weather game in Carolina.
Heading into Week 4, did you know who the Top-3 leaders in the league in rushing touchdowns were? Mark Ingram, Dalvin Cook and … second-year undrafted RB Jeff Wilson Jr. The San Francisco 49ers goal-line back is coming off a bye week which could really help bettors if he plays.
After scoring 30 touchdowns in his final two years at North Texas, Wilson Jr. leads the league in rushes inside the five-yard line and is second in rushes inside the 10.
Unfortunately, with the Week 4 rest, Tevin Coleman may return from injury and possibly push Wilson to be inactive versus the Cleveland Browns on Monday night. The Niners likely won’t dress four running backs, making things a little murkier than usual.
This is a profitable situation to monitor and worthy of your attention. If Coleman were to sit again, we are banging the Wilson anytime TD prop with confidence.