Week 1 of the NFL season was wild, but Week 2 was downright wacky.
The highest-graded quarterback of the week lost and you’d never guess who it was if I gave you 31 tries.
A quartet of quarterbacks got hurt, with some slated to miss serious time. And Derek Carr has become the scariest player in the league to bet against.
Meanwhile, the New York franchises (Jets and Giants, in case you forgot or tried to forget) are so bad that MetLife Stadium is in danger of turning into a Spirit Halloween store before the leaves change.
So, it is with all that studied sufficiently, I’ve gone apple picking through the orchard of MaximBet NFL Week 3 odds to hand select a beautiful Honeycrisp and Granny Smith, in addition to a couple of worm-filled, bruised-up Red Delicious that I found on the ground next to a pile of Labradoodle poop.
Lock of the Week
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-5)
We’re going to talk about backup quarterbacks now, because not every team is dealing with the same hand. You look at a squad like the Miami Dolphins, who have lost starter Tua Tagovailoa for maybe a couple of weeks, and their No. 2 is Jacoby Brissett.
Brissett is a guy who’s started 32 NFL games, has a record of 12-20 and has thrown for 31 touchdowns with just 14 picks in his career. You don’t want to go to war with that guy every week, but for a game or two, you might be able to survive with him under center.
But not all backups are made equal. There are 32 franchises in the NFL. There are not, at present, 32 NFL franchise quarterbacks on the planet. The difference between the 17th best QB and the 18th best QB can be making the playoffs versus picking in the top 5 in next April’s draft.
The Colts are going to be without Carson Wentz for a while because that’s what happens when Carson Wentz is your starting quarterback. Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones once said, “That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.” Well, what Wentz does is start in the NFL and get hurt.
Wentz is in his sixth year in the league. He’s played a full season only once.
Indianapolis, knowing that, went ahead and said “fuck it, we’re good with second-year player Jacob Eason as our No. 2.” And if you had, say, a guy who would not be in danger of suffering a career-ending injury by stepping on a LEGO, that’d probably be OK.
I like Eason. I think he might have an NFL future. But the kid has thrown five passes as a pro and the second one was intercepted by Jalen Ramsey.
I look at this line, Titans -5, and I am giddy. Instagram would censor my nipples right now if they could see them. The Titans just came off a monster road upset over Seattle (which I predicted last week) with Ryan Tannehill throwing for 347 yards and Derrick Henry rushing for 182 and three touchdowns.
That team, which put up 33 points on the Seahawks (and it should have been more than that as they were screwed so thoroughly by the refs you have to subscribe to their OnlyFans to see the replay), is only favored by five? Less than a TD? Come on.
Take the Titans and points.
Worst Games of NFL Week 3
Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-3)
Baltimore Ravens (-8) at Detroit Lions
I was tempted to go with the New York Jets at the Denver Broncos (-10.5) here, but Denver is angling for its first 3-0 start since Barack Obama was president, and that makes that contest a little interesting. These two? They are a swirling trash gyre.
First off, let’s talk about the 0-2 Falcons traveling to New York to face the 0-2 Giants. You know how bad the Giants are right now? According to Pro Football Focus, Daniel Jones was the highest-rated quarterback of the week, notching a 91.3 grade, and his team still lost.
Saquon Barkley had a 41-yard rush on a single play and finished the game with 57 yards on 13 carries. For the non-mathematicians out there…that means 12 of his rushes went for a total of 16 yards.
Atlanta could have at least covered for us since they were giving up 12.5 points to the Tampa Buccaneers, but Matt Ryan threw not one, but two pick-sixes to the exact same guy in the fourth quarter. The recipient, Tampa safety Mike Edwards, probably hit a six-figure season contract incentive and we still have a week left in September.
As for the Ravens, this isn’t about them. It’s all about the Detroit Lions, sitting there at home hosting the best rushing team in the modern NFL with a quarterback in Jared Goff, who literally forced his own fumble Monday night against the Packers by patting the ball too hard with his left hand on a drop back.
Take the Giants moneyline at -150 and/or the Ravens at -8.
A Shocking Upset of the New England Patriots?
There are those in the media who began crafting Mac Jones’ Pro Football Hall of Fame jacket the minute the New England Patriots turned in his draft card. I like Jones just fine. I like where the Pats took him in the draft. I am not ready to begin forging his bust out of bronze.
For Saints quarterback Jameis Winston, let’s be honest, the Hall of Fame is probably not in his future. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to play like shit every week. The Saints were missing eight assistant coaches by kickoff last Sunday against the Panthers thanks to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol. Winston is a guy that, to put it gently, needs a lot of hands-on direction to perform up to his abilities.
Tossing Winston, coachless, into an NFL game is like handing a toddler a Sharpie at the Louvre. Mona Lisa’s getting a mustache, at the very least.
All the coaches will be there with Jameis Sunday. Sean Payton has an elite defense and running game and, again, he’s facing a rookie quarterback.
Take the Saints at +3.
Drop $10 on a Four-Team Parlay
Hey yo, you’re just like your country. You’re young, scrappy and hungry. And you’re going to take that Hamilton out of your wallet and not throw away your shot at a nice little four-team parlay.
The moneylines are tight this week, thanks to some good, close games between contenders, but that’s where there’s money to be made. We already like the Saints (+135), so let’s add the Matthew Stafford-led Rams (+105) over the Bucs and the suddenly cocky Packers (+150) over the 49ers. I don’t feel like I even need to make the case for those.
But the Bengals (+150) over the Steelers, I might need to do some convincing. Last year, Pittsburgh and Cincy split, with the Bengals claiming a 27-17 win in December with Ryan Finley at QB. Cincinnati’s defense held the Steelers to 12 first downs and 244 total yards in that game. There’s a reason Pittsburgh’s only favored by three.
Hey, if you weren’t taking a risk, it wouldn’t pay so well.
A $10 four-team parlay bet win here pays $291.
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Adam Greene is @TheFirstMan on Twitter.