Analysis Mac's Machinations

Mac’s Machinations: Week 3 NFL Picks

Last week I went 8-8 ATS and 14-2 straight up. I also hit my Parlay lock of the week with both the Packers and Cardinals winning big. I also hit my teaser of the week as all teams covered the modified lines with the plus 6. The only negative of the week was the underdog of the week as Minnesota got trounced by the Colts. I should have went with the Raiders as I successfully called that upset. All in all, it was a very profitable weekend as I made out with several tickets cashed. With that being said, lets dive into week 3. As always lines are via the MGM Grand.

Thursday, September 24 8:20 pm ET

Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars Line: Jacksonville -2.5 O/U: 47.5

Going into the season most people would have assumed that this would be a battle of ugliness between two teams fighting for the number one overall pick. Things have changed as both teams have played competitively. The Jags beat the Colts in week one and played the Titans down to the wire in a 3 point loss in week two. Miami hasn’t won yet but is trending in the right direction. They gave Buffalo a scare in last week’s 3 point loss. For me this comes down to the quarterbacks. I take Minshew Mania all day over Fitzmagic. Even if Tua comes in I still like Minshew to continue to roll. If he can cut out the couple of stupid throws he makes a game then the Jags might sneak into the wildcard mix.

Jacksonville 28, Miami 17

Sunday, September 27 1pm ET Games:

Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots Line: Patriots -6 O/U: 48

If you read last week’s column then you know that I picked the Raiders to beat the Saints at home. One of the reasons for that pick was how New Orleans looked ugly in winning at home against Tampa Bay in week one. Go back and look at the stats. Another reason I picked LV is because of the young talent that is starting to gel on offense, even with Derek Carr at QB. However, this is a tough spot for them here. The Patriots led by Cam and Julian Edelman almost pulled off a magnificent victory at Seattle. This team is going to get better and better each week. I was surprised that the NE secondary got roughed up as much as they did, however. I’m going with NE in a close one. Daddy Bill has now had three weeks to setup the offense around Cam and Co. They will be clicking but so will Chuckie and Co.

New England 24, Las Vegas 20

LA Rams at Buffalo Bills Line: Bills -2 .5 O/U: 47.5

Despite this being the Rams second straight east coast road team, as Pete Prisco would tell you “That’s always tough”, that doesn’t scare me from taking the Rams and the points. The Rams are clicking. True, they beat a seemingly bad Cowboys team and an even worse Eagles team but it appears that things are trending up for the long haul. The NFC West is a beast of a division this year while the NFC East is just a cesspool of mediocrity. The Bills are 2-0 but haven’t really played a legitimate team yet. I look for man child Aaron Donald to pressure Josh Allen into at least one turnover. The Rams will get ahead early and never look back. The Bills aren’t built for shootouts.

LA Rams 31, Buffalo 17

Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers Line: Steelers -3.5 O/U: 45

This is an absolute must win for the Texans. If you are a Texans fan, this game is a dilemma for you. Are you thinking short term or long term? If you are thinking long term then you want the Texans to lose as much as possible in order to get the man who stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night in Bill O’Brien to be shown the door. The man should be arrested for being an imposter of a football coach and definitely as a GM. If you are thinking short term than you want to win this game and be content with the knowledge that you are probably still in the bottom tier of AFC teams. Poor Deshaun Watson, he deserves better. Pittsburgh didn’t look great against another imposter of a coach, Uncle Vic Fangio, last week but still managed to win. I think this will be a low scoring affair with Deshaun getting the better of Big Ben. Houston must have this one or the team may very well quit in order to get O’Brien’s Football for Dummies self out of town as fast as possible.

Deshaun Watson 21, Pittsburgh 17

San Francisco 49ers at NY Giants Line: 49ers -4 O/U: 41

The 49ers spend another week at MetLife Stadium playing yet another terrible New York team. The Giants won’t have Saquon while the 49ers will be without Raheem Mostert and possibly a myriad of others. However, I still think the 49er “B” team can handle the Giants by more than 4. This could be a low scoring game. Did I mention that the NFC East sucks?

San Francisco 24, NY Giants 10

Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings Line: Titans -2.5 O/U: 47.5

Minnesota. Ugh. Trading away Stefan Diggs was a BRILLIANT idea. This team is a mess. I have no clue what direction management is going with this franchise other than down. The secondary is absolute garbage, Kirk Cousins stinks, and the rushing game is nonexistent. Look, the Colts didn’t play great last week. They just weren’t as bad as the Vikings. Cousins had 3 interceptions on only 113 yards passing. This team is going nowhere fast. Take Tennessee all day. Finally Derek Henry gets a touchdown or two.

Tennessee 20, Minnesota 9

Washington FT at Cleveland Browns Line: Browns -7 O/U: 44

The Fighting Football Team of Washington City got absolutely steamrolled by the Kyler, DeAndre, and Ryan Gosling show as many teams will this year. Cleveland screwed bettors over (including myself) by allowing a backdoor TD in garbage time. We don’t forget these things. Talent wise, the Browns should win by more than a touchdown. The problem is that Cleveland has more personalities than Amanda Bynes. Which team will show up? I’m not confident but I think Good Cleveland shows up.

Cleveland 30, Washington 16

Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles Line: Eagles -6 O/U: 46.5

Another game featuring a team on the brink of disaster. There was a lot of optimism by some about the Eagles going into the season but the last two weeks have torpedoed that notion faster than U-20 did the Lusitania. The Eagles defense has been atrocious since the second half of week one and the offense has been virtually nonexistent. Carson Wentz had only 242 yards with 2 interceptions against the Rams last week while Miles Sanders had a decent game with 95 yards rushing and a TD. On the other side you have Joe Burrow passing 61 (SIXTYONE!!!) times last week for 316 yards and 3 TDs. He could have added to that total but AJ Green is having difficulty catching the ball. This should be a legitimate concern coming off an injury. I would say that this is a must win for Philly but they play in the NFC East which is a dumpster fire. I’m seeing a shootout here as both defenses can be exploited. I think Burrow continues to improve and the whispers about Doug Pederson start to get louder.

Cincinnati 23, Philadelphia 14

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons Line: Falcons -3.5 O/U 47.5

The Falcons choked so bad last week that they looked like …… the Falcons in the Super Bowl against the Patriots. Dallas had zero business winning that game. In hindsight, the Falcon’s loss to the Seahawks in week one looks good. Atlanta had a great game offensively against both Seattle and Dallas and should be at least 1-1. Meanwhile the Bears are 2-0 but should be 1-1 save for the Matt Patricia “I’m trying my best to get fired” routine of giving up 3 Trubisky TDs in the 4th quarter in week one. Atlanta is underrated and Chicago is way overrated. Atlanta takes out last week’s frustration on da Bears in a blowout.

Atlanta 31, Chicago 10

Sunday, September 27 4:05 ET Games

N.Y. Jets at Indianapolis Colts Line: Colts -10.5 O/U: 44

Let’s be perfectly clear: the Jets suck. Yes J-E-T-S stands for “Just End the Season”. Do they suck enough to lose to Philip Rivers by 10.5 points? That, my friends, is the conondrum. If Frank Reich wants to control Philip’s wayward arm tendencies then he will stick to a ground based, clock controlled game plan. If he lets the Philip arm loose then he will probably get 3 touchdowns and at least 2 picks which could keep the Jets within the 10 points. Stay away from the points unless you want to tease this down to 4.5 in a teaser bet. My hunch is Reich is going to eat as much clock as possible and this one stays under 44.

Indianapolis 24, N.Y. Gases 9

Carolina Panthers at LA Chargers Line: Chargers -6.5 O/U: 44

The Chargers took it to the defending Super Bowl Champs with a backup QB and really hit KC in the mouth. Granted, the Chargers typically play the Chiefs hard but this was something different. The Chargers may have found the next big thing in Justin Herbert but Anthony Lynn is still committed to Tyrod Taylor if he is healthy. While Herbert had a great game, it did come against a banged up KC secondary and a KC linebacking corp that put on a tackling clinic that would make a junior high football jv squad embarrassed. If Herbert starts against the Panthers he will have an even better performance as the Panthers are 27th in the league in points allowed at 32.5 a game. No matter who starts at QB the Chargers roll. The AFC West is starting to look a little more interesting. Oh and CMAC is out 4-6 weeks. Chargers easily cover the line.

LA Chargers 35, Carolina 17

Sunday, September 27 4:25 ET Games

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals Line: Cardinals -5.5 O/U: 54.5

Do you understand basic math? Yes? Good. Do you understand that 5 is less than 7? Yes? Extra Good. Do you understand how awesome Arizona has looked? Do you understand that Detroit is Detroit and their secondary (among other things) sucks? Do you understand that Matt Patricia is a total idiot who should never gotten a head coaching job? (btw…. how does he get one over Eric Bieniemy? Can someone explain that to me?) If you understand all of the above then you know Arizona will win by more than one touchdown. This line is a favor from the football gods. Don’t question it. Take it. All the way to the bank.

Arizona 38, Detroit 14

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos Line: Bucs -6 O/U: 43.5

Drew Lock is out at least 2 weeks and Blake Bortles is in. Yay. I love betting against Blake Bortles. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Philip Lindsay is also out for at least 2 more weeks. That being said, Denver plays good defense, especially at home. Can they contain Tommy and co. for four quarters? I don’t think so. The problem for the Denver defense is that the Denver offense won’t have a lot of long drives so fatigue will become a factor for the defense just as it was against Tennessee in week one. The Tampa defense is very good too. They limited Drew Brees to under 200 yards passing in week one and had a field day on Carolina in the first half last week. Throw in the fact that you have Bruce Arians verse Uncle Vic Fangio (who looks like he opened a wrong door and suddenly found himself on the sideline of a professional football game) and Tampa wins easily.

Tampa Bay 24 Denver 7

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks Line: Seahawks -5 O/U: 55.5

I would say that Dallas made a deal with the devil to get that win over Atlanta last week but we know that Jerry Jones sold his soul to Lucifer long ago. (The devil didn’t keep up his end of the bargain with that plastic surgery that is supposed to embody that “forever young” look Jerry is so fond of) This is a classic game where you think Dallas gets blown out by the better team. And they should. However, both teams give up a ton of yards and are bred for shootouts. Both QBs are excellent on the ground and in the air. So why the hesitation? This just feels like one of those games where Dallas goes on the road, gets a big win, everybody starts hyping them up and then they lay an egg next week to the Browns. It happens every year. I’m calling it this week. Take Dallas and the 5 points.

Dallas 24, Seattle 21 (Sorry Mina… you’re still the best)

Sunday Night Football 8:20 pm ET

Green Bay at New Orleans: Saints -3 O/U: 52

I won’t say I told you so, but I told you so. New Orleans is overrated. Their offense was terrible in the win against Tampa and that was before the injuries. Brees was only 18 of 30 and under 200 passing yards in that game. I also successfully predicted the Raiders to beat New Orleans on Monday night. Brees did bounce back against the Raiders with over 300 yards and a TD but that was against a Raiders secondary that is 29th in the league in pass yards allowed. On the other side, the Aaron Rodgers “I don’t give an F” tour continues on fire throughout the league. The drafting of Jordan Love will turn out to be the greatest thing for him and the Packers. Dude is pissed. Also he is sans Danica Patrick, which could be a good or bad thing depending on who you ask. Both of these defenses rank in the top ten in yards allowed so for me it comes down to who is healthier and more consistent. So far in 2020, that has been Aaron “I’m on a mission from God” Rodgers.

Green Bay 31, New Orleans 21

September 28, 8:15 pm ET Monday Night Football

Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens Line: Ravens -3 O/U: 53.5

Ok. Full disclosure, I’m a lifelong and previously long suffering Chiefs fan back to the days of Marty Schottenheimer’s 13-3 regular seasons and playoff choke jobs when Marty’s backside would tighten up and he would play the most conservative brand of football one would ever witness. I’m talking Lin Elliot, Steve Bono, Jim Harbaugh, before anyone knew who Jim Harbaugh was, etc. all breaking my heart and leaving me in a 48 hour locked in my room exile believing the world was ending. That being said, last season made it all worth it. When God shined the light on Patrick Mahomes in 2017 and brought him to the attention of one Andy Reid everything was right with the world. Now for the bad news. If the Chiefs play like they did in the first two weeks, they get blown out by Baltimore. I hope I’m wrong. Yes they did soundly beat Houston but it wasn’t a thing of beauty. Houston is a really bad team as stated in this column many times. Herbert was a rookie QB and he led the Chargers up and down the field against the Chiefs defense with ease many times. On his one interception he had a first down if he would have just run for it. Lamar Jackson is not making that mistake. I don’t see the Chiefs defense, in this early season variation, slowing down Baltimore. The only way the Chiefs win is in a shootout but Baltimore’s defense has improved since last year. The Baltimore defense is 3rd in the NFL in yards allowed while the Kansas City defense is 27th in yards allowed. This pick is nothing personal, just business.

Baltimore 31, Kansas City 24

Lock of the week: Arizona -5.5

Parlay of the week: Arizona, San Francisco

Teaser of the week +6 points: Chargers, Colts, Browns, Buccaneers, Cowboys

Upset of the week: Packers over Saints

Last week’s record: 8-8 ATS, 14-2 straight up, Lock of the week 1-0, Parlay of the week 1-0, Teaser of the week 1-0, Upset of the week: 0-1

Overall season record: 16-16 ATS, 22-10 straight up, Lock of the week: 1-1, Parlays: 1-0, Teasers: 2-0, Upsets: 1-1

From the Delta Tau Chi House in beautiful Eugene, Oregon: Let’s go make some more (hypothetical) 😉 money!!!!

Mac

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