NFL Sunday Tips: Put your faith in Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers
Mike is putting his faith in Aaron Rodgers in Week 3

Another profitable week was had last time for Mike Carlson and our man returns with a look back before providing his best for Week 3...

"This is a bet based on faith Aaron Rodgers to keep plays alive, and in Joe Flacco not to..."

Best Bet: Green Bay -7.5 at 19/20 v Denver

There is a problem when you are on a roll, as this column has been for the first two weeks of the season, and then you get a week with a lot of relatively obvious favourites, especially when they are the home teams. We got one wrong last week (the Dolphins, getting 18.5, failed miserably to cover against the Pats) but if you took my tip and also bet the under 47 you would have protected yourself, thanks to the Pats' D allowing Miami zero while their O scored 43! I also tipped the Jags as a strong backup and they covered +8.5 easily.

This week's favourite game is made easier by some quarterback injuries and changes. Gardner Minishew is becoming a legend in Jacksonville after a win last night over the Titans (Kieran, John and I did suggest the under in the podcast Wednesday, and that duly came through). But New Orleans now moves from Drew Brees to Teddy Bridgewater (and perhaps a little Taysom Hill).

Pittsburgh lost Ben Rothliesberger for the season; second-year man Mason Rudolph replaces him. The Jets lost Sam Darnold to mono, then lost his replacement, Trevor Siemian aka The Passing Primate, to an injury early in their game against Cleveland; Luke Falk is now the starter. And they are 22 point dogs in new England (down from 22.5).

The Giants have benched Eli Manning and rookie Daniel Jones will get the start for them in Tampa. And Josh Rosen will start for Ryan Fitzpatrick in Miami, which may mean he picked the short straw. The Dolphins remain 22.5 point dogs in Dallas.

The impact of new QBs varies, of course, partly because when the change is forced (by injury) the team may need to adjust, while when it's forced by bad play it may be that the team is playing badly. Sometimes a change in style can improve a bad team, sometimes a team with a star can't adjust to the change in style a less-able replacement provides. If the game were easy, they wouldn't keep score. Which might be the kind thing to do in Dallas.

Rodgers to keep plays alive, Flacco not to

Best Bet: Green Bay -7.5 at 19/20 v Denver

I was not impressed with the Broncos last week against the offensively-challenged Bears. Yes their defense played reasonably well, but even with the visitor fatigue factor in Denver, the offense couldn't put much together. Green Bay has looked like a solid defensive team in the first two weeks of the season, although in fairness, apart from a 21 point second quarter last week against the Vikes, they haven't lit up the scoreboard. This is a bet based on faith Aaron Rodgers to keep plays alive, and in Joe Flacco not to (and Packers' defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was at Baltimore with Flacco, so ought to know how to tweak his strings).

Chargers can edge a close game

Value Bet: Chargers -3.5 at evens v Houston

Yes, they don't get much of a home-field advantage in the Cal State-Dominguez Hills college stadium, but Houston on the road will not bring a bevy of fans, and the Texans have been challenged just enough offensively to allow the Chargers to take a close one by more than a field goal. If I have one problem with this it's that punter Ty Long may be doing the kicking again for LA if kicker Michael Badgley still isn't fully fit. The Under (48.5 at 10/11) appeals to me here, and probably should to you too.

Bills won't let Bengals score many

Outside Bet: Cincinnati at Buffalo Under 44 at evens

The Bengals can score points, but the Bills won't let them score many, while the Bills' O is not likely to run up a big score. I'm going to leave the Patriots and Cowboys huge spreads alone, though I am tempted to think the Jets could offer the Pats help, like a TD or 10 points, in getting Over (43.5 at 10/11). Pretend you're Jets coach Adam Gase selecting a QB, and just throw a dart at the odds line.

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