Today's Free Picks for
Posted Friday at 12:45 PM EST
1:00 PM EST. The Pittsburgh Steelers are predictably 2-0 after defeating Cleveland in Week 1 and a Sam Bradford-less Vikings in Week 2. Week 3 doesn’t appear to be very difficult either but things aren’t always as they appear. The Steelers were fortunate in Week 1 to defeat Cleveland, as they lost the time of possession battle and they could not move two yards on the ground. Pittsburgh had a mere 35 yards on the ground on 17 carries and as a result, Cleveland also had more first downs than the Steelers. The Steelers dodged a bullet with a three-point win but did not come close to covering as a -7½ point road favorite.
You’ll have to excuse us while we crap out pants over the Steelers 26-9 victory over the Vikings in Week 2. The Steelers closed as a 10-point favorite after the market learned that Case Keenum would be starting at QB over the injured Sam Bradford. That not only hurt the Vikes’ chances, it also hurt team morale after such a promising win the week before. Still, the Steelers did not put up impressive numbers for the second week in a row. Ben Roethlisberger plays much better at home than he does on the road and the Steelers keep underachieving for several reasons. The most notable is that Mike Tomlin’s football mind moves slower than Rob Ryan at an all-you-can-eat vegetable buffet. The Steelers are a popular team that always get far too much market credit, which provides us with this great opportunity.
Chicago is 0-2 after losing to Atlanta in Week 1 and then getting destroyed in Week 2 in Tampa Bay by a score of 29-7. The Buccaneers jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and added 16 more points in the second quarter to take a 26-0 lead into the break before cruising to an easy victory. Because it was an early blowout and because it was Chicago at Tampa Bay, it was probably the least watched game on the menu. To the casual observer and/or to the market, it looks like an easy Tampa Bay victory but we’re here to tell you that it was Sunday’s most misleading score.
Four early turnovers led to three Tampa TD’s and a big Chicago deficit. From start to finish, Tampa had trouble moving the ball while the Bears did not but could not get into a good rhythm. Jameis Winston threw for a mere 204 yards on a pedestrian 18-30 day while Chicago’s Mike Glennon threw for over 300 yards. The Bears were in the red zone a few times but because they were down so much, they were forced to go on some fourth downs and ended up turning the ball over on three separate occasions deep in Tampa’s territory. The total net yards were 311 to 310 (it doesn’t matter for whom) but Tampa won the luck-driven turnover battle, 4-1, which does not include the three turnovers on downs. Perception in this market is everything and we’re going to show you a great example of that. This is from a well-known publication that was analyzing Week 3’s upcoming games. Here’s what the author wrote:
“The Chicago Bears looked lifeless in a 29-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday that wasn't even as close as the score indicates. Chicago is likely headed for a last-place season while Pittsburgh will almost certainly contend for a top seed in the AFC playoffs. Expect the talent of Pittsburgh's offensive stars (wideout Antonio Brown and running back Le'Veon Bell) to be too much in this one”. Predicted Final Score: Steelers 27, Bears 10.
Looked lifeless? Wasn’t even as close as the score indicates? This is exactly why some games are not appropriately priced. Here’s a guy from a well-known publication that probably watched less than 30 seconds of that game, saw the highlights on TV and then misinformed the betting public into thinking it should have been 46-7 not 29-7. We, on the other hand watched the game in its entirety, discussed it in-depth and went over all the numbers to properly inform you that the Bears should have covered and had it not been for turnovers, would have likely won outright. By the way, does anyone remember that the Bears were in a position to defeat Atlanta in Week 1 back at Soldier Field?
Atlanta was a 6½-point favorite in Chicago in Week 1. Now, because of last week’s results, Pittsburgh is a bigger favorite in Week 3 in Chicago than Atlanta was in Week 1. That cannot be but it is and it provides us with this great value play. Chicago can absolutely win this game but the great equalizer (the point-spread) shifts the advantage heavily in our favor. Take the points.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
CHICAGO +7 -105 (Risking 2.1 units - To Win: 2.00)