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Early leans & analysis Wk 4
Early leans & analysis

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Posted Saturday, October 3

NFL 2020

Week 4

What you see below is our early leans. Many of the selections below will stay the same and some will be moved into official plays with wagers on Sunday. However, there is also the possibility that we see, read or get a sense that something is not right with one of our selections and change our pick. There are several different criteria we use to grade a game and make it an official play and a lot of things can happen or change between Friday and Sunday.

We’re intent on providing our readers with the best possible selections and doing so on Sunday instead of Friday just makes more sense. We made that change two years ago and ended up going 81-57 (+64 units) in 2018 and 65-59 in 2019 (+16 units). Again, we’ll have all write-ups (except Monday Night Football) posted on Friday but our actual wagers won’t be posted until Sunday morning between 10 AM and 12:00 PM EST

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CHICAGO +2½ +101 over Indianapolis

1:00 PM EST. It’s not often a 3-0 team is hot to make a change at quarterback, but the 2020 Bears are not your average undefeated side. First, we’ll break down that résumé. In Week 1, Chicago needed a gift from the Lions to complete an improbable comeback, outscoring Detroit 21-0 in the fourth quarter and winning the game 27-23. In Week 2, the Bears barely hung on at home against the putrid Giants. Big Blue had also lost their entire offense (Saquon Barkley) to injury in that game. Believe it or not, the Bears defense got worse when Barkley left the game for good. Finally, last week in Atlanta, the Bears spotted the Falcons a 26-7 lead after three quarters. Prior to that however, Bears coach Matt Nagy, who had given quarterback Mitch Trubisky just enough rope to hang himself each week finally let his man dangle and pulled him, perhaps for good, after throwing a third quarter pick. That the Bears wanted to shed themselves of Trubisky isn’t a surprise, as he’s one of the great misfires of this quarterback generation. The most notable thing about him is that the Bears traded up to get him at #2 in 2017, passing on both Patrick Mahomes (#10) and Deshaun Watson (#12). Nick Foles, who has made a living being the saviour off the bench, led the Bears back, but we’re not so sure how much credit the market is giving him. When a team like Atlanta blows a huge lead seemingly every game, one has to wonder if its fate was sealed regardless of who was under center for the Bears. The market is having a very hard time trusting the Bears and we can understand why. A team that has performed so miserably should not be 3-0.

The market has completely forgotten or forgiven the Colts for that 7-point loss to Jacksonville in Week Zero 1 because the Colts won big, BIG, we tell you, the last two weeks. Indy outscored the Jets and Vikes by a combined 64-18 in Week’s 2 and 3 and that resonates much louder than a Week 1 loss to “Who the Fuck Cares”. We care because Indy’s stock is high while the Bears stock is lower than any 3-0 team in history.

We should also remind you that the Colts 27-20 loss to Jacksonville was on the road. The past two weeks, the Colts were at home. We should also remind you that Philip Rivers has played three lousy defenses and his numbers are pedestrian at best. Rivers is a turnover machine that may pass for 350 yards on any given Sunday but with that comes two or three picks and a fumble or two. We’re not here to argue whether the Bears have been lucky, good or poor but let’s assume for a second that they have been poor and lucky. One would have to agree then that their performances will get better. Now throw in the confidence and trust they have in their new QB or lack thereof in their old QB and you might see the Bears play 60 full minutes of near flawless football. Either way, Indianapolis is overpriced here. Play: Chicago +2½

MIAMI +6 -114 over Seattle

1:00 PM EST. The Seahawks appear to have transformed into the NFC’s version of the Chiefs in that they put up video game numbers every week with Russell Wilson dominating like Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl. Seattle has a perfect 3-0 record both straight up and against the spread with their last two covers coming in high profile spots over the Patriots and Cowboys. Wilson posted five majors against Dallas in Week 3, which brings his season total to 14. If he were to keep up this pace he’d clear Peyton Manning’s record setting 55 TD passes by 19. We could go on and on about the rip roaring pace that Wilson is on, but we trust the talking heads to eat it up this week.

For all the waves the Seachickens are making in the early season, we’re not sure this team is quite ready to be spotting a very “dog friendly” price on the road. Firstly, their offensive line is average at best as it is giving up three sacks per game. If we’re going to extrapolate Wilson’s absurd touchdown tear, let's also talk about the fact this guy is on pace to be sacked 48 times this season. That doesn’t bode well for his longevity. One of these times Wilson is going to get hit and he’s not going to get back up. When that happens, the gig is up for Pete Carroll and company. In addition to its soaring stock, Seattle hosts the Sunday night game in Week 4 against the Vikings. This sets up as the perfect sandwich spot after that big win over the Cowboys.

The Dolphins are coming off a Thursday Night Football win over the Jaguars, but we doubt a win like that holds much weight with a team that was also dummied by Cam Newton and Josh Allen the two weeks prior. We’re not in the business of breaking down the X’s and O’s because if we were, the case for the Fish is not an easy one to make. However, rarely are the books in the habit of giving money away. We've stressed again and again that dogs favored in this range don’t just cover at a high rate, but they often win outright. See the Lions and Panthers last Sunday. Is an outright win out of the question here for Miami? Of course not. Scoop up these points and don’t look back. Play: Miami +6

KANSAS CITY -7 +103 over New England

1:00 PM EST. Are the Chiefs a market darling? Yup. Are they overvalued? Sure! Is Kansas City a cover machine? You know it is. Does any of that matter? No f**cking way. Folks, we've entered the "Chiefs or nothing" zone.

Kansas City backers have ripped up just one ticket going back to Week 11 of last season and that was Week 2's overtime win against the Chargers in Los Angeles. That was the game where K.C. had a rookie quarterback sprung on it at the last minute. Did the Cheifs take the Chargers lightly as a result? We'll never know. What we do know is that it's a fool's game to bet against Patrick Mahomes at this point. The Chiefs are putting up big points so far, averaging more than 30 a game. They spanked the Ravens in front of the football world on Monday night and now, Mahomes and company are spotting better than a touchdown to a team coached by Bill Belichick.

In any other week, against any other team, we would’ve gladly scooped up these inflated points. How could you not? You've got a totally revamped Patriots offense that is controlling the ball with the league's top rushing attack at 178 yards per game. When you run the rock, you control the clock, extend drives and wear down a defence. Quarterback Cam Newton has found new life under Belichick and is completing his passes at a 68% clip. The point is, the Patriots are precisely the kind of team you want to back when taking back a price and we're not going to touch them with a 10-foot pole. Are the Pats the "right" play? No doubt. Does that matter? Not when Mahomes is on the other side. Play: Kansas City -7

HOUSTON -3½ -107 over Minnesota

1:00 PM EST. We’ll stick to sports as much as possible on this one but, oh boy! On one side, we have Kirk “If I Die, I Die” Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikes are coming off a third straight loss to start the season, 31-30 to the Titans. If the winless start wasn’t bad enough, the Vikings players were exposed to multiple Titans, who have since tested positive for COVID-19. Minny shut down everything on Monday. The Vikes then hosted online meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. They did not return to practice until Thursday.

There is so much to unpack here that you might fall asleep on the toilet, so we’ll spare you the opus. However, we’ll say this, given those high profile individuals that have contacted the virus, one cannot ignore the dark cloud that hangs over this game. Yes, the Vikings have tested negative this week, but we are in unprecedented territory here in that we have a team that not only lost at least one full day of practice and maybe more, the mental anguish and perhaps the fear of possibly being infected had to take a toll on the players. Professional athletes are creatures of habit. One of these teams had as normal of a week as you can have in this day in age, while the other is Minnesota. No chance we’re playing the Vikes. It’s Texans or nothing and we'll make our decision on Sunday. Play: HOUSTON -3½

CINCINNATI -1½ -103 over Jacksonville

1:00 PM EST. When we first looked at this game, the Jags were getting a field-goal and we didn’t like the idea of spotting points with an 0-3 team. However, we have since changed gears because the line has dropped significantly. When a number drops, it catches our attention and prompts us to delve deeper.

As for the Bengals, unfortunately, close doesn't count, The Bengals are indeed 0-3 but they can easily be 3-0 after being within a touchdown in every game. Seriously, let’s assume for a second that they got that one small bounce in each game and were 3-0. Then what would this price be? Joe Burrow is now in line to get his first victory of the season. Burrow has thrown for over 300 yards in each of the last two games and totaled five touchdowns. Better yet, he had no interceptions. This is a QB with a high football IQ and the talent to match. You don’t think he sees a great opportunity here to give the good people of Cincinnati some hope?  There's no doubt that he'll be a great quarterback but more importantly, today we get him at a bargain bin price. 

The Jaguars had it all, a home game against the worst team of 2019, Miami, and the Dolphins entered missing their best cornerback. The Dolphins were 0-2 and the Jags were 1-1 and almost 2-0 with a three-point loss in Tennessee. The game was featured on Thursday night and thus became the first head-scratcher of the season with the Jags just playing flat and the Dolphins taking advantage. We now have to wonder if perhaps Indy in Week 2 and Tennessee in Week 2 were taking the Jags lightly. The Fish were in no position to take anyone lightly and buried the Jags. 

Furthermore, Jacksonville’s projection to start the year was among the worst, if not, the worst in the league. Just two weeks in and their stock soared. From where we sit, the accolades being thrown Jacksonville’s way are and were premature. Yeah, the Jags figure to be better this week but who are we to trust more. Joe Burrow has proven that when he smells blood, he goes aggressively after the kill. Gardiner Minshew is a nice story and his teammates love him but at the end of the day, Jacksonville should always be taking more points than this when they are not in Jacksonville. Sometime, in December, folks will look back at this line and wonder how the f**k they missed betting Cinci when they were such a small price at home over Jacksonville. We will not be among those wondering. 

WASHINGTON +14½ -114 over Baltimore

1:00 PM EST. After Baltimore’s 34-20 loss to the Chiefs on Monday Night in one of the more anticipated Monday Night showdowns in a while, the media and market were talking about how good the Chiefs really are. That K.C. is very simply on a different level than everyone else. The Ravens are being forgiven for losing to Kansas City, especially after they came within three (28-25) at one point in the second half. By contrast, The Football Team is being counted on to be the dregs that they are here. Washington took quite a bit of money last week as a +7-point dog to Cleveland, thus making them a very difficult proposition again. It’s human nature to avoid a team the week after they cost you money. It’s very, very difficult to come back on that same team and it’s a common mistake.

We’re not here to argue that Washington is worthy of anything. In this era of potent offenses and high scoring games, The Football Teams’ offense is miles behind the rest of the field. They rank last or bottom three in just about every metric and surface stat. However, the Football Team also ranks high on defense in many metrics including ranking 4th overall in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). Washington has also played just one home game, against Philadelphia is Week 1, and as a +5½ point underdog, they won outright.

We also have to question Baltimore’s mindset after being schooled for the third straight time by the team they were built to beat. A seed of great doubt has been planted in the Ravens minds and now Baltimore really won’t have another meaningful game until the playoffs when they face Kansas City again. Looking at the Ravens schedule, they are likely going to be favored in every game until the playoffs. What do the Ravens have to prove? That they can beat everyone but K.C.? They had their chance last week to make a statement and failed miserably again. The will to prepare against the Football Team has to come into question.

Finally, a road favorite is the worst role for a team coming off a difficult loss. Quantifying this angle is difficult, as it depends on the input definition of "tough loss." But whether it's losing as a favorite, losing in the final seconds or losing a game after holding a double-digit fourth-quarter lead, no matter how the data is sliced, trust us when we say that road favorite is the worst role for such teams the following week. Why that role? Any team that's still a dog despite being at home is perceived as inferior, so there's not enough fear or concern to instill urgency in preparation -- plus, there's no home crowd to spark the need for immediate atonement. Washington absolutely qualifies as inferior. Baltimore’s loss to K.C. in front of a massive TV audience was as devastating as they come, and it would probably take a panel of Hall of Fame motivators to get this team off the mat this week. Add those intangibles to the inflated points being offered and we have to side with the inflated points. Play: WASHINGTON +14½

L.A. Chargers +7 -106 over TAMPA BAY

1:00 PM EST. The Chargers fell to 1-2 with their surprising loss to the visiting Panthers in Week 3. After that loss, the entire market is writing off the Bolts near-upset of Kansas City the week prior, as the Chiefs were caught in a sandwich spot of a road game between two high-profile games against Houston in the season opener and Baltimore on Monday Night Football. In their other two games, the Chargers beat Cincinnati by three points in a rookie quarterback's debut and lost at home to Carolina. You would be hard-pressed to find a team whose stock has dropped more this week than the Chargers' stock.

The other side of that coin is that Tom Brady and the Bucs are gaining market steam after barely breaking a sweat in Denver last week. The Bucs steamrolled over Denver 28-10 but were never in danger of not covering and the marketplace loves a rocking-chair game. To recap. Tampa has won and covered in consecutive weeks (stock up) while the Chargers loss last week is considered to be unforgivable.

Man, this one checks all the boxes but first first you’ll have to excuse us while we crap our pants in awe of the Buccaneers beating Carolina and Denver. When the Bucs played the Saints, who look kinda ordinary these days, Tampa got buried. Furthermore, the Bolts rank middle of the pack (15th to 17th) in just about every offensive and defensive metric. The Chargers aren’t great but they’re better than average and their new QB, Justin Herbert does not look a bit out of place. Tyrod Taylor getting hurt was a massive blessing for the Chargers. Justin Herbert is injecting life into the offense. Dude has passed for over 300 yards in back-to-back games and it’s no fluke. The Chargers defense looks sharp too, holding Cincinnati to 13 points and then Kansas City to 23 to open the year and then 21 to the Panthers last week. Those are some pretty impressive point totals in this day and age.

Brady is still in a decline but the market has forgotten just how steep it is because he hasn’t played a defense yet. That changes this week. Additionally, the Bucs, who haven’t had this much media interest and coverage in well over a decade, get to showcase their new look on Thursday Night Football on Thursday in Chicago. To recap: Tampa’s stock is high. They play in a prime time game on Thursday in a lookahead spot. They have beaten nobody and lost to what now looks like an average team. Now the Bucs are overpriced against a team whose stock is low. We’re calling the upset here. Play: L.A. Chargers +7

Carolina +3 -101 over ARIZONA

1:00 PM EST. It feels like the market is finally catching up to the concept of over and under-reactions, which is why this line sticks out like a sore thumb. How can the Cardinals, a team that was destined for the Super Bowl before last week’s loss to Detroit now be spotting just a field goal to arguably the worst team in the NFC? We can’t stress enough that these Red Birds were being crowned so ironically, and we hope that Dennis Green was smiling down, however, we are not ready to crown their asses. The Cardinals were one of many teams that were expected to take the next step with quarterback Kyler Murray leading the charge. For two weeks, the Red Birds looked to have fulfilled expectations but last week was a rude awakening.

The Panthers were expected to compete for the number one pick in the 2021 draft and the injury to Christian McCaffery seemed to only solidify that result. However, despite their best efforts, the Black Cats went to Los Angeles and beat the Chargers as a 6½-point pooch. So just to recap, the 2-1 Cardinals come off a surprising loss to the visiting Lions and slip back to more familiar territory in the NFL power rankings. The 1-2 Panthers shocked the Chargers when they proved at their best with Christian McCaffrey on the sideline. It still doesn't make sense. This week will either help the Cardinals get their swagger back or the Panthers are playing the part of the Trap Game of the Week for the rest of the season. This matchup should help better define these teams and determine if last week was just an aberration for each. Still, from what we’re reading from prognosticators EVERYWHERE, this is an incredibly strong opportunity to back the Cardinals at a cheap price. Of course it is but we can also detect when something smells fishy and that has us backing off. If you like Arizona, bet it ASAP because you will pay a higher price on Sunday. Play: Carolina +3

DALLAS -3½ -107 over DALLAS

1:00 PM EST. Depending on what circle you run in, the market’s opinion on the Dallas Cowboys only comes in two flavors; love or hate. The coaching change to Mike McCarthy came with praise from the media while Dak Prescott ascended to the top tier of pivots because he's putting up big numbers. Dallas is a game under .500 and they and their moron coach have lost market trust. That's a cue for us to move in. Through three weeks, Dallas is 1-2, but easily could be 2-1 or 3-0 with a bounce or two.

Like Buffalo, it’s hard to take Cleveland seriously. Coming into last season, the Brownies were pegged for something other than the basement, but that did not come to fruition. The Browns began 2020 by getting whacked by Baltimore and then beating the Bengals and the Football Team. We don’t know much but we do know is victories over a pair of teams that have won maybe a combined 10 games the last five years is not impressive. Beating the Bengals and their rookie QB isn't impressive and neither is beating the 14-point underdogs today, The Football Team.

The Browns are committed to the run this season and may have the best 1-2 backfield punch in the NFL between Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb. That doesn't help once they fall behind because when they inevitably do against good teams, it means Baker Mayfield will be forced to go to the air. When you have money on Baker, you don't want to see him making decisions.

The question is, do we trust the ‘Boys and their moron coach to cover a margin? Frankly, we can be swayed. This is a major step up in competition for Cleveland. For Dallas, they went to Seattle and got down to the last play versus the Seahawks, and went down to Los Angeles where a pass interference call was the only difference in losing to the Rams. The Brownies got rolled in Baltimore and there is nothing in their profile that suggests they're ready to play with the elite teams in this league. Dallas is elite and in a game where teh total is close to 60, Cleveland is ill-prepared to trade punches.

DETROIT +3 +101 over New Orleans

1:00 PM EST. Unless you have done it, it is near impossible to try and explain how difficult it is to write up each game every week. What are we going to write that you can’t read in a million other places. We lost count of the number of publications that wrote something like this about this game:

“The Lions are near the bottom of every defensive category, which should be welcome news for Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and the rest of the Saints' offense”. Dude goes on to say, “As far as laying -4½ on the road, the Saints are 12-4 as road favorites since 2016, best in the league. I'm looking at a bounce-back game for the Saints, and with an upcoming schedule that has Chargers and Panthers at home, the beginning of their usual run”.

The strategy above suggests that because Detroit’s defense is so bad, the Saints will run over them. The strategist also notes that the Saints have no issues when spotting road points. The trouble is that the logic he uses has ruined bankrolls forever. Think back to geometry class for a minute. Remember the transitive property? If a = b and b = c, then a = c. So, since Detroit got whacked by Green Bay, and New Orleans almost beat Green Bay, New Orleans will kick Detroit’s ass. That's not how it works in football, you idiot, but we're getting some transitive-property market value here on the Lions.

We also have the useless trends in play. Now, we’re not scientists or anything like that but we’re curious as to how a game from 2016 (the Saints are 12-4 as road favorites since 2016) or even last week affects the point-spread outcome in this game? This is an open question for anyone that uses trends to influence their choice. Seriously, how does a 30-10 win in November of 2016 affect or influence the outcome of this game? It is beyond absurd to think that these trends mean anything. Thousands of games are played every year and so “trends” will develop over time. Some will stick out and some will not. For every trend that a prognosticator uses to support his/her choice, we can find just as many useless trends on the exact same game that will not support it. New Orleans being 12-4 as road chalk since 2016 is fucking useless information and if you use it to bet a game, you might win but if you do win, it won’t be because of a result in 2007. It’s fucking absurd but prognosticators have to write about something so that’s their useless fodder of choice.

What we know for sure is that Detroit is a dangerous underdog on their worst day because they can put up points and because they have a great QB. Matthew Stafford has still thrown five touchdowns despite going two games without No. 1 receiver Kenny Golladay. The Saints' defense has fallen from 10th in pass defense DVOA last season to 21st so far this season and they boost opposing passing touchdowns per attempt by roughly 30%. The Saints aren’t stopping anyone these days and now they’re being asked to spot some significant points on the road. If they score 40 and beat us, so be it but Detroit will get theirs and that’s enough for us to take the points in what appears to be a 50/50 proposition. Play: Detroit +3

L.A. RAMS -13½ -105 over N.Y. Giants

1:00 PM EST. The Rams were a popular pick last Sunday, as even Michael Strahan “went out on a limb” and took a -1½ underdog to win and the rest of the crew’s jaws nearly dropped to the floor. They were flabbergasted to see someone pick an underdog to win outright. We mention that because it's about the boldest pick we’ve seen from a pundit on a panel this season. You think he’s ever going to pick a tiny underdog again? No chance.

The 32-28 final form Buffalo flattered the Rams tremendously. Anyone that followed the action knows L.A. were stuck 25 points in the third quarter before posting four straight majors to take the lead, which they couldn’t hang onto, although a phantom pass interference call is the only reason the Bills won.

We’ve read stories this week that compare Daniel Jones to Josh Allen, who the Rams struggled to contain, but other than the optics, we don’t see it. 15 starts into this NFL career and “Danny Dimes” is just 3-12. Jones was pegged by many to take the next step this season and he was even considered a fantasy “sleeper,” but those lofty expectations have not been met. Through three games, he’s in the bottom third in passing yards (22nd) and completion percentage (28th). As Sigmund Freud said “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”. Maybe “Dimes” is what he appears to be. A turnover factory that is not capable of keeping games close.

The Giants rank No. 31 in points scored with a total of 38 - just 13 per game. Whatever value that seemed to be on them has left, at least for now. The offensive line is still a major problem and they added no new players in the offseason, so the same crew sans Barkley are facing a daunting schedule with little chance of salvaging the season. In fairness, they did open the year against the defenses of Pittsburgh, Chicago and San Francisco. But the looming spate of road games are not going to make this a better team.

The Giants defense has been on the field far too often. Even good defenses play poorly when they tire, and being worn out renders bad ones hopeless. Always be aware of whether the schedule helps or hinders freshness, the mental and physical toll of each game and the running "pitch count." Giants travel to L.A., they have Dallas up next and they are worn out. Play: L.A. Rams -13½

Buffalo -3 -116 over LAS VEGAS

4:25 PM. It’s hard to think that there is just too much credit being given to the Raiders for their Week 2 Monday night win over the Saints. Sure, they beat an NFC Super Bowl favorite, but that victory may look weaker as the season wears on. It appears that Father Time has caught up with Drew Brees and as he goes, so do these Saints. Last week the Raiders lost to the Patriots in New England, but that was expected, as New England closed as a -6½-point favorite.

From our perch, these Raiders look like the old Raiders. They can call the move to Las Vegas a “New Era,” but that’s just a marketing campaign. The case for the Raiders can be made when there are credit card numbers to be collected. Oakland, Los Angeles, Oakland, Las Vegas is 5-1 against the spread (ATS) in this series, and is 6-2 record ATS in its last eight as a home dog. Meanwhile, Buffalo is just 4-9 straight up and 5-8 ATS versus AFC West opposition AAAANNNNNDDDD 14-22-2 when they’re road chalk coming off a loss. Is any of that information worth a drizzling shit? Of course not, but touts gonna tout.

Getting the market to take the Bills ascension to the top of the AFC ranks is not going to come easy. That’s what an existence built on underachieving, tears and failure will get you. However, we are believers in Josh Allen. The goods under the hood back up all the headlines that he has generated so far this season. According to Football Outsiders, he’s second in Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR), and second in Devense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). With all the talk of Mahomes, Wilson and Jackson being the future at quarterback, it’s time that Allen gets his due as well. We’d argue that he’s working with far less at the skill positions with those others.

What this game really comes down to is whether or not you believe the Bills are for real. For us, that’s an easy answer. On paper, it looks like the Bills narrowly escaped last week, but they were kicking the Rams’ ass until they took their foot off the gas. The game summery is that they were gifted the win with a bogus pass interference call, which they were, but that one play does not thell the story of that game. The same could be said about their Week 2 win and non cover in Miami. We get the narrative, east coast team travelling west. The Raiders can’t be a dog at home. The Bills aren’t ready to be road favs. It’s all bullshitt. Buffalo is the superior side here that got a very good lesson last week. You can never let up. Strip the logos and colors and the road side would be spotting more than this, thus rendering the Bills a short priced favorite. Play: Buffalo -3

Philadelphia +7 -101 over SAN FRANCISCO

8:20 PM EST. Is there a team with less market credibility than the Eagles? There are cat calls for a quarterback change in Philly, but really, when you start counting the man games lost to injury, it’s impossible to blame the Eagles woes on Carson Wentz. While he hasn’t fulfilled expectations, he also isn’t the bust he’s being pegged as. Nobody is going to be successful while sitting on their ass, as Wentz has been put on his rear end 11 times in three games. When you get pressured and sacked like that, a 2-1 interception to touchdown ratio is not out of the question. Wentz has six picks to just three majors. If Carson’s appeal could be degraded further we’ll offer his league worst 63.9 quarterback rating. The 0-2-1 Eagles had to mount a comeback to send the matchup with the visiting Bengals into overtime and then couldn't seal the deal that ended in the hated tie. The Eagles lost to Washington in Week 1 by 10 points. They were destroyed in Week 2 by the Rams and didn’t cover in the aforementioned tie versus the Bengals. They are 0-3 against the number.

The 2-1 49ers are still climbing out of the hole caused by losing their opener to the Cardinals and have already suffered rampant injuries on both sides of the ball. However, they still have a winning record, they destroyed the Giants last week and and now, George Kittle is expected to return and Deebo Samuel might not be far behind. Furthermore, Nick Mullens replaces Jimmy Garoppolo and the drop-off is hard to see. Mullens passed for 343 yards and one score with no turnovers against the Giants. He's sensitive to the quality of the defenses, but there won't be many challenges for the next couple of weeks anyway. George Kittle’s career-best games came playing with Mullens in 2018.

Nobody likes to bet on a loser that never covers. Not one person on planet earth cashed a ticket on the Eagles this year to cover the spread. It’s a prime time game so that means an isolated game with plenty of action. We have only one choice here and it’s not the 49ers. Why? Because we’re in the buy low/sell high business and there might not be a game that epitomizes that philosophy as much as this one in terms of buying low. Play Philadelphia +7 

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