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Last week, two more large favorites went down as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks lost straight up. Hopefully you read this article last week, as we correctly identified the two teams we had least confidence in.
It's another week ripe for big upsets, as there are currently 9 teams that are favorites of -200 or larger at BetMGM. Before you throw together another moneyline parlay this week, think twice and read this over.
Carolina Panthers vs. Houston Texans
Carolina currently sits at -400 on the moneyline on the road in Houston. Carolina enters the game undefeated after wins over the Jets and Saints. However, nobody expected the Panthers to look this good. By buying them in this spot, you're likely buying high on a team led by Sam Darnold. Speaking of Sam Darnold, he's looked very competent in his first two starts as a Panther, but excuse me for needing to see a little more after his tenure in New York.
As far as Houston, I think they'd be much more "live" in this spot if it weren't for the injury to Tyrod Taylor. Nonetheless, Houston has been competitive through two weeks, finding themselves tied with the Browns at halftime last week. They probably won't be the 1-16 catastrophe that many projected before the season.
Buffalo Bills vs. Washington Football Team
Hey, Buffalo was in this article in Week 1 and they lost! Here they are again, a -350 favorite over the Washington Football Team. Despite their 35-0 win last week over Miami, there's still some questions I have about this team. Mainly, who is the real Josh Allen? Through two games, Allen has been one of the more inefficient quarterbacks in the league. He particularly struggles with pressure.
Speaking of pressure, the Washington defense provides that. The Football Team has underachieved defensively to open the year, but we saw last season what kind of potential the unit has. As far as Taylor Heinicke is concerned, so far so good. I'm not totally convinced he's a significant downgrade from Ryan Fitzpatrick. I love Washington getting the points in this game, and I see a world in where they win the game on the field.
Cleveland Browns vs. Chicago Bears
It wasn't pretty for Cleveland last week, but they got the job done as big favorites against Houston. They are back this week as -300 favorites over the Chicago Bears. The Browns are a run-first team, but they're still going to have to throw the ball at times. That might be an issue for this team this week. Baker Mayfield hurt his shoulder making a tackle in Week 2, so he's a little banged up. More importantly, he'll be without his favorite target in Jarvis Landry. Odell Beckham Jr. is a game-time decision after missing the first two games of the year. If both miss the game, Baker's receivers will include Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Anthony Schwartz and Demetric Felton. Not great!
For Chicago, there's hope as it's the first NFL start for quarterback Justin Fields. I'm not sure why Andy Dalton was the starter in the first place, but Fields will get his opportunity due to injury. Fields has the potential to unlock this offense that features some nice pieces with David Montgomery and Allen Robinson. Fields' mobility will also pose an issue for Cleveland.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Detroit Lions
Baltimore currently sits as -400 favorites on the road in Detroit, a week after beating the Kansas City Chiefs. Let down spots are usually more applicable in college sports, but if there's ever going to be one in the NFL, this is it. Baltimore was noticeably elated as they finally slayed the dragon of Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. Now? They have to travel to Detroit to take on a not-very good Lions team.
While the Lions aren't very good, they're certainly competing in their games. We saw them have a first-half lead against the Green Bay Packers last week before some turnovers did them in. Jared Goff has looked relatively competent as well.
Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Tennessee Titans pulled a victory out of the jaws of defeat in Week 2 against Seattle, and now they find themselves as -250 favorites in Week 3. Derrick Henry did Derrick Henry things, allowing the Titans to erase a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter last weekend. However, through 7 quarters to begin the year, Tennessee looked very unimpressive.
As far as Indianapolis, can you have a must win game in Week 3? The Colts sit at 0-2 and falling to 0-3 with a loss to Tennessee might be an early season death sentence. Desperation should be high for the Colts, which is why Carson Wentz might suit up despite having 0 functional ankles.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Kansas City Chiefs will find themselves in this space often this season. This week, they are a -275 favorite over the Chargers. Despite their reputation, Kansas City hasn't been overly impressive to open the season. Their defense in particular has been an issue, allowing 65 points over two games. The Browns had the Chiefs on the ropes in Week 1 before a fumble and botched punt opened the door for the Chiefs. Last week, Kansas City blew a two-score lead against the Ravens and lost the game.
Los Angeles is a good team themselves. Justin Herbert doesn't look to be falling victim to a potential sophomore slump. The Chargers' biggest weakness is their run defense, and I'm not sure that Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the Chiefs are ones to exploit that weakness. I can see the Chargers going score-for-score with Kansas City.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
"Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful." A powerful quote from Warren Buffet that we could apply here as the Cardinals find themselves as -350 favorites on the road against Jacksonville.
Kyler Murray has vaulted into the early-season favorite to win the MVP. Arizona's offense has been incredible and they are 2-0 to open the season. Jacksonville on the other hand has been a complete mess. Urban Meyer looks to be in completely over his head and the most can't miss quarterback prospect in a decade looks unimpressive.
We go back to Buffet's quote. Nobody expected Arizona to be the talk of the league. Nobody expected Trevor Lawrence to look like he doesn't belong in the NFL. Maybe something finally clicks with Lawrence and he's able to take advantage of a weak Cardinals' secondary. Be careful when buying high and selling low.
Denver Broncos vs. New York Jets
Denver finds themselves at 2-0 after two road wins. They now return home, where they are -600 favorites over the 0-2 Jets. Denver's wins have come over Jacksonville and the Giants, two teams who sit at 0-2. I understand they've looked good, but they haven't beaten anyone just yet. I'd slow down just a little on the Broncos hype.
The Jets' offense has been abysmal, but their defense has fared pretty well. Not many expected this group of no-names in the secondary to be able to hold their own, but through two weeks they've done just that. This games' total sits at 41.5, so if one or two bounces go the Jets' way, oddsmakers don't expect Denver will be able to score an insane amount.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Miami Dolphins
Las Vegas currently sits at 2-0 after pulling off two outright wins as an underdog. They find themselves in the favorite role for the first time, currently sitting at -200 against the Dolphins. I'd be cautious of Vegas, as the Raiders have started hot before fading in recent seasons. Additionally, Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs are both banged up. Carr should play, but is he at 100%.
For the Dolphins, they'll be without Tua Tagovailoa. However, Jacoby Brissett has experience as a starter in this league and I'm not sure there's a huge downgrade there. Miami has always been pesky and can grind teams down.
Which teams are most likely to hold up their end of the bargain? This list highlights my confidence in this week's favorites in descending order.
5. Kansas City
9. Las Vegas