BEST GAME – Tampa Bay at Los Angeles Rams (-2)
Just two weeks into the season, and this is the only game on the board between undefeated teams. Will Tom Brady lose even a smidgeon of the laser-type focus in this game with a trip to New England on the docket in Week 4? Don’t bet on it. TB12 would dearly love to toss a 3-0 record in Belichick’s puss when he plays might well be his final game ever in Gillette, in Week 4. As for the Rams, they’re lovin’ life again with new QB Matthew Stafford, and look like they’ll be in the mix in the unexpectedly tough NFC West. This game opened at -2 and so far has shown no signs of moving either way.
WORST GAME – Atlanta at New York Giants (-3)
The Falcons were able to hang with the Buccaneers until things went haywire in the late going, and you wonder how long Matt Ryan will be able to stay upright, engaged and competitive. Atlanta has not come close to either a win or a cover this season, and only the Giants’ own early-season ineptitude is keeping this line at a field goal. The Giants have been able to move the ball on offense, but the inability to finish off drives has led to a slew of field goals. This line has bounced around from 1.5 to 3.5, so you might be able to hold off and then hit this one when the number goes your way.
LARGEST SPREAD – New York Jets at Denver (-11)
The Broncos might be the worst possible opponent right now for shaken Jets rookie QB Zach Wilson, who threw four picks in his first home game and heard a few boos in this past Sunday’s loss to the Patriots. Oddsmakers don’t much like Wilson’s chances of picking himself off the mat; hence the heavy line. Denver has benefitted from a pillow-soft schedule (wins and covers against the Giants and Jaguars), and have their third straight kitten this coming Sunday. They’ll need to make hay while the sun shines, though, as they don’t have another easy game until they catch the Lions in mid-December. The line has already dropped from 11.5 and may fall another half-point when New York bettors check in.
SMALLEST SPREAD – Seattle at Minnesota (+1)
Seattle would no doubt be favored in this one were it not for its complete fourth-quarter/OT collapse and loss to the Titans in a game that was in the bank and drawing interest before Tennessee turned things around. The Seahawks now have to put that one in the rear view mirror and deal with a decent Vikings (0-2) team that has lost two games by a total of four points. The loser of this one might be ready of therapy. Most of the early money is backing Seattle.
LARGEST TOTAL – Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City (55)
The Chiefs playing at home? Against the Chargers? Len Dawson and Abner Haynes against John Hadl and Lance Alworth? This one has a 1960s AFL feel to it already. Fifty-five could be an appetizing number for Over bettors, even though both LA games this season have gone under. For the record, the highest O/U total in NFL history is believed to be 64 – a 2018 game in Mexico City between the 9-1 Rams and the 9-1 Chiefs. That number could be challenged this season.
LOWEST TOTAL – New York Jets at Denver (41.5)
Back to Mile High for this one, where fans can look for the Jets to reel in Wilson after letting him throw the ball all over the field early on against the Patriots – and paying a price for doing so. Denver’s game plan is simple – score in the low 20s and let its opponent figure out a way to get more than field goals against one of the best defenses in the league.