Tony’s Picks: Week 3

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Tony tells you where to put your money for this week’s NFL games.

 

Last week: 8-8

Overall: 13-18-1

Home Teams (Benchmark): 17-14-1

Vegas Favorites (Benchmark): 20-11-1

This week: 16-0

Steelers over Browns

Another bad week, although not quite as bad as last week. I’m making progress? Sure let’s go with that.

Anyway I have no idea what to make of this game. I’d be all over the Steelers if Watt was playing, but without him I don’t know if the Steelers are actually that much better than the Browns. I mean I think they are, but the Browns are favored by 5 for some reason.

I’ll go with the Steelers since, as of writing, it looks like the Browns will be without Clowney and Garrett, and without that edge rush the Steelers might actually be able to get a bit of offensive production.

Saints over Panthers

The Saints were hanging tough with Tampa Bay until Winston Winston’d them to a loss by throwing it to the other team. They should have better luck against Carolina who are certainly not nearly as good as Tampa Bay, but part of Winston’s struggles are due to a back injury that’s apparently still effecting him. I’m still going with New Orleans but it’s somewhat tentative.

Bears over Texans

Oof, this game could determine who has the top overall pick in Kansas City. I’ll go with the Bears to win, but the winner of this game is actually the loser of draft position.

Chiefs over Colts

The Chiefs are starting to lose players on the defensive side of the ball, but with how horrible the Colts have looked so far it shouldn’t matter. But the Colts may or may not be getting back a number of key players from injury (as of writing it’s uncertain). If those come back and are 100% this could be a very different Colts team we’re going against.

Dolphins over Bills

Maybe I’m just tilted from my poor start picking games, but I just can’t shake the feeling that this is an upset in the making. So I did some digging, and before you call me crazy let me present my case.

The first thing I want to look at is past head-to-head. Yes teams have lots of turnover every year, but generally there’s enough consistency to say that sometimes one team just has another’s number. Now the Bills did win both games last year by double digits, and the first matchup was truly a blowout. But the second one was much more interesting. I gave it a quick rewatch, and it was much closer than the final score indicated. The Bills really struggled to get anything going until late in the game, and even then had to rely on a number of 3rd and long conversions and some questionable penalties to get it done, while the Dolphins suffered bad luck like a missed short field goal and a fluke fumble as they were in the red zone.

But of course the argument here is that the Dolphins are improved over last year. They had a monster game against the Ravens which sold me on them in the first place, but even against New England their offense wasn’t as the bad as the 13 offensive points suggests. They only had 8 drives, one of which was a long drive at the end of the game to run out the clock, and two drives were late in the game after they built a 20-7 lead and obviously weren’t in the mood to take risks to let the Patriots back in the game. They also had horrible starting field position, starting inside their 10 three times and not starting better than their own 28 until the aforementioned 4th quarter.

Also, is Josh Allen really that much better than Tua?

Ok now I’ve really gone crazy, but as I watched Tua more, especially these last two games, I don’t think he’s as bad as I originally thought. Or at least he improved over last season. And, yes, Allen is still better, but the gap isn’t that big. I’d argue the gap between Tua and Allen is smaller than the gap between Allen and Mahomes.

The stats back me up. When you look at the ANY/A leaderboard, Lamar and Mahomes are at the top (all these years I’ve hated on Lamar and suddenly he’s underrated), and yes Allen is #3, but there’s Tua at #4 nipping at Allen’s heels.

Then there’s the intangibles. Usually I’m not much of an intangibles person (they’re too hard to measure given that they’re, well, intangible) but there’s a couple in this game that make you think. The Dolphins’ new coach Mike McDaniel is supposed to be some sort of genius, and I’m sure he’s chomping at the bit to prove himself against everybody’s Super Bowl favorite Bills, on top of the much more practical fact that their two games against Buffalo will be the key to them winning the division. This could be one of those games where the Dolphins pull out all the stops while the Bills are viewing it as just another game.

Also the Bills are coming off a short week, having played on Monday Night Football.

Put this all together, and we could have an upset brewing in Miami.

Vikings over Lions

Detroit was a dark horse pick by a lot of people, and so far they do look better than last year. They played the Eagles tough then won relatively easily over Washington. But are they an actual quality team now? I’m not so sure.

Ravens over Patriots

The Ravens let one get away against the Dolphins, but the Patriots don’t have Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The Ravens are lucky that the rest of the AFC North is looking weak, but they still need to win this game to feel confident about their team.

Bengals over Jets

There’s panic in Cincinnati as last year is starting to look more and more like a fluke. The Jets are coming up at the perfect time, as this should be an easy win for them even with their struggles. But if they lose? Then it’ll be time for extreme panic.

Raiders over Titans

This is a tough one. Both are teams that are quality but not elite. The sort of team that will be in the background of an America’s Game documentary about the Super Bowl winner as they describe their playoff run.

Eagles over Commanders

In an NFC that suddenly looks wide open, the Eagles need to win these sorts of games if they want to believe they’re serious contenders.

Chargers over Jaguars

I’m excited for this game. I had high hopes for Jacksonville, and while they were terrible against Washington, they absolutely dominated Indianapolis. I think the Chargers are the better team regardless, but if the Jaguars can be competitive it will be a very positive sign.

Rams over Cardinals

Both teams got crushed by AFC contenders in week 1, and both rebounded with close wins in week 2. The Rams are better, so they should win, but this is definitely a game where Arizona has a real chance to win.

Seahawks over Falcons

Both of these teams are expected to be quite bad, but they’ve shown some signs of life. It’s a 50/50 game in my mind, but I’ll go with Seattle since they actually have a win.

Packers over Buccaneers

The NFC game of the week, a lot of people think this could be an NFC Championship Game preview. Personally I don’t believe in Tampa Bay at all, so I’m going to go with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

49ers over Broncos

I heard this game opened with Broncos as a 2 point favorite, but unfortunately by the time I got to it it was even. But even that seems absurd to me. I know, it’s a classic public thing to overreact to a couple games, but what exactly have the Broncos done to make Vegas so sure they’re secretly good? Because of Russell Wilson, who had a losing record last year?

I just don’t see it. To me this is an easy pick. The 49ers have clearly done more to prove themselves as a quality team.

Giants over Cowboys

The NFL always insists on putting this matchup in primetime even though it’s incredibly boring and nobody cares about them. Giants I guess because Cooper Rush.

 

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gonzangkc11
gonzangkc11
09/22/2022 3:47 pm

Tony – now you’re learning, my young padawan 🙂 | Dolphins over Bills
.
COWBOYS over the little giants

Severely Concussed
Severely Concussed
09/22/2022 3:38 pm

I think the Dolphins will win too.

zulu trader
zulu trader
09/22/2022 2:11 pm

Stephen Holder
@HolderStephen

The Jags hit some key plays vs the Colts on Sunday was thru misdirection. Now, here come the Chiefs, the masters of motion.
DeForest Buckner: “A majority of the time on offense, they’re motioning or shifting, trying to get our eyes going everywhere.”

zulu trader
zulu trader
09/22/2022 1:47 pm

Dolphins over Bill’s

?????

upamtn
09/22/2022 12:51 pm

Dolphins over Bills

Also, is Josh Allen really that much better than Tua?

Ok now I’ve really gone crazy

I’d argue the gap between Tua and Allen is smaller than the gap between Allen and Mahomes

yessir, you have lost it completely … Tua is nowhere as good as Allen, and Allen is (arguably) as good as Mahomes (different styles, but both are insanely good QB’s)

one COULD reasonably argue that Allen is BETTER than Mahomes simply because Mahomes has the added benefit of having Andy Reid around, whereas Allen has had … who? I have no clue but certainly not a mastermind like Big Red, yet he (Allen) has still been very successful and very good

Nasrani
Nasrani
09/22/2022 12:21 pm

The Dolphins tend to win the games that few expect them to. I remember that they had Brady’s number for years, and none was sweeter than that win in 2019 that sealed us home field advantage through the playoffs. I think they are the slayers of top QBs in that division.

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater
09/22/2022 11:32 am

I think this is a tough game for the Bills traveling to South Florida. Bills are cocky as hell and I like the phins coach so far.

I’m going Texans over Bears. I think David Mills is a first rate back up QB. On the other hand, the bears wr1 has a stat line of 2 catches for 4 yards through 2 games.

I’ll take the titans at home. Fuck the raiders

Cardinals over rams. Another case of a dumb young head coach not playing his starters in preseason. Cardinals are jelling and the Rams are still hungover.

I’m only taking the seagulls because they’re at home.

The broncos-49ers line is bizarre to me. I just hope the donkeys start slow again so the fans boo even louder. Nobody ever looks at the coaches but Andy Reid is better than Staley, Hackett, and McDaniels combined. And not just at eating but football too.

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater
Reply to  Tony Sommer
09/22/2022 11:38 am

If the raiders and donkeys both start 0-3, we’ll have to start betting on which coach gets fired first.

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater
Reply to  Tony Sommer
09/22/2022 11:49 am

Damn you’re right. Definitely feels like they lost. Either way they play in week 4 which will be a big game for both of them.

hoosierchief
09/22/2022 11:20 am

On the local radio today they were talking Colts. They said that the Colts have only scored 3 points total in the first half this year, and the guy that scored them they canned.

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater
Reply to  Tony Sommer
09/22/2022 11:36 am

Leonard and Pittman are both back I believe. I thought Leonard was Darius but does he go by Shaquille now? Or Am I just crazy.

Taylor was limited last game too. Hines started the game.

So those are their 3 best players. I guess they have a guard that’s good but he’s a guard.

Matt Ryan is a shell of his former self but he’s still not a bad qb.

upamtn
Reply to  hoosierchief
09/22/2022 12:55 pm

yah, Colts are having a rough season so far …

not to mention a few other teams

NovaChiefs
Reply to  hoosierchief
09/22/2022 8:08 pm

I believe that they have entered the 4thQ this year at a combined 44-3 deficit

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