Some fun facts, trends and picks for this week’s NFL games.
EAGLES (-6) Giants (O/U: 43), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: This is the largest point spread since the Giants laid 6 1/2 in 2012. The G-Men won 42-7 in what turned out to be Andy Reid’s final season as head coach.
Giants vs. spread: 0-2
Eagles vs. spread: 1-1
Vegas Vic’s take: After hours of intensive, exhausting research, we have found a trend that hits at 100%. You sitting down? In the Doug Pederson era, the Birds are spotless, undefeated, a phenomenal money-maker in their home opener. Of course, we have only one game to look at, but hey, who is bucking 100%? It was against the Browns in the 2016 opener, and the Green Machine posted a 29-10 W as a four-point favorite. Interesting note on this spread. The tentative opener here in Vegas was right around Eagles minus 3.5, before the Monday night game. After the New Yorkers looked like Lafayette in its game against ‘Nova last week — no offense to the Leopards — the real line opened Philly minus six. Thinking that the Birds are gonna post the W, but if you shop around, and find the New Yorkers getting 6.5 or even seven on game day, it’s worth a little tickle. And since both defenses are rock solid, we’ll go under 43 and call it 22-17 for the Green Guys.
Ravens (-4) Jaguars (O/U: 39 1/2), 9:30 a.m. (at London)
Quick hit: This is the fifth year in a row Jacksonville has played in England. The previous four games all went over. P.S. This week’s total is the lowest on the board.
Ravens vs. spread: 2-0
Jaguars vs. spread: 1-1
Vegas Vic’s take: Jacksonville has played over in London four times, Baltimore has never seen Big Ben (the clock, not Roethlisberger). Will it matter. Nah. Why? The Jags have covered only three of the last 13 (23%) outside of the AFC South.
|Jeff McLane||Ravens (Best Bet)|
Browns (-1) COLTS (O/U: 40 1/2), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: Indy wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has 106 yards in two games. He had 120 through the first two games last season, but then exploded and led the NFL with 1,448. That’s not happening with quarterback Andrew Luck out indefinitely.
Browns vs. spread: 1-1
Colts vs. spread: 1-1
Vegas Vic’s take: Riddle me this, Batman? Cleveland has won four of its last 37 games (11%), and even worse, only one win in its last 20 on the road (.050). And now the Brownies are a small favorite AT Indy. What? Apparently, someone above my pay grade knows something that I don’t. Are the Colts really that bad? Guess so. Would rather watch a meaningless game between the Phils and Braves, but hey, if we can make a few bucks on the pathetic Brownies, why not?
Steelers (-7.5) BEARS (O/U: 44 1/2), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: Le’Veon Bell has 6,188 yards from scrimmage in the first 49 games of his career. The top three in the first 50 games are Edgerrin James (6,506), LaDainian Tomlinson (6,425) and Eric Dickerson (6,294). Never woulda guessed Edgerrin James.
Steelers vs. spread: 1-1
Bears vs. spread: 1-1
Vegas Vic’s take: The ugly continues in Chicago where Da Bears have only four wins in the last 23 outings. Steel for me.
Dolphins (-6) JETS (O/U: 42 1/2), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, a two-time Pro Bowler out of Temple, is battling a shoulder injury and may not play.
Dolphins vs. spread: 1-0
Jets vs. spread: 0-2
Vegas Vic’s take: Not crazy about laying six with the Fish on the road, but the Jets are in the “Suck for Sam (Darnold)” mode.
Broncos (-3) BILLS (O/U: 40 1/2), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy needs seven catches to become the third active player with 9,000 career rushing yards and 400 receptions. Frank Gore and Matt Forte are the others.
Broncos vs. spread: 1-0-1
Bills vs. spread: 1-0-1
Vegas Vic’s take: Just praying that Denver has its eyes on Oakland next week and not the Buffs this Sunday.
|Les Bowen||Broncos (Best Bet)|
PATRIOTS (-13) Texans (O/U: 44 1/2), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: J.J. Watt has registered just a one-half of Tom Brady in five games against the Patriots, all losses.
Texans vs. spread: 1-1
Patriots vs. spread: 1-1
Vegas Vic’s take: In two games last season, New England outscored Houston by 61-16, a 22.5 ppg average. More than enough to cover the 13.
OK, this is cool:
After Derek Watt's special teams tackle, all 3 Watt brothers (J.J., T.J. & Derek) have recorded a tackle in Week 2
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) September 17, 2017
PANTHERS (-6) Saints (O/U: 46 1/2), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: Both Saints games this season have gone over, but only by a whisker. They lost to Minnesota 29-19 when the total was 47.5. They lost to New England 36-20 when the number was 55. Man, the odds makers are good.
Saints vs. spread: 0-2
Panthers vs. spread: 1-0-1
Vegas Vic’s take: Last week, we went against Carolina in this space, and put a Best Bet in the bank. Going back to the well again, and for some of the same reasons. Talked about Cam Newton post-shoulder operation, and he just does not look like the same guy. And now he’ll be without his security blanket, All-Pro TE Greg Olsen, who is gone with a broken foot. And if you remember my deep dive into the spread stats bible, we found out that the Panthers had covered only two of the last 11 (18%) when favored by five points or more. Well, you can make it two of 12 (17%). But Carolina’s given up only six points in two games you say. Yeah, against the 49ers and Bills, big whoop. Now they say hello to future Hall of Famer, slinging Drew Brees. And if the Panthers have to play without All-Pro center Ryan Kalil (check his status Sunday morning), that will only reinforce this pick as not only our Best Bet for the week, but one of our best Best Bets . . . ever!
|Ed Barkowitz||Panthers (Best Bet)|
|Paul Domowitch||Panthers (Best Bet)|
|Vegas Vic||Saints (Best Bet)|
VIKINGS (-1) Buccaneers (O/U: 41), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: In nine home games for the Vikings, quarterback Sam Bradford has 14 TDs, two picks and a passer rating of 108. Minnesota is 6-3. He missed last week with a knee injury, but will play Sunday.
Buccaneers vs. spread: 1-0
Vikings vs. spread: 1-1
Vegas Vic’s take: Obviously, gotta wait on Sam Bradford’s injury status. With Sam, light Tampa lean. Without Sam, strong on Purple.
Falcons (-3) LIONS (O/U: 50 1/2), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: Lions wide receiver Golden Tate has at least six catches in each of his last five home games. He had 10 in the Week 1 win over Arizona.
Falcons vs. spread: 1-1
Lions vs. spread: 2-0
Vegas Vic’s take: Detroit has won 10 of its last 13 at home. Small buy to the home dog.
TITANS (-2 1/2) Seahawks (O/U: 42 1/2), 4:05 p.m.
Quick hit: This is Tennessee’s first home game against Seattle since a 2005 loss when Steve McNair was outdueled by Matt Hasselbeck. Current Titans QB Marcus Mariota was in seventh grade.
Seahawks vs. spread: 0-2
Titans vs. spread: 1-1
Vegas Vic’s take: Something smells in Seattle and it ain’t just the fish at the Pike Place Market. It’s the offense and it starts with Russell Wilson. Mr. Ciara has completed just 37 of 66 passes for 356 yards. That’s a first quarter for Tom Brady. And that’s why the Seahawks’ “O” is 28th in points per game at 10.5, and 29th in passing yards per game. Marcus Mariota seems to look more comfortable each time out, and it shows with Tennessee winning five of its last seven.
|Zach Berman||Seahawks (Best Bet)|
Chiefs (-3) CHARGERS (O/U: 47 1/2), 4:25 p.m.
Quick hit: Both meetings last year comfortably covered the over. KC won the first one, when the total was 45.5, with a ridiculous comeback, 33-27. The total on the rematch was 45, which the Chiefs won 37-27.
Chiefs vs. spread: 2-0
Chargers vs. spread: 0-1-1
Vegas Vic’s take: How embarrassing . . . The Los Angeles Chargers moved to a joint called the StubHub Center, which seats like 27,000, and couldn’t even sell out the place. Managed just 25,381. Ouch! Now we throw in Andy Reid’s West Coast love affair — he was born and raised in L.A., even sold hot dogs at Dodger Stadium. Over the last two seasons, Andy’s record out West is perfection. A perfect 6-0 straight up and against the spread. Ain’t gonna buck perfection.
|Marcus Hayes||Chiefs (Best Bet)|
PACKERS (-9) Bengals (O/U: 46), 4:25 p.m.
Quick hit: The Bengals are the only team in the NFL that hasn’t scored a touchdown. Hard to do when A.J. Green is on your team.
Bengals vs. spread: 0-2
Packers vs. spread: 1-1
Vegas Vic’s take: Green Bay is 0-4 as a favorite of 7.5 points or more since 2015, and since this number is 9, try Cincy light.
Raiders (-3) REDSKINS (O/U: 54), 8:30 p.m.
Quick hit: The Raiders have won seven of their last eight road games started by Derek Carr. That’s impressive.
Raiders vs. spread: 2-0
Redskins vs. spread: 1-1
Vegas Vic’s take: The D.C. kids know how to cover as a ‘dog, especially at home, cashing tickets in six of the last seven games.
Cowboys (-3) CARDINALS (O/U: 47 1/2), 8:30 p.m.
Quick hit: Dallas defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence had two sacks in each of the first two games.
Cowboys vs. spread: 1-1
Cardinals vs. spread: 0-2
Vegas Vic’s take: Dallas never showed for last week’s humiliating 42-17 loss at Denver. The ‘Boys will show up this week in Arizona. Bet on it. Especially with All-Pro David Johnson, the most important piece of the Cards offense, on the shelf with a broken wrist.
Rams (-2 1/2) 49ERS (40)
The Rams won 41-39, but the 49ers scored two late touchdowns to sneak in a ridiculous backdoor cover for Les Bowen.
Entering Week 3