NFL expert Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn) shares his expert opinion on the best bets available from Sunday's action on Week 3.
San Francisco 49ers @ Kansas City Chiefs | Sunday 23rd September 2018, 18:00
Now when I said Week 2 was the hardest to pick, I didn’t think it would be that hard. A truly poor effort from me last week, but I’ll be looking to get back on the winning trail straight away by siding with the one of the league’s most entertaining teams to watch in the Chiefs.
The Kansas City side have been putting up points and yards for fun over the first two weeks and I think they’re going to do so again in Week 3 against the visiting 49ers. I’ll be backing Kansas City -6.5 at 21/20 (Matchbook)
The strangest thing about the Chiefs’ offensive explosion has been that they’ve done it without really getting the running game and RB Kareem Hunt going, who’s had just 124 yards on the ground so far.
It’s been second year QB Patrick Mahomes and the passing game that has fired Kansas City to their 80 points going into Week 3.
Mahomes has thown for 10 (!) touchdowns and 582 yards already this season and I see no sign of him slowing down this week as he gets to face a 49ers defence that allowed a pretty vanilla Lions offense to put up over 400 yards last week.
The Chiefs offense is anything but vanilla thanks to HC Andy Reid. It happened last year when they tore apart my Patriots in Week 1 and it’s happening again this year – Reid’s play-calling is just so far ahead of the rest early in the season and I don’t think San Francisco will be the team that figures out how to stop it.
Of course, it would be remiss of me to ignore the fact that Kansas City has played pretty poorly on the other side of the ball. Their wins have come via shoot-outs rather than dominating their opposition.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s shine has come off a little after last season’s winning streak, but I still expect him to put up good numbers against the Chiefs. It won’t be enough though as this Kansas City offense is just too good.
Chicago Bears @ Arizona Cardinals | Sunday 23rd September 2018, 21:25
My next pick comes from Arizona where the Bears will be facing off against the Cardinals, who look woeful.
A lot of people have Buffalo as the worst team in the league so far, but at least they’re putting up some points in the process. Arizona has scored just six points across their first two games. SIX!
That is some fantastically inept offensive play and it’s hard to envision them righting the ship against a very strong Chicago defence.
I think there’s more chance we’ll see a change at QB than an Arizona win in this game and although I still don’t fully trust the Bears offensively (there use of RB Jordan Howard confuses me somewhat), they should have more than enough to beat the Cardinals.
I’ll be backing Chicago to Win Both Halves at a nice price of 2/1 (Bet365).
The strangest thing about Arizona’s offensive slump is that they’ve managed to make one of the league’s most electrifying players look dull. RB David Johnson has been brilliant until a hand injury abruptly ended his season last year and yet he is only averaging 42.5 yards a game so far.
It’s hard to envision him getting back on track in this game either, with him having to go up against a very strong Bears front seven (that now includes DE Khalil Mack) which has only given up 71.5 yards a game through two weeks.
If Johnson can’t get going, that leaves the passing game to pick up the slack and they’ve failed miserably so far. Veteran QB Sam Bradford has only managed 114 yards a game through the air and I think it’s only a matter of time before we see first round rookie QB Josh Rosen. Either way, it could be a long game for whoever’s under centre.
I’m not convinced the Bears are anything special on offense just yet, but they should have more than enough to win both halves against a very poor Cardinals team.
New England Patriots @ Detroit Lions | Monday 24th September 2018, 01:25 | Sky Sports
The Patriots put up a very poor effort against the Jaguars last week, but I’ll be looking for them to bounce back against a suspect Lions team on Sunday Night Football.
Jacksonville suffocated the New England’s offense by taking away TE Rob Gronkowski, but Detroit simply doesn’t have the personnel to mimic this so I’ll be looking for QB Tom Brady and co to get back on track and the Patriots to get back to winning ways – New England -6.5 for me at 11/12 (188BET).
I’ll be looking for Detroit to help New England along way too as they have been playing some very sloppy football on both sides of the ball so far this season. They’ve given the ball away six times already (five interceptions, one fumble) and have allowed 78 points already, a figure only matched by the Bills.
The Patriots defence has been a bit Jekyll and Hyde two games into the schedule, beating up on Houston in Week 1, while looking completely out of sorts against Jacksonville in Week 2. Given Detroit tends to be very one-dimensional due to their lack of running game, I think the Patriots will be better this week – I certainly don’t expect to see receivers running wide open as often as they were last week.
The lone bright spot for New England’s offense last week was rookie RB Sony Michel finally making his debut. Michel had 11 touches last week and looked fairly good against a tough defence. I think he’ll continue to get a decent workload despite the crowded Patriots backfield, so as an additional bet I’ll be taking the 15/8 on offer for him to score a touchdown at anytime.
The Patriots under Belichick and Brady tend not to lose back-to-back games and are 12-0 against 0-2 teams coming into this game. I think they continue this streak convincingly and get back in the winning column.
San Francisco 49ers @ Kansas City Chiefs – Kansas City Chiefs -6.5 (21/20 Matchbook)
Chicago Bears @ Arizona Cardinals – Chicago Bears to win both halves (2/1 Bet365)
New England Patriots @ Detroit Lions – New England Patriots -6.5 (11/12 188BET)
New England Patriots @ Detroit Lions – Sony Michel anytime touchdown (15/8 Sky Bet)