INSIDE THE LINES: WEEK THREE

September 20, 2018

 

 

Inside the Lines is a weekly feature on ScouTurf.com where we outline the NFL spreads, provide a short snippet of match up insight, and give final score predictions. Last week was a terrible outing as we went 4-12 in our selections, and are 13-19 on the season so far.

 

All lines are from Westgate as of the timestamp of this article. Please visit our disclaimer at the bottom of the page.

 

New York Jets (+3) at Cleveland Browns

Is this the week that Cleveland unlocks the Bud Light fridges? If so, it would make sense that it would happen on a Thursday Night when everyone has to got to work the next day. The Browns are finding new ways to lose and the Jets look like a very competent team, even with the occasional mistake by rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. This Browns defense is underrated and is by far the best unit Darnold has seen thus far, but will they be able to move the ball under Tyrod Taylor and a questionable Jarvis Landry? Browns sneak a last second win thanks to newly-acquired kicker Greg Joseph, but the Jets cover.

Browns 24 Jets 23

 

New Orleans Saints (+3) at Atlanta Falcons

I keep betting big on the Saints and I keep getting burned. When is this supposedly improved Saints defense going to show up? This would be a good week to start against a divisional opponent that has lost three starters to injury. I expect lots of points and lots of catches from wide receiver Michael Thomas this week as the Saints roll on to 2-1 and undefeated in the division.

Saints 35 Falcons 28

 

Green Bay Packers (-3) at Washington Redskins

Despite losing a howler at home the Colts last week, the Redskins lead the NFL in yards allowed on defense. Unfortunately for Greg Manusky, Aaron Rodgers is coming to town this week, and that number will likely get inflated. Defensively, Mike Pettine's unit is starting to gel and rookie cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson both look like studs. If Alex Smith and the Skins offense couldn't move the ball against a poor Colts defense last week, I don't expect a much-improved effort against a solid Packers unit.

Packers 26 Redskins 18

 

Indianapolis Colts (+6.5) at Philadelphia Eagles

So, so tempted to bet the Colts. Between Frank Reich getting a crack against his old team that he knows like the back of his hand and a potentially rusty Carson Wentz in his 2018 debut, everything is lining up in the universe for a Colts upset. They may not win after sixty minutes, but I have a hunch they'll at least cover the spread.

Eagles 27 Colts 24

 

Buffalo Bills (+16.5) at Minnesota Vikings

The Bills literally had a player retire mid-game last week and the worst offensive line in football plays the best defensive line. If this line was +28, I still wouldn't even have to think about.

Vikings 35 Bills 6

 

Oakland Raiders (+3) at Miami Dolphins

Tough pick here. Winless at 0-2. Gruden will be desperate for a win this week and will throw every trick from the ole' bag to make sure he doesn't start off at 0-3. Meanwhile, the Dolphins have surprised everyone by getting off to a 2-0 start and have to come back to reality at some point. The Raiders have the offensive line to neutralize the Dolphins pass rush and no Reshad Jones could be the ultimate difference in this one.

Raiders 24 Dolphins 20

 

Denver Broncos (+5.5) at Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are basically coming off of a bye week after a tough loss against Cincinnati on Thursday Night Football, so that should help them immensely. Throw in the fact that they're at home and the Broncos have probably over-achieved to this point, and this is a recipe for at least a touchdown win for Baltimore. 

Ravens 24 Broncos 17

 

Cincinnati Bengals (+3) at Carolina Panthers

Similar to the pick above, the Bengals have the advantage of a few extra days to prepare for the Panthers after playing in last week's Thursday Night Football game. Rookie center Billy Price was playing very well last week before suffering an ankle injury and the stripes are going to be without Joe Mixon for this one. If the Bengals were at home, I'd still give them the edge, but since they're not...

Panthers 23 Bengals 17

 

New York Giants (+6) at Houston Texans

This is the game I probably feel best about and I'm going with the Giants to win outright. Both teams are at 0-2 and face the prospect of a lost season if they take one more loss, so we could see some special teams trickery out of desperation. Both teams offensive lines are porous, both teams have a top five stud wide receiver, but the difference is the Giants have a running back who can take it to the house on any given play.

Giants 24 Texans 21

 

Tennessee Titans (EVEN) at Jacksonville Jaguars

If it was any other opponent other than the Titans, I would say the Jaguars are in trouble for a hangover defeat after thumping the New England Patriots last week. However, the Titans dragged the Jaguars last year both times they met last season and the Jaguars players have plenty of motivation to atone for those results last year despite still winning the AFC South. Blaine Gabbert worked his voodoo last year with the Cardinals to beat his old team. Can he do it again in 2018? Nope. Jags win big.

Jaguars 35 Titans 13

 

San Francisco 49ers (+6.5) at Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes. So hot right now. The 49ers should prove to be a more challenging defense than the Steelers last week, but for some reason, San Francisco seems to be struggling this year after losing their starting running back and high-priced free agent Jerick McKinnon. Kyle Shanahan and company almost lost to a bad Lions team at home and when you factor in that Arrowhead is one of the toughest places to win on the road, this game could get out of hand.

Chiefs 34 49ers 24

 

Los Angeles Chargers (+7) at Los Angeles Rams

El Trafico. I love Sean McVay and the Rams and while they've been dominant through two weeks, who have they really played? An 0-2 Oakland Raiders team and an Arizona Cardinals unit that looks absolutely lost? The Rams are in for a surprise on Sunday when Felipe Rios and the Chargers offense comes to town and get to see what a real home field advantage in LA looks like. The Rams could very well win this game, but I'm picking the Chargers to cover the spread.

Rams 27 Chargers 23

 

Dallas Cowboys (+1.5) at Seattle Seahawks

Hot Boyz get to go up against a bottom five offensive line in the NFL and I'm sure that Russell Wilson is just sick about it. The home field advantage of the 12s will be a nice boost for Seattle, however, and they can't afford to start off the season 0-3. I simply expect the Seahawks to outscore the Cowboys and don't think Dallas has the ammunition at wide receiver to keep up.

Seahawks 28 Cowboys 20

 

Chicago Bears (-6) at Arizona Cardinals

I honestly didn't expect the Cardinals to be this bad, but here we are. The offense is beyond pedestrian with Sam Bradford under center and they seem to be having a tough time getting the ball into the hands of their offensive dynamo David Johnson (who they just paid, by the way). Hiring Mike McCoy to run that offense looks like it could come back to haunt them, but in the meantime, the only thing that will be haunting Bradford is Khalil Mack. Is this the game he gets broken in half and we see Josh Rosen?

Bears 30 Cardinals 7

 

New England Patriots (-7) at Detroit Lions

The Patriots almost never lose back-to-back games and if there is anyone who knows Matt Patricia better than Bill Belichick, I'd like to know who. You better believe that Tom Brady and new toy Josh Gordon roll into Ford Field and give the Lions hell on a national stage for the second time in three weeks.

Patriots 35 Lions 17

 

Pittsburgh Steelers (-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There is seriously something wrong with the Steelers, and I don't think it's Le'Veon Bell, as James Conner has done a wonderful job filling in for the holdout. It's their defense, who Patrick Mahomes carved up with six touchdown passes last week. Artie Burns can't defend even a soul at the moment and Bud Dupree has been dormant on the edge so far this year. If it comes down to another offensive shootout on Monday Night (and I can't believe I'm saying this), can you really bet against FitzMagic and that receiving unit against this miserable Steelers secondary?

Buccaneers 35 Steelers 31

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