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The Weekly Taste

Week 3 Bets and Player Props

by John Venezia
Updated On: September 27, 2022, 2:31 pm ET

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By now, you should know here comes the secondary article filled with other plays I like, as well as the one stop prop shop list. As promised, I did say I would be trying to lighten up my slate throughout the season, and after totaling 41 plays in the first two weeks, I think I'm making some progress. Week 3 should realistically feature about 8-10 windmill slam dunks. So, have at it you animals.

*Note: You have heard me say shopping around is pivotal, especially in futures betting, so make sure you look to see what book is offering the more favorable odds.

 

 

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Plays I like (Official Plays):

Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) @ Arizona Cardinals | Over/Under 48.5

The Arizona Cardinals not only gave me a good scare last weekend, but they almost got me banned from my local Buffalo Wild Wings. Me watching football in public, especially if I have money on the game, is usually a disaster waiting to happen. Whether it was me screaming at the TV, pacing around, or turning to complete strangers -just trying to casually watch the game- to ask if they saw what just happened, the Cards did not set me up well to show my face in public. Nevertheless, they covered, delivered the old road dog getting 5/5.5 rule, and dished out my winner for the Circa Millions pool. Cash that.

My Super Bowl bet that made me a poop ton of bread last year, the LA Rams, has not been a good look to start the season. Some gross and undisciplined mistakes have made people call into question the future status of this squad. Johnny V, however, is not worried. As for this week, let's just be real with ourselves here for a second. Since 2017 (Under HC Sean McVay) the Rams are 10-1 SU; 9-1-1 ATS against Arizona including the playoffs. The Cards to the Rams are pretty much what the Rams are to the 49ers, the little brother. In 9 of the last 11 matchups between these two teams, LAR has dropped a 30 bean on this atrocious Cardinals' defense. Furthermore, dating back to 2017, Big Daddy Stafford has a 14 TD/2 INT ratio against this team in his last six contests. The offense needs to cut down the stupid mistakes, penalties, and lack of execution if they want to impose their will on a Zona defense that has the absolute dead last scoring unit this year (33.5 PPG). Stafford will need to cut out the dumb decisions that are leading to interceptions and continue feeding Cooper Kupp his 145 weekly targets. If the Rams play their game, I really don't know how they don't drop 30 in a big win.

For Arizona, who I went on record with last season… and last week saying there is nobody in the business who has had a better read on this team than me, to win or even cover this game, a few things need to happen. First of all, they have to run the rock. Obviously, Chase Edmonds is in Miami, and James Conner is already hop-scotching his way to the injury house as he is questionable with an ankle injury that sidelined him in the second half vs. the Raiders last week. In that game the Cards won vs. LAR last year (37-20), they hammered 40 rush attempts for 216 yards and two tuddies. That keeps the Rams offense off the field and wears down their defense which has been extremely suspect so far. Next, they need to win the turnover battle. Kyler Murray, the rugrat toddler, needs to refrain from dumb decisions, while the defense forces Stafford into some of his mental gaffes. If Zona can try and bracket Kupp to contain an explosion that he is usually good for these days, then you force somebody else to make a play. Or in Stafford's case, just throw to Kupp in triple coverage.

My advice is to wait a little bit closer to game time to play this. I like Rams -3.5, but I wanted to wait in case we got lucky and somebody hit the Cards to drop the number to an even field goal. Yes, highly unlikely, but worth a shot since there is no big difference between 3.5 and 4. At some point, the Rams are going to show up, and there is no better time than the present. I like them to win, cover, and think their team total Over 26.5 points are all good plays.

Prediction: Rams cover (-3.5)

Prediction: Rams Team Total OVER 26.5 (-108)

 

Window Shopping (Unofficial Looks):

Indianapolis Colts +5.5/ML vs. Kansas City Chiefs

I have been debating all week whether or not to play this game. Obviously, the injury list dictated the move over the touchdown threshold. Since Indy went from +6.5 to +5.5, that is very telling that it would seem like WR Michael Pittman, and maybe even LB Shaquille Leonard would suit up. To be honest, I think so many people are ditching the Colts on overreactions. No, I don't think Matt Ryan is washed or this Colts team is overrated. Ryan was victimized by two bad TD drops in the end zone Week 1, which catapults the Colts to a win, and last week he had ZERO protection or receivers against a Jags team that has dominated them in Florida. I'm not impressed by what I have seen from KC. I don't have enough nerve to tout this officially, but this just seems to be a spot where Indy wins outright when everybody is counting them out.

 

Houston Texans +2.5/ML at Chicago Bears

In no world should the Chicago Bears be nearly a field goal favorite to anybody. That includes the Little Giants. Houston has hung tough against two teams that were at least thought to be AFC playoff teams in Indy and Denver. Dameon Pierce looks great and should take advantage of a Bears' defense that got ripped up by Aaron Jones on Sunday. Davis Mills and Brandin Cooks should be able to dime up a big-time connection against a weak secondary. Even with home-field advantage, it should be a pick'em. Texans Money Line makes the most sense.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars +7 at Los Angeles Chargers

Teams that travel across the country usually have a tough time as they are 36-45-1 SU since 2017. However, they are 48-34 ATS in that time frame. While I am taking the travel into account, the bigger reason I think the Jags have an advantage here is that Justin Herbert is dealing with a serious rib injury after he got crushed in KC last Thursday. If he plays, LAC probably goes with a more conservative approach, which limits the ceiling of this offense. Seven points is a lot, even with these two teams being at opposite ends of the spectrum, but given the Herbie injury, Jacksonville is a solid look considering how well they are playing in spurts.

UPDATE* As I was writing this the Jags got cracked to +5/5.5 which means there's probably bad news about Herbert. Slinging around that magic number, I am potentially obliged to play it pending more news updates. Stay tuned, as this might go on the official play card in the next 36 hours.

 

New Orleans Saints (-2.5) at Carolina Panthers

This is the first time this season that I am not officially playing the Saints. Since they lost the first two times when I played them, watch them blow out Carolina this week because that's just how it works. I do worry about the fact that Jameis Winston is playing with four fractures in his back - which would put ordinary people in bed for 3 months- which has limited him. The good news is Alvin Kamara looks like he's ready to come back. It's two good defenses and running backs, but the Saints are the better team. In fact, the Saints have won 10 of the last 13 matchups- and yes, I realize that was mostly in the Drew Brees era.

 

Player Props (Official Plays):

Cooper Kupp O8.5 catches +105

Cooper Kupp O97.5 Yards -115

A double dip on Kupp daddy for two straight weeks!? Your honor, NO OBJECTIONS. It's pretty much standard operating procedure from here on out to hit the double Kupp every week. So, it's a tad risky since Zona held Kupp to five or less catches and less than 65 yards in two of the three contests last year. Those were different times though. The Cards' defense, especially in the secondary, is much worse than it was last year giving up 302 pass YPG (second worst) in addition to their dead last scoring defense (33 PPG). I know what you're thinking, I whiffed on the double Davante last week against Arizona… and they did a great job of erasing him along with Derek Carr. Yes, that is true. However, there are a couple differences. 1. Kupp is a primary slot WR, and Tae was lining up as the X-receiver. 2. It doesn't matter if the National Guard is covering Kupp, Stafford is throwing it to him 12-15 times per game. Maybe it backfires, but we need to be playing Kupp every week, especially considering the Rams are live to drop a 40 piece.

 

Patrick Mahomes O2.5 Pass TD's +110

We cracked this bad boy in Week 1. Getting plus money on Patty to hit three tuddies? No doubt. We know Mahomes can snap at a moment's notice, not to mention he loves throwing when he gets near the goal line. On Sunday, he has a butter matchup against an Indy secondary that has gotten cooked so far, allowing a 111.2 passer rating to opposing QB's (4th worst). Kansas City should be able to move the rock through the air against a turnstile defense. For reference, Davis Mills and Trevor Lawrence each had two scores through the air thus far this season. Worth a play.

Amon-Ra St. Brown O6.5 catches -115

AMON-RAAAAA. Kid is pumping right now. We might be living in the ARSB era of wideouts. He now has EIGHT straight games of at least eight receptions, which is tied for the most all-time. Not only am I rooting for him to break the record, but he's got a great draw in the Vikings secondary that's gotten roasted like a Thanksgiving Day turkey. In fact, his original breakout started in Week 13 of last season against… the Vikings. Out of all the teams that played only two games (not three), Minny has allowed the eighth most catches to wideouts (28). St. Brown, being the primary focus of this passing game, in what may be a shootout, is in line for his ninth straight outing of double-digit targets. It's hard to fade him in a tasty matchup. I also like his over 69.5 yards prop too if you were inclined as he has gone over that number in seven of his last eight games. Oh, by the way, Vikes' safety Harrison Smith is “likely” out for this one.

Davante Adams O84.5 yards -115

Tae let me down last week. The Cardinals did a great job of making sure he was not going to be the one to beat them, and also Derek Carr looked scared to even throw to him. I doubt that happens twice in a row, especially with the prospect that the real-life Van Wilder aka Hunter Renfrow could miss with a concussion. Tae should be in line for at least a dozen looks in this one against a Titans defense that just got cooked by Stefon Diggs on MNF. Not to mention, out of every team in the NFL that has played only two games (not three), the Titans have allowed the fourth most yards to wideouts this season (408).

 

Survivor Pick:

The Rams hit last week, so we will be going with the Philadelphia Eagles over the Washington Commanders.

 

Summary:

Rams Cover -3.5 (+100)

Rams Team Total OVER 26.5 (-108)

Cooper Kupp O8.5 catches +105

Cooper Kupp O97.5 Yards -115

Patrick Mahomes O2.5 Pass TD's +110

Amon-Ra St. Brown O6.5 catches -115

Davante Adams O84.5 yards -115

 

Fantasy football guru Matthew Berry has joined the team and his two shows have you covered all season long. Spend weekdays at noon with the Fantasy Football Happy Hour and then, every Sunday at 11am getting ready for kickoff with the Fantasy Football Pregame. Watch both shows live on Peacock and catch replays for the weekday show on the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

John Venezia

John Venezia (@_JohnnyVTV) is a former gambling lead for JDF Sports that has turned his attention to cashing winners for NBC Sports EDGE. He is a bitter Falcons' fan from New Jersey that is still hanging on to his team by a thread.