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Play 'em straight, parlay 'em together, whatever you fancy! Here's Ben Rolfe's top picks for this Sunday's slate

Week 2 was a frustrating week as injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and poor decisions from the officials costing us three units. However, with the league starting to materialise we look at five value plays from Sunday’s 14-game slate.

All statschecker stats are since the beginning of the 2018 season unless stated.

Here are this week’s NFL Picks:

Bet of the Week

Detroit Lions @ Philadelphia Eagles | 1:00 pm EST

1u – Detroit Lions +6 @ -105

- Per statschecker, the Eagles are 3-6 ATS at home and 5-9 ATS as favorites.

- The Lions have allowed just 37 points this season with 18 of those scored in the disastrous fourth quarter against the Cardinals.

Before the season you would likely never have given the Lions much of a hope going into Philadelphia. However, two weeks in and the Lions look a surprisingly good team, having restricted the Chargers to just 10 points last week. Some of that was due to poor play by the Chargers, but the Lions were also impressive.

The Eagles are banged up offensively, with even the players potentially suiting up likely to be limited. They have not managed to get their run game functioning and a lot of pressure will be heaped on Carson Wentz who missed some time in the last game in the concussion protocol. The Lions offense looked really good in Week 1 and will be hoping to take advantage of an Eagles secondary that has struggled. On top of those home and favorite numbers the Eagles are also 3-5 ATS after a loss and 5-9 in day games.

Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs | 1:00 pm EST

1u – Baltimore Ravens +5.5 @ -105

- The Baltimore Ravens lead the league in yards per game with 549 and are 6-3 ATS on the road as well as 4-1 ATS as underdogs.

- The Kansas City Chiefs are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games in Arrowhead.

I was going to stay clear of this game, and then the weather forecast materialised. It is expected to be a stormy day in Kansas City this weekend and that suits the Ravens far more than the Chiefs. The Ravens are averaging 223.5 rush yards per game and the Chiefs defense allowed Josh Jacobs to pick up 99 yards on 12 carries last week. The Chiefs will also be missing Damien Williams, and LeSean McCoy is expected to be banged up, leaving Darwin Thompson as the top running back option in this game. The wet stormy weather is likely to hamper the aerial attack of the Chiefs and play perfectly into the hands of the Ravens ball control run game, which should keep this one close.

Atlanta Falcons @ Indianapolis Colts | 1:00 pm EST

1u – Indianapolis Colts -1 @ -105

- The Colts have looked impressive the last two weeks, taking the Chargers to over time and winning against the Titans in Tennessee.

- Per statschecker, the Falcons are 0-5 ATS following a win, and 0-4 ATS against the AFC.

I was willing to take the Colts earlier in the week when they were laying 2.5-or-3 points so to get them laying one is a bonus. They should come into this game 2-0, but for some horrendous misses by Adam Vinatieri. Vinatieri is too good to keep struggling like this and I am backing hm to get back on track this week. The rest of the Colts team has looked impressive, especially that offensive line which has done a reasonably good job of keeping Jacoby Brissett clean.

As for the Falcons they do not convince me at all. Last weeks win was pulled out of the fire in a game they could easily have lost on another day. The offensive line is struggling, and the defense has frailties as well. They have a good group of skill players and a top quarterback, which will keep them in the game, but I cannot see them over coming the Colts in this one. As well as those stats above following a win and against the AFC, the Falcons are also 5-9 ATS in day games and 2-4 ATS as underdogs.

Oakland Raiders @ Minnesota Vikings | 1:00 pm EST

1u – Minnesota Vikings -9 @ -105

- The Minnesota Vikings are 8-3 ATS as favorites, 6-1-1 ATS following a loss and 6-3 ATS at home.

- West Coast underdogs travelling to the East Coast to play in the 1pm time slot went 13-26-1 ATS last season.

This is a massive mismatch for me between a team I believe tricked us a little in the first five quarters of this season, and a Vikings team who failed to recover from a poor start last week. The Vikings have their best two players banged up in the form of Tyrell Williams and Josh Jacobs and now they go up against one of the better defenses in the NFL. The Vikings offense relies on their run game and they struggled last week after allowing the Packers to get 21 points early. That is unlikely to happen against the Raiders, whose offense which failed to score in the final three quarters last week and  will not make the Vikings pay. Additionally, the passing game for the Vikings is set to click at some point soon, and against a mediocre Raiders defense. The Raiders come into this game 5-8 ATS in day games and 6-10 ATS as underdogs.

New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers | 4:05 pm EST

1u – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Over 26.5 points @ -117

- The New York Giants defense have allowed an average of 31.5 fantasy points per game

- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an aggressive offensive head coach and are coming into this game on the back of 10-days’ rest.

The Buccaneers offense has failed to really put down a marker yet this season. However, they can be forgiven for stumbling out of the gate against a 49ers defense that has a good defensive line, and then they played a wet and sloppy game in Carolina on Thursday Night Football. Now they have had 10 days to prepare for one of the worst defenses in the league in the Giants. The Giants secondary has some of the worst ratings in the league and they have managed just three sacks this season and rank 26th in the league. Additionally, this game is being played in the hot humid climate of Florida, which the Giants will not be used to. Expect to see the Buccaneers move the ball at ease in the second half of this game when the Giants tire.

By Ben Rolfe

Article Author


Ben is a football guru with years of experience covering the NFL. You can always count on Ben to pick a winner on Sunday!


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