NFL Player Props: Week 2

 

NFL Player Props for Week Two are here.

Click the Read More link to view the Week 2 player props table.

 



 

 

Data provided by Bovada.

Martin is a data analyst that has been applauded for his ability to make the complex simple. He grew up on a farm in northern Vermont and spent his summers helping his mom lead llama treks at Smugglers’ Notch Resort.

Martin graduated from University of Vermont with a degree in Mathematics. After graduation he left Vermont to work for an educational nonprofit called City Year for two years, and followed that up by attending the data science immersive program at Galvanize in Denver. He is an avid Green Bay Packer fan, and spends his free time playing football and soccer.

NFL fines Ravens $200,000 for rules violation

 

 

The NFL fined the Baltimore Ravens $200,000 on Wednesday for preseason violations of the league's coach-to-player communications policy.

 

The team was fined because several Ravens wore helmets with coach-to-player communications while on the field at the same time, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said.

 

The Ravens issued a statement on social media:

 

 

The NFL fined the Baltimore Ravens $200,000 on Wednesday for preseason violations of the league’s coach-to-player communications policy.

 

The team was fined because several Ravens wore helmets with coach-to-player communications while on the field at the same time, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said.

 

The Ravens issued a statement on social media:

 

“The Ravens’ equipment staff misunderstood that this league rule applied in the preseason. Ravens coaches were unaware that multiple players had communication devices in their helmets while on the field at the same time.”

 

 

 

Baltimore already was fined earlier this year for an infraction of the collective bargaining agreement. In June, an undisclosed infraction forced the team to forfeit two organized team activities. Owner Steve Bisciotti and coach John Harbaugh were fined $100,000 and $50,000, respectively.

 

In 2016, the Ravens and Harbaugh were fined $343,057 and $137,223, respectively, for an infraction in OTAs. The team also had to cancel some workouts in 2010 for another violation.

 

–Field Level Media

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Browns WR Landry questionable to face Jets with knee issue

CLEVELAND (AP) — Browns top receiver Jarvis Landry is questionable to play in Thursday night's game against the New York Jets because of a knee issue.

Landry, who has 12 catches for 175 yards in his first two games for Cleveland, has been limited during workouts this week and the team listed him as questionable

CLEVELAND (AP) — Browns top receiver Jarvis Landry is questionable to play in Thursday night’s game against the New York Jets because of a knee issue.

Landry, who has 12 catches for 175 yards in his first two games for Cleveland, has been limited during workouts this week and the team listed him as questionable on Wednesday’s injury report.

Landry said he was confident he would play when he spoke to reporters on Tuesday.

Linebacker Christian Kirksey is doubtful as he continues to recover from an ankle and shoulder problem. Kirksey sat out Sunday’s loss in New Orleans, and with a short week, it’s possible the Browns (0-1-1) will rest him again.

Starting defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah will sit out his second consecutive game with a left ankle injury sustained Week 1 against Pittsburgh, and tight end Seth DeValve with a hamstring injury.

Also, starting safety Damarious Randall is questionable with a heel injury.

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Cam Newton learning to become more efficient passer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton appears on his way to becoming a smarter, more efficient passer.

It's only been two games, but the Panthers' eighth-year quarterback is completing a career-best 69 percent of his passes — well above his career completion mark of 58.3 percent — entering Sunday's game against the unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton appears on his way to becoming a smarter, more efficient passer.

It’s only been two games, but the Panthers’ eighth-year quarterback is completing a career-best 69 percent of his passes — well above his career completion mark of 58.3 percent — entering Sunday’s game against the unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals.

Those numbers may not turn a lot of heads, but the Panthers (1-1) believe it’s a sign that Newton is gaining a solid grasp on new offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s scheme and developing as a passer. He’s being more patient, often working through his progressions and finding his second, third and sometimes fourth options on pass plays.

That was evident last Sunday when Newton completed 14 passes to running back Christian McCaffrey resulting in 102 yards — most of those on “check downs,” where Newton was forced to read the defense and wait until the play developed before releasing the football.

“He’s made a lot of good decisions these first two games,” coach Ron Rivera said. “I’m real excited about the progress Cam has shown in terms of understanding and getting a feel for what coach Turner wants.”

The 2015 league MVP completed 32 of 45 passes for 332 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-24 loss to the Falcons on Sunday — although those numbers would have been higher had his receivers not dropped five passes, including one bobbled ball that resulted in Newton’s only interception of the season.

Despite the loss, Rivera praised Newton’s performance.

“He was patient, he went through his reads and he didn’t force balls in,” Rivera said. “And he threw check downs when he needed to. And that was huge. … Not always do you have to force the ball in or take off running.”

Rivera expects Newton’s completion percentage will increase the more time he spends in Turner’s offense.

Newton said it’s just a matter of learning to take what the defense gives him.

One of the biggest keys, he said, is trusting teammates around him to do their jobs — the offensive line giving him time to work through his progressions and receivers making plays with the ball in their hands.

That happened against Atlanta when Newton found D.J. Moore — his second option — with a pass over the middle that the speedy rookie wide receiver caught and turned into a 51-yard touchdown.

“Wherever the read takes (me) I have to get the ball out of my hands and allow those guys to” make plays, said Newton, whose completion percentage ranks 15th in the league.

“That has been a bigger part of what they doing, no doubt,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said of the check downs.

McCaffrey was drafted last year with the purpose of giving Newton an option when things begin to break down, instead of having to tuck and run as often.

The running back from Stanford set a franchise rookie record with 80 receptions. This year, he’s on pace to double that output.

McCaffrey is unlikely to get to 160 receptions because at some point teams are going to adjust and take him away. But the Panthers are counting on that, figuring it will open things up downfield for other receivers.

“Eventually teams will have to start to play that,” McCaffrey said, “and that’s when it all opens up.”

While Newton’s intended target may change as the season unfolds, Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith said Newton has a good chance of maintaining that 69 percent completion rate — or even improving on it.

“Cam has been working his tail off and he has been making great decisions,” Smith said.

Newton said he couldn’t care less about his completion percentage, as long as the team wins.

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Packers QB Rodgers fears knee will get worse

 

 

Aaron Rodgers plans to play with a left knee injury for the third consecutive game on Sunday, and the Green Bay Packers' perennial MVP candidate is concerned his condition will get worse before it improves.

 

"Obviously that's a concern," Rodgers said Wednesday. "Hopefully it goes the other way."

 

Rodgers did not

 

 

Aaron Rodgers plans to play with a left knee injury for the third consecutive game on Sunday, and the Green Bay Packers’ perennial MVP candidate is concerned his condition will get worse before it improves.

 

“Obviously that’s a concern,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “Hopefully it goes the other way.”

 

Rodgers did not practice last week until a light workout Saturday before playing in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. He was hurt in the first half of the season opener against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field.

 

It’s unlikely Rodgers will practice much this week, if at all, but he does plan to be on the field Sunday when the Packers (1-0-1) visit the Redskins (1-1).

 

“Obviously, I’d love to be better than I was last week as far as health-wise, but there’s some factors that are out of my control,” Rodgers said.

 

The Packers are not concerned about Rodgers’ mobility after he appeared improved both laterally and moving forward in Week 2. He credited the relatively high temperatures in Green Bay last week for loosening up his knee.

 

“We’re still in a day-by-day mode, I mean, just how he’s progressing,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

 

–Field Level Media

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Jaguars continue Payback Tour against AFC South rival Titans

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars might as well dub this the Payback Tour 2018.

It started last week against two-time defending AFC champion New England, which ended Jacksonville's season in January. The Jaguars won the rematch going away, a 31-20 victory that arguably made them the favorite in the conference.

Now, the Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars might as well dub this the Payback Tour 2018.

It started last week against two-time defending AFC champion New England, which ended Jacksonville’s season in January. The Jaguars won the rematch going away, a 31-20 victory that arguably made them the favorite in the conference.

Now, the Jaguars (2-0) get AFC South rival Tennessee. The Titans (1-1) swept the season series in 2017 and have won four of the last five meetings.

“Losing to a team twice, at their house and here, that wasn’t cool,” linebacker Myles Jack said Wednesday. “We’re not too happy about that. That’s obviously being talked about this week. The New England game was one thing, but this is a team that literally beat us twice in one year. We’ve got to fix that.”

Tennessee scored 30 unanswered points in the first meeting last year, running for 179 yards, taking advantage of three turnovers and winning 37-16.

The Jaguars weren’t much better three months later, turning the ball over four times in a 15-10 loss in the final week of the regular season . Jacksonville played all its starters despite having secured the division title.

“The Titans were the one team we really didn’t have an answer for,” safety Tashaun Gipson said. “They outplayed us in every facet of the game. We were truly outmatched, from the home opener last year to the game before the playoffs.

“Obviously, we want to get our lick back in a sense.”

What really irked the Jaguars was talk in Tennessee’s locker room suggesting the Titans should have been AFC South champs.

“I know a lot of people heard about that,” Gipson said. “We feel like we’re the better team and we feel it’s time for us to show it. These are games we’re supposed to win.”

The Titans have been less chatty and more complimentary this week.

“At the end of the day, they’re the division champs and they got that title, so it’s going to be key for us to go out there and take it,” defensive lineman Jurrell Casey said. “It doesn’t matter what happened last year. They’re the champs right now and they got the lead in the division.”

Jacksonville’s Payback Tour doesn’t end this week, either. The team hosts New York Jets next week. The Jets beat Jacksonville in overtime last year.

Throw in the season opener at the New York Giants — Tom Coughlin’s first game against the team that pushed him out the coaching door — and it’s essentially a four-game stretch of revenge.

“We’ve got a lot of rivalries, so to speak, on the schedule,” defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. “It’s a good temperature gauger of where we are and where we want to be.”

No team has beaten Jacksonville more times than Tennessee.

The Titans handed the Jags their most heartbreaking loss in franchise history, a 33-14 setback in the AFC title game in January 2000. Jacksonville had the NFL’s best record, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and even led 14-10 at halftime before collapsing. Tenneesse was the only team to beat Jacksonville that season, accomplishing it three times.

The Titans also handed Jacksonville one of its most embarrassing losses in team history, a 36-22 drubbing in 2016 that was much worse than the fine score indicated. The Jags trailed 27-0 at halftime on national television, getting outgained by nearly 300 yards.

“They really did just beat the (crap) out of us,” said defensive tackle Abry Jones, one of seven current Jags defenders who started that game.

The Titans have won six of nine in the series.

New England had won eight straight against Jacksonville before last week’s breakthrough victory. Players spent eight months counting down the days until they faced Tom Brady again.

They’ve waited even longer to play the Titans.

“Anyway you can find a way to get yourself up for a game,” Jack said. “For example, us losing to the them twice would be my motivation. You’ve got to find a way to hate your opponent.”

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AP Sports Writer Teresa Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed to this report.

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Passed up: Darnold can show Browns what they’re missing

CLEVELAND (AP) — Sam Darnold once thought he'd be wearing an orange helmet just a few shades brighter than his hair color.

But the former USC star wasn't precisely what the Browns were looking for in a franchise quarterback in the NFL draft. Darnold checked most of the boxes, but not all of them and

CLEVELAND (AP) — Sam Darnold once thought he’d be wearing an orange helmet just a few shades brighter than his hair color.

But the former USC star wasn’t precisely what the Browns were looking for in a franchise quarterback in the NFL draft. Darnold checked most of the boxes, but not all of them and Cleveland passed on him with the No. 1 overall pick, selecting Baker Mayfield instead.

On Thursday night, Darnold can show the Browns they made a mistake.

Another one.

The youngest quarterback to start a season opener since 1970, Darnold will perform on a national TV stage for the second time already as a pro when he leads the New York Jets into FirstEnergy Stadium to face the Browns, who have played well enough to win their first two games but are still searching for their first victory since Dec. 24, 2016.

Heading into April’s draft, Darnold was considered the top of the deep 2018 QB class and it appeared he would wind up in Cleveland, where quarterbacks have come and gone like restaurant busboys over the past two decades.

“Yeah, I thought I could’ve ended up there or several other teams,” Darnold said this week. “I was excited to go anywhere. “Whoever wanted me, whoever wanted to pick me as a top pick, to me it was a dream come true right when it happened.”

After the Browns nabbed Mayfield and the Giants grabbed running back Saquon Barkley, the Jets took Darnold and have been more than satisfied by his early development.

He rebounded from throwing an interception that was returned for a TD on his first pass attempt in the opener and led the Jets to a 31-point win, and last week the 21-year-old became the youngest QB to pass for 300 yards.

Darnold insists he’s not seeking any revenge or trying to prove anything to the Browns.

“No,” he said. “I’m just going to go out there and play ball.”

The Jets and Browns are on divergent paths with their rookie quarterbacks. New York has chosen to start Darnold, while Cleveland is holding Mayfield out to watch and learn behind Tyrod Taylor.

It’s not a race and the Browns feel no need to rush their plan.

“We feel very comfortable with the guy that we selected in Baker, and I’m sure they do with him,” coach Hue Jackson said. “He’s a fine prospect and is going to be a fine player. I think they got a good one, but we feel we have a really good one, too.”

After facing Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees — two future Hall of Famers — in Weeks 1 and 2, the Browns aren’t looking at Darnold as any break.

“I don’t think that any game in the NFL is a breather,” said linebacker Joe Schobert.

“He’s got a big arm. He’s doing good things as their quarterback. The hardest thing to do is come into the NFL and play quarterback and be successful. And he’s so far shown himself to be pretty poised and good at it.”

PRESSURE PACKED

The Browns are down and desperate. They need a win, and after stubbing their toes twice already, need to beat the Jets. A 1-1-1 record seems light years from 0-2-1.

“Our team is excited, hungry, disappointed, anxious — all of those words you want to use,” said Jackson, who is 1-32-1 in two seasons. “We just need to get it done.”

BACK ‘HOME”

The Dawg Pound will be a homecoming of sorts for several current Jets, who are former Browns.

Running back Isaiah Crowell played the past four years in Cleveland. Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor spent two seasons with the Browns, including a breakout campaign in 2016 when the former quarterback had 1,007 yards. His QB for parts of those seasons was Josh McCown, now Darnold’s backup and mentor.

Cornerback Buster Skrine played in Cleveland from 2011-14. Jets coach Todd Bowles, too, has Cleveland connections as an assistant under Butch Davis from 2001-04.

ALIVE & KICKING

Greg Joseph was on the beach hanging out with friends last weekend, “you know, just living the South Florida life.” Things changed quickly.

The rookie is now in the spotlight — or crosshairs — as Cleveland’s new kicker. Joseph signed this week after the Browns cut Zane Gonzalez for missing two field goals and two extra points last week.

Joseph, who spent the preseason with Miami, is excited about the opportunity.

“My film’s out there. My stats are out there,” he said. “I learned a lot about me, the athlete I am and the competitor I am. I’m ready to bring it here.”

Q IS THE ANSWER

Darnold’s favorite target through two games has been wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who has a team-leading 13 catches for 155 yards and a touchdown. Enunwa has been targeted 21 times, more than Pryor (11), Robby Anderson (six) and Jermaine Kearse (two) combined.

SACK RACE

The Jets got their first four sacks of the season last Sunday against Miami, the most since getting to Taylor seven times when he played with Buffalo in Week 9 last season.

“The whole unit, we definitely picked it up last week,” defensive end Leonard Williams said. “We didn’t have any sacks in the first week, even though they got the ball out pretty quickly. At the same time, I don’t want to make excuses. We definitely picked it up last week and I hope we continue to make strides on that.”

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Bengals down to Gio Bernard as only experienced running back

 

CINCINNATI (AP) — Giovani Bernard is the last veteran running back standing for the Cincinnati Bengals, and even he was limited in practice on Wednesday.

The Bengals (2-0) head to Carolina (1-1) with Bernard as their only experienced back who knows their system. No. 3 back Tra Carson was waived Wednesday after suffering a

 

CINCINNATI (AP) — Giovani Bernard is the last veteran running back standing for the Cincinnati Bengals, and even he was limited in practice on Wednesday.

The Bengals (2-0) head to Carolina (1-1) with Bernard as their only experienced back who knows their system. No. 3 back Tra Carson was waived Wednesday after suffering a hamstring injury in practice.

The Bengals signed free agent running back Thomas Rawls, who was released by the Jets at the end of training camp.

The running game has shown significant improvement over last year, helping the Bengals get off to their fast start. The challenge is to keep it going with only one proven option to carry the ball.

“I feel like people are freaking out but my goodness, it’s football,” Bernard said Wednesday before his limited practice. “Guys are going to go down and the next man has to step up and be prepared.”

Joe Mixon hurt his right knee during a 34-23 win over Baltimore on Thursday night. He had a surgical procedure over the weekend to remove a piece of torn cartilage. He walked without a limp or a brace Wednesday, saying the knee felt good. He’ll be sidelined for a few games as the knee recovers.

“I’m not sure of the timetable and however the recovery process is going to be or whatever they are going to let me do,” Mixon said.

Mixon’s injury opened the way for Carson to move into a bigger role behind Bernard, but he got hurt during practice on Monday.

The Bengals decided they needed another healthy runner and signed Rawls, who played for Seattle from 2015-17, starting 17 games.

Rawls did his best in his rookie season, carrying 147 times for 830 yards and a 5.6-yard average. His production dropped each of the next two seasons, and he was released after carrying 58 times for 157 yards in 2017.

The Bengals also have rookie Mark Walton, a fourth-round pick in 2018. Walton had only 21 yards on 22 carries in the preseason.

“I was hesitating, second-guessing myself,” Walton said. “I had a lot of cutbacks.”

Provided he’s healthy, Bernard will get the ball a lot at Carolina, moving into a role that he’s filled on occasion during his five-year career. He’s been used more as a complement to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Jeremy Hill and Mixon over the years, pressed into a featured role when the starter was injured.

“He may be 5-foot-8, 200 (pounds), but he’s about 6-foot-4, 250 in heart,” running backs coach Kyle Caskey said. “So he’s one of those guys who’s going to be more productive and explosive than you think he’s going to be with his size.”

Bernard has carried the ball 20 or more times in three games during his career, including a 23-carry, 116-yard performance during a 26-17 win over Detroit on Dec. 24.

Bernard’s biggest contribution to the offense has been as a receiver. He’s caught at least five passes in a game 23 times, with nine as his career high. He has two 100-yard receiving games.

“He does the same things I do,” Mixon said. “I have complete faith in Gio and however they are going to use him. I’m not worried about any downfall in the running game and passing game. He’s done it for years.”

PRICE IN THE BOOT

Rookie center Billy Price was walking with a boot on his injured right foot Wednesday. He sprained the foot when it was stepped on during the win over the Ravens. Doctors concluded on Wednesday that the injury won’t need surgery.

He’ll wear the boot continuously for two weeks and get treatment.

“We’ll reevaluate in two weeks and see where we’re at,” Price said.

ALSO SIDELINED

Defensive end Michael Johnson hurt his left knee early in the game against the Ravens and was limited in practice on Wednesday. Linebacker Preston Brown missed the Ravens game with a sprained right ankle and also had a limited workout.

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Ballin’ on a Budget Week 3 Picks

After a week that saw us get brutalized as much as the rest of the NFL betting population last week, NFL’s Week 3 provides an opportunity for us to get back on track. To recap how bad last week was for everybody: the 10 most popular team picks in the Vegas Super

After a week that saw us get brutalized as much as the rest of the NFL betting population last week, NFL’s Week 3 provides an opportunity for us to get back on track. To recap how bad last week was for everybody: the 10 most popular team picks in the Vegas Super Contest went a total of 2-8. Pretty much no one had a good week. However, there is plenty to like this week, at least on paper.

As always, remember that we’re ballin’ on a budget, so we have $20 to spend and we’re hoping to spend it wisely on five more games this week. We’re chasing our losses from last week, but that won’t be the case for long. This week, instead of going with three spreads and two over/unders, we’re going with four spreads and just one over/under. Without further adieu, away we go …

Packers -3.5 over Redskins (EVEN)

That extra half point is a fickle beast and I debated including this pick in the Week 3 column for that exact reason. With this game being in Washington, there are plenty of scenarios we could see play out where the Packers win by a single field goal and we lose this bet. However, after a frustrating game against the Vikings that they should have won, the Packers should be out for blood in their first road game of the year.

Aaron Rodgers may be on one leg, but he’s better than nearly every other quarterback in the league even with that being the case. Washington showed against the Colts that they are potentially inept on offense without any go-to playmakers. Alex Smith isn’t likely to turn the ball over, but the offense is also more likely to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns, which is reason enough to take Green Bay even money at -3.5 instead of -3. The bet: $3 for total payout of $6.

Bills +17.5 over Vikings (-115)

Don’t get me wrong, the Vikings will win this game handily, but 17.5 points in the NFL is a ton. You’re telling me Minnesota has to win by at least three scores to cover the spread. Is that possible? Of course. Is it likely? I don’t think so. Buffalo gets to play indoors and on turf and while they’re facing one of the best defenses in the league, they should be able to move the ball enough, if LeSean McCoy is healthy, to stay within 17 points.

At this point, it appears the Bills and Cardinals are the two worst teams in the league. Most would probably rank the Vikings as one of the best. On any given Sunday, though, I’m not giving the best team in football 17.5 points on the worst team in football. Minnesota could cover, but this line seems like an overreaction to the Bills’ comically bad start. The bet: $3 for total payout of $5.61.

Seahawks -1.5 over Cowboys (-110)

This is a real test for Seattle and it might define the rest of Pete Carroll’s tenure with the Seahawks. They sit at 0-2 after losing to two average teams in the Broncos and Bears. Both those games were on the road, though, and they finally get some home cooking in Week 3. This is a huge deal as Seattle traditionally has been an elite home team and an average road team. Over the last four seasons, the Seahawks are a combined 23-9 at home and 18-15-1 on the road.

Dallas is riding high off a 20-13 win over the Giants, whose offensive line looked terrible on Sunday Night Football. Nothing happened in that game to convince me that Dak Prescott is any better than an average quarterback, so he’s not single-handedly going to torch Seattle. Ezekiel Elliott might. The Seahawks’ biggest problem is they don’t have the number of playmakers on that defense that they used to and the offense is banged up. In the end, this game is do or die for Seattle. While they may not make the playoffs this season, they will keep some hope alive by turning away the visiting Cowboys Sunday. The bet: $3 for total payout of $5.73.

Panthers -3 over Bengals (EVEN)

With this bet being even money, there’s great value here. Carolina is back at home and in the last few years, we haven’t really seen the Bengals sustain any type of success. Cincinnati has not won three games in a row since it won its first eight games of the 2015 season. We know they will be without starting running back, Joe Mixon, which is a huge deal. Giovanni Bernard is a great pass catcher out of the backfield, but he’s simply not the same playmaker, every-down back Mixon is.

Carolina showed flashes on offense against the Falcons and being back in a comfortable home environment should help them. They know the NFC South is going to be as tough as always to win and a victory at home this week is vital. Getting that field goal advantage on the line is great, because it allows you some breathing room to earn a push if they do win by just three. The bet: $5 for total payout of $10.

49ers vs. Chiefs UNDER 57 points

You might look at this and scratch your head as the Chiefs just played in a game against the Steelers that reached 79 total points last week. Meanwhile, the 49ers reached a total of exactly 57 in their 30-27 win over the Lions on Sunday. San Francisco’s defense is nothing to write home about, but they have an extra week of film on rookie QB Patrick Mahomes that may take him down a notch. Kansas City’s defense is also pretty stout; they gave up a ton of points to the Steelers, because Pittsburgh was playing catch up and K.C. was playing bend-don’t-break defense.

You’d expect this game to be close, although through two games, I’m still not sure how good either of these two teams is. The Chiefs are at home, so you probably give them the nod in the game, but this has the feel of a 24-17 game, which leaves us 16 points beneath the under with plenty of wiggle room in case the game is a little more offensive than anticipated. This looks like the biggest lock of the week. The bet: $6 for total payout of $11.45.

Bonus picks: A couple other picks I like this week, but am not confident enough in to officially include in the column are: Colts +6.5 at Eagles (-110) and Jets-Browns over 39.5 (-110). Indy has looked good through two games and are visiting an Eagles team coming off a road loss to the Buccaneers. Carson Wentz is back under center for Philly, but how effective will he be? That’s a legitimate question mark and enough to make you consider taking the Colts as almost a touchdown dog. If that line moves up to +7 jump all over it.

In the Jets-Browns game, there’s plenty of reason not to bet. Reason No. 1 would be that you have to watch the game. After that, though, there’s actually plenty of reason to bet this over. Let’s say we anticipate a close game: 23-20 or 27-20 is entirely within the realm of possibility. Each of those types of scores would get us our over. We do run the risk that one of these offenses lays a complete egg, but with an over/under so low, it’s hard to resist taking the over. Plus, that will give you something to root for in an otherwise forgettable Thursday Night game.

Jacob Kornhauser is a sports reporter in Southern Oregon covering all sports, including Oregon and Oregon State athletics. He has been a national baseball writer for Bleacher Report and Rant Sports and has written two baseball books. He also specializes in sports betting analysis. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School.

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Washington, D.C. Councilman Introduces Sports Betting Bill

The post Washington, D.C. Councilman Introduces Sports Betting Bill appeared first on SportsHandle.

Against a backdrop of U.S. Congressmen proposing the idea of a federal framework for sports betting, a District of Columbia city council member has introduced a bill that would allow sports betting in the nation’s capitol. According to

The post Washington, D.C. Councilman Introduces Sports Betting Bill appeared first on SportsHandle.

Against a backdrop of U.S. Congressmen proposing the idea of a federal framework for sports betting, a District of Columbia city council member has introduced a bill that would allow sports betting in the nation’s capitol. According to the Washington Post, Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) introduced legislation that he says he is co-authoring with Democratic mayor Muriel E. Bowser and Democratic city councilman Phil Mendelson.

The bill has been referred to the Finance and Revenue Committee, of which Evans is the chairman. (Read the bill here.) The District is in a unique situation in that is it essentially a city-state and the 13-member City Council makes law in D.C.  Given the relatively small number of lawmakers, the process is more nimble than in a larger state governments. However, laws passed by the Council are subject to Congressional approval.

Should the District of Columbia legalize sports betting, it would be the first in the immediate region to do so. Maryland is very much a gaming state but did not pass sports betting legislation in 2018 that would have put the matter of legalization to voter referendum. The closest states with legal sports betting are Delaware — the first in the nation to roll out sports betting post-PASPA — and West Virginia, which took its first sports bet in late August.

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FANTASY PLAYS: Saints-Falcons, SF-KC stacks for Week 3

Week 2 was another high scoring slate in the NFL and another week when daily fantasy sports contests were won by rostering the passing attack from just a handful of games.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 300-plus yards and six touchdowns in a 42-27 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, including two scores to tight

Week 2 was another high scoring slate in the NFL and another week when daily fantasy sports contests were won by rostering the passing attack from just a handful of games.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 300-plus yards and six touchdowns in a 42-27 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, including two scores to tight end Travis Kelce. Behind early and forced to play catch-up, Ben Roethlisberger aired it out 60 times, leading to a 450-yard performance to go along with three passing and one rushing touchdown. Wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster and TE Jesse James both cracked the 100-yard threshold and found the end zone.

In total there were more than 180 fantasy points scored in the Chiefs-Steelers game. Meanwhile at Lambeau Field, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins connected with WRs Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen for 90 combined fantasy points.

Game stacks have been pivotal to winning daily tournaments this year. The Bucs-Saints shootout in Week 1 and the Chiefs-Steelers shootout for Week 2 both led to millions in prizes.

Here are game stacks to target for Week 3:

New Orleans at Atlanta (Over-under: 53, Falcons favored by 3 points)

The Falcons-Saints game has the second-highest Vegas total this week. Matt Ryan and the Falcons host Drew Brees and company in a game that could make a perfect game stack opportunity with the duo of Ryan and Julio Jones plus New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara. Jones has been targeted 28 times to start the season for nearly 500 air yards, a metric that balances target volume with the depth of those targets. Jones has a 40 percent market share of the Falcons passing attack. On the flip side, Alvin Kamara gets to face a Falcons defense that funnels targets to opposing running backs and gave up 14 catches for 100-plus yards to Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey last weekend. Kamara has 18 targets through the first two weeks and is in a prime spot to make a fantasy splash if the game in Atlanta turns into a shootout. Fantasy owners who are building multiple lineups could also consider mixing in Saints WR Michael Thomas and Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu to their stacks.

San Francisco at Kansas City (Over-under: 56, Chiefs favored by 6 1/2 points)

While a lot of the attention will be on Patrick Mahomes this week because of his 10 TDs through two games, winning daily fantasy tournaments requires separation from the crowd.

Jimmy Garoppolo is in a bounce-back spot against a Chiefs defense that has allowed more than 1,000 yards per game of total offense and given up more than 400 yards passing in back-to-back games. While the Chiefs defense should benefit from a home game at Arrowhead, Garoppolo is still in great position to throw for 300 yards and multiple touchdowns and will look to connect with his favorite target as Marquise Goodwin hopefully returns to the 49ers lineup. Garoppolo-Goodwin stacks can also be mixed with 49ers tight end George Kittle — who could be lower owned after disappointing players as a popular pick last week. He will return value for fantasy owners if he can even replicate half of Jesse James’ stat line from last week. Chiefs players Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins are all candidates to “bring it back” and should be inserted into your lineups to make a full-on game stack.

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This column was provided to The Associated Press by DailyRoto, http://dailyroto.com

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NFL Week 3: Over and Under Best Bets

 

This NFL season, with sports betting expected to be a more common and accepted practice, we're making a point to look beyond point spreads and analyze often-neglected totals. As part of that approach, we're offering up our favorite bet over and favorite under each week. 

Over of the week: Indianapolis Colts

 

This NFL season, with sports betting expected to be a more common and accepted practice, we’re making a point to look beyond point spreads and analyze often-neglected totals. As part of that approach, we’re offering up our favorite bet over and favorite under each week. 

Over of the week: Indianapolis Colts at Philadelphia Eagles

Total: 47.5

This total is well below 50 because the Indianapolis defense is coming off a shockingly strong performance against the Washington Redskins, while the Eagles have yet to score more than 21 points this season. But the reality is the Colts defense is much more like the unit that surrendered 34 points on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1, and the Philadelphia offense is due for a breakout performance. 

Look for an angry Eagles team to bounce back from a tough loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a big number in quarterback Carson Wentz’s return to action. And on the other side of the ball, look for Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton and Co. to exploit a Philly D that struggled immensely in Tampa. 

There’s a chance the Eagles run away with this at home, but even that would probably enable Indy to rack up some garbage-time points.

Philly should hit the 30 mark, while the Colts should be able to score at least 20 points here.

Predicted score: Eagles 34, Colts 21

Under of the week: Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams

Total: 48

It’s not as though both of these offenses aren’t capable of scoring 30-plus points Sunday in the Battle of L.A., but it’s that both the Chargers and Rams look fantastic on the defensive side of the ball. 

A little too fantastic for that total of 48. 

With Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh dominating up front, the new-look Rams defense hasn’t surrendered a point in the last six quarters. Meanwhile, it’s obvious the Chargers can now be forgiven for surrendered 38 points to the out-of-control Kansas City Chiefs in their opener, because they smothered the Buffalo Bills offense on the road in Week 2, holding them to just 13 points before garbage time. 

The Bolts might still give up 24 here, but that strong secondary won’t be embarrassed again. They’ll stick around on offense, but they aren’t likely finding the end zone more than three times against Donald, Suh and Co. 

Predicted score: Rams 24, Chargers 18

Good luck, we’re all counting on you. 

Previous results
Last week: 1-1
2018 season: 2-2

Brad Gagnon has covered the NFL since 2007 and is a member of the Professional Football Writers of America, despite the fact he actually lives in Canada. The Toronto-based sports journalist’s work can also be seen at Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, Awful Announcing and The Guardian. He can be found on Twitter @brad_gagnon

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Examining The FanDuel Sportsbook Ticketing Snafu Through The Eyes of Nevada

The post Examining The FanDuel Sportsbook Ticketing Snafu Through The Eyes of Nevada appeared first on SportsHandle.

Sports bettors in emerging markets are continuing to discover some of the vagaries of sporting wagering. Among them are situations when an “accepted” bet may not always be a bet, and what happens

The post Examining The FanDuel Sportsbook Ticketing Snafu Through The Eyes of Nevada appeared first on SportsHandle.

Sports bettors in emerging markets are continuing to discover some of the vagaries of sporting wagering. Among them are situations when an “accepted” bet may not always be a bet, and what happens to a “wins/losses” totals bet if a team ends up with a postponed game that’s not rescheduled.

FanDuel Sportsbook, operating at The Meadowlands Racetrack, has refused to honor a $110 live betting ticket on the Broncos to defeat the Raiders on Sunday — a wager that would have paid more than $82,000. The company says the extremely large odds on the bet were caused by an error in the oddsmaking process. “The wager in question involved an obvious pricing error inadvertently generated by our in-game pricing system,” a FanDuel spokesperson said in a statement. 

The bettor, who identified himself to News 12 New Jersey as Anthony Prince, made his wager over the counter at the sportsbook at the Meadowlands with Denver trailing the Raiders 19-17 late in the fourth quarter. The Broncos then arrived comfortably in field goal range, especially given the high altitude in Denver, when Broncos QB Case Keenum completed a pass down to Oakland 18-yard line. However, as FanDuel updated the live betting odds to reflect Denver as a -600 favorite the company says an error in the live-odds feed caused the Broncos to be posted as 750-1 (+75,000) underdogs to win the game. 

 

Read more Examining The FanDuel Sportsbook Ticketing Snafu Through The Eyes of Nevada on SportsHandle.

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NFL Week 2 Stat Recap Table: QB, RB and WR

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 452 yards and 3 TDs on Sunday - and ended up as the second-best QB on the field. Patrick Mahomes tossed for 326 YDS and 6 TDs.
Other notable performances:

  • Todd Gurley and AJ Green produce 3 touchdowns each
  • Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs combine for 259 YDs

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 452 yards and 3 TDs on Sunday – and ended up as the second-best QB on the field. Patrick Mahomes tossed for 326 YDS and 6 TDs.
Other notable performances:

  • Todd Gurley and AJ Green produce 3 touchdowns each
  • Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs combine for 259 YDs and 3 TDs
  • New Orleans WR Michael Thomas had 12 catches for 89 YDs and 2 TDs
  • Blake Bortles threw for 377 YDs and 4 TDs


This weeks odds and lines

Martin is a data analyst that has been applauded for his ability to make the complex simple. He grew up on a farm in northern Vermont and spent his summers helping his mom lead llama treks at Smugglers’ Notch Resort.

Martin graduated from University of Vermont with a degree in Mathematics. After graduation he left Vermont to work for an educational nonprofit called City Year for two years, and followed that up by attending the data science immersive program at Galvanize in Denver. He is an avid Green Bay Packer fan, and spends his free time playing football and soccer.

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Bengals down to Giovani Bernard as experienced running back

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals are down to Giovani Bernard as their only experienced running back who knows their offense.

Joe Mixon had surgery to remove torn knee cartilage and will be out for a few games, leaving the Bengals (2-0) with Bernard and Tra Carson as their experienced running backs at Carolina (1-1) on

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals are down to Giovani Bernard as their only experienced running back who knows their offense.

Joe Mixon had surgery to remove torn knee cartilage and will be out for a few games, leaving the Bengals (2-0) with Bernard and Tra Carson as their experienced running backs at Carolina (1-1) on Sunday.

Carson got hurt in practice on Monday and was waived on Wednesday. The Bengals signed former Seattle running back Thomas Rawls, who was with the Jets in preseason and was released in their final cuts. They also have rookie Mark Walton, a fourth-round pick.

Center Billy Price and defensive end Michael Johnson also are recovering from injuries during a 34-23 win over the Ravens on Thursday night.

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Vikings re-sign DT Tom Johnson for more depth

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have signed defensive tackle Tom Johnson, bringing back one of their starters last season for more depth up front.

Johnson's contract was finalized Wednesday, when the Vikings waived defensive tackle David Parry to make room. Johnson was a key offseason addition in free agency by Seattle, but the

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have signed defensive tackle Tom Johnson, bringing back one of their starters last season for more depth up front.

Johnson’s contract was finalized Wednesday, when the Vikings waived defensive tackle David Parry to make room. Johnson was a key offseason addition in free agency by Seattle, but the Seahawks surprisingly released him last week to promote safety Shalom Luani from their practice squad. Luani did not play in their last game.

The Seahawks hoped to re-sign Johnson, but the Vikings swooped in to snag a player who had 16 sacks and started 27 games for them over the last four years. Johnson will back up Sheldon Richardson, who played for the Seahawks last season.

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Sports Betting And Injuries In College Football: Separating Good Information From Noise

The post Sports Betting And Injuries In College Football: Separating Good Information From Noise appeared first on SportsHandle.

Many serious college and professional football bettors have long believed that it’s imperative to consider injuries before pushing the cash across the counter or hitting the “make bet” button on the phone

The post Sports Betting And Injuries In College Football: Separating Good Information From Noise appeared first on SportsHandle.

Many serious college and professional football bettors have long believed that it’s imperative to consider injuries before pushing the cash across the counter or hitting the “make bet” button on the phone app or computer. Others believe bookmakers have built injuries into the offered betting lines, rendering monitoring of injuries a waste of time and effort.

Although injury information can sometimes be sparse or inaccurate, perhaps attributable to coaching gamesmanship, lots of experienced bettors believe when money is at stake, you’d better pay attention.

Right now in collegiate athletics, there is no conference that provides injury information on its players, in part due to concerns over privacy laws. However in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling in May striking down the federal ban on full-fledged sports wagering outside Nevada, numerous coaches and NCAA athletic directors in major and minor conferences have signaled a tide turn and the possible if not likely future sharing of injury reports.

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Eagles bring back receiver Jordan Matthews

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles have signed wide receiver Jordan Matthews and placed Mike Wallace on injured reserve.

Matthews played his first three seasons with the Eagles before he was traded to Buffalo in August 2017. He signed with the Patriots in April but was released during training camp.

A 2014 second-round pick from

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles have signed wide receiver Jordan Matthews and placed Mike Wallace on injured reserve.

Matthews played his first three seasons with the Eagles before he was traded to Buffalo in August 2017. He signed with the Patriots in April but was released during training camp.

A 2014 second-round pick from Vanderbilt, Matthews averaged 75 receptions, 891 yards and six touchdowns per season in Philadelphia. He had 25 catches for 282 yards and one TD in 10 games for Buffalo.

The Eagles (1-1) are missing top receiver Alshon Jeffery following offseason shoulder surgery. Mack Hollins and now Wallace are on IR.

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Book: Brady mulled 2018 ‘divorce’ from Belichick

Book: Brady mulled 2018 'divorce' from Belichick

A new book about New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick gives the latest glimpse into his allegedly rocky relationship with star quarterback Tom Brady.

According to "Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time," by ESPN writer Ian O'Connor,

Book: Brady mulled 2018 ‘divorce’ from Belichick

A new book about New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick gives the latest glimpse into his allegedly rocky relationship with star quarterback Tom Brady.

According to “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time,” by ESPN writer Ian O’Connor, Brady had a tough time deciding whether to return to the Patriots this season.

“If you’re married 18 years to a grouchy person who gets under your skin and never compliments you, after a while you want to divorce him,” a source told O’Connor after the 2017 season. “Tom knows Bill is the best coach in the league, but he’s had enough of him. If Tom could, I think he would divorce him.”

Late last season, multiple media outlets reported about a rift between Brady and Belichick, reportedly over the team’s treatment of Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero. The Patriots reportedly banned Guerrero from the sideline, took away his office at Gillette Stadium and no longer allowed him to fly with the team.

Guerrero reportedly has been back in the team’s good graces this season.

O’Connor wrote of Brady’s offseason decision-making, “But in the end, even if he wanted to, Brady could not walk away from the game, and he could not ask for a trade. The moment Belichick moved (Jimmy) Garoppolo to San Francisco, and banked on Brady’s oft-stated desire to play at least into his mid-forties, was the moment Brady was virtually locked into suiting up next season and beyond. Had he retired or requested a trade, he would have risked turning an adoring New England public into an angry mob.”

The book also alleges that Brady was unhappy about Belichick’s response to the Deflategate scandal.

A close friend of Brady told O’Connor, “I thought Bill handled it terribly, especially when it involved a guy who’d done everything to help your career as a coach, and you hung him out to dry.”

Belichick, 66, had a 36-44 record in five seasons as the Cleveland Browns coach before starting his legendary run in New England. Since taking over in Foxborough in 2000, he has a 215-75 regular-season mark with the Patriots.

He and Brady have reached eight Super Bowls, winning five championships.

–Field Level Media

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Falcons G Levitre (triceps) out for season, 3rd player down

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have lost offensive guard Andy Levitre to a season-ending triceps injury, the third starter to go down in the first two weeks of the season.

Levitre left Sunday's victory over the Carolina Panthers with what was initially described as an elbow injury. After further examination, it was

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have lost offensive guard Andy Levitre to a season-ending triceps injury, the third starter to go down in the first two weeks of the season.

Levitre left Sunday’s victory over the Carolina Panthers with what was initially described as an elbow injury. After further examination, it was determined that he’s done for the year because of a triceps problem.

Wes Schweitzer will take over for Levitre’s spot in the starting lineup. The Falcons (1-1) also signed guard Zac Kerin to bolster the depth up front.

Levitre’s injury comes after defensive stalwart’s Keanu Neal and Deion Jones went down in a Week 1 loss to Philadelphia. Neal (knee) is out for the year, while Jones (foot) will have to miss at least eight games, though the Falcons are hopeful that he’ll be able to return late in the season.

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Cowboys re-sign veteran WR Butler after camp with Cards

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Cowboys have re-signed veteran receiver Brice Butler, who had left Dallas in free agency last spring but was released by the Arizona Cardinals before the season.

Dallas released rookie safety Tyree Robinson on Tuesday to make room on its roster

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Cowboys have re-signed veteran receiver Brice Butler, who had left Dallas in free agency last spring but was released by the Arizona Cardinals before the season.

Dallas released rookie safety Tyree Robinson on Tuesday to make room on its roster for Butler.

Butler in April signed a two-year deal with Arizona after playing in 36 games for Dallas the past three seasons. He was listed as the No. 2 receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald for much of the Cardinals’ camp, but was also slowed by a foot injury and part of the final cuts to get their roster to 53 players.

In 61 games over five NFL seasons, Butler has 73 catches for 1,177 yards and eight touchdowns. He was picked by Oakland in the seventh round of the 2013 draft and spent two seasons with the Raiders before going to Dallas.

Dallas also released defensive tackle Aziz Shittu from the practice squad, and signed defensive tackle Adolphus Washington to the practice squad.

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