Sunday, September 20, 2020
Los Angeles Rams vs. Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick
Pick: Point Spread: 1.5/-110 Los Angeles Rams Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Earlybird Dependable (WIN)
Analysis: Fans won't be here to boo the birds this Sunday. It appears HC Doug Pederson won't be changing his offensive schemes too soon as quoted this week. That spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E for QB Carson Wentz who'll will need to adjust to life without a beefy front line (even though OT Lane Johnson should be back in the lineup). It's no secret to NT Aaron Donald & the L.A.'s aggressive 3-4 scheme that Wentz will rely heavily on TE's Zach Ertz & Dallas Goedert. Numbers don't lie as since Doug Pederson took over the reigns, his teams have barely responded after a SU loss in the home favorite role. The past 9 times has seen the Eagles cash in just twice. On the flip side, Sean McKay & his Rams have been a terror on the road going a dependable 18-7 SU & a take-me-to-the-window 16-9 ATS! As a road dog, McVay's charges have covered 5 of 6. There's double-revenge for the West-Coasters who got edged by the Birds in 17' & 18'. In addition, Los Angeles OC Kevin O'Connell is very familiar with the Eagles' defensive schemes since he came over from Washington last year. My bottom line points @ what offense can I trust more? The answer is the Rams with QB Jared Goff. he has balance with RB Malcolm Brown & receivers like Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods & Tyler Higbee. My bottom line points out that the oddsmakers KNOW Philly will be over-bet as witnessed by their 4-14 ATS slide the past 18. The Blue N' Gold may not look the part @ times but they're still the 4th winningest NFL club since 2017 (34 wins). I'm not buying the bounce-back going in the eagles favor until they PROVE they can live up to the hype. Let's go to an empty Lincoln Financial Field & take the LOS ANGELES RAMS (buying to a key + 3 1/2 -where we want it) as my 8* NFL Earlybird Dependable!
San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Jets (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick
Pick: Point Spread: -7/-104 San Francisco 49ers Rating: 9* Mike's Headliner Moneyliner (WIN)
Analysis: Make NO mistake! The 49ers will be in MORE than in your average foul mood & with a supreme sense of urgency when they travel to the Jets. Like I said last week, it's the good DEFENSES that will dominate the first few weeks since there was NO pre-season games. Expect San Francisco to shake off the 10 AM body clock game AND the absence of CB Richard Sherman & WR Deebo Samuel. Why do I say this? Because Gang Green has a few of their own injuries to skill position players. So far it's looked like Jets' QB Sam Darnold isn't too comfortable in the pocket. That is a reflection on Adam "Still in a daze" Gase who needs to get his offense in synch with his play selections. Remember, the 2 TD's scored last week came on a broken play & the other during a prevent defense late. After garbage time, the Jets still only mustered 254 total yards in less than 19 minutes of possession time! I doubt that aging Frank Gore is the answer to the Le'Veon Bell replacement. New York went 1-7 the first half of last season & I feel it will be tough to improve on that if skill position players remain absent. My bottom line says the 49ers did have trouble with a mobile QB like Kyler Murray. However, Sam Darnold will be a breath of fresh air for DC Robert Saleh & his 4-3 defensive scheme. DE's Nick Bosa & Dee Ford will force hurries which eventually lead to turnovers. While it could take time to muster, the 49ers get it done down the stretch to notch their first win of the season. This series has roots as the first meeting took place in 1971 when Joe "Willie" Namath & the Jets got edged @ Shea Stadium by John Brodie & the 49ers by a 24-21 count. My bottom line looks @ a consistent system I will use for Week 2. Play ON a Week 2 team that was a (-6 or better) Week 1 favorite that lost SU. This system has produced BIG winners to the tune of 79% (15-4 SU & ATS) over the long haul. Here's how we're playing it. As we go to an empty MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, forget about backdoor covers as we play the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS as my 9* Headliner Moneyliner!
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick
Pick: Point Spread: 7.5/-120 Jacksonville Jaguars Rating: 8* Mike's 8* Public Missed Perception Play (WIN)
Analysis: HC Doug Marrone is certainly on the hot seat but responded well with last week's 27-20 shocker over the Colts. Until Tennessee QB Ryan Tannehill can consistently establish play action like he did last year, laying over a TD can be hazardous to return-window trips for tickets. The questions still remain if RB Derrick Henry can dominate on the ground like he did last season AND can Tannehill find WR A.J. Brown in space? My bottom line says the Titans kicking game looks BAD as former New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed 3 FG's & an extra point in a narrow 16-14 escape win @ Denver. It looks like Jacksonville QB Gardner Minshew isn't worried about the offense as RB James Robinson contributed 90 total yards on 17 touches. Minshew's 19-of-20 through the air to a variety of receivers contributed to a nifty 3/0 TD/INT ratio. These early divisional games are hard to separate especially since there was NO pre-season games to gauge. I'm not buying into bounce-back games this early on when both of these teams look like they aren't sure what they'll consistently run yet. Nissan Stadium in Nashville is the place & the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS are the play as my 8* Public Missed Perception Play!
Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick
Pick: Point Spread: 8.5/-115 Carolina Panthers Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Ugly Pig Game Of The Week (LOSS)
Until new Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady PROVES he's comfortable in the pocket & is on the same page as his receivers, the Buccaneers are a losing proposition as a sizable favorite. The Carolina offense under new QB Teddy Bridgewater moved the football well for their 1st game. When the defense keyed in on RB Christian McCaffrey, Bridgewater has 2 playmakers outside with WR's D.J. Moore & Robby Anderson. This game is about matchups! I feel Brady will get his points but will have to do so with 2 of his key receiver hurt in WR's Mike Evans & Chris Godwin. My bottom line says the Panthers come in with that "loosey goosey" feeling while the pressure to win is CLEARLY on 0-1 Tampa Bay. Look for 1st-year HC Matt Rhule to try different things with his offense that put up 388 total yards & 30 points last week. We'll travel to Raymond James Stadium to play the CAROLINA PANTHERS (buying to + 10 1/2) as my 8* NFL Ugly Pig Game Of The Week!
Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 2 Record: 3-1 75%
Mike Handzelek's 2020-21 NFL Overall Seasonal Record: 4-2 67%
Mike Handzelek's 2020-21 CFB & NFL Combined Overall Record: 8-2 80%