The LA Rams and the Arizona Cardinals are among this weeks teams tipped to overcome the odds
Arizona Cardinals @ Jacksonville Jaguars – Arizona -7.5
The Arizona Cardinals travel to Florida to take on the hapless Jags and their offense is rolling! Kyler Murray had a 5 TD game, week 1 in Tennessee, he led an offense which put over 30 points on the Vikings again last week. After what we’ve seen from the Jaguars through the first two weeks, is there any reason to think that they will keep up with the Cardinals in this form?
Defensively, Jacksonville couldn’t stop the beleaguered Houston Texans and found it tough sledding against the Broncos last time out. Head coach, Urban Meyer was reported as saying this week that every game in the NFL is like playing against Alabama in college football. Yes, it is and he and his team need to figure out a way of meeting that challenge – fast!
Even on the road, I like the Cardinals to cover this spread. Cardinals -7.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ LA Rams – Rams +1
It’s hard not to like the Bucs right now! The reigning Super Bowl champs, quarterbacked by Tom Brady and with an offense that’s purred, right out of the gate this season. However, I have a tough time understanding how the Rams are underdogs at home – even against the Super Bowl winners!
The Rams have two key chess pieces on defense – Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. On offense, it’s clear to see that Matthew Stafford is already a substantial upgrade at quarterback. This is a team designed to challenge the Buccaneers on both sides of the ball.
We know what the strengths are for Tampa Bay. For several years they’ve stifled the opposition’s run game while Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have looked like the vintage duo in New England. However Antonio Brown is on the IR/COVID list and the west coast trip effect should not be underestimated.
The Rams are the strongest opponents Tampa have faced so far this year and, on home turf, they should get the job done. Rams +1
Bears @ Browns – under 44.5 Total Points
Everybody in Chicago is excited about seeing rookie QB Justin Fields get his first NFL start. As one loyal Bears fan put it to me on Monday, they’re 1-0 with the kid! However, be careful what you wish for. Yes, Fields is young and exciting but he’s also a raw talent and the Bears coaching staff know it.
Going against a Cleveland defensive front – one of the best in the league – is going to be a tough baptism. Expect Chicago to incorporate designed run plays and a number of high percent, safe, quick passing plays. The Bears defense, stood up and were counted when Andy Dalton. Was forced out of last weeks game. They’ll need to be again if they’re to overcome the Browns.
Cleveland love to run the ball and win the time of possession on offense while Myles Garrett and this defense will be chomping at the bit to get their hands on a rookie QB. If Justin Fields avoids turnovers, it’s tough to see how these two teams combine to score more than 45 points. Under 44.5