It hasn’t been a great start to the season for underdogs, which are 38-66 straight-up and 47-52-5 against the NFL point spreads. Home underdogs are performing a bit better at 20-20-3. There are several games on the slate this weekend where the underdogs have a fair chance to win the game outright. But with the points, these teams should be above-average wagers. A couple of the games where it looks as though there are ‘live dogs’ will be looked at in the NFL underdog picks article.
Day/Time: Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Records: Jets -3 (Even)
The Jets and Giants meet in East Rutherford, N.J., and the game lost a bit of its preseason luster. Aaron Rodgers isn’t playing for the Jets, and Daniel Jones is in limbo for the Giants. He wasn’t cleared for contact in Thursday’s practice and was a limited participant. If Jones can’t go, we’ll see Tyrod Taylor once again for the Giants.
The Jets are 3-3 in the NFL standings and are coming off a bye week after upsetting Philadelphia. The Jets have won two straight to get back to .500 in the AFC East. The team runs the ball well, but the Jets don’t stick with the running game too long. They’re averaging 5.2 yards per carry but just average 22.5 running plays per game. The Jets throw the ball 30.5 times per game and averaging 159.5 passing yards.
On defense, the Jets allow 19.8 points per game. They’re a little better at defending the pass than the run. The Jets are +5 in turnovers this season, which always helps.
The Giants aren’t scoring much, averaging only 12.1 points per game. They’ve scored 14 points in each of Taylor’s starts. He hasn’t been that good, but he hasn’t thrown an interception and has given the Giants a chance to win both games. He has the same number of TD passes as Jones (2), but Jones has thrown six interceptions.
The Giants aren’t a great defensive team, allowing 24.9 points per game. They can defend the pass pretty well but have given up some yardage on the ground.
But Taylor is playing smart, if not a little bit scared, but if he doesn’t turn the ball over, the Giants could win this game. The first of the NFL underdog picks is on the Giants +3.
Location: Lumen Field, Seattle, Wash.
Records: Seattle -3.5
The Cleveland Browns visit Seattle in a battle of 4-2 teams, and Seattle is favored by 3.5 with a total of 38. The Browns have seen their last two games decided by a total of three points, while Seattle is coming off a 20-10 victory over Arizona.
The Browns aren’t throwing the ball particularly well, especially with Deshaun Watson injured right now. Cleveland is averaging just 171.7 passing yards per game. But the Browns can run the ball reasonably well, averaging 147.5 rushing yards per game and 4.5 yards per rush. Cleveland was dealt a blow with the loss of running back Nick Chubb. But Jerome Ford has filled the featured back role pretty well.
The Browns are allowing 19.2 points per game defensively, which is a bit high considering they allow just 243 total yards, putting them first among the NFL leaders. The offense must pick up a little and not leave the defense on the field too long.
The Seahawks are averaging 24 points per game and are a little worse than average running the ball, but not bad passing it. The Seahawks are pretty average defensively, allowing 19.7 points per game. Seattle has been better defending the run than the pass this season.
No matter how bad Walker has played for the Browns, you can’t argue with the team’s 2-0 record with him in there. Sure, one of the wins was against the Colts and backup Gardner Minshew. But Cleveland also defeated the 49ers with Walker under center.
The second of the NFL underdog picks is Cleveland +3.5, with PJ Walker under center. The only statistics that really matter in the NFL are wins and losses, and right now, Cleveland is winning with Walker.