This week, on Sunday! The Seattle Seahawks return home to host the Carolina Panthers in what has become something of a low-key rivalry. Meanwhile, the seemingly unstoppable Dallas Cowboys take to the road, but it doesn’t seem to matter at all; DraftKings Sportsbook projects that they will stomp the Arizona Cardinals so heartily that the ‘Boys are the heaviest favorites this week. And we’ll wrap things up with an AFC clash between the Pittsburgh Steelers, who will be playing their first away game, and the Las Vegas Raiders, who will be playing their first home game. Let’s make some picks!
Panthers @ Seahawks — 1:05pm — CBS — O/U 42.5
DraftKings Sportsbook lists the Seahawks as 6-point favorites over the wandering Panthers, or exactly one touchdown with a missed Jason Myers PAT (please don’t hate me). Now, I want to believe that Seattle could march onto the field on Sunday and control this game for the better part of 60 minutes; but Carolina is fielding a deceptively tough defense, particularly with their pass rush. Losing linebacker Shaq Thompson hurts, but they still have Brian Burns and Frankie Luvu, who are more than capable of making life rough for Geno Smith. Oh, and have you heard about the Seahawks’ bizarre struggles against backup QBs? Andy Dalton is likely going to be taking the field on Sunday, and he has been particularly troublesome for this team since being drafted. See:
Maybe the Seahawks have a backup QB problem, but they DO have an Andy Dalton problem.— Diane Taylor ️⚧️ (@SeaDeeTaylor) September 22, 2023
Literally their only win over him was the 20-21 garbage in Week 1 of a season where the Cincinnati Bengals finished 2-14. pic.twitter.com/42RGxQEfQN
At the end of the day, I don’t think that the Andy Dalton curse is enough to compensate for a team that is plagued with mounting injuries to an already inconsistent roster. This could be a sneaky upset pick, although I think Geno Smith can lead the offense to enough points for a Seahawks victory. Regardless, this is likely going to be more competitive than the spread suggests.
The Pick: Over 42 points, Seahawks win straight up but Panthers cover
Cowboys @ Cardinals — 1:25pm — FOX — O/U 43
Is there any question in anybody’s mind how this game will go? The answer is — no. DraftKings Sportsbook indicates that this is, in fact, a common perception, as the undefeated and unstoppable force that is the Cowboys will open as 12.5-point favorites, even on the road. The winless Cardinals couldn’t have asked for a worse matchup.
Yes, The injury to Trevon Diggs is both heartbreaking for him and his team, and this Cowboys squad might be reeling following the shocking mid-week news; they do, however, have capable players ready to fill in (see the article linked above). Losing Diggs is going to impact the defense, one way or the other, but it won’t matter in this game. Cowboys continue to roll.
The pick: Over 43 points, Cowboys win straight up and cover the spread.
Steelers @ Raiders — 5:20pm — NBC — O/U 43
This should be a fun one; the Las Vegas Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers look like a couple of evenly matched squads, but we are only in the third week of the NFL season and we still don’t really know what to expect; the Steelers need to see more from Kenny Pickett, but the Raiders have questions of their own with new starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Both have struggled with turnovers in the early goings of the season, so this game may have a lot of volatility due to the unpredictable impact of a turnover-friendly game. Add to this the long-standing history of these two teams and you can expect something interesting to happen. But how wild can things really get in this one? According to ESPN, Jimmy G has led the Raiders to 17 and 16 point games, respectively through their first two weeks. The Steelers have at least topped 20-points in their games not against the 49ers. Still, DraftKings Sportsbook lists Las Vegas as favorites by nearly a field goal. This could be a solid upset in the making, but Pittsburgh has a recent history of struggling against LV, as they have lost all three of their road matchups since 2010, with their only two wins being 3-point victories at home.
The pick: Under 43 points, Raiders win straight up and cover