Monday Night Football doubleheader part two! The undefeated Philadelphia Eagles travel to Florida to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are surprisingly undefeated as well under a resurgent Baker Mayfield. Meanwhile, Ohio may be for lovers, but don’t expect much fraternal affectations in the second game of the evening; the 1-1 LA Rams will make an appearance at Paycor Stadium to face the Cincinnati Bengals, who have surprised almost everyone by starting 0-2 and looking like a deflated version of the team that made it to one Super Bowl and back to back AFC Championships. Somewhat ironically, this actually makes for a pretty exciting (and unpredictable) matchup, so let’s make some picks!
Eagles @ Buccaneers — 4:15pm — ABC — O/U 45.5
This should be interesting, at least on paper. Both the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers enter this game undefeated, but while this feels like a significant win for the Buccaneers — both literally and morally — it almost feels like the Eagles are still proving that they are the same team that made it to the Super Bowl last season. I love good underdog story, but DraftKings Sportsbook is listing Philadelphia as 5-point road favorites for a reason: they are simply the more complete team and should dominate this matchup every time... at least on paper. I think that Philly walks away with the win, but the Bucs may be able to slow them down just enough to not let the scoring get totally out of hand.
The Pick: Under 45.5 points, Eagles win straight up and cover
Rams @ Bengals — 5:15pm —ESPN/ESPN2 — O/U 43.5
The Cincinnati Bengals didn’t score their first touchdown of the season until roughly two minutes into the second quarter of their Week 2 faceoff with the Baltimore Ravens, when Charlie Jones ran a punt back 81-yards to tie up the game 7-7. The Bengals wouldn’t score their first offensive touchdown until deep into the second half; Joe Burrow connected with Tee Higgins for two scores late in the third and fourth quarter, but the team ultimately fell short and dropped to 0-2. So why is DraftKings Sportsbook showing that they are favored to win this game?
Well, let’s put it this way: “Home field advantage usually translates to three points in the NFL,” per Roy Larking of Sports Illustrated. Translation? This game is being viewed as a pretty even match which would likely tilt in favor of the Rams were it in LA. Now, this would make sense, except the Bengals got stomped at home by the Browns, and the Rams stomped the Seahawks on the road in Week 1. The moral of the story? I don’t even know anymore. But my guess is that Joe Burrow is going to get sick of seeing Aaron Donald in his face on every snap.
The Pick: Under 43.5 points, Rams win straight up and cover the spread