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Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 3 Analysis/Review/Notes


By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Sep 28, 2021
   
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Sunday, September 26, 2021 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Los Angeles Rams (NFL) - 4:25 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 1.5/-110 Los Angeles Rams Rating: 9* Mike's NFL Public Missed Perception Play (WIN) Jon Q. Public is SOLD on Tompa Bay! That's right, Tompa Bay. Are they an excellent football team? Yes. But the analytics, strength of schedule & venue indicate a slip up or 2 along the way. This Sunday afternoon is one of those slips. The mushes are quick to point out that the Rams' defense will surely miss departed DC Brandon Staley (now HC of the L.A. Chargers). I don't think so. However, the Buccaneers' "D" have taken a BIG hit. Not only will they be without key OLB Jason Pierre-Paul but also lock-down CB Sean Murphy-Bunting. Tampa Bay wouldn't have made the Super Bowl without Murphy-Bunting's INT's through questionable coverage in the NFC playoffs. It has showed the 1st 2 weeks with the Buccaneers' defense rated 21st in points allowed compared to the Rams' "D" chiming in @ 8th. Yes, Tampa Bay's QB Tom Brady has thrown 9 TD passes already. However, the Los Angeles "D" has only yielded 1. The Rams offense has the better offensive balance (play-calling) with a RUN/PASS ratio of 52/56 in big contrast to the Bucs with pass-heavy 35/86. Last season, L.A. with QB Jared Goff (now with Lions) went down to Raymond James Stadium in late November & beat Brady & Co. 27-24. How? Their fierce pass rush led by DT & edge rusher Aaron Donald (7-year vet out of Pitt) inside a 3-4 defensive scheme forced Brady into 22 incompletions & 2 INT's. On the flip side, brand-spanking new QB Matthew Stafford (his QBR of 127.0 is close to 40 points above his career one) has settled in nicely. He has thrown for 599 yards, has a 5/1 TD/INT ratio & has completed around 70% of his passes. Don't under-estimate WR Cooper Kupp (16 receptions for 271 yards & 3 TD's) who can line up in several positions to confuse defenses. My bottom line points directly @ a Buccaneers' squad that's 1-7 ATS their last 8 Game 3's. They face an NFC West opponent where they've dropped 4 of their last 5 versus the number. Rams' HC Sean McVay (4-1 ATS versus NFC South) has thrived in first-half games with posted lines of +2 thru -2. This situation has turned in major profits going a take-me-to-the-window 6-1 ATS. L.A. in their first of back-to-back home games has gone a near-perfect 5-1 ATS. This is a clash between two 2-0 teams. In the past 8 seasons, analytics show major domination by the home team whose won 24 & lost 8 for 75%. Brady & Gronkowski won't admit it but their road game @ New England against their former HC (Belichick) next week is a very big deal & it's a game they really want. As far as the number goes, L.A. didn't lose a home game by more than 3 last season. Let's go to a rocking So-Fi Stadium to play the LOS ANGELES RAMS (buying to a key + 41/2) as my 9* NFL Public Missed Perception Play! Miami Dolphins vs. Las Vegas Raiders (NFL) - 4:05 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 4/-105 Miami Dolphins Rating: 9* Mike's Analytically Sound Barking Dog (WIN) Forget last week's 35-0 debacle by the Dolphins against Buffalo when Tua was lost to injury & put backup Jacoby Brissett in obvious passing situations. For the Raiders, they might be the phoniest of the 7 undefeated NFL teams left. For Game 3, they switch to the role of favorite where they've dropped their last 4 versus the number & have gone a no-show 1-7-1 ATS when facing the AFC East. Las Vegas caught a break last week when numerous Steelers' defenders went down to injury. The tide has turned as RB Josh Jacobs (ankle injury) doesn't look like a go nor does a few members of the O-Line (using 2 backup guards & 1 tackle here). Miami DC Josh Boyer runs a 4-3 defensive scheme & has an opportunistic defense that's registered at least 1 takeaway for 24 consecutive games (longest active streak in the NFL). His key cogs are shutdown CB Xavien Howard (who has 11 INT's since the 20' campaign began) & LB Jerome Baker (leads team with 15 tackles). The Fish have ruled this series winning the last 10 of 12 including an excellent comeback on this field (26-25) with a winning FG with 1 second remaining on December 26th last year. While capable backup Brissett now has a game under his belt, he'll be facing a middle of the road "D" this week in Las Vegas compared to the Bills' defense which ranks 2nd in the NFL in scoring and total "D". My bottom line points out that the Dolphins catch the Silver N' Black off of Pittsburgh where they've lost 8 straight versus the number immediately following the Steelers. Brissett (who could actually be a slight upgrade with 1 game in) has responded in the past immediately following an ATS loss by 15 or more. In this given situation, he's gone a take-me-to-the-window 5-0 ATS! This fits perfectly with the Raiders being a ticket-ripping 1-13-1 ATS @ home in games with the Chargers immediately on deck. Another system worth mentioning zeroes in on offensively-struggling teams who average less than 10 PPG after their first 2 games. In Game 3, these squads have gone a red-hot 14-5 versus the number! In the last 5 games of this series, Miami has won 4 SU & has one lone loss by 3. We're heading to Vegas' allegiant Stadium to play the MIAMI DOLPHINS (buying to + 4 1/2) with a little pasta on the ML as my 9* Analytically Sound Barking Dog! Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 5/-110 Indianapolis Colts Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Ugly Pig Game Of The Week (LOSS?) The Colts have looked ugly their 1st 2 games where they come @ a desperate 0-2 SU. They catch the Titans @ a good time with numerous injuries on their O-Line after a grueling 33-30 OT win @ Seattle where they had 40 rushes )the majority by RB Derrick Henry). This venue has been super-kind to Indianapolis as they've won SU 3 consecutive years by scores of 33-17, 19-17 & most recently 34-17. I believe Horseshoes' HC Frank Reich will find offensive success whether its Carson Wentz (check status) or Jacob Eason here. He's gone a successful 4-2 SU & ATS versus Tennessee since taking the HC'ing job @ Indy in 18'. Let's now look @ a system that involves 0-2 SU teams in Game 3. In the past 11 seasons, these 0-2 teams become a highly-profitable 31-14 versus the number (around 69%) if installed as an underdog of 3 1/2 or higher. Indianapolis will be highly-focused knowing that teams that start the season going 0-3 SU have made the post-season 6 times out of 182 (3.2%) in the past 41 seasons. Crunching the numbers a bit further reveals the Colts have covered 6 of the last 7 when an underdog up against an opponent off of a SU win AND in the first quarter of the season. Let's take into account a system when an 0-2 SU squad takes on a 1-1 SU team. The last 11 seasons have seen this fear of going 0-3 teams respond to the tune of 28-12 (70%) versus the number. In addition, Week 3 has been kind to Indianapolis as they come in 5-0 ATS their past 5. This series has been a road-dominated one as the traveler come in on a 5-0 ATS streak. My bottom line points @ the home team who come in directly off a meeting with the physical Seattle Seahawks. The last 4 times the Titans came off a game with the Hawks', they failed to cover the spread each time. The last 10 seasons have seen the Titans struggle up against teams with a 30% or worse winning percentage as they've covered @ a 9-23-1 rate. Ok, we're ready to go to Nissan Stadium in Nashville to play the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (buying to a key + 7 1/2) as my 8* Ugly Pig Game Of The Week! New Orleans Saints vs. New England Patriots (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 3/-120 New Orleans Saints Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Live Road Warrior Dog (WIN) It's been 8 seasons since New Orleans HC Sean Payton invaded Foxborough on a weekend afternoon. As far as the line is concerned, nothing much has changed as they were + 2 1/2 then. Even though he was up against a tougher Brady, the Saints took the Patriots right down to the wire before getting edged 30-27. For this matchup, don't expect RB Alvin Kamara to rush 8 times for 5 yards like he did in Week 2. I expect Payton too devise a plan to get a fresh Kamara open in space which will lead to a more productive QB in Jameis Winston. Speaking of Winston, the analytics tell us he's a covering machine when installed as the underdog & coming off a SU loss by 14 or more. The last 6 in this given situation has produced 5 ATS winners. Remember, a BIG chunk of the Saints' coaching staff was missing in isolation last week & is now BACK this week. This will be their 3rd consecutive weekend on the road since they beat the Packers in Jacksonville back in Week 1. They're getting points while taking on a New England squad that's only scored 3 TD's their first 2 games! How good is the Patriots' defense now that Matt Patricia is back? They're as good as facing 2 struggling offenses in Miami & the N.Y. Jets. The offense they'll face in Week 3 are in a way different league. New England continues to get a little too much respect by the oddsmakers as they come in as a home favorite where they've gone just 4-7 ATS their past 11. Let's look @ some key numbers & systems. The 1st system says to play against teams (NE) with an average turnover differential over .3. New Orleans is the play as their 13-2 ATS on the road. The next system looks @ defenses (NE) that have allowed an average of 14 points or less after 2 games. If a team fits this criteria & is favored by 3 or more, they've gone a ticket-ripping 11-27-1 the past 16 seasons. My bottom line points directly @ HC Sean Payton (48-28-1 ATS in his career off of a SU loss). When Payton comes off a SU loss & is seeking revenge against a foe coming off a SU win, he's gone a light-out 14-2 ATS overall. If he's a dog within this system's parameters, he's gone a near-perfect 7-0-1 versus the number. I like the fact that Tea Men's rookie QB Mack Jones is being utilized as a game manager. That factor aids our cause. Let's go to Foxborough's Gillette Stadium to grab the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (buying to + 4 1/2) as my 8* NFL Live Road Warrior Dog Play! NOTES: Excellent weekend but I thought we had a 4-0! The Colts won the turnover battle 3-0 but a Rodrigo Blankenship missed FG cost us a cover. The Saints & HC Payton made their compensations. The Rams stepped it up @ home. However, I felt the Dolphins win that game in regulation in Las Vegas IF they didn't call that bubble screen pass in their own end zone that resulted in a safety. Where did Eric Studesville & George Godsey dig up that play? Let's not forget to NEVER over-react after what you see in Week 1. My NFL Top 14 Power Rankings are as follows: 1) Los Angeles Rams 2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3) Baltimore Ravens 4) Buffalo Bills 5) Kansas City Chiefs 6) Green Bay Packers 7) Cleveland Browns 8) Arizona Cardinals 9) Denver Broncos 10) Dallas Cowboys 11) San Francisco 49ers 12) New Orleans Saints 13) Las Vegas Raiders 14) Tennessee Titans Just Missed ---Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle Seahawks & Carolina Panthers (not buying them yet) Mike Handzelek's 2021-22 NFL Overall Record: An Up & Coming 5-4 for 56%
 


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