Week 3: Redzone Best Bets

With the season now two weeks old we’re starting to learn more about the NFL, and some of those shock results from Week 1 can be placed firmly in the outliers column as we saw teams revert to what most of us expected in Week 2. The game lines still don’t fully reflect this in some cases, meaning we can hope to capitalise on the hangover from Week 1 still lingering in the odds.

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The Double:

£20 PAYS £69.80

Patriots, New England Patriots 2020
Credit: Dan Powers-USA TODAY Sports

Saints @ Patriots (-2.5):

After the Saints put away the Packers 38-3 in Week 1 and Jameis Winston threw five touchdowns there was a suspicion that maybe we’d got New Orleans all wrong and the genius of Sean Payton could make it work even with a roster lacking badly in talent. Then Week 2 came along and the Panthers dealt with them comfortably.

Offensively the Saints have the least yards per game in the NFL (225), and when you look at their roster this is hardly surprising, with Michael Thomas out through injury they are left with arguably the worst receiving corps in the NFL and they have Jameis Winston, a backup quarterback in all but name throwing to them. Unfortunately for New Orleans, Winston has a habit of throwing to the opposition’s secondary instead and this reared its ugly head again in Carolina as he threw two interceptions. Alvin Kamara is the silver lining as he is one of the best running backs in the game, but when you only have one legitimate weapon in your offense it makes life easy for opposing defenses to scheme up a way of stopping him. Kamara went for 30 yards from scrimmage in Week 2.

To make matters worse for Sean Payton’s men they face the Patriots, Bill Belichick’s patriots. You only have to cast your mind back to last Sunday to see what Belichick can do to a quarterback who might not be up to NFL standard, the Jets number two pick Zach Wilson threw four interceptions as the Patriots defense completely scrambled his brain and served up a harsh lesson to Wilson in only his second NFL appearance. Can you really say with any confidence that this Saints offense is any better than the Jets unit which was utterly destroyed by New England last week? There is some good news for the Saints defense as Marshon Lattimore and C.J. Gardner-Johnson return to the secondary and they face a New England offense which is efficient at best rather than explosive as rookie Mac Jones is keeping things very steady under centre (6.8 yards per attempt, 23rd in the NFL). Efficient is likely all they’ll have to be in this one.

A flaky quarterback, a bad receiving corps, up against Bill Belichick. We’ve seen this script before. It won’t be a classic, but the Patriots can grind this one out and get it done, the -2.5 looks good here.

Credit: Tommy Gilligan (USA Today Sports)

Ravens (-7.5) @ Lions:

The Ravens were staring down the barrel of 0-2 as they trailed by 11 points against Kansas in the fourth quarter last week. Lamar Jackson then did Lamar Jackson things and Baltimore came away with a 36-35 victory, a huge result against arguably the NFL’s best team.

This week, they face Detroit, who are far from one of the NFL’s best teams, and this Ravens team over the last couple of seasons does not mess around when it comes to despatching below par teams. See 2020, 41-7 over the Texans, 49-13 over the Bengals to name but a couple. Basically, this is a ruthless outfit. Offensively, they have picked up where they left off in 2020 as their rushing attack carves through opposing defenses at will, they lead the NFL in rushing by a street, averaging 220 yards per game. Lamar Jackson and surprise package Ty’Son Williams have led the charge and there doesn’t appear any reason why this Lions defense can stop them, the 49ers had their way with them on the ground in Week 1, amassing 41 points with rookie Elijah Mitchell going for 104 yards off 19 carries. Things could get ugly for Detroit against this rushing juggernaut

The hope for the Lions, on paper at least, comes in the seemingly slow start from the Ravens defense. They rank 31st in the NFL in yards per game given up (448 yards). They have though faced the Raiders in Vegas, who backed up their impressive win in Week 1 with a win over the Steelers in Week 2 and the Chiefs who are contenders for the best offense in the NFL. The Ravens are also facing some Covid issues on the defensive side of the ball for this one but this is still a useful Ravens defensive roster and a Lions attack led by Jared Goff with not much talent around him is unlikely to pose much of a problem.

The Lions have been beaten by 8 points by San Francisco, it should have been more but for a wild final few minutes, and 18 points by Green Bay. There doesn’t appear anything to suggest they can keep this one close. Take the Ravens -7.5.

player props treble:

£20 PAYS £136.48

Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

D’Andre Swift Over 33.5 Receiving Yards (Ravens @ Lions)

Swift has been one of Jared Goff’s favourite weapons in 2021, seeing sixteen targets over two games and going for 65 and 41 yards respectively. With the Lions likely to fall behind here and be forced to attack through the air Swift should be busy enough in the passing game to go over 33.5 yards.

Kyle Pitts Over 54.5 Receiving Yards (Falcons @ Giants)

After a quiet Week 1 against the Eagles where Pitts could only manage 31 yards he showed us the credentials which made the Falcons take him 4th overall in the draft, going for 73 yards on five receptions in Tampa Bay. The Giants defense rates as the worst he’s faced so far in his NFL career and should present an opportunity for another good day for Pitts.

Derrick Henry Over 12.5 Receiving Yards (Colts @ Titans)

The NFL’s best rusher has quietly found himself more involved in the receiving game in Tennessee this season. Henry has amassed nine receptions from ten targets for 74 yards over the first two weeks. In 2020 there were only two occasions where he saw more than three targets in a game. It feels like a deliberate ploy to use Henry more through the air this season and if that’s the case this line is far too low.

Michael Norbury