As Ferris Bueller might say: The world of sports moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around at least once a week, you could miss it.
Here we'll review what you might have missed in the past week all in one place. Why spend hours scrolling through Twitter to catch up on the news you want? We've already done that for you, so remember to check back every Monday to get your dose of weekly sports review.
Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans outlasted rookie QB Jake Luton and the Jaguars on Sunday 27-25. Both teams entered 1-6, but the Texans' record doesn't reflect how they've been playing of late. Watson is good enough to will his team to some wins down the stretch and he has developed great chemistry with wideout Will Fuller. J.J. Watt recorded his 100th career sack in this game, and only four players have reached that mark faster than Watt.
100th career sack for @JJWatt 👏 📺: #HOUvsJAX on CBS 📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/ul5IFJEdQc https://t.co/UwOhGODeFT— NFL (@NFL)1604868806.0
A new competitor has entered the arena in the fight for the NFC North. Minnesota are winners of their last two games, and as the Bears continue to slide, the Vikings could ride Dalvin Cook all the way to a wild card spot in the NFC. Cook was yet again fantastic on Sunday as he amassed 252 total yards and two touchdowns in a 34-20 win over the Lions.
Josh Allen won a showdown with fellow MVP candidate Russell Wilson on Sunday, throwing for 415 yards and three touchdowns and added another touchdown on the ground. Wilson was stumped by the Buffalo defense for much of the first half, and it wasn't until the second half did the Seahawks start to get anything going offensively. A 17 point fourth quarter by the Bills kept the game out of reach and serves as a statement win for the Bills and a career defining moment for Josh Allen.
"Russell Wilson came in as the assumed MVP and top QB in the league. @JoshAllenQB came out and threw for 415 yards,… https://t.co/mCdysnqSNq— GMFB (@GMFB)1604929977.0
The Steelers escaped with a win against the struggling Cowboys in Week 9. Thought to be a candidate for a blow out, instead we were treated to some good football between two of the league's most historic franchises. Dallas got some better play at the quarterback position from Garrett Gilbert, but it was the Cowboys' defense that impressed as they looked significantly better in this game than any other on the year.
The Dallas Cowboys are up double digits on the Pittsburgh Steelers https://t.co/x49Kzrz559— PFF (@PFF)1604873865.0
The dedication to getting Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard involved in the offense seemed to be effective at both keeping the chains moving and dictating the pace of play. A strategy that should have been implemented from the outset of the season. The Cowboys brought a 10 point lead into the final quarter, but that lead was erased with the Steelers eventually winning the game 24-19.
The New Orleans Saints handed Tom Brady and his Buccaneers an embarrassing loss on Sunday night. The Bucs were excited to see what the offense looked like with Antonio Brown, making his debut and Chris Godwin coming back from injury. What they got was a huge plate of disappointment with a side of eight rushing yards, eight!
Live look at the Buccaneers trying to get their offense going https://t.co/baP5vXIt6C— FOX Sports: NFL (@FOX Sports: NFL)1604888854.0
This is undoubtedly not how Tampa Bay envisioned this game going, but this isn't the first time this season they hit a bump in the road. They're still uber talented, but every opponent left on their schedule either has a winning record or is trending in the right direction of late including the Vikings and Falcons twice.
Chase Elliott became the NASCAR Cup Series champion on Sunday night becoming the third youngest driver to accomplish the feat at just 24 years old. His father, Bill Elliott, a NASCAR Hall of Famer and 1988 NASCAR champion was there to celebrate his son's greatest achievement.
Chase grew up around race tracks and the legends of the sport were "uncles" and mentors including Dale Earnhardt Sr., Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson. Being the son of one of the most popular drivers in his era has been both an advantage and a curse as the family name brings both attention and expectations.
BURN IT DOWN, CHAMP! @chaseelliott gets it done in 2020! https://t.co/P7CFJkj134— NASCAR (@NASCAR)1604876976.0
Just a few weeks shy of his 25th birthday, Elliott now sits atop the sport that he was born to be a part of. It's often easy for young prodigies to overlook the steps necessary to get them where they are, but that's not the case for Elliott. After his win he referred to the team of people that helped him get to this point.
"I just think about all of the people who worked so hard to get me to this point today," Elliott continued, "I think about my family, all of the crew members who built all of those race cars for me, Rick Hendrick for hiring me. Jimmie Johnson, who ran his last race tonight, and Jeff Gordon, both of whom took me under their wings as teammates and mentors. There were a lot of people that supported me. Even when there were a lot of people who didn't."
At UFC Vegas 13 this past Saturday, 41 year old Glover Teixeira defeated Thiago Santos convincingly with a third round submission to end it. Santos rocked Teixeira a couple times throughout the fight but was unable to finish him, and Glover dominated the fight on the mat which allowed him the window to apply the fight winning chokehold.
Teixeira has now won his last five fights and now owns the record for most finishes and most submissions in UFC history by a light heavyweight. Jon Jones, who is currently believed to be making a transition up to the heavyweight division has defeated both Santos and Teixeira in the lightweight division but was impressed with Teixeira's performance at UFC Vegas 13.
I’m proud to have beat this guy, I like him 🤙🏾— BONY (@BONY)1604814825.0
Although it was previously believed that Israel Adesanya would move up to take on light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, but even the champ himself had a message for Teixeira following the Santos fight.
Great fight and incredible run by @gloverteixeira. You totally deserve to fight for the title and get taste of the… https://t.co/xrAUwcT5On— Jan Blachowicz (@Jan Blachowicz)1604815414.0
If the Adesanya and Blachowicz super fight falls through in the immediate future, it appears that Glover Teixeira would be next in line for another title shot due to his excellent recent form. When Dana White was asked about Teixeira calling for the title shot his response was simply, "He's not wrong."
Carlos Ortiz became the first Mexican player to win on the PGA Tour in 42 years on Sunday at the Houston Open. Ortiz held off Hideki Matsuyama and top ranked player in the world Dustin Johnson to take the final tournament before the Masters. Ortiz finished at 13 under and this victory qualifies him for the Masters tournament next year.
His first PGA TOUR victory 🏆 Carlos Ortiz wins the Houston Open! https://t.co/IZMT247pAW— Golf Channel (@Golf Channel)1604868688.0
As for Johnson, he will go into this year's Masters tournament on a hot streak. He hasn't finished outside of the top six in his last six tournaments and has earned two wins and two runner-up finishes in that timeframe. That's bad news for the rest of the field, as the world's best golfer is playing his best golf right before the most important major on the schedule.
The field is set for the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Eastern Conference had 10 teams qualify for postseason play, so they will have two play-in matches to determine the final seeding. The New England Revolution (8) will play the Montreal Impact (9) and Nashville SC (7) takes on Inter Miami CF (10). The winners will either face Philadelphia (1) or Toronto FC (2) with Philadelphia getting the lower-seeded play-in winner.
The rest of the field looks like this.
(1) Philadelphia Union vs lower-seeded play-in winner
(2) Toronto FC vs higher-seeded play-in winner
(3) Columbus Crew SC vs (6) New York Red Bulls
(4) Orlando City SC vs (5) NYCFC
(1) Sporting Kansas City vs (8) San Jose Earthquakes
(2) Seattle Sounders vs (7) LAFC
(3) Portland Timbers vs (6) FC Dallas
(4) Minnesota United vs (5) Colorado Rapids
BRACKET = SET @Audi #MLSCupPlayoffs coming up! 🍿 https://t.co/prkYibJDec— Major League Soccer (@Major League Soccer)1604886632.0
It's another eventful week in the NFL.
Four teams -- the Jets, Falcons, Saints, and 49ers -- are the first teams to get a bye week. After Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers narrowly escaped Thursday Night Football with a 28-22 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, the reigning Super Bowl champs are the first team with five wins in the league. Who will join them on Sunday? We know that we'll get at least a second five-win team since the 4-1 Ravens are hosting the 4-1 Chargers. That is going to be an epic battle, so let's start with that clash of AFC contenders. Welcome to our Week 6 NFL Best Bets.
Playing on the road is a difficult task for any team, but if any team can escape with a victory, it's Justin Herbert and the Chargers. This isn't the Chargers of the last decade. This team is winning the close battles. Herbert is playing at an MVP level this season and already has led this team to big-time wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns -- two of the top teams in the AFC. This L.A. team is deep at the skill positions, can rush the passer, has an improved offensive line and a great young coach. What's not to like?
All that said, Lamar Jackson seems to be playing as he did during his 2019 MVP campaign. Not to mention, Marquise "Hollywood" Brown is actually catching passes. He eclipsed 100 yards last week and scored two touchdowns (including the game-winning catch in overtime). Simply put, this is a tough team to bet against. It did take last-second heroics for the Ravens to beat the winless Lions and a pretty pedestrian Colts team. Overall, Baltimore hasn't faced a test like this yet this season. Take the points and the better overall squad. Chargers may win this game, but if they don't, they are not going to lose by more than a field goal.
PICK: Chargers +3.5
It's been a tough start to the season for the Chiefs. They had great odds to return to the Super Bowl and are now last in the AFC West heading into Week 16 with a 2-3 record. They desperately need this game. This is a great opportunity for the Chiefs to prove they are still elite by defeating a team that made the postseason last year on the road. The Chiefs are going to turn it around against a Washington defense that is allowing the sixth-most passing yards and second-most passing touchdowns this season. Patrick Mahomes is going to blow up. Tyreek Hill is going to dominate. Travis Kelce is going to continue to provide a steady source of receptions down the middle of the field. As long as the Chiefs' offensive line holds against Chase Young, it's going to be a long day for Washington's defense. Betting on Mahomes to right the ship isn't a really difficult choice.
PICK: Chiefs -6.5
Yes, the Texans are one of the worst teams in the league. Betting on them on the road against a divisional rival might seem crazy at first. However, the Texans are 7-3 against the spread as underdogs in their last 10 games. Plus, the Colts are emotional after completely giving away the game against the Ravens in which they blew a 22-3 lead late in the game. This is going to cause a bit of a hangover in that locker room. When New England suffered a terrible loss against Tom Brady and the Bucs, the Texans managed to cover the spread the following week. Look for history to repeat itself. Texans coach David Culley has Houston playing hard in spite of its lack of talent and quarterback Davis Mills appeared to take a step forward last week against the Pats. Houston has played pretty good pass defense, too. The Texans have allowed only seven passing TDs this season.
PICK: Texans +9
Sunday night will be an interesting matchup to watch as Geno Smith will make his first start in four years as the Seahawks travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. I hate betting on Ben Roethlisberger, but it's hard to envision the Seahawks covering the spread without the services of Russell Wilson. And as much as I think Big Ben should hang up his cleats, you have to give him credit for the way he dominated a solid Broncos defense last week. Roethlisberger looked better than he did earlier in the season and was able to get the ball to his playmakers -- Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and running back Najee Harris. Seattle's defense is one of the worst in the league and their secondary is even worse than their front seven. Look for the Steelers to light up Seattle in the passing game.
PICK: Steelers -5
Both of these offenses can put up a lot of points, though they go about it very differently. The Browns are a run-heavy team, and even though they will be without the services of Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt is more than capable of getting the job done. Meanwhile, Arizona's offense runs through electric quarterback Kyler Murray. Murray is able to move the chains with his legs but he isn't afraid to toss the ball either. He loves getting his guys involved and his weapons are elite in DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, and Christian Kirk.
The Browns are coming off an 89-point slugest with the Chargers and hit the OVER in their other game against a high-end offense in a 33-29 loss to the Chiefs. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have scored 30-plus points in four of five games this year. Smash the OVER.
PICK: OVER 49.5
Week 2 of the NFL was full of breakout performances, thrilling finishes and potentially the start of the Justin Fields era in the NFC North as the Bears' win over the Bengals finds them in first place in the division.
We cap off the week with a Monday Night Football showdown between the Packers and the Lions with the winner finding themselves tied for first in the North. The Packers put up an absolute dud of a performance last week against the Saints in Week 1 while the Lions looked surprisingly effective while playing catch-up against the West-leading 49ers. The expectations for these two teams couldn't have been further apart coming into the season but with matching 0-1 starts on the books, I think there are a couple of interesting props and roster construction angles to exploit.
NFL DFS Showdown Picks
*Prices are from DraftKings
Captain: TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions ($9,600) ($14,400)
I'm normally not a fan of playing a tight end in the captain spot, but T.J. Hockenson is not your average tight end. He finished 2020 with an elite 18% target share in the Lions' offense and picked up right where he left off in Week 1, finishing with an 18.2% share on 50 routes run last week. Hockenson has always carried premium TD upside as a red-zone target but what was most encouraging about last week was that he ran nearly 55% of his routes out of the slot, leaving him a matchup against Chandon Sullivan, who's allowing a 67% catch rate in his coverage. In a game where the Lions are projected to be down early, expect Hockenson to get fed once again. His red-zone utilization gives him enough juice to take the captain's chair in my builds.
Core Consideration: QB Jared Goff, Detroit Lions ($10,000)
Two principles I take into Showdown slates apply to this play. Generally speaking, if I have a pass-catcher as my captain, I'm finding a way to get their QB into a flex spot. The second is that your build needs to tell a story. Mine is that the Packers come out with something to prove after getting embarrassed in Week 1 and that we'll likely see upwards of 50 pass attempts from Jared Goff as he attempts to mount a comeback. Goff is a surprisingly effective passer when getting good protection and this unit gave him a clean pocket on 86.7% of snaps last week. Expect that to continue tonight as Goff will continue to feast in garbage time.
Contrarian Play: WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers ($2,000)
I still chuckle at the thought of the return of Randall Cobb being on the short-list of demands from Aaron Rodgers in the midst of his holdout. I do, however, think there is something to be said about the importance of chemistry between a quarterback and his receiver and I expect that in a typical game (which Week 1 was not), Aaron Rodgers is going to find his spots to get Cobb involved. In a game script that figures to have the Packers up by a healthy margin, not many are going to look at the tertiary passing options for Green Bay and I think a $2,000 Randall Cobb could sneak in a handful of receptions at single-digit ownership..
Salary Relief: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions ($2,400)
This one fits perfectly into my narrative for the game as well. In a game where the Lions are likely to flirt with 50+ pass attempts and coming off a week where St. Brown ran routes on 75% of the team's passing plays, I will be overweight on Amon-Ra tonight. Lining up in the slot on 74.5% of plays means St. Brown will primarily see coverage from Chandon Sullivan, the most favorable of the options GB lines up in their defensive secondary. Expect St. Brown to see his target volume increase tonight. If Detroit can be more effective in getting to the red zone, he carries decent scoring upside with the way he's utilized in this offense. Plus, who doesn't love the extra motivation of playing against their big bro?
Monday Night Football Best Bets
Taking a look at the wagering side of this game; before we determine anything else we must ask ourselves what we think of these Green Bay Packers. I tend to look at last week's performance as the exception and not the rule. With that being the case, I am laying the 11.5 points and taking GB tonight. Over the past six seasons, oddsmakers have been fairly sharp when it comes to these larger spreads and NFL teams cover double-digit spreads more than 55% of the time. The total for tonight is sitting at 48.5 and given the somewhat surprising ability of the Lions to make up ground last week, I am confidently on the "over" side of that line.
Picks: Packers -11.5, OVER 48.5 points
Taking a look at the prop market, I am again mainly investing in the "GB Blowout" narrative:
D'Andre Swift: OVER 28.5 Receiving Yard
Coming off a 65-yard performance in a very similar game script, this one feels like a no-brainer. Swift averages nearly 8 yards per reception so this really boils down to whether you think he catches more than 3 passes. I certainly do and I'm confidently on the OVER for this prop. FanDuel is currently carrying the best odds at -110.
T.J. Hockenson: Anytime TD
I'm not the biggest fan of these "to score" props, but I'll break from the norm with this one. I am projecting the Lions to at least have a go at it in this game and there simply isn't a scenario where that doesn't involve a score for Hockenson. +220 odds at FanDuel sort of feels like stealing given that I see this game going over the 48.5 total.
AJ Dillon | UNDER 8.5 Rushing Attempts
I know that the betting public is forecasting a fairly comfortable win for the Packers, but let's not get carried away. AJ Dillon would have to nearly double his career average for carries to get to this number. Plus, it's a bit unlikely that this game gets so far out of reach that Green Bay brings in their backups. Even last week when they did bring in the second-stringers, Dillon only saw 4 carries. I'm expecting Aaron Jones to have a monster day on the ground, as evidenced by my Saturday article.
Week 1 is in the books and it's time to move on to the best bets in Week 2.
If you listened to my article earlier this week, you would have started 1-0 for taking the Giants with the points against Washington in that thriller of a matchup Thursday night. Now, let's dive into Week 2's best NFL bets.
Tennessee Titans/Seattle Seahawks Over 54
The Seahawks' offense was high-flying in the first half last week. Because the Colts never really threatened the outcome of the game, the Seahawks were able to take the air out of the ball and finish the game with an easy win while only scoring seven in the second half. While both the Titans' defense and offense looked atrocious, expect Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry to have big bounce-back weeks and make this an epic high-scoring game. This has all the makings for a shootout in which both teams put up 30-plus points.
Cincinnati Bengals +2.5 @ Chicago Bears
Until that Monday night game, the Bengals had the honor of winning the craziest Week 1 game over the Vikings in overtime. The Bears' defense, which is supposed to be their strength, looked awful against the Rams, including one of the most blown coverages you'll ever see on Cooper Kupp's long touchdown. It was simply an awful week for the Bears. I don't think it gets any better until they remove Dalton and promote Justin Fields. If they don't do that prior to game time, the Bengals will run away with this one.
Los Angeles Rams -3.5 @ Indianapolis Colts
Coming out of Week 1 the Rams looked great on both sides of the ball. Matthew Stafford had a great first game, going 20 for 26 with three touchdowns. The Colts... They didn't look that great on either side of the ball. While Carson Wentz's overall numbers didn't look bad, most of the yardage and one of his two TDs came in the fourth quarter as they were chasing from two or more scores back, never actually threatening to win the game. I'm leaning towards the Rams winning this in a blowout and would consider alternate spreads.
Arizona Cardinals -3.5 vs. Minnesota Vikings
Kyler Murray appears to be a man on a mission to avenge last season's bitter ending after absolutely torching the Tennesee Titans in Nashville. The Vikings' defense, who hasn't been as formidable as years past, is going to have their hands full with Kyler. Last week they allowed Joe Burrow to complete nearly 80% of his passes, and Burrow isn't a threat to run nor has a receiver as talented as DeAndre Hopkins. If the Vikings offense doesn't step up and make this a shootout, things could get ugly in Phoenix.
Dallas Cowboys + 3.5 @ Los Angeles Chargers
Dak Prescott looked great in Week 1 and if there were any issues with his shoulder after throwing 58 times, he had 10 days to get healed up again and ready for the Chargers. I can almost guarantee, whenever the Cowboys go to play either Los Angeles team in their stadium, that there will be more Cowboys fans than LA fans. So while they aren't playing in Jerry World, they'll have more fan support. My concern for Justin Herbert and the Chargers is their efficiency in the red zone. His most potent weapons in Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler become less effective as they get closer to the goal line. That leaves Jared Cook and Mike Williams as your bigger bodies in the red zone, which isn't ideal. The Cowboys have a decent chance to win this one outright, but you can take the points for some cushion.
- Cowboys ML (+160)
- Titans +6.5 (-105)
- Steelers ML (-225)
- Rams -3.5 (-110)
Five Props To Consider
- Calvin Ridley OVER 6.5 receptions (+115)
- Tyrod Taylor OVER 34.5 Pass Attempts (-105)
- Aaron Jones OVER 88.5 combined yards (-115)
- Nick Chubb OVER 17.5 carries (-120)
- James Robinson OVER 9.5 carries (-125)
All five of these props have an excellent chance at hitting. I like the idea of wagering a three-leg prop parlay with the last three props listed (Jones, Chubb and J-Rob). Thanks me on Monday.