• Max Carlson

Max Against the Spread | Week 3: The 49ers are Favorites?

After whiffing on my Week 1 locks, I flipped it around and hit on all three of my Week 2 locks. That, combined with my Niner picks and the rest of the games, brings my early-season total to 14-17-1, which isn’t terrible. I’m super confident in my locks for this week, but the remaining games were really tough to pick.

None of this matters, though, because the 49ers are rolling and my happiness is unshakeable until that changes.

I won’t bore you with an extended preamble, so let’s get right to it.

Game 1:

Texans @ Chargers (-3)

Three guarantees in life: Death, taxes, and the San Diego Super Chargers of Los Angeles by way of Carson City underperforming year in and year out. So far this year, the Chargers have lost Hunter Henry and Derwin James to injury, and Melvin Gordon is still holding out. As result, they have not played well at all.

After barely beating the new-look Colts, and then losing in hilarious, vintage Chargers fashion to the mighty Lions, they get to come back “home” against a Texans squad that, while didn’t look great in their recent contest against the Jaguars, is vastly superior.

The Chargers are 0-1-1 against the spread this year, and I absolutely love taking the points in this one, as I’ll probably end up putting a wager on the Texans to win outright at +165.

The pick: Texans (+3) [-105]

Game 2:

Saints @ Seahawks (-4)

I’m still not sold on the Seahawks, but with Drew Brees out, this one is a no-brainer for me. Granted, the Saints have one of the best pass rushes in the league right now - and the Seahawks aren’t known for protecting Wilson - but I see no scenario where Teddy Bridgewater walks into that stadium and keeps this game as close as the odds makers have it – regardless of the weapons at his disposal.

I like the under in this one (44.5), but I have the Seahawks winning this one by at least a touchdown.

The pick: Seahawks (-4) [-110]

Game 3:

Jets @ Patriots (-22.5)

Look, I understand where these two teams are at in their respective seasons. One is on fire and playing tune-up games leading up to their inevitable deep playoff run, and the other is down to their third-string QB after losing Sam Darnold to excessive kissing and Trevor Siemian to an attempted murder at the hands of Myles Garrett.

However, this is not a college football game. We’re not talking about Oklahoma vs. Clovis Community Robotics School. I am always taking the points when it’s over 20. Sure, it’s definitely possible that the Pats win this game by 40, but the Jets are an NFL team, and it’s not like their roster is filled with nobodies. They have LeVeon Bell, a premier back who will be checked down to often by Luke Falk (as we saw in their matchup with the Browns in Week 2), Jamal Adams, and a possible return of Quinnen Williams, among others.

I don’t expect the Jets to put up a ton of points, but if they can move the ball with Bell and hold a respectable share of the time of possession, then I can see them keeping this divisional matchup within 22 points.

That being said, last week, I picked the Dolphins to cover their absurd spread against New England, and that blew up in my face, so what the hell do I know?

The pick: Jets (+22.5) [-110]

Niner Game:

Steelers @ 49ers (-6.5)

Holy hell – the San Francisco 49ers are 6.5-point favorites in a football game. The last time that happened, my grandma was playing jacks down at the soda fountain waiting for the matinee showing of “Gone with the Wind.”

It’s been awhile, but it feels good to see this team as a heavy favorite. Keep in mind that the opening line is the result that the odds makers feel most strongly about. The bookies’ ultimate goal is to get even money on both sides of the line, which would guarantee a profit on their end – no matter the outcome. The opening line is the pure line that hasn’t been affected by public or sharp swings, and Vegas thinks the Niners are good.

With all of that being said, a big reason the line is what it is, is the injury to Ben Roethlisberger. Had he not been injured I bet the 49ers would’ve still been favored, but likely by only a point or two.

I won’t do too much analysis here, because I have no idea what to expect from Mason Rudolph. But with how the Steelers’ defense has performed early on this year, I’m expecting the Niners to dunk all over them and win this one handily – provided new LT Justin Skule doesn’t get Jimmy Garoppolo killed.

The pick: 49ers (-6.5) [-110]

Remaining Games (picks in bold)

TEN -1.5 @ JAX

CIN +6 @ BUF

MIA +23 @ DAL

DEN @ GB -7.5

ATL +1.5 @ IND

BAL @ KC -6

OAK @ MIN -9

DET @ PHI -6

CAR @ ARI -2.5

NYG @ TB -6

LAR @ CLE +3

CHI -4 @ WSH

Stay tuned next week for a recap of this week’s picks as well as picks for the week 2 games!

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