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Week 3 NFL Upset Alert: Panthers, Jets, and Bucs Remain Underrated

Top sportsbooks have released their NFL odds for this week’s NFL action.

Three games interest me: Panthers vs. Seahawks, Patriots vs. Jets, and Eagles vs. Buccaneers.

For your best bets, I recommend betting on all three underdogs. I like to invest three-quarters of a unit in the underdog ATS and the remaining quarter in the underdog ML.

Picks Summary


Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Monday, September 25, 2023 – 07:15 PM EDT at Raymond James Stadium


Eagles’ Offense

Offensively, Philadelphia matches up poorly against Tampa Bay because it likes to run the ball.

So far, the Eagles own the NFL’s third-highest run play percentage.

They like to run with their mobile quarterback, Jalen Hurts, along with a mixture of different running backs, each capable of carrying a significant volume of carries.

Buccaneers’ Run Defense

The Bucs’ run defense ranks second. This is not surprising given that, in previous seasons, Tampa Bay’s run defense has established a strong reputation.

Tampa Bay boasts high-quality defenders in its front seven. Such defenders include nose tackle Vita Vea, whose run-stuffing ability is evident in his run-stop win rate, and linebacker Devin White, who is hunting for a big contract.

Most recently, the Bucs locked down a run-centric Chicago offense. Similar to Philadelphia, the Bears feature a quarterback who likes to run.

This similarity will help Tampa Bay prepare for the Eagles’ mixture of ball-carriers.

Baker Mayfield’s Strong Campaign

Tampa Bay quarterback Baker Mayfield appears rejuvenated. Compared to previous seasons, he has been productive and very efficient.

Through two games, he’s completed almost 70 percent of his passes and has thrown two touchdowns to zero interceptions.

One virtue is his improvement under pressure. He is completing 80 percent of his passes when pressured. He has, moreover, shown confidence in his deep ball, which also makes sense given the quality of his wide receiving corps.

He’ll steadily lead Chris Godwin and company against a battered Eagles’ secondary that is largely responsible for both of its opponents so far scoring 20 or more points.

Comparison With Hurts’ Passing

Tampa Bay will win because of its strong run defense and because Mayfield will outperform Hurts as a passer.

Unlike Mayfield, Hurts is struggling to be accurate under pressure.

Pressure will remain a problem for Hurts, as his team is struggling to limit the rate at which he is sacked.

Six Buc players already have at least one sack.

NFL Pick: Buccaneers +5 (-110) at Bet365

NFL Pick: Buccaneers ML (+190) at Bet365


Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks

Sunday, September 24, 2023 – 04:05 PM EDT at Lumen Field


Bryce Young’s Misleading Stats

Player stats are deceiving because they focus on a single player, implying that his performance exists in a vacuum when this is not the case.

Panthers quarterback Bryce Young‘s stat line is awful, but this awfulness is the product of circumstances that will shift in Sunday’s game.

The basis for optimism is this metric: Young has been the most accurate throwing to open windows. When his wide receivers are open, he reliably gets them the ball.

With DJ Chark back in the mix, Young’s receiving crew is going to help him out more.

The Competition Thus Far

But the main reason why Young hasn’t been able to be productive is the quality of his opponents.

First, he had to face an Atlanta secondary that features cornerback AJ Terrell, who has allowed a 37.5 passer rating when targeted, and safety Jessie Bates III, who has two interceptions in two games.

Most recently, he had to face the Saints, who had the second-best pass defense last year and are allowing fewer passing yards this year than they did last season.

Seahawks’ Vulnerable Defense

The Seahawks represent a significantly easier challenge for Young, whose accuracy will enable him to help sustain drives.

So far, the Seahawks allowed 334 passing yards to the Rams’ Matthew Stafford, who was missing his top wide receiver, and they allowed 323 passing yards to Detroit’s Jared Goff.

Among other problems, the Seahawks’ pass rush has been anemic, leaving its defenders to have to cover opposing pass-catchers for too much time.

Seahawks Offense’s Outlook

To win and cover the spread, Seattle will have to score a lot, but Carolina’s defense has been difficult to score on.

The Panthers’ pass rush will have an easy time against a Seattle pass protection unit that PFF ranked 30th heading into the season while its two starting tackles were healthy.

Carolina’s secondary has also been steady, largely holding in its most recent game New Orleans’ top wide receiver Chris Olave in check minus an incredible grab that he made which accounted for a lot of his yards.

NFL Pick: Panthers +6 (-110) at Bet365

NFL Pick: Panthers ML (+215) at Bet365


New England Patriots vs. New York Jets

Sunday, September 24, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at MetLife Stadium


Jets’ Resume So Far

After losing big to an undefeated Dallas team that has looked like a juggernaut so far, it is easy to forget that, without Aaron Rodgers completing a pass, the Jets defeated Buffalo in Week 1.

Against Buffalo, they scored more points than they did against Dallas largely because they had more success running the ball.

Overall, their offense was more comfortable because they never had to press from behind.

Besides benefiting from more run-centric play-calling that compelled the defense to worry about Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook, quarterback Zach Wilson was simply able to take what the defense gave him.

More competence on offense enabled them to allow fewer points because their defense was less often in a bad position.

Hall and Cook vs. Patriots’ Run Defense

This week, the Jets’ rush attack will redeem itself against New England’s rush defense.

Last week, Miami running back Raheem Mostert amassed 121 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries against the Patriots. They struggled to set the edge and they struggled to tackle well.

New York will pose a tough test with its duo of Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook. Hall, who has hardly been utilized, is averaging 9.7 YPC while Cook is a four-time Pro Bowler capable of adding significant support.

Supported by a strong running game, Wilson will focus on completing simple throws to his strong group of wide receivers.

Mac Jones’ Struggles

But Wilson will have little to do to help his team cover and win primarily because of his team’s defense. New England quarterback Mac Jones knows how tough the Jets’ defense is.

Last year, the Patriots scored ten points in one game against the Jets and, while relying on several field goals concluding low-yardage drives, 22 points in the other.

Hampered by poor accuracy that undermines his confidence to throw downfield, Jones struggled and will struggle against the Jets’ secondary.

Following our computer’s predictions, back the Jets.

NFL Pick: Jets +2.5 (-105) at Bet365

NFL Pick: Jets ML (+125) at Bet365


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