Darren’s Dimes: NFL Week 3 Odds and Taking Advantage of the Back-Up Quarterback Situations
2019 is certainly year of the back-up quarterback. After a mere two weeks, many NFL teams are already relying on back-ups and, in certain circumstances (New York Jets) moving on to their third string quarterbacks based on necessity, not desire. Depth charts may change as teams left with backup options look to free agency and/or trading with other teams, but there are quite a few clubs that find themselves in situations they definitely did not expect leading into the 2019 NFL season.
Thus, this week, I want to focus on some games that feature backup QBs. Last week, the first installment of Darren’s Dimes, was definitely memorable. I went 3-0, which included taking the New England Patriots no matter the spread against the Miami Dolphins (proved to be very wise), the Arizona Cardinals based on the Baltimore Ravens giving up too many points and the Cleveland Browns when they were only favored by 1–point (the increase in spread did not play a factor).
Drama Surrounding the Jaguars Will Be Too Much To Overcome
I appreciate the legend of quarterback Gardner Minshew as much as anyone else. However, while the quarterback continues to capture my attention off of the field, I fear that he will leave a lot to be desired on the field as the 2019 NFL season continues. It may not necessarily be due to his lack of ability to succeed on the highest stage of professional football (although it should be noted that he is a rookie who was drafted in the 6th round of the 2019 NFL Draft and is likely still learning the Jaguars’ offensive scheme). A lackluster receiving corp could also very well contribute to an absence of offense, particularly against a Tennessee Titans defense that has given up fewer than 20 points per game to start the season.
The Jaguars’ saving grace is the franchise’s defense. However, that defense may not be as tight as prior weeks with cornerback Jalen Ramsey’s agent asking for a trade.
I expect the Titans to bounce back from a tough loss to the Indianapolis Colts and cover the small 1.5 points the franchise is giving up to the Jaguars per the current SugarHouse line.
Time To Rally Behind The San Francisco 49ers
It feels as though no one was talking about the San Francisco 49ers leading up to the 2019 NFL season. Much more attention was paid to what the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks could potentially accomplish at the top of the NFC West as well as what Kyler Murray would do as quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals. Yet, the 49ers enter Week 3 with a 2-0 record and are about to play their first game of the season at home.
Expect a lively environment for the 49ers against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which could certainly ruffle the feathers of newly inserted QB Mason Rudolph, who takes over for Ben Roethlisberger after his season ending injury. The 2018 NFL Draft 3rd round selection from Oklahoma State has his hands full against a really strong 49ers defense that has only given up 17 points on back-to-back weeks. Donte Moncrief looks nonexistent. In fact, no wide receiver besides JuJu Smith-Schuster looks like a concern for opposing defenses.
The 49ers are giving up 6.5 points to the Steelers at home and I say San Francisco covers by at least 7.
Can’t Go All Favorites, So I Am Rolling with The Jets!?
The New England Patriots are very good and the New York Jets are very bad, but are the Jets at the Miami Dolphins tanking level bad? I’m not ready to go that far, just yet. The early line on this game is fluctuating around 21.5 points, and I just find it too many points to lay on the table.
Yes, the Jets will be starting an inexperienced quarterback and yes, the Jets have a somewhat depleted defense. But the team still has a hungry and healthy LeVeon Bell at runningback, a decent offensive line and a defense that should be able to keep the Patriots well under the 43 points the club put up against the Dolphins. Thus, take the points if you are getting more than 21 and ride the Jets even though it is almost guaranteed that they lose the game.
Darren Heitner is the Founder of HEITNER LEGAL, P.L.L.C., where he serves as legal counsel to some of the most successful athletes, sports agents and other individuals and companies. He is the founder of Sports Agent Blog, a niche publication that covers the entirety of the sports agency industry. Darren contributed to Forbes for 6 years and Inc. Magazine for 4 years, covering the business of sports. He wrote published 2 sports law treatises published by the American Bar Association.