NFL Sunday: Dak to Press Home Superiority

Bassett is back with his rundown of Sunday's NFL action and thinks the Dallas Cowboys are a good bet in a big divisional match-up.

Alas Week 2 proved as difficult anticipated, with my selections coming up short after initially promising so much. The Rams won without covering the -3.5, as did the Cardinals who contrived to make their victory over the Vikings as tight as possible despite Kyler Murray throwing for 400 yards. A couple of turnovers in both games (against the selections) proved decisive while the New England Patriots kept up their end of the deal. Moving on to this week and I’m relishing the match ups that await from a spectating and punting perspective.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

First up and the headline selection focuses on Monday Night Football as the Dallas Cowboys welcome the Philadelphia Eagles to AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys ground out an impressive win against the LA Chargers last week following up a solid week 1 showing against the Superbowl favourites Tamp Bay. Giving up -3 points (10/11) looks well within their compass. The Cowboys have a far more varied and talented offence than their division opponents which is key.

They have great rushing ability with Zeke Elliott and Tony Pollard (who’s in particularly fine fettle). This will give quarterback Dak Prescott plenty of RPO’s and should pose a serious conundrum for the Eagles. Prescott has come back superbly from an horrific season ending injury last year and he looks intent on making up for lost time.  It is hard to see Jalen Hurts and the Eagles offense keep up on the scoring front and we really like the Cowboys to go 2-1 for the season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ LA Rams

Moving on to the undoubted game of the week. The LA Rams entertain the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what is effectively a pick ’em, with LA Rams +1.5 points in the handicap. The Bucs under the leadership of Tom Brady have put up 30+  points with aplomb in both games this season. That said, they face a different animal this week in the guise of the Rams.

The Rams defense may not be operating at its “best in league level” from last year, but there is no doubt they are one team capable of applying pressure to Brady. The reduced time in the pocket and the unavailability of Antonio Brown (Covid) could limit Brady’s ability to produce big plays downfield.

On the other side of the ball Matt Stafford has started off superbly with his new team and has done all that has been required to date. His strong arm and array of weapons (Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson and Robert Woods) will look to expose the suspect Tampa Bay secondary.

Indeed, despite the final score the much maligned Atlanta Falcons pushed Tampa hard last week. The game was in the melting pot entering the final quarter which would have been unexpected pre-game. Two pick sixes put paid to any hopes of a shock, but it was another game where the Bucs gave up a lot of points and yards through the air.

It looks sure to be a fascinating duel and I’m taking the home side (LA Rams) to win on the moneyline at 11/10.

Miami Dolphins @ Las Vegas Raiders

Lastly, I think that the LV Raiders will continue their excellent start to the campaign and follow up impressive wins against the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers with a home victory against the Miami Dolphins and in doing so cover the handicap of -3.5 (10/11).

Derek Carr has taken care of business with minimum fuss so far this year and I think the Raiders will have too much firepower for the travelling Dolphins. It is a tough road trip for Brian Flores charges following last weeks’ home blowout to the Buffalo Bills (35-0). Throw in an injury to Tua Tagovailoa and its hard to fancy the Dolphins. It’s difficult see back up QB Jacoby Brissett being able to create enough plays to keep the Dolphins in the mix. Look for Tight End Darren Waller to have another impressive day along with Hunter Renfrow and Henry Ruggs III.

Other Fancies

Elsewhere on the slate I think the San Francisco 49’ers will have too much for Green Bay who have looked a shadow of their former selves. I also like the overs in the Cardinals and Jaguars match as Week 3 looks sure to produce big on the scoring front.

SRD Selections

Dallas Cowboys -3, LA Rams Moneyline & LV Raiders -3.5. Treble at 13/2