How the darts landed
Bounced back just like I told yall we would, niftying a 12-4 record straight up last week and managing an improved 7-8-1 mark vs. the bet line. Nailed our Upset of the Week with Rams over Skins (Aawwk!), called Indys upset of Minny, and had Bucs-with-points over Giants. But erred on Dolphins, which in the rearview was a foreseeable win. Week 3 has zero double-digit spreads and 12 of the 16 at four points or fewer. [Note: Thursday pick was Panthers (+1) over Giants, 34-31].
JETS (1-1) at DOLPHINS (1-1)
Line: NYJ by 3.
Cotes pick: MIA 20-17.
TV: 1 p.m., CBS (airing in South Florida).
AAAWWWK! booms the Upset Bird. Im so bleepin tired of hearing about Tim Tebaawwk! I say we all join in as one Sunday, Dolfans and Jets fans alike, and start a thunderous pregame We want Tebow! chant. Sow the seeds of controversy and beat the rush, too. Why wait till Mark Sanchezs first interception or fumble? This is one of seven Week 3 matchups between 1-1 teams, unexciting for that, but there is interest in this game beyond the division rivalry. Its the return of Tony Sparano and Yeremiah Bell to face their old team. Its the traveling Tebow soap opera. Its the fact NYJ will be hell bent to limit Reggie Bush and force the game into Ryan Tannehills rookie hands all the more daunting because Planes CB Darrelle Revis is set to return from a concussion. I can see why York is favored. But I also like Bush running against a Jets D allowing 130.5 yards and 4.8 per on the ground more than I like NYJ running against a Dolphins D that hasnt allowed a 100-yard rusher in 16 consecutive games. Forcing Sanchez to win with his arm is enough to sap confidence from any Jets fan. The opponent is nothing special. Make it a venue call. Welcome back, Tony Sparaawwk! adds U-Bird. Do you still do the big fist-pump to celebrate a field goaawwk!?
PATRIOTS (1-1) at RAVENS (1-1)
Line: BAL by 3.
Cotes pick: NE 27-24.
TV: 8:20 p.m., NBC (airing in South Florida).
Its a rematch of last seasons AFC Championship Game and its worthy of prime time again. Four other games had the GOTW committees eye but its tough to ignore a mighty home team Ravens have won 11 in a row in the BAL against a league power out to rebound from an embarrassing (and rare) home loss. I cant remember the last time I picked against the Crows at home and I might regret it here if they can get Ray Rice going. But Bill Belichick is 7-1 all-time in this series for a reason, and I see Englands loss to Arizona as an aberration, not the ominous beginning of a sharp decline as some suggest. Baltimores defense is not as vaunted as in years past, and Tom Brady does not lose two in a row. Upset!
BILLS (1-1) at BROWNS (0-2)
Line: BUF by 3.
Cotes pick: CLE 24-23.
TV: 1 p.m., CBS.
The Dog panel actually was deadlocked on Jags-Colts and this game as the muttiest matchup of the week. So it went to the tiebreaker: Cities Where Id Least Like To Live. Buffalo-Cleveland? Cmon. No-brainer! Buffs have a hot runner in C.J. Spiller but otherwise this game tips Brown-ward for me. (Yes, it IS another upset pick!) Rookie QB Brandon Weeden showed signs of life last week, fellow rookie Trent Richardson legged for 109 yards, and Earthtones defense is surprisingly solid and will get to Ryan Fitzpatrick.