NFL Sunday – Our Top Picks (9/8/19)

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns

Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars

San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (-6.5) – O/U: 45

Top Pick: Browns -5.5 | Bet with PointsBet Now | Get up to $1000 in Risk Free Bets

Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

The most overhyped team coming into the season finally gets a chance to show everyone what they’re all about. While there are plenty of expectations for the Browns, they will be facing a very fundamental Titans team that can certainly make life difficult on them. These contrasting styles of football will be very interesting to watch for sure.

Odds Analysis: Titans at Browns

The Browns are getting 2/3 of the bets from the public in this game, so that’s why we’ve seen the opening line of -4 now rise to -5.5 at PointsBet. While we’ve seen a big change there, the total hasn’t moved much, only going from 44.5 to 45.

Titans Betting Form

This Titans offense might be one of the most boring in all of football, but that could actually work in their favor for this matchup. Derrick Henry will lead a potent running attack against a Browns’ defense that missed the most tackles in the NFL last season. If Tennessee can get that part of its game going, and it should, that’ll keep Cleveland’s offense off the field for long stretches of time. 

Left tackle Taylor Lewan will be out for the Titans, and that does present some issues. However, their offensive line has plenty of depth and it shouldn’t be too big of a deal.

Browns Betting Form

Quarterback Baker Mayfield got an extra weapon to play with over the offseason, and this dynamic wide-receiver duo of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry will create a lot of mismatches with the Titans’ secondary. Last season, Tennessee’s defense was strong against all positions except wide receiver. 

Given that this will be the first game with all of these weapons, we’re probably going to see plenty of deep balls and exciting trick plays that’ll wow the crowd. 

Top Pick: Browns -5.5

While there are some factors that could help the Titans, they’re thoroughly mismatched at the quarterback position. Ultimately, we feel like that’s a big difference and the Browns can cover the 5.5 points like so much of the public thinks they will.

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Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars – O/U: 50.5

Top Pick: Jaguars +3.5 | Bet with Resorts Now | Get a $250 First Deposit Bonus

Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

We’ve got ourselves a matchup of strength versus strength, as the high-flying Chiefs travel down South to take on the Jaguars and their stingy defense. These two teams played last season, as the Chiefs won 30-14, but then-Jags quarterback Blake Bortles made two crucial mistakes in the red zone. Hopefully this time around, at home, Jacksonville can correct those mistakes with Nick Foles at the helm.

Odds Analysis: Chiefs at Jaguars

The Chiefs were initially 4.5-point favorites with Resorts Sportsbook, and that caused sharp bettors to jump all over Jacksonville. Once that happened, we saw the line come tumbling down to -4, and then -3.5 where it currently sits. The total also dropped two points from 52.5 to 50.5.

Chiefs Betting Form

KC led the league in scoring last season with 35.3 points per game, which also ranked third in NFL history. With all of that being said, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ worst game of the season did come against this Jags’ defense – worst being, 313 passing yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. It’ll be interesting how they handle a full season of not having Kareem Hunt in the backfield, but having Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce catching passes will ease the burden a bit. 

It’s no secret that Jacksonville has one of the scariest defenses in the NFL. Things certainly won’t come as easy as usual for KC on offense, so this is definitely the matchup to watch.

Jaguars Betting Form

The Jags’ defense absolutely needs to show up if they want to give their team a chance to win the game. In reality, showing up shouldn’t be the problem – because they are usually fierce no matter what – but rather executing the game plan of creating pressure on Mahomes. 

On offense, Foles will make his Jags’ debut and this team has always felt like they were a simple signal-caller away from taking them to the next level. He could potentially be that guy, and Jacksonville will finally have a healthier group of wide receivers. Not to mention, a lot of people are sleeping on Leonard Fournette and he’ll look to have a bounce-back year, starting with a matchup against the NFL’s worst run defense from last season. 

Top Pick: Jaguars +6.5

We think the Jags are not only capable of covering, but maybe even pulling the upset!

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San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1) – O/U: 50.5

Top Pick: Over 50.5 | Bet with BetMGM Now | Risk Free Bet up to $500

Time: 4:25 p.m. EST

This is a game with great storylines as we’ll see the return of Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Defenses probably won’t be playing a major part of this game either, so this could be a goldmine for fantasy and totals alike. 

Odds Analysis: 49ers at Buccaneers

The big odds change in this game is on the total, which went from 48.5 to 50.5. After all, we do have two of the worst defenses and potent offenses going head-to-head in Tampa on Sunday. The Bucs opened as -2 favorites with BetMGM, but only moved slightly down to -1.5.

49ers Betting Form

Jimmy G is back to lead the 49ers after missing nearly all of 2018 with a torn ACL. He didn’t play particularly well in preseason and even got picked off on five straight passes during a mixed-team practice.

The Bucs’ pass defense was absolutely horrendous last season, and that’s why Todd Bowles was brought in to run things. That unit can only improve, but they do have to learn a new 3-4 system and that can certainly take a few games. 

Buccaneers Betting Form

Last season, the Bucs’ passing attack was No. 1 in the NFL and that should continue to improve with a great wealth of weapons in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard – not to mention, a coach that wants to air it out as well. The 49ers ranked dead-last in coverage grades, according to Pro Football Focus, so all of Tampa’s studs will certainly take advantage of that weakness. 

Top Pick: Over 50.5

We’ve outlined the struggles of these defenses coming into this season, and that’s our basis for going over the total. Not to mention, both of these teams want to throw the ball – and they will. Look for plenty of points and if you’ve got fantasy players going in this game, your outlook is very bright. 

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Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer