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Two NFL Underdogs That Look Solid in Week 3

September 21, 2018

Week 3 of the NFL regular season features a pair of games in which the dogs may have their day.

The New York Giants visit the Houston Texans with the Giants (+6) road dogs against Deshaun Watson & Company. Many thought the Texans would be a dark horse to reach the Super Bowl this season, but it appears football pundits may have jumped the gun and not considered that Watson has only started eight NFL games in his brief career and is coming off a devastating knee injury.

Although Watson has made some poor decisions during the first two Houston games, he cannot take all the blame. The Houston defense was supposed to be of elite caliber, but has just three sacks after two games and lost to a Tennessee team led by Blaine Gabbert at quarterback.

Therefore, the Texans as 6-point chalk seems a bit strange, even against the 0-2 Giants. New York’s offense has veteran Eli Manning under center, an elite-caliber running back in rookie Saquon Barkley and one of the NFL’s top receivers in Odell Beckham Jr. At some point, the points will start to come easier, as long as the offensive line starts to play up to speed.

The Giants defense has allowed just 20 points to each of its opponents and is allowing opposing offenses to convert just 30% of their third downs. In the first two games the Giants have been a factor deep into the fourth quarter, but came up just short each time.

The Giants look solid at +6.

The Arizona Cardinals have started the season slow and are a surprising 6-point home dog this weekend against the upstart Chicago Bears. The Cardinals offense will likely go back to basics after scoring a total of six points over two games.

Look for a more up tempo approach against Chicago at home and remember the Bears are not only traveling to the desert southwest, but doing so on a shorter week after playing on Monday night.

Arizona will likely use David Johnson early and often and try a free up the talented running back in open spaces. Johnson happens to be the Cardinals best offensive player and will see far more touches in this game than in the previous two.

The Cardinals defense should contain a Bears offense led by Mitchell Trubiskly, but need to be aware of Jordan Howard in the backfield as the running back can move the chains with his running prowess between the tackles.

Nevertheless, Arizona looks solid at +6 playing at home.

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