NFL Week 3: Cowboys favored, Patriots underdogs

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Dak Prescott has breathed fresh life into the Dallas Cowboys, but the rookie QB is up against some dubious home-field trends as well as the Chicago Bears in a Week 3 Sunday Night Football betting matchup.

The Cowboys are listed as 4.5-point favorites against the Bears with a total of 44.5 points at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Cowboys are a dismal 2-10-2 against the spread in their last 14 games at AT&T Stadium, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. Dallas is 5-2 straight-up when coming off an outright win as an underdog. The Bears are 6-2 ATS over their last eight road games.

With New England turning to No. 3 QB Jacoby Brissett, the Houston Texans are 2.5-point favorites against the Patriots with a total of 41 for their Thursday Night Football matchup. The Texans are 1-5 ATS in their last six games against the Patriots. The Patriots are 9-3 SU in their last 12 games vs. teams with winning records.

With Adrian Peterson (meniscus) likely out, the Carolina Panthers are 7.5-point betting favorites against the Minnesota Vikings, with a total of 43. The Panthers are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight games after losing the previous game in a matchup. The visiting team is 2-5 SU and ATS in its last seven games in this matchup.

The Green Bay Packers are also favored by 7.5, with a total of 48, at home against the Detroit Lions. The Packers are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. The Lions are 1-24 SU in their last 25 road games vs. Green Bay.

In a Marcus Mariota vs. Derek Carr QB matchup, the Tennessee Titans are 1.5-point favorites against the Oakland Raiders, with a total of 46.5. The Raiders are 1-7 SU in their last eight road games after a road win. The Titans are 0-11 SU and ATS in their last 11 games after an ATS win.

The New York Giants are favored by 4.5 points against the Washington Redskins, with a total of 46.5. The Giants have a streak of being 7-0 SU as a favorite of 4.5 points or more. The Redskins are 2-10 SU in their last 12 road games against the Giants.

The Kansas City Chiefs are favored by three points against the New York Jets, with a total of 43.5. The Jets are 2-10 SU in their last 12 games after winning as an underdog.  The Chiefs are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games after winning the previous game in a matchup.

And the Pittsburgh Steelers are favored by five points vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, with a total of 46. The Eagles are 12-5 SU in their last 17 games at home after a win at home. The Steelers are 5-1 SU and ATS in their last six games against the NFC.

Two teams are set to dominate the 2019 NFL Draft: Patriots and…the Raiders?

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The owner of the 2019 NFL Draft? Oakland, with rookie GM Mike Mayock, who counts Bill Belichick as one of his best friends in football.

The power broker, potentially, of the 2019 NFL Draft? New England, which will have the ammo to move up, down and sideways—and Belichick has always loved wheeling and dealing on draft weekend.

The Raiders have four picks in the top 35. The Patriots have one pick in the top 55. But that’s a misleading part of the story. There’s great depth in this draft from pick 25 to 100 and even deeper, some scouts at the Senior Bowl thought. So there could be fine value in the Patriot picks when they are slated to choose five times in a 45-pick span from 56 to 101.

Raiders and Patriots picks in the top 110 overall choices of the draft, as of today:

• New England: 1st round, 32nd overall; 2-56; 2-64; 3-73; 3-97^; 3-101^

• Oakland: 1st round, 4th overall; 1-24; 1-27; 2-35; 3-66; 4-106

^ Projected compensatory picks for the losses of Nate Solder and Malcolm Butler in free agency, as calculated by Over the Cap’s Nick Korte.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America by clicking here

Bengals coach Zac Taylor has had no time to process the Rams’ crushing Super Bowl LIII loss

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Don’t you always wonder what it’s like for a man to coach in the Super Bowl, then, a day or two later, get introduced as the new coach of Team X? It’s crazy. Happened twice last week. The Patriots found it odd that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was in their Atlanta lobby at 9 a.m. Monday, 5.5 hours after the Super Bowl victory party ended, to ferry new coach Brian Flores (ex-Patriots defensive coordinator) to south Florida to be introduced as coach Monday afternoon. Zac Taylor had a few more hours to get his family to Cincinnati. The former Rams quarterback coach’s introductory press conference was Tuesday.

So it was interesting to hear Taylor’s reaction over the weekend when I asked him: “How disappointing was it to play the way your offense played in the Super Bowl?”

“I haven’t had a chance to process it, quite honestly,” he said from Cincinnati. “There just hasn’t been time. I haven’t watched the game. Honestly, I’m conflicted. It’s devastating to work so hard to get to the championship game, and for your entire team to pour everything they’ve got into it, and then to lose like that.

“But five or six hours after the game, I’m on a plane to Cincinnati, on the way to fulfill a dream I’ve had for so long—to be a head coach in the NFL. And then your brain goes there. It’s just … it’s just the way it is, and you’ve got to turn the page.”

There was some discomfort in his voice, bordering on pain. It’s easy to sit back and say, Buck up, buddy. You’re about to make millions to coach a football team. True, but if you’ve been a football coach for a while, and you help your team get to the Super Bowl, regardless of the outcome, it’s got to be odd to just walk out the door a few hours after the biggest game of all of your lives, no time to process or adjust, and you move on while everyone else wallows.

One other question. I asked Taylor if he’d had much of a chance to consider how close the Rams came to taking a lead with four minutes left in the third quarter, when Jason McCourty, panic-stricken, ran 20 yards in 2.4 seconds (per NFL Next Gen Stats) to bat a decisive touchdown away from Brandin Cooks in the back of the end zone. If Jared Goff was a millisecond quicker with his throw, the touchdown would have given LA a 7-3 lead and put huge pressure on New England. Instead, the Rams settled for a field goal to tie it, 3-3.

Taylor: Sigh.

“In football, you just miss by inch sometimes,” he said. “You can be an inch from … “

Sigh again.

“That’s football in a nutshell. That’s football.”

I thought that would be it from Taylor, but he brightened, as his mentor Sean McVay would have. Taylor continued, “Criticism, pressure, adversity. We want our staff and our players to understand that this is the NFL. This is why you do this job. The energy, the camaraderie, can’t be duplicated, except maybe at the craps table in Vegas when you’re on a roll.”

The Bengals have needed some energy, and an offensive spur. I’m looking forward to seeing what Taylor can provide.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America by clicking here