Take Aaron Judge to number 61 tonight | Vikings, Jaguars lead football Friday picks


Week 3 of the NFL season is one of the most important weeks of the season, even if it’s not treated that way. Going into the weekend, 11 teams are either 2-0 or 0-2 in the league, meaning seasons can be decided this week.

I mean it! I know there are still 14 games to go after this week, but we already know that teams starting 0-2 miss the play-offs much more often than not. Teams starting 0-3 are practically dead in the water. So there are five fan bases this weekend with that guillotine overhead. I mean, can you imagine? You spend the entire outdoor season waiting for the new season to start. You talk yourself into believing this is the year, and then it’s all over three weeks later?

On the other side of that coin, though it’s not a guarantee, with so many playoff spots in the NFL now it’s hard to miss the playoffs when you start 3-0. As long as you avoid disastrous injuries or an epic collapse, you’re at least in a prime position for a wildcard berth. So six teams could achieve that this weekend.

So, like I said, it’s been a huge week in the NFL. Unless your team is 1-1 it’s only been a week, but you should probably win to be safe.

Let’s start this Football Friday now with a baseball bet!

All times East, and all opportunities through Caesars Sportsbook

🔥The Hot Ticket

Red Stockings Bee Yankees, 19:05 | TV: Apple TV+

  • Main trend: Aaron Judge often hits dingers
  • The pick: Aaron Judge to hit an HR (+265)
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Let me start by saying that while I think it’s cool that Aaron Judge has hit 60 home runs and is one away from Roger Maris’ 61 dingers in one season, the amount of attention that goes into it is a bit much. He’s trying to set a team record. Not the MLB file. That record has been broken several times. Like it or not, Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs in 2001. In 1998, Mark McGwire hit 70 and Sammy Sosa hit 66. The next season, McGwire hit 65 and Sosa 63. Then, for the record, Sosa hit 64 in 2001.

Maris’ once-iconic record of 61 home runs in a season now ranks seventh all-time. When Aaron Judge goes deep again, he’s tied for seventh all-time. But the coverage it gets is akin to Judge setting the all-time record, and that’s only because he’s a Yankee. When Aaron Judge played for the Oakland Athleticshis 60 home runs would be discussed, but wouldn’t get nearly as much attention.

Jonathan Coachman is joined by Emory Hunt, Chip Patterson and Allan Bell to dish out Friday’s best bets. Download and follow The Early Edge on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

All this shows the power of pesky Yankees fans, like the editor of this newsletter. So I bet Judge will be even tonight for a few reasons. The main reason is I like tonight’s match up against Red Sox starter Rich Hill. I like Judge’s match up against almost every pitcher in the league because he is a giant man who hits the ball far. The second reason is that if Judge hits the “historic” dinger tonight, it will annoy a lot of Yankees fans. Tonight’s game is on Apple TV+, a streaming service that not everyone has. And since baseball fans are usually stuck in 1955 (I’m a baseball fan, I’m throwing myself in this pile), they hate anything new, like baseball on streaming services or broadcasts that don’t include their home booth. So people like to complain about Apple TV+’s MLB broadcasts. I think they are okay. The photo is great.

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Anyway, the point is that Aaron Judge hitting the number 61 on a serve that many Yankees fans don’t have with an announcement crew that isn’t theirs is going to terrify them, and I want that to happen. And I want to make money while I do it.

So join me tonight in rooting for “history”. Go, Aaron Judge, go!

Here’s what SportsLine says about the game: If you’re looking for a traditional bet on this one, SportsLine’s John Bollman believes that one side of the total offers good value.

💰The Choices

🏈 College football

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Maryland at No. 4 Michigan, Saturday, 12 noon | TV: Fox
The pick: Michigan -17 (-110) —
There is an easy way to approach Maryland, which has a 3-0 start and has defeated opponents 121-58. When Maryland plays against a team it should beat, it will beat that team far more often than not. It will even stunt if they get the chance. However, when Maryland plays a better team, it gets obliterated. In five games against Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan last season, the Terps went 0-5 and scored 247-84. Michigan defeated Maryland 59-18.

In fact, Michigan has won the last six meetings with a combined score of 261-59. That’s an average margin of 33.7 points per game. While the Wolverines haven’t been tested yet, I don’t think Maryland will be much of a test either. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa still takes way too many chances with the ball, and he gets away with it against average defenses. However, Michigan’s defense is not average. It will put pressure on him, he will panic and he will throw it at the Wolverines. I’ve seen it way too many times to expect it to be any different this week.

Duke in Kansas, Saturday, 12 noon | TV: FS1
The choice: Kansas -7 (-110) —
I will not abandon my Jayhawks. They’re not a lock because I’m more confident in Michigan versus Maryland, but the market still underestimates the Jayhawks. It’s definitely been corrected a bit after road victories against West Virginia and Houston, but it’s overestimating Duke a bit here.

Like Kansas, Duke starts surprisingly 3-0. The main difference is that Kansas has had some tough road wins. Duke, on the other hand, has played against what are arguably two of the worst FBS teams in the country (Temple and Northwestern) and an FCS opponent in North Carolina A&T. The Blue Devils defense has never seen anything like this attack in Kansas. I don’t think the Blue Devils have the talent to slow down a real elite attack in Kansas. Let’s ride this Jayhawks wave until we crash on the stony shore.

No. 10 Arkansas vs. No. 23 Texas A&M, Saturday, 7 p.m. | TV: ESPN
The choice: Arkansas +2 (-110) —
Yeah, I won’t bet on the Aggies anytime soon. The offense is… well… offensive. As I wrote last week when we cashed in (and easily cashed) in Texas A&M’s game against Miami, if it weren’t for Iowa’s comically bad offense, more people would find that A&M’s isn’t much better. The Aggies are ranked 105th in points per ride (1.72) nationally, 104th in pass rate (37.3%) and 85th in EPA/play (-0.03). It’s not that Coach Jimbo Fisher doesn’t know how to coordinate a violation. It’s that his offense is way too complicated for the university, where players are only given so much time to “study.” There’s a reason so many school infractions are simplified, but Fisher refuses to simplify his infraction or give the reins to anyone else. You see the result.

You know who makes a simple foul, one that scores a lot of points and is explosive? Arkansas! Now Arkansas’ pass defense is suspect, but that’s partly by design (there’s a lot of bending-but-not-breaking). I’m not worried about Texas A&M, which can’t pass efficiently against anyone. I’ll take the points, but if you want to take Arkansas straight ahead, I won’t try to talk you into it.


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Lions at Vikings, Sunday, 1 p.m. | TV: Fox
The choice: Vikings -6 (-110) —
While I’ve been impressed with the Lions during the first two weeks of the season, I’m estimating them on a Detroit Lions curve. You know, the same way you say a baby “walks” after he takes the first few steps before falling on his butt. If you did, no one would say you were walking. They would say you fell. I think there’s a good chance the Lions will fall this week. They teamed up with Philadelphia, beating Washington last week, but both games were at home. This week they head out to take on a divisional rival who was killed by the same Eagles team the Lions dealt with.

And I think the market is underestimating the Vikings a bit here by losing 24-7. That game was on its way. At home in week 1 against Green Bay, the Vikings dominated, winning 23-7. Here, in a friendlier environment and away from those primetime lights that make Kirk Cousins ​​shrink, I expect Minnesota to perform much better and keep the Lions at bay.

Jaguars at Chargers, Sunday, 16:05 | TV: CBS
The choice: Jaguars +7 (-110) —
What I’m suggesting here is maybe the Jaguars don’t suck. I’m not ready to say it emphatically, but my interest has at least been piqued. The team has acquired some interesting pieces to raise the floor during the off-season, but what stood out is that Trevor Lawrence may be rounding the corner. Having looked like the most rookie quarterbacks last season, Lawrence seems much more comfortable on Jacksonville’s offense by two games. He tore the Colts apart last week, completing 25 of 30 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns. While we expect each week to be very demanding, all we need is for Lawrence and the Jaguars to stay within a touchdown.

Yes, it’s a road race, but it’s SoFi Stadium. The place where the Chargers and Rams often have to use quiet ones counts because the opposing fans are making too much noise. Nor do we know how healthy Justin Herbert is. He was injured at the end of the Chargers’ loss to Kansas City last Thursday and has been limited in training this week. He’s going to start the game, but will he finish it? And will he be 100%? That’s a lot of unanswered questions about a key player who wants to trust the team he’s playing for to cover a full touchdown, isn’t it? I certainly think so.

SportsLine Pick of the Day: SportsLine’s regular prop guru Alex Selesnick has rounded up all of his favorite NFL player prop bets for Week 3.