Get Aaron Judge in 61st place 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 as such. As the weekend begins, 11 teams in the league are either 2-0 or 0-2, meaning the seasons could be decided this week.

I’m serious! I know there are 14 games left after this week, but we already know that teams that start 2-0 miss the playoffs far more often than they don’t. Teams starting 0-3 are practically dead in the water. So there are five fan bases lined up this weekend with this guillotine over their heads. I mean can you imagine that? They spend the entire off-season waiting for the new season to start. You tell yourself this is the year and then three weeks later it’s over?

While on the flip side of that coin, it’s no guarantee that with so many playoff berths in the NFL now, it’s hard to miss the playoffs if you’re starting 3-0. As long as you avoid catastrophic injury or an epic meltdown, you’re at least in an excellent position for a wildcard spot. Six teams were able to achieve that this weekend.

So, like I said, it’s a massive week in the NFL. If your team isn’t 1-1, it’s just another week, but you should probably win to stay safe.

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

All Eastern times and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook


πŸ”₯ The hot ticket

Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. | TV: AppleTV+

  • key trend: Aaron Judge often hits things
  • The Pick: Aaron Judge hits a HR (+265)

First, let me say that while I think it’s cool that Aaron Judge has hit 60 home runs and is just one shy of tying Roger Mari’s 61 things in a single season, the amount of attention he’s being given is a little much. He’s trying to set a team record. Not the MLB record. This 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 following season, McGwire hit 65 and Sosa hit 63. Then, just to be safe, Sosa hit 64 in 2001.

Maris’ once-legendary record of 61 home runs in a season now sits seventh all-time. If Aaron Judge goes deep again, he’ll be tied for seventh all-time. Yet the coverage it’s getting is akin to Judge setting the all-time mark just because he’s a Yankee. If Aaron Judge played for the Oakland Athletics, his 60 home runs would be discussed but not garnered nearly as much attention.

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

All of this shows the power of annoying Yankees fans, like the editor of this newsletter. So I’m betting on Judge hitting the target tonight for a number of reasons. The main reason is that I like tonight’s matchup against Red Sox starter Rich Hill. I like Judge’s matchup against almost every pitcher in the league because he’s a huge man who hits the ball far. The second reason is that when Judge hits the “historical” thing tonight, it’s going to annoy a lot of Yankees fans. Today’s game runs 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’ll throw myself into this bunch), they hate anything new, like baseball on streaming services or shows that don’t show their home cabin. So people like to complain about Apple TV+’s MLB shows. I think they are ok. The picture is amazing.

Anyway, the point is that Aaron Judge coming in at No. 61 on a service that many Yankees fans don’t have with a heralding crew that isn’t their own is going to piss them off and I want, that this happens. And I want to make money doing it.

So join me tonight in digging for history. Go Aaron Judge, go!

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


πŸ’°The selection

🏈 College Soccer

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Maryland at No. 4 Michigan, Saturday 12 p.m. | TV: fox
The Pick: Michigan -17 (-110) —
There’s an easy way to approach betting on Maryland, who started off 3-0 and outperformed their opponents 121-58. If Maryland is playing a team that should beat it, it will beat that team far more often than not. It will even brake on them if the opportunity arises. However, if Maryland plays a better team, they will be wiped out. In five games against Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan last season, the Terps went 0-5 and were outplayed 247-84. Michigan beat Maryland 59-18.

In fact, Michigan has won the last six meetings by an aggregate score of 261-59. That’s an average lead of 33.7 points per game. While the Wolverines have yet to be tested, I don’t think Maryland will offer a major test. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is still taking far too many chances with the ball, and he’s getting away with it against average defences. However, Michigan’s defense is not average. It will pressure him, he will panic and he will throw it at the wolverines. I’ve seen it way too many times to expect this week to be any different.

Duke in Kansas, Saturday 12 p.m. | TV: FS1
The Pick: Kansas -7 (-110) —
I’m not giving up on my Jayhawks. They’re not a lock because I have more confidence in Michigan than Maryland, but the market still underestimates the Jayhawks. It’s certainly a little corrected course after road wins over West Virginia and Houston, but it overstates Duke a bit here.

Like Kansas, Duke also surprisingly starts 3-0. The main difference is that Kansas has had tough road wins. In contrast, Duke has played against two of perhaps the worst FBS teams in the country (Temple and Northwestern) and an FCS opponent at North Carolina A&T. The Blue Devils defense hasn’t seen anything like this Kansas offense. I don’t think the Blue Devils have the talent to slow down a real elite Kansas attack. Let’s ride that Jayhawks wave ’til we crash onto the rocky 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 be betting on the Aggies anytime soon. The offense is… well… offensive. As I wrote last week, when we lost Texas A&M’s game to Miami (and easily made the money), more people would realize that A&M’s aren’t much better if it weren’t for Iowa’s comically bad offense. The Aggies rank 105th nationally in points per ride (1.72), 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 an offense. His offense is far too complicated for college, where players are only given so much time to “learn.” There’s a reason so many college offenses are simplified, but Fisher refuses to simplify his offense or hand the reins to anyone else. You see the result.

You know who runs a simple offense that scores a lot and is explosive? Arkansas! Well, Arkansas’ pass defense is suspect, but that’s partly intentional (there’s a lot of bend-but-don’t-break). It doesn’t worry me against Texas A&M, which can’t compete efficiently against anyone. I’ll take the points, but if you want to take Arkansas straight to the top, I’m not going to try to talk you out of it.

🏈 NFL

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Lions at Vikings, Sunday, 1 p.m. | TV: fox
The Choice: Vikings -6 (-110) —
While I was impressed with the Lions for the first two weeks of the season, I rate them on a Detroit Lions curve. You know, just like you say, that a baby “walks” after taking its first few steps before falling on its butt. If you did that, no one would say you were leaving. They would say you fell. I think there’s a good chance the Lions will fall this week. They hung out with Philadelphia and beat Washington last week, but both games were at home. This week they are on the road to confront a division rival who was killed by the same Eagles team the Lions were linked with.

And I think the market is slightly underestimating the Vikings here in a 24-7 loss. The game was on the street. At home in Week 1 against Green Bay, the Vikings dominated and won 23-7. Here, in a friendlier environment and away from the primetime lights that are shrinking Kirk Cousins, I expect Minnesota to do much better and keep the Lions at bay.

Jaguars at Chargers, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. | Television: CBS
The Choice: Jaguars +7 (-110) —
What I’m suggesting here is that maybe the jaguars don’t suck. I’m not ready to say it emphatically, but at least my interest is piqued. The team acquired some interesting pieces during the offseason to raise the ground, but what’s caught the eye is that Trevor Lawrence may be turning the corner. After looking like most rookie quarterbacks last season, Lawrence seems much more comfortable on the two-game Jacksonville offense. He tore the Colts apart last week, completing 25 of 30 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns. While we expect every week to be asking a lot, all we need is for Lawrence and the Jaguars to stay within a touchdown.

Yes, it’s a street game, but it’s SoFi Stadium. The place where the Chargers and Rams often have to resort to Silent because opposing fans are making too much noise. Also, we don’t 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 practice this week. He will start the game, but will he finish it? And will he be 100%? That’s a lot of unanswered questions about a key player you want to trust to cover a full touchdown for the team he’s playing for, isn’t it? I guess so.

πŸ”’ SportsLine Picks of the Day: SportsLine resident prop guru Alex Selesnick has listed all of his favorite NFL player prop bets for Week 3.


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