Schwartz’s Trench Report: Week 3 NFL Bets Based on Offensive Line Play
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (third from left) and the Chiefs offensive linemen
- Former NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz offers his two best Week 3 bets based on the battles up front.
- Patrick Mahomes has thrown for a record 10 touchdowns behind an offensive line that has allowed just two sacks.
- So what does that mean for Sunday's highest projected total in the 49ers-Chiefs matchup? That's one of two picks for this week's slate.
The Week 3 Trench Report is here! We went 1-1 last week, bringing the season total to 3-1 with some great-looking games this weekend.
Below are a pair of picks for this week based on the battles up front. We’ll start with the guys protecting Patrick Mahomes against the 49ers in Kansas City, then look at the New York Giants-Houston Texans matchup.
>> All odds as of 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.
San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs
- Spread: Chiefs -6.5
- Over/Under: 55.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
I know this is a trench report, but we need to examine what the Chiefs do on offense: They find ways to exploit matchups and they will do the same against the 49ers.
Mahomes has a record 10 touchdown passes to zero interceptions through the first two weeks. He’ll rightfully get a ton of attention, but his offensive line has been doing work. They’ve allowed only two sacks, giving Mahomes time to break down a defense.
Meanwhile, the 49ers are 19th in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Sack Rate and have struggled against the pass as a whole.
Flipping this around, we have a steady San Francisco offensive line with major weapons everywhere for Jimmy Garoppolo against a Kansas City defense that’s putrid.
The Chiefs have allowed almost 900 yards and are 31st in rushing the passer with a total of two sacks. Their run defense isn’t any better, allowing 4.46 yards per rush.
I generally like taking unders in the trench report, but I’m switching gears here and taking a big over in Kansas City this weekend.
This feels like a game with a ton of points. Even if it’s the square play, I love it.
The Bet: Over 55.5
New York Giants at Houston Texans
- Spread: Texans -6
- Over/Under: 42
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
I’ve tried my best to find games to preview featuring teams I haven’t already hit on, but I have to go back to old faithful here.
I was wrong about the Giants: They haven’t seemed to improve much on offense at all this season and have yet to score more than 30 points in a game since 2015!
Besides having physical issues up front, they’re making too many mental mistakes. Some of these mistakes have allowed free rushers to clobber Eli Manning and tackle Saquon Barkley in the backfield. Take out the long touchdown in Week 1, and Barkley has gained only 66 yards on 28 runs. That’s not good.
Overall the Giants rushing offense is 29th in DVOA. Their pass protection isn’t any better, either, ranking 24th.
Now they’re up against the Texans defense, with J.J. Watt starting to look like his old self. Houston enters this week with a run defense that’s allowing only 3.42 yards per carry, good for fifth in the NFL.
The Texans are middle of the road in pass-rushing pressure, but when they played the Patriots in Week 1, Tom Brady once again threw the ball quickly. The defensive line will get after the Giants offensive line.
Switching this around, the Texans offensive line was supposed to be one of the worst heading into the season. And on paper, it still could be. But it hasn’t played like it. The Texans are second in adjusted rushing yards and sixth in rushing DVOA.
The Giants rushing defense, which I thought would be extremely good — and can still be very stout — hasn’t been so far. Part of the reason it hasn’t been is because the Giants have played two teams that like to run the ball in Jacksonville and Dallas and they’ve trailed late in those matchups.
I still like the Giants defensive line against the Texans offensive line.
Getting after Deshaun Watson is a must for the Giants, and they are struggling with that, too. They have only one sack and aren’t getting much pressure on top of that. With Watson’s ability to extend plays, he will have time to get it downfield.
So we have a Texans run game that is humming along against a Giants run defense that has played poorly. The Giants can’t rush the passer, either. The Texans have an excellent run defense and decent pass rush against a Giants O-line that has been poor.
This feels like a 27-10 win for the Texans.
The Bet: Texans -6; Under 42