THIS WEEK’S TOP PLAYS FROM THE TOP HANDICAPPERS FROM OLDEST AND MOST RESPECTED
SPORTS ADVISORY COMPANY IN THE WORLD!
NFL LTS - NFL Week 2 (Sept 18-19)
SUNDAY, SEPT 18
#267 Washington Commanders +1.5 at Detroit Lions
#271 / 272 – Tampa Bay vs New Orleans Under 44
#288 Green Bay Packers -10 vs Chicago Bears
SUNDAY, SEPT 18
#292 Philadelphia Eagles -2 vs Minnesota Vikings
Top Weekly plays are 1.5 units • LTS plays are 1 unit
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GoldSheet gathers info throughout the week and the strongest plays regardless of if they were a newsletter play or not become LTS plays
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Washington +1.5 at Detroit
Dan Campbell is not as vilified by Lions fans as much as his 3-14-1 record at the helm might suggest because Detroit has managed to cover the spread two-thirds of the time since he took over last year, including a rather incredible nine times when losing games outright with the latest a week ago in the opener vs. the Eagles. But the oddsmakers aren’t offering any sort of spread cushion here, so the Lions (favored for the first time in 25 games!) are going to have to actually win a game for their supporters to cash tickets in the Motown sports books this week. Maybe not an easy task with a defense that still leaks as much as the Tigers bullpen and even allowed Jalen Hurts to abuse it (with help from wideout A.J. Brown) last Sunday. Meanwhile, though we are often reluctant to trust Carson Wentz, we have to admit he is an upgrade in Washington after the ten different QBs that have run thru the ‘Skins/WFT lineups the preceding four years. Wentz’s four touchdown passes in last week’s stirring win over the Jags reminded more of Sonny Jurgensen than the collection of journeymen who have taken snaps at FedEx Field lately. Until the Lions can prove that they can win these types of games, we’re inclined to play on their opponent. Play Washington.
New Orleans vs Tampa Bay Under 44
Tampa Bay might be able to run through the NFC South again this season, but they aren’t going to look like the team that has done it the last two seasons. This version of the Bucs is built on a power running game and defense and not on the arm of Tom Brady. No team has given Brady more problems since he’s joined the Bucs than the Saints. New Orleans spoiled his debut with a 34-23 win at the Superdome and completed the 2020 regular-season sweep with a 38-3 blowout, intercepting him three times. Tampa Bay got some revenge through a 30-20 Divisional Playoff win over the Saints en route to winning the Super Bowl in Brady’s first season, but it failed to win either regular-season matchup with New Orleans last season too. The most recent meeting, back last Dec. 19, produced a 9-0 shutout of the Bucs in which Brady was sacked four times, fumbled and threw a pick in a dreadful effort. WR Chris Godwin suffered a hamstring strain against the Cowboys and won’t play this week. Both defenses are far ahead of the offenses here and we should see the play-calling reflect that as both teams look to keep their quarterbacks upright against fierce fronts. This should be a competitive, low-scoring game at the Superdome. Play the under, which is widely available at 44 at the time of posting.
Green Bay -10 vs Chicago
Last season, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers loudly proclaimed his dominance over Chicago in this, the oldest series in the NFL (began in 1921), proclaiming “I own you!” to the Bear fans in Soldier Field. It is not bragging if you back it up, and Rodgers has certainly backed it up. The Pack has won 21 of the last 24 against the Bears (18-6 vs. the pointspread) dating back to 2008, when he became the starter. Over the past eight seasons, his TD-to-interception ratio against Chicago is 40-2. Rodgers was unhappy with his receivers and his team’s mistakes again after the 23-7 loss to Minnesota, and he tends to bounce back from losing efforts with vigor, so consequently the Packers are 6-0 against the number after their last six regular season losses with an average winning margin of 15 points per game. Chicago QB Justin Fields and the Bears collected a victory they probably didn’t deserve. Consider the wet, sloppy conditions hampered both teams in a low-scoring affair in which Chicago won 19-10, but was out-gained by 127 yards, had fewer first downs and Bear QB Justin Fields completed only 8-of-17 passes for 121 yards with an interception. The stars seem to align in this one, which should end with both teams level in the standings, and we’ll count on the intensity in Rodgers’ blood to bring home the pointspread cover as well. Play Green Bay.
Philadelphia -2 vs Minnesota
Minnesota’s win over the Packers last week might have been more a case of Green Bay ineptitude and lethargy (which has recurred for the Pack in recent opening weeks), and now the Eagles have seen the Vikings playbook in action. It also might not be as easy for Minnesota to get physical with the Birds like they did against the Packers, as Philly’s ground-and-pound offense will look forward to any mano-a-mano challenges after rolling the Lions for 214 yards on the ground last week. And Jalen Hurts probably can’t believe his good fortune at the presence of ex-Titans WR A.J. Brown, who gives the Eagles a modern-day Mike Quick and caught ten passes (many of them downfield) good for 155 yards while stretching the Detroit defense beyond recognition last week. Yes the defense yielding 35 points to the Lions has given the callers to Ike Reese’s show on WIP a reason to vent this week, but Nick Sirianni might suggest that’s because the stop unit spent so little time on the field together in the preseason and was simply a bit out of sync. The Linc will be rockin’ on Monday night and this point spread is short. Play Philadelphia.