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ProFootballDoc: Top 5 Actionable Injury Issues For NFL Week 3

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Although we carry an overall 6-4 record for the five weekly picks, we hope to improve with some key advantages this week. The goal is to match or top last season’s 50-30-5 record against the spread and we we are on pace.

I want to but won’t count this Thursday game as a win where we called the Panthers covering the -7.5 easily with the 17 point Sports Injury Central (SIC) score advantage. I haven’t counted the single games in the tally but in fairness, this Thursday Texans games would have been the top injury mismatch of the week.

SIC Score is our proprietary numerical injury grading system that incorporates the health of every NFL team and individual players to give sports bettors, DFS players and fantasy owners an edge each week during the season. While it purposely doesn’t take into account coaching, schemes or matchups, SIC Scores give an accurate assessment of team/player overall health heading into a game.

Here are the five Sunday games and the reasons for the injury advantages.

 DETROIT +7.5 vs. BALTIMORE

I am not claiming the Lions are a better squad than the Ravens, rather this is about unaccounted for injury advantages. The presumption is the line takes care of roster/scheme/coaching differences but Detroit has the healthier SIC score as a team by 15.3 points. In addition, Baltimore’s offense has dropped 12.9 points from Week 2 and defensively fallen a similar 11.1 points on the SIC score scale. See both sides of the color coded Field View above. Is this a letdown game after the first two nationally televised games including finally topping the Chiefs? I am not predicting a Lions victory but rather a competitive game or a back door cover aided by health advantages.

CINCINNATI +3 @ PITTSBURGH

The team SIC scores are relatively close within a few points here but the change from Week 2 is the difference here. The Steelers defensive health has the biggest change this week, dropping 20.9 points. One look at the colorful Field View and one can see the issues including T.J. Watt out with a groin issue and key 3-4 nose guard Tyson Alualu done for the season with an ankle fracture. Overall, Pittsburgh drops 11.1 in SIC score as a team. Week to week deltas are key as injuries can be adjusted for and mitigated over time.

LA CHARGERS @ KANSAS CITY over 54.5

The Chargers and Chiefs both have defensive injury issues and a relatively healthy offense for a 13.7 and 11.9 SIC score advantage. With a similar overall team score, the analysis points to an over game even with the total set high at 54.5 points. Expect a game where both offenses dominate. Kansas City is favored by 7 but the health analysis points to the over and it is our first total play of the season.

DENVER -10.5 vs. NY JETS

The line of 10.5 seems high to us as the Broncos are 2-0 but against two poor teams and now they play a third. The SIC score differential of 13.5 has us on Denver. Zach Wilson is playing for the Jets but may be slowed by a groin injury. The Broncos record seems inflated based on the competition, but we are trusting the process as there seems to be an injury mismatch.

GREEN BAY +3 @ SAN FRANCISCO

Aaron Rodgers comes home to the Bay Area and is getting 3 points against a banged-up 49ers team on defense and devoid of running backs. The Packers main “Achilles heel” is at left tackle where David Bahktiari is not back yet from his ACL and his back up Elgton Jenkins is out with an ankle injury. The third string LT will face Nick Bosa but he is not 100% yet with his ACL recovery. This seems to be a pick’em or slight advantage to Green Bay but they get three points.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

CLEVELAND -7.5 vs. CHICAGO

As we said all week, it is Justin Fields time. The change of pace has worked but will the rookie QB be effective as the every down guy? The team SIC score is just under 10 points as thus this is an honorable mention game and not one of the main five selections.

TENNESSEE +5.5 vs. INDIANAPOLIS

Despite multiple DNPs and both ankles injured, we expected Carson Wentz to play all along which seems to be the case but he will not be 100% and will not have practiced with his new team this week. The Colts normally strong offensive line has 3 out of the 5 with injury issues. The tough divisional matchup has us favoring the Titans with a SIC score differential of 7.9 but that is only good enough for an honorable mention.

Good luck and have fun Sunday. Use the Field View and SIC scores at www.profootballdoc.com to help with all of your fantasy/DFS/wagering decisions.

SIC Score is our proprietary numerical injury grading system that incorporates the health of every NFL team and individual players to give sports bettors, DFS players and fantasy owners an edge each week during the season. While it purposely doesn’t take into account coaching, schemes or matchups, SIC Scores give an accurate assessment of team/player overall health heading into a game.

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Written by Pro Football Doc

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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