NFL Week 3 Previews and Picks

Hey everyone, I’m now back from my holiday so I’ll be back to posting again after a brief break. Last week wasn’t as bad as week 1 but wasn’t quite up to scratch, hopefully this week will be the week where results finally start to come in. Without further ado, here are my week 3 NFL picks.

Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars

What I think will happen:

Arizona should be able to win this game, but covering is a different question for me. They have an extremely busy injury report with key players like Hopkins, Beachum and Murphy. These guys are all questionable which doesn’t particularly help things and I wouldn’t recommend betting this game until the reports are out an hour before kick off. I’m going to take Jacksonville to cover here as they should be able to run the ball well and can hopefully hold onto possession for long enough to stay in the game since I doubt their defense will be able to stop Arizona too often, I’ll take Arizona to win by 7 here.

Cardinals 27-20 Jaguars

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-2.5)

What I think will happen:

Both teams are going to be bad this season and in these sort of games I tend to take the underdog. The Giants may be similar to the Chargers last year where they’ll look good on field but find inexplicable ways to lose games like they did last week and the same could happen here. The Falcons looked more like an NFL team last week and pushed the Bucs hard for 3 quarters, if they played like that today then they should have a decent shout at winning given the Giants have a fairly pedestrian defense. The Giants will likely have success on offense as well given how bad the Falcons D is and this probably comes down to which team doesn’t make a backbreaking mistake in the 4th. I’ll tentatively take the experience of Matt Ryan and the points since even if the Falcons lost by 1, they’d cover.

Falcons 24-21 Giants

Baltimore Ravens (-7.5) at Detroit Lions

What I think will happen:

I normally love to take the Ravens against weak teams as they usually beat them by convincing margins. But this week is different, the Ravens have 13 people on the injury report including Jackson, Brown and Jimmy Smith. This will impact them negatively on both sides of the ball and the Lions showed they can be competitive against a heavily injured team in week 1. I think the Lions could even win this game, the Baltimore pass D has had 2 shockers and have just come off a huge win against Kansas so may not be fully tuned up for this game. The Lions will probably still find a way to lose but I’m going to be an optimist and pick them to win.

Lions 24-20 Ravens

Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns (-7.5)

What I think will happen:

I like the Browns a lot here. Odell Beckham is back which will sort their problems at receiver and with Eddie Goldman being potentially injured again, they should be able to dominate in the trenches. You also get Justin Fields on his first road game which rookie quarterbacks have really struggled with so far this season and I can see this being a Cleveland blowout. They’ll be near impossible to stop on offense and the defense should be able to force a turnover or 2. I see this being a Browns blowout.

Browns 35-20 Bears

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5)

What I think will happen:

I like the Bengals here. A lot of people will be down on them after a blowout loss last week but this should be a much better matchup for them. The Steelers have a lot of injuries on defense, especially on the line which should stop their pass rush and negate the biggest hole that the Bengals have which is their O-line. Burrow is a very good quarterback when given time to throw and I like him to have a nice day here. The Steelers offense has struggled so far this year and the Bengals have a pretty good defense so on the whole, I like them to win this game outright and potentially by a touchdown.

Bengals 24-17 Steelers

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-5)

What I think will happen:

The injury report has come out positively for both teams in this one so it should be a shootout here given both teams have weak defenses and strong offenses. I normally like to take an underdog in these scenarios but I’m taking the Titans here, purely because I expect Derrick Henry to dominate here. He had a monster day last week and with Taylor Lewan coming back, the Titans should really be able to dominate on the ground here and dominate the time of possession. The Colts will have a lot of success through the air but my 2 concerns for them are the running game and the inability to convert in the red zone. If they keep turning the ball over at the goalline or kicking field goals then they’ll find themselves with too much to do here.

Titans 35-24 Colts

LA Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-7)

What I think will happen:

I like the Chargers to cover here, I could even see them winning. They lost last week but that was an extremely odd game where anything that could go against the Chargers did and they still only lost by 3. The Chiefs defense is banged up on the defensive line side of things which tends to be their strength so Herbert should have a clean pocket to work with and that set things up for a shootout. The question for me is, can the Chiefs run the ball well enough to control possession against a run D that looked poor last week, I think he can have a nice day but maybe not do quite enough to make this a blowout. I’ll take the Chiefs to win this one by 4.

Chiefs 35-31 Chargers

New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots (-2.5)

What I think will happen:

I like the Saints here. Last week was an aberration where they got blown out due to not having 8 coaches so taking them to reverse that form here seems a nice play. Alvin Kamara should be able to have a big day here to take pressure off Jameis Winston and Winston himself should have a better day here where he can just game manage. The Patriots may find things tougher in the air here as well. The Saints get Lattimore back and Gardner-Johnson which will improve their coverage and make Mac Jones hold onto the ball for longer on just dump the ball off a lot. The only edge I see the Patriots having here is in the run game and that isn’t enough for me to have them winning here. I’ll take the Saints to win this game outright.

Saints 21-17 Patriots

Washington Football Team at Buffalo Bills (-7)

What I think will happen:

I was a little surprised that this number has been coming down but I can see where people are coming from now. The Bills are more banged up than Washington and have less rest coming into this game. Another factor will be the poor play of Josh Allen and that Taylor Heinicke is an underrated QB. The Washington D should hopefully turn up this time after a weird no show last week and they can keep it down to a low scoring game which favours an underdog cover.

Bills 24-19 Washington

Miami Dolphins at LV Raiders (-3.5)

What I think will happen:

A lot of people will be on the Raiders here, but I’m not one of them. They beat a banged up Steelers team and a Ravens team in a game they threw everything at. I can’t see there being the same intensity here and there’s a chance they may underestimate the Dolphins after the Dolphins got blown out last week. I don’t think the downgrade from Tua to Brissett is huge either to be honest. The Raiders will likely have no running game here with no Josh Jacobs so they can’t exploit the big weakness of the Miami D and Miami should do a decent job of keeping the Raiders passing game from exploding. The Dolphins should be able to throw the ball well here and can grab a few TDs against a poor Raiders secondary. I like the Dolphins to get the win here.

Dolphins 21-17 Raiders

New York Jets at Denver Broncos (-10)

What I think will happen:

This is probably the hardest spread for me to call this week. I have little doubt that Denver will win but I’m not sure they’ll score enough to not leave themselves vulnerable to a garbage time back door cover. This game is definitely a no bet for me but I’ll take the Jets to sneak through the back door and cover here. The Broncos will be able to move the ball at will early on in the game with the Jets D struggling against the pass and run so far though passing is probably the best way to beat them here. The Jets will struggle to get early offense given that Wilson will be under pressure a lot again and he faces another sharp defensive mind, but he’ll be able to put up numbers late like he did against the Panthers.

Broncos 24-17 Jets

Seattle Seahawks (-2) at Minnesota Vikings

What I think will happen:

I like Minnesota to win here. The Seattle D is awful and I can see them winning the time of possession battle as Cook should be able to do more on the ground than Chris Carson for the Seahawks and controlling that part of the game can set them up for a win here. Both teams will likely score a lot of points here with the offenses being of a high calibre and the defenses being terrible. The Seahawks also have a couple of O-line injuries, I’m not sure this will completely derail Wilson but it may have an impact on 1 or 2 drives here. I can see the Vikings getting ahead early and holding on here.

Vikings 31-28 Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1) at LA Rams

What I think will happen:

This is my preseason pick for what the NFC Championship matchup will be. This will be a different matchup here to what we may see in the playoffs given that both defenses have had poor starts to the regular season and may be playing to peak for the playoffs. This means this game will likely turn into a shootout and Tampa have the better quarterback and the better range of weapons to win this. I can’t see a coaching mismatch in favour of the Rams and home advantage doesn’t fully close the quality gap between Brady and Stafford here. This game will be a lot of fun to watch and I like Tampa to get the job done late here.

Buccaneers 38-35 Rams

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-3)

What I think will happen:

Aaron Rodgers and points against Jimmy Garoppolo seems like too good of an opportunity to not take. The 49ers are favourites since they will likely have the edge on other facets like the run and the pass rush. My issue with this though is the 49ers running game has plenty of injuries and the pass rush also isn’t full fit at the moment. I think this can be enough to help Green Bay get the win here but I’m tentative about betting this one as Rodgers could easily mentally check out like he did against the Saints and get blown out again.

Packers 24-21 49ers

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5)

What I think will happen:

I like Dallas a lot here. Prescott is a big upgrade over Hurts and with the Eagles having a couple of key injuries on both sides of the ball, I can see Dallas controlling this game. They should be able to run the ball well again and Hurts will probably make a couple of mistakes to help their defense. The Eagles struggled to convert drives to points last week and the Cowboys seem to be playing a bend but don’t break sort of defense so this may be a nice matchup for that style of play. 

Cowboys 28-21 Eagles

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