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Week 3 of the NFL season is here!
After two weeks, football fans are getting an idea of how this year might shake out. This week, 2-0 teams will look to prove their early season success isn’t just a fluke, and 0-2 teams will desperately try to save their young seasons from postseason irrelevance.
For gamblers, Week 3 presents a tough challenge, as there are a whopping ten home underdogs on the slate. Educated bettors know to always take a close look at home dogs, but with so many on the schedule it’s tough to know where to put your money and where it’s safe to lay the points.
We went 11-5 against the spread last week, bringing our season total to a pleasantly profitable 21-10 so far. We’ll try to continue our winning ways below.
All lines come courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
Los Angeles Rams (-3) at San Francisco 49ers (Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Niners +3
The logic: Thursday Night Football has blessed us with yet another game of questionable watchability. It’s probably a stay away game for most bettors, but if you’re feeling the itch, here’s one stat to know: over the Niners past 22 games they are 0-19 against teams not named the Rams, and 3-0 against teams that are named the Rams. On Thursday, they’re playing a team named the Rams. Just a thought.
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET in London)
- Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
The pick: Ravens -3.5
The logic: While I’m not sure if I’m buying the Ravens as the 2-0 defensive powerhouse they’ve shown themselves to be thus far, it’s tough to turn down the chance to bet against Blake Bortles when he’s facing a defense that is averaging four interceptions a week. The Ravens defensive numbers will eventually regress to the norm, but we can ride them for one more week in this spot.
Denver Broncos (-3) at Buffalo Bills (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Justin Edmonds/Getty
The pick: Bills +3
The logic: The Broncos and quarterback Trevor Siemian are one of the biggest stories in the league right now, fresh off a win in which they made the Cowboys look absolutely impotent. Meanwhile the Bills struggled to beat the Jets to open the season. This, dear reader, is what we call a trap game. The line feels way to small, but this is the Broncos first road test of the year, and according to both SportsInsights and OddsShark Denver is currently the most heavily bet team of the week, taking a whole 84% of bets. When the world zigs, we zag, especially if it means we get a home dog.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5) at Chicago Bears (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Steelers -7.5
The logic: The Bears are one home dog we will be passing on this week. While they looked great at home facing the Falcons to open the season, falling just one play short of winning the game outright, they are facing a 2-0 Steelers team that has won both their games without really putting a full game together yet. Look for Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown both to break out against a Bears defense that simply isn’t equipped to contain two of the best 10 offensive players in the league.
New York Giants (+6) at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Eagles -6
The logic: Through two games the Giants offense has looked paltry at best, with an offensive line absolutely riddled with holes. The Eagles defense, while it has its flaws, sports an extremely aggressive front seven that have been all over opposing backfields. Unstoppable force, meet extremely movable object.
Atlanta Falcons (-3) at Detroit Lions (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Al Bello/Getty Images
The pick: Lions +3
The logic: Don’t the Lions start off hot every year before collapsing to hand the division to the Packers? Sure feels that way.
Cleveland Browns (-1.5) at Indianapolis Colts (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Michael Reaves/Getty Images
The pick: Colts +1.5
The logic: The Cleveland Browns are road favorites for the first time since 2015 and just the fourth time since 2008. And as tempting as it is to take them here, I trust this makeshift squad of Colts players a bit more to show up at home. Look for DeShone Kizer to get close to his first career victory here, fall just short, and then rattle off two straight wins in Cleveland.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NO LINE) at Minnesota Vikings (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Brian Blanco/Getty Images
The pick: Buccaneers (probably)
The logic: There’s currently no line on this game as the status of Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford is still currently unknown. That said, unless the number comes out as something ridiculous, I’m likely backing Jameis Winston to lead the Buccos to 2-0.
Houston Texans (+13.5) at New England Patriots (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Bob Levey/Getty Images
The pick: Texans +13.5
The logic: The Patriots bounced back against the Saints on Sunday, pouring 36 points on New Orleans and looking much like the dominant team football fans are used to seeing. While you can expect them to want to bring that attitude back to Foxborough, especially after their shocking opening loss there to start the season, we’re betting the Texans to keep it close and cover here. Both J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney are currently without a sack to start the year, a trend I expect to change on Sunday.
Miami Dolphins (-6.5) at New York Jets (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Ezra Shaw/Getty
The pick: Jets +6.5
The logic: There is so much talent and chance in the NFL that it’s pretty difficult for a team to go an entire season without winning a single game. While the Jets are bad, and likely want to win as few games as possible, this matchup against the Dolphins provides a unique opportunity in that it is a winnable game that will affect their shot at the first overall pick too negatively. The Jets have games against the Jaguars and Browns coming up where losses will be essential to their tank. If the Jets are going to win a game, this is the week to do it. Also, fun fact, the last time Josh McCown played the Dolphins was literally 13 years ago, when he led the Cardinals to a 24-23 win.
New Orleans Saints (+5.5) at Carolina Panthers (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
- Chris Graythen/Getty
The pick: Saints +5.5
The logic: 2-0 Panthers vs. 0-2 Saints smells like another trap game to me. The Saints were hardly impressive, but their defense performed better against the Patriots than the score would indicate, and the Panthers have hardly been world-beaters thus far. The past three games between these teams have all been decided by exactly three points, so taking the underdog feels like the right play here.
Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) at Tennessee Titans (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Seahawks +2.5
The logic: Neither of these teams have looked great, but I trust the Seahawks more than the Titans. Probably a stay away for most bettors.
Cincinnati Bengals (+9) at Green Bay Packers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
- Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The pick: Packers -9
The logic: The Bengals have yet to score a touchdown this season and are now heading out on the road to one of the rowdiest crowds in the country. The Packers are currently riddled with injuries, but they’ve been a solid enough bet at home in recent years that its okay to trust them even if they’re playing short-handed.
Kansas City Chiefs (-3) at Los Angeles Chargers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
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The pick: Chargers +3
The logic: The Chargers are a deceiving 0-2, in that they are just two kicks away from being 2-0 on the year and one of the most surprising upstart teams in the league. Instead, they’re 0-2 and putting their season on the line going against the hottest team in football. Heat cools off, and while Andy Reid and the Chiefs have been on quite a run, it just seems like a lot to ask for them to come out on top in three straight games against quality opponents. Home dog in a divisional matchup is always a good place to look for value.
Oakland Raiders (-3) at Washington Redskins (Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
- Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The pick: Raiders -3
The logic: The Raiders are one road favorite I expect big things out of this week. Playing their first prime time game of the season, Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and Marchawn Lynch will look to put the league on notice that there is a new offensive powerhouse that cannot be stopped.
Dallas Cowboys (-3) at Arizona Cardinals (Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
- Dustin Bradford/Getty
The pick: Cowboys -3
The logic: Last week we bet the Redskins over the Rams with the simple reasoning that the NFC East is a stronger division this year than the NFC West. Let’s ride that logic again and see if it can find us another winner.
LAST WEEK: 11-5 OVERALL: 21-10
Now check out our Power Rankings going into Week 3 of the NFL season
- Ezra Shaw/Getty