Week 3 Picks

Posted: 09/21/2014 by levcohen in Football

Week three is a quirky week in the NFL because, while we have some data on the 32 teams, we still don’t really know who’s good and who’s not for a few weeks. So this week is about going through each team’s performances in weeks one and two and deciding whether they are sustainable or just a mirage. While week three isn’t really a make-or-break week in the NFL, it is this year for two teams we thought would make the playoffs: 0-2 Indianapolis and New Orleans. Both have soft matchups and should win, but it’ll be interesting to watch. Oh, and then there’s a Super Bowl rematch (and maybe also preview). Not bad. Remember, I’m going under on every game. Didn’t work well for me on Thursday, but I can’t do worse than I did the first two weeks.

*= upset pick

Washington Redskins (1-1, 1-1 ATS) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-0, 2-0):
Spread: Eagles favored by 4
Over/under: 50.5
My prediction: I like the Eagles here at home against Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins. The love Cousins has been getting is insane; he looked good against a terrible Jaguars team but has generally proved he’s an average quarterback. The Eagles don’t have a great defense either, but I think Cousins gets somewhat exposed on the road today. And this is the game LeSean McCoy breaks out. Eagles take it 30-20.
Eagles cover
Under

Houston Texans (2-0, 2-0) at New York Giants (0-2, 0-2):*
Spread: Giants favored by 1
Over/under: 41.5
My prediction: I’m not picking the Giants, even at home against a mediocre Texans team. Eventually, this Texans team is going to start getting overrated because they are performing well against an awful schedule, but we haven’t reached that point yet. Texans win 23-17.
Texans cover
Under

Minnesota Vikings (1-1, 1-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-2, 0-2):- Lock of the week
Spread: Saints favored by 10
Over/under: 49.5
My prediction: Yep, I’m taking an 0-2 team as my lock of the week. The Saints need to win this week, and they get an easy matchup against a Vikings team without Adrian Peterson. They also are always great at home. Saints win 31-17.
Saints cover
Under

Tennessee Titans (1-1, 1-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-0, 2-0):
Spread: Bengals favored by 6.5
Over/under: 43.5
My prediction: I think the Bengals are pretty good, so I’ll take them here. Also think the Titans are average-at-best, especially after they lost at home against the Cowboys. Bengals are among the three or four best teams in football right now and should be favored by more. Their defense is elite and Andy Dalton and the offense look pretty good too. Bengals win 24-13.
Bengals cover
Under

Baltimore Ravens (1-1, 1-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-1, 2-0):*
Spread: Ravens favored by 1.5
Over/under: 43
My prediction: I don’t have a feel for this game at all. The Ravens just blew out the Steelers, but I’m not sure they’re a legit playoff contender. The offense is pretty stale and I’m shocked that Torrey Smith hasn’t made any big plays yet. He needs to get in the flow of the offense. Meanwhile, the Browns have performed admirably in their first two games, but they still have Brian Hoyer starting at quarterback. Guess I’ll go with the home team here. Browns win 20-17.
Browns cover
Under

Green Bay Packers (1-1, 0-1-1) at Detroit Lions (1-1, 1-1):*
Spread: Lions favored by 1
Over/under: 51.5
My prediction: The Lions have looked good this season, blowing out the Giants in week one and controlling the game against Carolina (they ended up losing that game by double-digits, but Carolina is a tough team to play against). The Packers have not looked good, with a blowout loss to Seattle in week one preceding a poor showing against the Jets in which only a second half comeback stopped an upset. With all that said, I’m still more confident in Green Bay than I am in Detroit. Packers win 27-24.
Packers cover
Under

Indianapolis Colts (0-2, 1-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2, 0-2):
Spread: Colts favored by 7
Over/under: 45.5
My prediction: An 0-2 team is an eight point road favorite?? That in it of itself is going to scare me off the Colts, who should win this game but always seem to keep games close. The Jaguars stink, but they get to play at home here. Colts 24-20.
Jaguars cover
Under

Oakland Raiders (0-2, 1-1) at New England Patriots (1-1, 1-1):
Spread: Patriots favored by 14
Over/under: 47
My prediction: Yeah, the Patriots are going to win this game. That’s a big spread, though. If the Patriots cover, I’m going to have a tough time picking the Raiders going forward. Patriots win 27-16.
Raiders cover
Under

San Diego Chargers (1-1, 2-0) at Buffalo Bills (2-0, 2-0):
Spread: Bills favored by 2.5
Over/under: 45
My prediction: Riding the Bills here, as their home crowd is great and the Chargers have to travel across the country for this one. Think the Chargers are the better team, but they just came off a huge win over the Seahawks and could have a letdown here. Let’s hope the Bills can keep all season, because their fans deserve it. Bills win 23-20.
Bills cover
Under

Dallas Cowboys (1-1, 1-1) at St. Louis Rams (1-1, 1-1):*
Spread: Cowboys favored by 1.5
Over/under: 45
My prediction: Picking against the Cowboys as a road favorite every. single. time. People are overrating the Cowboys after their win over Tennessee, and I think St. Louis should peg them back here, no matter who starts at quarterback. Rams win 23-14.
Rams cover
Under

San Francisco 49ers (1-1, 1-1) at Arizona Cardinals (2-0, 1-1):
Spread: 49ers favored by 3
Over/under: 41.5
My prediction: I’m picking the Cardinals.. Wait, does that mean I have to take Drew Stanton against San Francisco? Switching my pick here as I think the 49ers need to win here and should against Arizona’s backup. 49ers win 20-13.
49ers cover
Under

Denver Broncos (2-0, 0-2) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1, 1-1):
Spread: Seahawks favored by 4
Over/under: 48
My prediction: I’m taking the Seahawks at home from now on when they are favored by less than a touchdown. The Broncos are good, but I think the Seahawks are better and are coming off a loss. They also absolutely destroyed Denver in the Super Bowl, and I’m not sure what has changed since. Seahawks win 27-17.
Seahawks cover
Under

Kansas City Chiefs (0-2, 1-1) at Miami Dolphins (1-1, 1-1):
Spread: Dolphins favored by 4
Over/under: 42.5
My prediction: Have no idea what’s going to happen here, as the Dolphins were great in week one against the Patriots before getting blown out by the Bills while the Chiefs got crushed by the Titans before keeping it close against Denver. I’ll pick the Dolphins to win just 21-20.
Chiefs cover
Under

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1, 0-2) at Carolina Panthers (2-0, 2-0):
Spread: Panthers favored by 3
Over/under: 42
My prediction: Carolina is good! Pittsburgh just got blown out by Baltimore! How is this only a three point spread? I think the Panthers’ defense suffocates Pittsburgh at home here as they improve to 3-0. Panthers win 17-9.
Panthers cover
Under

Chicago Bears (1-1, 1-1) at New York Jets (1-1, 0-1-1):*
Spread: Jets favored by 3
Over/under: 45
My prediction: The Bears are coming off a huge win over San Francisco and have the Packers in week four, so this could basically be a trap game for them even though they are road underdogs. Meanwhile, the Jets played the Packers close last week after a win in week one, so they might not be as bad as I thought they would be. In the end, though, I just trust the Bears more than I trust the Jets. Bears win 24-20.
Bears cover
Under

Upset picks:
Texans over Giants
Browns over Ravens
Packers over Lions
Rams over Cowboys
Bears over Jets
(lot of upsets, which is kind of misleading because all of these spreads are close to pick em’.)

Lock of the week:
Saints over Vikings

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