Week 3 NFL Picks

Fuck the Eagles. Sam Bradford, who I own on four of five fantasy teams, damn near gave me brain cancer with his performance last game. Seriously, though, what was this shit? These guys ruined my Lock of the Week pick against a very mediocre Cowboys team that lost the heart of its offense in Tony Romo midway through the game… in Philly. My high hopes for this team aren’t completely dashed yet, but they’re getting there.

That loser as my LoTW capped off a rather uninspiring 9-7 week against the spread. David killed it up until the primetime games, going 11-5 and nailing his LoTW in the Browns -1.5 against the Titans. Let’s get it on!

Tucci’s Week 3 Picks (20-13-0, 1-1-0, +240 units)

Giants -3 vs Redskins 10 units

I wasn’t super confident the Giants would cover given the ending of their last two games, but I probably should have been. An experienced Tom Coughlin always seems to figure things out when his team’s back is against the wall. The Redskins are just simply inferior personnel-wise on both sides of the ball compared to the Giants, in addition with the fact that they have to play on the road. There were a lot of red flags here.

Cowboys +1 vs Falcons, 5 units

Matty Ice always struggles on the road, and after two impressive performances, the Cowboys defense looks the strongest I’ve seen it in forever. I feel as though the public will react to the Romo injury with money on the Falcons, but I just don’t see them pulling it out on the road against this year’s 2014 Arizona Cardinals.

Ravens -2.5 vs Bengals, 15 units

The Ravens shit the bed last week against a young Raidahs squad that was airing it out all over the Ravens secondary. I think Harbaugh gets this team’s head out of its ass this week for an always boring divisional showdown against the red-headed stepchild himself, Andy Dalton and the Bengals. I’m banking on the trademark Baltimore defense to ruin Marvin Lewis’s week.

Panthers -8 vs Saints, 15 units

Luke McCown is a poor man’s version of Josh McCown.

Browns -3.5 vs Raidahs, 10 units

The Browns have proven they can be beaten in the air. Derek Carr loves to air it out to his talented duo of WRs in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. However, West Coast teams generally don’t play well traveling east so I’m taking the Browns here, even with McCown starting.

Texans -7 vs Buccaneers, 5 units

I hate this spread, I think it’s going to be spot on. The Texans are definitely better than they’ve looked, facing two tough defenses in a row and getting to go back home with some more chemistry. The Bucs aren’t good despite beating a hobbled Brees-led Saints team at the dome. I just don’t see the magic happening twice in a row.

Vikings -2 vs Chargers, 10 units

I just like the Vikings at home a lot in close spreads. They’ll control the ball most of the time if AP looks like he did this past week again.

Patriots -13.5 vs Jaguars, 10 units

Apparently I can’t doubt these cheating fuckers from New England any more after last week. Hard to bet against a team that probably knows the entire playbook of the opposing team before the game even begins.

Eagles +2 at Jets, 5 units

And just like that, everyone forgot that Crazy Chip went 10-6 in both of his NFL seasons as a head coach. I hate hate hate this game. I can’t even sell you on the Eagles, I just have a sick feeling they get it together in this one. The Jets have been slightly overachieving on offense and lucking out on defense (recovered all 6 fumbles last game) in addition to their stellar play.

Colts -3 at Titans, 15 units

This is such a public-sided pick and I hate it, but I just can’t convince myself to fade one of the best 3 QBs in the league after he had to face two of the top five defenses in the league to start the season. This may very well be a barn burner.

Cardinals -6.5 vs Niners, 10 units

The Cardinals look as strong as ever offensively with a healthy Carson Palmer at the helm. The Niners, like the Rams, are built to win grind-out games, which I don’t foresee happening here either. The Cards have shown they can pour on the points which is why I’m taking them here.

Bills +2.5 at Dolphins, 5 units

Two of the most boom-bust teams in unfamiliar territory: Buffalo on the road and Miami at home. Miami has severely underachieved defensively, despite having some of the best in the NFL at key positions. The Dolphins are on my back burner until they prove they can play to their defensive potential through a full game. I think the Bills steal one here.

Broncos -3 at Lions, 20 units

I can see this one biting me in the ass, but both of these teams have been extremely unimpressive as of late. At least Denver has an elite defense going for it, which is why I like them here.

Seahawks -14.5 vs Bears, 15 units

Man, you can’t give me enough points for me to take the Bears. I would consider the Hawks even at -17. I just don’t see the Bears scoring more than one offensive touchdown the entire time. Seattle’s conservative offense scares me if they’re giving up this many points, but I just don’t see the Bears scoring more than 10-13 points total this game. Hopefully Marshawn Lynch suits up, otherwise I don’t like this bet as much.

Chiefs +7 at Packers, 10 units

Green Bay is scary at home, but the Chiefs are probably the most balanced team on both sides of the ball this season. I see them trailing most of the game but making the Pack sweat it out until the end. Packers by 6.

Lock of the Week

Steelers +1 at Rams, 35 units

This spread seems crazy to me. I know the Rams beat the Seahawks at home but I just don’t like going with them against a team that’s going to put points on the board. The Rams just aren’t built to win shootouts, which is exactly the game Pittsburgh is playing this season. The Steelers have had absolutely no trouble scoring without stud RB Le’Veon Bell, and now they’re getting him back. Steelers should win this by at least a touchdown.

David’s Week 3 Picks (18-13-1, 2-0-0, +82.5 units)

A much better week for me this week with most of my confident picks hitting.  My record could have been even better as I changed my mind on the Pittsburgh line and the Packers line late, but it doesn’t matter to me since I’m up. Doubtless I will hit a really bad week sometime in the future but my early success has me feeling like I have a handle on the NFL right now. Something I’m trying to keep in mind this week is that the Vegas line is set based on spreads that Vegas believes will generate the most action on both sides. Vegas could care less who wins if they have even money both ways. My picks will tend to reflect that this week.

Cowboys +1 vs Falcons 10 units

It’s so tempting to take the Falcons on this bet, as the Cowboys have lost their elite quarterback and WR combination and have not really shown much of a running game. Brandon Weeden is a pretty bad replacement quarterback and the Falcons look much improved. The public is strongly on the Falcons, which makes me think the line has adjusted to reflect that. It’s kind of hard to project this team without Romo and Dez, but they would be significant favorites if they had both. The Atlanta defense is not entirely fixed, and the Falcons lack a run game without Tevin Coleman, so it will be very difficult for them to put away this Cowboys team on the road unless Weeden implodes.

Bengals +2.5 at Ravens 2.5 units

We have yet to see bad Dalton and it’s hard to see the Ravens going 0-3, but I think the Bengals and Ravens tend to play very tight games with each other so I’m going to take the points, even though I think the Ravens should win outright. I don’t think the public is betting this game wrong (54% Bengals), though it would be ideal if you could get the +3 line like I saw earlier in the week.

Browns -3.5 vs Raiders 15 units

So last week I didn’t realize how poorly West Coast teams play traveling East and botched the bet of Pit/SF. Not doing that again here. I’m thinking the Raiders have a lull after a significant win over the Ravens. I’ll take the Browns and Josh McCown, even though I’m not sure he represents an upgrade from Johnny Manziel. People love to hate on the Browns (39% action) but it’s not like they’re the worst team in the NFL.

Buccaneers +7 at Texans 5 units

Yes, Jameis Winston is really bad. I just like the safety you get with the potential push but this game is a toss-up to me. I can’t see the Texans offense blowing out the Bucs without Arian Foster unless Winston throws a pick six (not that unlikely)

Vikings -2 vs Chargers 2.5 units

The Chargers feel like a pretty good road team, and a better team than the Vikings at a neutral site. I think Vegas hit this spread right on the head, but I’m hoping the added value of Adrian Peterson and decline in value without Antonio Gates/Ladarius Green is not being totally factored into the line.

Jaguars +13.5 at Patriots 5 units

This bet will make me feel sick, as the Patriots are the best team in the NFL right now and the Jaguars are probably the worst. The spread could hit 14 and I’d feel a lot more comfortable with this pick just for the possibility of a push. The Pats are close to unbeatable at home and are undefeated against the Jaguars. And they have no shame in running up the score once they have a lead to set records. But I remember a similar game in 2013 where the 9-3 Patriots took on the 3-9 Browns and barely won till the last seconds. A couple of big passing plays to star receiver Josh Gordon (Allen Robinson?) and some shut out defense had the Pats really sweating. I’ll be watching this game closely.

Jets -2 vs Eagles 5 units

The Jets have been lucky thus far with their fumble recovery rate, but I think they are a better team than the Eagles at a neutral site so you take the Jets every time. The Eagles have been a disaster thus far and you like to think Chip Kelly will have his linemen blocking better eventually, but it’s a tough ask against this Jets squad on the road.

Steelers +1 at Rams 5 units

Steelers should probably be favored by a few in this game, but I’ll take the points here with a team getting back Le’Veon Bell. The matchup to watch here is Aaron Donald of the Rams against an O-line missing LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey. He could really disrupt the Pittburgh offense if he plays well.

Colts -3 at Titans 5 units

Andrew Luck’s gunslinging combined with a poor O-line has finally come to haunt him. Fortunately I don’t think the Titans will be able to pressure Luck as well as the Jets. Colts by 4 in a close one. I might be on the wrong side of public sentiment as 84% agree with me here.

Cardinals -6.5 vs Niners 5 units

I think Vegas is projecting this game accurately, even though the Cardinals are off of a big win and the Niners are off a big loss, the Cardinals are really good with Carson Palmer, and we’re still finding out just how bad the really Niners are after all the offseason turnover.

Bills +2.5 at Dolphins 5 units

I’m imagining this game is a defensive snooze-fest, but think it will be the closest game of the week, probably not decided until the last possession. Taking the points when the games are this close.

Lions +3 vs Broncos 10 units

Yes, the Lions have looked ugly, but both of their games have been on the road. The Lions are a much better home team. And Peyton Manning still has a decrepit arm. His defense won’t be able to bail him out forever. Home dog against a team that has yet to show me much aside from their defense? I’ll take the points.

Chiefs +7 vs Packers 5 units

The Chiefs have some voodoo mojo going for them against the Packers at Lambeau, and are better than their record suggests. Plus Eddie Lacy might be banged up with an ankle injury. I love the potential for a push when you’re playing the dog.

Bears +14.5 vs Seahawks 5 units

Bears are horrible, and Seattle is a terrible place to play. But I don’t think Clausen is that much worse than Cutler, and the line should’ve already been around here. One of these giant picks should cover between the Pats and Seahawks.

Lock of the Week

Panthers -8 vs Saints 15 units

I feel pretty strongly about this bet; given what the Saints have shown us so far, the line should have already been -8 even if Drew Brees had played. This is going to be a really tough game on the road for the Saints, who have shown no indication that they can stop anyone on defense and were already struggling on offense without Drew Brees. Luke McCown is not a serviceable replacement for Brees, as far as I’m concerned.

(Note: Odds changed for many games. We make our picks on Friday.)

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