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NFL Week 3 Predictions & Picks Against the Spread

Posted by in NFL Picks on September 16th, 2008 | 1 Comment


I keep saying it’s a tough week, but this is the toughest of the first 3 weeks of football. There aren’t too many games that I like. I think I may have to do a few teasers instead this week. I haven’t decided which games I want to take yet. I’ll have to keep thinking them over and wait until Sunday to place my bets. I can’t even pick out a few games that I want to put in the “Spreads to Take” category. You’ll have to review the games yourself and make the best decision.


The Saints have some defensive issues and that’s not going to bode well against a team that has averaged 40 PPG so far this year. The Saints also have a bunch of injuries in that defense: they’ve already lost LB Mark Simoneau and DT Hollis Thomas for the year, LB Scott Fujita is day-to-day, CB Randall Gay is day-to-day, CB Mike McKenzie is day-to-day and S Roman Harper is day-to-day. The Saint also have Marques Colston out to boot! I don’t see how any team will be able to contain the Broncos when 2 of their starting CBs, their starting SS, and one of their top LBs banged up. Jay Cutler is on fire! With Brandon Marshall, who had 18 receptions, 166 yards, and 1 TD against the Chargers, and Eddie Royal, who had 146 yards and 1 TD in his regular season debut, Jay Cutler has some amazing weapons to work with. Despite having the top ranked offense, the Broncos defense ranked near the bottom in every defensive category, which is a concern. I like the Broncos to win this one in what should be a shootout. I wish this game could be on Sunday or Monday night, but I’ll make it a point to watch this game on Sunday. This should be the game of the week. Hopefully, it’ll be every bit as good as the Eagles/Cowboys Monday Night game. The Broncos spread could be my favorite spread of the week due to the Broncos offense and the injuries to the Saints defense.

Prediction — Broncos 38 – Saints 31

Pick Against the Spread: Broncos -5.5 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Broncos — Confidence 4/5


I like the Cardinals in this one. I’m going to say that last week was a fluke for the Redskins. The Saints had that game until they blew it in the 4th quarter. The Saints have a lot of defensive issues due to injuries and the Cards will learn from the Saints to not let Santana get downfield. The Cardinals are averaging 27 PPG. Kurt Warner is on fire and he has two of the best targets to throw to. My only hesitation here is the Cardinals awful 2007 road record (2-6).

Prediction — Cardinals 27 – Redskins 20

Pick Against the Spread: Cardinals +3 — Confidence 4/5
Pick Straight Up: Cardinals — Confidence 4/5


It looks like the Chiefs are prepared to go with Damon Huard over Tyler Thigpen this Sunday. They are just terrible no matter who they start. They’re averaging 9 PPG and allowing 20 PPG. I’ll take the Falcons in this one. The Chiefs couldn’t stop the run last week against Darren McFadden and the Falcons will come out running the ball against the Chiefs this week with Michael Turner. They had tremendous success running the ball against the Lions, but not so much success against a much tougher Tampa D. I’ll take the Falcons, but I’m not ready to throw down money on the Falcons despite how terrible Chiefs may be.

Prediction — Falcons 23 – Chiefs 13

Pick Against the Spread: Falcons -5 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Falcons — Confidence 3/5


The Bills are looking legit. Their defense has been built well over the last few years. They have a lot of people convinced that they’ll be playing for a playoff spot this season. 9.5 points is a lot to give up for a team that isn’t necessarily an offensive juggernaut. They should win this one, but I think it’ll be too close with the spread to put money on. I still think the Bills cover, but only by a 0.5 point or 4.5 at the very most. The Raiders don’t have much of a passing game with JaMarcus Russell yet, and I’m sure the Bills will keep stuffing the box to stop McFadden.

Prediction — Bills 24 – Raiders 13

Pick Against the Spread: Bills -9.5 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Bills — Confidence 4/5


I like the Titans in this one. The Titans love running the ball and in week 1, the Texans gave up 183 rushing yards to the Steelers. The Titans defense has also been outstanding by giving up only 8.5 PPG. The Texans also suck on the road. The Titans look great in this matchup, but I’m still reluctant on taking them due to their lack of offensive weapons. A Titans win by 3 or 4 isn’t completely out of question. Most of their games are usually tight.

Prediction — Titans 20 – Texans 13

Pick Against the Spread: Titans -5 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Titans — Confidence 4/5


The Bengals are absolutely awful. How can Carson Palmer be so terrible? 228 yards, 0 TDs, and 3 INTs in 2 games? That really sucks for Carson Palmer fantasy owners. Now, Carson Palmer has to battle a sprained ankle. I was hoping to take the Giants if the spread was below 10, but that’s not the case. The Giants should be able to score in bunches off a poor Bengals D. I can’t help but think that the Bengals are bound for an offensive rebound. They faced a tough Baltimore D in week 1 and a tough Tennessee D in a windy game last week. However, things don’t look too promising for them this week against a defense that is great on getting pressure on the quarterback. The Giants are the 5th ranked passing defense and are ranked 3rd in sacks. The spread is just too high for me to take the Giants, so I’ll pass. I might to a 2-team, 7-point teaser with the Patriots and Giants to make the spreads Giants -6.5 and Patriots -5.5.

Prediction — Giants 31 – Bengals 17

Pick Against the Spread: Giants -13.5 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Giants — Confidence 5/5


I wasn’t too thrilled with the Patriots red-zone efficiency last week (4 FGs, 1 TD). As a Randy Moss fantasy owner, I can’t help but overlook the fact that he only put up 22 yards last week. I’m hoping that that changes this week when the Pats face a team that gave up 361 passing yards and 3 TDs to the Cardinals last week. The Jets also burned the Dolphins deep a few times in week 1. I think the Dolphins secondary continues to get exposed this game. The Dolphins don’t have much offense either. At least Cassell managed the game well last week and the Pats could run the ball when they wanted too. I think the passing game will open up things offensively for the Pats and they should get 21+ points this week against the Dolphins. I can’t see the Dolphins scoring more than 13 against this D. They’ve averaged 12 PPG this season.

Prediction — Patriots 24 – Dolphins 10

Pick Against the Spread: Patriots -12.5 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Patriots — Confidence 5/5


I’ll go with the Bears in this one. It should be a low-scoring, tight defensive battle. Both defenses are outstanding, but I’ll give the Bears the edge. Offensively, both teams are pretty poor, which is why I’ll pass on this game. They’ll both going to come out running the ball and exchanging field position.

Prediction — Bears 16 – Buccaneers 13

Pick Against the Spread: Bears -3 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Bears — Confidence 3/5


The Vikings have serious issues at QB because Tarvaris Jackson isn’t getting it done. They are 1 quality QB away from being a championship contender because their defense, offensive line, and running game are all outstanding. The Panthers have been a surprising team and are battling to win games. This week, Steve Smith will return, which will make that offense even more explosive. I see this game as a tight back and forth battle with the game being decided by whoever has the last possession at the end of the game. If the Vikings can improve their redzone efficiency, they’ll win this game, but if the Panthers can keep forcing them to kick field goals, they’ll come out the winner. The Vikings are 24th against the pass, which could be bad news for them with the return of Steve Smith. I like the Panthers in this one, but I’m not too confident with them on the road. In their defense, they were able to pull off a big win in San Diego. I just think the Panthers have more offensive firepower and the Vikings can’t overcome being one dimensional.

Prediction — Panthers 23 – Vikings 16

Pick Against the Spread: Panthers +3.5 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Panthers — Confidence 3/5


The Rams are the worst team in the NFL right now. They’ve scored 16 points and allowed 79 points in two games. That was against 2 of the top 5 teams in the NFL though (Giants and Eagles). I don’t want to take the Seahawks with all the injuries at WR, but despite getting hit hard with the injury bug, the Seahawks should be able to cover. This could be the week that the Rams get something going. The Seahawks have allowed an average of 33.5 PPG and it hasn’t been against offensive juggernauts (the Bills and 49ers). Granted, the Seahawks had 2 INTs picked for TDs, so really, their offensive PPG allowed should be more like 26.5. I think the Rams have a chance to cover in this one based on the Seahawks points allowed average so far this season, but I’m still going with the Seahawks to cover. I would not take this game though.

Prediction — Seahawks 27 – Rams 17

Pick Against the Spread: Seahawks -9.5 — Confidence 2/5
Pick Straight Up: Seahawks — Confidence 4/5


Last week, the Lions got down early 17-0, but were able to battle back to and take a 25-24 lead late in the 4th quarter before the Lions gave up a field goal to the Packers to lose the lead, and then Kitna gave the game away by throwing 3 INTs for INTs. In the 3rd quarter and the first half of the 4th quarter, the Lions looked like a really great team. Their defense battled and forced the Packers to punt, the Lions would move the ball with ease and put touchdowns on the board. Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams pretty much took the game over. The 49ers offense started clicking last week in what was thought as a solid Seahawks defense. I really don’t know how this one will come out. I need to see more from the 49ers and I don’t have any faith in the Lions, especially on the road. The Lions are notorious for being awful on the road, so I can see them dropping this one, but the Lions should be able to score enough to keep on pace with the 49ers. I think taking the Lions +4 is the safer bet due to their offense keeping them in the game, but their defense will give up a ton of points. Frank Gore should have a field day as the Lions give up 220 YPG on the ground alone (32nd in the NFL).

Prediction — 49ers 27 – Lions 24

Pick Against the Spread: Lions +4 — Confidence 2/5
Pick Straight Up: 49ers — Confidence 2/5


Both teams are outstanding, but I give the edge to the Eagles. The Eagles offense has been explosive and this week they should get their top WR Reggie Brown back. With Big Ben trying to play with a sprained shoulder, it should take the deep ball to Santonio Holmes away and the Steelers will have to rely on running the ball, which is what the Eagles front 7 is very good at stopping (ranked 1st in the NFL, allowing only 52 YPG on the ground). Also, be warned that I’m a bias Eagles fan.

Prediction — Eagles 27 – Steelers 20

Pick Against the Spread: Eagles -3 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Eagles — Confidence 3/5


The Colts looked a little better against the Vikings after a horrendous performance against the Bears and the Jaguars remain in an offensive funk. This week, the Colts should be looking like the Colts of the last two years. The Jags D is in the middle of the pack, but offensively, they rank in the bottom. The Jags are 27th in points scored, 29th in yards gained, 22nd in passing, and 28th rushing. The Colts are 4th in passing defense, but 28th in rushing defense. If the Colts can contain Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor, they should have no problem winning this game.

Update: Bob Sander will be out for 4-6 weeks due to a high-ankle sprain, which significantly reduces my confidence in the Colts defense. If you remember from 2006, when Sanders was out, that defense was awful and as soon as he was back in the lineup, they became an excellent defense again. He is the heart and soul of that defense and without him in the lineup, I don’t like taking the Colts. Tony Ugoh and Jeff Saturday are also day-to-day, which is a huge concern for that offensive line.

Due to the Colts injuries to Bob Sanders, Tony Ugoh, and Jeff Saturday, I’m going to change my prediction and say that the Jags pull off the upset. The Colts were 28th against the run with Bob Sander, just imagine how bad they’ll be without them and we all know how much the Jags love to run. Expect Fred Taylor and MJD to have a field day.

Prediction — Jaguars 23 – Colts 20

Pick Against the Spread: Jaguars +5.5 — Confidence 2/5
Pick Straight Up: Jaguars — Confidence 2/5


I’m not touching this one, but with the Ravens D and being at home, I’ll give them the edge.

Prediction — Ravens 16 – Browns 13

Pick Against the Spread: Ravens -2.5 — Confidence 1/5
Pick Straight Up: Ravens — Confidence 1/5


This is an extremely tough game to call. It should make a great Sunday night game. I like the Cowboys, but the Packers have been very impressive. I love what I’m seeing from Aaron Rodgers. 2 of the NFL’s top 5 teams will square off Sunday Night, and I just cannot wait to watch this one.

Prediction — Cowboys 31 – Packers 27

Pick Against the Spread: Cowboys -3 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Cowboys — Confidence 3/5


Stay tuned for our Monday Night prediction later!

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