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NFL Week 3 Predictions, Picks Against the Spread

Posted by in NFL Picks on September 24th, 2009 | 1 Comment

What’s up my peeps.  It’s week 3 in the NFL and I’m giving you my take on every game on tap.  I’ve rode the Vikings for 2 weeks for big wins over the Browns and Lions, but they’ll be facing a tough 49ers team that looks like they could be a playoff team in January.  Let’s see what else is out there.

Brandon also posted a pick for tonight’s Ole Miss @ South Carolina game.  Click the link to view his analysis.  He is playing the over and I think it is a great call.

Top 5 Spreads in Week 3: Saints -6, Ravens -13, Texans -3.5, Bears -2, Falcons +4

TENNESSEE TITANS @ NEW YORK JETS -3

The Jets are good, they are very good.  They’ve improved 10-fold on the defensive side since last year and 100% of the credit goes to Rex Ryan.  They beat two very good teams (Texans and Patriots).  The Titans are still outstanding too and Chris Johnson himself can win any game and will only require 3 lineman to get it done.  He is dangerous, so I never want to bet against the Titans.  The Titans pass D is weak for an odd reason.  Pittsburgh tore them up and then Andre Johnson tore them up.  I expect a tight game, so this is probably not your best game to bet on.  Jets likely win by less than a touchdown and more likely by just a field goal.

Prediction: Jets 20 – Titans 17

Free Pick: Too close to call (Push)

CELEVELAND BROWNS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS -13

I really like this game, but hate high spreads in the NFL, but this may be one high spread worth taking.  The Ravens D isn’t what it used to be, so don’t get fooled.  Both the Chiefs and Chargers passed on them at will.  The Ravens offense though is much, much better than previous years.  For the first time in well actually EVER (I was going to say a decade), the Ravens offense is looking stronger than its defense.  Flacco is looking like a 5-year veteran QB.  The running game hasn’t been able to be stopped.  The Browns got killed by the Vikings, killed by the Broncos, and the Broncos aren’t even close to a top 10 offense that I would say the Ravens are.  The Ravens should absolutely dominate the Browns.  Quinn will likely throw some picks and get benched.

Prediction: Ravens 31 – Browns 6

Free Pick: Ravens -13 (Confidence: 4/5)

NEW YORK GIANTS -6.5 @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

The Giants offense is rolling.  Eli Manning has great chemistry with Steve Smith and Kevin Boss.  With that running game led by Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw, their offense is clicking on all cylanders.  The Bucs D got torn up by the Cowboys and the Bills.  The Giants have some injuries in the secondary, which is a concern, but I’m going to have to with the Giants covering in this one.  No doubt the Giants should win, but I’m not crazy about the Giants with the spread.  A 4-6 point win by the Giants could be the outcome here.

Prediction: Giants 27 – Buccaneers 17

Free Pick: Giants -6.5 (Confidence: 3/5)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ HOUSTON TEXANS -3.5

I underestimated the Texans last week.  They looked very bad against the Jets because the Jets are actually a very strong team.  The Jags are a very weak team, but there’s a chance the MJD hurts the weak Texans run defense.  The Jags are averaging less than 15 points-per-game in their first 2 games, so their offense is definitely slacking.  I like the Texans high powered offense against the Jaguars lackluster offense.  I say the Texans score in the high 20’s and the Jaguars score in the low teens.

Prediction: Texans 27 – Jaguars 16

Free Pick: Texans -3.5 (Confidence: 4/5)

SAN FRANSISCO 49ERS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS -6.5

The 49ers are looking outstanding.  Big wins against two division rivals makes the 49ers look like the dark horse candidate to come out on top of the NFC West.  With a much improved defense and a strong running game, they’re able to win any game.  The Vikings are also looking extremely good.  The much hyped Peterson vs. Gore matchup comes this week and I would keep money off to the side with the -6.5 spread.  I think anything could happen in this game with the spread, but I anticipate a close game, so I would lean more towards taking the points although I see the Vikings coming out on top.  I’ve loved the Vikings against the spread the first two weeks, but this is a week you want to pass on them against the spread.

Prediction: Vikings 23 – 49ers 17

Free Pick: 49ers +6.5 (Confidence: 2/5)

ATLANTA FALCONS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -4

The Patriots looked lost last week without Wes Welker.  He was out last week with a knee injury and is questionable this week.  Jerod Mayo is also out, which will significantly help the Falcons when they want to run the ball.  If Wes Welker is ruled out this Sunday, I would be in favor of taking the Falcons and the points.  Matt Ryan is completing 68% of his passes compared to Brady’s 62%.  If you can complete more than 2/3 of your passes, you’re going to win a lot of football games.  Ryan has a 5:1 TD/INT ratio to Brady’s 1:1.  Brady isn’t quite back yet and without Welker, he’s lost.  Again, if Wes Welker is out for the Patriots, take the Falcons and the points.  The Falcons are allowing under 14 points in their first two games compared to the Patriots 20.  The Falcons are also scoring more points than the Patriots right now.

Prediction: Falcons 24 – Patriots 17

Free Pick: Falcons +4 (Confidence: 4/5)

WASHINGTON REDSKINS -6.5 @ DETROIT LIONS

I would be very high on the Redskins, but how can you not even score a TD at home against the Rams?  Unbelievable.  The Redskins D is solid, so I expect Stafford to struggle, but the Lions took the early lead against the Vikings and if that happens again, I wouldn’t count on the Redskins chasing those points back for the cover.  I can see Calvin Johnson just going off, but with the Redskins D, I just don’t see them winning.  The Redskins may beat up on the Lions, especially of Stafford throws a few picks, but I just don’t have a good feeling taking the Redskins against the spread.  Their offense is slacking.  Ordinarily I would say bet against the Lions, but I’m going with my gut and saying the Lions cover by a half point.  The Redskins just aren’t putting up enough offense to cover.

Prediction: Redskins 23 – Lions 17

Free Pick: Lions +6.5 (Confidence: 1/5)

GREEN BAY PACKERS -6.5 @ ST. LOUIS RAMS

I know a lot of you probably got wide-eyed when you saw this spread and are ready to jump on it.  Odds are the Packers roll over a weak defense with Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings.  96% of the money is on them to cover and 10/11 experts at Covers.com like the Packers.  However, after looking into the Bengals loss at home, I initially wrote it off as a fluke.  To the contrary, Aaron Rodgers got harassed by the Bengals D-line the entire game.  He got sacked 10 times — that’s a league high.  You’re just not going to win many games if you don’t have the time in the pocket and get sacked that many times.  The Packers offensive line is pretty banged up.  For that reason alone, I would pass on the Packers this week.  I still think they cover, but with the offensive line issues, I’m staying away until I see that the Packers line can give Rodgers some protection.

Prediction: Packers 24 – Rams 13

Free Pick: Packers -6.5 (Confidence: 3/5)

CHICAGO BEARS -2 @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

I like the Bears here.  Seahawks got killed by the 49ers run game and Matt Forte should finally show why he’s a premier fantasy back this week.  The Seahawks best CB Trufant is out, LB Tatupu is questionable, QB Hasselbeck is doubtful, OT Walter is questionable, WR Houshmandzadeh is probable.  The Seahawks are just pounded with injuries to key players.  The Bears are coming off an impressive win against the Steelers.  Jay Cutler is developing nice chemistry with Greg Olson and rookie speedster WR Johnny Knox.  I think the Bears are the play to make.

Prediction: Bears 24 – Seahawks 13

Free Pick: Bears -2 (Confidence: 4/5)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS -6 @ BUFFALO BILL

Like I said earlier in the week, I think the Saints are a great pick this week.  Their offense has been unstoppable and I believe that the Bills, although pretty good, are better than advertised.  I don’t think the Bills have an answer for the Saints offense and they have a difficult time keeping up.  The Eagles D couldn’t even stop the Saints at home and the Eagles have a much better D than the Bills.

Prediction: Saints 38 – Bills 20

Free Pick: Saints -6 (Confidence: 4/5)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS -4 @ CINCINNATI BENGALS

I think the Steelers are due for a rebound game against a much weaker defense after last week’s tough loss.  The Bengals took advantage of a team last week that was decimated by injures.  If the Bengals lost that game and the Steelers won, this spread is more like Steelers -6.5.  I like the Steelers at -4.

Prediction: Steelers 24 – Bengals 16

Free Pick: Steelers -4 (Confidence: 3/5)

DENVER BRONCOS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS +1.5

The Raiders didn’t look too bad at home against the Chargers and followed that up with a win on the road in KC.  The Broncos ripped up the Browns, but who doesn’t tear up the Browns?  Neither team is a good team to bet on, but I’m giving the edge to the home team with a better defense and that team is the Raiders.

Prediction: This game deserves a Swami-style pick, Raiders 19 – Broncos 16

Free Pick: Raiders +1.5 (Confidence: 2/5)

MIAMI DOLPHINS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS -5.5

I lot of you love the Chargers, right?  Bad choice this week.  I’m not going to be shocked if Miami wins outright, but how can you bet against Philip Rivers after w he did to the Ravens?  That’s why I’ll put this game on my pass list.  The Chargers are struggling big time against the run with DT Jamal Williams possibly out and LB Shawne Merriman questionable.  Without those two players, the Dolphins look to run the ball down the Chargers throat, keep this game close, and possibly cover.  If those two players are in the game, I would not take the Dolphins though.  I’m only taking the Dophins to cover if both Williams and Merriman are ruled out.

Free Pick: None until injury statuses are more clear.  Dolphins with the points may be the play to make.  I would wait for Dolphins at +6.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS -2.5

I really don’t know what to do here.  The Colts offense bounced back now that they could prepare without Anthony Gonzalez in the lineup.  The defense struggled against the run.  The Cardinals bounced back after a tough home loss to the 49ers.  What a great game to watch Sunday night though.  This should be a back-and-forth offensive battle.  The money is split almost right down the line in this one, 55% is on the Cardinals.  With Bob Sanders out for the Colts, I think the Colts D lets them down.

Prediction: Cardinals 27 – Colts 24

Free Pick: Cardinals -2.5 (Confidence: 2/5)

CAROLINA PANTHERS @ DALLAS COWBOYS -8.5

Am I missing something here?  The Cowboys as an 8.5 favorite?  I’m pretty suprised.  Sure, the Panthers got killed by the Eagles and followed that up with a 28-20 loss to the Falcons on the road, but 8.5 is pretty steep.  The Cowboys secondary is pretty suspect, which leads me to believe that Steve Smith will have a huge day.  Tony Romo is only completing 51.8% of his passes, which is less than the 55% that Delhomme is completing.  Marion Barber is also doubtful.  Dallas has allowed 27 points-per-game so far this season.  4/5 experts at Covers.com like the Panthers and 61% of the money likes them to cover, so that’s who I like with 8.5 points.

Prediction: Cowboys 27 – Panthers 24

Free Pick: Panthers +8.5 (Confidence: 3/5)



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