NFL Week 3: Early game Odds, Predictions, and Picks
Hopefully, last Sunday while you were reaching for that last piece of Dominos pizza, trying to stay seated on the couch by utilizing the combo of stretching your front leg and arm as far as possible to reach the coffee table you got that last piece of pizza without tearing your ACL... because almost every big star in the NFL tore theirs. Before you place your bets this weekend it's more important than ever to make sure you check this week's injury reports. Let's get into this week's picks!
Philadephia Eagles at Cincinnati Bengals
Even after two brutal losses, the Eagles come into this one as favorites at home.
The Eagles are suffering from injuries at multiple positions and their WR core with the injury to Jalen Reagor somehow got worse than it was in week two. Thankfully tho for the Eagles, their starting RB Miles Sanders is healthy and their defense has performed ok, considering how hard QB Carson Wentz is trying to keep them on the field by throwing nothing but incompletions and interceptions.
Joe Burrow looks like the NFL starter he was drafted to be. The only problem is through two weeks the Bengals have 7th worst pass blocking in the NFL and Burrow is getting hit nonstop. The defense will continue to be with both their starting defensive tackles and are very vulnerable against the run.
Teams that are 0 and 2 over the past 10 years have covered the spread 62% of the time in week three. A lot of this is due to recency bias and public money being swayed by early results. Both teams are 0 and 2, but before the season began Vegas had the Eagles at -9 for this game and they are set up to rebound in this one. The Eagles pass rush is graded as second-best in NFL so far this year and the Bengals o-line has been getting killed. So add those two things together and Burrow will be eating a lot of Dirt on Sunday. Wentz has been bad but the Eagles can most likely win this one on the back of Miles Sanders rushing the ball alone.
Eagles rebound -4(-110).
Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons
Even after suffering one of the worst losses all-time, the Falcons are slight favorites at home.
As I predicted in week 2 the Bears had a tough time scoring consistently and could not pull away from the New York Giants. The Bears though did look strong running the ball and could be trending to the formula of solid defense paired with shortening the game through running the football. The defense is currently graded out as top 5 in NFL but has played two offense's ranked in the bottom 10 in the league, so stats aside this game will be a good indicator of if they have the ability to shut down elite offenses.
The Falcons can score at will... but as the stats indicated lasts years second half turn around on defense was not real and the Falcons have allowed 78 points against in two games. To make things worse all signs point to Julio Jones not playing in this game as he missed practice on Friday. The injuries don't stop there as the first COVID-19 case belongs to the Falcons as AJ Terrell is out of this one.
The Falcons coming off a brutal loss will be looking to rebound but are likely to be without their top WR, CB, and pash rusher. The Bears haven't impressed but once again will be put in a favorable matchup. The Bears Robert Quinn though did impress me in week two and he and Khalil Mack should be too much for the Falcons to handle. After a rough week, two for injuries in the NFL I see team health and a ferocious pash rush leading the Bears to cover and even possibly win the game.
Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers
Looking to go 3 and 0 the Steelers are 4 point favorites at home.
The Texans played arguably the best two teams in the NFL week 1 and 2 and ended up losing both pretty convincingly. Healthy Will Fuller and Brandon Cooks should aid this passing attack that has not performed to full potential yet and has been very out of sync. Defensively the Texans are have got torched and are hoping to rebound in this game but will do so without one of their starting CBs Gareon Conley.
The Steelers defense has been close to as scary as it was last year but has shown some susceptibility to giving up yards through the air. On offense, Big Ben has shown almost no rust and has made this offense dangerous again. Inconsistency on offense though has limited the Steelers' ability to pull away late in games.
Lost to the Chiefs week 1 and then lost to the Ravens week 2 the Texans are a perfect example of why historically 62% of 0 and 2 teams cover in week 3. Yes, the Texans have not looked good but their 0 - 2 record is not a true indication of their potential as a possible playoff team. Steelers have struggled to stop the pass and that's really all the Texans can do. I still see the Steelers winning this game but it will be much closer than the line indicates.
Take the Texans +4(-105).
Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots
The undefeated Raiders are road dogs against the Patriots.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders are the 2020 version of the 2015 Kansas City Chiefs, as they like to instead of throwing anything to their WR's rather just use them as decorative pieces on the outside. Other than TE Darren Waller and RB Josh Jacobs not many people have touched the ball, but its worked so far with both players being dominant. The defense is still one of the worst in the league but the Raiders have been able to outscore their flaws through two weeks.
New England Patriots
Cam Newton MVP? ...probably not but he is making everyone look stupid for not signing him in the offseason. The Offenses only current weakness is the rushing attack as Sony Michel has not looked good running the ball, thankfully Newton can pass and run the ball. The Dominant Patriots defense of last year opted out due to COVID-19 but as history has shown Belichick will slowly improve this defense as the year goes on.
The Raiders have been a two-dimensional team so far this year on offense through the utilization of just the TE and RBs. It has worked so far but with rookie WR Ruggs III out of this game, it will make their options at WR even more limited to attack the Patriots. I don't see how the Raiders stop Newton and the Patriots so it comes down to Belichick and the Patriots D slowing down the Raiders. I see the Patriots forcing the Raiders and Derek Carr to beat them through the air and that has not gone well in the past for Carr.
Take the Patriots at +6.5(-110).
Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings
Titans are road favorites against a terrible looking Vikings team.
Ryan Tannehill is a good NFL QB... it took until he turned 27 to find out, but better late than never. Derek Henry has not been good this year and it's really limited the Titans' ability to put teams away thus keeping the games closer than they should be. On defense, the Titans have shown improvement but even with free-agent addition Jadavoen Clowney, they have not pressured the QB consistently enough.
On offense, the Vikings are bad, as trading your best WR away in Stefon Diggs for a first-round pick then drafting a rookie WR looks to be a very dumb decision... who knew. Their defense is somehow worse than their offense and with Danielle Hunter still, on IR it will continue to be a struggle.
The Vikings pass blocking has been graded in the bottom 10 in the NFL, which sets up the perfect opportunity for the Titans pass rush to get on track. The Vikings on the other hand can't stop anyone and I don't see that happening in this game, especially with the Injuries at LB and CB making the defense even worse. Titans win.
San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants
The 49ers backup team is road favorites against the Giants.
San Francisco 49ers
Offensive starters... Injured. Defensive starters... Injured. The 49ers have looked good this season but then the Met Life stadium "turf" injured their whole team. The rushing attack is the only thing that still remains consistent and the 49ers will rely on that. With Kittle out again the 49ers are relying on the walking concussion Jordan Reed as their top receiving option.
New York Giants
The Giants defense has been surprisingly solid, especially against the run. But the offense can't run the football and with Saquon Barkley now out for the season it will only get worse. Daniel Jones has been very inconsistent with at least one turnover a game but has shown an ability to move the ball.
The 49ers B team was able to take down the Jets in week 2. The 49ers relied heavily on the run in week 2 but the Giants have been very good against the run. The matchup setups very well for the Giants to get their first win but with Daniel Jones, I don't know if that happens. Look for the Giants defense to shut down the Injured 49ers offense and keep this game close.
The Giants cover +3.5(-105).
Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo Bills
With Bills Mafia watching from home the Bills are only slight home favorites.
Los Angels Rams
The Rams of 2018 are back in full form. Currently graded as the second-best offense in NFL, Sean "offensive super genius" McVay is back to constant play-action and miss direction to constantly take advantage of opposing offenses. On defense, the Rams have a strong pass rush, good pass coverage but struggle to stop the run.
Josh Allen, or as he has been proclaimed early-season MVP candidate has been tossing the ball all over the field. The Bills must have found out about analytics during the offseason as a lot of their offensive effectiveness is due to their utilization of both play-action and passing on first down. The Bills defense has not been tested yet considering the two teams they played to start the season in the Jets and Dolphins. With starting linebackers Milano and Edmunds questionable to play the Bills could struggle even more than they have to stop the run if either misses the game.
I could imagine how crazy Bills Mafia would be if the Bills were allowed to have fans but luckily for the Rams they will be playing in an empty stadium. This is set up to be a close game between two 2 and 0 teams. The Bills hype is most likely bloated considering the first two teams they played and will need to utilize the run more to attack the Rams weakness. I see the Rams offense keeping up with the Bills and the game coming down to whatever young QB doesn't turn the ball over. With no Bills Mafia to scare him, I trust Jared Goff and the Rams in this one.
Take the Rams +1.5(-105).
Also, smash Rams Moneyline(even).
Washington Football Team at Cleveland Browns
In the battle for worst run franchises over the past decade, the Browns are a touchdown favorite.
Washington Football Team
Behind a scary d-line, the Football Team through two weeks is graded as the best defense in the NFL. Offensively it has been a different story, as they have limited playmakers other than Terry McLaurin. Starting QB Dwayne Haskins is not very good as only Carson Wentz has performed worse than him so far this year. Pro-bowl guard Brandon Scherff was put on IR and could be a major problem for this Washinton o-line.
The Browns looked good against the Bengals as they continue to run the ball down everyone's throat with two of the best RBs in the NFL in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. A lot of thanks must go to Browns' improved offensive line, which has been impressive in pass blocking as well. The Defense has been limited with the secondary not being at full health this season yet and if Denzel Ward is out of this game it will only be worse news for their secondary.
Both defensive lines could thrive in this game, making running the football tough for both teams. That will lead to a battle of which QB can produce and there is no way you can trust Dwayne Haskins to outperform almost anyone. Look for the Browns defense to just be too much for the Haskins putting the Browns and Baker Mayfield in positive field position all game. The Browns will wear down this d-line with their rushing attack and pull away late in the game.
Browns continue to beat bad teams -7(-110).