Week 3 NFL Picks
Week two, like week one, did not disappoint. While that may be just me saying that
because I missed football so much, I’m going to chalk this one up to high quality football
returning to all our lives. Five of the eight games in the early window ended up being one score
games. The Giants came back from down 28-7 against the Arizona Cardinals of all teams to win
31-28 on a field goal with 19 seconds to go. Washington upset Denver 35-33 and survived a
Broncos hail mary but stopped the two-point conversion to finish things off. Monday night had
two one-score games where one game was a snooze fest and the other was exciting. So, yeah I
don’t think it’s just me that thought last week was exciting. Let’s just hope for another great
week this week.
As for my picks, last week I went 9-7 on the money line and 6-10 against the spread.
Overall, that brings my record to 19-13 on the money line and 13-19 on the spread. Maybe y’all
should tail me on the money line and fade me on the spread. If you win your bets, though, game
is game. With that said, fade me at your own risk and tail me at your benefit. The odds listed are
provided by DraftKings.
9/21 (TNF): New York Giants @ San Francisco 49ers (-10.5, O/U 44), 8:15PM EST, Prime
Last week, the Giants looked bad for most of the game. The Cardinals, led by backup QB
Josh Dobbs, took a 20-0 lead into half and a 28-7 lead early in the third quarter. It looked as if
the Giants were dead in the water following a 40-0 loss the week before to the Cowboys. Daniel
Jones and Saquon Barkley had something to say about that as Jones accounted for three
touchdowns with Barkley accounting for two.
While the struggles of the Giants were concerning, New York fans should be proud of the
way they fought back. It is always hard to win in the NFL, especially when you must come back
as much as they did last Sunday. It would have been easy for the Giants to quit, but good on them
for not doing so.
Tonight, they are not going to come back if they fall behind. The 49ers are absolutely
stacked. Some might say they are the best team in the NFC. Regardless, they are certainly in the
top tier of not just the conference but the league. The defense is going to feast on the Giant
offense as RB Saquon Barkley has been ruled out for the game. Not only that, but the San
Francisco offense will have no problem scoring as the Giants allowed over 100 yards on the
ground to Arizona RB James Conner. If that was the case, they better improve quick if they want
to have a prayer of keeping this game close.
As for the spread, this is a huge line. However, favorites of more than one score in the
first two weeks are 5-0 straight up and 5-0 against the spread. On top of that, the Giants are 0-2
against the number this season. Don’t make this complicated on yourself, the 49ers will win this
Prediction: San Francisco wins, San Francisco covers -10.5
9/24: New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers (-2, O/U 42), 1PM EST, FOX
Can the New Orleans defense slow down Jordan Love? So far, neither the Bears nor the
Falcons had success in doing that. Love has 6 touchdowns with no interceptions with just under
400 yards. He makes it look like Aaron Rodgers never left. Maybe the yards aren’t there yet, but
they will come with experience. However, Love has not faced a defense like the one he will see
on Sunday. The Saints pass defense has the second best rating in holding opponents QBR’s down
and has allowed the fourth least yards per attempt at 5.2 yards per pass attempt. The pass rush
had four sacks last week against Carolina QB Bryce Young with 7 QB hits in addition. To put the
cherry on top, the New Orleans defense has held opponents to 20 points or less in 10 straight
On the Green Bay side of things, they are looking for RB Aaron Jones to return from a
hamstring injury to help their running game that struggled without him last week. According to
rotowire.com, Jones did not practice on Wednesday. That brings his probability of playing
against a stout Saints defense way down. If Jones misses this one, can Jordan Love get the ball
out quickly and effectively to his young receiving core before the pass rush impacts that? I don’t
believe so, but it is not all negative in this game for Green Bay.
The Packers haven’t played in Green Bay yet this season, so expect them to come out
with their hair on fire in this one after letting one slip against Atlanta last week. The defense
should shine in this one as the Saints offensive line has shown major issues along the offensive
line and trouble scoring in the red zone. Last week, the Packers held Atlanta QB Desmond
Ridder to just a 71.6 QBR and intercepted him once. In both contests this year, Saints QB Derek
Carr has thrown an interception. So, look for the Green Bay secondary to potentially ball hawk
This will be a great, low-scoring, game. While I don’t feel great about this game as a
Saints fan, I feel that a defensive contest greatly benefits New Orleans and that they will be able
to lean on their veteran experience to pull out a close on in Green Bay.
Prediction: New Orleans wins, New Orleans covers +2
9/24: Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns (-3.5, O/U 39.5), 1PM EST, CBS
This game could have been a matchup between two running backs potentially headed to
Canton when their football days are over. Unfortunately, Browns RB Nick Chubb suffered a
brutal knee injury that is going to keep him out the rest of the season. Let’s hope that some
doctors who are saying that this will end Chubb’s career are wrong since he was consistently one
of the best running backs in the league.
Without him, the Browns offense will certainly look different. To counter the injury, the
Browns signed a familiar face as RB Kareem Hunt will be returning to Cleveland. As a Brown,
Hunt was a star even with being the second fiddle to Chubb. At 28 years old, Hunt’s tread on the
tires as a running back might be worn down a little, but it will be interesting to see how Hunt
does in a RB1 role.
As for the Titans, their offense bounced back last week as RB Derrick Henry was much
more involved last week than he was in the loss to New Orleans in the opening game.
Furthermore, QB Ryan Tannehill had no turnovers when he had three the week before. This was
a big win for the Titans as it helped gain some confidence back as they had lost eight regular
season games in a row prior to the game against the Chargers.
In this one, the running game will be key for both sides. Whichever team handles time of
possession and can turn field goals into touchdowns will win this one. If it weren’t for two
defensive touchdowns by the Steelers against the Browns on Monday Night, we would be talking
about the Browns differently. As a result, I see Cleveland pulling this one out because there is
almost no way they get as unlucky as they did in aiding the Pittsburgh victory. The Cleveland
defense was able to hold Cincinnati to a halt, so I see something similar happening this Sunday.
Prediction: Cleveland Browns win, Tennessee Titans cover +3.5
9/24: Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions (-3, O/U 46.5), 1PM EST, FOX
Is Atlanta good again? In the first two games, they have flexed their muscles in the
ground game and have played solid defense. If they don’t have to ask QB Desmond Ridder to do
too much, this Falcons team is going to continue to have success. This week, though, they might
have to ask more out of their offense as Detroit QB Jared Goff is the best one the Falcons’
defense has faced yet.
Despite the loss to Seattle, Detroit’s offense looked solid. Even with a pick-six thrown by
Goff, this offense was still able to score 31 points and get the game to overtime. I wouldn’t be
too concerned about the loss if I was a Lions fan since Seattle is a playoff team from a year ago
and it seems like their week 1 blowout loss to the Rams might have been just a hiccup.
In this game, two different styles will be at play. If this is a defensive and time of
possession battle, I see Atlanta winning. If it is a shootout, Detroit will come out on top. Given
that this game is in Detroit, I feel better about taking the Lions in this one. The Falcons have not
played away from home yet and were a much worse team on the road last year than they were at
home. While I wouldn’t be shocked if Atlanta RB Bijan Robinson lead this Falcons’ squad to a
win, I see the Goff-St.Brown connection for the Lions to aid in their victory.
Prediction: Detroit wins, Detroit covers -3
9/24: Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins (-6.5, O/U 48), 1PM EST, CBS
Poor Denver. Each week it’s been something different for them in the Russell Wilson era.
While the offense has clicked more this year than last under new head coach Sean Payton, the
defense has disappointed in moments where they were needed most. A lot of those struggles
have to deal with QB Russell Wilson. While it was great to have 300 yards and three
touchdowns, turning the ball over twice and being sacked seven times kills a lot of drives which
makes it harder on the defense to be productive. It’s safe to say that Denver has not found their
This week will be no easier for Denver as they face a Miami team that looks to be an
early Super Bowl contender. Tua is having a great season so far and the rest of the Dolphins
offense is right there with him. It’s going to benefit the Dolphins this week going against the
Broncos secondary as last week they were torched by Washington QB Sam Howell. If you can’t
handle Howell, good luck with this Miami offense.
Since Denver is not a cohesive unit yet, I don’t see how Denver is going to keep this one
within reach. Look for Miami to show why they are a force to be reckoned with in this game.
Prediction: Miami wins, Miami covers -6.5
9/24: Los Angeles Chargers (-1) @ Minnesota Vikings, O/U 54, 1PM EST, FOX
Both teams are in trouble as they head into this game as they both have not won yet this
year. Both teams have playoff aspirations, but a drop to 0-3 can essentially eliminate the loser of
this game. Since the NFL’s expansion in 1979, only six teams have made the playoffs after
starting 0-3. That’s one for every seven years or so. While the winner might end up making it to
the playoffs, the loser does not have the odds in their favor. So, how will this one go?
This one should be close as Vegas predicts and over bettors should be happy in this one
as the Vikings defense hasn’t looked great in the first two weeks and neither have the Chargers.
The Los Angeles defense will have their hands full in the passing game as they have to find a
way to slow down the crew of WRs Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison as well as TE T.J.
Hockenson. One way they can counter that is the pass rush. The Chargers recorded five sacks
last week and the Vikings offensive line allowed QB Kirk Cousins to be pressured on over 30%
of the snaps. That lines up for the Chargers to have another field day on defense.
On the other side of the ball, the Chargers offense has looked solid with QB Justin
Herbert running the show. He seems to be getting better every week and quickly growing into
one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Additionally, RB Austin Ekeler should be returning to
the starting lineup this week after missing last week’s game at the Titans due to an ankle injury.
If he can return, he should greatly help the offense expose the Vikings’ run defense that allowed
259 yards on the ground against the Eagles last week. This game is very close to a toss-up, but I
feel comfortable taking the Chargers in this one.
Prediction: Los Angeles wins, Los Angeles covers -1
9/24: New England Patriots (-3) @ New York Jets, O/U 36.5, 1PM EST, CBS
When the season started, I don’t think either one of these fanbases thought they would be
in the position they are today. The Patriots have lost two close games to start off 0-2 and the Jets
are still looking for answers after losing QB Aaron Rodgers for the season. This game will more
than likely be an old-school defensive battle. So, which offense do I trust more? I’d like to think
I’d be able to trust Mac Jones over Zach Wilson, but my trust really isn’t that much more in
Jones than Wilson.
The way the Dallas defense was able to handle Zach Wilson is the main factor as to why
the Patriots will win this game. Last week, the Patriots were able to slow down the high-powered
Dolphins offense and with that they held Tyreek Hill to just 40 yards receiving. Wilson only
completing 12 passes at Dallas will not cut it against New England. To win, he has to be able to
take checkdowns and move the chains early. If not, look for the Patriots to win this one.
I would talk more about the Patriots offense, but for both sides the offenses bore me so
I’m not going to bore you with teams that won’t score.
Prediction: New England wins, New England covers -3
9/24: Buffalo Bills (-6.5) @ Washington Commanders, O/U 44, 1PM EST, CBS
Buffalo looked good last week in a 38-10 bounce back win over the Raiders. So, which of
the two extremes is it for the Bills? Is it the team that lost to the Rodgers-less Jets or is it the
team that looked impressive last week? I tend to lean more towards the impressive side but argue
with me if you must.
Washington has squeaked out two wins against the Cardinals and the Broncos. While
those two teams probably won’t be the greatest this year, a win is a win in the NFL. QB Sam
Howell has looked pretty good through the first two weeks, but he hasn’t faced a defense like
this yet. Outside of the first drive last week, the Raiders were unable to find the end zone against
the Bills. To make matters worse for the Vegas offense, Buffalo was able to turn them over three
times thanks to two interceptions and a fumble.
While it still is very early in his career, this game will be a good litmus test for how good
Sam Howell really is. I think there is some truth behind him being legitimate, but will that result
in a win? If QB Josh Allen (274 yards on three touchdowns with no interceptions) and RB James
Cook (123 yards rushing) go off against the Commanders the way they did against the Raiders,
then good luck Washington.
I don’t really have a good football reason as to why I think this one will be close, but I’ve
been wrong on a lot of spreads this year so it might be better for me to go against my prior
Prediction: Buffalo wins, Washington covers +6.5
9/24: Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-9, O/U 44), 1PM EST, FOX
Despite the loss last week to the Colts, Texans rookie QB C.J. Stroud continues to look
good as he went for 384 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions last week. The issue for
the Texans in that game was getting absolutely shredded by Colts rookie QB Anthony
Richardson and company. Just at halftime, the Colts had already put up 28 on the Texans. After
Richardson’s exit, the Colts were only able to score a touchdown once. I’m not sure that Anthony
Richardson or even the Colts for that matter are very good. So, this defensive performance is
Things won’t get any easier this week for the Texans with a road game in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars were able to handle the Colts in week one and are due for an offensive bounce back
after putting up just nine points on the Chiefs last week. To make things worse for the Texans
defense, their two starting safeties will be out in this one. Look for WRs Calvin Ridley and
Christian Kirk to go off in this one.
As for the Jacksonville defense, their line should have a field day as Houston allowed six
sacks last week on a 47.2% quarterback pressure rate. Another positive for them is that they only
allowed 17 points against Patrick Mahomes. While allowing 300 yards passing is not a good
thing, games are won with points and not with passing yards. With that said, don’t overthink this
Prediction: Jacksonville wins, Jacksonville covers -9
9/24: Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens (-8, O/U 45.5), 1PM EST, CBS
The status of Colts QB Anthony Richardson is in question this week after suffering a
concussion in last week’s 31-20 win over the Texans. As of Wednesday, Richardson had not been
practicing and backup quarterback Gardner Minshew has been taking first team reps all week.
I’d assume the Colts play this one safe and don’t risk pulling a Tua situation from last year with
Richardson. Regardless, Baltimore is far better than Indianapolis.
Their defense will be able to handle Minshew with ease and even if Richardson is in I
don’t expect anything different. The Ravens defense is very good and is much better than
anything Richardson has seen yet in his young career.
Expect Lamar to have another great game this week as he threw for 237 yards with two
touchdowns and no interceptions with 54 rushing yards on top of that against the Bengals a week
ago. While the Colts only allowed two yards per carry last week, expect that to change in a big
way this week. I trust the Ravens in a physical game and that is the tone they will set in this one
as they move to 3-0 for the first time since 2016.
Prediction: Baltimore wins, Baltimore covers -8
9/24: Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks (-6.5, O/U 41.5), 4:05PM EST, CBS
Carolina has looked pitiful in the first two weeks under first overall pick QB Bryce
Young as they have only put up 27 points in two games. Perhaps this week is the one where the
Panthers break 20 points as Seattle has allowed over 30 points in both games. Still, Bryce Young
is extremely raw and until I see him go off I’m going to fade the Panthers.
One of the strengths of Carolina is the defensive front seven. In this one, they will face a
unit that held the Lions to just one sack last week. As a result, Seattle QB Geno Smith had a lot
more time to throw the ball than he did a week prior. With that, Smith threw for 328 yards and
two touchdowns with no interceptions. If Smith has that amount of time to throw this week, no
doubt Seattle wins this game at home.
The key in this game is going to be how the Seattle defense looks against the Carolina
offense. For both teams, this is their weaker unit. Last week, Seattle allowed Jared Goff to throw
for 323 yards and three downs. On Monday night, Bryce Young threw for 153 yards and a
touchdown when the Saints were in prevent mode late in the game. So, the opportunity is there
for improvement for the youngster. However, he is going to have a rough welcome to Seattle.
Prediction: Seattle wins, Seattle covers -6.5
9/24: Chicago Bears @ Kansas City Chiefs (-12.5, O/U 47.5), 4:25PM EST, FOX
The comments made by Chicago QB Justin Fields this week have certainly put the league
on notice. When he was asked about his ‘robotic’ play he pointed to coaching. While this was
taken far out of context, some are questioning Fields’ leadership as a result.
This week, Fields will have to play the game of his career if the Bears have a prayer of
keeping up with the Chiefs. Kansas City appeared to bounce back last week with a win over the
Jaguars after losing a frustrating game to the Lions. Mahomes was able to throw for 305 yards
and two touchdowns with one interception in the game against the Jags. Kansas City also turned
it over two more times as they lost two fumbles. It was a sloppy win, but teams like the Chiefs
win games like that sometimes.
One thing that stood out outside of the turnovers for the Chiefs was the ball distribution.
No receiver totaled more than five receptions and 11 players got a reception. While outside of
Kelce there might not be an elite WR, if Mahomes can distribute the ball like he just did then the
Chiefs will continue to be successful.
Don’t count on the Bears being that team to slow the Chiefs down as they gave up 27 last
week to the Bucs and 38 in week one to the Packers. Yes, this spread is a lot. I don’t care,
though, because the Chiefs are going to win this one easily in Arrowhead.
Prediction: Kansas City wins, Kansas City covers -12.5
9/24: Dallas Cowboys (-12) @ Arizona Cardinals, O/U 43, 4:25PM EST, FOX
Are the Cardinals better than we might think? Most people have them in the Caleb
Williams sweepstakes, but this team has competed the last two weeks. They lost one possession
games to the Commanders and the Giants in the last two weeks. In both games, they had a
chance to win. This week, however, Arizona stands no chance. If you’ve watched Dallas at all
this season, you know that their defense is stellar. There is no way Josh Dobbs picks apart the
Cowboys. There is simply just too much dink and dunk in his game to allow the Cardinals to
move down the field effectively.
To make things worse for the Cardinals, the Cowboys offense looks solid. Dak threw for
255 yards and two touchdowns and WR Ceedee Lamb got 11 receptions for 143 yards. I don’t
see anyone on the Arizona defense that is going to be able to slow Lamb down. That, along with
what might be the best defense in the league, is why Dallas will dominate this game.
Prediction: Dallas wins, Dallas covers -12.5
9/24 (SNF): Pittsburgh Steelers @ Las Vegas Raiders (-2.5, O/U 43), 8:20PM EST, CBS
This one might be the line that confused me most of all this week. Did the oddsmakers
not watch the Steelers last week. Thanks to two defensive touchdowns they were able to beat the
Browns 26-22. They are a solid unit and will more than likely have answers to stop both RB Josh
Jacobs and WR Davante Adams. If Pittsburgh is able to get four takeaways this week, they will
have no problem winning.
“I’m not real encouraged by much of what we did today”, said Raiders head coach Josh
McDaniels when asked about his team’s performance in week two. This will be the close again if
the turnovers happen and Vegas’ top receivers in Adams and Meyers cannot play. If they both
can’t play, Vegas will have to rely on RB Josh Jacobs in a big way. Despite the turnovers forced
by the Steelers’ defense, they have struggled against the run in the first two games. Regardless,
Jacobs will have to have an impact on this game and QB Jimmy G cannot throw two
interceptions like he did a week ago.
On offense for Pittsburgh, look for George Pickens to have a big week as he went for 127
yards receiving. Who is going to cover him for the Raiders? If NFL Youngboy can get open, this
one will be wraps quickly.
Prediction: Pittsburgh wins, Pittsburgh covers +2.5
9/25 (MNF): Philadelphia Eagles (-5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, O/U 45.5, 7:15PM EST,
ABC & ESPN+
Will Tampa be able to keep surprising people and get to 3-0 by upsetting the Eagles? That
is a tall task, but Vegas doesn’t think so. Apparently we are in for a show Monday night with the
spread being less than a touchdown.
At first, I figured the Eagles would blow out the Bucs. However, the Bucs defense still
looks strong. On top of that QB Baker Mayfield is not turning the ball over. If both things
continue in the right direction for Tampa Bay, look for the Buccaneers to continue to surprise
The question in this game will be whether the Tampa defense can hold their own against
Jalen Hurts and company? They do have CB Carlton Davis that will be able to cover well, but he
can’t cover both A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith at once. On top of that, if RB Deandre Swift’s
performance a week ago wasn’t a fluke (175 yards rushing and a touchdown), who will stop
In this one, I’m going to go with the quarterback I trust more than the other. In this case,
that would be Jalen Hurts. Look for this game to be the one where the Eagles get back on track
of dominance that they had last season.
Prediction: Philadelphia wins, Philadelphia covers -5
9/25 (MNF): Los Angeles Rams @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3, O/U 44), 8:15PM EST, ESPN &
Joe Burrow’s status for this game will greatly impact the outcome. Since the Bengals are
still favored, I would assume that Joe Burrow is going to play. Like I mentioned when talking
about the Chargers-Vikings game, a loss would be detrimental to Cincinnati’s playoff hopes.
Regardless of Burrow’s status, this game will be tough. The Rams have show to be a
stingy team with some young talent that can burn you if you are not careful. WR Puka Nacua has
been going off for the Rams as he is on pace to break the single season reception record. Last
week was a huge add on to that since he went for 15 receptions and 147 yards.
One receiver that should be making that kind of noise but hasn’t yet is Bengals WR
Jamaar Chase. This team is so much better when he is clicking and so far this season he has
racked up just 70 yards receiving in two games. That is nowhere near enough for the former first
round pick. This week, Chase will be targeted frequently and be the difference in a Cincinnati
Picking this game is tough because of Burrow reaggrevating his calf injury from training
camp, but if he plays they win this one. If not, they will lose.
Prediction: Cincinnati wins, Cincinnati covers -3