My Week 3 NFL Picks

These NFL spreads haven’t been too kind to me so far. I struggled again in week 2, getting just six games right but I’m not going to let that get to me. I feel like things are starting to make sense now. We’ve gotten through the weirds games and results and now everything will be less unpredictable. Right? I think this week will be good for me. I’m looking at the lines and the games and they make sense. Like I’m seeing the matrix like some character from the movie that sees the matrix (I haven’t actually seen the movie The Matrix so I can’t make an accurate reference there). After two down weeks it is finally going to be my time so keep on reading for my definitely guaranteed 16-0 picks this week.

Cleveland Browns over Pittsburgh Steelers (+4.5)

Who would’ve thought that one of these teams lost to the Jets last week yet I feel far more sorry for the other one? The Steelers seem to be lost right now. They have a team that is ready to compete at every position except the most important one. Mitch Trubisky just can’t get the job done and until the team turns to Kenny Pickett instead, I just can’t see them scoring enough points to win a game. It feels weird to pick the Browns to win this matchup given the history of both franchises but oddly enough they are the better team right now. It may only take a few touchdowns to win this game and I think Nick Chubb and Amari Cooper can get that done. This looks like a classic 13-10 or 17-14 game which will make for terrible national television but for a good Pittsburgh cover.

Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) over New England Patriots

Lamar Jackson is playing out of his mind so unless Bill Belichick has the craziest defensive scheme of all time cooking up in his brain, Jackson is going to go off again. The Patriots of today are no longer the Patriots of old and should no longer be given the benefit of the doubt. Similar to the Steelers, the Patriots offense is just bad and struggles to get points on the board. In any matchup with a high-powered offense, I see them failing to keep up. The Ravens have the requisite offense to run up the score to the point where New England just can’t match it (although that number might be only like 20 points). The only thing making me apprehensive about Baltimore as the favorite is Belichick’s defensive prowess but I just don’t think this team has it in them to hang with the Ravens in 2022.

Buffalo Bills over Miami Dolphins (+6.5)

I am not going to pick the Bills to lose a game until they actually do (except I might actually pick against them in a few weeks so don’t hold me to this). I will pick against them with the spread though. I think Miami could keep this game close, or at least a lot closer than Buffalo’s previous matchups. This is going to be a real test for Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami offense. If they can score with this team, they can score with anybody. Can the Dolphins’ defense stop Josh Allen and the Bills? Absolutely not. But maybe this game ends up with some crazy score like 73-67. Who knows? But with the possibility of backdoor cover or even an upset, from Miami, the 6.5 points they are getting are just too enticing.

New Orleans Saints over Carolina Panthers (+3)

I have a rule that states that when I believe either team could win the game I take the underdog so that is what I am doing here, on the spread at least. I still think New Orleans wins the game because I believe they are the better team but I’m not sure that they can do it by more than three points. Jameis Winston has a broken back or something and Alvin Kamara didn’t play last week so that is giving me enough pause to not take them on the spread. The Panthers are far from my favorite team in the league but I do believe that they can keep this one close. The talent is there on both sides of the ball and eventually, they will have to get a win so it very well could be this game. Or they could just lose another close contest and I can be right about both teams.

Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) over Indianapolis Colts

I don’t know if betting lines go all the way to 30 points but if they did, this would be a perfect time to make a line that high. The Colts are coming off not only a loss to the Jaguars (which was one of the games I actually predicted correctly last week) but a shutout loss. That is just downright bad. And now they get to play the Chiefs and for some reason, people think they won’t lose by just as much. Patrick Mahomes and that offense are far more unstoppable than Jacksonville. Kansas City is playing very well right now on both sides of the ball and that is a scary proposition for the rest of the league. Sorry Indy, but you are the sacrificial lamb this week as the Chiefs continue their streak of great play.

Detroit Lions (+5.5) over Minnesota Vikings

I know exactly what is going to happen now that I have made this pick. For the first two weeks of the season, I went against the Lions, saying they were overrated and wouldn’t be able to cover the lines they were getting. Well not only have they covered both times but they have even won a game that I said they were completely overmatched in. Now that I am picking the Lions to cover and win they will certainly lose. But this pick isn’t just an overreaction to the Lions’ win or the Vikings’ embarrassing Monday Night Football loss. These two teams are bound to play a high-scoring game because neither defense can stop anybody. And in games like that sometimes it just comes down to whoever has the ball last and that seems like exactly the type of game that the Lions would win.

Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) over Washington Commanders

There is not a hotter team in the NFC right now than the Eagles. And when they go up against a team whose defense just got shredded by the Lions, bad things will happen but not to the Eagles. The Commanders looked good in week one because Carson Wentz looked good in week one. But he did not look as good in week two and that wasn’t against a defense like Philly’s that is coming off an amazing performance. Also, Jalen Hurts might be unstoppable this year and the Commanders’ defense probably couldn’t stop me if I was playing quarterback for the Eagles (and I was a really bad quarterback in high school). Washington is just going to be overmatched, especially in the secondary where A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith will be able to get open all day. It is possible for the Commanders to get a cover in this game but it will take at least a good game from Wentz, and that is not something that you can ever rely on.

Las Vegas Raiders (-1.5) over Tennessee Titans

Both of these teams have failed to live up to expectations so far this year but have done so differently. The Raiders have lost two close games to the Chargers and Cardinals while the Titans lost a game to the Giants and then got absolutely blown out by the Bills. When we say that not all records that look the same are the same, this is what we mean. The Raiders are a very different kind of 0-2. The kind that wins a game much sooner. The Titans are the kind of 0-2 that might indicate some actual problems, like the inability to get Derrick Henry going or the inability of Ryan Tannehill. The Raiders at least have the option to just chuck the ball to Davante Adams, which is always a good plan, while the Titans can chuck the ball up to *checks notes* Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. This is going to be the perfect bounce-back game for Las Vegas and the not-so-perfect continue-to-flounder game for Tennessee.

Houston Texans (+2.5) over Chicago Bears

This game exists for the sole purpose of entertaining the people that don’t like to watch good football games (I am told they prefer to be called Chicagoans). If you get bored of watching these two teams attempt to play the sport you can always just play a game of ‘Do I recognize any of the players on these teams?’ So, that’s something at least. Weirdly enough I actually feel more confident about the Texans right now and so I would gladly take them as an underdog. They had a hard-fought game against the Broncos last week but ultimately lost because they forgot to score touchdowns. As long as they remember to do that this week they might actually win. The Bears could score two touchdowns and win this game easily or they could get eight first downs all game and get embarrassed by the Texans. That is what makes this sport so fun. You are going to check in on this game because you might have David Montgomery or Brandin Cooks on your fantasy team but we will all collectively forget that this game happened two weeks from now, and be better because of it.

Cincinnati Bengals over New York Jets (+5.5)

There are just two things that I absolutely can’t do in this game. I can’t pick the Bengals to cover because they have been so bad this year. I also can’t pick the Jets to win because they are the freaking Jets. Luckily, I don’t have to do either because the Jets can lose by five points or less and we can all go home happy (except for the people that have to go home to Ohio). Cincinnati may get lucky in this game that the Jets won’t be able to take advantage of their massive weakness at offensive line. And if Joe Burrow actually gets time in the pocket to throw the ball, he will still be a very good passer. This has to be a win for the Bengals because if they get the victory then they can write off the first two weeks as just a bad start. But if they lose this game, it will mean full-on panic for Cincinnati. But are we really expecting Joe Flacco to win two games this year, especially back-to-back? What year is this? 2012? The Bengals will get the win but they won’t feel particularly good about it.

Los Angeles Chargers over Jacksonville Jaguars (+7)

This game is going to be tough for me because these might be the two teams I was highest on heading into the season. The Chargers were my Super Bowl pick while the Jaguars were my sleeper pick to make the playoffs so this is going to be like watching your two kids face each other. But just like with children, I have a favorite between these two teams. I do think the Jaguars can keep it close enough to cover the seven points, I don’t see them beating the Chargers. The key will be Justin Herbert’s health after that massive shot he took on Thursday but with a week-and-a-half to recover I assume he will be back to his normal, incredible self. Jacksonville will have a chance to make a statement in this game and prove they are better than people think, but they can make that statement just by keeping this game close, which I think they will.

Atlanta Falcons (-1) over Seattle Seahawks

This game is very important. . . in the battle for the first overall pick. Neither of these teams is expected to do much in the way of winning this year but at least one of them will get a victory here. The Seahawks liked absolutely miserable last week when their offense got blanked by the 49ers. Meanwhile, the Falcons have looked competitive in two losses against the Saints and Rams. That adds up to the Falcons winning this game. It may be the only time this season when Atlanta has the advantage at quarterback but that is what happens when you have an elite QB matchup like Marcus Mariota versus Geno Smith. Seattle’s defense should be able to do enough to keep them in this game but with a disastrous offense led by Smith, they probably won’t be able to capitalize on that and will take the loss.

Green Bay Packers (+1.5) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers might be 2-0 but they have shown some serious weaknesses that should give fans concerns. The Packers, on the other hand, started their season out with their patented week one loss before rebounding and looking like a team capable of winning the NFC. I think Green Bay gives Tampa Bay some serious trouble here. Aaron Rodgers and the offense aren’t going to roll over the way the Bucs’ previous opponents have. Yes, it will be hard to score against Devin White, Shaquil Barrett, and company but the Packers can do it. The two-headed monster of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon gives the offense enough juice to score some points, even with the disappointing receiver group. Green Bay’s defense is also good enough to give Tampa Bay’s offense a hard time. Despite having Tom Brady at quarterback, the Bucs have struggled to score this season and that won’t get any easier against a solid Packers’ defense. Even though the Packers come into the game as the underdog, I think they will establish themselves as the team to beat in the NFC after a win.

Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) over Arizona Cardinals

Picking games is a very difficult task but sometimes the formula for a game just makes too much sense to ignore. This is one of those games. The formula in question is a bad Arizona secondary plus a fantastic Los Angeles passing game, led by Cooper Kupp, equals a big win for the Rams. The Cardinals were able to salvage a win last week against the Raiders but it took a borderline miracle to do so, and that won’t happen again this week. The Rams’ running game has been non-existent but that is okay because they might not need it if they can throw for a first down every time Matthew Stafford drops back to pass. I also don’t see Kyler Murray being able to make the same kind of plays that he made last week against a much better defense. Bobby Wagner has stopped Murray plenty of times before and now he gets to do so with Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey helping him out, that is scary. The Rams are certainly going to score points in this matchup. The Cardinals may be able to score enough to keep it interesting, but they won’t be able to score enough to win.

San Francisco 49ers (-1.5) over Denver Broncos

What a perfect way for Jimmy Garoppolo to start out his second stint as the Niners’ quarterback then by going up against a Broncos’ team that has struggled to play football two weeks into the season. Garoppolo’s time as a backup only lasted about five quarters so this team should be able to look like the team that made the NFC Championship Game last year. With playmakers like Deebo Samuel and, hopefully, George Kittle at his disposal, Garoppolo should be able to have success against a Denver defense that hasn’t looked great so far against two bad teams. The Broncos need to prove this week that they can hang with good teams like San Francisco because so far all they have proven is that they can play competitive games with the Seahawks and Texans. Russell Wilson was getting booed by his home fans last week because of how badly the offense was struggling, which is a bad sign heading into a date with a very good 49ers’ defense. Fred Warner and Nick Bosa might make Wilson’s day miserable if the Denver offense doesn’t turn it around big time this week. There are just too many questions about this Denver team to feel confident about picking them to win any game at this point, meanwhile, the team on its second quarterback of the season already is oddly enough the more stable and consistent team.

New York Giants (-1) over Dallas Cowboys

I can only imagine that it has been a while since the Giants were favored in a matchup with their division rival Cowboys. But Brian Daboll has injected new life into this franchise. Despite having Daniel Jones under center, the Giants may actually have the advantage at quarterback given the Cowboys are rolling with Cooper Rush due to Dak Prescott’s injury. Don’t expect a pretty game from these two teams. It seems like almost a guarantee that the quarterbacks will combine for more turnovers than touchdowns. Luckily, each team has a good running back they can rely on. I’m not going to lie, I’m very scared with my New York pick here, specifically because Micah Parsons has the potential to absolutely dominate Jones, who has a tendency of making dumb plays. But I kind of believe in the Giants this year. Or do I just not believe in the Cowboys? Either way, New York is riding a pretty nice wave of momentum with its 2-0 start and I think they continue that streak and earn a victory here over the Cowboys.