My life is seriously fantasy football, college football betting lines and doing research for NBA team previews. I watch the NFL while I do all those things, so my plate is a little full, which explains why I’m posting the NFL betting picks against the spread post on Friday.
I had some nice wins last week, but missed on the Dolphins and Jets.
Can Seattle cover a 19-point spread against Jacksonville on Sunday? It’s one of the largest NFL point spreads in recent memory.
We pick every NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets and moneyline plays for Week 3 of the young NFL season.
Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals (+2.5) – My pick is Green Bay
Man, we’re starting this post out with one the hardest games to pick. The line started with the Bengals giving a point to Green Bay, but has shifted 3.5 points in favor of the Packers. I believe both teams are playoff bound and there’s a chance this could even be a Super Bowl preview. I yo-yo’d back a forth all week with my pick. This game will be close and I give a slight edge to Green Bay. I don’t love their defense, but I think the match-up that matters most is their offense against the Bengals’ front four. James Starks will give the Packers a decent rushing attack and the Packers cover the spread.
St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) – My pick is Dallas
Ah, another difficult decision! I believe the Cowboys are slightly better than the Rams, but are so hit and miss. They will have a fantastic game and then start off the following game horrible and can’t bounce back. Sam Bradford is ready for a breakout performance, but the Cowboys pass rush will trouble him. The Cowboys have something to prove this game after losing to Kansas City last week. I like the Cowboys to cover.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots (-7) – My pick is New England
Tampa Bay is in turmoil. There seems to be some issues with head coach Greg Schiano and the rest of the team. It’s a problem you can’t afford when you’re facing Tom Brady in his house. The Patriots receivers leave something to be desired and will need to step up. Darrelle Revis could end up on Julian Edelman, which is the only problem New England could have in Week 3. New England will cover the spread and much more.
Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings (-6.5) – My pick is Minnesota
Cleveland had a very busy week. They traded their starting running back and benched their starting quarterback in favor of the third-string option (poor Jason Campbell). Brian Hoyer could be seen as an upgrade over Brandon Weeden (most do). The Browns will miss what Trent Richardson brought to their team. He forced the defense to play the run, but without him, the Vikings will go in straight pass rush mode. Minnesota will cover the spread, in spite of Christian Ponder.
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (+2.5) – My pick is Baltimore
The public has bet this line up five points in favor of the Texans. Ray Rice is a game-time decision, so I’m sure this factored into the public’s betting strategy. I believe Rice will play Sunday and help the Ravens WIN the game. Yes, not only do they beat the spread, but they will beat the Texans. This is my bold prediction of the week.
New York Giants at Carolina Panthers (+1) – My pick is New York
The loser of this game will be 0-3, which nearly seals the fate of one of these teams. I have too much belief in Eli Manning to think he’ll start the season 0-3. The Giants faced two potential playoff teams to start the season (Dallas, Denver) and they’re battle-tested. Carolina’s head coach Ron Rivera is already on the hot seat. He has lost so many close games as the coach in Carolina and they started out the season with a five-point loss to Seattle and a last second, one-point loss against Buffalo on the road. This game will be close, but since it’s basically a pick’em, give me the Giants.
Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins (-1.5) – My pick is Detroit
Is RGIII healthy? That’s the question you have to ask yourself before laying down a bet on this game. He isn’t running much, but that shouldn’t factor into your decision. He was a very good pocket passer at Baylor. I don’t like the Redskins receivers. If they had a legit #1 (I don’t count Pierre Garcon), no one would be asking if RGIII is healthy. The Lions have a lot going for them…except the fact that Reggie Bush is banged up. Matthew Stafford is putting up the same numbers he had in 2011 and Joique Bell can fill in for Bush (if he doesn’t play). I like the Lions to win this game outright.
Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints (-7) – My pick is New Orleans
Are the Cardinals legit? They have definitely improved from last season, but I don’t think they are good enough to beat the Saints at home…not yet. Larry Fitzgerald is banged up and may not be 100% at game time. The Saints offense hasn’t racked up many points this season, but the points are coming. I like the Saints to barely cover in this game.
San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans (-3) – My pick is San Diego
I don’t quite understand this spread. The Chargers are coming off a close loss to Houston and a win against the Eagles up-tempo offense. The Titans are also coming off a close loss to Houston, but their lone win came against the Steelers, a team I’m not sold on. I recognize this is the home opener for Tennessee and the crowd will be electric, but there’s something about this Chargers team that I can’t ignore. A lot of things clicked for them last week and I’m all-in on the Chargers.
Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins (-3) – My pick is Atlanta
Man, the public is really down on Atlanta. The line opened up as a pick’em, but has been bet up three points in favor of Miami. I watched every minute of the Miami/Indianapolis game last week and I’m still not impressed with the Dolphins. The Falcons do have some key injuries going into the game. Steven Jackson has been ruled out and both Roddy White and Julio Jones are banged up. I like Atlanta’s defense against Ryan Tannehill. He’s improved, but he’s not quite there yet. Give me the Atlanta Falcons in an upset win.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks (-19) – My pick is Jacksonville
First, I’m not picking Jacksonville to win the game, that would be very unlikely. 19 points is just too high of a spread for an NFL game. Blaine Gabbert is no longer the starter and Chad Henne will have the privilege (not really) of starting for Jacksonville. He is an upgrade at the position. I don’t see Seattle putting up a ton of points with their left tackle (Russell Okung) out with an injury. This game will not be close, but 19 is just too high for me to lay any money down.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-2.5) – My pick is Buffalo
I can say for a fact that the Jets are not as bad as advertised. Geno Smith isn’t as lost as Mark Sanchez was last season. I just can’t pick the Jets to cover in a game as the favorite. The Bills played really well last week. EJ Manuel looked like a first-round pick and Steve Johnson is returning to his 2011 form. I love the Bills in the game and will even take the moneyline for the extra juice.
Indianapolis Colts at San Francisco 49ers (-10) – My pick is San Francisco
In Week 1, the Colts made Terrelle Pryor look like Michael Vick in his prime. Fast forward two weeks and they face an even better athlete who can run AND pass. Even though the Colts stole Richardson from the Browns this week, the 49ers will cover in this game at home.
Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5) – My pick is Chicago Bears
Can the Steelers actually start 0-3? It doesn’t seem like that could ever happen, but it’s a possibility with the Bears coming into town. I’ve watched both Chicago games and compared to last season, it’s night and day. Cutler is getting protection and Martellus Bennett is taking some of the load off Brandon Marshall. The Steelers miss Mike Wallace more than I thought they would. Antonio Brown has yet to embrace the #1 receiver role and Emmanuel Sanders isn’t suited for it. Their rushing attack is non-existent and Roethlisberger will have to pass his way to victory. I don’t see that happening against Chicago’s secondary. I like the Bears to cover in this contest.
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (-14.5) – My pick is Denver
I know I dogged the Jacksonville/Seattle line for being insanely high at 19, but I’m 100% fine with the 14.5 point spread in this game. Denver’s offense looks like the 2007 New England Patriots offensive juggernaut. They are clicking on all levels and the Raiders are not. Oakland will look silly in this game. Denver will win big on Monday Night Football.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes