I had a pretty mediocre Week 2 in the NFL against the spread. The outcomes of a few games actually shocked me. I didn’t expect the Cardinals to play so flat against the Colts, the Cowboys gave up after Dak Prescott threw his first pick and
Do you know who danced their way into the hearts of America? Marshawn Lynch. I just want to be his best friend.
Week 3 could be a tricky week for some bettors, especially if a team has drastically under-performed your expectations, Is it time to bail or should you stick to your own preseason rankings? I think you still have to stick with your preseason rankings unless a team suffered an injury to a key player (i.e. TE Greg Olsen).
Will the 49ers and Bengals score their first touchdowns of the season?
We pick ever NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 3 of the 2017 NFL season.
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers (+2.5) – My pick is Los Angeles Rams
After beat the Colts in Week 1, the Rams struggled to stop the Redskins on the ground. Washington just nickel and dime’d L.A.’s defense all game. All three Redskins running backs had solid/busy games. The Rams were hoping to get RB Todd Gurley going last week and he had two touchdowns. If they can get Gurley into the game, QB Jared Goff will benefit from having a balanced offensive attack. The Niners come into this game 0-2 and have yet to score a touchdown. Their defense slowed down Seattle’s offense last week and kept it close until a fourth-quarter touchdown. I have more faith in the Rams on a short week than I do the Niners. I have to take them to cover.
[LONDON GAME] Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5) – My pick is Jacksonville Jaguars
I did a little digging and found out that Jacksonville is 2-2 in London (their second home?). They have won their last two in London and were 2-0 ATS. Those numbers probably mean absolutely nothing, but thought I’d throw it out there. I have to go with the points here. If the Jags can get both running backs Leonard Fournette and Chris Ivory going, QB Blake Bortles won’t be able to hurt them. I also like their young secondary and a few defensive playmakers up front. I’m not a huge fan of the Ravens. Their 2-0 record is a bit inflated with wins over the Browns and Bengals. I have to take the points and I may lay a few jellybeans on the upset moneyline.
Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-13.5) – My pick is New England Patriots
The Patriots have owned the Texans since the franchise’s conception. I know both of these teams were preseason favorites to win their respective divisions, so a two touchdown point spread feels like a lofty goal. Patriots QB Tom Brady is off to a rocky start. His completion percentage is the worst of his career, but some regression was expected with his favorite target (WR Julian Edelman) gone for the year. He’s also had to deal with an injury to WR Danny Amendola. The rest of Brady’s receivers are Gronk (who is nursing a groin injury), Chris Hogan and new guys (WR Brandin Cooks, TE Dwayne Allen and WR Phillip Dorsett). The Texans offense looks just as bad as I thought it would be right now. They desperately need their defense to be their offense, but good luck with that when facing the Pats. I have to take New England to cover.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (+6.5) – My pick is New York Jets
This feels like a sucker bet to me, but then I crunch the numbers and look at box scores…and I have zero idea how the Jets are an NFL team. They lack depth everywhere and their roster is almost devoid of playmakers. Miami didn’t exactly light the world on fire last week and I’m a bit shocked this line is so high in their favor. Interdivision AFC East game that should be tight….I’ll take the points
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota (+2.5) – My pick is Minnesota Vikings
Looks like Sam Bradford’s knee issue is even more serious than we initially thought. He is due to be seen by ACL & Tommy John surgery specialist Dr. James Andrews, who previously repaired his ACL in his left knee. The Bucs were one of my dark horse candidates to make the playoffs. It would be nice for them to have RB Doug Martin, who is serving a suspension, but they will not. Minnesota did have some success last week passing it short and using RB Dalvin Cook. I think they will use them like that on Sunday. I’m taking the points.
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-6) – My pick is New York Giants
The Giants have been God awful through Week 2. I want to believe that QB Eli Manning is just waiting for WRs Odell Beckham Jr and Brandon Marshall to get healthy. Neither guy was near 100% in their 24-10 loss to the Lions. Based on the first two games of the season, the Eagles have decided to just let QB Carson Wentz pass it 40 times a game. He didn’t have any success doing that in either game versus the Giants last year. I see these teams as equal in my eyes. The Eagles may win this game, but I don’t trust them covering a touchdown spread, so I’ll take the points.
Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills (+3) – My pick is Denver Broncos
The Dallas Cowboys made Denver QB Trevor Siemian look like John friggin’ Elway on Sunday. The Broncos defense were more in line for praise for the win than Siemian, I guess. He’s such a nice fit for the them, especially when their run game is chugging along. The Bills offense has been stuck in second gear so far this year. RB LeSean McCoy had a good game against the Jets, then fell on his face against the Panthers. If he has issues with Carolina, Denver will give him nightmares. I’m taking Denver to cover in front of the Bills Mafia.
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (-5.5) – My pick is New Orleans Saints
Even though the Saints and Panthers haven’t had a game won by more than six points in their last four meetings, I have to go with my gut here and take Carolina. It sucks that the Panthers lost TE Greg Olsen for most of the season. He’s QB Cam Newton’s favorite target. New Orleans is weak against short passes, so Carolina will have to really focus on the outside receivers. The Panthers offense isn’t clicking yet and losing Olsen is too big of a blow, so points it is.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears (+7) – My pick is Pittsburgh Steelers
Bears QB Mike Glennon had one good quarter this season (fourth quarter against Atlanta). Even if you leave in that quarter, his stats are worse than nearly every starting quarterback, a few backups. I have no faith he will survive this game. Bears fans want to see rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky. The Steelers will do them a favor with a blowout win on the road.
Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts (+1) – My pick is Cleveland Browns
Blah. I can’t believe I’m taking the Colts to lose to the Browns in INDY. I guess it has come to this. Colts QB Andrew Luck won’t be ready to play for another month or so, so QB Jacoby Brissett gets another start. He made a few good plays against the Cardinals, but the drives would just stall and end with a punt. If Cardinals QB Carson Palmer didn’t shoot himself in the foot with bad passes, they would have beaten the Colts by double-digits. Both offenses need a lot of help, but the Browns have an edge on defense. Cleveland has some young playmakers on that side of the ball. They are stingy against the run and Brissett won’t be able to beat them with just his arm. Once again, I can’t believe I’m taking the Browns, but there ya go.
Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions (+3) – My pick is Detroit Lions
Atlanta looked pretty darn great against Green Bay after narrowly hanging on to win at Chicago in Week 1. Detroit also comes into this game 2-0 after beating Arizona and winning at the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. The interesting battle I see that will be a problem for Atlanta is Detroit’s size on offense. Atlanta’s front-seven hasn’t been good against the short pass. Atlanta allowed Chicago RB Tarik Cohen catch eight passes and then Green Bay RB Ty Montgomery caught six. Detroit RB Theo Riddick would be the back used in this way for the Lions. This could be an issue if you add the other receiving weapons for QB Matthew Stafford to use. I’m taking the points and I may lay a few jellybeans on the underdog moneyline.
Seattle Seahawks at Tennessee Titans (-2.5) – My pick is Tennessee Titans
Are the Seahawks playing dead? I don’t understand why they are having trouble putting points on the board. Their defense has allowed them to stay in games. The Titans offense is loaded with a very good offensive line and weapons at every level. RB DeMarco Murray is dealing with an injury, but RB Derrick Henry is ready to take on the extra workload if he has to sit this one out. I know a lot has been made about Seattle’s lack of ability to win games on the road. There is something to this, but let’s not go into auto mode and instantly take the home team. The Titans are a bad match-up got a team still trying to work out the kinks on offense. I’ll take the Titans to cover at home.
Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers (+3) – My pick is Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have looked like one of the best two or three teams in the league. QB Alex Smith is playing like he’s freakin’ Dan Marino and rookie RB Kareem Hunt looks to be the steal of the 2017 NFL Draft. I do really like the Chargers defense, but they will even have issues with the Chiefs on Sunday. The Chiefs have owned the Chargers the last few years. KC has won the last six meetings and are 4-2 ATS. Give me the Chiefs to cover in Hollywood.
Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers (-8.5) – My pick is Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals and the 49ers are the only two teams in the NFL that have yet to score a touchdown. That will end this week for Cincinnati. They fired their offensive coordinator and replaced him with wide receivers coach Bill Lazor. The Bengals have far too many weapons on offense to be this bad. It’s unfathomable for me to think that they really are this damn bad on offense. The Packers come into this game 1-1 with a 17-9 win at home against Seattle and a 34-23 loss at Atlanta last week. I predict this will be a close game. The Bengals just need to focus on getting the underneath yards and the ‘A.J. Green magic’ will come soon enough. Give me the points!
Oakland Raiders at Washington Redskins (+3) – My pick is Oakland Raiders
I predict a high-scoring affair at FedEx Field. Washington’s yards will come from short passes that are broken into long scores. Raiders QB Derek Carr might be the best AFC West quarterback. I also love that RB Marshawn Lynch is right next to him. The steady offense of Oakland will be too much for Washington. Oakland will cover on the east coast on Sunday Night Football.
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals (+3) – My pick is Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys just need to simplify their offense to get confidence back into QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekeiel Elliott. If the Cowboys focus on getting TE Jason Witten the ball in the middle of the field, the linebackers will have to respect that area of the field. Arizona had an issue covering Colts TE Jack Doyle. I expect Dallas to exploit their weakness. The Cowboys defense will also need to make Arizona QB Carson Palmer pay for his inaccurate passes. Indianapolis failed to capitalize on his mistakes. I’m taking Dallas to cover in the desert.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob’s NFL picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob