Beating the Spread: Week 3 Picks

Week 2 flipped the script with our bettors as Tom came storming back with a 4-1 mark while I took some tough loses for a 1-4 record. Looking back, I can’t say I regret the choices I made as they came down to the wire with the exception of the Saints and Rams over. That was way off but not helped by the injury to Brees. The Cardinals and Ravens game was particularly frustrating as the Cardinals settled for three field goals inside the five yard line while the game ended with the Ravens kneeling inside the five, a mere 6 points away from the over. Alas, we march on.

The following lines were captured on Tuesday. Betting lines can vary by site and move throughout the week so check yours to make sure that you have similar information.

Week 3 betting lines:

Away Team Home Team Line O/U
Tennessee Jacksonville TEN -1.5 40
Cincinnati Buffalo CIN -6 43.5
Miami Dallas DAL -21 47.5
Denver Green Bay GB -6.5 43.5
Atlanta Indianapolis IND -2.5 47.5
Baltimore Kansas City KC -6.5 55
Oakland Minnesota MIN -8 42.5
NY Jets New England NE -18 46
Detroit Philadelphia PHI -7 48
Carolina Arizona CAR -2.5 46.5
NY Giants Tampa Bay TB -6.5 48
Houston LA Chargers LAC -3 48
Pittsburgh San Francisco SF -7 44.5
New Orleans Seattle SEA -5 44.5
LA Rams Cleveland LAR -3 51
Chicago Washington CHI -4 41.5

 

Staff Picks

 

Analysis:

 

Jeff Berckes: I’m not sure Vegas can put enough points up for me to walk away from a Miami line right now. Dallas has looked good in their first two games and the Dolphins look like they’ve taken the tanking idea to a new level (DAL -21). With Mason Rudolph under center for the Pittsburgh Steelers traveling to San Francisco, I’m simply not sure the Steelers will be able to hang with the 2-0 49ers and a touchdown spread doesn’t scare me away (SF -7). For the rest of my picks, I’m taking a lot of under bets. Basically, I’m just not a believer that the Jets will be able to do anything on offense against the Patriots defense and while there’s a risk that the Pats D scores a couple times to blow this call, the Jets defense is at least competitive (NE-NYJ under 46). Detroit’s gameplan this year seems to be to try and grind out low scoring victories. With Carson Wentz still not back to his MVP form, I think 48 combined points will be tough to get to for these two offenses (DET-PHI under 48). Finally, the Bears defense looks dominant and the Bears offense looks dormant. Until one of those things changes, I think they’re ripe for picking the under and Case Keenum doesn’t strike me as the guy to put up 4 scores on the Bears (CHI-WAS under 41.5).

 

Erik Smith: I don’t trust the Falcons on the road, especially with a struggling running game. The Colts (-2.5) have battled to a 1-1 record on the road, losing in overtime against the Chargers and beating the Titans. I expect them to take care of business at home. The Patriots (-18) are rolling and easily covered a giant spread against the Dolphins. With Luke Falk at quarterback for the Jets, the Patriots may continue their shutout streak to start the season. The Bears (-4) have had a tough time to begin the year, losing a defensive struggle in the opener against the Packers, and eking out a win in Denver, a tough place to play early in the year. The Redskins, even at home, look like the perfect spot for the Bears to get back on track. I’ll take my chances with Seattle (-5) at home against the Drew Brees-less Saints. I think it takes a week or two for New Orleans to adjust to a life without their star quarterback, especially in a tough place to play like Seattle. I haven’t bet against Miami yet this year, and that’s a mistake. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t give it a shot, so I’ll take Dallas (-21).

 

Tom Schweitzer: I’m picking Jacksonville (+1.5) for the 3rd week in a row. Playing at home on a short week, I expect them to put aside the Jalen Ramsey distraction and fight to save their season. I don’t expect the same fight out of the Bengals, who are overmatched on both sides of the ball against Buffalo. I expect the Bills (-6) to run the ball all day on a bad Bengals run defense and deliver a blowout to a sellout crowd in their home opener. The Raiders and Vikings both play at a slower pace on offense and try to win the time of possession battle. We know the Vikings defense is pretty good, and Oakland has been pretty solid on D as well if you ignore the 2nd quarter against the Chiefs. I think we see this stay Under 43.5. Tampa Bay is another team that has quietly played well on defense, allowing only 1 TD in 2 games. Daniel Jones will likely struggle a bit in his first start, and as long as he and Jameis can keep the pick 6’s to a minimum I expect the total to stay Under 48. Finally, I don’t see how the Bears can be 4 point road favorites after scoring 19 points through the first two weeks. Case Keenum and the Washington (+4) offense have played well to open the season and I think they’ll only need around 17 points to stay close in this game.

 

What are your favorite picks of the week? Put in your comments below to play along. We’ll be updating our records all season!

 

 

Jeff Berckes

In addition to writing fantasy football content for QB List, I write Bears stuff for Windy City Gridiron and co-host the podcast Bears Over Beers. Follow me on Twitter @gridironborn

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