NFL Week 3 Predictions
NFL Football Schedule Week 3
The Oakland Raiders are now 2-0 for the first time in 15 years. They are one of three undefeated teams in the AFC West — along with Kansas City and Denver — and among the 10 clubs that have yet to taste defeat this year. All three division rivals are on the road in Week 3.
If there were rankings for the top five teams in the NFL, they would look something like this — Kansas City, Oakland, Denver, Atlanta and Pittsburgh. The bottom five would be the New York Jets, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Cleveland and Indianapolis.
Let’s take a look at all 16 games this week, starting with the Thursday night matchup between two California-based teams (odds provided by bovada.lv).
These Two Teams? In Prime Time?
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco — Here’s another Thursday night stinker. Last week, fans had to endure Houston’s 13-9 win over Cincinnati. Now, it’s the Rams and 49ers, who combined to win six games last season and one this year. Jared Goff is playing better in his second year for the Rams, while the 49ers have scored just 12 points this season. San Fran heads out on the road after this one for the next three games. Both teams are 1-1 against the spread.
BABB’s pick — Los Angeles (-3), Under (39)
Ravens Stingy on Defense
Baltimore vs. Jacksonville in London, England — Are the Ravens (2-0) that good, or have they just played two poor opponents? One number that doesn’t lie is the fact they’ve allowed just 10 points. Some steady play from Joe Flacco and a strong defense will help Baltimore challenge Pittsburgh for the AFC North title this season. The Jaguars had their way with the Texans in Week 1, and then they were dominated in their home opener by Tennessee. Blake Bortles’ days seem numbered here as quarterback.
BABB’s pick — Baltimore (-4), Under (39.5)
Manning Hasn’t Got a Chance
New York Giants at Philadelphia — Hello 9-1-1. The Giants are dying on the offensive line. Please hurry. Eli Manning has already been sacked eight times this season. His team has scored a measly 13 points. And they were one of the favorites to dethrone Dallas as the NFC East champs this year. Not anymore. The Eagles have taken four of the last five meetings against the Giants. It’s still early in the NFL season, but this is a must-win game for New York.
BABB’s pick — Philadelphia (-6), Over (43)
Patriots Favored by Two Touchdowns
Houston at New England — Like many teams in this league, the champs are struggling with issues on both sides of the ball. Injuries to Gronk, Edelman and Amendola. A defense that has given up more yardage than their offense has gained. The problems keep piling up for the Patriots. Now they face another hurting team in the Texans, led by rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson. Houston has scored just 20 points this season and the Patriots are tough to beat at home.
BABB’s pick — New England (-14), Over (44)
Bears Quarterback on the Ropes
Pittsburgh at Chicago — The Steelers are 5-12 against the spread under Mike Tomlin when laying a touchdown or more on the road. Both teams in this matchup are 1-1 ATS this season. But the bigger issue this week is the play of Chicago quarterback Mike Glennon. Bears’ fans have already had it with their QB, and it’s only Week 3. Bring on Mitch Trubisky, they say. However, Glennon has been given the nod for this game. The Steelers will likely add fuel to this fire in Chicago.
BABB’s pick — Pittsburgh (-7.5), Under (44)
NFC South Rivals Collide
New Orleans at Carolina — These two NFC South rivals appear headed in two different directions. One has a good defense, the other doesn’t. One is 2-0, the other is 0-2. Both teams have franchise quarterbacks and both are 1-1 against the spread this season. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the Panthers are undefeated and on top of the division, while the Saints are headed for their fourth straight 7-9 season … or worse.
BABB’s pick — Carolina (-6), Under (47)
Are undefeated Lions for Real?
Atlanta at Detroit — The Lions and Falcons are two of three NFC teams that remain undefeated.
Detroit has done a great job on both sides of the ball. A long time without a running game, the Lions gained 138 yards on the ground in their huge win over the Giants. But their most impressive stat is the fact they’ve converted 15 of 31 third downs for the season. The Falcons, who were shaky on the road in Week 1 in Chicago, rebounded with an overpowering victory at home over GB.
BABB’s pick — Atlanta (-3), Over (50.5)
Watch this One at Your Own Risk
Cleveland at Indianapolis — The Browns opened as the favorite against the Colts, marking the first time they have done so since 2015. Forget a division title or even the playoffs for these two teams. The Colts look lost without Andrew Luck, even though they played a little better in their home opener. The Browns, playing in their second straight road game, are just trying to get better with rookie DeShone Kizer leading the way. Both teams are 1-1 ATS.
BABB’s pick — Cleveland (-1.5), Under (40)
Vikings Lost Without Bradford
Tampa Bay at Minnesota — This game comes down to the status of Sam Bradford. The Vikings quarterback missed last week’s matchup with Pittsburgh with a knee injury. If he’s able to start on Sunday, this game should be close. If he can’t go, Case Keenum is definitely not the answer for Minnesota. Expect the Bucs to roll with their much-improved defense. These two teams haven’t met since 2014.
BABB’s pick — Tampa Bay (Currently no line due to injuries.)
Ajayi Will Carry Dolphins Again
Miami at New York Jets — The Dolphins opened the season with a nice road win over the Chargers in Los Angeles. They play their second straight road game against the winless Jets in New York. Jay Ajayi rushed for 122 yards on 28 carries against L.A. He should have another big day against the hapless Jets, who are 0-2 against the spread and have allowed 66 points in two games. Miami swept the season series last year.
BABB’s pick — Miami (-6.5), Under (42.5)
Undefeated Broncos Hit the Road
Denver at Buffalo — The Broncos finished 9-7 last season and missed the playoffs after winning Super Bowl L. It looks like they didn’t need any more incentive than that. They outplayed the Chargers in the opener and then dominated the Cowboys last weekend. Now, they hit the road and head for Buffalo, a team that has thrown for just 325 yards in two games. If the Bills expect to win the game on the ground against this overpowering defense, forget it.
BABB’s pick — Denver (-3.5), Under (40)
Seahawks Struggling to Score
Seattle at Tennessee — The Seahawks have spent a lot of money to secure one of the best defenses in the league. That’s great, but the problem is they can’t expect to win every game 12-9. Seattle has scored just one touchdown and 21 points in their first two games. Now, the Seahawks travel to Nashville to play the Titans, who just put a beating on Jacksonville. Seattle’s another team with big holes in their offensive line. Russell Wilson will be running for his life again in this one.
BABB’s pick — Tennessee (-3), Under (42)
Bengals Tie 78-year Futility Record
Cincinnati at Green Bay — There are many reasons why this game could get ugly in a hurry. One, Green Bay is a tough place to play for visiting teams. Two, Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He picks defenses apart. And three, the Bengals have zero confidence after two dismal losses. The Bengals became the first team since 1939 (78 years) to fail to score a touchdown at home in two games. Maybe it’s better that the Bengals aren’t playing at home in front of their fans.
BABB’s pick — Green Bay (-9), Under (44.5)
Chargers in Hunt for First Win
Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers — Losing close games seems to have become the Chargers’ forte. Two missed field goals in the last minute of play has L.A. in the basement of the AFC West. The Chiefs are off to the best start possible this season, with a win in New England against the Super Bowl champs and at home against Philadelphia. Rookie sensation Kareem Hunt has 355 yards from scrimmage — the fourth most in NFL history by a rookie in his team’s first two games.
BABB’s pick — Kansas City (-3), Over (47.5)
Raiders, Redskins in Prime Time
Oakland at Washington — The Redskins host one of the monsters from the AFC West in this matchup. Washington dropped its home opener before picking up a road win against the Rams. The Raiders were dominant in their first two games, crushing the Titans in Tennessee and Jets in their home opener. Kirk Cousins has been decent for the Redskins, completing 61 per cent of his passes. Derek Carr is the engine that runs the Raiders. And he has been sensational so far in 2017.
BABB’s pick — Oakland (-3.5), Under (54)
Cardinals Finally Play Home Game
Dallas at Arizona — The Cowboys were a major disappointment in Denver last weekend, while the Cardinals have been a major disappointment this season. Dallas, 6-2 on the road in 2016, has too much talent to squander another must-win game in Glendale. Arizona is without star running back David Johnson. And quarterback Carson Palmer has been dreadful, completing just 54.7 per cent of his passes with two touchdowns and four interceptions. No thank you.
BABB’s pick — Dallas (-3.5), Under (47)
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