With more NFL games piling up, the more we begin to understand which teams are good and which are bad. Unfortunately, I don’t think two games is enough to definitively decide on most teams, but I’m starting to get a better feel for the league. My 3-2 record from Week 2 supports that when comparing it to my 1-4 mark in Week 1. That being said, I am still under .500 so this is another chance to make some money and get that record over .500 where it belongs.
Let’s dive right into my betting picks for Week 3 of NFL action.
Arizona Cardinals (-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Cardinals are explosive on offense and their defense is starting to emerge as well. Ignore the 31 points allowed in Week 2 to the Vikings because that defense is good. They are finding their groove, and with an explosive offense like they have, it can be tough on the defense because of how quick the offense can score.
If I know this, the Cardinals’ coaching staff most definitely knows this, and with wide receiver Deandre Hopkins being a game-time decision, don’t be surprised to see the Cardinals employ more of a run-first approach to dominate the time of possession and let the defense work. On top of that, the Jaguars might be the worst team in the league even with Trevor Lawrence at quarterback.
Pick: Arizona -7
Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders (-4)
Tua Tagovailoa has been ruled out for Week 3 which means backup Jacoby Brisset will start against the 2-0 Las Vegas Raiders. On the surface level, the Raiders are the squarest of square picks. But if you look a little deeper, I believe the Dolphins are where the squares are at.
There has been a narrative since Tua has been ruled out that Brisset might be an upgrade at QB, and while I don’t completely disagree, he’s a backup for a reason and we will most likely see why on Sunday. The Raiders are also 2-0 ATS to start the season, and while at the end of the year it may not be the same story, I don’t think that trend changes this weekend. Jon Gruden’s second stint as Raiders head coach has consisted of starts to the season, and that will continue this weekend.
Pick: Las Vegas -4
Baltimore Ravens (-8) at Detroit Lions
The Ravens are coming off of a huge win against the Chiefs. The Chiefs were their boogeyman, but Baltimore was able to beat them in primetime for a statement victory early in the season.
On the other end, the Lions are coming off of a well-played first half against the Packers before flopping in the second half as the weather got worse in Green Bay. Thankfully for the Lions, they will be back at Ford Field under a roof where the rain can’t cause turnovers like it did in Week 2. The Lions have been tough in the first two games even though they have fallen short of victory both times. New head coach Dan Campbell has brought an element of toughness to the team, and they have shown that they can move the ball down the field on offense.
The Ravens defense is banged up and the Lions are going to be able to keep pace with the high-powered Ravens offense to keep it within eight points.
Pick: Detroit +8
Seattle Seahawks (-1.5) at Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are 0-2 and have lost two close games. Mike Zimmer is on the hottest of seats, and if he loses again this weekend he may be without a job going into Week 4. Unfortunately for him, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook hasn’t practiced this week and is going to be a game-time decision. Even if he plays, he most likely won’t be able to handle a full 30-touch workload. That will put the ball in Kirk Cousins’ hands more often, and we’ve seen time and time again that it isn’t a good thing.
The Seahawks are coming off of a blown loss to the Titans and are looking to get back in the win column. They have a high-powered offense facing a Vikings defense that wasn’t able to stop the Bengals in Week 1. The Seahawks will roll over the Vikings and Mike Zimmer is getting closer to losing his job than anyone else in the league.
Pick: Seattle -1.5
Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-3)
The Falcons stink, and I am not allowing myself to even think about betting on them after their first two games. The best Falcons’ best phase is supposed to be their offense, but they are awful in the red zone and have one of the least mobile quarterbacks in the league. After playing a decent game against the Bucs, Matt Ryan ended the contest with two pick-sixes and a turnover on downs sandwiched between.
With that being said, the Giants are also 0-2 after falling just short of beating the Washington Football Team. They have the benefit of a long week after playing on Thursday Night Football in Week 2, and they should pound the Falcons. We will all be reminded of how good Saquon Barkley is as he dominates the Falcons en route to a big Week 3 win.
Pick: New York -3