Two weeks into NFL season and already there are some major stor ylines developing. Week 2 saw significant injuries to the quarterback position that will impact the entire league. We also have a few spreads that are so high they are normally seen on college football Saturdays. Again, it is early in the season, so we have all 32 teams on the schedule, giving us plenty to look at and breakdown in the betting markets. Ben Rasa is back to give out his FREE NFL Picks against the spread, & discuss some NFL Odds and NFL lines heading into Week 3.
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Week 3 Schedule/Spreads
Titans -1.5 at Jaguars
Broncos at Packers -7.5 Lions at Eagles -6.5 Ravens at Chiefs -6.5
Bengals at Bills -6 Falcons at Colts -2 Raiders at Vikings -8
Dolphins at Cowboys -21.5 Giants at Buccaneers -6.5 Panthers -2.5 at Cardinals
Texans at Chargers -3 Steelers at Niners -6.5 Rams -3 at Browns
Jets at Patriots -22.5 Saints at Seahawks -4.5
Bears -4 at Redskins
Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills -6, O/U 44
Cincinnati in Week 1 was actually pretty impressive despite losing by a point in Seattle. However, they followed it up with a flat performance at home against San Francisco. The Bengals last week gave up 41 points and were only able to generate 25 yards rushing on 19 carries which is a major issue. They clearly have problems on both sides of the ball and thru two games they look to be on the short list of worst teams in the league.
On the flip side the Bills have gotten off to a quick start even if it was against the Jets and the Giants. Josh Allen has looked good and his new weapon on the outside in John Brown already is paying dividends. Again, the schedule has set up nicely to open the season and much tougher tests await. The key for the Bills, like many teams, is limiting turnovers as Allen does take a lot of sacks and is prone to putting the ball on the turf. Against a team like Cincinnati who doesn’t have much going for them, limiting mistakes is going to be a key component of how this plays out.
Buffalo gets their first home game and are quietly looking to start the season 3-0. Not that many people expect much from them in the big picture, but it is still an impressive start to the season if they get past Cincinnati here. As I mentioned earlier, Allen avoiding sacks and limiting turnovers is the key. Last week, the Bengals were unable to get pressure on the 49ers and were blown out at home, so unless they make changes, it seems like 0-3 is where they are headed.
My Pick: Bills -6
New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers -6.5, O/U 48
The Giants travel down to Florida to take on Tampa and begin the Daniel Jones era. I’m one of the few people that actually think Jones is going to be good, but that doesn’t mean I expect him to hit the ground running. Most likely there will be struggles, but with the way Eli was playing, it is hard to blame them for making the move.
Last week, the Giants got handled easily by Buffalo at home and the defense once again looked poor. They allowed three touchdowns on the ground and weren’t able to generate a single turnover against Josh Allen and the Bills offense. To have any chance in this game, they have to allow Jameis Winston to make some mistakes, giving their offense a chance at some short fields.
Tampa Bay is coming off a road win at Carolina, which seems impressive on paper. However, Carolina and Cam Newton look broken so it remains to be seen what that means. Either way, it was a much needed win and Winston not committing turnovers is a welcome sight in Tampa. That’s the formula that will need once again this week to continue to build and move to 2-1.
Both of these teams are probably headed for the basement of their divisions, but at least Tampa has a plan moving forward. The Giants have turned to the future with Jones and it is hard to think he will be anything but rattled in this first appearance. Saquon Barkley will take some pressure off, but if the Buccaneers can limit the turnovers, they should put pressure on the Giants to keep up. With all the injuries to an average-at-best receiving corps, I think the Giants will struggle to put up points and drop to 0-3 in relatively easy fashion.
My Pick: Tampa Bay -6.5
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Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles -6.5, O/U 46.5
This is a game to shop around as the spread currently sits at 6.5. If you like the Lions, it is worth your time to try and find +7s to get that important half point. Regardless, this is an interesting game between two NFC teams both looking to get to 2-1.
Philadelphia is walking wounded with a bunch of key players likely missing this Week 3 contest. It was just reported that the Eagles are holding a walkthrough on Wednesday instead of practice, which just speaks to how banged up they are as a team. The wide receivers were hit particularly hard as Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and tight end Dallas Goedert are all dealing with injuries, leaving a thin pass-catching unit on the field.
On the Lions side, they rebounded from a pathetic tie in Week 1 to get a quality win at home over the Chargers. Quarterback Matthew Stafford seems to have more weapons at his disposal and if they can improve on the ground, this should be a balanced attack on offense. The Eagles secondary has concern and again this entire team is banged up which should give the Lions some hope despite being on the road.
I expect this to be an ugly contest with both teams battling to control the game. It is only Week 3, but if we look at time of possession stats, we see that both teams are in the top 10 so far with the Eagles third and the Lions 10th. I believe the Lions will feature Kerryon Johnson on the road for as long as they can, pending they don’t fall way behind, and that type of mindset can chew up a lot of clock.
My Pick: Under 46.5
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Good Luck everyone!