By: Matt Doherty and Liam O’Brien
Here are Matt and Liam’s Week 3 NFL Picks, guaranteed to help you win some money.
Matt: Colts (+7) over Eagles
This line is too high. Here are 5 reasons:
- The Eagles Super Bowl hangover is in full effect. They skated past Atlanta in Week 1 before losing to Ryan Fitzmagic on the road in Week 2. Both games have been uninspiring, following a similar hangover pattern as last season’s Patriots.
- Carson Wentz is back. Wentz will be playing for the first time since December. Hello, rustiness. Look at Deshaun Watson’s first game back from a torn ACL. Wentz will spend Sunday dusting off the cobwebs.
- Alshon Jeffery and Jay Ajayi will both miss Sunday’s game, leaving a rusty Wentz with a lowly group of skill guys.
- Andrew Luck looks good. He threw for 319 yards and 2 touchdowns in a Week 1 against a good Cincy defense and although he struggled in Week 2, Luck looks comfortable and talented again.
- Vegas undervalues the Colts. There was no reason Indy should have been a six point underdog in Washington last week. It turns out Washington’s win over Arizona in Week 1 was not that impressive. Meanwhile, Indy nearly beat a 2-0 Bengals and then took down the Skins fairly easily.
Liam: Broncos (+5.5) over Ravens
The Baltimore defense gave up a scary amount of big plays to Andy Dalton and the Bengals passing game, a weakness Denver will likely exploit on Sunday. In two games, the Broncos have completed 11 pass plays of 21 yards or more. At this juncture in 2017, Denver had completed just four pass plays of at least 21 yards.
Now that he actually has a competent quarterback, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s schemes are coming to fruition. Denver ranks in the top half of the league in passing yards, passing yards per attempt and passing yards per game. Yes, Case Keenum has thrown four interceptions to three touchdowns, but that exemplifies how this offense is taking the downfield risks it needs to be successful against a Ravens defense that is susceptible.
Last week, Bengals targets AJ Green (32 yards), CJ Uzomah (29 yards), Tyler Boyd (27 yards) and Tyler Eifert (16 yards) all had receptions of 15+ yards and Dalton walked away with 265 yards, four touchdowns and no picks. Expect Keenum to experience success on Sunday.
Matt: Saints (+3) over Falcons
This is a great spot to grab some value with the Saints. They have not looked impressive in either game this season but that is the Sean Payton/Drew Brees staple. Let’s not forget the Saints entered the season as a Super Bowl favorite. They will turn things around eventually and what better spot to do that than against a division rival.
I know I bet against the Falcons last week, but Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas will be able to take advantage of the absences of Keanu Neal and Deion Jones in Atlanta’s defense. This offensive unit is a lot scarier than Carolina’s.
The Saints are the all around better team and I think they can win this game outright but we’ll grab the points to be safe.
Liam: Bears (-5.5) over Cardinals
I don’t see why the bookmakers are giving Arizona a chance in this game. The Cardinals and Bills are in a separate class as the only two teams to not have a glimmer of hope in terms of playing postseason football, and they should be treated as such.
Over the first two games, Arizona has averaged 3 points per game while Chicago has put up 23.5. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are allowing 29 points per game compared with the Bears’ 20.5.
When you look at the yardage deficiency Arizona has faced, it’s easy to see why they’ve been slaughtered in both outings. They allow 440.5 yards per game while gaining just 182.5.
David Johnson went into the season as an MVP candidate, a conversation nobody is currently having. He has averaged just 3.9 yards per carry so far and his playing behind a banged-up offensive line that is no match for the Bears’ scary unit, one of the best in the NFL.
Matt: Seahawks (-1.5) over Cowboys
Seattle is due for a win and Sunday is a perfect opportunity to grab one. They return home after two tough road defeats against Denver and Chicago and get to face a struggling offensive team. Dak Prescott and Co. looked AWFUL on the road in Week 1 against Carolina before mustering up 20 points on Sunday night against the Giants.
Dallas will struggle to put up points against a Seahawks defense that always plays well at home at CenturyLink. I also love the desperation factor for Seattle. They can not start 0-3. Russell Wilson will be able to make enough plays to win a low-scoring affair.
Liam: Vikings (-16.5) over Bills
This might be the most lopsided matchup we get in the NFL this season.
On one side is a team built to win the Super Bowl, stocked with a loaded defense and the best wide receiver tandem in the NFL. On the away sideline is a team that has lost its first two games by a combined 55 points and just had a starting cornerback retire at halftime.
Buffalo is in shambles, especially on defense, and their incapacities will be exposed come Sunday. Joe Flacco and Philip Rivers completed 75.4% of their passes against the Bills in the first two games, something that will make Kirk Cousins’ mouth water. Captain Kirk is off to a great start in a Vikings uniform, ranking third in the league in touchdowns and fifth in yards and passer rating.
Minnesota has struggled in the running game, averaging 3.7 yards per carry which is 26th in the league, but that could change this week. The Vikings should have a big lead early, allowing them to dedicate some carries to Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray. Better yet, the Bills run defense ranks 22nd in the league with 113 yards yielded per contest.
Matt: Rams (-7 down to PK) over Chargers and Patriots (-7 down to PK) over Lions
Two of the best teams in the NFL are practically begging us to thrown them in two-team teaser. So we will. The Rams will be able to protect home field in the Battle of L.A.Seven points is a little too high for me so we’ll tease them down to a pick ‘em to play it safe.
New England is not losing two in a row and more importantly, Bill Belichick is not losing to one of his understudies in Matt Patricia. The Lions are 0-2, but I’m not worried about the desperation factor I mentioned for Seattle because the Pats are in the same position. Detroit has a porous secondary and Tom Brady will beat Matt Stafford in a shootout 100 times out of 100.
The Pats will win this game fairly easily, with or without Josh “Flash” Gordon.
Liam: Buccaneers (+1.5) over Steelers
The Fitzy Train is rolling, and if you haven’t hopped on already, now is a good time.
The Steelers defense could not contend with the speed of the Chiefs receivers last Sunday, allowing Patrick Mahomes to seal up a nomination to the Hall of Fame. Tyreek Hill had five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown , Sammy Watkins had six catches for 100 yards and Travis Kelce had seven catches for 109 yards and two scores.
If Pittsburgh thought this cast of weapons was frightening, hold on tight. Tampa Bay has three receivers – DeSean Jackson, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin – who are tough covers, plus a tight end in O.J. Howard who has athleticism and route running ability that is similar to Kelce’s.
The Buccaneers could roll up 30 points on the Steelers defense, making this spread a bargain.
Photo from USA Today