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Betting Against the Spread: NFL Picks For Week 3

Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers

Raise your hand if you thought that the Eagles, Ravens, Seahawks and Colts would all be 0-2 to start their season out. The winless club has some intriguing teams in it, but you know that some of them are going to bounce back. I'd also like to salute those who were able to make it to Week 3 in their survivor pool as last week featured a lot of carnage. This week represents some good chances to pick up an "easy" win although nothing comes easy in this league it seems. 

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Record: 4-3 (3-1 last week)

San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Minnesota Vikings (1-1)

San Diego plays its second straight road game as they take on the Vikings on Sunday. The Chargers could struggle to move the ball against the Minnesota defense that improved after its rough Week 1 showing. San Diego needs to get a little more from its ground game and Melvin Gordon in order to take the heat off Philip Rivers. Adrian Peterson came back for Minnesota and has made a difference for the Vikings' offense. Teddy Bridgewater threw just 18 passes in the win over the Lions. San Diego should be able to stack the box against the run and use its corners to slow down Minnesota's mediocre WR corps. The Chargers have played 12 unders in their last 18 road games and 14 unders in their last 22 as an underdog. SELECTION: Under 45

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) at New England Patriots (2-0)

The Patriots are rolling offensively putting up 68 points on the Steelers and Bills the first two weeks. The team seems very determined to get Tom Brady the MVP and should find the same success against Jacksonville on Sunday. The Jags were gashed by the Dolphins thru the air in week two to the tune of 344 yards. Jacksonville's offense should be able to move the ball as well on the Patriots who have given up 53 points so far this season. They can't slow down the run and were beaten up by Big Ben in week one. New England has played 18 overs in their last 30 games against conference opponents. They've actually gone over in 21 of their last 34 against the AFC South. The Jags have gone over in 10 of their last 16 road games. This one should feature a ton of points. SELECTION: Over 47.5

Chicago Bears (0-2) at Seattle Seahawks (0-2)

In a battle of winless teams, it's going to get real ugly for one of them. The Bears come into this one having allowed a total 79 points at home to the Packers and Cardinals. Chicago will most likely be without Jay Cutler, which means Jimmy Clausen gets an angry Seattle team at home. Alshon Jeffery isn't 100 percent, which means it's all on Matt Forte (who is dealing with his own injury) and Martellus Bennett. The Seahawks' offense should get real healthy against Chicago. The Bears have failed to cover in 18 of their last 26 games against conference opponents and are 7-15 ATS as an underdog in their last 22. The Seahawks are 20-10 ATS in their last 30 conference games and have covered in 13 of their last 20 home games. SELECTION: Seattle -14.5

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Notes:

- The Thursday night game features another winless team, as the Giants host the Redskins. It's amazing how perception can change in a fan base with some simple events. Washington fans are now filled with hope after seeing Tony Romo go down for Dallas. The Redskins played well last week against the Rams and arguably could have beaten the Dolphins in Week 1. The reason why Washington isn't an official pick for me is the Giants' mindset. This is a team that should be beaten down mentally after losing leads late in two games. The defense is hideous and will be minus Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (concussion). One would think that desperation takes over and the Giants win, but who knows. I lean heavily to Washington. 

- The Steelers seem to be on the right side in their matchup with the Rams on Sunday, but my concern is the looming Thursday night matchup on Oct. 1 when they host the Ravens. Pittsburgh gets Le'Veon Bell back, which will make their already potent offense even better. This game is in St. Louis, but it should sound like a Steelers home game with the amount of fans that will descend upon the stadium. St. Louis is getting healthier, but it's hard to trust this offense to move the ball on anyone. They did so in Week 1 in an emotional spot at home against Seattle. I agree with the money move on the Steelers. 

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- It's a bad opponent for the woeful Eagles offense to try and get healthy against as they take on the Jets. New York is real stout against the run and with Darrelle Revis manning the outside, it's hard to pass as well. The Jets shut down a stout Colts attack in Indy on Monday night so who knows how the quick turnaround will affect them. Philly is a potential buy low team, but maybe in Week 4. If they fail again, things will get real ugly in the city and in the locker room. Chip Kelly will wish he was back in college if they move to 0-3.

- It seems almost too easy to take the Colts this week as they play at the Titans. Tennessee came back down to earth last week with Marcus Mariota throwing some interceptions. Their defense has good numbers, but they came against the Bucs and Browns. Indianapolis has eight turnovers and has struggled to hit the ground running, but that was against two tough defensive units in the Bills and Jets. I'm just not convinced the Titans are that stout defensively. I think Indianapolis wins, but I'm not quite sure why the money is coming in on the home team.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.