The theme of Week 3 in the NFL for some of our top picks against the spread this week is gut checks. Three of the top picks we are running with this week see teams coming off of losses last week, with some serious looks in the mirror for a couple of the teams we are riding with this week.
Is that a wise strategy? Only time will tell.
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Sunday, Sept. 27.
Here are this week's best NFL picks against the spread:
New England (-6.5) vs. Las Vegas, 1 p.m.
The new era of New England football is off to an entertaining start with Cam Newton at quarterback, but the Patriots are looking for a rebound after a tough loss on the road on Sunday night against Seattle. They will take on a Raiders team that is 2-0 following their big win Monday night against New Orleans. This may be a good spot to take the over because there could be plenty of points scored in this one. Patriots 37, Raiders 30
Atlanta (-3.5) vs. Chicago, 1 p.m.
The Falcons have to be kicking themselves after squandering a big lead on the road against the Cowboys last week. The Bears coming to town are not going to be easy to put away, but the Falcons don't have a huge spread to cover. As long as they protect Matt Ryan and the special teams decide to fall on an onside kick, they'll be fine this week. Falcons 26, Bears 20
Philadelphia (-6.5) vs. Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
There are some serious questions being thrown around Philadelphia about the ability of Carson Wentz to lead this offense. That makes this a classic statement game opportunity for Wentz and the Birds. After two bad losses, the Eagles put it together to hold off Joe Burrow and the Bengals in Philly. Eagles 30, Bengals 20
San Francisco (-4) at New York Giants, 1 p.m.
Unlike our first three picks, this one isn't a gut check for the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are not particularly happy to be playing on this field again after last week's game against the Jets and seeing Jimmy Garroppolo (and Nick Bosa, Raheem Mostert, Solomon Thomas, Tevin Coleman) get injured. Jimmy G may still play, but even if he doesn't, the Niners should be able to manage in this one. With the Giants losing running back Saquon Barkley to a season-ending ACL injury, the offense is lacking any real sizzle. And the 49ers are not about to let this New York offense find a groove now. Two straight wins against New York teams should be in the fold for the 49ers. 49ers 31, Giants 17
Buffalo (-2.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams, 1 p.m.
It's too early to call this any type of Super Bowl preview, but the Rams and Bills are each 2-0 and have looked good in their first two games. The Rams have been on fire against the spread dating back to last season as well, but their luck may dry up this weekend in Buffalo. Josh Allen and his new go-to receiver Stefon Diggs have developed some chemistry and that is helping to make the Bills as dangerous as they have been in some time. That will help the Bills pull ahead of the Rams on Sunday in one of the more entertaining games of the weekend. Bills 34, Rams 31
Last week: 3-2
Season to date: 6-4