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September 20, 2018

Week 3 NFL picks

For the gambling degenerates, here are my Week 3 NFL picks. To note, the team logos indicate who I think will win the game, not cover the spread. At the end of the picks, I'll note a few teams that I like based on the spread.


Jets at Browns (-3): I didn't pick the Browns once last season, and they rewarded me with a layup straight-up win every single week. In Week 1 this season, they got their tie, and in Week 2, they should have beaten the Saints on the road, if not for their kicker. They can taste it. But, I'm just not picking them until they win a game.


Saints at Falcons (-3): I don't feel very strongly about one team or the other in this matchup, but I will quickly note that Falcons-Saints matchups were awesome last year, and I'm bummed I won't get to watch this game live.


Packers (-3) at Redskins: All offseason I preached that the Redskins were underrated and the Packers were overrated. Two weeks into the season, I'm already beginning to question myself on both assessments, but for now I'm sticking to my guns.


Colts at Eagles (-6.5): I felt that Carson Wentz's 2017 training camp was, at the time, the best camp I had ever seen a quarterback have in my time covering the team, by far (though that wasn't a high bar). I thought he was even better in 2018, even at something less than 100%, albeit in limited action.

He had more velocity on his throws, threw with better accuracy, and could still move around better than most starting quarterbacks in the NFL. I think he's going to be very good, right away, because he's an elite player.

Yes, he'll be missing three of his top four receivers. It doesn't matter. The difference in skill level between Wentz and Nick Foles is night and day, and it's going to show in the offense's overall performance right away on Sunday.

MORE: What they're saying about Eagles: How much should we expect from Carson Wentz? | Eagles vs. Colts: Five matchups to watch | Eagles power ranking roundup: Week 3


Bills at Vikings (-17): I get that the Bills are an abomination, but it's not as if the Vikings are some kind of juggernaut. 17 points? Really? I'll take 17 points.


Raiders at Dolphins (-3): Holy crap, the Dolphins are going to be 3-0?


Broncos at Ravens (-5.5): This feels like that one boring-ass game that the Red Zone channel barely shows all day, and everyone is better off for having missed it.


Bengals at Panthers (-3): On paper, Vegas is saying these teams are equal, based on the home team getting three points. The Bengals are off to a good start at 2-0, but I don't see equality here at all. The Panthers are better.


Giants at Texans (-6): So it would appear that the oddsmakers (or the betting public or whatever) have finally figured out that the Giants are hot burning trash, as evidenced by the 6-point spread against another winless team.


Titans at Jaguars (No line): I guess there's no line because it's unclear if Marcus Mariota is ready to play after suffering a nerve injury? Either way, it's pretty easy to pick the Jags here.


49ers at Chiefs (-6.5): The Niners are improved, but have not been impressive. Meanwhile, the Chiefs look like one of the best teams in the NFL, as they usually do early in the season. Just ride them until they start to fizzle out.


Chargers at Rams (-7): Wow, the Rams are touchdown favorites against a legitimate Super Bowl contender in the Chargers, who don't have to leave LA for this "road game?" The Rams have looked very good, but they've played the Raiders and Cardinals. It just feels like 7 points is too tasty.


Cowboys at Seahawks (-1.5): The Seahawks are a mess. They've already allowed 12 sacks, and their defense is a shell of its former self. The Cowboys have nothing on offense, but at least they've been able to pressure opposing quarterbacks.


Bears (-6) at Cardinals: Sam Bradford: 3.98 yards per pass attempt, 0 TD, 2 INT, 55.6 QB rating, $20 million per year. Soon to be 0-3 and benched.


Patriots (-6.5) at Lions: This Patriots team isn't that good, or at least it's nowhere near as good as some of their dominant teams of the last decade and a half. There's Brady and Gronk, who are both obviously incredible, but then... what? Well, whatever. Brady is enough to beat this pencil-toting doofus.


Steelers (-1) at Buccaneers: The Steelers couldn't cover the Chiefs' skill players a week ago, and it won't get a whole lot easier against DeSean Jackson, Mike Evans, and the Bucs' fun offense.

• Picks against the spread: Eagles (-6.5), Bills (+17), Chargers (+7), Cowboys (+1.5).

• Eagles picks: 1-1

• 2018 season, straight up 16-14-2 (0.531)
• 2018 season, ATS: 6-4-0 (.600)
• 2017 season, straight up: 181-86 (0.678)
• 2017 season, ATS: 36-32-2 (0.529)
• 2016 season, straight up: 171-94-2 (0.644)
• 2016 season, ATS:  41-34 (0.547)
• 2015 season, straight up: 163-93 (0.637)
• 2015 season, ATS: 46-30-2 (0.605)

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