Week 3 NFL Picks early look

My roommate leaves for Vegas in a few days and I want to send him off with some picks. Below are the lines as of Wednesday, 9/23. I've bolded the ones I think have potential, help me flesh out the best picks

Washington @ Detroit 6.5
Green Bay @ St. Louis 6.5
Minnesota vs San Francisco 7.0
New England vs Atlanta 4.0
New York (NYJ) vs Tennessee 2.5
Philadelphia vs Kansas City Off (0)
New York (NYG) @ Tampa Bay 6.5
Baltimore vs Cleveland 13.5
Houston vs Jacksonville 4.0
New Orleans @ Buffalo 6.0
Chicago @ Seattle 2.0
Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati 4.0
Denver @ Oakland 1.5
San Diego vs Miami 6.0
Arizona vs Indianapolis 2.5
Dallas vs Carolina 9.0


  1. A couple lines have moved a lot -

    New Orleans opened at +4.5 and are now at +6
    Denver opened MINUS 2.5 and are now +1.5
    Chicago opened +1 and is now +2

    In particular I don't see how New Orleans can be favored that strongly on the road at Buffalo... the Bills have looked good and seem like they could beat NO straight up?

    St. Louis blows and Green Bay should smash them

    SF seems stronger than 7 point underdogs against Minnesota, right? Or am I dumb?

    Any other lines I might be overlooking that seem obvious to you?

  2. I still think people are sleeping on the Titans (0-2 as they may be), and if I had any kind of podium, I'd take them as my Upset of the Week. Let's see how Marky Mark does against an actual defense (and yes, I just dissed NE's defense as it is currently composed).

    Other than that, I find the Philly-KC line (or lack thereof) to be a hilarious case of the powers-that-be saying, "Um, we have no idea how an ex-convict will perform in his first NFL action after 2 years in prison. Sorry" I wouldn't know how to call that one either.

  3. No thoughts on SF vs Minn? I haven't seen SF play at all this year so I will rely on your opinion on this bad boy... does Elephant Seal blog cover the Niners? What's he got to say about this?

  4. If Matt Hasselbeck's back stays injured, then the 49ers can probably win the NFC West, but if he only misses a game (maybe two) I still say the Seahawks win the division. This week Frank Gore will run into the Williams Wall (someone else coined that, not me) and I think Adrian Peterson will do enough to make Brett Favre effective. The Vikings win, but a 7 point line is just enough that I'm not going to pick it.
    The Jets-Titans line isn't a dis at Tennessee, rather it's respect for New York's defense and balance on offense.
    You're wrong about Buffalo beating New Orleans. It will be a shootout, but the Bills just can't keep up. The Saints win by a TD or so.

    Also, you need to work on your +/- when describing the favorites. Denver opened as the underdog, getting(+) 2.5 points, now they are the favorite, giving(-) 1.5 points.

  5. My 'official' picks:
    Green Bay -6.5
    Atlanta +4
    Houston -4
    New Orleans -6

    St. Louis sucks. New England might win by a field goal, but Atlanta's balance will keep them in the game. Philadelphia even with Kolb (Vick won't be the QB) is better than Kansas City. Jacksonville doesn't have Darelle Revis. Start all your Saints and Bills in fantasy.

  6. On every other game...
    I almost picked Detroit +6.5 because both the Lions and the Redskins are bad, but I couldn't stomach picking the Lions.
    NY Giants won by 6 over Washington, then won by 2. I think they beat the Bucs, but something doesn't feel right about the Giants.
    I would have said they couldn't make the line high enough for me to not pick the Ravens, I was wrong. With lines this high, fluky things happen, like garbage time TDs that cut the deficit from 17 (when all the backups are in) to 10.
    I refuse to trust Jay Cutler to throw for 400 yards or 4 interceptions. Against Green Bay there was a stretch where he hit Green Bay DBs in the hands on three consecutive throws. How long until he becomes Brett Favre Jr.?
    Cincinnati handled Green Bay and Pittsburgh can't run the ball. The Steelers are still a better team.
    I am more accurate than Jamarcus Russell and the Broncos aren't playing a team from Ohio.
    Philip Rivers is a stud...now we just need to get him a running game.
    Who picks against Peyton Manning?
    Dallas wins, but can Tony Romo score enough to cover 9 points?

  7. Picking the Saints is a sucker's bet in my opinion - the Lions got into a freaking shootout with NO, for God's sakes, and the Bills field an actual offense. I can easily see them at least being within that spread.

    You're not picking Pittsburgh?? They should definitely beat Cinci by more than 4, right? Why am I wrong on that?

    Also the Packers seem like a rock solid lock to win by more than 6, I can't understand why that line is so low.

    Is Philly vs. KC actually a Pick em???? That is completely batshit insane to me.

    The other COMPLETELY insane line is the Broncos only being favored by -1.5. Whoever picked that line is SMOKING CRACK - did they watch the Raiders last week??? JaMarcus Russell had a worse completion percentage than most NBA players have 3pt point percentages, he was 7-for-24... Are you kidding me?!?

  8. Aaron just clarified for me that the KC-Philly game is a Pick em because Yahoo is forced to use 0 as a default when the game is Off the board... thanks for the assist A-Ron

  9. My top-3 picks:

    Bills +6 - I just can't see this game going much higher than 30-27 (especially, if the weather report is correct in saying it'll rain).

    Niners +6 - This could be a complete homer pick, but I think we slow AD down enough to allow Favre to hurt the Vikings a bit.

    Cleveland +13.5 - I know the Ravens are scoring more these days, but I can't trust them to cover a line this high (not yet, at least).

  10. Scott, would you care to discuss the lines for Pittsburgh -4, Denver -1.5, and Packers -6? Any reason you don't feel strongly about any of those? They all seem like big wins for the favored teams to me.

  11. Packers O-line scares the crap out of me right now; 10 sacks this season, including 6 to the lowly Bengals (who, had 17 total last year). They could easily blow the Rams out of the water, but I could also see this end at 17-14 after a feisty showing from the Rams.

    Pittsburgh simply cause I have no clue how good this Bengals team is (see 1st note) - they played Denver tough, and got uber unlucky.

    After writing that sentence, I realize I'm staying away from those games cause they all involve the Bengals, and it's too early in the season to be making bets involving the Bengals...

  12. You don't think Denver is clearly better than Oakland at this point? Am I missing something?

  13. What has Denver done to automatically earn your trust? They've either beaten the two shitty Ohio teams, or they beat the one shitty Ohio team, while getting uber lucky in beating the other.

    The Raiders played the Chargers tough at home (and beat the Chiefs who played the Ravens tough w/out Cassel), and have a very legit defense to stop a not so impressive Broncos offense.

    I'm not saying I wouldn't bet on the Broncos; I'm saying I'd bet on the three I listed above before looking to bet on this game.

  14. Denver has done nothing to earn my trust. The Raiders have done everything to take my trust out behind the woodshed and brutally murder it. Simmons actually phrased it best:

    "JaMarcus Russell is awe-inspiringly bad. He reminds me of the way I felt watching Montana in the late-'80s, only the exact opposite."

    I'm considering taking the Bills' points, but the Cleveland spread is SO big that I get nervous. You have to feel really strong about point spreads like that... Baltimore could beat the tar out of Cleveland and Cleveland could get a late TD or field goal or two just by airing it out all the time, still cover the spread, but you'd leave the game saying it was total domination by the Ravens. Did that make any sense?

  15. It sure did - and I'm in agreement; the Ravens could win 31-7 and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. I just see this finishing somewhere around 24-14 with the 2nd half score being 7-3 Browns

  16. I'm considering the Giants -7 and the Ravens -13.5 in a two team tease this week... someone talk me out of this

  17. sure hope you took it...wtf was I thinking?!?!

  18. The Broncos smashed the Raiders as I predicted, the Bears miraculously covered late, but I lost on the Titans who got beat by the Jets. So I'm 2-for-3 going into tonight's game, where I have the Colts +3. Wish me luck.

  19. I went 3-2 on these picks and 11-5 for all Sunday games.

    The only game that still seems surprising is Jacksonville beating Houston.