A look at NFL Week 3, and where you should place your cash this weekend.
Arizona Cardinals (-4) @ Buffalo Bills
The Cardinals came out flat in their Week 1 loss to the Patriots, but they were firing on all cylinders in Week 2 as they crushed the Buccaneers, 40-7. This will be the first time Arizona takes their show on the road this year, but that shouldn’t be a problem for them as they were 6-2 against the spread in their road games last season. Carson Palmer and crew will face a Bills squad that appears to be in total disarray. Buffalo fired its offensive coordinator (Greg Roman) despite putting up 31 points on the Jets last Thursday, and there is speculation that head coach Rex Ryan is on the hot seat after an 0-2 start. Wide receivers Marquis Goodwin and Sammy Watkins were able to out-sprint the aged Darrelle Revis last week, but they’ll be matched up against two of the best defenders in the game in Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. The Bills are impossible to trust at the moment, so Arizona gets the nod as the best bet of the week.
The pick: Cardinals -4
Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans (-1.5)
The venue will play a huge part in this contest. Marcus Mariota has been out of sync in the Music City, as he threw nine INTs compared to just nine TDs at home last year. This goes a long way in explaining why the Titans have dropped four of their last five ATS at home. The Raiders are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games, including a Week 1 cover in New Orleans. Tennessee has been able to shut down the Vikings’ and Lions’ offense in successive weeks, but they’ll get a stern test as the Raiders have put up over 450 yards of offense in each of their first two games. Expect Oakland to come out on top in a potential shootout.
The pick: Raiders +1.5
San Diego Chargers @ Indianapolis Colts (-3)
The injury focus seems to be on San Diego, as RB Danny Woodhead was ruled out for the year with an ACL tear just one week after WR Keenan Allen was diagnosed with the same injury. But the Colts may be just as hurt as the Chargers, if not more so. They had to go to the bottom of their depth chart just to get some feasible cornerbacks to play last week, as Vontae Davis, Darius Butler and Patrick Robinson have all been battling various ailments. Davis is listed as out indefinitely, while the other two are considered “questionable” for Sunday’s tilt. Even at full strength the Colts defense is subpar; they let up 39 points hosting Detroit in Week 1 (the Lions followed that by scoring only 15 against Tennessee last week) then allowed 34 to a Denver offense that’s led by rookie QB Trevor Siemian, a seventh-round draft pick that’s put up a mediocre 74.4 passer rating in two games. Phillip Rivers and Melvin Gordon should have their way with the Indy defense. The trends are in the San Diego’s favor as well; the Chargers have covered in each of their last five games, and have covered in each of their last five road contests.
The pick: Chargers +3
Quick picks (picks in bold)
Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars (E)
Washington Redskins @ New York Giants (-4.5)
Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3)
Cleveland Browns @ Miami Dolphins (-10)
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers (-7.5)
Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers (-7)
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks (-9.5)
Los Angeles Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5.5)
New York Jets @ Kansas City Chiefs (-3)
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles
Chicago Bears@ Dallas Cowboys (-7)
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints (-3)