2014 Quick Hitters (Week 3 NFL Picks)
Time for Week 3 NFL Picks has arrived after another solid 10-6 week when all kinds of crazy happened around the league. Sorry about the fail on last week’s “Lock of the Week,” as it’s never easy to win when the Bucs lost their best defensive player in Gerald McCoy. Tampa Bay still almost beat the Rams with absolutely no pass-rush at all. New Orleans and Seattle also dropped precarious games on the road, but that just goes to show you how dangerous home underdogs are. On to this week’s picks!
*Remember that my picks are straight up (MONEYLINE) and Vegas lines are merely used to determine whether I’m choosing an upset, favorite or even pick.
Here’s my results on the year:
Overall Record: 20-12
Last Week’s Record: 10-6
Record in Thursday Games: 1-1
Record in Sunday Games: 15-10
Record in Sunday Night Games: 1-1
Record in Monday Games: 3-0
Record in Upset Picks: 3-2
Record in Even Picks: 4-3
Record in Favorite Picks: 13-7
Record in “Toss-Up” Picks: 10-5
Record in “Moderate Confidence” Picks: 9-6
Record in “Lock of the Week” Picks: 1-1
*Even picks are classified as opening lines under 2.5 points.
Tampa Bay Bucs at Atlanta Falcons (Thursday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: Atlanta (-5)
The Pick: Atlanta as FAVORITES
Reason: I would like Tampa Bay a lot more in this spot if they were at full strength, but the injury bug has bit them hard. All-world defensive lineman Gerald McCoy is likely out with a broken hand, making it a lot easier for Matt Ryan and the offense to get things done on Thursday Night.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
Vegas Odds: Green Bay (-1)
The Pick: Detroit at EVEN
Reason: The Lions will win this game if and only they run the ball successfully to eat up clock. If they make this a shoot-out, the Packers will have a shot at winning this game because Green Bay feels much more comfortable with their offense on the field. Can the Lions shoot themselves in the foot like they have so many times in the past? I’m thinking they finally start sticking to gameplans and win an important home game.
San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills
Vegas Odds: Even (Pick ‘Em)
The Pick: Buffalo at EVEN
Reason: This is one of the best games of the week and I have no idea who to choose. Buffalo’s offense has been ok thus far and San Diego plays far better at home, even though they nearly came out with a victory in Arizona in week one. I’ll take the team who is not traveling across the country.
Houston Texans at New York Giants
Vegas Odds: New York (-1)
The Pick: New York at EVEN
Reason: Here’s one of those games where in the public’s eyes, Houston has looked really good so far and the New York Giants have looked downright terrible. However, I actually think the Giants played well last week and the ball just didn’t bounce their way. We didn’t learn much from the Texans’ wins against Washington and Oakland, so I’m taking the Giants.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
Vegas Odds: Baltimore (-1)
The Pick: Baltimore at EVEN
Reason: Some may take Cleveland because they feel they are a decent team, but I think last week’s surprise win was a lot more about how bad New Orleans’ defense was. The Ravens had a tough start against a healthy Bengals team and rebounded well versus Pittsburgh, so give me Baltimore.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
Vegas Odds: San Francisco (-2.5)
The Pick: San Francisco as a FAVORITE
Reason: It appears as if Cardinals’ quarterback Carson Palmer will sit out once again with his bum shoulder. If back-up Drew Stanton can beat the 49ers, then everyone can start yelling panic in San Francisco. I’m still confused about how the 49ers lost to Chicago in their opening night in a brand new stadium.
Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks
Vegas Odds: Seattle (-4.5)
The Pick: Seattle as a FAVORITE
Reason: Super Bowl rematch which almost never happens and if anyone could lash out with motivation, it’s Peyton Manning. But one thing I have learned over the last few years and week one (stupidly picked the Packers) is that you never pick against Seattle at home.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers
Vegas Odds: Carolina (-3)
The Pick: Carolina as a FAVORITE
Reason: I can see this game going either way because Carolina wasn’t nearly as good as the final score showed in their win over Detroit. Additionally, the Steelers have been very jeckyl-and-hyde to start the season which concerns me. When I’m in doubt, I usually stick with the home team, especially if they have a winning record.
Chicago Bears at New York Jets
Vegas Odds: Even (Pick ’Em)
The Pick: Chicago at EVEN
Reason: I actually think this will be a very entertaining Monday Night Game. The Jets should be 2-0 after having a three-score lead against the Packers and the Bears should be 0-2 if the 49ers didn’t have a bazillion self-inflicted penalty yards. Yet, they’re both 1-1 and enter the primetime game with a shot at decent position in their respective divisions. I’m only taking the Bears because I have no idea how the Jets can stop those tall wide receivers.
MODERATE CONFIDENCE PICKS
Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Rams
Vegas Odds: Even (Pick ‘Em)
The Pick: Dallas at EVEN
Reason: Dallas went on the road and won at Tennessee with a facet of their offense that everyone wondered why they didn’t use last year. DeMarco Murray was fantastic this past weekend and there’s no reason to not think he will do the same in week 3.
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
Vegas Odds: Philadelphia (-6.5)
The Pick: Philadelphia as a FAVORITE
Reason: For me, Kirk Cousins is the next example of Matt Flynn. He can make accurate throws and be successful in a system, but he’s not going to help his team become better or make up for teammates’ mistakes. He’s simply a back-up quarterback and for that reason (plus a few others), I think the Eagles will walk all over the Redskins in this game.
Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals
Vegas Odds: Cincinnati (-6)
The Pick: Cincinnati as a FAVORITE
Reason: I believe Cincinnati is the most balanced team in the league when at full strength. Unfortunately, they’re far from that without tight end Tyler Eifert and wide receiver AJ Green. We learned a lot about the Titans in the loss to the Cowboys as they had no answer for DeMarco Murray (you get Gio Bernard this week!) and Jake Locker didn’t look good at all. I’ll take a banged up Bengals team even though I don’t think it’s a slam dunk.
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Vegas Odds: Indianapolis (-6)
The Pick: Indianapolis as a FAVORITE
Reason: I thought just maybe this wouldn’t be another year of always picking against the Jaguars. Yet, after only two games, Gus Bradley has given us no reasons to ever consider picking them. They faked us out with a nice first half against the Eagles, but then were steamrolled in week one, only to follow it up with a shellacking by the Redskins. There’s no way I’m picking this team to beat Andrew Luck and the Colts.
Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots
Vegas Odds: New England (-13)
The Pick: New England as a heavy FAVORITE
Reason: Can the Raiders be the surprise upset of the week because crazy stuff like that happens? No way, pick the Patriots who were much more impressive in their road win at Minnesota when compared to the second half collapse at Miami.
Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins
Vegas Odds: Miami (-3)
The Pick: Miami as a FAVORITE
Reason: The Dolphins may have lost at Buffalo last week, but the defense still played damn well. The Bills’ kicker Dan Carpenter had six field goal attempts, many of those coming after short drives, meaning that Miami did the best they could with what the situations they were put in. Kansas City is beat up and hasn’t looked liked a good team at all.
LOCK OF THE WEEK PICK
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Vegas Odds: New Orleans (-10)
The Pick: New Orleans as a FAVORITE
Reason: I know I’ve said I want to stay away from taking double-digit spreads as my “lock of the week,” but the Saints are 0-2 and there’s at least a little risk involved. It basically comes down to the Saints being an entirely different team at home and this is in reality a must-win game for them. I’d even take them to cover the spread this week.
Week Three Pick Summary: 10 Favorites, 0 Upsets and 6 Even Picks
Let me know where you agree and disagree in week three. Good luck and most importantly enjoy the games!