Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you. That’s the old adage that is used to describe the bipolar nature of life … and in our case, gambling. After two solid weeks, the NFL bit us pretty good. We went 6-9-1 for the week as we leaned on the favorites and a few games didn’t go our way.
A couple plays here and a couple plays there and the result for Week 3 could have been different. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.
The sub-par effort brings us to 23-23-1 for the year. In this case, no harm no foul and we are right back to where we started before the season’s opening kickoff.
New York Giants at Washington Football Team (-4)
Home teams are 3-0 thus far on Thursday Night Football and none of them have been close to be honest. The same goes for this game. The Redskins looked like a new football team on offense with Kirk Cousins at the helm and his presence has helped the running game with Alfred Morris.
THE PICK: Washington (-4)
Miami Dolphins (-4.5) at Oakland Raiders
*It should be noted this game is being played across the pond in London, but Oakland is considered the home team*
Ah, football across the pond. Oakland is off a hard fought loss in Foxboro and Miami has been blown out by 19 points each of the last two games. Joe Phil bin won’t commit to Ryan Tannehill being the starting quarterback and a lot of whispers from Miami are hinting at Coach Phil bin losing the locker room.
The Dolphins are struggling to find themselves right now and Tannehill’s inconsistencies won’t allow them to win convincingly anytime soon. Oakland stays close in this one, even if Miami wins the game.
THE PICK: Raiders +4.5
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-1.5)
Aaron Rodgers told the fans to “relax” after the 1-2 start has some “cheeseheads” panicking. But it hasn’t looked promising. Outside of a solid second half against the Jets, the Pack haven’t looked very good. Since 2009, the Packers are 9-2 against their NFC North rivals and are 4-1 at Soldier Field. This is the perfect time for Rodgers to remind critics how good he is. Eddie Lacy gets it going on the ground as well against a subpar run defense.
THE PICK: Packers +1.5
Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans (-3)
Ryan Fitzpatrick was exposed in Week 3 and the Texans simply aren’t as good as the two blowout wins they had to start the season against Washington and Oakland. Fitzpatrick plays his old team in Buffalo and the Bills will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing home loss to the San Diego Chargers. Arian Foster is still banged up with a hamstring injury and they won’t beat Buffalo if they can’t run the ball.
THE PICK: Bills (+3)
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-7)
This looks like such a trap game. Tennessee hasn’t even competed in their last two games and go on the road to face Indianapolis. Jake Locker is banged up and may be a game-time decision for this one, but after Week 3’s smack down of the Jaguars, the Colts must be feeling pretty good about turning around that 0-2 start. Luck is playing out of his mind to start the season and will continue that against Tennessee’s defense.
THE PICK: Colts -7
Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens (-2)
Steve Smith Sr. has had this game circled on his calendar for about 5 months now since he knew he’d be facing his former team. He’ll be fired up, taunting and getting in the heads of a Panthers defense that just got shredded by the Steelers on Sunday night. The Ravens will feed off Smith’s energy and Cam Newton’s hobbling ankle won’t do him any favors against Terrell Suggs. The Panthers will be down two running backs and if they can’t run the ball effectively, they can’t win.
THE PICK: Ravens -2
Detroit Lions at NY Jets (-1)
The Lions are off a great win, holding their division rival Packers offense to single digits in Week 3. Both teams are stout against the run but struggle against the pass. If the Lions want to be taken seriously they need to win these games on the road, especially against a struggling quarterback who is in jeopardy of losing his starting job. The Jets won’t have an answer for Megatron in the secondary and you’re getting a pick ‘em game between Matthew Stafford and Geno Smith.
THE PICK: Detroit Lions (+1)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Pittsburgh Steelers (-8)
Wow we did we whiff on these two teams last week. Tampa Bay was historically bad on Thursday night in Atlanta and Pittsburgh looked like a Super Bowl team going in to Carolina and dominating an elite defense. Looks like Mike Glennon is going to get the start at quarterback for the Bucs, who was serviceable in 2013, but showed he was still a rookie at times. The Steelers ride the momentum from the Sunday night blowout of Carolina
THE PICK: Steelers (-8)
Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers (-13)
The Blake Bortles era is officially underway as Gus Bradley has named him the starter for this game. And it’s no easy task. The Jags will be across the country, playing a Chargers team who is a defensive stand from being 3-0 and beat the Bills handily last week. The Chargers are playing good football, but are down two running backs and Donald Brown touched it 37 times last week. A quarterback change always sparks a team and Bortles is a better playmaker than Chad Henne. He keeps them close in this one and there’s always the chance for a backdoor as well.
THE PICK: Jaguars (+13)
Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers (-5)
A two game losing streak for a Jim Harbaugh coached team is unheard of! But this is the perfect scenario for them to “get right” as they say in pro sports. The Eagles have started slow in all three games so far this season and can’t afford to do that going west to face the 49ers hungry for a win. Their secondary stinks and has been sliced frequently in 2014. The 49ers will be able to run the ball and control the clock in this one, keeping Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy off the field.
THE PICK: 49ers (-5)
Atlanta Falcons (-3) at Minnesota Vikings
Teddy Bridgewater will be making his first career start at quarterback for Minnesota and it comes at a good time as he’ll face Atlanta’s 27th ranked defense on the road. Atlanta is a completely different team on the road away from the Georgia dome than they are at home. That being said, they’ve had 10 days to prepare for this game and will have a few extra days to prepare for freshman Bridgewater. This game may turn in to a shootout, which will favor the Falcons aerial attack.
THE PICK: Falcons (-3)
New Orleans Saints (-3) at Dallas Cowboys
A 1-2 team giving a 2-1 team a field goal on the road? That doesn’t usually make sense. But in this case it does. The Cowboys fell behind the lowly Rams 21-0 in Week 3 before coming all the way to win. They cannot afford to do that against a Saints team looking to gain its footing on the 2014 season. This seems like the perfect game for Jason Garrett to abandon the run that has been so good for the Cowboys thus far and chuck it 45 times with Tony Romo in order to keep pace with the vaunted Saints offense. Remember what we said in Week 2 when we nailed Dallas over Tennessee, they are a better road team away from “Jerry’s World.”
THE PICK: Cowboys (+3)
New England Patriots (-3.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs got on the board last week in Miami in blowout fashion without their most dynamic playmaker, Jamaal Charles. They will more than likely get him back for the Monday night showdown against the Patriots. The Patriots are off to a slow start this year and that especially goes for Tom Brady. Kansas City’s pass rush will look to tee off Brady and with the newfound confidence of an offensive explosion in Week 3, KC will keep this game close.