Week 2 started out hot and then cooled down quickly, as the Eagles physically crumbled and otherwise choked away a golden opportunity to steal a win on the road.
The Steelers’ untimely injury to Big Ben was equally devastating to the picks this week. Had it not been for all their injuries, we would be staring at an 18-12 week. As it stands, we went 17-15 and order is now restored in the universe. We are now a dead-even 32-32.
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Without further adieu, let’s get into the Week 3 picks with lines from the new BetRivers online sportsbook. If you have a few minutes, check out Collin’s thoughts on each of this week’s games. Got just a minute? Here is a summary of Collin’s picks for the upcoming week.
|Matchup/Line||Collin's Pick||Take With the Spread||Over/Under|
|Titans -1.5 @ Jaguars O/U: 40||Titans 19 Jaguars 16||Titans||Under|
|Falcons @ Colts -2 O/U: 47.5||Colts 27 Falcons 23||Colts||Over|
|Ravens @ Chiefs -7 O/U: 55||Chiefs 34 Ravens 24||Chiefs||Over|
|Broncos @ Packers -8 O/U: 43.5||Packers 27 Broncos 16||Packers||Under|
|Bengals @ Bills -6 O/U: 43.5||Bills 27 Bengals 17||Bills||Over|
|Lions @ Eagles -6.5 O/U: 48||Eagles 23 Lions 20||Lions||Under|
|Dolphins @ Cowboys -21.5 O/U: 47.5||Cowboys 35 Dolphins 10||Cowboys||Under|
|Jets @ Patriots -22.5 O/U: 46.5||Patriots 35 Jets 7||Patriots||Under|
|Raiders @ Vikings -8.5 O/U: 42.5||Vikings 27 Raiders 23||Raiders||Over|
|Panthers -2.5 @ Cardinals O/U: 46.5||Cardinals 24 Panthers 22||Cardinals||Under|
|Giants @ Bucs -6.5 O/U: 48||Bucs 26 Giants 17||Bucs||Under|
|Texans @ Chargers -3.5 O/U: 47.5||Chargers 27 Texans 20||Chargers||Under|
|Saints @ Seahawks -4 O/U: 45.5||Seahawks 24 Saints 17||Seahawks||Under|
|Steelers @ 49ers -6.5 O/U: 44.5||49ers 27 Steelers 14||49ers||Under|
|Rams -3 @ Browns O/U: 51||Rams 34 Browns 20||Rams||Under|
|Bears -4 @ Redskins O/U: 42||Redskins 20 Bears 17||Redskins||Under|
September 19th (Thursday night)
Titans -1.5 @ Jaguars O/U: 40
Despite the entertainment from Gardner Minshew and his 1970s dress style, the Jaguars are a lot more disturbing underneath the surface. Jalen Ramsey has made a request to be traded, despite the claim that he meant for it to be private. No one really falls for this crap anymore, do they? The Titans nearly pulled off a win against the Colts but couldn’t connect with a finishing blow and the Colts stole a victory on the road. We almost nailed that score exactly (along with the Bills/Giants) so in two games now, I’ve been a few points off both Colts games.
I feel the Titans told us a lot about themselves this past week and with that, I think this game will be a surprisingly low-scoring matchup. The oddsmakers agree and with that, I think the Titans’ defense will be too much for the Jaguars’ struggling offense. Titans 19 Jaguars 16
September 22nd (Sunday)
Falcons @ Colts -2 O/U: 47.5
As I just mentioned in the last prediction, I’ve nearly hit the bullseye on both Colts games in 2019. I feel strongly that the core of this team is tough on both sides of the ball and the Falcons were a flurry of follies away from being 0-2. At home, behind a surprisingly good defense, I think the Colts will hold steady and control this game. The Falcons have not shown they can establish the run and Matt Ryan has five interceptions through the first two games. This is a trap game of “Sexy offense” vs “team with no quarterback”. Both those assumptions are incorrect. Colts 27 Falcons 23
Ravens @ Chiefs -7 O/U: 55
This might be the most exciting game of the week. It’s the highest line since the Rams and Chiefs Monday night game from a year ago. Neither defense has shown to be particularly competent this season (Dolphins game aside). The Chiefs absolutely smoked the Jaguars defense in Week 1 and the Jaguars defense bounced back in Week 2 to shut down the Texans, so that’s context that should show you the Chiefs are as prolific as any offense as we’ve seen in the last decade. Lamar Jackson has looked impressive in two matchups against weak defenses. The Chiefs defense isn’t much better and shouldn’t offer the Ravens much more of a challenge. To me, this comes down more to the known commodity. I trust Pat Mahomes at this point over Lamar. It’s that simple. Chiefs 34 Ravens 24
Broncos @ Packers -8 O/U: 43.5
This one is pretty basic. Matt Lafleur has been running plays at an incredibly slow rate and has put a lot of emphasis on rushing the football and playing solid defense. Luckily, they won’t have to work too hard on the latter this week as they play an offensively challenged team in the Denver Broncos. The Broncos seemed to have settled into something resembling a passing game last week, but the Packers’ revamped defense will offer them a tough challenge this week, especially since the game is at Lambeau Field. The Broncos defense has not made the strides we expected, given the hiring of defensive guru, Vic Fangio. This one really should be a comfortable win for the Packers. Packers 27 Broncos 16
Bengals @ Bills -6 O/U: 43.5
The Bills have exceeded expectations thus far, which doesn’t say much, considering they were road favorites a week ago and a close line in Week 1. The Bills have been surprisingly good on offense and the stout Bills defense has shown up in the clutch in both games. This week, the Bills will make their home debut against a Bengals squad who was just trounced by the 49ers a week ago and have demonstrated no evidence they are capable of stopping the run (259 rushing yards surrendered last week against the 49ers). The Bills will probably pound Frank Gore and expect Josh Allen to break off a few big runs and throws in this one. Bills 27 Bengals 17
Lions @ Eagles -6.5 O/U: 48
The Eagles were losing players like a Fortnite tournament last week. This week, a few are expected to miss the game and many more are listed as questionable. Despite this being a home game, the health of the Eagles has me concerned for this game. Last week was really sloppy on the road, but you have to believe they can get the running game on track this week and won’t be as hindered by all the nagging injuries to the receivers as we may have initially believed. I think this will be a breakout game for Miles Sanders and I expect Zach Ertz to get over twelve targets this week. Eagles 23 Lions 20
Dolphins @ Cowboys -21.5 O/U: 47.5
The line here looks bad. It looks really bad, actually. The past two weeks, the Dolphins have done nothing to quell our concerns for their ineptitude as a team. In two games, they’ve scored 10 and allowed 102 points. The Cowboys, under the offensive guidance of Kellen Moore, have looked nothing shy of explosive. With the way the Dolphins have tanked in every aspect of the game thus far, it’ll be interesting to see if the Cowboys go all out or sort of run newer, more vanilla plays on offense. Once this game is in hand, we should see a steady flow of substitutes on the Cowboys side. Expect Tony Pollard to get more than a handful of carries this week and I really don’t expect this to be much of a contest. Cowboys 35 Dolphins 10
Jets @ Patriots -22.5 O/U: 46.5
The Jets were already set up for a bad game last week, even before Trevor Siemian went down. The funny part was, Luke Falk didn’t look bad towards the end of the game. If he can throw with confidence, the Jets might be able to put a score or two on the board. None of it will matter in the end because the Patriots are too strong all over the field and their quarterback is still hungry for more. Patriots 35 Jets 7
Raiders @ Vikings -8.5 O/U: 42.5
The Raiders haven’t been as bad as they were the past few seasons. Despite all the off-field drama, they came out as a calm, organized, and composed team in Week 1. The Vikings followed a similar script, appearing to be a solid team in the opening week but faltering against the Packers last week after getting off to a very sluggish start. This line isn’t indicative of how decent the Raiders have been, nor does it reflect the uncertainty about whether Kirk Cousins is the right man for the job in Minnesota. I think both teams should have success on the ground to set up their passing attacks and this game should break the total points line. Vikings 27 Raiders 23
Panthers -2.5 @ Cardinals O/U: 46.5
With all the questions surrounding the health of Cam Newton, what we are failing to recognize is that there are definites we know about the situation. For one, Cam isn’t running the ball. At the end of the game last week on fourth and a half yard — from inside the five-yard line — the entire universe was expecting Cam to just launch himself over the line, like he’s done a million times before. It didn’t happen. The entire game, Cam didn’t run. He stayed in the pocket and sprayed errant passes all over the field. I have zero confidence in the Panthers this week and believe this will be the week Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray break into the win column. Cardinals 24 Panthers 22
Giants @ Bucs -6.5 O/U: 48
The Giants have been a disaster thus far, but have still been tolerable to watch, more or less. That’s almost solely due to Saquan Barkley and his incredible play with the ball in his hands. Barkley is carrying this team right now and the Giants finally realized it may be time to move on from Eli Manning. Though it should have probably happened some time ago, Eli will be replaced by Daniel Jones, who looked decent in the preseason, for what it’s worth. With Golden Tate set to return in a few weeks, this team might actually be a threat to knock off some teams later on this season. This week might just be a few weeks too soon. Bucs 26 Giants 17
Texans @ Chargers -3.5 O/U: 47.5
The Texans seem to play to the level of their competition, except in the playoffs. Their offensive line still can’t block. Deshaun Watson still looks banged up and spends half the time running for his life. The Chargers suddenly reverted to being the “lost because of our kicker” Chargers of 2017, so what’s the angle here? It starts up front.
Despite the Chargers issues with health, they are keeping defenses off balance. They’ve just had costly turnovers and failed to capitalize last week on golden opportunities on the road. I think Deshaun Watson may not make it through the game as the Chargers pass rush will be on him all game. The Texans should hang in there, but I’m going to have to go with the team who has the definitive advantage up front and that’s the Chargers defensive line over the Houston offensive line. It’s going to be enough to make the difference. Chargers 27 Texans 20
Saints @ Seahawks -4 O/U: 45.5
Oh, the Saints. We had such high expectations coming into the season for a revenge tour in 2019. As it currently stands, they’re going to need to pull a few games out of a hat in the coming weeks until Drew Brees can return. How will they do it, you may wonder? It’s going to come from a combination of short plays designed to get players in motion and exploit mismatches at the line of scrimmage. They’re going to need to tailor the offense to fit Teddy Bridgewater’s skill set, while limiting his reads.
Expect an uptick in usage from Alvin Kamara and even more QB and gadget plays from Taysom Hill. The Seahawks, on the other hand, have benefitted greatly from other teams’ misfortune thus far. First, they got the Bengals without AJ Green and a majority of the game without Joe Mixon. They eeked out a home victory and then went on the road and pulled off another upset against a Steelers team minus Big Ben. Now, they get the Saints at home, without Drew Brees. What a fortunate start for such an average team. Their fortune will continue this week as I can’t imagine the Saints will put together an effective offense in such a short time crunch. Seahawks 24 Saints 17
Steelers @ 49ers -6.5 O/U: 44.5
The 49ers are under the radar, but off to the hot start many anticipated back in 2018. Their opening two opponents haven’t been especially challenging, but Jimmy Garappolo appears to be playing himself back into form and they’re 2-0 as a result. The Steelers will be breaking in a new quarterback on the road this week, so I can’t see this going as they envisioned pre-season. Following an abysmal opener against the defending champs, the Steelers struggled against a very mediocre Seahawks defense and their comeback rally came up short. Though the Steelers have expressed faith in Mason Rudolph at quarterback, it’s a very early road test and just like the Saints and Jets, they may not be able to get things rolling so quickly. 49ers 27 Steelers 14
Rams -3 @ Browns O/U: 51
The Rams are off to a great start, despite being noticeable less synchronized on offense. Their defense isn’t the same as it’s been the past few seasons either, but the Browns have a noticeably weak offensive line. Expect the Rams to send creative blitz packages on passing downs while focusing on stopping the run on early downs. If the Browns hope to overcome the Rams and their dynamic attack, they’re going to need to keep the Rams defense guessing. I think McVay will be the difference in this game as I simply can’t imagine him being outcoached by Freddie Kitchens in Kitchens’ first season as head coach. Rams 34 Browns 20
September 23rd (Monday night)
Bears -4 @ Redskins O/U: 42
The Bears have been…unbearable on offense so far. I had to say it. Mitch Trubisky has been awful thus far. Why is this so bad? It’s not that bad right now, because there’s still time for him to turn things around and there’s plenty of season left to play. What makes it worse is considering all the Bears gave up in the draft so they could move up one spot and draft him ahead of both Deshaun Watson and Pat Mahomes.
The Redskins have been the survivors of horrifying injuries the past couple seasons. Last season, they were on a clear path to the playoffs before a series of injuries led to their ultimate collapse. I think the Redskins are much more competent as a team than anyone wants to give them credit for and believe Case Keenum can get it done for the Skins at home this week. I’m going to go out on a limb and call the Bears kicker to miss the game-tying field goal at the end. Redskins 20 Bears 17