Miami Dolphins (+8) at Cincinnati Bengals
Full disclosure over the last two years I've done very well picking games, but even then I am always out of sorts on Thursday night games. I haven't figured out if the traveling team will show up, if the home team has the advantage whether or not it's the better team that comes prepared to play. I feel like it's very hard to get a strong hold on because it's vanilla football and not indicative of who teams really are. With all that being said, I feel like eight points is too many going against a team that has a few players who can wreck games.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5) at Indianapolis Colts
London is another iffy situation. How do teams adjust to flying, sight-seeing, the unique playing surface. Motivation before a bye week? Lots of unusual factors here. I'm going to go with the desperate team, who also happens to make plenty of trips out to London.
Pick: Jaguars win outright
Cleveland Browns (+8) at Washington Redskins
The Browns will finish the season with one of the worst, if not the worst record in the league. Having said that they are a team that fights. I don't think the Redskins are eight-point favorites on the Browns. They just don't play enough defense and the Browns while terrible have been in every game.
Pick: Browns cover
Buffalo Bills (+5.5) at New England Patriots
At some point in time not having your franchise Hall of Fame quarterback has to haunt you, right? Doesn't it? How is it possible they are 3-0? The Texans were the most embarrassing performance last week in my opinion.
Pick: Bills cover
Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) at New York Jets
I believe in the talent of the Jets. Their front four is terrific and Russell Wilson is hobbled and not playing all that well. The Jets also throw three big WR at you and a good solid running back. I doubt they turn the ball over 46 times this week.
Pick: Jets cover
Carolina Panthers (-3) at Atlanta Falcons
The Panthers are 1-2 heading into a big game in Week 3 vs the Falcons. The Falcons put on a show last week, but I don't think they match up particularly well with the Panthers.
Detroit Lions (-3) at Chicago Bears
I like taking home underdogs and I keep waiting for the Bears to show me something. I didn't expect them to be one of the worst teams in the league, but I feel the Lions should be able to win this one. Matthew Stafford has played well over the last 16 games over the past two seasons.
Tennessee Titans (+5) at Houston Texans
The Texans performance last week was absolutely awful. The Titans are a team that is kind of blah. No one cares about them at all, but they do two things pretty well. Run the ball (8th in the league) and defend the pass (12th in the league) and when you do those two things you'll be competitive in a lot of games.
Oakland Raiders (+3) at Baltimore Ravens
I believe in the NFL playmakers win games, and depth keeps you from losing them. I Think the Raiders have more playmakers, but lack some depth. Fortunately, the Raiders won't be missing a whole lot of players. There is something there with the Raiders. The Ravens are winning close games, but haven't beaten anybody good.
Pick: Raiders with the minor upset
Denver Broncos (-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) at San Francisco 49ers
I like home underdogs.
Pick: 49ers with the upset
New Orleans Saints (+4) at San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are a team that is facing some major injury concerns and lack overall talent to begin with. The Saints feel like a team that the wheels are coming off the bus and I know the Saints are typically much better at home, but with Drew Brees as the quarterback and a team that is 0-3 and desperate I expect a win here.
Pick: Saints with the upset
Los Angeles Rams (+8) at Arizona Cardinals
For whatever reason the Rams just play tough in their own division. Against the rest of the league they go all Chris Berman: rumbling, stumbling, bumbling. Against the division they are world beaters. There are two other factors at play here as well. One the Cardinals don't look as good as last year, especially Carson Palmer who is struggling. I was at the Bills Cardinals game last week and Palmer was just making some absolutely brutal throws. Secondly, the Cardinals injury report is very lengthy with 10 players listed as out or questionable.
I don't know what to make of the Chiefs and I think the Steelers are good, but their defense is struggling. They are getting Leveon Bell back (which my fantasy team desperately needs), but I think the Chiefs can keep this close.
New York Giants (+5) at Minnesota Vikings
The New York Giants right now lead the league in yards per play differential and over the last few seasons teams that have led the league in this metric have had very good success. Now it is early in the season, but there's something here with the Giants team: and it's talent. This is an odd game as the Giants don't face the Vikings a ton, but for some reason they just have Eli Manning's number (look up his numbers vs the Vikings: pitiful) including a pair of 4 INT games.
Monday Night Football big game, the Giants of recent years com out and lay an egg. Who are these Giants? That's what I'm still waiting to figure out.
Right now though is a rough week for the Giants traveling to face off to he league's best defenses without their pass catching running back, their starting running back, possibly two of their top 3 safeties. on the other side the Vikings will be without Shariff Floyd, Adrian Peterson, and Teddy Bridgewater, Matt Kalil. Both teams are battling injury issues.
Here's what I think, the Giants should match up well with the Vikings. The Vikings are a very good defense, but they don't have great depth in the secondary and the Giants have matchup problems for any team. The Vikings on offense also lack explosive playmakers, where last week the Redskins used their talented WR trio to create problems for the Giants the Vikings have Stefon Diggs and a lot of question marks.
The Vikings strengths don't align particularly strong with the Giants weaknesses which should help the Giants. I also think (i.e: pray) that this team that has been adding talent over the last couple of years with players "full of leadership" has the kind of pride to come out and put forth their best effort on Monday night in a game that is not a must win, but a game they need to win.
Pick: Giants win outright.
Week 1: 8-7-1
Week 2: 9-7
Week 3: 7-9