NFL Week 3 Picks And Predictions
As we reach the first weekend of autumn, the third week of the NFL season has arrived … And with six undefeated teams and seven winless teams in the league, the NFL has already reached what it loves the most, parity. With divisional and conference play on tap from Thursday Monday, here, now is a preview with our predictions of what will happen during Week Three of the 2022 National Football League season.
Pittsburgh (1-1) at Cleveland -4.5 (1-1): This AFC North game starts the week’s schedule on Thursday night, with both teams having up and down seasons so far by winning their opener and dropping their second games. It is difficult to get too excited about either one of these teams yet, and with an over/under number of 38.5 posted for this game, watching this matchup may be difficult for fans outside of the Great Lakes Region. Other than their collapse late against the Jets last week, I guess you could say the Browns have played better than the Steelers, but not by much. Cleveland is hosting this game on a short week, which is why they are getting favorite status, but with everyone expecting a close game, taking the 4.5 and Pittsburgh is my play.
Houston (0-1-1) at Chicago -2.5 (1-1): When the NFL schedule wheel spins every season, it can sometimes give us great matchups, and then, in this case, we end up with the Texans playing the Bears. After play well in Week One, both of these team laid eggs in their Week Two losses. I supposed the Bears believe they are further along in their rebuilding project now that Justin Fields is taking the snaps at QB, but his numbers are less than impressive, leaving much to be desired. They are, however, the better team on the field this weekend and Da Bears -2.5 is the safe bet.
Las Vegas (0-2) at Tennessee -2.5 (0-2): In this interesting AFC matchup, you probably could have made some big money if you had bet both the Raiders and Titans would be winless heading into their game. Las Vegas is averaging 21 points per game but can’t seem to stop anyone with a pulse from scoring. Tennessee was a FG away from defeating the Giants on opening day before getting trounced Monday night in Buffalo, setting this up for a high scoring game for whomever can put together a solid game plan and execute it. I think the bloom is off the rose named Ryan Tannehill since, without an outside threat, no one is worried about him beating their defense, and running Derrick Henry just isn’t the same when you can key on him. It may not be a pretty game, but that’s just how the Raiders have always loved to play. Taking Las Vegas +2.5 to win outright.
Kansas City -6.5 (2-0) at Indianapolis (0-1-1): Early returns out of Kansas City is trading Tyreek Hill was a good thing for them as well for Miami and both teams are 2-0 with KC’s offense looking as good as it did during their Super Bowl winning season. Sadly, the trade market wasn’t as friendly for the Colts, who picked up QB Matt Ryan from Atlanta, and to say that Ryan looks like he should have retired is an understatement. After all, Indy did put up 20 points against Houston before getting blanked last week at Jacksonville, looking bad in doing so. This has mismatch written all over it, and with KC’s renewed focus and production, laying the 6.5 points is the play.
Buffalo -6.0 (2-0) at Miami (2-0): The co-leaders of the AFC East square off on South Beach this weekend in an important early season divisional showdown. Both teams have scored this season, with the Bills posting 72 points and the Dolphins tallying 62; but what has The Mafia a six-point favorite is defense, with Buffalo only allowing 10 and 7 points in their two wins with Miami getting lit up for 38 points last week against Baltimore. With Josh Allen able to do many of the things Lamar Jackson does for the Ravens, this looks like it might be a bad matchup for Miami, or at the very least, it will be a high-scoring game (O/U is 52.5). Say what you want about the Dolphins’ offense, it takes defense to win big games, which this is one of. Taking Buffalo -6 to win and cover on the road against their biggest threat in the division.
Detroit (1-1) at Minnesota -6.0 (1-1): In the NFC North, every team is either tied for first or last depending upon how you want to look at it. Of the four teams in the division, no one has scored more points or allowed more than the visiting Lions have after two weeks; and as for the Vikings, after dominating Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Week One, they have yielded one more point than they have scored after two weeks). Detroit has shown no quit in their first two games, almost coming back against the Eagles before holding off the Commanders last week. Don’t know which Minnesota team will show up this week, but I do believe Detroit will come prepared and ready to play hard and well, and with six points also available to me, I am taking the Lions +6 to cover.
Baltimore -3.0 (1-1) at New England (1-1): Last week the Patriots got their first 2022 victory over the Steelers, and this week they take on another AFC North team as they host the Ravens. The Ravens are playing their third straight AFC East team after defeating the Jets to start the season and falling in shootout at home to the Dolphins last week. New England’s offense has done little to impress friends or foes, posting just 24 points in two weeks, having many wondering if Mac Jones has fallen to third among active Alabama QBs in the NFL. Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa gave the Patriots’ defense trouble on opening weekend, something that the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson should be able to learn from and improve upon. Ravens -3, even on the road, is the play here.
Cincinnati -5.0 (0-2) at NY Jets (1-1): The defending AFC champs are still looking for their first win of this year having fallen in overtime to the Steelers before losing on a last-second field goal in Dallas last week. The Jets, playing their third game against AFC North opponents, were man-handled by the Ravens in Week One before stealing one against the Browns last week. Cincy has been in both their games, with the other team making one play to beat them, while the Jets, other than two possessions and one special teams’ play last week, have been dominated most of the year. The Bengals, believe it or not, need this game more despite it still being September, which is why I am picking Cincinnati (-5) to use the Jets to get right this Sunday and post their first 2022 win.
New Orleans -3.0 (1-1) at Carolina (0-2): The news ahead of this game surrounds Saints’ QB Jameis Winston, who is reportedly playing with four fractured vertebrae in his back as well as an ankle injury. The fact that New Orleans is still favored on the road despite their quarterback’s medical condition doesn’t bode well for a Panthers’ team who lost to the Browns in Week One and the Giants last week, all by a total of five points. I have personally never been a big fan of Winston on or off the field, and with him hurting bad, making him limited at practice, if Carolina is going to break through, doing so against an NFC South divisional opponent feels like the time it can, and should happen. Taking the Panthers (+3) to cover and probably win outright.
Philadelphia -6.5 (2-0) at Washington (1-1): The NFC East co-leading Eagles head down I-95 to take on a Washington team who has defeated the Jaguars and lost to the Lions so far this year. Philly fans watched their QB Jalen Hurts post three TDs in the first half of their Monday night win over Minnesota last week after their opening week win at Detroit. Don’t see the Commanders’ offense giving too many problems to the Eagles’ defense, while the reverse is true anytime Hurts is on the field for Philly. That’s why I see the Eagles going to 3-0 with a win (-6.5) in Washington.
Jacksonville (1-1) at LA Chargers -7.0 (1-1): The Jaguars are the only AFC South team with a win so far this year, giving them the lead in the division … They take on a Chargers team playing their first game outside the AFC West, with a win over Las Vegas to start the year, and a loss last week on Thursday night at Kansas City. Jags’ QB Trevor Lawrence play well in their win last week over the Colts, but facing an LA team who believes they are title worthy will be a much tougher task, especially on the road. Justin Herbert is moving into elite status among NFL QBs even if he is the second best within his own division thanks to Patrick Mahomes. On Sunday, he will show how and why he should be considered elite. Chargers -7 to win and cover at home.
Atlanta (0-2) at Seattle -2.0 (1-1): In the Rebuilding Bowl, the Falcons head from the ATL to the PNW to take on a Seahawks team in a game to be seen by a small portion of American television markets. The only win between this duo came when Seattle booed, and the defeated Russell Wilson and the Broncos on the opening Monday Night of the year. Atlanta has fallen twice by a total of only five points so far this year, losing by one to the Saints Week One, and at the Rams by four in the front half of their NFC West twin-bill. Neither team is going anywhere this year, making this just another random bad game thanks to the NFL Schedule Wheel. While the Falcons have been competitive, playing against the 12s in Seattle is a different kind of challenge, even when Geno Smith is the Seahawks starting QB. The ‘Hawks will find their opening night mojo this week, cover the two-point spread and win their second game of the year.
Green Bay (1-1) at Tampa Bay -1.0 (2-0): In a game worthy of marble and Matchbox car races on social media, two of the best take to the field again against each other as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers head to Central Florida to take on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. It was nice of the NFL to play this game between Brady’s scheduled days off as it was very kind of TB12 to play this game rather than requesting a personal day. As for the game itself, these could be two of the NFC best team come December, so home field advantage could be on the line in this very early autumn matchup. Money is coming even almost evenly between these two teams, with the one-point spread showing how closely matched up these two rosters are. Tampa’s roster will be missing WR Mike Evans, who was suspended for this game after his fight in last week’s game against New Orleans, leaving Tom Brady one important weapon short on offense. Who runs the ball better could decide who wins this game, and for that, I will take Green Bay over Tampa Bay. It that same running game that is also why the over/under is only 41 points in this game. It will be close, but with the Packers jumping out ahead and being able to run the ball well, it’s GB +1 here.
LA Rams -3.5 (1-1) at Arizona (1-1): Each of these NFC West teams bounced back from their poor showing in Week One to post wins in Week Two. This week the four-way tie among 1-1 teams will be broken up a little bit with the Rams heading to the desert to take on the Cardinals. The question is, which versions of these teams will show up Sunday afternoon, the opening week teams which were blown out, or the more improved Week Two teams? With the Rams needing to hold on late to defeat Atlanta and the Cardinals needing overtime to defeat the Raiders, Arizona looks closer to bring able to break out and find themselves again. That’s why I am surprised oddsmakers are still posting the Rams as a 3.5-point favorite, probably more a product of recent team success in LA vs. Arizona. The money is coming in on a 5-to-4 basis for the Cardinals here, and that’s where I see this game going to, taking Arizona +3.5 to keep it close and maybe win.
San Francisco -1.5 (1-1) at Denver (1-1): Jimmy G against Chef Wilson, just like everyone drew up this Sunday Night matchup in the spring when the schedules were announced. ‘Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo is counting up wins and his money since Trey Lance was lost to a broken ankle to start the season. In what will now be his walk year, Garoppolo has a chance to prove how wrong San Francisco was to believe in Lance by playing and winning in a system he already knows. The Broncos earned their first win with Russell Wilson as their QB last week, albeit against the Texans, with a chance to impress a primetime audience with a good showing against a better opponent. The 49ers are the better team now that Garoppolo is at the helm of the offense, and despite being on the road, they are a slight favorite, meaning the oddsmakers agree. I am going with the nearly two-thirds of the bettors who are on the favorite here, give me San Fran -1.5 to win and cover.
Dallas (1-1) at NY Giants -1 (2-0): Just as one of the NFC East co-leaders are facing a division foe, so are the Giants, who host the ‘Boys on Monday Night Football. With wins over Tennessee and Carolina, New York is breathing air it hasn’t been allowed to for years, while the Cowboys are still looking to find themselves without Dak Prescott despite a last-second win over Cincinnati last week. It has been the health of Saquon Barkley that has allowed the Giants offense to click this season as the former Penn State product has produced six yards per carry this season. If/when he is healthy, Barkley could be the best running back in the division and allow Giants QB Daniel Jones to show what he really can do with a competent head coach and balanced offensive attack. Dallas is limited without Prescott at QB, and those limits will be more pronounced with each game Cooper Rush needs to play in his place. If this was another other franchise besides the one with the star on their helmet, the Cowboys will likely be a 4 or 5-point underdog here. Thankfully New York only needs to cover a one-point spread, which they will to remain undefeated and end the third week of the 2022 NFL season.
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