Bettor’s Guide: NFL Week 3 Picks, Point Spreads, Over-Unders

Update: The spreads for the Giants-Eagles and Cowboys-Redskins have been posted. Picks below.

If a tie feels like kissing your sister, then how should we accurately describe the feeling of picking 32 games through the first two weeks of the season and being exactly .500 at the end of it? That’s right, through 32 games I am 15-15-2. It almost like 32 smooches with my figurative and non-existent sister, which even just a figment of my imagination sounds utterly unenjoyable and awkward.

nfl-week-3-picks-point-spreads-odds-free-picks-ats-over-unders-week-threeAnd that’s what 15-15-2 is: unenjoyable and awkward. Because it’s not usually like this. I usually zoom out of the games and get 10-15 games over .500 within the first few weeks. But no matter. Week 3 is here, with 16 more games to pick…16 opportunities to get the overall record over .500 once for and all.

Let’s see what the oddsmakers have in store for us this week.

A couple of quick things to keep in mind:

Now here are your Week 3 picks, along with the point spreads and over-under odds for each game.

NFL Week 3 Bettor’s Guide

Point Spreads – Over-Under Lines – Free Picks Against the Spread (ATS)

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Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers

  • Jaguars-Panthers Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 1:00 ET on CBS
  • Jaguars-Panthers Point Spread: Panthers -3.5
  • Jaguars-Panthers Over-Under Odds: 43
  • Jaguars-Panthers Spread Pick: Jacksonville is an ugly, ugly team right now. Luke McCown was pathetic last week, but the only alternative is a QB in Blaine Gabbert who has yet to start an NFL game and who did not exactly exhibit a sophisticated ability to read defenses in college. And how long will Jags’ vets like MJD and Mike Thomas continue to play hard for Jack Del Rio after he axed David Garrard right before the season started? It worried me to trust Cam Newton, who is still a rookie himself, but the Panthers have far fewer question marks than the Jags right now. Jaguars-Panthers free pick: Panthers -3.5

Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans

  • Broncos-Titans Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 1:00 ET on CBS
  • Broncos-Titans Point Spread: Titans -7
  • Broncos-Titans Over-Under Odds: 42
  • Broncos-Titans Spread Pick: The Titans were outstanding in drubbing the Ravens at home last week, and the Broncos actually showed a pulse against the woeful Benglas. Still, Andy Dalton and AJ Green were able to look like grizzled vets against the Denver defense. What will actual vets like Matt Hasselbeck and emerging superstar Kenny Britt look like? And if Chris Johnson gets it going, watch out. I’m not hugely excited about trusting Tennessee to win by seven, but I really just don’t think Denver is very good…at all. Broncos-Titans free pick: Titans -7

Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints

  • Texans-Saints Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 1:00 ET on CBS
  • Texans-Saints Point Spread: Saints -4
  • Texans-Saints Over-Under Odds: 53
  • Texans-Saints Spread Pick: Could I possibly lay the points with a home favorite in three straight games? I rarely do it, but I think I might in this this case. Houston has played Indy and Miami so far this year, two of the worst teams in the NFL. They won both, the first one in dominant fashion, so they’ve essentially done what they should have done. New Orleans, on the other hand, has been tested. They played the Packers and the Bears, the two teams who met in last year’s NFC Title Game. With the Saints being at home, and this being Houston’s first true test of the year, I like the Saints to control this game. They won’t get to Schaub like they got to Cutler, but Houston’s defense also won’t look like world-beaters either. Drew Brees will make it resemble last year’s terrible unit much more than what we’ve seen through two weeks against Kerry Collins and Chad Henne. Texans-Saints free pick: Saints -4

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

  • Lions-Vikings Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 1:00 ET on FOX
  • Lions-Vikings Point Spread: Lions -3
  • Lions-Vikings Over-Under Odds: 44.5
  • Lions-Vikings Spread Pick: Okay, time to slow a couple of trains down now. First, the Lions Locomotive that appears to be on a collision course with the playoffs. I predicted them to make it before the season, so I’m not surprised they’ve started out well, but this isn’t the ’85 Bears. The Lions will slip up a few times along the way, and this is a prime time when it could happen. Teams often play well when sitting at 0-2 because it’s one final chance to salvage the start of the season. Minnesota has a lot of good, proven vets – AD, Jared Allen, Donovan McNabb, Percy Harvin, etc. – and I think they’ll bring their A game. Detroit is very good, but this is still a division opponent on the road, and the division opponent is the one who is desperate. Detroit may win, but Minnesota is going to make them earn it. Lions-Vikings free pick: Vikings +4

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

  • Giants-Eagles Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 1:00 ET on FOX
  • Giants-Eagles Point Spread: Eagles -8.5
  • Giants-Eagles Over-Under Odds: 47.5
  • Giants-Eagles Spread Pick: Apparently Michael Vick is fully recovered from his concussion, so he will start for the Eagles. Unfortunately for the Giants, wide receiver Mario Manningham is not recovered from his concussion, so Eli Manning will have Hakeem Nicks to throw to…and no one else. Still, the Giants owe the Eagles a little payback from last year, and the strength of the Giants’ offense (the run game) gets to go up against the weakness of the Eagles’ defense (run defense). Like last year, Vick and the Eagles may pull this out late, but the Giants won’t go down without a fight. Giants-Eagles free pick: Giants +8.5

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills

  • Patriots-Bills Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 1:00 ET on CBS
  • Patriots-Bills Point Spread: Patriots -9
  • Patriots-Bills Over-Under Odds: 53
  • Patriots-Bills Spread Pick: The Patriots own the Bills. Seriously, they’ve beaten them like 99 out of the last 100 times. I’m exaggerating…but not by much. Still, I have this funny feeling that what we’re seeing coalesce in Buffalo is for real, even though they’ve only played Kansas City and Oakland. I don’t think Buffalo is going to win this game, but nine points is a lot of points to lay on the road, even with Tom Brady as the quarterback for the favorite. New England may even get up big early, but Buffalo isn’t going to stop coming, and I think they make this as respectable outcome, perhaps even one that gets decided in the 4th quarter. Patriots-Bills free pick: Bills +9

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns

  • Dolphins-Browns Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 1:00 ET on CBS
  • Dolphins-Browns Point Spread: Browns -3
  • Dolphins-Browns Over-Under Odds: 41
  • Dolphins-Browns Spread Pick: Incredibly, the Dolphins actually play better on the road than at home, so if Cleveland is getting the typical three points for the home field advantage, it’s misplaced in this case. I also think that, like the Vikings, the 0-2 Dolphins have a lot of prideful veterans like Brandon Marshall, Jake Long, and Jason Taylor who are not going to let the season do a total nosedive without putting up a fight. Cleveland is an improving team, but they do not have the weapons in the passing game to pressure the Dolphins’ secondary like New England and Houston had. That will be a welcome respite for Miami’s reeling D, and the emergence of Daniel Thomas last week could be what the offense needs to finally find some balance. Dolphins-Browns free pick: Dolphins +3

San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals

  • 49ers-Bengals Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 1:00 ET on FOX
  • 49ers-Bengals  Point Spread: Bengals -3
  • 49ers-Bengals  Over-Under Odds: 41
  • 49ers-Bengals  Spread Pick: San Francisco is not every good offensively, but they have done a nice job on both sides of the line against Seattle and Dallas through two weeks in the season. Granted, neither Seattle nor Dallas has great lines, but still. It’s a step in the right direction for San Fran. And while everyone is getting excited about young Bengals QB Andy Dalton, and his fellow rookie AJ Green, and with good reason, both of these guys are still rookies. San Francisco has shown that it won’t shoot itself in the foot on offense this year, even the overly conservative gameplan can be stifling. In games against rookies, however, waiting for them to make the mistake can often be a solid recipe. I think that’s what Jim Harbaugh will do, and it’ll give the 49ers a good chance to get a road W. 49ers-Bengals free pick: 49ers +3

New York Jets at Oakland Raiders

  • Jets-Raiders Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 4:05 ET on CBS
  • Jets-Raiders Point Spread: Jets -3.5
  • Jets-Raiders Over-Under Odds: 41
  • Jets-Raiders Spread Pick: Upset alert! Upset alert! I’ll tell you right now that I think Oakland wins this game. I know, I know: they fattened up on mostly AFC West foes last year and the Jets are a beast from the East. Still, Oakland damn near beat Oakland last week, and they have unearthed a legit receiving threat in Denarius Moore. While Moore will be on Revis Island, and thus will likely be held well in check, the Jets still have to deal with Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. This just feels like one of those tricky games that the 0-2 Jets could easily overlook. Considering they have to win by more than a field goal to cover, I feel pretty confidence going with the home team and the points. Jets-Raiders free pick: Raiders +3.5

Baltimore Ravens at St. Louis Rams

  • Ravens-Rams Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 4:05 ET on CBS
  • Ravens-Rams Point Spread: Ravens -3.5
  • Ravens-Rams Over-Under Odds: 41.5
  • Ravens-Rams Spread Pick: A tough game to figure. St. Louis simply cannot score when it gets into the redzone, and that kills their chances to beat good teams, as we saw on Monday night. And Baltimore, despite dropping a turd against Tennessee, is a good team. However, the Rams are at home and sit at 0-2 despite big expectations coming into the year. The theme of this weeks picks are desperate 0-2 teams putting up strong last stands to avoid going to 0-3. As with the Jets-Raiders game, it’s tough to have faith in the Ravens going to St. Louis and winning by more than a field goal against a talented QB leading a team with its back against the wall. Baltimore may win, but St. Louis will certainly make them earn it. Ravens-Rams free pick: Rams +3.5

Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers

  • Chiefs-Chargers Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 4:05 ET on CBS
  • Chiefs-Chargers Point Spread: Chargers -14.5
  • Chiefs-Chargers Over-Under Odds: 45
  • Chiefs-Chargers Spread Pick: Most everything from the first two weeks of the season points to the Chiefs getting their asses handed to them in this game. However, I have a hard time trusting Norv Turner and the Chargers to do anything they are supposed to. Thus, even with the Chiefs now missing three of their ten best players entering the season, I think they’ll find a way to at least make this game competitive. They aren’t winning, but they can keep it within two scores. Chiefs-Chargers free pick: Chiefs +14.5

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Falcons-Buccaneers Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 4:15 ET on FOX
  • Falcons-Buccaneers Point Spread: Buccaneers -1.5
  • Falcons-Buccaneers Over-Under Odds: 45.5
  • Falcons-Buccaneers Spread Pick: The cardiac Buccaneers got another close, late win last week, and this spread suggests that they’ll do it against this week. And you know what? I can see it. I don’t think either of these teams goes to the playoffs this year, but I do see this being a pretty entertaining game between two good but overrated teams who outperformed their abilities last year. Seeing as how Matt Ryan and the Falcons are much better at home than on the road. I’m going with Tampa Bay to get this one, and to do so by more than a point. Falcons-Buccaneers free pick: Buccaneers +1.5

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

  • Packers-Bears Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 4:15 ET on FOX
  • Packers-Bears Point Spread: Packers -3.5
  • Packers-Bears Over-Under Odds: 45.5
  • Packers-Bears Spread Pick: You try to figure the Bears out. They crush many people’s NFC darling Atlanta in Week 1, then they go on the road and get smashed by New Orleans in Week 2. Back at home for Week 3 I expect the Bears to play better, and Jay Cutler could even have a nice fantasy week against a secondary that has gotten lit up by Drew Brees and Cam Newton during the season’s first two weeks. The Bears are always a threat to get sacked 10 times and get blown out of the water, but being at home will help. I like going with the underdog in rivalry games, especially at home. So I’m doing it again here. Packers-Bears free pick: Bears +3.5

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks

  • Cardinals-Seahawks Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 4:15 ET on FOX
  • Cardinals-Seahawks Point Spread: Cardinals -3.5
  • Cardinals-Seahawks Over-Under Odds: 43
  • Cardinals-Seahawks Spread Pick: Seattle sucks, but as we know they are a tough team to beat at home. They are also 0-2, and thus desperate for some sign that this will not be a completely lost season. Can Tarvaris and Co. provide that sign? Arizona is getter with Kevin Kolb this year, but they haven’t shown me anything through two weeks that leads me to believe they are some kind of juggernaut that is head and shoulders above the league’s worst teams. Coming off a draining close loss to Washington, I expect Arizona to struggle a bit before pulling this one of late. But once again, give me the home dog against the non-dominant favorite. Cardinals-Seahawks free pick: Seahawks +3.5

Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts

  • Steelers-Colts Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 8:20 ET on NBC
  • Steelers-Colts Point Spread: Steelers -10.5
  • Steelers-Colts Over-Under Odds: 39.5
  • Steelers-Colts Spread Pick: Hmm…do we go with the home underdog again? My gut says no. Pittsburgh rebounded from its Week 1 shellacking by Baltimore to deliver a shellacking of their own to woeful Seattle. Sadly, I’m not sure that Indianapolis is a lot better than Seattle right now, and how on earth is Kerry Collins going to deal with the frenetic Steelers’ defense? I thought Indy would put up a fight last week, and they did somewhat. But the Browns still pulled it out and beat the spread. I think Pittsburgh does the same thing, but by virtue of having better players, they’ll beat a bigger spread. Steelers-Colts free pick: Steelers -10.5

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys

  • Redskins-Cowboys Date, Time, and TV: Sunday, September 25th at 8:30 ET on ESPN
  • Redskins-Cowboys Point Spread: Cowboys -4 (only one book has this line posted, so it could change depending on the ultimate status of Romo)
  • Redskins-Cowboys Over-Under Odds: 45.5
  • Redskins-Cowboys Spread Pick: I know that the Cowboys are at home, but I just do not understand this line. Miles Austin is out, Dez Bryant is dinged, Felix Jones is dinged, and oh yeah, Tony Romo is dinged up too. That’s a whole lot of injury uncertainty for the most important skill position players on this team. In what is sure to be a tough, physical division game, I just don’t think Dallas has what it to take to win this in any manner other than very close and at the end. The Cowboys do get Terence Newman back, but they don’t exactly have playmakers in the secondary that scare you, or that get you excited that they can take advantage of any errant Rex throws. Redskins-Cowboys free pick: Redskins +4


About Jerod Morris

I love words. I write for Copyblogger and founded MSF, The Assembly Call, & Primility. I practice yoga, eat well, & strive for balance. I love life. Namaste. Say hi on Twitter, Facebook, & G+.

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