A lot of surprises in the NFL over the first two weeks. Teams expected to bottom feed are 2-0 and teams expected to make deep playoff runs are 0-2. Meanwhile, a whole host of teams have decided to make a switch at QB just two weeks into the season. With more information about these teams, our picks should get better this week. Right? We’ll see.
The featured games this week are Tennessee @ New York Giants, Dallas @ Houston, Atlanta @ New Orleans, and Green Bay @ Chicago. This week’s spreads courtesy of your friendly neighborhood sportsbook.
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NFL Week 3 2010 Picks
|Browns @ Ravens||Ravens||Ravens||Ravens||Ravens||Ravens|
|Bills @ Patriots||Patriots||Patriots||Patriots||Patriots||Patriots|
|Niners @ Chiefs||Niners||Niners||Niners||Niners||Chiefs|
|Steelers @ Bucs||Steelers||Steelers||Steelers||Steelers||Steelers|
|Bengals @ Panthers||Bengals||Bengals||Bengals||Bengals||Bengals|
|Titans @ Giants||Titans||Titans||Titans||Giants||Titans|
|Cowboys @ Texans||Cowboys||Cowboys||Cowboys||Texans||Cowboys|
|Lions @ Vikings||Vikings||Vikings||Vikings||Vikings||Vikings|
|Falcons @ Saints||Saints||Saints||Saints||Falcons||Falcons|
|Eagles @ Jaguars||Eagles||Eagles||Eagles||Eagles||Eagles|
|Redskins @ Rams||Redskins||Redskins||Redskins||Redskins||Rams|
|Colts @ Broncos||Colts||Colts||Colts||Colts||Colts|
|Raiders @ Cards||Cards||Cards||Cards||Cards||Cards|
|Chargers @ Seahawks||Chargers||Chargers||Chargers||Chargers||Seahawks|
|Jets @ Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins||Jets|
|Packers @ Bears||Bears||Packers||Packers||Packers||Bears|
|Prev Week||9-7 (.563)||10-6 (.625)||9-7 (.563)||8-8 (.500)|
|Overall||18-14 (.563)||20-12 (.625)||15-17 (.468)||19-13 (.594)|
Against the Spread
|Browns @ Ravens (-11)||Ravens||Browns||Ravens||Ravens||Browns|
|Bills @ Patriots (-14)||Patriots||Patriots||Patriots||Patriots||Bills|
|Niners @ Chiefs (+2.5)||Niners||Niners||Chiefs||Niners||Chiefs|
|Steelers @ Bucs (+2.5)||Steelers||Steelers||Steelers||Steelers||Steelers|
|Bengals @ Panthers (+3.5)||Bengals||Bengals||Bengals||Bengals||Bengals|
|Titans @ Giants (-3)||Titans||Titans||Titans||Titans||Titans|
|Cowboys @ Texans (-3)||Cowboys||Cowboys||Cowboys||Texans||Cowboys|
|Lions @ Vikings (-11)||Lions||Lions||Vikings||Lions||Vikings|
|Falcons @ Saints (-4)||Falcons||Falcons||Falcons||Falcons||Falcons|
|Eagles @ Jaguars (+3)||Eagles||Eagles||Eagles||Jaguars||Eagles|
|Redskins @ Rams (+4)||Redskins||Redskins||Rams||Rams||Rams|
|Colts @ Broncos (+5.5)||Colts||Colts||Colts||Broncos||Colts|
|Raiders @ Cards (-4)||Cards||Raiders||Cards||Raiders||Raiders|
|Chargers @ Seahawks (+5.5)||Chargers||Chargers||Seahawks||Chargers||Seahawks|
|Jets @ Dolphins (-2)||Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins||Jets|
|Packers @ Bears (+3)||Bears||Packers||Packers||Packers||Bears|
|Prev Week||7-8-1 (.467)||8-7-1 (.533)||5-10-1 (.333)||5-10-1 (.333)|
|Overall||14-15-3 (.483)||13-16-3 (.448)||11-18-3 (.379)||12-17-3 (.414)|
* The peso is a coin flip of an old peso to pick the game.
Locks of the Week
Vegas Vinny: (0-2, Balance =$835). I know there’s no such thing as a moral victory but the Niners have to feel good about their showing against the Saints last week. Their running game looked good. Alex Smith looked good. And their defense was pretty good. If not for some early miscues and some Drew Brees magic, the Niners had a great opportunity to win that game. Across the country, if not for a gift from Seneca Wallace, the Chiefs would not be 2-0. I realize that Arrowhead is a tough place to play (ask the Chargers), but the Niners can’t go 0-3 and expect to win the NFC West. And the Niners will win the NFC West.
For the trends people, KC is 4-1 against the spread in the last 5 versus San Francisco and 3-0 in games played in KC. So I’m going against the trends on this one. $55 on San Francsico (-2.5) to win $50.
BostonMac: (1-1, Balance =$995) 14 is the magic number for the Patriots this week– 14 point favorites at home against the Bills, and a win will be New England’s 14th in a row. Aside from the second half against the Jets, the Patriots offense has looked almost otherworldly so far this season, and the Bills are in no position to slow them down. Add that to Bill Belichick’s declaration that the Pats’ goal this week is to “play a full sixty minute game,” and that adds up to one thing: running up the score, 2007-style. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return to Massachusetts is going to be ugly. Despite Burton’s assertion that it is lame to pick your team as your lock, picking against the Bills is like predicting against a Republican winning the race for mayor of Baltimore: sure, it could happen, but the other side would basically have to be all dead for it to come true. $110 to win $100 on NEW ENGLAND (-14).
RJ: (0-1-1, Balance =$945) The reports of the Colts’ demise appear to have been greatly exaggerated. After a pretty pedestrian effort against Houston in the opener, they were continually trashed, burned at the stake and told they were never going to win another football game. Ever. Well, that was me. Peyton Manning and the Colts showed they still can be brutally efficient on offense, scoring 24 unanswered in the first half to end things early. The play of the defense was more encouraging for the Colts. Freeney was all over the place and the Giants couldn’t run the ball. The Colts forced turnovers and generally made life miserable for Little Brother. The Colts need more of the same against Denver. Manning has always used the Broncos as a piss bottle, losing only one start in 2003 (another he played only three plays) and never throwing for less than three touchdowns. Also, the Broncos are 1-14 ATS against excellent passing teams since 2007. I think the Colts qualify as one of those. Indianapolis (-5.5) rolls over the Broncos. $110 to win $100.
Burton: (1-1, Balance =$1,035) I know usually the reason for making a game a lock is that the line is just out of whack with established trends and stuff, but in this case, the only reason for locking a game is that one of these teams is just that bad. Buffalo, who is giving 14 to New England, isn’t 14 points worse than the Patriots. The Bills are worse than that. They have no Quarterback, a lackluster offensive line, no playmakers at wide receiver, and a porous secondary. They kept it close Week 1 against Miami for the sole reason that Miami has no offense whatsoever, but their disarray showed last week against Green Bay.
On the other hand, New England is desperate. The Pats were schooled (or is it skewld?) by the Sanchize last week, and already could be facing a must-win in the ultra-competitive AFC East. The other two contenders, the Jets and Dolphins, play Sunday night, and if the Pats slip up they could find themselves already two games behind entering their Monday night showdown with Miami Week 4. Expect Bill Belichick to be well aware of what is riding on this game and make a statement. Tom Brady will have a field day, and the Pats will have covered the large spread during the first quarter. If Buffalo doesn’t lose by at least three touchdowns, color me impressed. Take New England (-14), $110 to win $100.