NFL Picks: Game-by-Game ML Predictions for All Week 3 Games

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 7:58 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 23, 2015 7:58 PM UTC

Which teams will be winners and losers in week 3 NFL betting? Check out our weekly game-by-game rundown of NFL picks for straight up betting.

Week 2 NFL Betting Recap
We are coming off a rather abysmal week 2 for our NFL picks in straight up betting. A 4-12 mark that brings our total for two weeks of NFL picks to a modest 15-17-0. We’re not going to mull over it too much, or let it bring us down. Looking ahead to week 3, we are resolved to improve on our score. So let’s get cracking.

Week 1 Record: 11-5-0
Week 2 Record: 4-12-0


Redskins +185 vs. Giants -200
Thursday Night Football kicks off between the Washington Redskins (1-1 SU) and the NY Giants (0-2SU). The Redskins are coming off a 24-10 win over the Rams, pulling off the upset as the home underdogs across the board. Meanwhile, for a second straight game, the Giants carelessly toss away the lead late in the game. On the whole, the Giants have played good football through 8 quarters. They led the Cowboys and the Falcons for the majority of the game, only to frit away the wins with questionable calling from the 2-minute warning onwards. Easily, we could have been talking about a 2-0 SU side. As it is, they are winless. NY fans are up in arms. And we’re left scratching our heads, which way to go with this NFL pick.

The disappointments have to be playing heavily on Eli Manning and Company. To the point that they’ll lose confidence? That’s key. Redskins, meanwhile, have benched RGIII and, contrary to expectations, they aren’t half bad without him. Kirk Cousins has done a decent enough job and the defense has been solid. In fact, they are No.1 in total defense while the Giants are second worst in the league in total defense. NY have the offensive weapons to win this game, but Redskins have the defense to slow them down and run the clock in their favor. Dilemma, dilemma. This really could go either way, and might be a lot closer than the NFL odds makers would suggest.

Until the Giants show some resolve and actually win a game, they are a risky bet. However, this is a familiar divisional rivalry that they’ve dominated in recent seasons. They could squeak out the victory.

NFL Picks: Giants -200 at 5Dimes

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Falcons -120 vs. Cowboys +100
Tony Romo is out for 8-to-10 weeks, a turn of events that has drastically changed the NFL betting outlook for this game. Word is the Cowboys have traded for Matt Cassel this week, as an insurance policy. It’s not yet certain if long-standing backup Brandon Weeden will get the start or whether Cassel is going to be thrust into the mix right away. In any event, it creates a lot of uncertainty where the Cowboys (2-0 SU) are concerned, not to mention thrusts their campaign into a tailspin. Atlanta Falcons take a 2-0 SU record into this game behind solid offensive accounts from Matt Ryan and Company, and a better defense (much better than last season). Overall, it’s no surprise that the Falcons are now the road favorites and, by and large, the NFL betting public is backing the Birds to swoop into Dallas and flee the coop with the W.

NFL Picks: Falcons -120 at Westgate

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Bengals +120 vs. Ravens -140
Baltimore Ravens (0-2SU) are faced with a must-win game in week 3 NFL betting. Unfortunately, it comes against a divisional opponent that has been playing well and has dominated the head-to-head in recent seasons. The Bengals are 2-0 SU and ATS after two weeks and looking to cement their place atop the AFC North. Then again, they’ve beaten the Raiders (away) and Chargers (home). Raiders were one of the worst teams last season and, well, Philip Rivers and the Chargers leave something to be desired when they are on the road, playing better teams. The NFL betting public appears to be siding with the Bengals, which has us looking towards the Ravens instead. That and how long will it be before Andy Dalton proves to be Andy Dalton. Not to be repetitive, but the Ravens are practically desperate to win a game. So we’re fading the public and playing the NFL odds here.

NFL Picks: Ravens -140 at bet365

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Colts -175 vs. Titans +155
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock up to now, you’ll have heard the Colts are 0-2 SU after two weeks, behind losses to the Bills and Jets. The latter was a MNF that marked one of the worst accounts by Andrew Luck and the Colts in recent memory. Luck went a so-so 21-of-37 for 250 yards and 1 touchdown. But the alarming stat where he’s concerned is that he was intercepted 3 times in the game, upping his total interceptions this season to 5. (He’s now the leader in interceptions/giveaways since 2014, beating even the dubious Jay Cutler to the honour). Overall, the Colts offense looks clueless and it visibly ran out of ideas on Monday Night. Compare Luck and the Colts performance to that of rookie Marcus Mariota through the first two games and it’s quite illuminating. Mariota has taken to the NFL like a duck to water and through two games his stat sheet looks impressive with 6 TDS – one less than Tom Brady, to put it into perspective – and ZERO interceptions. Are we crazy to think the Titans finally get one over the Colts, not least heap more misery on Andrew Luck and Company? The NFL betting public clearly feels strongly about the Colts snapping their losing streak in week 3 NFL betting, betting heavily on their NFL odds as the road favorites. We’re feeling rather contrarian and fading the Colts to go with the Titans. Unlikely it may be, but it’s not impossible. Just don’t bet the farm on it…

NFL Picks: Titans +155 at 5Dimes

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Jaguars +700 vs. Patriots -1111
Of all the games in week 3 NFL betting, this has to be a no-brainer. Patriots SU. Colour the world shocked if Blake Bortles and the Jaguars mastermind the upset.

NFL Picks: Patriots -1111 at bet365

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Saints +155 vs. Panthers -175
For a second straight season, the New Orleans Saints look determined to underwhelm NFL bettors. They opened their season with a loss to the Cardinals on the road and, then, to add insult to injury, they lost at home to rookie quarterback Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. These aren’t happy times for the Saints. That a divisional rivalry against Superman Cam Newton and the Panthers looms ahead doesn’t help alleviate the pressure either. It’s a must win game  for the Saints but with issues on offense, question marks about Drew Brees’ fitness and a defense that is more porous than Swiss cheese, it’s hard to see how they could defeat the Panthers (2-0 SU) on the road.

NFL Picks: Panthers -175 at 5Dimes

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Raiders +160 vs. Browns -180
Both the Raiders and Browns take a 1-1 SU mark into week 3 NFL betting, following winning accounts in week 2. Something is going to have to give when these two sides collide. The Raiders are after an impressive win over the Ravens in week 2 while the Browns earned their first win of the season over the Titans. This is a tossup NFL pick in more ways than one. Cleveland should win as the home team, but the Raiders could win as the tempting underdogs.

Most might look at it so: would you pay good money ($180 to win $100 plus the stake back) to back Johnny Manziel and the Browns in straight up betting? One win in the NFL for a guy who was more headache than he was worth doesn’t turn anyone into a believer. Good defense in Cleveland though, which could be the difference maker. Raiders’ defense ranks bottom in the league in total defense.

NFL Picks: Browns -180 at bet365

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Eagles +115 vs. Jets -113
Nobody could have predicted the Eagles would be 0-2 SU to start the season and the Jets would be 2-0 SU. However, that’s exactly the reality faced in this matchup. On one hand, many NFL bettors are expecting the Jets to come crashing back down to earth sooner rather than later. On the other hand, one wonders if the real Eagles will stand up. This is a tough game to handicap because neither team is performing according to pre-set expectations, thrusting everything that we know and hold dear right out of the window. Toss up on our NFL picks. But we’re going to give Chip Kelly and the Eagles a shot here as the underdogs at +115 to finally figure it out.

NFL Picks: Eagles +115 at bet365

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Steelers -120 vs. Rams +100
Steelers burst to life in a 43-18 win over the Niners at home last weekend to clinch their first W of the season. They’ll be looking to make it two in a row at the expense of the Rams, who were given a rude-awakening in the nation’s capital. Steelers are the road favorites at -120 NFL odds for good reason. The Rams are trading on EVEN money because they showed that they can dominate the best in their house. This game really could go either way. The Steelers should win but the Rams could win. We won’t be surprised either way. Push comes to shove, we’re shading the Steelers on our NLF picks.

NFL Picks: Steelers -120 at Westgate

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Chargers +108 vs. Vikings -128
The Minnesota Vikings are coming off a solid home win over the Detroit Lions while the Chargers are coming off a rather disappointing road loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Both are 1-1 SU this season, looking to improve to 2-1 SU. Vikings have home advantage, which has earned them the favorable nod in NFL betting markets at -128 NFL odds. The Chargers, who are supposed to be contenders for a playoff spot, enter as the +108 underdogs. NFL betting is split down the middle between these two sides, with the slight edge going to the Vikings. We’re of a mind to give the public a fade and go with the Chargers as the nominal +108 underdogs – the idea being that the San Diego offense can’t possibly have back-to-back duds. Otherwise, why the heck did they spend so much money on Rivers?

NFL Picks: Chargers at +108

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Buccaneers +240 vs. Texans -280
Houston Texans are desperate for a win on the season after a disappointing 0-2 start. Heck, the Bucs are a so-called better team according to their 1-1 SU record. What’s more, they clinched the win on the road at the Superdome – once upon a time a very tough place in which to seize the W – which could send them into week 3 NFL betting with a measure of confidence. But it’s not the fortress in New Orleans it once was, nor is Drew Brees 100% fit. Not to mention the Saints have issues on both sides of the ball. So let’s not get too carried away with the Bucs just yet. Texans finally get the first win of the season against Tampa Bay as J.J. Watt and the Texan defense give Winston something to think about.

NFL Picks: Texans -280 at Westgate

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49ers +235 vs. Cardinals -270
The divisional clash between the Niners and Cardinals is a must-see game in week 3 NFL betting for several reasons. Cardinals are flying high behind a 2-0 SU mark and Carson Palmer has been extremely sharp, picking up from where he left off last season, which ended abruptly when he tore his ACL. The Niners have put in two opposing accounts, prompting NFL bettors to speculate which team will show up in Arizona – the one that held the Vikings to just a field goal in week 1 or the one that let Big Ben and the Steelers use them for target practice in a 43-18 blowout. If the NFL odds were any indication, the latter is expected as the Niners (+7 against the spread) are trading as the whopping +235 underdogs. We’re of the opinion this game could be closer than the NFL odds would suggest, but the Cardinals eke out the victory.

NFL Picks: Cardinals -270 at 5Dimes

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Bills +135 vs. Dolphins -155
The Buffalo Bills are turning into the vogue NFL pick across the board. After upsetting the Colts in week 1 NFL betting at home, they gave the Patriots a run for their money in week 2. Taking a 1-1 SU record into week 3, the Bills are on the road for the first time this season but facing their second straight divisional opponent. They’ll be mighty disappointed with the loss to the Patriots and look at this matchup as a pivotal game to win in the context of the division. Dolphins are coming off a shock loss to the Jaguars, which takes some of the shine off their NFL odds.

NFL Picks: Bills +135 at 5Dimes

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Bears +925 vs. Seahawks -1400
With one of the strongest home records in the league, this has to be a straightforward choice for your NFL picks. Seahawks to win straight up. It’s just not going to make you rich, is all.

NFL Picks: Seahawks -1400 at 5Dimes

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Broncos vs. Lions
The Denver Broncos are 2-0 SU going into week 3 NFL betting and with a banged up Detroit Lions up next, it’s more likely than  not, they’ll go up 3-0 at the end of the week.

NFL Picks: Broncos -163 at Pinnacle

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Chiefs +255 vs. Packers -310
The Green Bay Packers take on the Kansas City Chiefs in week 3 NFL betting. Lambeau Field was hopping last week as the Packers settled the score with the Seattle Seahawks, snapping a three-game losing streak to the former Super Bowl champions. The game was also hyped up as a reprisal of last season’s NFC Championship game, which the Packers lost in the most heart-breaking fashion. Those demons have been exorcised and the Packers will be filled with confidence on Monday Night. We can’t say the same for the Chiefs, who fritted away a lead over the Broncos too many times last weekend and it eventually caught up with them as they succumbed to a 31-24 loss.

NFL Picks: Packers -310 at 5Dimes

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