NFL Week 3 serves up several standout matchups loaded with betting value, most notably, the Super Bowl rematch between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, which is undeniably the marquee game on the entire slate.
NFL Thursday September 18th
By: Nikki Adams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons -5.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers have gotten off to a poor start on the season with back-to-back home losses. Admittedly they came up against two stalwart defenses in the Panthers and Rams, but after failing to capitalise on a Newton-less Panthers and the unheralded quarterback Austin Davis in a 19-17 defeat to the Rams, there are serious concerns about the Bucs. They take a 0-2 record (0-2 ATS) to Atlanta against a Falcons side that is 1-1 (1-0 home) on the season and 1-1 ATS. If they can’t beat two sides with questionable centres, they won’t have much luck against Matt Ryan, despite the Falcons’ slightly more generous defense.
Free NFL Picks: Falcons -5.5 at 5Dimes
NFL Sunday September 21st
By: Nikki Adams
Baltimore Ravens -1.0 vs. Cleveland Browns
Baltimore Ravens (1-1, 0-0) had a chip on their shoulders following a disappointing opening week. They took it out on the Steelers in a 26-6 victory to lay the 3-points easily. Next up are the Browns (1-1, 1-0 home), who shocked the Saints 26-24 in Cleveland at the weekend, marking their first win on the season. Browns (2-0 ATS) beat the Ravens last season at home for the first time since 2007. The Ravens are 1-1 ATS and 8-4 ATS against the Browns since 2008.
Free NFL Picks: Ravens -1
Dallas Cowboys -1.0 vs. St. Louis Rams
Both the Cowboys and Rams bounced back in week 2 by winning their respective games as the outright pups. Austin Davis rose to the occasion and led the Rams to their first win on the season, a narrow 19-17 win over the Bucs. The unheralded starter completed 75.9% of his passes, but it was Zeurlein’s four field goals that really lifted the Rams to victory. Cowboys meanwhile bounced back with a 26-10 win over the Titans. It’s still hard to gauge what to expect from the Rams – one good game by Austin Davis isn’t enough to turn NFL bettors into believers. Cowboys, despite their defensive issues (which are glaring even though they are after a win) deserve to be chalk here.
Free NFL Picks: Cowboys -1.0
Green Bay Packers +1.0 vs. Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packer came back from behind (a whopping 21-3) to defeat the New York Jets 31-24 and pushing as the 7-point favourites. Meanwhile, the Lions barely struck an audible chord when they lost 24-7 at Carolina as a mere 1-point underdog. Consider NFC North is gridlocked (all four teams on are on a 1-1 mark), this game could go either way. Green Bay has the momentum after their sensational comeback from behind win while the Lions left much to be desired in week 2 after showboating over the Giants in week 1.
Free NFL Picks: Green Bay +1
Houston Texans -2.5 vs. New York Giants
Given the rate at which Eli Manning is turning over the ball, his overall waning confidence and the suspect protection around him, a visit from the Texans formidable defense looms ominous. Eli Manning has been sacked four times while throwing four picks as well in the last two games. Giants’ fans should be concerned.
Free NFL Picks: Texans -2.5
Indianapolis Colts -6.5 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Colts are yet to play their Monday Night affair against the Eagles, so this preview and NFL pick is a bit of a shot in the dark. Then again, maybe it’s not. No matter what happens in the Colts vs. Eagles clash, surely a positive result for the Colts at the expense of a hapless Jaguars (0-2 on the season), who had their butts whooped by the Redskins 41-10 in week 2, is all but certain.
Free NFL Picks: Colts
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints -9.5
The Saints are a shocking 0-2 on the season after an overtime defeat to the Falcons and a stunning defeat to Cleveland on the road. Consider the Saints were susceptible to the defeat on the road last season, is it really that surprising they lost both their road games. This is the Saints’ season home opener where they were unbeatable last season. Drew Brees and his Saints should finally get into the win column at the expense of the Vikings, who were thoroughly outplayed by the Patriots in a 30-7 beat down. Adrian Peterson, who was deactivated for the Patriots game, is set to feature against the Saints. It remains to be seen how much movement this line experiences if Peterson does play on Sunday. Still Saints were 7-1 ATS last season as the home favourites.
Free NFL Picks: Saints -9.5
Oakland Raiders vs. New England Patriots -14.5
Tom Brady and Company routed the Vikings last Sunday while the Raiders were throttled by the Texans defense. This matchup should be as lopsided as the odds makers are suggesting it will be. Otherwise, colour the world shocked. Patriots are 7-2 ATS as home favourites since 2013 with an average margin of victory at 11 points.
Free NFL Picks: Patriots -14.5
San Diego Chargers +1.0 vs. Buffalo Bills
Chargers (1-1, 0-1 away) delivered the biggest shock in week 2 NFL betting, beating the Seattle Seahawks 30-21 on a hot sunny day in San Diego. Arguably, the mother of all shocks is the fact that the Bills are a perfect 2-0 and sat at the top of the AFC East pile – four more wins and they’ll match their entire winning contribution on 2013. The Bills running game (153 yards per game, sixth in the league) could give the Bills a slight edge over the Chargers, along with home advantage. Then again, beating the defending champions could send the Chargers into this game brimming with confidence. Chargers are 2-0 ATS and 1-0 ATS as the away underdog this season. They are also 6-1-1 ATS as the away underdog since 2013.
Free NFL Picks: Chargers +1.0
Tennessee Titans vs. Cincinnati Bengals -6.5
Titans opened the season with a shocking 26-10 win over the Chiefs, only to fall by the same score to the Cowboys in week 2. That they failed to come through as the favourites against a Cowboys’ side that looked to be there for the taking after Week 1 was disappointing. That said their defense currently ranks first in the league in passing yards allowed per game (163.0.). Perhaps it’s a matter of time before the Titans work out a winning formula. Cincinnati Bengals, on the other hand, have burst out of the gates with a 2-0 (1-0 home) start and are 2-0 ATS after beating the Ravens and Falcons. They are third in total offense with an average of 301.5 yards per game and after beating the Falcons last week they improved to ten straight home wins and covers.
Free NFL Picks: Bengals -6.5
Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles -6.5
RGIII is out for at least a month after dislocating his ankle early in Washington’s clash with Jacksonville. Despite losing their star quarterback in the first quarter, the Redskins ran away 41-10 winners largely down to some poised centre play from Kirk Cousins, who went 22-of-33 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Cousins is sure to get the start next week against the Eagles, and he looked very good in the new offensive scheme – better than RGIII. It remains to be seen whether he can replicate his convincing performance against a much better Eagles offense. Let’s face it Jaguars are making everybody look really good right now.
Free NFL Picks: Eagles -6.5
San Francisco 49ers -2.5 vs. Arizona Cardinals +2.5
The San Francisco 49ers did themselves in on Sunday, dumping their highly anticipated home-opener to the Chicago Bears 28-20 as the 7-point favourite. The Niners were in complete control of the game for three quarters, racing to a 20-7 lead and looking all but certain to win straight up and laying the points. Whether they took it for granted or simply lost focus, the wheels somehow came undone. Costly interceptions, numerous penalties in the fourth quarter, suspect defending and the Bears were able to comeback from behind to take the shocking 28-20 win. Arizona Cardinals are flush off a less than convincing win over the Chargers and a dubious win over the woeful Giants. They might be a perfect 2-0 on the season but let’s not overrate them. Niners should be itching to rebound after Sunday’s debacle and good to lay the points. Niners are a dazzling 11-4-1 ATS since 2011 when Jim Harbaugh took over.
Free NFL Picks: San Francisco -2.5
Denver Broncos +4.5 vs/ Seattle Seahawks
The defending champions were beaten in week 2 by the Chargers 30-21 while the Broncos are coming off a perfect 2-0 start, which includes wins over Colts and Chiefs. Despite their slightly contrasting fortunes, the odds are wholly in favour of Seattle at home. Although bookmakers aren’t expecting another rout clearly, setting this game to the tune of mere 4.5-points. It’s obvious they expect a repeat result with the Hawks (1-1, 1-0 home) coming through at the expense of the Denver Broncos (2-0, 1-0 away) before the 12th man. Consider everybody is going to be piling onto this game, bookmakers are suggesting sharp bettors should get in on Hawks at their early opening NFL odds. And while that is sound reasoning, we’re thinking of going against the market here with our NFL Picks. Losing 43-8 to Seattle is a pretty big chip sitting on Peyton Manning’s shoulder since February. He has something to prove in this game personally, as do the Broncos et al. Watch if he doesn’t do just that.
Free NFL Picks: Broncos +4.5
Kansas City Chiefs +4.0 vs. Miami Dolphins
The Chiefs very nearly pulled off what would have been the second biggest upset of week 2 NFL betting, when they gave the Broncos a run for their money as the 13-point favourites. All in all it was a scrappy affair as the Chiefs went into the locker room down 14-7 in the first half. But a better account in the second half and a lively effort in the fourth quarter from the Chiefs on both sides of the ball saw them close the gap to 24-17 and very nearly pull off the upset. The Dolphins, meanwhile, are flush off a 29-10 defeat to the surprising Buffalo Bills. Both Kansas and Miami are 1-1 ATS to date, but Kansas City are 3-1 ATS as the away underdogs since 2013 while Miami are 2-3 ATS as the home favourites since 2013.
Free NFL Picks: Chiefs +4.0
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Carolina Panthers -3.0
Panthers are 2-0 SU to start the season following wins over Tampa and Detroit behind solid defensive accounts. Steelers failed to impress against the Ravens on Thursday Night, looking out of sorts in a lacklustre 26-6 defeat. If they struggled to put up points against the Ravens, how will they fair against a really good defense in Carolina?
Free NFL Picks: Panthers -3.0
NFL Monday September 22nd
By: Nikki Adams
Chicago Bears vs. New York Jets -1.0
The Chicago Bears had no business beating the Niners on Sunday night at Levi Stadium. A combination of luck and lots of costly penalties by the Niners turned the game on a dime, a game the Niners were in complete control of for three quarters and really should have won. So, don’t be too impressed by the Bears just yet. The Jets are 1-1 on the season after beating the Raiders in week 1. Last week, they very nearly pulled off a big upset over the Green Bay Packers when they raced to a 21-3 lead, only for the wheels to come undone as the Packers stormed back to win 31-24. They failed to impress. Jets are 0-1-1 ATS while the Bears are 1-1 ATS. This game is a complete tossup that could go either way. Forced to make an early decision, we’re going with the home team with our NFL picks.
Free NFL Picks: Jets -1.0