The injuries just keep piling up in the NFL. We've got two more Week 3 preseason games coming up on Sunday, and our football picks reflect which players will be missing.
Missed it by that much. We came very close to sweeping Friday's three-pack of preseason games, as we try to take advantage of this run of injuries with our football picks. Then the Kansas City Chiefs scored back-to-back touchdowns in the fourth quarter of their 34-10 victory against the Tennessee Titans. That ended up putting the score OVER the 41-point total on the closing line; we had UNDER 43.
How does that saying go again? Ah, yes: That's football. If we're reading the stats right, something like 40 percent of this game is luck, both for the players on the field and for everyone in the betting market. So we'll just keep cranking out the NFL picks, one small bet at a time, and hope that volume will smooth out the variance. Here's what we've got for Sunday's Week 3 doubleheader.
Houston at New Orleans (4:00 p.m. ET, FOX)
We've already got the Saints as 3-point home faves against the spread, and given Sean Payton's 20-13-2 OVER record in exhibition play (including 2-0 this year), we'd definitely be inclined to pound the OVER again this week. We're still waiting for enough survey data to publish some consensus numbers against the total, but “unnamed sources” tell us there was a burst of early action on the OVER before swinging completely in the other direction. Interesting.
We're guessing that swing was caused by the report that Drew Brees wouldn't be playing much for New Orleans. Luke McCown is supposed to play most of the first half, with Ryan Griffin and Garrett Grayson getting their reps in the second half. We don't mind this too much. All the Saints' quarterbacks should have a good day playing behind their improved offensive line, and with Houston expected to take it easy on players like DE J.J. Watt and DT Vince Wilfork.
Free NFL Pick: Take OVER 44 (+102) at Pinnacle
Arizona at Oakland (8:00 p.m. ET, NBC)
Now we're thinking the opposite. This time the Cardinals are missing several players on offense; we mentioned WR Michael Floyd (hand) and LG Mike Iupati (knee) when we looked at Sunday's football picks ATS, and you can add TE Troy Niklas (hamstring) to the pile. This is going to be tough for starting QB Carson Palmer, but even tougher for his less accomplished backups, Drew Stanton and Logan Thomas.
Having said that, the OVER is 2-0 for Arizona this year, and 0-2 for Oakland, which is uncharacteristic for the two head coaches in question. Bruce Arians had the UNDER at 6-2 going into the new season, while Jack Del Rio had the OVER at 20-16 during his eight years at the helm of the Jacksonville Jaguars. We'll throw that out the window and stick with the situation on the ground, and we're comforted to see 61 percent consensus on the UNDER as we go to press.
Free NFL Pick: Take UNDER 40 at WagerWeb