Week 3 NFL Picks for Some Sunday Betting Action

Darin Zank

Sunday, September 21, 2014 2:55 PM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 21, 2014 2:55 PM UTC

Another Sunday, another chance to pick some winners in the NFL. But this week's slate struck us as tough. Try as we might, we could only find a couple of plays worthy enough of recommendation. Here's what we came up with.

Texans -2/42 vs. Giants (1 pm ET, CBS)
Houston, which has already equaled its win total of last season, completes its coast-to-coast road trip with a visit to New Jersey to play the 0-2 Giants.

The Texans may have gone 2-14 last year, but we should remember they lost nine games by one score or less, five by a field goal or less. They also ranked 11th in total offense and seventh in total defense. So outside of the QB spot this wasn't exactly a rebuilding project Coach O'Brien inherited.

Houston opened this season with a 17-6 victory and cover at home over Washington, then last week went to Oakland and came away with a 30-14 victory, running the ball 46 times for 188 yards, winning the time-of-possession battle by a 39/21 margin.

In our book, that's how you cover pointspreads in the NFL.

The Giants, on the other hand, are 0-2 ATS this season, scoring a total of 28 points in losing at Detroit and at home to Arizona. New York actually led the Cardinals last week heading into the fourth quarter, but in what's become typical Giants style gave up a touchdown on a punt return to fall behind, in a 25- 14 loss.

The NFL odds have flipped on this game during the week, presumably because of Texans RB Arian Foster's sore quad; Houston opened at -2.5 or -3, but as of Sunday morning most shops were now listing the Texans as a dog, at as much as +2.5.

We never shy away from going against the flow.

The Texans are going to out-rush New York in this game, which will lead to victory, and the cover, so add that to tonight's NFL picks.

Free NFL Pick: Texans on the moneyline, at +114 at Sport Bet.

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Panthers -3/42 over Steelers (8:30 pm ET, NBC)
Carolina, off to a 2-0 start with two different quarterbacks, gets a chance to go 3-0 with a Sunday night home game against 1-1 Pittsburgh.

The Panthers are also 2-0 ATS, with wins and covers over Tampa Bay and Detroit. QB Cam Newton missed the season opener with sore ribs, but came back to direct the victory over the Lions, completing 22 of 34 throws for 281 yards and one score, with zero turnovers.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, is 0-2 ATS. The Steelers blew a big lead and the cover in their 30-27 win over Cleveland, then last Thursday managed just two field goals in a 26-6 loss at Baltimore.

Carolina has struggled a bit so far this season to run the ball, garnering 113 yards on 33 carries againstTampa, only 62 yards against the Lions. But perhaps the Panthers can get their ground game going against a Pittsburgh defense that's allowed 183 and 157 yards rushing in its two games.

The Panthers have been a pet play for us over the last season-plus or so, not because of Newton, although he's helped, but because of their toughness and their defense. We like that defense, even without DE Hardy, to come through tonight.

Free NFL Pick: Carolina -3 at Pinnacle.

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3-Play OVERS Parlay
Like most NFL totals bettors we like 'overs'. But that hasn't don't us too much good so far this season, considering 19 of 33 games played so far have gone 'under'. But that's the kind of stat that can reverse itself in a flash. Perhaps this week?

Thanks in part to their poor run defenses we'll go with the 'over' 52 on Green Bay; 'over' 45 on Jacksonville; and 'over' 45.5 on Chicago Monday night.

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