NFL Week 3 odds, picks: Vikings upset Titans, Panthers cover despite loss of Christian McCaffrey

One of the things every bettor must do is study the decisions they made afterward, whether it was a winner or a loser. The purpose is to find any possible flaws in the decision-making process that can be eliminated in the future. After my 1-2 performance last week, I did just that, and I found a severe flaw in my process.

The flaw was betting on the #$%^&@! Jets.

You know, my thought process behind making the pick last week was sound, but what I forgot to consider is what a terrible coach Adam Gase is. The man coaches like a child scared of the dark, slowly peeling the blanket down below his eyes when they hear a noise in the night. He’s a coach not afraid of failure, but of success. And I assure you that you will not find me taking the Jets in this column again until he’s gone.

Anyway, onto this week’s picks. We’re all about some dogs in Week 3. It’s time to take advantage of early-season overreactions.

All odds are via William Hill Sportsbook.

1. Titans at Vikings: Vikings +2.5

The Vikings aren’t as bad as they’ve looked through the first two weeks. They’re just not. I have spent plenty of time criticizing Kirk Cousins — and deservedly so! — but he’s better than this. The Vikings opened as a 1.5-point dog and quickly moved to 2.5 as the masses couldn’t wait to bet on Ryan Tannehill and the Titans as a road favorite. The very same Ryan Tannehill, who is 21-27 ATS on the road in his career. I’m guessing most of those people only noticed that Tennessee beat Jacksonville last week and not the 480 yards of offense it allowed in the process. If the Jaguars can average 6.1 yards per carry against this Titans defense, what do you think Dalvin Cook will be able to do? Vikings 27, Titans 20

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2. Panthers at Chargers: Panthers +6.5

We’re buying on bad news here. There’s no denying that the loss of Christian McCaffrey will profoundly affect the Panthers offense because he’s been the Panthers offense the last few years. Still, I see this line as an overreaction. Justin Herbert looked pretty good in his debut last week, but the Chiefs spent all week preparing for Tyrod Taylor because not even the Chargers knew Herbert would be starting. He only did because of a freak accident. The Panthers will be ready for Herbert this week, and as enticing a prospect as he is, I’ve also seen the downsides of Herbert from his time at Oregon. Let’s say that, in a battle of Teddy Bridgewater and Justin Herbert, I’m not trusting the rookie as a favorite. Besides, my man Teddy B is a ridiculous 17-5 ATS as a starter when his team’s the underdog. Chargers 20, Panthers 17

3. Lions at Cardinals: Lions +5.5

It cannot be understated how large an impact the absence of Kenny Golladay has had on the Lions offense through two weeks. Last year, Matt Stafford threw the ball downfield more than just about any other QB in the league. Through two weeks without Golladay, that hasn’t been the case. This season his Air Yards per attempt sits at 8.28, which is middle of the road. I know he can’t wait to see Golladay running routes this weekend, and it’s going to have a major impact on the Lions offense overall. This will be a shootout in the desert (I like the over too), and I won’t be surprised if the Lions win outright. At the very least, they’re going to cover. Cardinals 31, Lions 27



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