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NFL picks, predictions against spread Week 3: Bucs burn Rams, Packers edge 49ers, Cowboys clip Eagles


Week 2 was weak sauce for the picks against the spread. It was the basic wild, unpredictable slate of video games with mid-game accidents and inconceivable finishes wreaking havoc on the outcomes. Turnovers, penalties and inconsistent home-field benefits even with followers again even have served to make issues tougher.

There’s just one approach to rebound from one unhealthy week: Get up on that horse and choose our favourite ponies once more. Week 3 presents extra 16 possibilities to get video games proper, so it is time to deal with the positives and never take into consideration the options.

Without additional ado and overthinking, listed here are this week’s Sporting News predictions for how each upcoming matchup will play out, from this Thursday night time to subsequent Monday night time:

(Game odds courtesy of FanDuel)

NFL POWER RANKINGS:
49ers, Cowboys, Broncos climb; Steelers, Seahawks, Saints slide into Week 3

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NFL picks against the spread for Week 3

  • Game of the Week: Buccaneers (-1.5, 55.5 o/u) at Rams

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox

Could this recreation be a NFC championship recreation preview? Should the Rams win the NFC West, then the reply could be very a lot sure. Last November, Tom Brady struggled against the Rams protection at house in a 27-24 loss. He’s much more locked into his loaded weapons lower than a 12 months later, with convention title and Super Bowl 55 ring in hand since.

Matthew Stafford had an awesome first recreation and a reasonably good second one to make sure his new staff would begin 2-0. But this can be a completely different form of measuring stick against an lively protection that may shut down the run and are available after him. He additionally should out-duel Brady with out the identical form of depth at receiver and tight finish. Brady will bear in mind how the Rams bought the very best of him final 12 months and will not let it occur once more. Stafford’s long-time profile means he would not assist his staff win video games like this.

Pick: Buccaneers win 30-27 and canopy the spread.

  • Game of Midweek: Panthers (-7, 43.5 o/u) at Texans

Thursday 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network

The Panthers have gotten loads from their aggressive younger protection, fueled by a boosted go rush. That’s the large purpose why they’re 2-0, on prime of Christian McCaffrey facilitating Sam Darnold as a runner and receiver to open up the remainder of the offense. They look well-coached and put-together in Year 2 of Matt Rhule and Joe Brady.

Darnold and the D are overachieving, however that may proceed in Houston with a very good probability of going through one other staff with QB probability and a second rookie (Davis Mills) in three video games. McCaffrey has an enormous night time to open Week and the Texans are restricted with their rockets to drag the upset against a red-hot NFC foe.

Pick: Panthers win 26-16 and canopy the spread.

Result: Panthers win 24-9

  • Rivalry of the Week: Eagles at Cowboys (-3.5, 51.5 o/u)

Monday 8:15 p.m. ET,  ESPN/ESPN2

The Eagles appeared dominant against the Falcons after which could not rating on the 49ers. Jalen Hurts has performed nicely, however their offense has been in any other case inconsistent with protection being the early power. The Cowboys have proven loads of various offense with Dak Prescott in two video games and their protection is making up for giant points with well-timed takeaways and stops. Prescott and Hurts will duel nicely, with Dallas getting the important thing final possession at house. The Cowboys will probably be place to run nicely once more and their expertise edge at receiver over the Eagles pays off in a well-recognized NFC East marquee shootout.

Pick: Cowboys win 31-28 however fail to cowl the spread.

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  • Lock of the Week: Broncos (-10.5, 41.5 o/u) over Jets

Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET,  CBS

The Broncos’ protection has thrown down the best way Vic Fangio desires against the lowly Giants and Jaguars. Here again at house for the primary time this season, Denver will take down one other overmatched offense in a loud house surroundings. Denver just isn’t removed from Utah, the place Zach Wilson hails and performed his faculty ball at BYU. That will not assist a lot with Von Miller within the neighborhood against a weakened offensive line.

The Jets additionally will face a Broncos’ secondary that performed a lot better in Week 2 resulting in extra errors from Wilson. Teddy Bridgewater will maintain enjoying nicely to use a weak go protection with tons of assist from working backs Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams. The Jags have proved to be messy to belief to be aggressive beneath Urban Meyer within the brief time period.

Pick: Broncos win 30-14 and canopy the spread.

  • Upset of the Week: Packers over 49ers (-3, 50.5 o/u)

Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

The 49ers have owned the Packers in latest conferences, whether or not it has been Colin Kaepernick working all around the protection or the 2019 model dispatching Aaron Rodgers twice. But final November, the injury-riddled 49ers allowed the Packers to show the tables in prime time in San Francisco. The 49ers are struggling to maintain working backs wholesome and their passing recreation has extra limitations than anticipated round Jimmy Garoppolo. Their defensive again seven additionally may be picked aside by Rodgers with first rate safety.

The 49ers will attempt to get sufficient huge go performs to allow them to run to win, however the Packers needs to be impressed to compensate for the Week 1 highway debacle against the Saints. Rodgers has one other blissful return to the Bay Area, whereas Garoppolo struggles to fnish the comeback against a tricky go protection.

Pick: Packers win 27-24.

  • Colts at Titans (-4.5, 47.5 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Colts could also be with out Carson Wentz and want to show to Jacob Eason at quarterback. At this level, it would not really feel like a lot of a downgrade or curveball to a run-heavy recreation plan. The Colts’ protection additionally has been wilting greater than anticipated, giving huge go performs and never being as sturdy against the run. The Titans ought to like that mixture as they will arrange play-action for Ryan Tannehill nicely to play off a scorching Derrick Henry. But Indianapolis will probably be determined to keep away from 0-3 and put up a decent struggle by digging deeper of their passing recreation.

Pick: Titans win 24-20 however fail to cowl the spread. 

MORE: Who are NFL’s contenders, pretenders after Week 2?

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  • Falcons at Giants (-3, 47.5 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Giants are on the lookout for their first win and can get it whereas denying the Falcons an opportunity at theirs. This is a get-well recreation for the whole Giants’ offense to return out and take stress off Daniel Jones to hold the staff as a passer and runner. The Falcons’ go safety is in shambles and Matt Ryan is being pressured into unhealthy errors. This additionally appears like a chance for the actual Saquon Barkley to point out up within the dashing assault, coming off long-week relaxation.

Pick: Giants win 30-24 and canopy the spread. 

  • Chargers at Chiefs (-6.5, 54.5 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Chargers held off Washington however could not end off Dallas. Here comes Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City in order that they want Justin Herbert to shake off some turnovers woes and be able to duel. The Chargers’ receiving versatility at wideout, tight finish and the backfield due to Austin Ekeler will drive the Chiefs’ defensive backs and linebackers batty. L.A. has been performed good bend-but-don’t-break protection for Brandon Staley and can keep within the recreation there vs. Patrick Mahomes. But within the hand, stopping each Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce in key moments will probably be powerful.

Pick: Chiefs win 28-24 however fail to cowl the spread.

  • Bengals at Steelers (-3, 43.5 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

These 1-1 NFC North rivals every had shock wins in Week 1 over Minnesota and Buffalo, respectively. Week 2 got here with quite a lot of regrets because the Bengals made too many offensive errors with Joe Burrow in Chicago and the Steelers could not generate constant passing with Ben Roehtlisberger vs. Las Vegas. It’s unsure what number of key bodes will probably be lacking for the Steelers’ protection, however there is no doubt the offensive line is the most important concern. Burrow can have some Derek Carr-like success on the Steelers, however Roehtlisberger ought to give you the chance to lean extra on rookie working again Najee Harris right here. This is an in depth recreation determined by a Heinz Field aim by Chris Boswell.

Pick: Steelers win 23-20 however fail to cowl the spread.

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  • Bears at Browns (-7.5, 45 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Bears’ protection confirmed its prime type forcing turnovers against the Bengals at house. That state of affairs will probably be laborious to repeat on the highway because the Browns ought to push them round within the working recreation to open up extra snug, environment friendly passing from Baker Mayfield. He is more likely to duel with Justin Fields, the Ohio State product who will give this recreation a bit additional native aptitude. Fields will face a tricky go rush whereas trailing within the second half and might solely do a lot working to get the Bears within the recreation.

Pick: Browns win 27-14 and canopy the spread.

  • Ravens (-7.5, 50.5 o/u) at Lions

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Lamar Jackson has appeared clean together with his working and passing when the blocking is there. The complementary conventional working recreation is rolling and the protection remains to be stopping the run regardless of its depletion and duct-taping vs. the go. Jackson, his backs, vast receiver Marquise Brown and tight finish Mark Andrews can all do no matter they need on this matchup to remain nicely forward of Jared Goff. Look for a return to bringing stress and befuddling Goff.

Pick: Ravens win 38-23 and canopy the spread.

  • Saints at Patriots (-3, 42.5 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Patriots are proving they’re a pressure working the ball behind a stout line and their two most dependable backs, Damien Harris and James White. Mac Jones has been set as much as be snug with low-risk, high-efficiency passing with the deal with ball safety. The Saints are attempting to deal with Jameis Winston the identical means and win round him with the working of Alvin Kamara main the best way. New England’s recreation plan will probably be to zone in on Kamara and take their possibilities with the Saints’ in any other case restricted talent gamers.

Pick: Patriots win 17-13 and canopy the spread.

MORE: Grading the NFL’s rookie QBs in Week 2

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  • Cardinals (-7.5, 51.5 o/u) at Jaguars

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

Kyler Murray, No. 1 general choose from 2019, takes on Trevor Lawrence, this 12 months’s No. 1 general choose. Murray hasn’t been disappointing in Year 3 with final season’s shoulder difficulty behind him. He ran and handed to huge issues all around the area against the Titans on the highway and Vikings at house. He simply needs to be cautious about making huge errors that offset huge performs. There’s no good sense that the Jaguars will cease Murray or any of the speedy playmakers round him. They additionally needs to be fearful in regards to the offensive line crumbling big-time once more. Until as soon as can determine what Urban Meyer is doing, keep away from trusting his staff.

Pick: Cardinals win 34-17 and canopy the spread.

  • Washington Football Team at Bills (-7, 45.5 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

WFT will put together Taylor Heinicke higher for his second begin of the season, however this can be a powerful place to play on the highway against a Bills’ protection that appears extra full and harmful. Josh Allen might want to fear about Chase Young and Washington’s protection enjoying loads higher than Week 2 TNF. Josh Allen wants a get-well recreation; this simply is probably not it because the Bills are higher suited to maintain up the run-heavy method vs. WFT.  The Bills put all of it collectively and remind everybody they’re nonetheless robust AFC title contenders.

Pick: Bills win 27-17 and canopy the spread.

  • Dolphins at Raiders (-3.5, 43.5 o/u)

Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

The Raiders have red-hot Derek Carr driving throughout everybody, making good use of top-flight inside-outside field-stretching weapons Darren Waller and Henry Ruggs III. But their working recreation and protection must be higher complementary models for any shot at holding on to a wild-card spot. This was a pleasant Saturday night time duel within the desert with Carr battling Tua Tagovailoa and Ryan Fitzpatrick late final season. Carr has the large edge over Tagovailoa or Jacoby Brissett right here. Also search for additional juice within the Raiders dashing assault, with former Dolphin Kenyan Drake getting after it as the important thing short-to-intermediate receiver in a “revenge” recreation.

Pick: Raiders win 23-13 and canopy the spread.

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  • Seahawks (-2.5, 55.5 o/u) at Vikings

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox

The Seahawks and Vikings had been on different sides of field-goal drama in Week 2, however a make and a miss make them every on the lookout for a rebound victory in Week 3. Russell Wilson should not have any issues roasting Minnesota’s secondary together with his wideouts and Kirk Cousins needs to be recreation to maintain up in his staff’s house opener. Dalvin Cook being a query mark hurts, as a result of any much less pop might make the distinction. it is merely simpler to belief a red-hot Wilson wherever vs. Cousins at house. This appears like one other wild one-possession contest for each groups, perhaps coming all the way down to a second extra time recreation for every.

Pick: Seahawks win 34-31 and canopy the spread

Vinnie Iyer’s 2021 picks:

  • Week 2 file against the spread: 5-11
  • Week 2 file straight up: 10-6
  • Season ATS: 13-19
  • Season straight up: 19-13



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