Doc Brown is ready to get back on track with a strong week of NFL picks in Week 3. The Doc usually doesn’t like making picks for the first two weeks of the season, instead preferring to see how teams look before finally making predictions. Well, we’ve finally reached Week 3, and the Doc feels like he has a good grasp on teams, which should lead to solid results. But the Doc is also taking some chances this week.
Analysis of the top three selections below.
(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)
Minnesota seems like one of the most obvious locks of the week, which probably means they’re going to lose, right? Well the Cleveland Browns traded Trent Richardson during the week and have made it clear that they are planning for 2014. They don’t have a running back, which is fine, because you would think they could move the ball through the air. But not this time. They are starting Brian Hoyer at quarterback, and I don’t have much confidence in Hoyer. Minnesota, on the other hand, has played on the road the first two weeks of the season and still had two close games. The Vikings will get their first win this season now that they’re at home, and their defense should finally get some stops against a weak offense. This one seems too easy, which is never a good sign.
The Miami Dolphins have looked good the first two games of the season, beating Cleveland and Indianapolis on the road. But they’re going to get a test against a really tough opponent this weekend. They’ll be at home while the Falcons have to get out of the dome and won’t have Roddy White at full strength, if they have him at all. I’m slightly worried about the offense lighting it up since they won’t have all their weapons, but I still think they’re a better overall team than Miami. The two points are a bonus to me.
The Chicago Bears are one of my favorite picks of the week. Sure, this is a Sunday night game at Pittsburgh, which is a tough venue, but the Steelers are not the Steelers this year. Pittsburgh’s offense showed some signs of life against Cincinnati on Monday night, but they just are not very potent. Without Mike Wallace, they’re missing a big-play threat who can stretch the defense. And they certainly don’t have a runner. I am slightly concerned about giving the 2.5 points, but I am confident that the Bears will win this one. Chicago is a much better team than Pittsburgh this year.
A few other notes: I know the Jacksonville Jaguars completely stink, but obviously so do the oddsmakers. They gave the Jags 19 points in Seattle. I obviously love the Seahawks to win the game, but I’m not sure they’re going to run up the score. I think the Jags can at least get within 19. NFL teams generally cover when they’re getting this many points.
I was very close to putting the Giants down as a lock. Carolina kept it close with the Seahawks in Week 1, and they blew a late lead against Buffalo last week, so they’re not really that bad of a team. The Giants aren’t looking too good this season, but they haven’t been that bad. Turnovers have killed them, as have tough matchups. I think they get in the win column this week.Google+