After a hot start to Week 1 for the Pats Pulpit Pick Six, our luck faded a bit, going 3-3 on Pick Six picks, and 17-15 overall. The underdog reigned supreme in Week 2, with the Jaguars (+9), Giants (+5.5), Raiders (+6), Dolphins (+5.5) pulling off some unlikely covers this weekend.
With an overall record YTD of 37-26-1, we’re looking to get back on track in Week 3. Have any questions, comments, or just want to yell at us for no particular reason? Hit us up at @PatsPulpit, or you can reach me at @AidanCurran_ on Twitter.
Let’s run through the board for Week 3.
Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3), O/U 48
Is it possible that we’ve underrated the Jacksonville Jaguars? A Week 1 upset win over the Colts could be written off as an anomaly, but can we say that anymore after the scrappy Jags nearly beat the Titans on the road in Week 2?
The Dolphins, meanwhile, are off to an 0-2 start, losing to New England and then Buffalo last week. Ryan Fitzpatrick is still the team’s starting quarterback, as the team brings rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa slowly.
With a short week, this figures to be a sloppy game featuring two offenses who will be able to put up points against each other. Historically it’s profitable to bet against teams that are 0-2 to start the season, covering the spread at a 57% clip in the last five years. We’ll go with the Dolphins in a close game, to get their first win of the season.
The Picks: Dolphins +3 / Over 48
Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots (-6), O/U 47.5
The Raiders made their Vegas casino overlords lots of money on Monday night, upsetting the Saints as six-point underdogs. It’s tough to get a read on this team, after winning a high-scoring game against the lowly Carolina Panthers in Week 1, and then beating an NFC contender in New Orleans.
Derek Carr has #weaponz around him now, headlined by tight end Darren Waller. On the other hand, the Patriots should be able to run rampant on the Raiders’ porous run defense.
The Patriots are coming off a tough loss against Seattle on the road, and will be locked in looking to keep pace with the Bills in the AFC East. With the Raiders potentially being without guard Richie Incognito and right tackle Sam Young, who was already a fill-in for Trent Brown, I’ll take the Patriots bouncing back at home and covering.
The Picks: Patriots -6 / Over 47.5
Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4), O/U 45
Another 0-2 team, the Texans, travels on the road to take on another talented offense in Big Ben and the Steelers. The Steelers have some health issues, as JuJu Smith-Schuster did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, but looks good for Sunday, while Diontae Johnson is questionable with a toe injury.
The Texans’ offensive line looks to be an issue for the team again this year, and Houston will be taking on a defense that is among the league leaders in blitzing rate after two weeks. It’s hard to see Houston being able to get anything consistent going on offense, as Deshaun Watson will likely have to scramble around all day for his team to have a chance.
With Steelers guard David DeCastro expected to return for this game, take the Steelers to trounce the Texans, and continue Houston’s miserable start to the 2020 season.
The Picks: Steelers -4 / Over 45
Tennessee Titans (-2.5) at Minnesota Vikings, O/U 49
OK, listen, hear me out. Everything about this game screams Titans -2.5. I get it. But Tennessee has struggled to put away Denver in Week 1, and then Jacksonville in Week 2. This may not be the lock that many are making it out to be, as Tennessee has 79% of tickets and a whopping 99% of money in this game.
That is a ton of money to get on one team, and yet Vegas is keeping the Titans at a steady -2.5. I smell a trap.
Tennessee should win this game, but Minnesota is going to be desperate to get in the win column, at home, against a Titans team that is likely to be without star wideout A.J. Brown for the second week in a row. Tennessee has squeaked by in each of the first two weeks to start this season, and I think their bubble bursts this Sunday.
The Picks: Vikings +2.5 / Under 49
Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons (-3), O/U 47.5
Few things are more profitable than betting against Dan Quinn as a favorite with the Falcons. After Atlanta coughed up yet another huge lead, this time a 19-point lead, it’s a better question to ask if Quinn survives after this week if the Falcons lose to Mitch Trubisky and the Bears.
If the Falcons defense were any good at all, I would like Atlanta’s defenses against an offense led by a shaky quarterback. The Bears will need to put up points to keep up with the #2 passing attack in the NFL in Atlanta, but the Falcons are a mess right now, and betting against Dan Quinn as a favorite is too good an opportunity to pass up.
The Picks: Bears +3 / Over 47.5
San Francisco 49ers (-4) at New York Giants, O/U 41.5
The 49ers were absolutely decimated by injuries in Week 2 playing at MetLife Stadium, losing Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas both to torn ACLs, and Jimmy Garoppolo suffering an ankle sprain. The Giants also got hit by injuries, losing star running back Saquon Barkley to a torn ACL as well.
The question here is if Nick Mullens, who will be filling in for Garoppolo most likely this week, is that much of a downgrade from Jimmy G. Even if Mullens is capable, the 49ers have lost a ton of talent to injuries, with starting running back Raheem Mostert out, as well as #1 wide receiver Deebo Samuel and #1 cornerback Richard Sherman.
This feels like a buy-low opportunity on the Giants, facing a greatly-weakened Niners team.
The Picks: Giants +4 / Over 41
Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles (-5), O/U 46.5
The Bengals eeked out the cover against the Browns in Week 2 on Thursday Night Football, and now take on the Philadelphia Eagles, who are another 0-2 team looking to get one back in the win column this week.
Carson Wentz has gotten off to a bad start this season, and does not look the franchise quarterback that the Eagles drafted him to be. Joe Burrow, on the other hand, has gotten off to a promising start in Cincinnati.
The Eagles will be a hungry 0-2 team looking to bounce back at home, and again we are going back to the well with the profitable betting strategy of going with the 0-2 team ATS.
The Picks: Eagles -5 / Under 46.5
Washington Football Team at Cleveland Browns (-7), O/U 45
The WFT was riding high after a Week 1 win against the Eagles, but came crashing back down to earth in Week 2, losing to Arizona 30-15. Now, Washington’s vaunted defensive front seven will go up against Baker Mayfield and the Browns in Week 3. Mayfield struggles when under duress, and Washington should be able to get after Mayfield on Sunday.
The Picks: WFT +7 / Over 45
Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo Bills (-2.5), O/U 47
One of the games of the week in Week 3, as the 2-0 Rams head to upstate New York to take on the 2-0 Bills. The Rams look back to their old selves in 2020, but the Bills have started out hot out of the gates, with Josh Allen off to the best start of his young career.
We’ll get a real sense on if Josh Allen is finally for real when he goes up against a defensive line featuring All-Pro DT Aaron Donald, and a secondary featuring All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
If this game got to a three-point spread, I would likely take the underdog, as this figures to be a close one. With the Bills at home, and laying less than the key number of three points, I’ll take the hosts in a hotly-contested battle between two teams in the upper echelon of NFL teams this year.
The Picks: Bills -2.5 / Over 47
New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts (-11), O/U 44
This...is a lot of points to lay for a Colts team that lost to the Jaguars in Week One. On the other hand...the Jets are awful, and Adam Gase should be fired ASAP.
The Jets’ skill positions are decimated by injury. Le’Veon Bell is already out with a hamstring injury, but Chris Hogan, Breshad Perriman, and Jamison Crowder are all listed as questionable for this game. With a lack of talent on offense for Sam Darnold to take advantage of, it’s hard to see this Jets team taking advantage of a bad Indianapolis secondary.
The Colts are also dealing with injuries on offense too, meaning the under is definitely in play here. Wide receiver Parris Campbell is out, and tight end Jack Doyle is questionable. Tight end Mo Alie-Cox, coming off a five-catch, 111-yard performance, will look to fill in for Doyle again if Doyle is out with injury.
I don’t feel comfortable at all betting either side here. But the Jets are awful, have no players on offense, and have Adam Gase as head coach.
The Picks: Colts -11 / Under 44
Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5), O/U 44
After Tyrod Taylor was a late scratch for LA’s game against the Chiefs, with what was revealed to be a punctured lung due to the Chargers’ team doctor accidentally puncturing Taylor’s lung during a pain medicine injection. With Taylor out this week as well, that gives rookie quarterback Justin Herbert a chance to build on a strong debut performance against Kansas City that saw Herbert throw for 311 yards with a touchdown and interception apiece.
Luckily for Herbert, he will get to go against a porous Carolina defense. Carolina will also be without All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey, who is out with an ankle injury.
The Chargers should have the advantage on both ends of the field, as a stout LA defense should have its way with Teddy Bridgewater and his offense. It’s tough to lay 6.5 points with a rookie quarterback in his second game, but it’s hard to see the Panthers having much success on Sunday. If this gets over the hump of 7 points however, roll with Carolina.
The Picks: Chargers -6.5 / Under 44
Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks (-5), O/U 56
Another great game on tap for Week 3, featuring two high-powered offenses led by Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson. After a dominant performance against the Patriots, Wilson is the current MVP frontrunner, as the Seahawks are finally #LettingRussCook.
The Cowboys escaped Atlanta with a victory by the skin of their teeth, coming back from 19 points down to win 40-39. Their defense will be similarly challenged by Wilson this week, after Wilson carved up New England’s secondary for five touchdowns in Week 2. Dallas should have an easier time pressuring Wilson than New England did, however, with Demarcus Lawrence and Aldon Smith coming off the edge.
The Cowboys have the weapons on offense to hang tight with Seattle on Sunday. This should be a fast-paced, run-and-gun game on Sunday. I see Seattle ultimately winning, but think five points is too big of a spread.
The Picks: Cowboys +5 / Over 56
Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals (-5.5), O/U 55
Detroit is another 0-2 team looking to turn its season around before it gets late, early. Unfortunately for the Lions, they face a Cardinals team that is clicking on all cylinders, and looking to keep pace with Seattle in the NFC West.
This game hinges on the status of Kenny Golladay for the Lions. With Golladay back and healthy (enough), this Lions offense gains a vertical element that it needs to be effective. Arizona should be able to score with ease on this terrible Lions defense, so the Lions and Matthew Stafford will need all the weapons they can get on offense.
Golladay is expected back for Week 3, which leads me to take the plunge and take the points with Detroit, as bad as that makes me feel.
The Picks: Detroit +5.5 / Over 55
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6) at Denver Broncos, O/U 43.5
With Drew Lock and Courtland Sutton both out with injuries for this game, it’s hard to see the Broncos being able to get much going against a Tampa Bay defense that should be able to limit Melvin Gordon on the ground, and force Denver to try to win with Jeff Driskel at quarterback.
Homefield advantage is always significant in Denver, but it’s hard to see how Denver a.) scores and b.) stops the Tampa Bay aerial attack, with cornerback A.J. Bouye out, and Tampa getting Chris Godwin back, after he missed last week due to a concussion.
The Picks: Bucs -6 / Over 43.5
Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints (-3), O/U 52.5
The Saints got their 2020 season off to a great start by defeating Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, but are suddenly reeling after being upset by the Raiders, and with questions emerging about Drew Brees’ effectiveness.
Aaron Rodgers, meanwhile, looks to be dialing back the clock, as the Packers offense has gotten off to a red-hot start to the season. Green Bay has the weapons to attack New Orleans in the air and on the ground like Las Vegas did, and with Michael Thomas out again for the Saints this week, I’ll take the Packers to keep rolling against a New Orleans team that has some questions to answer on offense right now.
The Picks: Packers +3 / Over 52.5
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5), O/U 53.5
It doesn’t feel right that we get this good of a game so early on in the season. The two best teams will square off in Week 3 in a game that could very well decide who grabs the #1 seed come playoff time.
The Chiefs barely managed to get by the Chargers in Week 2, while the Ravens have easily dispatched of their first two opponents of the season in Cleveland and Houston.
It’s tough to get a read on the line here, as both teams have elite offenses, and solid defenses. Baltimore is a run-first offense who can control the clock if they get out in front first, but Kansas City can put points up in a hurry, to counter that. Because this should be a tight game between two of the best teams in the NFL, I’ll take the over.
I can’t pass up Patrick Mahomes getting more than a field goal against any team in the NFL, and I give the slight edge to KC on defense, so I’ll take the defending Super Bowl champions as road underdogs.
The Picks: Chiefs +3.5 / Over 53.5
Jets/Colts Under 44
Bengals/Eagles Under 46.5
Titans/Vikings Under 49
Rams/Bills Over 47