The Pats Pulpit Pick Six column has returned for Week 3, giving picks for every game.
Without further ado, here’s a look the NFL slate ahead.
Carolina Panthers (-8) at Houston Texans, O/U 43
ATS: Panthers -8
Line: Under 43
With the news of Tyrod Taylor going to injured reserve with a hamstring injury, that means rookie quarterback Davis Mills will get his first NFL start, on a short week, against the defense that is ranked No. 1 in defensive DVOA to start the season in the Panthers.
Eight points is a lot this early in the season for Carolina, but with the defense looking strong to start this season, and Sam Darnold and the offense off to a nice start to the season, this game shouldn’t be close on Thursday night.
In terms of the total, take a look at the under here. The Texans should struggle mightily to put points up with Mills at quarterback, and the Houston defense is coming off a Week 2 performance that saw it limit Cleveland to 355 total yards of offense.
Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars, O/U 51.5
ATS: Cardinals -7.5
Line: Over 51.5
Urban Meyer’s NFL coaching career is off to rough start in Jacksonville, where No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence has struggled to find his footing while the Jacksonville defense has given up 60 points total against Houston and Denver. Now they get to face Kyler Murray. Good luck with that. Arizona may score enough points to hit the over by themselves.
Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns (-7), O/U 46
ATS: Bears +7
Line: Over 46
I’m not betting against Justin Fields in his NFL starting debut. Are you?
The over here is interesting, as this could be a competitive game if the Bears’ offense is improved with Fields under center.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3), O/U 44
ATS: Steelers -3
Line: Under 44
Another game to stay away from, with Big Ben having a pectoral injury that has his status sounding shaky for this game, and the Steelers defense having a favorable matchup against Joe Burrow and the Cincy offense.
If you want to bet anything, take the under.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-5.5), O/U 48
ATS: Colts +5.5
Line: Over 48
The 5.5 points is too much for a divisional matchup, even one that could feature Jacob Eason stepping in for an injured Carson Wentz. If you think that Wentz is a bad quarterback, the drop-off to Eason may not even be that much. Would stay away from the spread, but be careful here if you think Tennessee romps after just one good win against Seattle on the road.
Baltimore Ravens (-8) at Detroit Lions, O/U 50
ATS: Lions +7.5
Line: Under 50
Baltimore is coming off a thrilling win against Kansas City, while the Lions are licking their wounds after a Lambeau whooping at the hands of the Packers. Baltimore is still banged up in the secondary though, and Detroit showed the ability to move the ball through the air against Green Bay. Take the inflated number of points and the underdog here.
Washington Football Team at Buffalo Bills (-8), O/U 45.5
ATS: Bills -8
Line: Over 45.5
After a fair amount of preseason hype, the air seems to have gone from Washington’s sails after losing in Week 1 and squeezing out a Week 2 Thursday night victory against the lowly Giants.
Buffalo should be able to move the ball easily against a shoddy WFT secondary if they can protect Josh Allen from Chase Young and Jon Allen on the D-Line.
Can Washington’s offense, led by Taylor Heinicke again, keep up with the Buffalo offense? That will be tough on the road, especially with Tre’Davious White in the Buffalo secondary to help limit star receiver Terry McLaurin. But still, if Buffalo can put up a lot of points through the air and Washington can score a touchdown or two, the over could be the play here.
Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders (-4), O/U 45.5
ATS: Dolphins +4
Line: Under 45.5
This spread may move with Wednesday’s news of Tua Tagovailoa being out with fractured ribs, so you may want to wait if you want to take the Dolphins.
Miami got crushed by Buffalo in Week 2, 35-0, but still features a strong secondary that can help create turnovers, and could create issues for the Raiders offense.
Miami beat Vegas 26-25 last season on the road. I think they will keep it close again this season.
New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots (-2.5), O/U 41.5
ATS: Patriots -2.5
Line: Over 41.5
The Saints are going to be a road-weary team when they arrive to Gillette Stadium this weekend, having been on the road for three straight weeks due to Hurricane Ida.
This game should be close, and Matthew Judon missing practice on Wednesday with a knee injury is not good for the Patriots, but Bill Belichick’s defense should do enough to make it a long day for Jameis Winston.
On the other end, all you’ve heard from the media in New England this week is that Mac Jones isn’t taking enough downfield shots. Expect that to change this week and for the New England offense to start kicking into high gear.
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5), O/U 56
ATS: Chargers +6.5
Line: Over 54.5
If this can get to Chiefs -7, I would be tempted to take the Chargers, who will be able to move the ball on the ground and through the air against this Chiefs defense. However, red zone issues could be present problems for the Chargers offense, who have struggled to score TDs inside the 20. LA is 31st in red-zone offense DVOA, according to Football Outsiders.
BUT! Kansas City has been a sieve on defense when it comes to the red zone! They are 31st in defensive DVOA overall, and 28th in red zone DVOA. Something’s got to give.
Wait to see what this spread gets to. If it gets to 7, take LA.
Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-3), O/U 48
ATS: Falcons +3
Line: Over 48
A battle of 0-2 teams? Thrilling! New York managed to cover as four-point underdogs against WFT last Thursday, but that doesn’t mean they should be three-point favorites here against an Atlanta team that would have lost by a smaller deficit to Tampa Bay in Week 2 if it weren’t for two fourth quarter pick sixes. This spread feels inflated.
New York Jets at Denver Broncos (-10.5), O/U 41
ATS: Jets +10.5
Line: Under 41
Zach Wilson was a disaster against the Patriots, throwing four picks, and reportedly is dealing with a groin injury. Unfortunately for him he now has to travel to Denver and play against a tough Denver defense in the Mile High altitude. Ouch.
This is a big spread, and it’s hard to have much confidence in Wilson to put up points against the Denver defense after what happened in New England last weekend ... but are we sure Denver is 10.5 points better? They’ve only beaten the Giants and the Jaguars (not that the Jets are much better), but this is too big of a spread for what should be a low-scoring game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5) at Los Angeles Rams, O/U 55.5
ATS: Buccaneers -1.5
Line: Over 55.5
The game of the week, easily. LA should be able to move the ball through the air against a banged-up Tampa secondary, and it’d be foolish to bet against Tom Brady and the Bucs offense to keep pace.
Bet on the defending champs to pull this one out in a close one.
Seattle Seahawks (-2) at Minnesota Vikings, O/U 55.5
ATS: Seahawks -2
Line: Over 55
Minnesota suffered a heartbreaking home loss in a crazy game against Arizona in Week 2 to fall to 0-2, and will be desperate to get a win against Seattle to try and kickstart their season.
Unfortunately they are going up against a superior Seattle team that was up 24-9 against Tennessee before letting the lead slip away thanks in large part to a Derrick Henry 60-yard touchdown run and a Julio Jones 51-yard catch. Take the Seahawks.
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-3.5), O/U 50
ATS: Packers +3.5
Line: Over 50
The over here is delicious. Green Bay had issues stopping Detroit when the Lions had the ball, and now get to face a more potent San Francisco offense that will take advantage of Green Bay’s lack of a pass rush. The 49ers backfield is banged up too, so they will likely need to rely on their passing attack more than Kyle Shanahan would like, which means quicker drives, and hopefully more points.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-4), O/U 52
ATS: Eagles +4
Line: Over 52
Four points is too much for me in a game between the top two teams in an improved NFC East division this year. While the loss of Brandon Graham will hurt Philly’s ability to put pressure on Dak Prescott, Jalen Hurts has enough weapons on offense to keep this game close.
Pick Six Best Bets
Packers/49ers Over 50
Bucs/Rams Over 55.5
Panthers/Texans Under 43