NFL Confidence Pool Picks Week 3: Expert Pick'em Predictions No Point Spread
If you're reading this, it's not too late. It's not too late to get to the gym, get in shape, find yourself a personal quarterback coach, and get some practice reps in. Who knows, after another week of NFL action, you might get the call up from the minors and possibly start for the Saints, Steelers, Jets, Giants, Dolphins, or maybe even the Panthers. Whether it be through injury or just flat out awful play, the QB situation is at a curious crossroads to say the least. At least for the majority of these teams, the QB play is the only bad part. The Dolphins will be holding open tryouts next Monday after they get obliterated by Dallas this week . All positions available, no prior NFL experience required.
It should come as no surprise to you that Confidence Pools have grown in popularity over the last number of years. The concept of just picking a team to win straight up is much more appealing to the average bettor who is still understanding how the point spread part of the equation works. There have been many instances where we wished we had taken a team straight up instead of on the spread, only to have them not cover by half a point. It's frustrating, but with a Confidence Pool, you won't ever have to worry about that. For the entire season, I'll be breaking down the game list and ranking each game from most confident to least confident.
Week 3 Confidence List (Most Confidence to Least Confidence)
New York Jets @ New England - Until further notice, anyone playing the Jets will garner my utmost confidence. This game is rather simple. Tom Brady > anyone the Jets could put under center, including Joe Namath.
Miami @ Dallas - Until further notice, anyone playing the Dolphins will garner just as much confidence as anyone playing the Jets. The Dolphins are well on their way to the No. 1 draft pick in the offseason. And by the end of this season, every one of their players will have demanded a trade, including the poor dolphin in their logo. Note - this is the largest spread the Cowboys have been tagged with since 1987, when they were 21.5-point favorites over Philadelphia. With a primetime game on deck against the Saints, I'll be taking Miami and the points, but the Cowboys WILL win this game.
Oakland @ Minnesota - I hate to back Kirk Cousins again this week because his stupidity upset a lot of Vikings' backers last week, but Oakland is plagued with injury. And travelling across the country for a 10 a.m. PST start against a ferocious Minnesota defense does not bode well for the Raiders chances. Minnesota should and will win this game by 10+ points.
Denver @ Green Bay - Is Aaron Rodgers back? That's up for debate. However, the Packers finally have a good defense, and the offense looked smooth for the most part against a good Vikings defense. Now they get to face a Broncos team who just lost at home to the Bears and put up 14 points. We like the Packers to improve to 3-0 on the season.
New Orleans @ Seattle - Another team starting a backup quarterback and another team I want no part of. The Saints have the weapons to overcome the loss of Drew Brees, but only just. Seattle is a solid team and will likely run the ball down the throats of the Saints and play the ball control style of game. Century Link is a hard place to win in general, let alone with a backup QB under centre. Give me Seattle.
New York Giants @ Tampa Bay - The Eli Manning era is over in New York, and it probably doesn't even matter considering they will likely finish with one of the Top 3 draft picks this season. Tampa is off an impressive road win vs Carolina. Therefore, if they can play somewhat competently and Winston can avoid the turnovers, Tampa wins this game going away.
Baltimore @ Kansas City - This game is one to watch rather than bet on. We like the Chiefs in this spot as they will be at home for the first time this season. And with Patrick Mahomes calling the shots on offense, the Chiefs look unstoppable. Lamar Jackson has been a great story in the opening two games, but we don't see him continuing that pace and trading shots with Mahomes in Arrowhead. It'll be entertaining, but the Chiefs likely come away with the win
Cincinnati @ Buffalo - It's almost that time of year where the Bills snatch any hope of a good season away and leave fans banging their head against the wall. The Bills beat the Giants and Jets in MetLife Stadium and now return home staring 3-0 right in the face on their home field. The problem is that the Bills as favorites are a terrible bet, and the Bengals can't look any worse than they did last week vs the 49ers. The Bills have the better D, so we'll go with them.
Atlanta @ Indianapolis - If you feel like Atlanta getting points on the road to Indy is a trap, raise your hand. Atlanta is the more complete team and is coming off a big win vs the Eagles. Indy beat Tennessee but was lucky to do so. This feels like a classic Atlanta let down spot, but I trust Matt Ryan and Julio Jones more than I do Jacoby Brissett. Give me the Dirty Birds.
Tennessee @ Jacksonville - The point spread sits right around -1 or PK, depending where you look, which means this game is likely to be close. Tennessee lost a winnable game at home vs. Indy, while Jacksonville played above their head against Houston and were lucky to win that game outright as nine-point underdogs. Jacksonville is dealing with some internal issues. And as good as Gardner Minshew is playing, the Titans have a better defense and more stability. Give me the Titans.
Carolina @ Arizona - An injured Cam Newton vs. a healthy Kyler Murray. While one is a rookie and one has been around the league for some time, this cross-country trip to the desert comes at the worst possible time. Carolina is reeling right now, so let's roll with the home Cardinals who has shown some guts in the first two games.
Detroit @ Philadelphia - Detroit is off a solid home win vs the Chargers and should really be 2-0. The Eagles are ravaged by injury and just lost to the Falcons. We side with the healthier of the two teams, so give me the Lions as I plug my nose on this one.
Pittsburgh @ San Francisco - Mason Rudolph is now under center for the Steelers, but I'm a bit hesitant to stick a fork in their season. Rudolph is more athletic than Big Ben. And while he may not have the full grasp of the offense, the pieces around him are there. San Francisco seems to the darlings of the league again after a 2-0 start, and maybe they do win this game, but it'll be closer than the seven-point spread dictates. I am taking the Steelers here, however.
LA Rams @ Cleveland - This game should be interesting for a number of reasons. One, there will be talent all over the field, including the defensive side of the ball. The Rams aren't as dominating as they showed last week against the Saints, and the Browns just beat the hapless Jets. Prime-time home underdog? Sign me up with the points, but the outright winner is a little trickier.
Houston @ LA Chargers - The Chargers lost a winnable game against the Lions while the Texans barely hung on against the Jags. These two teams seem pretty even on offense, so we'll give the edge to the home side, but only just. No clue who wins this game.
Chicago @ Washington - I wouldn't bet this game with your money, let alone mine. The Bears offense put up just one touchdown last week at Denver while the Redskins gave up 213 rushing yards to the Cowboys. A miserable offense meets an even worse defense. What gives? Well, Chicago is favored by 4.5 but playing their second game on the road, I'll side with Case Keenum and the Redskins. Zero confidence, though.
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