Free NFL Point Spread Picks Week 3
After taking a couple of weeks to let things settle down - and, as it turned out, to let a good handful of teams make a quarterback change - the time has come for us to start picking every NFL game against the spread. These are all the early numbers available on Monday, so this is very much a first reaction:
Tennessee (-1.5) at Jacksonville: I felt like I was reasonably optimistic about both of these teams heading into the season - more than a lot of people, at least. But the Nick Foles injury derailed the Jacksonville dream in a hurry, and the Titans were fairly disappointing last week. I'll take the Titans because they have disappointed me less, but I will certainly like other picks better than this one.
Baltimore (+6.5) at Kansas City: The Ravens have been fighting tough and doing a lot of things right now. I like them. But the Chiefs are not playing like humans. Their offense is obscene, and it's almost not fair. This is a lot of points, but I see no option but to take the Chiefs.
New York Jets (+22.5) at New England: The Jets don't beat New England when they are at their best. And with Sam Darnold on the sidelines, they aren't at their best. In fact, they looked awful on Monday night in a 20-point loss, and that was against a weaker team than this. New England is absolutely dialed in, and they are going to win this one. That's all but a given. But this is a whole lot of points. Still, I feel like I have to give up the points and take the Patriots, but I don't love it.
Cincinnati (+6) at Buffalo: Buffalo is the little team that could so far. They are far from perfect, but they have found ways to win both games. They are tough. Cincinnati really isn't. Their opener was better than expected, but their second game was hideous. I like the Bills to win here. But they aren't explosive, and I feel like taking the points is the slightly better option here. The Bengals are the uncomfortable play.
Oakland (+8) at Minnesota: Kirk Cousins just seems to be incapable of being a true starting quarterback in this league. It doesn't really make sense - he can put up stats, but they just don't turn into results. But Minnesota is talented, and the Raiders are a mess - a product of their coaching. This is a little more of a spread than I would like, but I still have to take the Vikings.
Denver (+8) at Green Bay: Both teams have mostly looked solid on defense. And both teams have not been at their capability on offense yet. Green Bay obviously has more upside, but this just feels like too many points to trust them with right now. It's a bit of a gamble, but I feel like I have to take the points and the Broncos.
Detroit (+7) at Philadelphia: The Eagles are the better team. And they are at home. But they have been hit hard by injuries, and the Lions are coming off a shocking win over a good Chargers squad. This feels like enough points to make the Lions the play.
Atlanta (+2) at Indianapolis: The Falcons got the win Sunday night, but they really benefited from Philadelphia's injury issues. I still don't respect them much, and don't trust their toughness. The Colts have issues of their own, but they are at home, so they are the clear play at this price.
Miami (+21.5) at Dallas: I was thinking about how many points you would have to give me to take the Dolphins in this one. This certainly isn't enough. I'd still probably take the Cowboys at 28, too. Probably even 31. Miami is as bad right now as I ever remember a team being. Just awful. And Dallas, while a long way from the best team out there, has shown they are capable of staying focused against bad teams already this year. Take the Cowboys.
Carolina (-2.5) at Arizona: If Cam Newton was healthy, I would be all over them. But it just isn't working for him at all right now. And the Panthers have other issues leaking out from that problem. The Cardinals have shown some good late fight in their games. And while they are a long way from great, they are going to win some. Let's gamble and take the Cards.
New York Giants (+6.5) at Tampa Bay: The Bucs have some issues, and I don't love them. But they have won a game and are going to win another one here. And they are going to win it by more than a touchdown, too. The Giants don't have a QB or a lot of hope here. Take the Bucs.
Houston (+3.5) at L.A. Chargers: The Chargers should be truly angry in this one after a loss that just isn't acceptable. Not even close to acceptable. Houston has allowed at least four sacks in each of the last eight games, and they are going to get their QB killed. And their head coach is still, unfortunately, an idiot who can't manage the clock. Take the Chargers.
New Orleans (+4.5) at Seattle: Trying to figure out how to deal with the Saints without Drew Brees is not something we are used to. And playing without him is not something they are used to. They have a good backup option in Teddy Bridgewater, but the Seahawks are tough and at home, and are worth a bet at this price. Take Seattle.
Pittsburgh (+7) at San Francisco: Big Ben is done for the year - and perhaps for his career. Now they have to see if they do have their future on board with Mason Rudolph. That's going to be rocky, and this is a tough trip for them against a San Francisco team that looks solid. I liked this number a whole lot better before the Roethlisberger injury when the number was -1, but it is still playable here. Take the Niners.
L.A. Rams (-3) at Cleveland: The Rams are the better team, and they have more time to get ready for this one this week. Cleveland beat the Jets handily, but their offense is still a long way from dialed in. At this price the Rams are the clear choice.
Chicago (-4) at Washington: It's not that Mitch Trubisky hasn't been great that is the problem. It is that the team seems to know he isn't going to be great and they are game planning for his issues. But the Redskins are a mess, and their offense is really going to struggle to score against this Chicago defense. Take the Bears.
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