We're back for another round of NFL picks against the spread! I'm off to a positive start, as the New York Giants covered the 3.5-point spread against Washington. I liked the Giants going in, but not enough to include them in my five SuperContest picks. NFC East divisional matchups can always be difficult to figure out. And this year, it seems like the NFC East could get particularly crazy.
49ers-Cards preview: AZ strengths are significant
The 49ers are going into Week 3 looking to rebound from a difficult loss in Pittsburgh, but find will a similar team waiting for them in Arizona.
For the second straight season, I am back for the LVH SuperContest. SB Nation's partners over at Odds Shark are sponsoring my entry again. The contest requires selecting 5 games each week and picking them against the spread. This year's contest is expected to have nearly 1,400 participants, including myself, Matt Ufford and Eric Sollenberger from SB Nation. Everybody picks their own five games and there will be a running leaderboard HERE. You can follow my standings under the name "Fooch".
Last year, I finished 39-45-1. This year, I've got a couple solid weeks under my belt out of the gate. I was 4-1 in each of Week 1 and Week 2. I came up short on my Rams pick, but hit on the Patriots and Packers as favorites, and the Browns and Cowboys as underdogs. I figure the 8-2 start in the SuperContest gives me cushion for when things inevitably go downhill. I went 8-8 overall ATS with my picks.
Here are my SuperContest picks for Week 3:
Steelers (-1.5) over RAMS
VIKINGS (-2.5) over Chargers
PANTHERS (-4.5) over Saints
Colts (-3) over TITANS
PACKERS (-6.5) over Chiefs
There were a lot matchups this week that were just screaming at me to pick. The Seahawks are 14.5-point favorites at home against a Bears team that will be missing both Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery. If that line was just a little I might go with it, but two touchdowns is a pretty sizable line.
My Steelers pick has me a little worried. I'm knowingly going against the numbers on that one. The Steelers have struggled in games west of the eastern time zone. There is also the concern of recency bias, coming off their beatdown of the 49ers. I think the Steelers are a good team though, and getting Le'Veon Bell back only adds to that. The Rams have a stout defensive line that could cause problems for Ben Roethlisberger. However, after seeing the Steelers go screen heavy, I think they'll be able to slow down the Rams pass rushers. And consider this just betting heavily on the return of Le'Veon Bell.
I am picking the 49ers in my overall picks, but I just did not have the guts to take them in my five SuperContest picks. They have played the Cardinals well over the last three head coaches, so I am hoping they make me regret not picking them. The 49ers get back in the Pacific time zone, and have a reasonable trip to Glendale. The Cardinals are riding high, and I think they're capable of taking home the NFC West crown. That being said, I'm hoping two wins over a pair of 0-2 squads has them looking better than they actually are heading into Week 3. Fingers crossed!
Here are all my picks for Week 3
GIANTS vs. Washington (+3.5): Giants - Win
RAMS vs. Steelers (-1.5): Steelers
VIKINGS vs. Chargers (+2.5): Vikings
TEXANS vs. Bucs (+6.5): Bucs
JETS vs. Eagles (+2.5): Jets
PANTHERS vs. Saints (+4.5): Panthers
PATRIOTS vs. Jaguars (+13.5): Patriots
RAVENS vs. Bengals (+2.5): Bengals
BROWNS vs. Raiders (+3.5): Raiders
TITANS vs. Colts (-3): Colts
COWBOYS vs. Falcons (-2): Cowboys
CARDINALS vs. 49ers (+6.5): 49ers
SEAHAWKS vs. Bears (+14.5): Seahawks
DOLPHINS vs. Bills (+3): Dolphins
LIONS vs. Broncos (-3): Broncos
PACKERS vs. Chiefs (+6.5): Packers