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Gagnon’s Week 3 NFL Picks

Week 2 is in the books, a lot of bettors absorbed losses in Week 2, but the NFL is always there to provide comfort a week later.

We start with a Thursday Night dog play and end up with a Monday Night dog play. And all sorts of goodness in between. Let’s get to it.

(Odds as of midweek at FanDuel Sportsbook, visit them for the latest lines and super bonus specials and new customer perks).

2021 RECORD: 17-15

CAROLINA PANTHERS (-8) AT HOUSTON TEXANS: TEXANS

I’m not laying more than a touchdown with a Sam Darnold-quarterbacked team on the road on three days’ rest. The Texans suck, but they showed in Week 1 at home that they have some fight in them, and that should be the case regardless of who is under center here.

CHICAGO BEARS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS (-7): BEARS

The Browns are really banged up on the offensive side of the ball and the Bears should be better off with Justin Fields at quarterback than they were with veteran journeyman backup Andy Dalton. Chicago hangs here.

BALTIMORE RAVENS (-9) AT DETROIT LIONS: LIONS

Detroit has played with fire this season, while the depleted Ravens might have reality catch up with them after an emotional Sunday night win over the Chiefs. They’ll still win this one, but I’m not willing to lay nearly 10 points with such a banged-up team on the road.

ARIZONA CARDINALS (-7) AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: CARDINALS

Why in the world are the Jaguars getting just seven points here? The Cardinals offense has been phenomenal and Jacksonville has lost by double-digit margins in back-to-back weeks. The backdoor cover is always a possibility, but this is likely to be a blowout.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-6.5): CHIEFS

Patrick Mahomes will be fired up to make a statement at home against a division rival after a tough loss to the Ravens, and L.A. has quite a few injuries to deal with after a rough home loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Chiefs win by double digits here.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-3): PATRIOTS

The Saints aren’t close to as good as they looked Week 1 and the Patriots are far better than they looked in Week 1. We saw the direction both teams are headed last week. No way the Patriots start the season 0-2 at home, and you still get a push if this is a field-goal game.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT TENNESSEE TITANS (-5): COLTS

The Colts have won three consecutive games straight-up in Tennessee, and Ryan Tannehill is looking like a potential problem for the Titans. Carson Wentz’s health situation isn’t ideal for Indy, but the Colts have the defensive personnel to hold Derrick Henry in check and make this at least a close game. They’re too talented and too desperate to fall to 0-3 without a fight.

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT BUFFALO BILLS (-7.5): WASHINGTON

Why is Washington getting more than a touchdown? This is one of the best defenses in the league and Josh Allen has legitimately been one of the worst quarterbacks in football early this season. Allen could bounce back, but the WFT defense has tons of room to improve as well. Buffalo wins a close one.

ATLANTA FALCONS AT NEW YORK GIANTS (-3): GIANTS

It’s hard to lay three points with the Giants, but Daniel Jones has been pretty solid with his arm and legs this season and they should be feisty at home against a team that looks as though it is phoning in the 2021 campaign. I can’t justify backing the dud Falcons with only three points in their back pocket on the road.

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-3.5): BENGALS

Pittsburgh’s banged up on both sides of the ball, and the new and improved Bengals have a chance to make a statement here. Joe Burrow rarely loses by large margins, and this feels like another field-goal game.

NEW YORK JETS AT DENVER BRONCOS (-10): BRONCOS

It’s scary laying double digits with Teddy Bridgewater, especially considering that the Broncos won’t have Bradley Chubb. But Zach Wilson is a mess with no support right now, and the Jets are on the road. If the Pats can take them down by three scores in New York, Denver should be able to win this one by a pair of touchdowns minimum.

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (-4): DOLPHINS

Brian Flores is too good a coach to let his team lie down after a blowout loss, and Jon Gruden’s Raiders are too untrustworthy to lay more than a field goal with when a 3-0 start is on the line. You just know they’re going to screw this up.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-1.5) AT LOS ANGELES RAMS: BUCCANEERS

The Bucs have won 10 straight games by an average margin of more than 15 points. They’re significantly better than the Rams, even if this line doesn’t indicate that. I can’t believe they’re not laying at least a full field goal.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-1.5) AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS: SEAHAWKS

Russell Wilson is 7-0 in his career against the Vikings, and this is a particularly tough spot for Minnesota because Wilson and the Seahawks are coming off a home loss. They’ll rebound by crushing a mentally weak opponent.

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-3): PACKERS

Aaron Rodgers has lost five of his last six games in the Pacific time zone, but I think he’ll be inspired to send a message in this one. The 49ers have once again been hit hard by injuries. I’m surprised they’re favored considering how poorly they played in back-to-back uninspiring road victories over inferior teams to start the season.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT DALLAS COWBOYS (-3.5): EAGLES

I’d rather not pick an NFC East game in prime time, especially one with so many injury questions. That said, I’m not touching that hook considering how well Jalen Hurts is playing for a Philly team that still has Dallas beat in the trenches…

Archived Week 3 NFL Picks article by Gagnon from Sept. 28, 2020

After a strong showing with our first two weeks, here are the next 16 kicks at the can, with odds coming from Draft Kings Sportsbook. Check out new matchup reports and comparative odds launched this week here at NFP for further research and if you believe in trends, check out Trend Dummy’s weekly data mining exercise with 10-0 ATS streaks among others.

2020 RECORD: 18-13-1

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (-3): DOLPHINS

The Jaguars entered the season as the clear-cut basement-dweller of the NFL, and two surprisingly decent performances shouldn’t entirely obstruct that reality. A bad team is due for a dud and the Dolphins are much more talented on both sides of the ball. I’ll gladly take three points with Miami. 

CHICAGO BEARS AT ATLANTA FALCONS (-3): BEARS

It’s hard to trust the Falcons following their collapse against the Dallas Cowboys, whereas the Chicago defense has looked strong. They should be able to limit a banged-up Julio Jones, and it’s maybe sorta kinda possible Mitchell Trubisky is turning a corner. I’ll take the points. 

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-4.5): BENGALS

Philly’s just a straight-up mess right now, while the Bengals are coming off extra rest. Joe Burrow is making progress and the team in general appears to be on the right track. A weak Eagles linebacker group should have trouble with Burrow and Joe Mixon on the ground as Cincy keeps it close. Trend Dummy noted that Cincy is 10-0 ATS vs the Eagles since 1982 if you believe history repeats itself.

HOUSTON TEXANS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-4): TEXANS

Deshaun Watson is too good to let his team get blown out for a third consecutive week. The Texans will at least battle hard to avoid an 0-3 start, so laying more than a field goal with a banged-up Steelers team is too risky.

LOS ANGELES RAMS AT BUFFALO BILLS (-2.5): BILLS

This is a pretty even matchup but Josh Allen has a hotter hand than Jared Goff. Plus, Allen’s legs and the Buffalo running game have an opportunity to break out against a vulnerable Los Angeles run defense. It’s surprising Buffalo isn’t even laying a field goal at home.

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 LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-5.5): PATRIOTS

This was a tough call but I don’t feel great about the Raiders coming off such a high on Monday night. They’ve had less time to prepare than Bill Belichick, and Cam Newton presents much more of a challenge than Drew Brees at this point. Pats by a touchdown. 

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-4) AT NEW YORK GIANTS: GIANTS

I think we’re underestimating how badly the 49ers have been hit by injuries on both sides of the ball. Can they really take advantage of Saquon Barkley’s absence? I’m not backing a Nick Mullens-led offense with four points working against me.

TENNESSEE TITANS (-2.5) AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS: VIKINGS

Kirk Cousins is likely to bounce back. He always does. And the veteran Vikings are too well-coached to start 0-3. Minnesota’s defense is weak, but Tennessee’s hasn’t performed well either. Taking a chance on the Vikes in a close game. 

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT CLEVELAND BROWNS (-7): BROWNS

Cleveland has a strong enough offensive line to handle Washington’s stellar defensive front, and Myles Garrett and Co. could have a field day with a line that will be without standout Brandon Scherff. With extra prep time following a bounce-back victory over the Bengals, the Browns should win this one handily.

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-6.5): CHARGERS

The young Carolina defense is a mess, Justin Herbert looked awesome in his career debut and Carolina won’t have its offensive centerpiece, Christian McCaffrey. Why in the world are the Bolts laying less than a touchdown after taking the Kansas City Chiefs to overtime?

NEW YORK JETS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-11.5): COLTS

There’s absolutely nothing the Jets do well right now, while the Colts looked strong on both sides of the ball in a bounce-back Week 2 performance. The backdoor cover is always a possibility here, but an Indy blowout is likely.

DALLAS COWBOYS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-5): COWBOYS

Seattle barely beat the Patriots but is now laying a full five points against a Cowboys team riding a high? Dak Prescott is rolling and should have a chance to exploit a pass defense that lost Bruce Irvin and Marquise Blair to injury in Week 2. This is a field-goal game. 

DETROIT LIONS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (-5.5): CARDINALS

The Lions have been gutted on both sides of the ball, while the remarkably healthy Cardinals are on fire. Their defense is underrated, while Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins should have fun with a toothless Detroit D. The Cards should win by double digits.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-6) AT DENVER BRONCOS: BUCCANEERS

The Lions have been crushed by injuries, the Bucs are extremely healthy and Tampa Bay’s stacked defensive front should control this game. No way I’m taking a Jeff Driskel-run offense to stay within a touchdown here.

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3): SAINTS

Huh? The Saints are a disaster right now as it looks like Drew Brees is running out of gas. Meanwhile, the healthier and hotter Packers look inspired and balanced. With no home-field advantage in the empty Superdome, I’ll gladly take the Packers with three points on my side.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (-3.5): CHIEFS

Patrick Mahomes has covered or pushed in all six of his games as an underdog, and now he’s getting a field goal plus a hook with home-field hardly a factor in Baltimore? That’s weird. This should be a pick’em. 

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. He was a lead contributor to an earlier incarnation of NationalFootballPost.com and was happy to return when new management revived the brand in 2020. Based in Toronto, he's covered the NFL since 2008 and has been a national NFL writer at Bleacher Report since 2012. He despises all 32 NFL teams equally but remains a fan of the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors. He can be reached at Brad@NationalFootballPost.com

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Pittsburgh +3.5 -110

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New Orleans -6.5 -110

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Atlanta +2.5 -110

Carolina -2.5 -110

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Baltimore -1 -110

Cleveland +1 -110

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NY Giants +7.5 -110

LA Chargers -7.5 -110

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Detroit +8.5 -110

Denver -8.5 -110

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San Francisco +2.5 -110

Cincinnati -2.5 -110

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Dec 12th, 4:25 PM

Buffalo +3.5 -110

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Chicago +11 -110

Green Bay -11 -110

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Dec 13th, 8:15 PM

LA Rams +2.5 -110

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Dec 16th, 8:20 PM

Kansas City -3 -110

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