Cardinals (2-0) @ Jaguars (0-2)
Spread: Cardinals (-8)
The Cardinals come into Week 3 at 2-0, after one dominating win of a very good Titans team, and one scraped out win against a weaker Vikings team, much aided by the continued kicking woes of Minnesota.
The Jaguars are a very rough 0-2 and have looked even worse than the record says. These are 2 teams with drastically different expectations, and with the line set at over a Touchdown, the Cardinals are big favorites.
Kyler Murray of the Cardinals is having an electric start to the year, already with 9 total TD to start the year. If nothing else, there should be a good amount of points put up in this one, but all signs point to an Arizona victory.
Falcons (0-2) @ Giants (0-2)
Spread: Giants (-3)
This is a battle of 2 winless teams through 2 weeks.
The Falcons have been blown out twice, once by the Buccaneers, but also by the Eagles. The Giants lost significantly to the Broncos before enduring a heartbreaking last second loss to Washington in a game neither team really deserved to win.
The Giants come in as favorites at home here in a game that in all honesty is probably going to be ugly. Since 1990, only 30 teams have gone 0-2 and made the playoffs, an 11.8% rate.
One team will lose their 0 in this game (god forbid they tie) and will try to string some more wins together, but an 0-2 start is a massive setback to any postseason hopes.
Ravens (1-1) @ Lions (0-2)
Spread: Ravens (-8)
The Ravens have had a confusing 1-1 start to the season, but after a primetime win against the Chiefs, they will look to continue that momentum in what should be a much easier matchup.
The 0-2 Lions likely knew that this wasn’t going to be a winning season, but it’s still demoralizing to see it play out. It doesn’t help that they got a brutal opening schedule, but I think we’ve all known this is a rebuilding year.
This is another case of 2 teams headed in different directions, and the Ravens should run all over the Lions on Sunday.
Bears (1-1) @ Browns (1-1)
Spread: Browns (-7.5)
Bears fans are overjoyed because this Sunday will be the first NFL start for rookie QB Justin Fields. The offense for Chicago has not been impressive for the first 2 weeks, but Fields could be the spark they need to get going.
Baker Mayfield had an injury scare last week but came back to lead the Browns to victory, evening up their record. This feels like a game that will be very heavily influenced by the pass rush on both sides, and there will be a lot of scrambling QBs.
Though I think the line is a bit too heavy, the Browns expect to be in a different tier than a team like Chicago and should be able to pull out a win Sunday.
Bengals (1-1) @ Steelers (1-1)
Spread: Steelers (-3)
Both of these teams come into this game after losing last week, and both have issues.
The Bengals had a huge upset win last year over the then contention-hopeful Steelers, but fast forward to this week, and the 3 point spread indicates that these teams are closer than they were a year ago.
I think the Bengals have gotten better and the Steelers have gotten worse. This is probably going to be a slugfest that could go either way by the final whistle. I’m going upset here.
Chargers (1-1) @ Chiefs (1-1)
Spread: Chiefs (-7)
Another game where both teams come into this week fresh off a loss. Both the Chargers and Chiefs lost close ones in Week 2 and will surely be motivated to get back to a winning record.
Justin Herbert has been underwhelming this year, but this seems like a blowup spot for him against the team where he started his career last year.
The Chiefs’ defense has looked very bad so far, and going against an offense with the weapons LAC has hardly felt like the remedy to fix their issues. This is likely to be a very entertaining shootout that could go either way. I’m leaning Chiefs here.
Saints (1-1) @ Patriots (1-1)
Spread: Patriots (-3)
Another week in a hotel for the Saints who are coming off of an embarrassment of a loss against Carolina last week. The Saints come into this game averaging the least total yards, least pass yards, and have the least first downs of any team in the NFL.
They are struggling, and unfortunately for them, they do not have an easy matchup to get right. The Patriots’ defense has looked excellent so far this year. Mac Jones has been the best rookie QB of the bunch so far.
He looks poised and accurate and like the future of the franchise. This just feels like one of the worst possible matchups the Saints could have right now, and I fully expect the Patriots to take advantage.
Washington (1-1) @ Bills (1-1)
Spread: Bills (-7)
Washington was able to scrape out a win on TNF last week in a game that they really didn’t deserve to win, but neither did the Giants. They come into this contest even at 1-1, down their opening day starter in Ryan Fitzpatrick. Taylor Heinicke has taken over and looked decent so far, but he has an opportunity this week against a good team to really prove what he can do.
The Bills have been underwhelming so far this year. Josh Allen took a massive step forward last year, but instead of continuing in that direction, he has started this year going backwards. This is a big game because both teams could really use a game where they click and their strength actually looks like their strength again.
I’m leaning Bills here, but the line is way too high. This should be close.
Dolphins (1-1) @ Raiders (2-0)
Spread: Raiders (-3.5)
The Raiders have looked very impressive so far this year. In fact, Derek Carr might be the current MVP leader.
They have 2 tough wins already. The Dolphins lost QB Tua Tagovailoa last week and will be forced to start Jacoby Brissett. At home, off of 2 good wins, against a team without their starting QB, there’s just not a lot to say here.
I’m going with the Raiders in a pretty easy pick for me.
Jets (0-2) @ Broncos (2-0)
Spread: Broncos (-10.5)
Zach Wilson has had a rough start to his career, and the schedule is doing no favors. His first 3 games have been a very improved Panthers defense, an excellent Patriots defense, and now a very good Broncos defense too.
The Jets have not looked very good, but this was understood to be a rebuilding year. Teddy Bridgewater has been a pleasant surprise this year, playing very, very well.
Seahawks (1-1) @ Vikings (0-2)
Spread: Seahawks (-1.5)
Poor Vikings. An absolute shootout was coming to a close and Kirk Cousins had put the Vikings in position to win the game as time expired.
However, the kicking curse of Minnesota prevailed, and the 37 yard kick was missed, sending the Vikings to 0-2 instead of 1-1 with a very good win. The Seahawks blew a 15 point lead against the Titans in Week 2, and are likely going to be fueled by that OT loss coming into this week.
Add on to that the fact that Seattle has seemingly owned the Vikings over the last couple years, and you get a pretty easy pick to make here.
Buccaneers (2-0) @ Rams (2-0)
Spread: Buccaneers (-1.5)
This is a heavyweight battle between 2 of the Super Bowl favorites.
The Rams with newly acquired Matthew Stafford have looked the part of a contender so far. The Buccaneers also look excellent as Tom Brady has led them to 2-0 start and is one of the top 2 early MVP leaders.
This is truly a coin flip game between 2 teams who very well could meet up again in the postseason. Look for this to be one of the better games of the season.
Packers (1-1) @ 49ers (2-0)
Spread: 49ers (-3)
The Packers were able to bounce back on Monday after being embarrassed in Week 1.
Aaron Jones took over, scoring 4 TDs in an emotional game for him, and Green Bay looks to be back on track. San Francisco has been a tale of 2 games so far. An offensive explosion Week 1 followed by a shutdown defensive performance in Week 2.
If those can be put together, the sky’s the limit, but there is no guarantee that it can. These teams have played a lot over the last decade, and this should be another good matchup in the recent series. Leaning 49ers, but this game could go either way.
Eagles (1-1) @ Cowboys (1-1)
Spread: Cowboys (-3.5)
The NFC East looks better this year and this should be a very good game between 2 teams who have shown a lot more promise this year than they did in 2020. The Eagles rode with Jalen Hurts at QB and I think he has looked the part so far.
Their defense, especially on the line, is a very good group that can hang with anyone. For Dallas, the defense is definitely better than last year, though that bar is incredibly low.
Dak Prescott is back and healthy and Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard have formed a sort of 1-2 punch that looks like it will be very effective. This is a very good matchup at this point in the year, and I’m leaning for the slight upset here in a close one.