NFL Week 3 Picks - Battle of Los Angeles

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TwinSpires Staff

September 21st, 2018

NFL WEEK 3 PICKS The Battle of Los Angeles

Check out out these NFL Week 3 picks!

One of the top rivalries in the NFL takes place when the New Orleans Saints head to Atlanta to battle the Dirty Birds. Also on Sunday, it’s the battle of Los Angeles when the Chargers travel to the Rams. There's a strong slate of action barreling our way, so I'm arming you with some deft NFL Week 3 picks. Let's get to it.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons -3

The home team is 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings between these two NFC South rivals, but that’s not a strong enough trend to go with either the Saints or the Falcons in this matchup. There was something that stood out to me when combing through the numbers - Atlanta is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 following a straight up win. We've seen that the Falcons can be horrifically inconsistent. Not a good idea to back the birds as the Falcons face one of the top offenses in the NFL without linebacker Deion Jones and safety Keanu Neal. Saints take it straight up.

NFL Week 3 Pick: Saints +140 Moneyline

San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs -6.5

It’s hard to find an NFL handicapper who believes the 49ers can cover the 6.5 points because, so far, quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been unreal. While his breakout has been thrilling, I have the feeling that Mahomes can’t keep this going. Defensive coordinators were probably game planning for a Chiefs offense that was centered around the run. Nobody outside of Kansas City expected this type of performance, but with at least two weeks of game tape avaialble, opponents can plan against Mahomes and Andy Reid a bit better. San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has probably been staying up late at night trying to discover Mahomes’ tendencies. Not only that, but Saleh gets Rueben Foster back after he took the first two weeks off due to a suspension.

Lost in all the hoopla of Mahomes and the Chiefs offense is the fact that they also have the worst defense in the league statistically. So add all this together, and KC -6.5 feels like a bridge too far. There's simply too much offensive potential in San Francisco to count them that far out of this race. The 49ers could pull off the money line upset, but I won’t get greedy. The points will do me just fine.

NFL Week 3 Picks: 49ers +6.5  

Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins -3

It's never easy to say that a team is dead in the water, but the Raiders are starting to look that way after blowing what looked like a sure-fire win against AFC West rival Denver last Sunday. John Gruden’s first season back in the NFL looks awfully grim, and will only get worse if Miami can send the Raiders to 0-3. However, the Dolphins got lucky against the New York Jets in Week 2. That’s the only way to describe it after the Fins beat the Jets 20-12 despite gaining just 257 total yards of offense. Even though some trends point to a Miami win and cover, it’s hard to see Oakland losing a third straight. The Raiders win this on the money line. It's not the safest play, but I'm willing to say take one last swing at the Oakland Raiders. Also, if it's not obvious already, I'm taking some big swings this week.

NFL Week 3 Picks: Raiders +145 Moneyline

Buffalo Bills at Minnesota Vikings -16.5

It's extremely rare that you see a spread this big, but that's what happens when you allow 39.0 points against over two weeks. Buffalo looks outright terrible, and Josh Allen in particular does not look NFL ready. Some rookies should be starting (read: Baker Mayfield), but others simply need to be holding a clipboard. Are there any positives you can point to in Buffalo? Didn't think so The Bills are a literal tire fire, and the explosive Minnesota Vikings are stock piled with tankers full of gasoline. They have all the tools to erase the heartbreak of last weekend's unfortunate tie against Green Bay by hammering the Bills. The Vikings could push the 40.5 total in to the OVER by themselves in this one.

NFL Week 3 Picks: Minnesota -16.5 

Green Bay Packers -3 at Washington Redskins

As long as Aaron Rodgers is on the field, there's always a chance that Green Bay gets the win. But the Washington Redskins are not as bad as their loss to Indianapolis suggest. Green Bay's defense has shown plenty of vulnerabilities, allowing the fifth most yards against (387.0) while surrendering 26 points per game. I’m with D.C. to get back on track with a huge win. They're 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a loss, and have a defense that typically plays better at home. There's no doubt that Green Bay presents as a better bet, but I'm willing to take my chances with Washington. Your appetite for risk will dictate whether or not you'll follow me down this rabbit role.

NFL Week 3 Picks: Washington +130 Moneyline

Cincinnati Bengals at Carolina Panthers -3.0

Cincinnati has won their first two games by identical scores of 32-23, and are one of the league's undefeated teams, but they lost the engine that's turned them in to a different team in 2018. Joe Mixon is sidelined for at least 2-3 weeks with a knee injury that recently received surgery, so it's hard to imagine the Bengals as anything more than the same team that's routinely let us down the last couple of years. Carolina is a very tough team to play, even without Greg Olsen. They lost their star tight end last year as well, and still made the playoffs. The Panthers are one of the most resilient teams in the league, and are also 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games. The loss of Olsen hurts the Panthers a lot less than the absence of Mixon for Cincinnati. That's why you should be taking the home bound Panthers.

NFL Week 3 Picks: Carolina -3.0

Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens -5.5

Total dart board game, so pick your poison. I happen to hate Denver less than Baltimore at the moment. Quarterback Case Keenum has rallied the Broncos to back-to-back victories in the first couple of weeks. It’s also hard to look past the significant trend that says the Ravens are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing 350 yards or more in their previous game. Baltimore lost any semblance of credibility after Week 1 once we realized how bad Buffalo really is, and being bounced by Cincinnati handedly didn't help matters. Neither team is as good as anyone wants them to be, and as I've said in previous weeks, I'll take the points when there's no clear advantage on either side. Baltimore and Denver both have strong, reliable defenses but Denver simply has a slightly more proven offensive set.

NFL Week 3 Picks: Broncos +5.5

Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams -7

The Rams have looked unstoppable in two straight blowout wins, but the Chargers are a different squad than either the Raiders or the Cardinals. The Bolts should have some success against a Rams’ defense that allowed Oakland’s offense to amass 395 total yards in Week 1. Simply put, 7 points are too many to give to a quarterback like Philip Rivers. This should be a shootout. As a late game chaser, I like LAC +7.0 coupled with the OVER 48.0.

NFL Week 3 Picks: Chargers +7