Week 3 NFL Betting Picks: Against the Spread
Week 2 Recap: After building a 17-7 lead, the Saints (-5.5) couldn’t hold on and eventually fell to the Raiders on Monday night, dropping my season record to 3-4 against the spread. My goal is to be over 60% with these selections, which would make everyone money. Below .500 isn’t going to cut it, so let’s get to work.
473 Cincinnati Bengals at 474 Philadelphia Eagles
- Spread: Eagles -4.5
- O/U: 47
- Time: 1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, September 27
The Eagles have legitimate problems. Carson Wentz has posted a 27.1 Total QBR this season, which is the second-worst mark in the NFL. According to Next Gen Stats, Wentz has struggled to throw against both man and zone coverages this season, compiling an 8.3 Total QBR versus man (second-worst mark in the NFL) and tossing three interceptions while being sacked six times when facing zone (both equate to the most in the NFL versus that coverage).
While he must improve, Wentz isn’t Philly’s biggest issue. The offensive line nearly got him killed two weeks ago by Washington’s pass rush and his receivers did him no favors a week ago versus the Rams’ stout secondary. Poor routes ran by Jalen Reagor and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside contributed to Wentz throwing multiple interceptions last week. While DeSean Jackson was brought back to be the team’s deep threat, he no longer possesses the skills to make explosive plays regularly.
Despite their 0-2 record, I do believe the Eagles will right the ship at some point. That’s what good coaches do and the Eagles have an excellent staff, led by Super Bowl-winner Doug Pederson. That said, it’s going to take some time. Despite retaining its quarterback and play-caller, Philly is one of the many teams clearly impacted by not having a full offseason. Wentz and the offense are out of sync and I plan on taking advantage of it by backing their opponents.
Meanwhile, the Bengals don’t have the talent to finish above .500 this season but they’re going to be in games. Joe Burrow isn’t comfortable throwing the ball vertically yet and he’s under siege because of Cincinnati’s poor offensive line, but I like the matchup this Sunday in Philly. Rams coach Sean McVay attacked Eagles linebackers both on the ground and through the air last week with great success. I expect the Bengals and their short, quick passing game to do the same this weekend. If Burrow limits the mistakes that cost him and the Bengals a Week 1 win over the Chargers, I wouldn’t be shocked if Cincinnati pulled off the upset on Sunday. Nevertheless, I’ll take the points and fade the Eagles for a second straight week.
NFL Week 3 Selection: Bengals +4.5
481 Detroit Lions at 482 Arizona Cardinals
- Spread: Cardinals -5.5
- O/U: 55.5
- Time: 4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday, September 27
As impressive as Cardinals QB Kyler Murray was last week on the ground, he wasn’t overly efficient through the air but I expect that to change this Sunday. The Lions haven’t surrendered a lot of yards through the air, but the Bears and Packers had a ton of success completing passes to receivers in all three zones and to all three levels. Not a great time to face DeAndre Hopkins.
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