NFL Week 3 Predictions: 5 Teams on Upset Alert
The Arizona Cardinals proved last week by beating the New England Patriots as double-digit underdogs that any team can get the win on a Sunday afternoon. Week 3 in the NFL will not be any different as five NFL teams should be very worried.
The public is still blindly backing teams based on old information which is inflating lines. Those lines will be under scrutiny this week.
Last week I went 3-2 and all of my underdogs won on the field without the points. Those included big upsets by the Rams over the Redskins and the Seahawks over the Cowboys. That leads to these five teams that are on upset alert, starting with the San Francisco 49ers.
Minnesota Vikings (+7) Over San Francisco 49ers
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This line may seem low, but don’t fall for it. This game will be closer than most people think and it is a perfect let-down spot for the 49ers.
The 49ers travel to Minnesota after playing a Sunday night game against the Lions and a monumental win in Week 1 against the Green bay Packers. The 49ers head to the Midwest for an early start and 85 percent of the public are on this play.
Christian Ponder is not getting much attention but he has looked poised in the pocket and is only getting better. The 49ers will focus on Adrian Peterson and this will open up passing lanes for Ponder.
The home team has covered five out of the last seven games in this series. I am not bold enough to think the Vikings will win outright, but taking the points is the way to go in this game.
Arizona Cardinals (+4) over Philadelphia Eagles
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I was going to take the Patriots in a minor upset in the Patriots vs. Ravens Sunday night game, but instead I will take the team that beat them a week ago.
The Arizona Cardinals are not getting any credit and the betting public is considering the win against New England a fluke. The Cardinals are the best bet for this weekend and there is a football betting system that backs this up.
More importantly, the Eagles are 2-0, but it is a very ugly 2-0. The Eagles have been prone to turnovers and they will have more this weekend due to an injury that is going mostly unnoticed.
The Eagles have lost starting center Jason Kelce for the year. This leaves the door open for botched snaps and quarterback exchanges. Dallas Reynolds will be the starter, but the Eagles signed Steve Vallos as insurance.
The Cardinals defense is underrated and aggressive. They just bottled up Tom Brady and one of the best offenses in the NFL and will be able to do the same to Michael Vick. Vick forces balls into double coverage when pressured and that will set up Kevin Kolb with great field position.
The Cardinals are 5-0 against the spread (ATS) in their last five games against the NFC and they have covered five of the last six games at home.
The Eagles are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their last outing. They will not be able to overcome mistakes in this duel in the desert.
Kolb gets his revenge.
Tennessee Titans (+3) over Detroit Lions
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The Tennessee Titans have yet to get a win on the season, but that will change after Week 3
The Detroit Lions are still living off the hype from a season ago, but they are a few plays away from being 0-2.
The Titans are struggling to get the running game started with Chris Johnson, but that is a bit misleading. Granted C.J.’s numbers are low, but the Titans have fallen behind early in games and they had to try and pass to catch up.
That running game will have some success against the Lions who own the 17th rushing defense in the NFL.
The Titans lost to the Patriots and the Chargers, two very good teams in the AFC, yet the media is painting the Titans to be a bad football team.
The Lions are off an emotional game against the 49ers and they will look right past this out-of-conference game. In fact, the Lions have a track record of falling flat against bad teams. They are 9-21-1 ATS in their last 31 road games against a team with a losing home record.
The Titans are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. They get their first win of the season when they beat the Lions.
Cincinnati Bengals (+3) over Washington Redskins
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This is not a “lock of the week” type of play, but it does qualify as one of my favorite plays of the week. The Robert Griffin III hype continues this week, but he may have made a mistake by opening his mouth about the Rams.
RG3 commented on the Rams “dirty play” this week.
"They were doing a lot of dirty things. I still think they have an extremely good team, that doesn't take anything away from them, but the game was unprofessional. (Via ESPN)
This is a mistake because it will motivate the Bengals to play rough with RG3 to rattle him. RG3 will be playing his first game on grass, which will slow him down a bit in running situations. The Redskins are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games on grass and 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games.
It’s not the Redskins offense that concerns me, it’s their weakened defense. Due to injuries the Redskins will be without outside linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive end Adam Carriker for this game. This is a defense that has allowed over 30 points in both games this year and seven of the last eight games dating back to last year.
The Bengals may not have a great defense, but Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are a dynamic duo that will be hard to stop this Sunday.
Another interesting angle for this game is that teams that play their first game at home after two road games to start the season are 21-43 against the spread.
That is a key trend and just another reason that the Bengals pull off the upset in Week 3.
Oakland Raiders (+5) over Pittsburgh Steelers
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The Pittsburgh Steelers make their second trip to the west in the last three weeks. This is not a good thing for a Pittsburgh team that is 0-5 against the spread in the last five games and come into this game shorthanded.
The team comes into this game riddled with injuries as safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker James Harrison have not been practicing due to injuries and are ruled out for the game.
Tight end Heath Miller joined both players by missing practice on Thursday and if he sits out the Steelers will be without a top offensive weapon.
The Steelers are 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 road games against a team with a losing home record and they will face a desperate Raiders team looking for its first win.
The underdog is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings between these teams and the Raiders have a chance to get their first win of the season against the Steelers.