The lines for Week 3 of the NFL season are already out, and there are some trap games that may look intriguing but should be avoided at all costs.
The Patriots failed to cover a big spread against a lowly New York Jets squad in Week 2. As a result, the Pats simply can't be trusted to cover another big spread until they prove they can this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In Philadelphia, the Eagles will look to rebound from a Week 2 loss when they take on the upstart Kansas City Chiefs, who have become one of the better surprises in the NFL so far, and that makes them an unpredictable squad to bet against.
Speaking of upstart: The New Orleans Saints have started the season with an undefeated record, but there are still some concerns about them covering the spread against the Arizona Cardinals.
Let's take a look at each of these games and why they are traps.
NFL Lines for Week 3 are courtesy of Sportsbook.
New England Patriots (-7) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This line may look like an easy one to take after the Bucs started the season 0-2 in quite the unimpressive fashion, but concerns about the Pats' offense should send bettors heading for the hills with this one.
Tampa Bay's offense has been dreadful during the first two weeks of the season. While last year's rookie sensation Doug Martin has gotten the job done at running back, quarterback Josh Freeman and company have been largely ineffective as a whole.
Such a scenario would make it seem like taking the Pats in this game is obvious as they do hold a superior offense, but New England has its own problems in that facet. Quarterback Tom Brady's receivers are inexperienced to say the least, and that has showed with all the drops they've compiled thus far.
Last week's ugly win against the New York Jets is evidence enough that the Pats can't be trusted at this point in the season to cover bigger spreads. Making matters worse, one of Brady's best receivers, Danny Amendola, may need surgery that will keep him out an extended period of time, per Shalise Manza Young of The Boston Globe.
And Brady's star tight end, Rob Gronkowski, is still an uncertainty for this Sunday's game, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, per Jackson Alexander of WEEI.com. Should Gronk return to action this week, then maybe you can rethink running from this game, but the tight end may not even be at full strength if he does return.
Darrelle Revis and the Bucs' revamped secondary won't have a tough time keeping Brady's young receivers in check, and they've already proven they can beat themselves. This game will likely be close.
Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Eagles are at home against the Chiefs and look to have an explosive offense, but a short, four-day rest going into a Week 3 game should leave cause for concern.
Because of their incredibly fast-paced offense, there is a good chance the Eagles will be fatigued heading into this showdown against the Chiefs. If that's the case, Philly's offense may not look as impressive as it has in the first two weeks, and covering even this spread may be tough.
The Chiefs have started the season 2-0. After a win over a solid team in the Dallas Cowboys, it's clear this squad can compete and play some defense. Granted, offensively the Chiefs aren't too explosive with game-manager Alex Smith behind center, but they may not need that many points to emerge victorious.
Philadelphia may come out sluggish in this game, and if that happens, the best Philadelphia will be able to do is win by an even smaller margin than the current spread—if not lose the game altogether.
Both of these teams have started off the season well, but the jury is still out on the Eagles and Chiefs as to just how good they really are. This game could go either way, which is exactly why you should avoid it.
New Orleans Saints (-8) vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Saints are 2-0 to start the 2013-14 campaign; however, they have been about as up and down as a team can be on offense.
In Week 1, the Saints looked good on offense against a tough defensive unit in Atlanta and also came to play defensively. Don't trust that the Saints' great showing on defense will continue just yet until you see more consistent play.
In Week 2, New Orleans' offense took a major turn for the worse as quarterback Drew Brees threw two picks and was sacked four times. Adding to their issues, the Saints are having trouble running the football.
Arizona comes off a huge Week 2 win against the Detroit Lions and their potent offense. After allowing 14 points in the first half, the Cardinals shut down the Lions' offense overall and only surrendered seven points in the last two quarters.
It remains to be seen which version of the Saints offense will show up on Sunday. Arizona will certainly put up a fight, and if not for a collapse in Week 1 against the St. Louis Rams, the Cardinals would be gunning for a 3-0 record.
The Cardinals aren't getting a lot of love this season, but bettors shouldn't sleep on them. With a new quarterback in Carson Palmer and a credible offense as a whole, the Cardinals may be able to match the Saints' offensive production with a little help from their defense.
That's why you should approach with caution when thinking about wagering on this contest as it may end up being a razor-thin margin of victory for either squad.
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