Gambling on the NFL is always tough. Whether you’ve taken a beaten over the first fortnight of football action or taken down the house, it’s now time to brush it off or use your winnings to make some Week 3 plays.
There are plenty of tight lines and ugly situations to get behind, but there are a few sides that standout as the right ones this coming weekend. You’re going to want to identify those and wager big if you want to come away a winner.
If you aren’t sure which way to lean, keep reading for my picks in every game, plus a few contests that are lead pipe locks to cover the spread.
Indianapolis Colts (+10.5) over SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
The bruising back never lived up to his potential with the Cleveland Browns but should make a drastic and immediate impact with the Colts. Richardson will have his first real test Sunday when his new team takes on the stout 49ers frontline.
Expect T-Rich to be tasked to crash relentlessly into it, attempting to chip away at weaknesses and eventually come away with big plays—much as Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks did to great success in Week 2.
Although the Colts defense may have some struggles containing top receiver Anquan Boldin and limiting quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the underdog will definitely be able to keep this one within a one-touchdown margin.
Prior to the T-Rich deal, the Colts were a solid value play. Being able to get them at the same number with a star back now on the roster is a steal.
BALTIMORE RAVENS (+2.5) over Houston Texans
The Baltimore Ravens may have undergone some drastic changes this offseason, but the team still has the heart of a Super Bowl champion and is too proud to just roll over as a home underdog.
Although feature rusher Ray Rice may be limited or completely absent due to a strained hip flexor, as per Marc Sessler of NFL.com, Baltimore possesses a solid second-stringer in Bernard Pierce. He’s more than capable of shouldering the load for at least one contest and shouldn’t miss a beat in terms of production out of the backfield.
There’s also an emerging threat at wide receiver in Marlon Brown, who more than makes up for the loss of Jacoby Jones. Joe Flacco may have less weapons than he did last year, but the signal-caller is making the most of them and should have no problem burning a beatable Texans secondary.
Remember, Houston conceded 28 points to the San Diego Chargers and then needed overtime in Week 2 to beat the Tennessee Titans, 30-24.
It’s not looking good for the back-to-back AFC South champs in this one, as they have to go on the road and play a team that they are expected to beat. The only problem is that the Ravens are a lot tougher than they are being credited for and look to be the better team.
Take the points here to be safe, but know that Baltimore could easily win this one straight up and reward moneyline backers.
Chicago Bears (-2) over PITTSBURGH STEELERS
The Pittsburgh Steelers are cooked.
This once-proud franchise is down in the dumps and proved it on Monday Night Football in Week 2 against the AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals.
Pittsburgh unfortunately has to complete its meltdown in the public eye once again, this time against the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football.
Even though the game is on the road, it seems incredulous that Chicago is only giving up two points. The Steelers are vastly inferior and will be absolutely trounced by the Bears defense.
The Black and Yellow can barely muster any semblance of a running game and Ben Roethlisberger is struggling behind a leaky offensive line. The passing game is clearly out of rhythm and top receiver Antonio Brown reportedly confronted the team’s offensive coordinator on the sidelines during the Bengals game, via Scott Brown of ESPN.
Lay the points, and take the team that isn’t on the verge of collapsing after an 0-2 start.