NFL Lines Week 3: Spreads That Favorites Will Easily Cover

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 08: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears celebrates a touchdown run against the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field on September 8, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Bengals 24-21. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Winning isn't everything for greedy bettors who also need NFL teams to cover the spread.

Losers can satisfy some lucky gamblers by keeping the score close enough to fall under the line. Picking a victor is tricky enough; that wrinkle makes choosing a side nearly impossible.

Luckily, these squads can ease some apprehension by winning convincingly. Onlookers don't have to worry about these teams losing or failing to cover the spread. It's a win-win.

Count on these three clubs to cruise to victory during Week 3.

Note: All lines are courtesy of Vegas Insider.


Minnesota Vikings (-6.5) vs. Cleveland Browns

So the Vikings just need to score one touchdown and convert the extra point?

The Browns promised to turn a new leaf under Norv Turner's watch, but they have delivered typical Browns results. They have mustered one touchdown through eight quarters of football, scoring fewer points than every team other than the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Now they're starting over with Brian Hoyer at quarterback and an assembly of new running backs tasked to replace the traded Trent Richardson. Even if the moves pay off over the long term, don't expect them to work out instantly.

Hoyer couldn't win the Arizona Cardinals' starting quarterback job last season, which should say all anyone needs to know. In those starts, he engineered 330 yards, a 56.6 completion percentage and two interceptions.

While the Vikings have regressed to the mean after finishing last season on a wild hot streak, Adrian Peterson gives them enough offense to crawl to the finish line against a tough Browns defense.

Cleveland's defensive unit will have to parlay some turnovers into points for it to have a chance on Sunday, but that's assuming Minnesota's defense doesn't do the same.

Prediction: Vikings 13, Browns 3


Chicago Bears (-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers

People are holding on to past iterations of the Steelers rather than accepting the team's current depleted state.

Pittsburgh has not lost nine or more games in a season since 2003, so the prestigious franchise receives the benefit of the doubt at home, despite showing no offense during its first two losses.

If a team with its current talent but lack of prior accolades was slated to face the Bears, it'd be lucky if Chicago didn't sport a double-digit advantage.

Those who abide by reality will realize that the Steelers hold the NFL's worst offense, unless you consider the Jaguars an actual NFL team. No AFC team has amassed less rushing yards and just five clubs throughout the entire league has generated fewer yards though the air.

Against a 2-0 Chicago club blossoming an offense to match its potent defense, Pittsburgh should no longer be treated as a viable adversary. The score may run low, but Chicago will control the match and win by more than two points, giving Al Michaels no chance to mention that Pittsburgh can cover with a score.

Prediction: Bears 17, Steelers 6


Denver Broncos (-15) vs. Oakland Raiders

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 15:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos congratulates his teammate Knowshon Moreno #27 after he scored a touchdown in the second quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 15, 2013 in East Rut
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

With the way the Broncos are playing, 15 points is child's play.

They beat the Baltimore Ravens by 22 points before decimating the New York Giants by 18, so what's a measly 15 against the Raiders?

Denver's massive 40-point scoring advantage, gained against the past two Super Bowl champions, leads the league. Don't forget that Oakland avoided the dubious crown of becoming the league's 32nd best team by handling the lowly Jaguars.

The one area where Denver can improve is its passing defense, which has allowed offenses to move the ball mostly in garbage-time situations without Champ Bailey. Terrelle Pryor can make plays with his feet, but he only produced 126 passing yards against the Jaguars.

Peyton Manning and Co. will jump out to a sizable lead, which Knowshon Moreno will bolster during the second half. By the third quarter, viewers will grab the remote to see what else is on TV.

Such a lofty line will look microscopic when Denver is done doling out a massacre on Monday Night Football.

Prediction: Broncos 44, Raiders 13