The first two weeks are officially in the books and have started to tell us a few things about the teams that we cheer for. With that being said, it’s only the third week and we have 14 games left for each team.
What will happen toward the end of the season is still a mystery, as we’ve seen some pretty crazy things already. So what should we expect out of the Free NFL Picks in the third week of the season?
Tennessee vs. New York Jets (New York -2.5). This should be another tough game for the Titans. Even though they’re obviously a pretty good team, they have started out 0-2 on the year. The Jets' defense appears as if they are for real under the tutelage of Rex Ryan.
Chris Johnson went off last week against Houston and made a lot of fantasy owners happy. Will he be able to keep it up?
Jacksonville vs. Houston (Houston -3.5). If Houston plays like it did against the Titans, the Jags really don’t have a chance in this game. However, that’s the reason they play the games out. Houston probably won’t hit on all cylinders in the passing game like they did last week.
The Jaguars had a nice contribution from Mike Sims-Walker last weekend and they hope he continues to grow into his role. It will be interesting to see if Matt Schaub can continue the blistering pace that he started last week.
Cleveland vs. Baltimore (Baltimore -13). According to the oddsmakers, this is the biggest mismatch of the week. However, just when you start to count out an underdog, that's when they start to surprise you. Therefore, the large spread should increase betting on the Cleveland side this week.
If Baltimore keeps playing the way they have been, they will definitely win the game, but will they cover the huge spread?
New York Giants vs. Tamba Bay (New York -6.5). Eli Manning is definitely learning how to spread the ball around without Plaxico Burress by his side. On the other side of the ball, Byron Leftwich is proving that he is still a capable player in his own right. The Bucs also have a good two-headed running attack with Derrick Ward and Cadillac Williams. Can the Bucs stop the vaunted ground game of the Giants though?
Washington vs. Detroit (Washington -6). Last week, the Redskins scared a lot of people by playing an extremely close game with the St. Louis Rams. They failed to cover then and many wonder whether they can do it this weekend. Their offense is anemic, and they really don’t have a quarterback. If Detroit plays like they did in the first half against the Vikings, they can surprise the Redskins.
Green Bay vs. St. Louis (Green Bay -6.5). As mentioned with the Redskins preview, the Rams battled hard with them last week. If Jackson can get it going on the ground again, this could be a closer game than people think.
San Francisco vs. Minnesota (Minnesota -6.5). Although the Vikings sputtered in the first half against the Lions, they came on strong in the second half and put them away. If the Vikings can put it all together for a full game, they will handily whip the Niners.
However, the Niners have quietly jumped out to a 2-0 record of their own. This should be a pretty good game.
Atlanta vs. New England (New England -4.5). The Patriots sputtered against the Jets last week and looked like a pretty mediocre team. They only put up nine points which is pretty much unthinkable for the Patriots of old.
On the other side, the Falcons have beat down the Dolphins and Panthers in their first two weeks. Tony G. is still doing damage to opposing defenses and they look like a legitimate offense. Expect a pretty close game in this one.
Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati (Pittsburgh -4). The Bengals looked like a much improved team last week as they beat the Green Bay Packers. Carson Palmer looked better and Chad Ochocinco put up another good game. If they can keep improving, they will be a team to be reckoned with and might surprise the Steelers.
The Steelers are coming off of a tough loss at the hands of Chicago and are looking to bounce back.
Denver vs. Oakland (Denver -1.5). This is one of the closest spreads of the week, and for good reason. The Raiders are much improved over last season and the Broncos aren’t really as good as their 2-0 record indicates. Will the McD era in Denver keep rolling along with another win? Or will the Raiders win back-to-back games for the first time this season?
Indianapolis vs. Arizona (Arizona -2.5). Arizona shut up a lot of the naysayers last week when they trounced the Jaguars. Many people believed that they were a fluke last year, but Kurt Warner put an end to all of that talk with an amazing performance.
This one should be interesting because it pits two of the best quarterbacks that have been in the league for a long time against each other. Look for a shootout in this one.
Carolina vs. Dallas (Dallas -9). Carolina has started out terribly in the first two games. They got blown out against Philly and then lost to the Falcons last week. While both of those teams are good, it’s not a good sign that Carolina didn’t even look competitive. Can Delhomme turn it around and stop turning the ball over?
Dallas, on the other hand, is coming off of one of the most disappointing losses in quite some time at the hands of the Giants. If Romo can stop throwing interceptions, this could be a special team.
Chicago vs. Seattle (Chicago -1.5). The Bears look to continue on their promising win last week against the Steelers. Can they keep it going or will they be shut down by Seattle?
The Seahawks might have to go with Seneca Wallace at quarterback. This isn’t exactly an encouraging sign if you’re a Seahawks fan. The Bears hope to get Matt Forte rolling on the ground again after two sub-par games.
New Orleans vs. Buffalo (New Orleans -6). Drew Brees has been completely out of this world the first two weeks of the season. He has tied an NFL record with nine touchdown passes over the first two weeks of a season. They also get Pierre Thomas back at full strength this week, which should help the ground game.
T.O. found the end zone last week and the Bills looked a lot better. Can they keep the passing attack going against New Orleans?
Miami vs. San Diego (San Diego -5.5). This should be a pretty evenly matched game. The Dolphins controlled the clock against the Colts and still somehow managed to lose. They can run the ball and their defense is not bad.
On the other side, the Chargers look to rebound after a loss to the Ravens. Will Phillip Rivers be able to bounce back?
Check out all of Vernon Croy’s Expert NFL Sports Betting Picks for Week Three of the 2009 NFL season.