1. Oakland Raiders @ Arizona Cardinals -4.5
A truly abysmal thrashing for the Arizona Cardinals last week in Atlanta. They will be grateful to follow that up with their opening home game of the new season being against the woeful Oakland Raiders. Despite beating the lowly St Louis Rams by a whole 2 points last week, there was little to suggest they’re going to pick up many victories this season. The Cardinals have a good chance of winning the NFC West again this season and a victory over the lowly Raiders is a must. They are capable of putting up a few against a poor defence, while creating turnovers is something their defence may enjoy against Oakland also.
2. Cincinnati Bengals -3 @ Carolina Panthers
The Cincinnati Bengals picked up a big divisional victory last weekend over the Baltimore Ravens to get their season kick-started. They can continue that this weekend with a trip to Carolina to face one of the league’s slowest starters. The Carolina Panthers were poor defensively in defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, which will give great confidence to Carson Palmer in finding Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens open down field. Matt Moore has struggled at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers who are going to switch to Jimmy Clausen this Sunday. The Bengals defence will give him a rough introduction to the NFL for what will ultimately be a long, tough season for the Panthers.
3. Green Bay Packers -3 @ Chicago Bears
The traditional Monday night showdown between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers returns to Soldier Field in week 3. The Green Bay Packers may be a bit overrated having thrashed the Buffalo Bills last week, but the Chicago Bears are hardly a great 2-0 team. Fortunate to beat the Detroit Lions in week 1 was followed up with a victory over the under performing Dallas Cowboys. Jay Cutler and Monday night football is a recipe for disaster and I see the Green Bay Packers spoiling the party as they shoot to 3-0. Aaron Rodgers will put up good numbers and points against this defence, while the Packers could potentially have a field day in terms of turnovers should Jay Cutler once again falter in the spotlight.
4. Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens -10.5
The Baltimore Ravens have had two tough road trips to start the season and have come out of them with a 1-1 record. The Cleveland Browns have lost to both Tampa Bay and Kansas City. 20 points in their opening two games may make Baltimore’s offence appear weak. But don’t be mistaken; they have played two of the top defences in the NFL, and both on the road. To start their home fixtures with a game against Cleveland will show us what they’re capable of, and with the weapons they have on offence I expect them to put up a large number of points on their way to a big victory over their division rivals.
5. Philadelphia Eagles -3 @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Philadelphia Eagles threw away a big fourth quarter lead over the Detroit Lions in week 2, but held onto a narrow victory in the end. The NFC East has thrown a few surprises in the opening 2 weekends, with neither franchise taking the bull by the horns. This match is a good opportunity for the Eagles to do just that and take a winning record into week 4. The Jacksonville Jaguars look vulnerable and I see Michael Vick causing them real problems on Sunday.