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NFL Picks Week 3: Picking Against the Spread For All 16 Games

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter of Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
John RozumCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2011

Sports betting is a very popular trend in America, and with that, football is its most popular sport.

So with Week 3 of the 2011 NFL season coming up, is it a good idea to pick against the spread in every game?

In other words, pick the "favorite" to win each game?

Well, let's take a quick look at each game and decide yes or no.

 

Note: Click the link for a condensed, but full view for the NFL Week 3 line.

 

San Francisco (Underdog) at Cincinnati (Favorite): -2.5

Both lost in Week 2, but the 49ers lost a close game at home to Dallas while the Bengals lost on the road to Denver.

As long as Ted Ginn, Jr. steps up for San Fran, the 'Niners can win on the road.

Pick with the spread.

 

Buffalo (Underdog) vs. New England (Favorite): -8.5

FOXBORO, MA -  SEPTEMBER 18:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots gestures during a game with the San Diego Chargers at Gillette Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

It's going to be a rather high-scoring affair, but the Patriots defense significantly improved in Week 2, whereas the Bills allowed 35 points to QB Jason Campbell and the Raiders.

As long as Tom Brady is under center in New England, the Pats win by two scores.

Pick against the spread.

 

Houston (Underdog) at New Orleans (Favorite): -4

It's a big game for both teams, but the Saints have played way more difficult opponents than Houston, and the Texans' improved defense has yet to face a QB like Drew Brees.

Pick against the spread.

 

NY Giants (Underdog) at Philadelphia (Favorite): -7.5

Even though QB Mike Vick may be out in Week 3, that doesn't mean the Eagles can't defeat the Giants.

New York's offense still needs some work, and Philly's defense is too talented to not improve.

However, it's a closer game than expected.

Pick with the spread.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 18:  Peyton Hillis #40 of the Cleveland Browns carries the ball against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

 

Miami (Underdog) at Cleveland (Favorite): -2.5

When the line is this close between two teams who still have a lot to prove, it's not easy placing a bet.

Cleveland under-performed in Week 1 but bounced back in Week 2, whereas Miami has no identity.

In any event, when the line is this close and when there's doubt, take the points.

Pick with the spread.

 

Denver (Underdog) at Tennessee (Favorite): -6.5

Last year one of the Broncos few wins came in Nashville, except this time around the Titans have a solid QB in Matt Hasselbeck.

And although RB Chris Johnson has lacked, this will be his breakout game as Denver has a weak rush defense.

Pick against the spread.

 

Minnesota (Underdog) vs. Detroit (Favorite): -3.5

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18:  Dominic Raiola #51 of the Detroit Lions gets ready to hike the football to Matthew Stafford #9 during a NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Ford Field on September 18, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Dave Reginek/
Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Each week these two teams have began their games strong, but each time the Lions were the ones that finished, whereas Minnesota couldn't play a full game.

Pick against the spread.

 

Jacksonville (Underdog) at Carolina (Favorite): -3.5

The biggest difference here is that Carolina has played consistently against to tough teams, while the Jaguars have played very inconsistently as a team.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew gets his numbers, but it's not enough to keep pace with Cam Newton.

Pick against the spread.

 

Kansas City (Underdog) at San Diego (Favorite): -14.5

This one is slated to be a blowout with K.C.'s injuries going up against the Bolts' overall talent.

It's a tough one to choose because the line is rather big, but the Chiefs have only scored 10 points in two games.

Pick against the spread.

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 06:  Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets walks on the field for the start of their game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 6, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

 

Oakland (Underdog) vs NY Jets (Favorite): -3.5

It's going to be a defensive battle, but the Jets are clearly the better team overall.

That said, the Raiders to play tough, but it's within one TD at best.

Pick against the spread.

 

St. Louis (Underdog) vs. Baltimore (Favorite): -4

The Rams simply are just lacking talent at this point, while the Ravens need to get back on track.

It's close at first because St. Louis plays hard, but Baltimore has too much talent.

Pick against the spread.

 

Atlanta (Underdog) at Tampa Bay (Favorite): -2

The Falcons are flying high after putting up 35 points against the Eagles, while the Bucs' continue to struggle from the start, despite winning last week.

Atlanta moves too fast for Tampa to keep up.

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Michael Turner #33 of the Atlanta Falcons runs with the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at Georgia Dome on September 18, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Pick against the spread.

 

Seattle (Underdog) vs. Arizona (Favorite): -3.5

The Seahawks have trouble on special teams, as evidence by Ted Ginn taking a punt and a kickoff back against them in Week 1.

Arizona's offense has played well and the defensive improved a lot from Week 1 to Week 2.

Also, Seattle simply just doesn't have the talent to contend.

Pick against the spread.

 

Chicago (Underdog) vs. Green Bay (Favorite): -3.5

Every time these two teams meet it's going to be close.

Last season each game was decided by no more than a TD, but Green Bay's offense is a lot better than Chicago's defense.

It's not a blowout, but it's by more than 3.5 points.

Pick against the spread.

 

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 01:  LaMarr Woodley #56 of the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Carolina Panthers during their preseason game at Bank of America Stadium on September 1, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Indianapolis (Underdog) vs. Pittsburgh (Favorite): -10.5

Until the Colts prove they can play football without Peyton Manning under center, they are going to get clocked in every game.

Pick against the spread.

 

Washington (Underdog) at Dallas (Favorite): -5.5

The Cowboys are dealing with some significant injuries, whereas the Redskins appear to be clean as a whistle.

Not to mention, Washington is playing with a lot of confidence and its D is much better than advertised.

Pick with the spread.

 

Be sure to check out John on Bleacher Report.

And you can follow him on Twitter @ Sportswriter27.

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