NFL Picks Week 3: These Heavy Favorites Are Sure to Fall

Brian LendinoCorrespondent IISeptember 21, 2011

NFL Picks Week 3: These Heavy Favorites Are Sure to Fall

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    Two weeks into the season, and teams and divisions aren't looking quite how we thought they would.

    Washington sits atop the division that we thought the Eagles might have already won. Cincinnati's and Cleveland's seasons aren't over, as they're both tied at 1-1 with Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

    The Lions are the most exciting team in football, and for the first time in my lifetime, the Bills look like a winning football team.

    What I'm trying to say is that the NFL isn't always as scripted as we think. Underdogs do, in fact, have a shot.

    Here are five games where I'm certain the favorite will fall at the hands of the mighty underdog.

New York Jets

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    The New York Jets travel to face off against the revived Oakland Raiders, who sit at 1-1 going into this week. The Jets opened this week as 3.5-point road favorites in Las Vegas.

    The Jets offense has struggled to move the ball on the ground thus far this season, and with Oakland's pass rush, that could be an area they exploit.

    Oakland is a much-improved team under head coach Hue Jackson.

    They attack you on offense through Darren McFadden—who has accumulated more than 220 yards rushing in two games.

    I think that if the Raiders stick to their game plan of pounding the football on the ground and forcing Mark Sanchez into poor decisions, they can beat the Jets.

    Prediction: Oakland 21, New York 17

Arizona Cardinals

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    The only reason the Arizona Cardinals are heavy favorites this week is because they're playing against the Seattle Seahawks.

    Las Vegas opened the Cardinals as 1.5-point road favorites, the line has since moved to 3.5 points.

    Kevin Kolb has opened the season nicely in his new home. However, I don't see that consistency continuing in Week 3.

    Now, I don't necessarily see the Seahawks putting on a show-for-the-ages, but the NFC West is always full of surprises.

    The game is going to be one of the ugliest we'll see all season, with turnovers and overthrown footballs all over the place.

    Seahawks will win, though, in a low-scoring affair.

    Prediction: Seattle 14, Arizona 10

New Orleans Saints

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    Most people wouldn't think of the Saints as heavy favorites against a Houston team that's 2-0 and has looked very good in the early season, but that's why we have Vegas.

    The Saints currently sit as four-point home favorites.

    If you look at it, the Texans haven't been tested this year, playing against a Peyton Manning-less Colts and a Chad Henne-led Dolphins. The game against the Saints will be their first true test.

    I think the Texans we'll come out strong and take down the Saints.

    The game is going to be a shootout, as most games involving Drew Brees are. However, I just really like the way Houston gets the ball to Ben Tate, and that's an area they will excel in against New Orleans.

    Not to mention they have Andre Johnson—that's always something to keep your eye on.

    Prediction: Houston 38, New Orleans 34

Green Bay Packers

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    The Packers don't look like they have any sort of Super Bowl hangover, having come out of the gate and put up 72 points in two games.

    The offense looks primed, but the defense have a few holes the Bears can exploit.

    As it has always been with the Bears, their offensive success revolves around their ability to protect Jay Cutler. Last week, they did not do that.

    Last year, the Bears and Packers gave us two of the more exciting games of the season, and I don't see any signs of this one being any different.

    I have a feeling Jay Cutler will be out to prove that his early exit from the last year's loss in the NFC Championship didn't warrant the criticism it received.

    He's a competitor, and the Bears are a competitive bunch. Once again, Matt Forte has a monster game—through the air.

    The Packers are 3.5-point road favorites.

    Prediction: Chicago 24, Green Bay 21

Baltimore Ravens

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    The Baltimore Ravens have had possibly the most bi-polar first two weeks of any team this season.

    In Week 1, they looked like a clear Super Bowl-caliber football team. In Week 2, they laid a huge egg against the Tennessee Titans.

    The Rams, however, were predicted by many to be a young team on the rise to watch for in the NFC.

    So far they're 0-2, and quarterback Sam Bradford seems to be having a tough start to his sophomore year.

    The Rams are a good football team, there's no doubt about that. It's just a matter of when are they going to realize it.

    Las Vegas opened the Ravens as four-point road favorites—a line that I think St. Louis will have no problem covering.

    St. Louis comes out hot on defense and forces Joe Flacco into some problems. Ray Rice has a big day on the ground, but Sam Bradford has a big day in the air.

    Prediction: St. Louis 21, Baltimore 20