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NFL Week 3 picks against the spread: Logic flies the coop

Feelings over facts, gut punches, brouhas and numbers collide in our weekly Vegas picks column.

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Super Bowl LII Proposition Bets At The Westgate Las Vegas Race & Sports SuperBook Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Not every ride kicks off just right. Sometimes you just get lost around Baker, and something tells me that’s what we did in Week 2. I took some bad sides, Ryan had a few narsty favorites.

But that’s OK, because in Vegas you always get another spin. At least until the pit boss decides he don’t like you no more but what does that fresh jackal know anyway?

Chris’s Record: 7-6

Ryan’s Record: 3-4

Detroit at Philadelphia -6

Chris: Oh hey how’d this one get in here? Crazy coincidence that this is a Lions website and we’re picking the Lions game!

So the Eagles were so injured they had to call off a practice because they didn’t have enough eligible players. We’re already off to a flying start to the NFL season.

I’ll be honest though: nothing either team did last week inspired much confidence. The Lions might not be that hot of a team in a long-term capacity, but the team is healthy, plays games close and I’ll be damned if they get buried by Carson Wentz, or whoever. Detroit +6.


“Dead or alive, Ronald Darby, you’re coming with me.” Detroit +6.

Chris: Truly the greatest Detroit movie ever. Nothing will ever come close.*

*Co-signed by the co-author

New York Jets at New England -22.5

Ryan: Sure, let’s bet on other games, try and parse the rest of this slate of games we have here in front of us. Let’s do that and ignore the fact that the Patriots are favored by even more points than they were a week ago against what might be the worst professional football team of all time when this season is all said and done.

A 22-burger plus some pickles against another AFC East team that has their best player on defense fed up with his organization’s ineptitude? In Foxborough? Toast the bun. Hellmann’s if you got it. Gimme New England -22.5, you can have Luke Falk and all the points you can hold.

Chris: Why do you insist we keep betting on these double-digit spread games? I’m going to go absolutely nuts.

Ryan: Because if there’s an NFL I were to ever love, it’d be this one. Double-digit point spreads, defensive backs forcing their way out of the dumpster-fire situations, both Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson shining in their best light; this season couldn’t have gotten off to a better start.

Chris: I have no value here to really speak of. I’m looking at this article and realizing we’re agreeing on all these head-to-head games and it makes it even worse. Rest in pepperoni Sam Darnold. New England -22.5.

Cincinnati at Buffalo -6

Chris: Buffalo is 2-0 after beating up some incomparably sad New York teams and public money is streaming in because of it. A lot will ride on Devin Singletary’s health, but I’ve yet to really see Buffalo show us that they can really hang tough.

Meanwhile, Andy Dalton is being asked to shoulder more of a burden in Cincinnati and it’s going about as well as you’d expect when you ask Andy Dalton to shoulder a burden. The Bengals are dead last in red zone efficiency right now. To me, that’s just code for “they get yards but the luck is bound to change at some point.”

Sometimes you get burned waiting for the train to come around, but I feel good in this spot. Cincinnati +6.

Ryan: Earlier this week, I was watching a segment on NFL Network with former quarterback Trent Green—you know, the guy who got Wally Pipp’d by grocery clerk Kurt Warner. He sat there on television and told me he’s a believer in Josh Allen after watching him play two games against a pair of hapless New York teams. Here is Allen’s first half to the season:

Pro Football Reference

For clarification, Allen was the party responsible for all of those turnovers.

I don’t care if they’re missing A.J. Green. I don’t care if Joe Mixon is challenging fans to try out for the Bengals if they think they can do better. I don’t care if Andy Dalton is the one quarterbacking the team I’m betting on... Jesus, what am I doing? Cincinnati +6.

Chris: Sports gambling is a terrible beast.

Pittsburgh at San Francisco -6.5

Ryan: I don’t have much to comment about this game. It isn’t particularly interesting to me. I’m not invested in any of the participants. Just wanted a chance to share this piece of energy I really felt in my bones.

Ben Roethlisberger looks like if a Ball Park Frank and a neck became one to form an entire human. Also, he’s one of the scummiest human beings to ever get the white-wash treatment when it comes to his past of sexual assault and rape. So hey, San Francisco -6.5 because George Kittle likes pro wrestling, the 49ers are actually pretty good at football this year—on both sides of the ball—and the Steelers don’t deserve to have nice things after championing Big Ben for over a decade.

Chris: The Steelers are bad and they look bad and should feel bad. I don’t think the 49ers are world-beaters by any stretch of the imagination, just the recipients of a good game against the Bengals; but that don’t really diminish just how bad and sad the Steelers are.

I remember a time when Roethlisberger was sidelined for like, a single drive so they could look at some finger he had jammed or a concussion he had taken or something or another. This left Bruce Gradkowski, Toledo Rockets LEGEND, to take the field and he drove the Steelers down for the red zone. Roethlisberger rushed back into the game and immediately screwed the whole thing up.

What I’m trying to say is, don’t be surprised if he tries to come back by Week 5 still wearing a cast or a head cone or something if his replacement looks half confident.

Wait, it’s Mason Rudolph? Ah gawd. San Francisco -6.5.

Personal Picks


Oakland +8.5 at Minnesota
Kansas City -6.5 vs. Baltimore
NY Giants at Tampa Bay UNDER 47.5


LA Rams -3 at Cleveland
Washington vs. Chicago UNDER 41.5
Kansas City vs. Baltimore OVER 52.5

Will the Dolphins cover?

Current line: Miami at Dallas -21.5

Chris: We’re going to start picking Dolphins games each week, because I honestly have never seen anything like this. Both Ryan and I bit on Miami +19 last week and this is our penance. We must chronicle this team to see if they can truly go 0-16, and with it, 0-16 against the spread. They will almost certainly be dogs in every game moving forward as well, and woe betide this hell. Somehow the Cowboys are getting an even spicier line. Dallas -21.5.

Ryan: They just traded away their best player on defense, how on earth are they possibly going to cover this spread? Why hasn’t it ballooned to like 24.5 since they traded Minkah Fitzpatrick on Monday night? How is Vegas going to handle itself when this team plays the New York Jets?

After last week, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: take the 2019 Miami Dolphins with the points and suffer the consequences. Dallas -21.5.

BovadaKing69 Special

It’s not fair. Doug Marrone cost me... err... BK69 a win last week. Gardner Minshew was dressed like he was going to put up 1,000 points on Sunday. He didn’t, some of that was his fault, but then he drove the Jacksonville Jaguars down the field with less than two minutes remaining and did this:

Then Marrone decided to go for two, and look at the big brain on Doug, going for two and putting the ball in the hands of Leonard Fournette on an inside handoff after Minshew, yes, this Gardner Minshew, just put that football into the end zone.

Okay, enough living in the past. Minshew is forever. Bovada is back and he’s got some action for you to consider a stone cold lock in Week 3.

Los Angeles Chargers -3 vs. Houston

Andrew Kato, our resident film study and genuinely good dude who happens to eat pizza really weird, gave me these different tiers to betting early yesterday morning. Three different levels of confidence, so to speak: Bet the car, bet the house, bet your life.

Considering I’m waiting on Kato to tell me when to pull the trigger on putting a mortgage under my belt, I don’t totally get how betting the house is more of a risk/expression of confidence than betting my two motorcycles with a little house in the middle, but whatever.

I’d bet the remainder of my lease on the Chargers having a bounce-back game against the Texans this week. Mostly because my apartment building doesn’t allow pets and I adopted a dog about a month ago and I really need to get out of this place. Either way, this one’s a lock.

BK69’s Record: 0-1