Last week was a success for our NFL picks, as we finished 5-2 to bring our total record to 11-9 on the year. The Lock of the Week hit for the second week in a row, making it 2-1 through three weeks. Although we're sitting at above .500 now, as I predicted in last week's bets, I want to get that win percentage even higher. So let's win some more games and bolster our bank accounts this week.
Arizona Cardinals -3.5 at Carolina Panthers
The Cardinals are coming off a loss to the Lions in a game where Kyler Murray struggled. Fortunately for us, that has allowed Arizona to sit as merely slight favorites according to Vegas against a bad Panthers team who is missing their best player. Murray and the rest of the offense were spectacular in the first two weeks against relatively good defenses, and they've held all of their opponents to 23 points or fewer. That won't change this week, as Carolina will struggle to reach 20, and Arizona will score at least 27 points to cover with room to spare.
Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears Over 43.0
This point total seems way too low to me, as the Colts have put up nearly 30 points per game themselves this season. Chicago turned to Nick Foles late in their last game against the Falcons, and he threw three touchdowns to score 21 unanswered points in less than five minutes of game time. Both defenses here are likely the best each team has faced so far, but I think this game will be fast-paced with plenty of points scored. Indianapolis likes to let Phillip Rivers sling the ball, as amassed 46 pass attempts in their lone competitive game this season. Seeing that I expect this game to be close throughout, I fully expect Rivers and Foles to throw the ball early and often. I would be surprised if these teams don't reach 50 combined points.
Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins Over 54.0
We all know Russell Wilson is going to put up 35 plus against the Dolphins, which means Miami would only need to score 20 at the most for the over to hit. After his performance last Thursday night, it's fair to say Ryan FitzMagic is back, and he's going to light up Seattle's porous pass defense. I mean, Fitzpatrick torched even the tough Bills defense for 28 points two weeks ago, and with everyone on the offense seemingly fully healthy, they should put up just as many, if not more, this Sunday. The Seahawks will still win, but the over will hit with ease, which is all that matters.
Buffalo Bills -3.5 at Las Vegas Raiders
Speaking of the Bills, while their pass defense has somewhat struggled in their last two contests, Josh Allen is on fire right now and has shown no signs of slowing down. Keep in mind that Buffalo jumped out in front of a quality Rams team 28-3 last week before allowing a major comeback. The Raiders have looked rather inconsistent this season and were never really close to the Patriots last week. As long as Allen can limit turnovers, which has been a problem for him in his young career, the Bills will advance to 4-0 and cover in the process.
Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers Under 46.0
Both of these teams have been ravaged by injuries this season, although you wouldn't really know that by looking at the scores of San Francisco's last two games. However, those were against the worst two teams in the league, and while the Eagles are really bad, they'll be a little more of a challenge for the Niners. While the 49ers might get some of their key offensive pieces back for this game, they'll be able to lean on the run against Philadelphia on Sunday night. Philly should also run the ball frequently with Miles Sanders' recent success and with their pass game struggling, which will eat up the clock and shorten the game. I don't think the Eagles hit 17 points here, and the Niners will gameplan as if 24 points are enough to get the win.
Los Angeles Chargers +7 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Chargers are a team that I think will always give teams tough games due to their ability to match up with opponents. While the team doesn't win a lot right now, all of their games have been decided by five or fewer points, including against the Chiefs in week 2. The offense has been significantly better since giving the reins to rookie quarterback Justin Herbert after week 1. Remember that L.A. is a couple plays here and there away from being undefeated. The Bucs have been above average, but haven't looked all that great in Tom Brady's opening three games in Tampa. I expect the Buccaneers to win, but I can see the outcome being decided late in the fourth quarter, if not overtime. I wish I could've gotten this number at +7.5, but I expect a push to be the worst case scenario for us here.
Lock of the Week: Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers Over 57.0
These two teams have combined to average over 70(!!) points through their first three games. The Packers alone are averaging 40.7, which is just insane. They put up 37 last Sunday night despite not having Davante Adams in the lineup. With Adams back, and the two Aarons (Rodgers and Jones) on fire right now, I expect Green Bay to near or exceed the 40 point mark again against a really, really bad Falcons defense. So Atlanta will just need to put up around 20 points for the over hit. Is that likely to happen? Well, let's look at the recent scores from matchups between these two teams. Atlanta and Green Bay have faced off five times since 2014, and these are the Atlanta's point totals in four of those five games: 37, 33, 44, and 34. I think the Falcons' offense is even better right now than it was in those previous years, and it's apparent that they have found success historically against the Packers. These teams might combine for 80 on Monday night, but you'll win money as soon as they hit 58.
Written by Nick Swatson