Hopefully you read our column last week prior to the Week 2 games. We went 4-1 with the Super Five Picks! We were awfully close to a perfect 5-0 week!
Overall, our picks went 12-4 for Week 2 which is amazing. Over-Unders didn’t fare as well. We went 6-9-1 with those picks. In summary, here are our numbers for the season.
Super Five: 5-4-1
Against the Spread (all games): 18-13-1
Straight Up: 21-10
So we try to keep the money train rolling with our Week 3 selections. As usual, let’s start with our Super Five Picks!
Super Five Picks for Week 3
Yes, 100% chalk. With 10 home dogs this week, this is risky of us but we are confident that we are making the right choices. Here are our reasons.
Baltimore has been very good to us so even across the Atlantic Ocean, there is no reason to jump ship. First off, the Ravens defense has been playing lights out. 10 turnovers created for their first two games! Also, look at the Pro Football Focus (PFF) grades for Jacksonville’s offensive line. PFF has been very reliable in grading players, especially players that don’t generate traditional stats like QBs, RBs, and WRs. Three of the Jaguars O-linemen grade below 50. If you consider the Raven’s base defense which is a 3-4 formation, all but one of the seven players in the defensive front grade 70 or higher with three of the grading above 80. It definitely seems like the Ravens should win the war in the trenches. The Jaguars defense is solid but they have holes in the secondary. John Harbaugh is a good enough coach and Joe Flacco is an experienced enough QB to expose that weakness. The GE model has the Ravens winning by 9.3 points which represents excellent value given that the Ravens are at -3.5. PREDICTION: Baltimore 26 - Jacksonville 17
The Jets are still an awful team. Unless they prove otherwise, keep betting against them. This is truly a JV squad and if the NFL were the English Premier League, the Jets would be relegated to a lesser league. The Dolphins are quite fresh having played just one game so far this season. As we know from last year, when the Dolphins offensive line is healthy, good things happen with the run game. Jay Ajayi was a beast last season from Weeks 6 – 9 and that coincided with the Miami’s offensive line being at full strength. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is still a force to be reckoned with and just like the Baltimore – Jacksonville game, we have a team that is way more dominant in the trenches than its opponent. Clearly we will go with Miami to cover the spread even though the GE model has the Dolphins winning by 5.2 points. PREDICTION: Miami 31 - NY Jets 13
Again, the theme here is defense and pounding the rock. The Broncos have done a superb job of that thus far this season. They absolutely destroyed the Cowboys last week and took care of business against the Chargers in the Monday Night home opener. While the Bills defense is solid, the offense is not. The Broncos have way more balance on both sides of the ball and arguably the best pass rusher in the game in Von Miller. We expect this game to be close with the GE model giving the Broncos the edge with a 3.5 margin of victory. When it's all said and done, the more experienced team will end up on top. PREDICTION: Denver 24 - Buffalo 20
The Saints pass defense continues to get shredded. It happened in 2015, it happened in 2016, and it's happening again in 2017. The Saints offense has been OK so far and can be very potent from time to time. However, the Saints offense is simply not the same when playing away from the pass friendly confines of the Superdome. Just look at Brees home-away splits for the past few seasons. In 2016, his home QB rating was 108.2 while his away QB rating was 95.7. The disparity was even more noticeable in 2015: home 112.5 and away 87.7. Away was better in 2014 but in 2013, home was 126.3 and away was 84.8. I think we get it ... the Saints offense is mediocre on the road and the Panthers defense has looked strong this season. 2016 was an anomaly for Carolina so expect more of the 2015 Panthers this weekend, especially with Luke Kuechly healthy. As for the offense, the Panthers have yet to let Christian McCaffrey loose. If he has a coming out party soon, there is no better weekend than this one. The GE model really like Carolina to cover with an expected margin of victory of 6.9 points. Prediction: Carolina 28 - New Orleans 21
We end with the Sunday Night game in the nation's capital. The Redskins are not typically a home dog. However, the Raiders have proven that they belong with the NFL's elite like New England, Pittsburgh, and Green Bay. The Raiders went 6-1 on the road last season before losing QB Derek Carr prior to the regular season finale in Denver. In 2015, the Raiders were decent on the road by going 4-4 and losing some close games to tough opponents. Clearly this is a team that doesn't seem to lose its composure in hostile territory. That is a true sign of maturity and with just laying three points against a mediocre team like Washington, we think taking Oakland is a safe play. The GE model has Washington slightly favored by 0.5 points but we don't always have to listen to the data. The Raiders are clicking right now and seem poised to make a legitimate Super Bowl run right now. Prediction: Raiders 31 - Redskins 24
Here are predictions for the remaining games. Teams covering the spread are in asterisks and the over/under point total predictions are in parentheses. Road teams are listed first and home teams second.
*Pittsburgh 27 - Chicago 17 (OVER)
Atlanta 26 - *Detroit 24 (UNDER)
Cleveland 23 - *Indianapolis 27 (OVER)
*Tampa Bay 24 - Minnesota 20 (OVER)
*Houston 20 - New England 30 (OVER)
*NY Giants 19 - Philadelphia 22 (UNDER)
*Seattle 23 - Tennessee 20 (OVER)
*Cincinnati 20 - Green Bay 27 (OVER)
Kansas City 21 - *LA Chargers 24 (UNDER)
Dallas 24 - *Arizona 27 (OVER)
If you make money again this weekend with our picks, we expect a nice present! Combined we have six kids to feed!