Week 3 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Woodhull)
Here are my Week 3 NFL picks against the spread:
Washington Redskins -1.5 (over Detroit Lions)
Everyone is overreacting to the Redskins first two losses. Clearly they were unprepared in Week 1 against the Eagles, and the Week 2 loss to a superb Packers team should be given a little leeway.
The Lions offense is good, but it’s not Packers good. For all the talk of Robert Griffin III being rusty coming back knee surgery, the problem so far has been that the Redskins defense has been atrocious. Getting the defense in order against an above-average Lions offense does not seem easy, but I think we’ll see some improvement – it’ll at least be nearly impossible to be worse than last week.
As for the Lions, I’m not a believer. On offense, they looked balanced in Week 1, but now with Reggie Bush banged up, I would not be surpised if they fall back to their one-dimensional, Matthew Stafford-to-Calvin Johnson laser focus. If Washington’s “D” can solve that, they should have enough to handle a mediocre Lions team. For all the obituaries written, I still haven’t given up the Redskins yet. I’ll take the Redskins to win.
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Oakland Raiders +16 (over Denver Broncos)
No team should be as good as the Broncos have looked in the first two weeks and just looking at the final scores the past two weeks, the general population is overvaluing the Broncos. Denver is possibly the best team in the NFL, but both the Ravens and the Giants are potentially fringe playoff teams and if not for some ghastly turnovers by New York, that game would have been competitive.
The Raiders are frisky and could have started this year 2-0, if not for some Andrew Luck magic in Indianapolis. Granted it is only through two weeks, but the Raiders are currently leading the NFL in rushing, averaging nearly 200 yards a game. This will make an interesting in-game matchup as the Broncos are the NFL’s best rush defense. Denver’s defense is good, but it’s misleading to think they are best rush defense in the NFL.
The Broncos offense has been a big contributor to their run defense; as they’ve been able to score early on teams, who then give up on running the ball against Denver. I commented in my preseason review of Broncos, that they seem to be snake-bitten with injuries. Now working in the Raiders favor is the loss of Ryan Clady from the Broncos offensive line. Clady was their best lineman and his protection of Peyton Manning’s blindside will be missed. This should allow the Raiders to get some pressure on Manning and disrupt the Denver offensive juggernaut.
I’m not sure Oakland is quite good enough to win, but getting over two touchdowns are way too many points to pass up.
San Francisco 49ers -10 (over Indianapolis Colts)
I was tempted to grab the 20 points the Jags are getting against the Seahawks – I’m not sure an NFL spread should ever be that high, but Jacksonville has looked horrid so far and I can’t trust them.
So instead I went with the team that burned me last week when I picked them against those Seahawks, the 49ers. The Niners are giving a huge 10 points to the visiting Colts and as much as the Niners disappointed last week, I still don’t trust the Colts to produce every week.
For Indianapolis, the big news of the week will be the acquisition of Trent Richardson from the Browns; clearly he was brought in to be the feature back, replacing the injured Vick Ballard. The move was still a little perplexing to me because the Colts had to give a up first-round draft pick, and despite the Ballard injury the Colts were fifth in the NFL is rushing (130 yards/game) after playing two the NFL’s better defenses (Oakland & Miami).
Back to the game at hand, the Colts are still weak on the defensive side of the ball – especially stopping the run. They were 29th in the NFL last year and are on pace for 29th this year again. Although the Niners have struggled to run the ball this year, that was against an improved Packers defense and arguably the best defense in the NFL in the Seahawks last week. The Colts will be the remedy for San Fran’s rushing woes and I expect them to right this ship after the shellacking San Fran took at the hands of Seattle.
I’ll take the Niners and give the points.
Five of our contributors make three weekly picks ATS every week and they will be posted here.