Cheddar Jack's Week 3 NFL Picks (ATS & Confidence)
Each week I'll make every NFL pick ATS, along with a confidence level in each pick (16 being most confident, 1 being least confident, assuming there are 16 games).
Week 2 Results
ATS: 8 - 8
Confidence Pts: 69
ATS: 18 - 14
Confidence Pts: 158
WEEK 3 PICKS
Miami @ Jacksonville ( - 3)
The Pick: Jacksonville -3
Breakdown: In what's sure to be a less than memorable Thursday Night Football game, the Jaguars will host the Dolphins. The Jags feel as though they've found their franchise QB in Minshew, while the Dolphins are still hoping there's some Magic left in the Fitz. DJ Chark being out hurts the Jags, but I think this turns into the Laviska Shenault show tonight, where the rookie has his 'Welcome to the Big Show' moments. The Jags are coming off a narrow loss to a good Titans team, and the Dolphins gave the Bills all they could handle last week. This seems like a pick 'em game, but I'll go with the Jags, who have played 2 consistent games in a row, versus a Dolphins team that might have just had a decent day last week.
Chicago @ Atlanta ( - 3.5)
The Pick: Atlanta -3.5
Breakdown: The Falcons have been putting up points in bunches. What a devastating loss they had last week to the Cowboys, however. They're truly the best team in football at blowing leads. Meanwhile, the Bears have handled their business this year thus far, but have also played the Lions and Giants (puke). This feels like a game that has Dan Quinn fighting for his job (again). The Falcons are comfortable in the dome, and I think they're desperate for a win and are going to get it this week.
Houston @ Pittsburgh ( - 4)
The Pick: Pittsburgh - 4
Breakdown: I can't keep betting the Houston Texans, when they refuse to show up for games. They've played two tough teams (Chiefs and Ravens) but have lost both games by double-digits. I think Deshaun is a great QB, but he has zero help on the offensive side of the ball, and the Pittsburgh defense has been absolutely dominant thus far. They should continue to cause problems for the Texans, while Big Ben and the Steelers offense have been putting up enough points to win, but haven't truly broken out yet. This is the week they do so against a suspect Houston defense.
LA Rams @ Bills ( - 2)
The Pick: Rams +2
Breakdown: This one is going to be a great ball game against undefeated teams through the first two weeks. The Rams are clicking on all cylinders, and have rolled through two NFC East opponents in the Cowboys and Eagles. The Bills, meanwhile, have been the talk of the league. Josh Allen has been lights out, but the Bills defense just gave up 28 points to the Dolphins. The Bills haven't really played from behind much this year, but I expect them to get down early , as McVay is great at doctoring up points to begin the game. If that happens, I don't know that the Bills are going to be comfortable playing catchup. Give me the underdog here.
Cincinnati @ Philadelphia ( - 4.5)
The Pick: Cincinnati +4.5
Breakdown: What to make of this one? The Eagles, who everyone always seems to be high on to begin the year, have looked clueless through 2 weeks. Meanwhile, the Bengals are coming off a Thursday night close one against the Browns, but Joe Burrow looks like the real deal. While both teams are 0-2, the Bengals have kept their games close thus far this year, and have had some extra days to rest and prepare. This line seems to be moving in favor of the Bengals, and for good reason. I can't lay any points w/ the Eagles with the way they've played so far. Give me the underdog again.
Washington @ Cleveland ( -7)
The Pick: Washington + 7
Breakdown: The Browns had their night against the Bengals last Thursday. The offense finally seemed to be rolling a little bit behind Baker, and they played with some swagger. The defense on the other hand, didn't show much against a rookie QB in Joe Burrow. Washington's defense has been one of the best in the league through two games, and if their offense can just put up a few more points, they should find another win in the near future. I'm not sure they can win the game outright, but Washington's defense should be able to keep this thing close. I'll gladly take the 7 points here.
Tennessee @ Minnesota ( + 2.5)
The Pick: Tennessee - 2.5
Breakdown: Minnesota has looked like absolute garbage through two weeks. Kirk Cousins is still one of the worst free agent signings of all time. While the Colts defense is solid and should be given praise, the Minnesota offense also deserves a ton of shame for their performance last week. Additionally, the Vikings defense doesn't look like it can stop a nose bleed. Meanwhile the Titans have been in close games against the Broncos and Jags to open their year, but Tannehill has looked good. Minnesota has been getting gashed on the ground, and the Titans just so happen to have a guy named Derrick Henry on their team. I think they control the ball well and punish the Vikings for their third straight beatdown this week.
San Francisco @ New York Giants ( + 4)
The Pick: Giants + 4
Breakdown: The Giants have really struggled this year, but have also faced two of the league's better defenses in the Steelers and Bears. Both the Giants and 49ers are banged up to all hell on both sides of the ball, and look vastly different than what we though they were 2 weeks ago. If Jimmy G is unable to go for the 49ers, I think they are going to be in for a long day w/ Nick Mullens under center. Keep an eye out if Kittle is active, however, as that could be a game changer for them. Still, I think Daniel Jones has a lot of talent and could actually be good, but this is the week he needs to show it when he's at home against a depleted 49ers team.
Raiders @ Patriots ( -5.5)
The Pick: Patriots -5.5
Breakdown: If it weren't for the fact the Raiders have started out 2-0, I think this spread would be generally closer to 7.5. The Patriots have looked strong the first two weeks, beating the Dolphins (it's still a win) and narrowly losing last week to the Seahawks. The Raiders, meanwhile, have started out with a win over the Panthers, and a shocker last week against the NFC Favorite Saints (THANKS A LOT) in their new stadium. While I think the Raiders might be able to have a decent year and have a lot of talent, I'm not about betting against the Patriots at Gillette stadium. That holds true as long as Bill Belichick is manning the sidelines.
New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts ( - 11.5)
The Pick: Colts - 11.5
Breakdown: This is a tough one to swallow. Laying double digit points in an NFL game is something I usually avoid at all costs. In this case, it might be warranted, however. The Colts defense looked dominant against Minnesota last week, and has only given up 208 YPG through two games. Meanwhile, the Jets offense has been abysmal and they'll also be without Jamison Crowder, one of the few playmakers they have. The Colts should be able to run the ball easily with their star rookie Jonathan Taylor against a Jets defense giving up 4.6 YPC. As long as Philip Rivers doesn't make many mistakes, this should be a runaway for Indy.
Carolina @ Los Angeles Chargers ( -6.5)
The Pick: LAC -6.5
Breakdown: Justin Herbert looked right at home in his debut last week against the Chiefs. The Panthers will be without stud RB Christian McCaffrey for several weeks. I think Teddy Bridgewater has some decent games ahead of him this year, but don't think this is a good spot traveling west to face a Chargers defense giving up only 18 PPG through the first 2 weeks, including stifling the Chiefs a bit last week. While I think Herbert comes back down to earth in this one, this Panthers defense won't be able to slow down Ekeler and Josh Kelley. I'll lay the points in this one.
Tampa Bay @ Denver ( +6.5)
The Pick: Tampa Bay -6.5
Breakdown: This is one I'm not crazy about. Teams traveling to Mile High usually have a difficult time but this isn't the same old Denver defense. The Buccaneers appear to be finding a rhythm on offense, and Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are both even healthier this week. Not only that, Leonard Fournette made his presence felt last week and might be starting to carve out his role as the # 1 back for TB. I'm not crazy about Jeff Driskel being able to create a miracle at Mile High. These are two teams heading in opposite directions. I wish the line was closer to 4, but I'll still lay the points in this one too.
Lions @ Cardinals ( - 5.5)
The Pick: Arizona -5.5
Breakdown: The Detroit Lions kept it close with the Packers for a bit last week before completely unraveling. Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones had their way with a Lions defense that lacks playmakers and a pass rush. Kyler Murray and Kenyan Drake should do much of the same. Detroit may get Golladay back which would be huge for them, but the Arizona defense is much improved and keeping opponents out of the end zone. I think this one will be all Cardinals, but it's not a game I'd prefer to bet on.
Cowboys @ Seahawks ( - 4.5)
The Pick: Cowboys +4.5
Breakdown: Is there anyone in the league hotter than Russell Wilson right now? Aaron Rodgers could make a case, but the Seahawks have been on fire. Dallas' defense hasn't exactly slowed opponents down either, which makes me nervous backing them this week, especially on the road. However, home games in Seattle are much different with the pandemic this year, and the Cowboys got a huge come from behind win last week that might have jump started their season. The Seahawks have also given up 25 to the Falcons in week 1, and 30 to the Patriots last week. I don't think they slow down the Dallas offense, so I'll take the underdog and the points in this one.
Green Bay @ New Orleans ( -3)
The Pick: Green Bay + 3
Breakdown: This is an interesting line, with Vegas giving the edge to the home team in what is much closer to a pick 'em. The Packers have looked dominant in their first couple games against divisional opponents, while the Saints are coming off a brutal loss to the Raiders on MNF. The stats for Drew Brees in primetime are hard to ignore in this one, but the way that Rodgers has looked rejuvenated through two games has been huge for the Green & Gold. Keep an eye on Michael Thomas or Davante Adams, as both are questionable to play and could make a big difference on who wins this game. However, I think the Packers have better secondary playmakers than the Saints do, and are stronger on both the O-line and D-line which will prove to be the difference. Go Pack Go.
Chiefs @ Ravens ( - 3)
The Pick: Chiefs + 3
Breakdown: What primetime games we've been gifted this week! Hats off to the NFL.
Game of the Year. Patrick Mahomes vs Lamar Jackson. The Super Bowl Champions versus the reigning MVP. Regardless of who wins, this should be a hell of a game, and you bet your ass I'm going to bet the over! Give me Showtime Mahomes and the Chiefs in what feels like a bounce back spot after a near let-down last week against the Chargers. Regardless, let's just hope for a good game!
- - - CHEDDAR JACK - - -