The Rams never caused us at moment of concern as our top Confidence Pool last week as they rolled over the Cardinals. Let’s review Week 3, where we rate our most confident straight up pick (16) all the way to our least confident (1). The point spread on each game is in parentheses but these picks are not against the spread.
16. (Confidence rating) Vikings: Bills at Vikings (-16½): The Vikings came away with a miraculous tie and would have defeated the Packers had their kicker not worn cement blocks instead of cleats. The fast-fading Bills will be a walk in the park this week.
15. Eagles — Colts at Eagles (
14. Texans – Giants at Texans (-6½): Despite having arguably the best wideout in the game and a potential superstar in their backfield, the Giants offense has been – well – quite offensive this year. How will they suddenly mobilize against a stout Texans’ defense? Answer: They won’t.
13. Bears – Bears (-6½) at Cardinals: There is only one other team besides the Bills that is on auto-fade until further notice,and they play in the desert. Yes, you guessed right – the Arizona Cardinals, and that’s why we’ve got the Bears so high this week!
12. Chiefs – 49ers at Chiefs (-6½): Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is on fire and Kansas City is the most dangerous team in the league right now. The Niners felt the sting of defeat for the first time in the Jimmy G era in Week 1 and they’ll feel it again this week.
11. Patriots – Patriots (-6½) at Lions: The master meets the pupil this week as New England’s Bill Belichick faces off against former protégé Matt Patricia. The Lions look toothless thus far and Belichick knows Matty P better than anyone else. Pats roll in Motown.
10. Falcons – Saints at Falcons (-3): Big things were expected of New Orleans before the season began, but the Saints have looked shaky as they enter this NFC South showdown with Matty Ice and Co. Falcons got their offense in gear last week with a big win over the Panthers and are poised to do it all over again against a suspect Saints defense.
9. Panthers – Bengals at Panthers (-3): We suspect a regression to the mean for the Bengals because after all, they are the Bengals, while Carolina should be able to rebound against a defense missing a key element in Vontaze Burfict. Expect Christian McCaffrey to catch a lot of Cam Newton’s short stuff where Burfict normally patrols.
8. Jaguars – Titans at Jaguars (-6½): We’re leery of this one with all the will he play won’t he play question marks with the main concern being Marcus Mariota. Some of the best online sportsbooks being displayed over at Sportsbook Review are dealing this game while other books are waiting on injury reports. That said, the Jags had their “Super Bowl” win last week over the Pats, but this is a straight up pick’em pool and Jacksonville’s defense is too tough.
6. Ravens – Broncos at Ravens (-5): Denver’s first game on the road this season, and it won’t be easy in Baltimore. Remember what the Ravens did the last time they were home in Week 1 when they slaughtered the Bills. Broncos are better than Buffalo but not good enough to get it done on Sunday.
5. Rams – Chargers at Rams (-6½): Many believe this will be a slam dunk for the Rams, but the Bolts are better than most. The tilting point is the Rams defense that has demonstrated shutdown ability against much weaker offenses than the one they will meet on Sunday. Still good enough to get the W in this City of Angels clash.
4. Dolphins – Raiders at Dolphins (-3): Two rather pedestrian offenses in this one, but the Fish have the defense to keep this to a low scoring game and will enjoy the home–field advantage.
3. Bucs – Steelers at Bucs (+1): Monday’s game. Pittsburgh is dealing with a world of distractions from the absence of Le’Veon Bell to the trade–me–tirade of Antonio Brown.Although we are not ready to anoint the Bucs as NFC South champs, it’s hard to argue with their results thus far.
2. Jets – Jets (+3) at Browns: Thursday night. The Browns may be playing better than expected but they’re still winless over their last 19 games. Will Cleveland win … ever? We’ll believe it when we see it so for now – anyone but Cleveland.
1. Redskins – Packers at Redskins (+3): The Packers may be emotionally spent after the wild one against Minnesota last week. We’ll take a flier on the Skins bouncing back from their lackluster loss against the Colts as they get Green Bay at a weak point in the schedule.