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There is a free 10K Sportsbook Pool for NFL Week 3. You have to pick each of the 14 games on Sunday against the spread and the higher you finish on the leaderboard, the more money you earn.
Let’s take a look at all 14 contests slated for Sunday, including my five personal favorites.
Tennessee Titans (-1.5) @ Minnesota Vikings
Nobody wants anything to do with the Vikings at the moment. They’re currently receiving just 24% of the spread bets in this contest after starting the year 0-2 straight up and against the spread. Minnesota looked dreadful defensively vs. the Packers in Week 1 – the Vikings surrendered a whopping 43 points and allowed Devante Adams to have a field day – and the team could do anything offensively in Week 2 vs. the Packers. Some “experts” believe that this might be one of the worst teams in the league.
That is a massive shift in perception for a team that was expected to contend for the NFC North title. Are we really sure the Vikings are that bad? Isn’t it possible Minnesota has just played two poor games to start the season? I think listing the Vikings as home underdogs vs. the Titans is a pretty aggressive overreaction since the Titans haven’t exactly dominated in their first two games.
The Vikings also fit a couple of powerful trends in Week 3. Historically, teams who start the year 0-2 straight up and against the spread have covered in Week 3 at a 60.9% clip. Additionally, teams who are receiving less than 30% of the public betting tickets in Week 2 or 3 have historically posted a record of 98-69-3 against the spread. Maybe the Vikings really are that bad, but I think this is an excellent opportunity to buy low on them and gain some leverage on the rest of the field.
The Pick: Vikings +1.5
Cincinnati Bengals @ Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5)
This pick just makes a lot of sense from a value perspective. This line has dropped to just 4.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, but you can still grab them at +6.5 for this contest. That’s two full points of spread value, which doesn’t come along very often.
There’s also plenty to like about the Bengals in this contest. For starters, the Eagles continue to deal with some of the worst injury luck in football. Philly will be without three of their usual starters on the offensive line for this contest. Alshon Jeffery and first-rounder Jalen Raegor also won’t suit up at WR and Fletcher Cox is questionable on defense. That is simply a lot of talent to be without.
The Bengals are also coming off the “mini bye” after playing on Thursday night in Week 2. That means Cincy has had a full 10 days to prepare for this contest, so the Bengals have the rest advantage as well.
The Pick: Bengals +6.5
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Las Vegas Raiders @ New England Patriots (-6.5)
The Raiders are coming off an impressive win last week on Monday Night Football, but they’ll face another stiff test this week vs. the Patriots. Not only have the Patriots played well this season, but the Raiders will have to fly across the country and play this game on short rest.
Additionally, the Patriots are coming off a loss last week and Bill Belichick has historically bounced-back off a loss better than any coach in football. Belichick has historically posted a record of 40-15 against the spread in that situation, which is just absolutely ridiculous.
Of course, most of those games have come with Tom Brady under center, so it is fair to question if that success will continue moving forward. That said, Belichick did go 4-1 against the spread following a loss with Matt Cassel at QB in 2008-09. If Belichick can do it with Cassel at QB, I’m not worried about his ability to do it with Cam Newton.
The Pick: Patriots -6.5
San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) @ New York Giants
The 49ers will be playing their second straight game in New York after blasting the Jets in Week 2. That means travel shouldn’t be an issue – they stayed on the East Coast instead of flying back to California – but they are dealing with a host of injuries. Their injury report reads like a potential Pro Bowl roster: Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Weston Richburg, Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Solomon Thomas and Richard Sherman have all been ruled out for this contest. That’s not even all the injuries that the Niners are currently dealing with, but it’s impossible to hit on all of them.
With that in mind, are we sure they deserve to be favored vs. the Giants? The Giants aren’t a great team by any stretch of the imagination, but they have been frisky to start the season.
The Garoppolo injury in particular could be a problem. Nick Mullens is serviceable as far as backup quarterbacks go, but he’s posted merely a 3-5 record straight up and against the spread as a starter. That includes a record of 0-1 as a favorite. Asking him to cover as a road favorite given all the other injuries on the 49ers’ roster seems like a really tall task.
The Pick: Giants +3.5
Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals (-6.5)
The Cardinals are starting to get some respect after winning two straight games to start the season, but I still don’t think it’s enough. This team looks like a juggernaut offensively after the addition of DeAndre Hopkins. Wide receivers typically struggle in their first year after changing teams, but Hopkins has piled up 22 catches for 219 and a touchdown to start the season. He’s also turned 88% of his targets into catches, which would easily surpass his previous career-high of 70.6%.
Hopkins and the rest of the Cardinals’ offense should thrive in this matchup vs. the Lions. Detroit surrendered 42 points to the Packers last week and the Lions are expected to be without two of their top three cornerback options for the third straight week.
The Pick: Cardinals -6.5
Here’s who I’m targeting the rest of the Sunday games. Remember, we’re looking to beat the competition and climb up the leaderboard, so I’ll be looking to gain leverage on the field and fade the public in situations where I don’t see a huge edge on the spread.
Houston Texans @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)
Pick: Texans +3.5
Chicago Bears @ Atlanta Falcons (-3.5)
Pick: Bears +3.5
Washington Football Team @ Cleveland Browns (-7.5)
Pick: Browns -7.5
Los Angeles Rams @ Buffalo Bills (-2.5)
Pick: Rams -2.5
New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts (-9.5)
Pick: Colts -9.5
Carolina Panthers @ Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5)
Pick: Panthers +6.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5.5) @ Denver Broncos
Pick: Broncos +5.5
Dallas Cowboys @ Seattle Seahawks (-4.5)
Pick: Cowboys +4.5
Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints (-3.5)
Pick: Saints -3.5
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.
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