Generally speaking, if you start a season 2-0 in the NFL you are going to the postseason and if you begin 0-2 then you aren’t, but there are always exceptions to the rule.
NFL Week 3 Odds
The New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons began 2-0 in 2015 and didn’t play extra football. Meanwhile, the Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks started last season 0-2 and both made the postseason. But it’s certainly must-win time for any winless clubs this year if they have playoff aspirations. Here’s a quick look at all Week 3 games with Sports Interaction NFL odds. Games on Sunday unless noted.
Thursday Night Football
Houston Texans at New England Patriots
Point spread: Texans -2.5 > Texans -1.5
That’s something you don’t see often: the Patriots as home underdogs. That’s because they are going to have to start third-string rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Of course Tom Brady remains suspended, and Jimmy Garoppolo hurt in shoulder in Sunday’s win over Miami. Both these teams won their respective divisions last year. New England visited Houston in Week 14 and won 27-6. The Patriots had Brady then, however. He threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns. Look for a preview of this game later this week at Sports Interaction.
Pick ATS: Houston
Arizona Cardinals at Buffalo Bills
Point spread: Cardinals -4
The past two seasons in the NFL, a head coach has been fired following a Week 4 loss. Might we see Buffalo dump Coach Rex Ryan if the Bills drop this Week 3 game? They might if Buffalo loses again. The winless Bills come off a 37-31 home loss to the Jets on Thursday night in Week 2. Ryan’s defense was shredded for 493 yards. Yet it was offensive coordinator Greg Roman who was fired on Friday. Arizona bounced back from a Week 1 home loss to the Patriots by smashing Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Pick ATS: Arizona
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans
Point spread: Titans -1
The Raiders staged an impressive Week 1 win in New Orleans but their defense was a problem again in Week 2, a 35-28 home loss to Atlanta. The Titans pulled one of the big surprises of Week 2 in winning at Detroit. Oakland won in Tennessee in Week 12 last year, 24-21. Derek Carr threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Seth Roberts with 1:21 left. The Titans were called for defensive holding on fourth down two plays prior to extend that drive for the Raiders.
Pick ATS: Oakland
Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins
Point spread: Dolphins -7 > Dolphins -10
Matchup of 0-2 teams here. The Browns blew a 20-0 lead Sunday in their home opener and lost to Baltimore 25-20. In addition, starting quarterback Josh McCown — who is starting with Robert Griffin III potentially out for the season due to a Week 1 shoulder injury — hurt his shoulder in the loss. Thus Cleveland might have to start rookie third-round pick Cody Kessler in this one. The Dolphins lost 31-24 in New England in Week 2 and saw starting running back Arian Foster leave injured. He’s doubtful this week.
Pick ATS: Miami
Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars
Point spread: pick’em > Ravens -1
Total: 47.5 > 47
The Ravens rallied from a 20-0 hole in Cleveland on Sunday to improve to 2-0. The Ravens scored 25 unanswered points and hung on when linebacker C.J. Mosley intercepted at the goal line with 13 seconds left. Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley is very much on the hot seat as his club fell to 0-2 with a 38-14 loss in San Diego. The Jags crossed midfield only six times and committed three turnovers. If one loss summed up Baltimore’s snake-bitten 2015 season, it was the 22-20 defeat to Jacksonville in Week 10 in Baltimore. Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil had sacked Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles to end the game and give Baltimore a 20-19 win. Except Dumervil was called for a facemask penalty. On the next untimed down, Jaguars kicker Jason Myers hit a 53-yard field goal for the 22-20 victory. It ended Jacksonville’s 13-game road losing streak.
Pick ATS: Jacksonville
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Point spread: Packers -8 > Packers -7
Both clubs are 1-1 after falling in Week 2, with Detroit being surprised at home by Tennessee and Green Bay losing a close game at Minnesota. These NFC North rivals split the two meetings last season and both were memorable. In the game in Green Bay, the Lions were huge underdogs but won 18-16 to end to snap a 24-game road losing streak in the series. Mason Crosby missed a 52-yard field goal as time expired after the Packers recovered an onside kick. The game in Detroit was the best ending of the 2015 regular season as the Packers won 27-23 on an Aaron Rodgers 61-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass. It was the longest game-winning, game-ending Hail Mary in NFL history. The game would have been over the play before, but Detroit defensive end Devin Taylor was called for grabbing Rodgers’ facemask on a tackle.
Pick ATS: Green Bay
Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals
Point spread: Bengals -3
Another matchup of 2015 AFC division winners. Bengals QB Andy Dalton could be seen limping following Sunday’s loss to Pittsburgh so monitor his status this week. Cincinnati visited Denver in Week 16 last year on a Monday night and lost 20-17 in overtime. Dalton was out injured, and backup A.J. McCarron fumbled a snap in overtime, with Denver recovering to win it. Broncos kicker Brandon McManus, who missed a 45-yarder at the end of regulation to win it, had made a 37 yard-field goal for the three-point overtime lead.
Pick ATS: Cincinnati (if Dalton plays)
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
Point spread: Panthers -6.5 > Panthers -7
This is the third game between playoff teams from last season in Week 3. Will Minnesota have star running back Adrian Peterson? He left Sunday night’s win over Green Bay with a knee injury and it didn’t look good. The three-time NFL rushing champion tore his left ACL in December 2011 only to return and lead the NFL in rushing the following season. This injury was to his right knee. MRI results should be known later Monday.
Pick ATS: Carolina
Washington Redskins at New York Giants
Point spread: Giants -4.5
Total: 47 > 45.5
Washington was a surprise winner of the NFC East last year but has looked nothing like that team in starting 0-2. The Redskins’ defense has been torched by Pittsburgh and Dallas. The Giants improved to 2-0 with a close him win over New Orleans in Week 2. New York had won five in a row in this series until the Redskins beat the visiting Giants 20-14 in Week 12 last year. The Giants won the home matchup 32-21.
Pick ATS: New York
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Point spread: Buccaneers -4.5 > Buccaneers -5.5
The Rams surprised visiting Seattle in Week 2, but Los Angeles still doesn’t have a touchdown this season. Tampa Bay was dominated in Arizona on Sunday and lost top running back Doug Martin to a hamstring injury. An advantage here for the Rams in that it’s not a 1 p.m. ET start in Tampa but 4:05 p.m. Those early starts are tough on West Coast teams and this is the Rams’ first season as a West Coast team. Tampa lost in St. Louis last season in Week 15, 31-23. Case Keenum threw for 234 yards and two scores for the Rams. Jameis Winston had 363 yards passing and two TDs for the Bucs.
Pick ATS: Tampa Bay
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
Point spread: Seahawks -10 > Seahawks -9
Total: 40.5 > 40
Seattle was an NFC favourite to open the season at Sports Interaction, but the Seahawks have totaled just 15 points thus far in 2016 in their 1-1 start. And their top receiver, Doug Baldwin, was to have an MRI on Monday on his knee. San Francisco lost a shootout in Carolina in Week 2. Seattle has won five straight games in the series and held the 49ers to a total of 16 points in the two wins last year.
Pick ATS: Seattle
New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs
Point spread: Chiefs -3
Total: 43.5 > 42.5
The Jets are on extra rest after winning 37-30 in Buffalo on Thursday in Week 2. The New York offense was clicking on all cylinders as Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 374 yards and a touchdown, Matt Forte rushed for 100 yards and three touchdowns, and Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall each had at least 100 yards receiving. The Jets had lost five straight to Buffalo. The Chiefs lost 19-12 in Houston in Week 2. Kansas City rookie Tyreek Hill had a 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown negated because of a holding penalty late in the fourth quarter. Kansas City won the last meeting with New York 24-10 in K.C. in November 2014.
Pick ATS: Kansas City
San Diego Chargers at Indianapolis Colts
Point spread: Colts -3 > Colts -2.5
Total: 51 > 52
San Diego routed visiting Jacksonville on Sunday 38-14 behind a career-high-tying four touchdown passes from Philip Rivers. But the Chargers might have lost running back Danny Woodhead, arguably the best pass-catching back in the NFL, to a serious knee injury. Indianapolis dropped to 0-2 with a 34-20 loss in Denver. The Colts’ defense has been porous thus far. Thus that very high total here. The Chargers have won three straight in this series, last in 2013.
Pick ATS: Indianapolis
Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles
Point spread: TBA > Steelers -3.5
Pittsburgh looks like a legitimate Super Bowl contender with wins over 2015 playoff teams Washington and Cincinnati. It’s a short week for the Eagles after visiting Chicago on Monday night. These teams played Week 2 of the preseason in Pittsburgh and the Eagles won 17-0. The Steelers didn’t get to scout Carson Wentz in person then because the Philly rookie quarterback was out with a broken rib. Pretty much every key Steelers offensive player was held out.
Pick ATS: Pittsburgh
Sunday Night Football
Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys
Point spread: TBA > Cowboys -7
It’s the second straight rookie quarterback the Bears will face in the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott after hosting the Eagles and Carson Wentz on Monday night. Prescott led Dallas to a 27-23 win in Washington in Week 2 as the Cowboys won for only the second time in their past 16 games without injured starting QB Tony Romo. Chicago likes playing at AT&T Stadium, going 2-0 all time at Jerryworld. Dallas won the last meeting, however, 41-28 in Chicago in 2014.
Pick ATS: Dallas
Monday Night Football
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints
Point spread: Saints -3
Total: 53 > 53.5
New Orleans is the only winless team in the NFC South after a Week 2 loss at the Giants. Drew Brees did pass Hall of Famer Dan Marino for the third-most passing yards in NFL history in the game. Atlanta pulled a minor upset in Week 2 with a 35-28 win in Oakland. The Saints swept their division rivals last year, winning 31-21 at home and 20-17 in Atlanta. It was New Orleans’ sixth sweep of the season series against the Falcons in 10 years under coach Sean Payton. He is 15-5 against Atlanta.
Pick ATS: New Orleans