Insider is predicting the outcomes of every NFL game this season.
Our Week 2 picks went a middling 8-8 against the spread.
For Week 3, we're backing the Jaguars, Eagles, and Cardinals to cover the number.
Home team gets the asterisk.
LAST WEEK: 8-8
Pittsburgh Steelers (+4) over Cleveland Browns*
The Browns might be due for a bounce-back game after Sunday's collapse against the Jets, but on a short week, it feels like it might be tough for Cleveland to shake the bad vibes of such an embarrassing defeat. The Steelers defense should do enough to keep this one close.
Miami Dolphins* (+5.5) over Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills have looked unstoppable through two games. It's hard to remember a team that has looked so dominant against two strong opponents as the Bills have. In the back of my brain, it feels like the Bills might run the table this year and not drop a game all the way through lifting the Lombardi Trophy.
But in the NFL, that just doesn't happen. Someone is going to present a challenge to this team, and after sustaining a couple of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, the Bills might be susceptible to the two-pronged attack of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) over Washington Commanders*
I don't like taking a road favorite in a divisional battle, but Washington looked like they were sleepwalking their way through the game against the Lions last week. With the Eagles riding high off of a big win over the Vikings in primetime, look for Philadelphia to keep the good times rolling.
Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) over New England Patriots*
The difference between Lamar Jackson and Mac Jones is astronomical. New England has been stagnant on offense through two weeks, while Jackson and the Ravens have looked as electric as they have since his MVP run a few years ago. The only scary part about this game is the line — it feels suspiciously low, almost to a point that it makes you want to take the other side. Still, we'll ride with Baltimore.
Minnesota Vikings* (-6) over Detroit Lions
The Vikings got boat-raced by the Eagles last week, but their offense shouldn't be so stale against the Lions. Detroit has given up point totals of 38 and 27 to their opponents so far this season, and while the Lions offense has been on quite a tear, they're bound to cool down eventually.
Minnesota should take advantage of this get-right game at home and bump themselves back into the conversation as NFC contenders.
Indianapolis Colts* (+5.5) over Kansas City Chiefs
If the Ravens-Patriots line is a bit scary, this one is downright terrifying. There is no reason to trust the Colts, who are coming off a 24-0 loss to the Jaguars. The Chiefs are one of the best teams in the NFL, and are coming off a few extra days' rest after beating the Chargers last Thursday night.
I repeat: There is no reason to trust the Colts in this spot.
And yet, we have no choice but to back Indianapolis. It's just how gambling works. If a line ever feels this gross, your best bet is to stay away entirely. If you can't do that, take the stinky number and look away from your television.
Cincinnati Bengals (-6) over New York Jets*
Maybe I am a sucker, having lost for two straight weeks backing the Bengals, but Cincinnati has to turn things around at some point right? The Bengals offensive line has gotten shattered through two straight games, but both of those bashings came at the hands of defenses featuring DPOY favorites. Hopefully Joe Burrow can stay upright long enough against the Jets to get some work done.
Houston Texans (+3) over Chicago Bears*
Justin Fields has just 15 completed passes on the season thus far. I don't know how he can be favored by a field goal, even against a Texans team that's similarly lacking in superstar talent.
Carolina Panthers* (+2.5) over New Orleans Saints
This is another line that comes across a little fishy. But with Jameis Winston likely still not 100%, this is a good spot for a Panthers team that is fighting for its life to steal a win.
With games against the Cardinals, 49ers, and Rams on the horizon, if the Panthers don't get their win now, they might be waiting a while.
Las Vegas Raiders (-2.5) over Tennessee Titans*
If the Raiders had already won a game this year, I would be all over the Titans in this spot. Coming off of an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Bills, this is as bad as Tennessee could look all year, and feels like a good spot to buy low.
But given that Las Vegas is also winless, they are just as desperate to keep their season alive as the Titans are. This is a battle between 0-2 teams, with the loser potentially done for the season. I like the Raiders' long-term prospects for the year better than the Titans, so I'm backing them here to keep their season alive.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+7) over Los Angeles Chargers*
Justin Herbert played through some tough injuries to finish out last Thursday night's loss to the Chiefs. While he's had an extra few days to recover, we still won't know how fresh he is until he takes the field on Sunday.
Given the Jaguars are beginning to find themselves as a team, it feels like they can keep this one close.
Arizona Cardinals* (+3.5) over Los Angeles Rams
The Cardinals comeback against the Raiders was the type of win that sparks a season. If Arizona can get out of their own way and let Kyler Murray work, he can take over.
Atlanta Falcons (+1) over Seattle Seahawks*
The biggest moment of the Seahawks season was their season-opening win over Russell Wilson. It's all downhill from here.
Green Bay Packers (+1) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
This was shaping up to be the game of the week until both Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers lost all of their best weapons. Look at this atrocious injury report.
—Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 22, 2022
Still, Rodgers began to show some progress with his offense last week against the Bears, whereas Brady still hasn't really gotten going with his team yet. With so many injuries, this is a game to stay away from if you can, but if you have to bet it, take Green Bay.
San Francisco 49ers (-1.5) over Denver Broncos*
It's impossible to back the Broncos until Nathaniel Hackett shows he an coach competently from the sidelines. Further, it feels like the 49ers might be better with Jimmy Garoppolo under center than Trey Lance at this point.
New York Giants* (-1) over Dallas Cowboys
Cooper Rush's upset win over the Bengals last week was quite a surprise, but this is likely the biggest game the Giants have played in what — four, five seasons?
New York doesn't get to shine in primetime very often; I expect them to make the most of it.
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