NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 3
Written by Brandon Lewis on September 22, 2018
The most surprising team of the year so far in 2018 may be the Miami Dolphins. They survived two rain delays in week 1, combining for over four hours, making it the longest game in NFL history, and they beat their division rival the Jets last week on the road. Nobody I know saw this coming. I thought going into the year the Dolphins would be one of the worst teams in the league, but Adam Gase has his guys playing good ball. With that being said though, I can not imagine the Raiders falling to 0-3. They have been in the first two games of the season, only to blow them in the second half. It’s not like they have played bad; they just cannot finish like a lot of other teams in the league. If the Raiders had any other coach, I would predict them to lose this game, but they do not have any ordinary coach. They have Jon Gruden, a guy who came out of retirement after ten years of being in the broadcast booth to coach the Oakland Raiders for $100 million dollars over that ten year period. Starting out with three loses in his return would be detrimental for his resume, and for the Raiders season. I think the Raiders come in with a chip on their shoulder, and they figure out how to win a close one in Miami.
After looking terrible in week 1 against the Panthers, the Cowboys bounced back in week 2 against the Giants, winning 23-17 on Sunday Night Football. On the other hand, the Seahawks have lost two close games on the road to begin the season, including one last Monday night in Chicago, but the score in that game was misleading. While the Seahawks defense looked pretty good, their offense looked abysmal without star wideout Doug Baldwin. Russell Wilson looks like he is playing 1 on 11 out on the field, and that is not a good thing! The Seahawks are in a rebuilding period after having a tremendous amount of success the last half decade, appearing in back to back super bowls, winning one of them in a blowout, and dominating the NFC. Now, Frank Clark is the last remaining starter from the Seahawks that started on defense in Super Bowl 49 against the Patriots if you exclude injured middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. That is a lot of new faces that just have not jelled yet as a unit, and the Cowboys should be able to control the ball against them. The “12th man” is not going to be as loud this year with a team that will not be as good, so I give the advantage to Dallas in a close one on Sunday.
Monday Night Football will take place in the home of “Fitz Magic” this upcoming Monday when the struggling 0-1-1 Pittsburgh Steelers take on the red hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since Jameis Winston is still suspended for the Bucs, Ryan Fitzpatrick will once again take the reigns for them, and he has been on fire, throwing eight touchdown passes in his first two games to start the year. It’s not just Fitzpatrick who has been hot either. Wide receivers Mike Evans and Desean Jackson look to be back to form and tight end O.J. Howard looks like he could be due for a breakout season. This is also a good matchup for the Bucs since the Steelers secondary has not looked good to begin the year. They gave up six touchdown passes last week to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Mahomes looking like Tom Brady when he plays the Steelers, dotting them up all day long. The Steelers seem to me like a team shockingly in trouble this season. They have not played well at all the first two games, and their star running back Le’veon Bell has still not reported to the team. The whole team just looks distracted, and I think Ryan Fitzpatrick will continue “Fitz Magic” in primetime.