NFL picks against spread: week 3 best bets, winners

Published 1:25 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Texans coach Bill O’Brien says “you can’t hide in the NFL.”

Pro Picks can hide its eyes from the Thursday night extravaganza, which this week, uh, features the Rams against the 49ers.

Los Angeles is one of nine visiting teams favored in Week 3; it’s 10 if you count the Ravens against host Jacksonville in London. These Rams seem to have something decent going on, and the 49ers have shown very little.

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In other words, the coaching change to Sean McVay in L.A. is working better so far than the switch to Kyle Shanahan in San Fran, which has scored a conference-low 12 points.

On a short week, though, who knows what will appear on the TV screen. Well, we kind of know it won’t be pretty.

McVay looks at the positive side.

“I think the big thing, too, is, is that these guys know how to take care of their bodies,” McVay says. “The thing that you do feel fortunate is at least this is Week 3, not Week 13 where you’re having to do that.

“So, from that standpoint, it does make it a little bit easier only knowing that you have really two full games of that pounding on their bodies. But it is a tough challenge, but it’s something that everybody in this league has to do and for us it’s this week.”

The Rams, No. 22 in the AP Pro32, are a 2-point favorite at San Francisco (No. 30). We’re buying.

RAMS, 16-13


Raiders did their part by easing past the Jets, and it’s tempting to select against New York again. Instead, let’s go with NEW ENGLAND.

No. 8 Baltimore (minus 3 1-2) vs. No. 21 Jacksonville at London

Ravens carry their defensive prowess across the pond.


No. 12 Seattle (plus 3) at No. 16 Tennessee

Have to go with one of those home underdogs.


No. 2 Atlanta (minus 3) at No. 9 Detroit

Lions might be better than anticipated. Still not good enough here.

FALCONS, 30-23

No. 10 Dallas (minus 3) at No. 20 Arizona, Monday night

Which are real Cowboys? Which are real Cardinals?

COWBOYS, 26-20

No. 4 Pittsburgh (minus 7) at No. 28 (tie) Chicago

Steelers are 2-0 without looking particularly good.


No. 6 Denver (minus 3) at No. 23 Buffalo

Broncos are 2-0 and have looked very good.

BRONCOS, 20-10

No. 3 Oakland (minus 3) at No. 18 Washington

Remember when Raiders struggled in Eastern time zone? Forget it.

RAIDERS, 33-26

No. 28 (tie) Cleveland (minus 1) at No. 31 Indianapolis

Wait, Browns are one of those road favorites? Got to go with them.

BROWNS, 13-10

No. 17 Miami (minus 5 1-2) at No. 32 New York Jets

Dolphins taking advantage of easy opening schedule, even with Week 1 postponement.


No. 19 Houston (plus 13) at No. 5 New England

A house of horrors for undermanned Texans.


No. 26 New Orleans (plus 6) at No. 11 Carolina

Saints could keep this close before failing.


No. 25 New York Giants (plus 5 1-2) at No. 14 Philadelphia

Preseason NFC East co-favorite falls to 0-3.

EAGLES, 21-20

No. 1 Kansas City (minus 3) at No. 24 Los Angeles Chargers

Dangerous game for Chiefs, but if Chargers can’t hit late kicks …

CHIEFS, 24-23

No. 27 Cincinnati (plus 9) at No. 7 Green Bay

Somehow, this is prime CBS telecast. We might turn on NASCAR instead.


No. 13 Tampa Bay (no line) at No. 15 Minnesota

Too bad there is no line (Sam Bradford’s availability), because this could have been BEST BET.



2017 RECORD:

Last week: Against spread (7-9). Straight up (12-4)

Season Totals: Against spread (13-18). Straight up: (21-10)

Best Bet: 2-0 against spread, 2-0 straight up.

Upset special: 2-0 against spread, 2-0 straight up