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Week Three Picks

September 19th, 2019

The darts in week two struck only slightly less accurately than they did in week one. I’ll take it.

I was right on 11 of 16 games picking straight up last weekend, and on eight against the spread. That lands me at 23-8-1 (.734) straight up and 16-15-1 (.516) on the young season.

And the really good news is that 14 weeks is a lot of time for me to get way worse at this. Should kick in right around the time I start to think I know something — maybe two weeks from now.

Here’s what not to expect in week three.

Tennessee (-1.5) at Jacksonville
Here’s where the Jaguars finally get a win. It’s pretty much guaranteed. What makes me so sure? Simple: I always pick the Thursday night games wrong. And I’m expecting the Titans to win by a field goal.

Denver (+7.5) at Green Bay
Every time the Broncos take the field, the Ravens end up looking that much smarter. Green Bay by nine.

Detroit (+6) at Philadelphia
I’d take the home team in this match no matter which it was. Eagles by three.

Baltimore (+6.5) at Kansas City
Although their stats indubitably are skewed by the fact that they faced weak opposition in their first two games, I think the Ravens are the more complete, more balanced team. Were this game being played in Baltimore, I’d be sorely tempted to pick them. But it’s in Kansas City, so I’ll just look for the Ravens to make it interesting. Chiefs by a point. At the buzzer.

Cincinnati (+6) at Buffalo
Sooner or later, the Bills are going to have to face a good opponent. … Wait, what’s that again? Oh, OK. … Next week, the Bills are gong to have to face a good opponent. But next week isn’t this week, is it? Buffalo by seven.

Atlanta (+1.5) at Indianapolis
Hey, look, the Colts are playing a home game! That’s novel. Indy by a field goal (yes, an Adam Vinatieri field goal).

Oakland (+9) at Minnesota
Which one of these teams is more uneven? Why it’s the Raiders, of course. Though maybe not by quite as much as one might be temped to think. Vikings by six.

NY Jets (+22) at New England
Maybe the only thing stranger than seeing a 22-point spread on an NFL game is figuring it’s pretty safe to give the points. The Patriots outscored their first two opponents this season by a combined 76-3. And one of those teams not only had a quarterback (at the time), but a decent team around him. New England by 36.5. (And the Jets front office asks the musical question, “We fired Todd Bowles for what exactly?”)

Miami (+22) at Dallas
You almost get the feeling that Vegas doesn’t think very highly of certain AFC East teams. The Dolphins were outscored 102-10 in their first two games. They were home games. Cowboys by as many as they want. But for the purposes of this prediction, let’s figure the margin comes out at something like 51.

NY Giants (+6.5) at Tampa Bay
New quarterback, same old struggles for New Jersey. Bucs by seven.

Carolina (+1.5) at Arizona
You might have heard this, but quarterback is kind of an important position in football. Cardinals by three.

New Orleans (+4) at Seattle
See immediately above. Seahawks by six.

Houston (+3) at LA Chargers
I don’t know. I think the Texans are a bit better than anyone seems to realize. Houston by three.

Pittsburgh (+6.5) at San Francisco
I’ve got a feeling the Steelers are going to end up being a fairly strong team before this season is out. But not quite yet. Niners by seven.

LA Rams (-3) at Cleveland
The Browns are 1-1 headed for 1-6.

Because the Browns are still the Browns. Rams by 10.

Chicago (-4) at Washington
The Bears are nothing to get excited about. But the Racists are a misfortune headed for a disaster. Chicago by five.

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