We feel pretty good about Week 3 in part because both our best bets (Raiders and Chiefs) not only covered but won outright, and also because the games we lost were ones on which we didn't have much of a lean. This week, we like the Bills, Lions and Cardinals a little bit, but feel better about the slate a whole than any particular game in it.
Browns +12.5 at Ravens
Typically with these double-digit spreads, we take the dog, and I don't see any reason to deviate here. Moreover, the Ravens are coming off a slightly shorter week and an emotional win over the Patriots, so they could be a little flat. Back the Browns.
Ravens 20 - 10
Patriots -4 at Bills
After a frustrating loss in Baltimore to put them at 1-2, one would think the Patriots should bounce back – after all, it's hard to imagine them at 1-3. But it's a common fallacy to believe that an extremely unlikely occurrence before the season is still unlikely three weeks in. Now that they're 1-2, we need to recalibrate our expectations. Moreover, even if the Patriots are a playoff-quality team (and they probably are), that doesn't mean they can easily beat a division rival that should be up for this one on the road. Back the Bills who cover – and quite possibly win outright.
Bills 24 - 23
Titans +12.5 at Texans
Another double-digit spread where we have to take the dog. The Texans may well be the NFL's best team, but this is a big line against a Titans team that might not be a doormat. Back Tennessee.
Texans 27 - 17
Chargers pick 'em at Chiefs
I wanted to fade the Chagers and Falcons last week, but unforunately they played each other, and I chose wrong. This week, the Chargers are back to square one in our view and have to earn "pick 'em" status on the road. Back the Chiefs.
Chiefs 27 - 23
Vikings +3.5 at Lions
I despise the Lions and am happy to see them off to a tough start, but they're a value here laying only 3.5 at home to a Vikings team that's probably inflated coming off a win over the 49ers. Whether Shaun Hill or Matthew Stafford plays doesn't matter much. Back the Lions.
Lions 31 - 20
Panthers +7 at Falcons
I was going to take the Falcons at home as they've been pretty good during the regular season there, but Damon liked Carolina, and I was swayed to his side. The Panthers are a good buy-low after the Giants annihilated them, and the Falcons are a good sell-high off the 3-0 start. Back the Panthers.
Falcons 27 - 26
Seahawks -1 at Rams
These teams are fairly similar with poor offenses and solid defenses, and young quarterbacks with upside. Give us the Rams getting the point at home.
Rams 17 - 16
49ers -4 at Jets
Darrelle Revis is out, but Kyle Wilson was a first-round pick, and Antonio Cromartie is probably a top-10 corner in his own right. The 49ers are more balanced, but this isn't likely to be an easy game on the road. Back the Jets.
Jets 20 - 19
Dolphins +6.5 at Cardinals
The Dolphins are 1-2 with a rookie quarterback while Arizona is 3-0 with wins over the Eagles (blowout), Patriots (on the road) and the Seahawks. So why in Arizona's building is this line less than a touchdown? Because Arizona's not getting credit for its performance. That makes them the value. Back the Cardinals.
Cardinals 24 - 13
Raiders +6.5 at Broncos
The Broncos started the season with an awfully tough schedule - PIT, @ATL, HOU. Now they finally get an easier game, and we expect them to win fairly easily. Back Denver.
Broncos 27 - 16
Bengals -1 at Jaguars
The Bengals defense is poor, and it's hard to win on the road in the NFL, even against teams like the Jaguars. Take the slight home dog.
Jaguars 24 - 23
Saints +9 at Packers
Damon wanted the Saints - said he had a hunch they'd win outright. Of course, it's possible, but I don't see it. The Saints aren't even good at home this year, and they've always been better there than on the road. The Packers aren't quite the same team as last year's either, but their defense has actually been better, and Aaron Rodgers is still the best quarterback in the league. Back Green Bay who rolls.
Packers 38 - 20
Redskins +3 at Buccaneers
The Redskins are exciting with Robert Griffin III, and their win over the Saints in Week 1 seemed like a harbinger of great things, creating perhaps a better first impression than they deserved. Of course, we now know what happened to the Saints since, and the Redskins have lost to the Rams and Bengals. We'll take the Bucs - who gave both the Giants and Cowboys good fights.
Buccaneers 27 - 23
Giants +1 at Eagles
Maybe the Giants are a sell-high and the Eagles a buy-low, but it's hard not to think New York turned a corner in Carolina with a dominant showing on both sides of the ball, while the Eagles again failed to live up to their sabermetric credentials yet again. Back the Giants.
Giants 27 - 21
Bears +3.5 at Cowboys
The Bears defense is among the best in the league, but the offense - from the playcalling to the quarterback play - has been abysmal. Dallas is actually fairly similar - with its defense outplaying the offense for most of the season's first 12 quarters, but at least Tony Romo doesn't seem exasperated and hopeless. Back the Cowboys.
Cowboys 21 - 17
We went 10-5-1 last week to go 27-19-2 on the year. From 1999-2011 we've gone 1,689-1,512 (52.8%), not including ties.