NFL Week 3 Picks: Can Joel improve on last week’s 4-1 in the #abepickscomp?

After going 4-1 in his Week 2 NFL picks, Joel Bartilotta is back to try and make it 5-0 in Week 3 and win the #abepickscomp

Man, we were so close to going a perfect 5-0 last week. Green Bay and San Francisco were easy spread covers while the Cowboys-Falcons game skyrocketed over the total. We also cashed the Raheem Mostert prop on the first play of the game and our only miss was Derrick Henry’s yardage. We’ll take a 4-1 week though, as that’s really all you can hope for.

I’d actually advise to bet all of these individual rather than a parlay, simply because that’s the more profitable endeavor going forward. While it might be fun to enter parlays, there’s a reason why the bookmakers smile at you when you make one and why their buildings are so tall. In any case, I feel good about these picks, so, let’s go ahead and get into them!

Pick 1: Atlanta Falcons (-3.5)

I actually grabbed some –3 last week when I saw this line and I still like it at –3.5. While we do have an 0-2 Falcons team and a 2-0 Bears team facing off, that’s not indicative of how these teams have been playing. We’ll start off with Chicago, who are extremely lucky to have two wins. Not only did they overcome an 18-point fourth quarter deficit against a bad Detroit Lions team in Week 1, they also narrowly held off a New York Giants team without Saquon Barkley in Week 2. Those are two bad teams that they have victories over and I simply don’t believe in this team behind Mitchell Trubisky.

As for the Falcons, this is the unluckiest 0-2 team in the NFL. Not only do they rank 4th in total yardage and 5th in points scored, they’ve also had to hold off two tough teams. The Seahawks took them to the wire in Week 1 while the Dallas Cowboys pulled off a miracle victory in Week 2. Those are easily two of the best teams in the NFC and it says a lot that this team hung around in both of those games. Sometimes records can be deceiving and this is definitely one of those cases.


Pick 2: Jacksonville/Miami (Under 48 Points)

While I don’t have any statistical data to back this up, it feels like Thursday games have leaned to the under for years now. After some research, it appears that Thursday games are 36-38 in totals, slightly leaning towards the under. That’s closer than I expected but one has to believe that these teams are pretty worn out going into Thursday after bashing each other every Sunday.

The major reason I like the under this week is because these are two bad offenses. That’s evident when you see that Miami ranks 20th in total yardage while Jacksonville sits 22nd. Those are even better averages than last year, with these two clubs sitting 25th and 26th in scoring last season. The pace only adds to the intrigue of this under, with the Jaguars ranked 27th in plays run while Miami ranks 17th. Slow-paced teams with bad offenses should lead to a low-scoring game and it really surprised me to see it all the way up to 48.


Pick 3: San Francisco 49ers (-4)

We actually rode the 49ers to a winner last week and we’re going right back to the well. This spread was actually one of the most surprising of the week and it’s clear that people are overreacting to all of the injury news. Yes, San Fran will be without Jimmy Garoppolo, Deebo Samuel, Tevin Coleman, Joey Bosa and Raheem Mostert but that doesn’t really matter. This is a team that thrives off of great defense, a stout offensive line and great play-calling.

It’s a next man up sort of team and I truly believe they should be a 7-point favorite against this weak New York team. The Giants currently rank dead-last in scoring (14.5 PPG) through first two weeks and it’s scary to think how bad the couldl look without Saquon Barkley. That means it will be tough for them to reach double-digits against this stout defense and that alone makes San Fran a great bet here.


Pick 4: Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5)

A loss to the Chiefs is nothing to be embarrassed by. In fact, Los Angeles looked like the better team throughout that Week 2 loss and they could easily be 2-0 if it weren’t for a couple of poor decisions. The thing that makes them attractive here is the matchup. The Chargers get to face a Panthers team without Christian McCaffrey. That’s the best offensive player in the NFL and he makes up for about half of this team’s offense. That’s bad news on all facets and it wouldn’t surprise me to see this team go winless until he returns.

It’s a big injury but these teams were mismatched before that. In fact, the Chargers currently rank 7th in total yardage and 5th in points allowed while Carolina sits 19th in points scored and 27th in points surrendered. That means these clubs are mismatched on both ends of the ball and it could lead to a Chargers blowout victory.


Pick 5: Dallas/Seattle (Under 56 Points)

I’m going contrarian here. Almost everyone will be betting the over here and that’s why I want to fade it. The reason they’ll be betting the over is because both of these teams rank Top-10 in both passing yards and scoring. That has led to some monster point totals from these teams too, ranked Top-10 in scoring as well. All of that has this as the highest total on the slate and the highest total of the season thus far.

What you have to realize is that it takes a lot to clear a 56-point total. The reason I don’t think we’ll reach it is because these are running teams at heart. Both of these clubs ranked Top-10 in rushing attempts last season and they want to establish that against such a stout passing attack. That means we’ll see a running clock for large portions of this game and it pairs beautifully with the fact that Seattle ranks 29th in total plays. If we just get a few field goals and a few punts, this total is going to have a hard time getting over.

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