After falling near the bottom of the #ABEPICKSCOMP standings, Nick Ballistreri has picked his five favorite bets of Week 3 to get him back into the race.
Week 2 result: 1-4
NFL Season: 5-6
After going 1-4 last week, I’m looking to improve on my picks this week! I had some tough losses last week, including a last-minute cover by Miami and the Cowboys winning, but failing to cover. I took some stupid picks with the Jets and and Vikings, but I’ve learned my lesson. Let’s get into the picks:
Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots
Pick: Patriots -5.5
The Raiders are riding high right now. They opened up their beautiful new stadium with a shocking win against the New Orleans Saints, and are thinking playoffs with a 2-0 record. That being said, let’s slow the roll here a bit.
They played well against the Saints, but the Saints were missing Michael Thomas and their offense looked off. The Raiders took advantage, but now they are up against a motivated Patriots team led by Cam and Bill. Look for the Patriots to make the necessary adjustments, and take advantage the Raiders weak run-defense. Combine that with the long cross-country flight for Las Vegas and it’s recipe for a Patriots cover.
Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Chargers
Pick: Under 44
Oh boy. Without Christian McCaffery, the Panthers offense might be in trouble. While there are still some weapons on this side of the ball, and Teddy Bridgewater looks efficient at quarterback, CMC was the catalyst of this group. Without him, they’re going to struggle to move the ball.
To make matters worse, they’re going against a very stout Chargers defense. Remember, the Chiefs came back to win, but for three and a half quarters, the Chargers had shut down Patrick Mahomes. It took a miracle comeback, but even then, the defense held it’s own. Combine that with the fact that the Chargers offense isn’t scaring anyone, and both of these teams will struggle to put points up. Take the under 44.
Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles
Pick: Over 46
Can the Eagles offense look any worse than it did a week ago? They managed to scrap together 19 points, but didn’t look impressive doing it. Carson Wentz looks nothing like the quarterback he once was, throwing two backbreaking interceptions, including one in the end-zone. Luckily for them, the Bengals are on tap.
The Bengals got shredded by the Browns, there’s no two ways around it. They allowed 35 points, let Baker Mayfield pick them apart, and got run over by Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. They allowed over 200 rushing yards, and I don’t think they’ll have any more luck stopping this Eagles attack.
If Wentz can manage to take care of the ball, he should be able to move the ball with the help of Miles Sanders. The offensive line was bolstered by the return of Lane Johnson, and they allowed zero sacks last week. For the Bengals, Joe Burrow looks like the real deal. He’s shown flashes of superstardom early on this year, and against an Eagles defense that hasn’t played any defense yet, expect him to score some points.
The over here is the play.
Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Falcons -3
Let’s just say it: The Falcons blew it. After the Cowboys basically begged the Falcons to put them away with their turnovers and bone-headed decisions, the Falcons refused to comply, and eventually lost 40-39. They’re now 0-2, and officially desperate.
The Bears are 2-0 on the season, but wins over the Lions and Giants aren’t impressing anyone. I’m still not sold that Trubisky is the guy to lead this team, and the defense almost blew the game a week ago against the Giants.
This has the looks of a bounce back game for Atlanta. The Bears defense, while still above average, isn’t as scary as in recent seasons, and this Falcons offense has weapons galore. I don’t think Mitch Trubisky will be able to keep up with the potency. Take the Falcons to cover three at home.
Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Cowboys +5
What happened last week? The Cowboys did everything in their power to lose that game against the Falcons. Somehow, with the help of a miracle onside kick, Dallas won 40-39. Their reward? A date with the undefeated Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson.
Wilson is everyone’s MVP right now. He has nine touchdown passes and 11 incompletions. Yes, that incompletions, not interceptions. He’s playing at an unbelievable lebel right now, and he should have no problem shredding a Cowboys defense that allowed Matt Ryan to throw for four touchdowns.
That being said, there are two sides to the ball, and the Seahawks defense isn’t good anymore. Even with the addition of Jamal Adams, they can’t stop anyone. They allowed Cam Newton to throw for nearly 400 yards on them, and Das Prescott is not Cam. He’s better. He’s building his own MVP case by the week, and threw for 450 yards and four total touchdowns last week. Add this to the fact that the Seattle defense just lose three starters to the IR, and this game will be much closer than it seems. Take the points.