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NFL Week #3 Sunday, September 23rd Tips

September 21, 2012

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New York Jets at Miami Dolphins +2.5 OvUn 41.5 1:00 EST

The Jets face the Dolphins in a Week 3 matchup that pits two 1-1 teams against each other. Both teams were terrible in the preseason – both going winless, but that has not seemed to carry over into the regular season.

The Jets were handed their first loss of the season last week, at Pittsburgh, as the Steelers dominated them for three quarters, after they went up early in the 1st. The Jets lost 27-10.
The Dolphins romped the Raiders last week, as running back Reggie Bush had a career day running for 172 yards and two touchdowns. The Dolphins won the game 35-13.

The Line

The spread opened at Miami +3 and has moved off that magic 3 number to +2.5. The total opened at 40, and has moved to 41.5 at most shops.

The Play
Both teams look shaky offensively, as they both have only had one complete game from an offensive standpoint. Still, the Jets looked utterly inept against the Steelers last week and don’t seem to be playing their best football.

The Dolphins are a young – but motivated bunch of players. They can defend the run well, something that is a crucial part of the Jets’ game plan. Reggie Bush has been unstoppable as of late, and will be a lot for the Jets to handle. We like the Fins at home, plus the points.

Miami +2.5
Over 41.5

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts -3 OvUn 43 1:00 EST

The Jaguars take on the Colts in a Sunday afternoon AFC South showdown. These teams are no strangers to divisional battles, as both teams need this game to keep pace in the AFC South with the Houston Texans.

The Colts got their first win last week in Minnesota, as rookie QB Andrew Luck led the team on a game winning drive, capped off by an Adam Vinatieri field goal with just 8 seconds left. Luck impressed coaches and teammates with the poise he has as a rookie in the 23-20 win.

The Jaguars, also with a young quarterback haven’t fared so well. They fell to 0-2, after a loss to Houston last Sunday. Though, their offensive line is marred with injuries, the Jaguars have to expect more out of sophomore QB Blaine Gabbert. He threw for just 53 yards in the loss.

The Line

Opening at Colts -1.5, this one has move due to heavy Indianapolis betting to -3. The total moved 1 point from 42 to 43.

The Play

The Jaguars have looked horrendous on both sides of the ball so far. The lack of defensive intensity is certainly more worrisome than their lackluster offense. Normally, a perennial run stopping unit, the Jags have given up over 330 yards in two games against opposing rushers.

The Colts, at home, look like the better team. Luck has been impressive and as we mentioned the Jaguar’s defense is nothing to write home about. We’re going with Luck and the Colts.

Indianapolis -3

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns +3 OvUn 44.5 1:00 EST

The Bills come into Cleveland hoping to build off last week’s win, and take out a Browns’ team that is still searching for its first win.

After a Week 1 embarrassment against the Jets, the Bills righted the ship last week and took it to Kansas City beating them 35-17. In large part, that was due to C.J Spiller, who currently leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage.

The Browns fell at Cincy 34-27 last week but looked like a much better team than most thought. Rookie QB, Brandon Weeden, threw for over 300 yards in the loss and had two touchdowns. Another rookie, half back Trent Richardson, also rushed for over 100 yards and scored two touchdowns.

The Line

The number has not moved much since opening at +3, but some books do have the Browns at +2.5. The total has moved a point from the opening line of 43 and is heading upwards towards 45.

The Play

We’re not fooled into thinking the Bills are a talented team after last week’s win over a dismal Kansas City squad, but we also know the Browns aren’t a great football team either. They are, after all, searching for their first franchise win since early November of last year.

Still, the Browns should likely be favored at home against a Bills squad who certainly shouldn’t be a favorite against anyone on the road. The Browns play tough defensively and are a historically strong home team. Remember, the beating the Bills took Week 1 against the Jets, this is not a very good football team.

Cleveland +3

Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints -8.5 OvUn 53 1:00 EST

The Chiefs and Saints would both like to forget the first two weeks of the season. Both 0-2, someone will come out of Sunday’s matchup with a much needed victory.

The Chiefs have looked downright terrible the first two weeks of the season, and there aren’t many positives to build on. The Chiefs have given 75 points in just two games and face another tough offense this week in New Orleans.

The Saints have looked just as terrible defensively but have only lost by eight points in their two losses. Carolina rushed for nearly 200 yards last week in a 35-27 win over New Orleans on Sunday. The Saints offense has performed well, but they will need to improve on defense to get out of this rut.

The Line

Opened at Saints -9.5 and has moved to 8.5 at most shops. The total has stood pat at 53.

The Play

The Saints are the clear better team in this matchup – but by how much? Laying more than a touchdown is hard, because the Saints’ defense has been awful and displayed a lack of effort. We like the Saints to win, but the Chiefs to cover the rather large number.

Kansas City +8.5

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Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins -3 OvUn 49 1:00 EST

Two emerging NFC and AFC teams will meet on Sunday afternoon for Robert Griffin III’s debut at FedEx Field. The Bengals and the Ravens both hope to get to the two win mark.

The Bengals were blown out in their first game in Baltimore but beat AFC North rival, Cleveland. 34-27 on Sunday. Defensively, they’ve struggled mightily so far, but they still have a potent offense. A.J. Green and Andy Dalton could be one of the best QB and WR combos in the league.

The Skins have been a marked improvement over previous seasons so far, and most of that is thanks to Robert Griffin III, a rookie QB out of Baylor who is taking the NFL by storm. The Skins are 1-1 on the season, after a late loss to the Rams last week. They beat the New Orleans Saints a week earlier.

The Line

The line moved from -4 to -3 even though most of the bets have been coming in on the Redskins. The total has climbed considerably from the opening number of 46.5 to 49.

The Play

The Skins have looked quite impressive so far but will likely be missing top wide out Pierre Garcon for the second straight week. RG3 seems to have handled most defenses that have been thrown at him so far, but he could be due for a bad game against an athletic line backing core of the Redskins.

Cincinnati +3

Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans +4 OvUn 46.5 1:00 EST

The Lions and Titans are in two different stages of developing young talent, as the two teams meet Sunday, only one of them have seen positive results so far.

The Lions, 1-1 so far, beat St. Louis on September 9th, but lost to San Francisco this Sunday 27-19. The lions moved the ball into the red zone of the tough Niner defense but could not capitalize with touchdowns.

The Titans have been terrible to start the season; they have a 0-2 record and have the worst offense in the NFL. Also, they are last in the NFL with 25 first downs. Chris Johnson has been terrible and 2nd year QB Jake Locker has been hurt and inaccurate with his passing attempts.

The Line

Opened at Lions -2 and has gone all the way to -4. The total opened at 47 and has gone down slightly to 46.5.

The Play

It would be hard to considering taking the Titans; they are just about a team in turmoil and also a squad that is banged up by injuries. The Lions could be favorites of up to a touchdown, and we still think bettors would still take them. We’re in the same boat.

Lions -4

San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings +7 OvUn 43 1:00 EST

This NFC matchup may look like a cake walk for the Niners, but the Vikings have a tough defense and a strong running game. It will be intriguing to see how SF’s defensive front handles Adrian Peterson.

The 49ers could be off to their best start in over a decade if they beat the Vikings on Sunday afternoon. The 49er defense has been absolutely excellent this year and has limited two top QBs in Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford. The ball hawking defense stifled a Detroit offense last week in a 27-19 victory.

The Vikings have not played exceptionally well so far considering their level of competition. They barely eeked out a win in Jacksonville in Week 1 and look terrible offensively against a weak Colts defense.

The Line

Opened at +6 for the Vikings, and has since moved to +7. The total has not moved from 43.

The Play

This game seems to play out as a grind it out, run fest no matter what the score is. Both teams have a decent run defense but are still committed to their game plans. Rarely do Ponder or Smith throw more than 25 times, and these teams love nursing a lead. We look for a close game that barely gets out of the single digits.

Under 43

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St. Louis Rams at Chicago Bears -7.5 OvUn 43 1:00 EST

The Rams hope to build off their win against the Redskins last week, as they come off a 2-14 campaign last year. They’ve already eclipsed that half that total with their win last week against the Redskins, 31-28. Bradford threw for over 300 yards, and Danny Amendola had a career day with 15 catches and 160 yards.

The Bears had a rough performance last Thursday, as they were blown out by the Packers in prime time. The Packers had just 168 yards of total offense last week, along with four Jay Cutler interceptions. The Bears also may have lost Matt Forte to injury, and they are unsure if he’ll suit up this week.

The Line

After a Chicago -10 opening, the line has come down but is still -9 at some shops. The total opened at 44.5 and is now 43 mostly everywhere.

The Play

We don’t think there is a doubt the Bears are the more talented team, but the Rams are more improved that most of the public wishes to believe. They won two games last season and already fought for a hard win against Washington last week. They have character and a better work ethic, one likely instilled by Jeff Fisher. The Rams are finally utilizing their talent to the best of their ability, and we like them on the road with the points.

Rams +7.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys -8.5 OvUn 45.5 1:00 EST

The Buccaneers and Cowboys come into this game 1-1 in what should be an compelling game to see where they both stand in an uncertain NFC.

The Buccaneers barely lost to the Giants last week in a 41-34 shootout last week and won their home opener against Carolina. Greg Schiano has improved the rushing defense of the Bucs, but Tampa has been poor against the pass – allowing a team record 510 yards to Eli Manning last weekend.

The Cowboys started off the season with a bang, defeating the Giants to kick off the NFL season. Almost equally shocking is the 27-7 loss against one of the lowest rated teams in the NFC, the Seattle Seahawks. Dallas had zero consistency on offense and could simply not move the ball against the tough Seahawk front.

The Line

Opened at Dallas -9, has moved to -8.5, but -9 is still available at a few shops. The total opened at 45 and has moves slightly upwards.

The Play

The Cowboys seemed unstoppable in Week 1, and then seemed like total jokers in Week 2. Consistency is critical in this league, and the Cowboys are anything but that. They are not worthy of a being nearly 9 points favorites against an improved Tampa team. The Cowboys were not a playoff team last year, and they’ve proven nothing yet.

Buccaneers +8.5

Atlanta Falcons at San Diego Chargers -3 OvUn 47.5 4:05 EST

The Falcons head to San Diego in what should be a riveting AFC vs. NFC early season matchup. Both teams come in with 2-0 records.

Atlanta has embraced the passing attack this year, and that emphasis has already led them to two victories. Matt Ryan has the league’s top rating and has plenty of weapons, including Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White and Julio Jones. The Falcons took out Peyton Manning and the Broncos last Monday night, 27-21.

San Diego is going for its first 3-0 start to the season in nearly 10 years. Rivers is back to his normal self, completing over 73% of his passes so far this season. He has four touchdowns and has thrown just one interception. The Chargers should also get running back, Ryan Matthews back this week.

The Line
Opened at San Diego -1.5 and is now at -3. The total of has come down from an opening line of 49 to 47.5.

The Play

The Falcons are a talented team and perhaps Super Bowl contenders, but they are not without their problems. Defensively, they’ve been above average against the pass, but their rush defense has been unusually poor. They are coming off a short week against the Chargers, at home, a tough place to play. The Falcons may go on to be one of the best this season, but we like the Chargers at home, laying the points.

Chargers -3

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Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals +3 OvUn 42 4:25 EST

In what would seem like a dud of a game before the season, the Cardinals/Eagles tilt on Sunday afternoon is one of the weekend’s most anticipated games.

The Eagles come in off a big time win in Baltimore, in which Vick rallied the Eagles late to win the game. The defense also showed up in a big way, limiting Joe Flacco and the Ravens to help them win 24-23.

The Cardinals are a shocking 2-0 to start the season, which includes the biggest franchise win in years, a 20-18 victory at New England last Sunday. Defensively the Cardinals have played great giving up just 3.4 yards a carry to opposing rushers, and only two offensive touchdowns so far this season.

The Line
Opened at Arizona +5.5 but has gone back down to +3. The total opened at 44 and has moved 2 points down to 42.

The Play

The Cardinals have played well and deserve to be given respect, especially after their sensational win against New England last week. They can clearly keep opposing offenses in check, but need to do some of their own scoring, as well. This line was a lot more attractive at +5.5, but we still like Arizona at home against an Eagles team that is hot or cold each week. Kolb will likely start, but Skellton could be under center if he heals well enough before Sunday.

Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 at Oakland Raiders OvUn 45 4:25 EST

An old-time 70s rivalry takes center stage this Sunday, as the Ravens head to Oakland to take on a Raiders team that is clearly in disarray.

The Steelers are fresh off a win against the Jets last week, a game they dominated even without their best defensive players Pro Bowlers James Harrison and Troy Polamalu. Both may be set to return this week, along with running back, Rashard Mendenhall. The Steelers are 1-1 after a Week 1 loss to the Broncos.

The Raiders have not had much success so far this season. They rank last in the league in rushing – even with talented running back, Darren McFadden. The Raiders have been terrible on defense as well, giving up 30+ points to the pedestrian offense of Miami last week. They are also without their two starting cornerbacks on defense.

The Line
Opened at Pittsburgh -3, and has now moved to 3.5 and 4 at some shops. The total has moved 2 points, as well to from 43.5 to 45.5.

The Play
This one looks like a slam dunk for the Steelers, and almost seems too easy. Oakland is probably the worst team through the first two games this year, and are beaten up defensively – while the Steelers continue to get healthy. Call us suckers, but we’ll take the Steelers and lay the points.

Steelers -3.5

Houston Texas at Denver Broncos +1.5 OvUn 44.5 4:25 EST

In probably, the most anticipated matchup of the weekend, the 2-0 Texans take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

The Texans look to go 3-0 for the first time in franchise history, and the Texans have been versatile on offense. Matt Schaub leads the passing attack along with Andre Johnson, and Arian Foster anchors a tough running game. The Texans lead the league in defense yards and points scored over the first two games.

The Broncos looked impressive in their Week 1 win over the Steelers, but fell at Atlanta last week in a game Peyton Manning would like to forget. He threw three interceptions in his first three possessions and the Broncos could not recover from the early deficit.

The Line

Opened at pk and is +2, +1 and is still at pk at some bookmakers. The total opened at 47.5 and has dropped down to 44.5

The Play

The Texans seem to finally have a championship contender. Even though, Manning is running the show in Denver, as we saw last week he doesn’t quite have the rust off his game and isn’t on the same page with his receivers. Houston has been dominant, albeit against weak opponents, but this team looks ready to dominate this season.

Houston +1.5

Sunday Night Football

New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens +1 OvUn 49.5 8:20 PM EST

Two of the AFC’s best face off Sunday evening at the Pats head to Baltimore to take on the Ravens.

The Patriots fell last week to the Arizona Cardinals, a shocking loss for the Patriots and an enormous win for the Cardinals. The Patriots missed a game winning kick in the final seconds to fall to the Cardinals 20-18. In addition to the loss, the Patriots lost valuable tight end, Aaron Hernandez to injury.

Baltimore demolished Cincinnati Week 1, but fell to the Eagles in Philadelphia last week. The defense allowed almost 500 yards of offense to the Eagles in defeat – uncharacteristic of a normally stout Ravens defense.

The Line

Opened at Baltimore -2.5 and is now at +1 for the Ravens! The total has gone up a half point from the opening line of 49.

The Play

The Patriots certainly didn’t look like themselves last week, in a rare loss to a lowly team like the Cardinals. If we know anything about the Pats – it’s that they rarely lose back to back games, and they’ll have an excellent game plan for the Ravens. The teams are about even on paper, but we do not think Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will let the Pats lose this one.

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About the author

Eric Roberts
Eric Roberts

Sports Journalist

Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.