If you asked me to describe Week 2 with just one word, I'd have to go with "ouch." Across the league, we saw a number of key stars from Saquon Barkley to Nick Bosa to Courtland Sutton all suffer season-ending injuries over the course of the weekend. And that was really just the tip of the hobbled iceberg. As we go back to the table to determine how we see Week 3 unfolding, these injuries must be accounted for and will undeniably alter how we view some teams going forward.
Before we put our full attention to the Week 3 slate, however, let's do a quick victory lap on the strong week that was. If you followed along with me with my Week 2 picks, our "Locks of the Week" went 5-0 on the moneyline and 4-1 against the spread. It was a strong week overall and a much-needed rebound after a so-so start in Week 1. Now, we're looking to cash even more over this slate and, without further ado, here' are our locks for Week 3.
Who'll cover the spread in Week 3? Pete Prisco, R.J. White and SportsLine's Kenny White join host Will Brinson to offer their best bets and break down every game; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
All odds via William Hill Sportsook.
Locks of the Week
L.A. Rams at Buffalo
1:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
Point spread: Bills -2
Both the Rams and Bills enter this game 2-0 on the season, but Los Angeles has certainly had the tougher road to this point, beating Dallas and Philadelphia to start the year. While Josh Allen has impressed in the early goings of 2020, lighting up the Jets and Dolphins through the air isn't exactly the toughest task the league has to offer. I expect that heightened level of competition headlined by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey brings Allen back down to earth a bit and has me leaning toward taking Los Angeles and the points. Under Sean McVay, the Rams are 7-1 ATS/SU when playing in the Eastern Time Zone. More specifically, they are 2-0 ATS/SU as an underdog under this scenario and 5-0 ATS/SU when the game falls in the 1 p.m. ET time slot.
Pick: L.A. Rams and the points
Score prediction: L.A. Rams 24, Buffalo 20
Chicago at Atlanta
1 p.m. ET (FOX)
Point spread: Atlanta -3.5
The last time you had an 0-2 team as a field goal (3+) favorite over a 2-0 team was way back in 2008 when the Vikings were favored over Carolina. For what it's worth, Minnesota covered. Atlanta is trying to do the very same thing this week and bounce back after that monumental collapse against Dallas in Week 2. Luckily for Dan Quinn, I think they do that against a Bears team that isn't as good as their record suggests. Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense will be able to put up points against Chicago's defense and I don't believe Mitch Trubisky will be able to keep up. Over their last seven contests dating back to last season, the Bears are 1-6 ATS on the road.
Pick: Atlanta -3.5
Score prediction: Atlanta 28, Chicago 17
Tennessee at Minnesota
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Tennessee -2.5
Kirk Cousins appears to be falling apart at the seams and the Vikings defense -- that really wasn't anything to write home about in the first place -- just lost linebacker Anthony Barr for the season. When Barr was off the field last season, the Vikings allowed 5.5 yards per carry compared to just four yards per carry when he was on. That should spell good things for Derrick Henry after an overall quiet outing in Week 2. Despite being 2-0 on the season, Tennessee has yet to cover the spread this season. That will change this week, however, as Minnesota is 4-11 ATS against teams entering the contest with a winning record since 2018, the lowest mark in the NFL.
Pick: Tennessee -2.5
Score prediction: Tennessee 28, Minnesota 17
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Green Bay at New Orleans
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Point spread: New Orleans -3
There's arguably no team hotter in the NFC than the Green Bay Packers. They've dropped back-to-back 40-plus point outings to begin 2020 and at 2-0 ATS/SU. While Drew Brees has historically been strong against Rodgers (3-1 ATS, 2-2 SU), it does appear like the Saints quarterback may be losing a step at age 41. Even if he does get Michael Thomas back for this contest, the Packers are running too hot to fade right now. Green Bay is also 4-1 SU/ATS as an underdog since the start of last season. Sprinkling a little bit on the moneyline here at +150 may not be a bad play.
Pick: Green Bay and the points
Score prediction: Green Bay 28, New Orleans 24
Miami at Jacksonville
Thursday, Sept. 24, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFLN)
Point spread: Jacksonville -3
Minshew Mania has bled into 2020 and it's a glorious sight to behold. The Jaguars second-year quarterback is now set to host the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night and finds himself in a pretty appealing spot. Road teams have historically struggled on Thursday Night Football, covering just 38% of their games over the last five seasons. Specifically for the Dolphins, they are on a four-game losing streak SU and ATS on Thursday night. Ryan Fitzpatrick also doesn't have the greatest history in primetime, owning a 4-10 ATS record as a starter.
Pick: Jacksonville -3
Score prediction: Jacksonville 28, Miami 24
Rest of the bunch
Washington at Cleveland (-7)
The pick: Cleveland -7
Score prediction: Cleveland 24, Washington 14
Cincinnati at Philadelphia (-5.5)
The pick: Cincinnati and the points
Score prediction: Philadelphia 24, Cincinnati 20
Houston at Pittsburgh (-4)
The pick: Pittsburgh -4
Score prediction: Pittsburgh 23, Houston, 17
San Francisco (-4) at N.Y. Giants
The pick: San Francisco -4
Score prediction: San Francisco 21, New York 13
Las Vegas at New England (-6.5)
The pick: New England -6.5
Score prediction: New England 27, Las Vegas 20
N.Y. Jets at Indianapolis (-10.5)
The pick: Indianapolis -10.5
Score prediction: Indianapolis 28, N.Y. Jets 13
Carolina at L.A. Chargers (-6.5)
The pick: L.A. Chargers (-6.5)
Score prediction: L.A. Chargers 28, Carolina 17
Tampa Bay (-6) at Denver
The pick: Tampa Bay -6
Score prediction: Tampa Bay 24, Denver 14
Detroit at Arizona (-5.5)
The pick: Arizona -5.5
Score prediction: Arizona 33, Detroit 20
Dallas at Seattle (-5)
The pick: Seattle -5
Score prediction: Seattle 28, Dallas 20
Kansas City at Baltimore (-3.5)
The pick: Baltimore -3.5
Score prediction: Baltimore 33, Kansas City 28
Against the spread in Week 2: 10-6
ATS overall: 16-15-1
Straight up in Week 2: 14-2
SU overall: 22-10