Pete Prisco's NFL Week 3 Picks: Buccaneers, Jags, Dolphins stay hot as Florida teams improve to 9-0

The slow starter has started fast.

That's good for those who follow my NFL picks. After two weeks, I am 22-8-2 straight up and 18-13-1 against the spread. That's cooking -- if I don't say so myself.

This week appears to be a little tougher.

There are a lot of funky lines out there. The Atlanta Falcons laying only three to the New Orleans Saints looks weird, as does the Miami Dolphins laying only three to a bad Oakland Raiders team.

The 17 points the Minnesota Vikings are giving to the Buffalo Bills doesn't look like enough.

Let's hope I can stay as hot as the South Florida weather, which has been torrid lately.

New York Jets at Cleveland 

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFLN) 
Line: 
Browns -3

Could this be the week? Will the Browns finally win a game? I say they do. The Jets didn't look good against Miami, and it's a short week on the road for Sam Darnold. The Browns defense will get the best of him.

Pick: Browns 21, Jets 14

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New Orleans at Atlanta 

1 p.m. ET (Fox) 
Line: 
Falcons -3

The Saints have struggled in their first two games, especially on defense. Atlanta seemed to right the offense against Carolina, especially in the Red Zone. I would expect the Falcons to put up a lot of points here, but New Orleans will as well. It's close, but the Falcons will take it.

Pick: Falcons 33, Saints 28


Green Bay at Washington 

1 p.m. ET (Fox) 
Line: 
Packers -3

Aaron Rodgers looked good playing with the injured knee last week, and another week will help him even more. The Redskins flopped against the Colts last week, particularly on offense. That's not a good thing against the Packers and Rodgers.

Pick: Packers 27, Redskins 21


Indianapolis at Philadelphia

1 p.m. ET (Fox) 
Line:
Eagles -6

The Eagles get Carson Wentz back for this one. But he is limited in terms of his the weapons he has at his disposal. Even so, the Colts are playing consecutive road games, which is always tough. The defense is improved, but not here. Eagles take it.

Pick: Eagles 27, Colts 13


Buffalo at Minnesota

1 p.m. ET (CBS) 
Line: 
Vikings -17

This will be the first road start for Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen. He did some good things last week in his first start at home, but this is a major test. It won't be pretty behind his line. The Bills are also bad on defense. The Vikings win in a blowout.

Pick: Vikings 37, Bills 10


Oakland at Miami

1 p.m. ET (CBS) 
Line: 
Dolphins -3

This is the second-straight road game for the Raiders, and it's a long trip to play in hot conditions. That's a challenge. Plus, they haven't played that well. The Dolphins are 2-0 and they've done some good things on both sides of the ball. It isn't always pretty for Miami – and it won't be here – but the Dolphins will get to 3-0.

Pick: Dolphins 23, Raiders 16


Denver at Baltimore

1 p.m. ET (CBS) 
Line: 
Ravens -5

The Broncos are off to a 2-0 start, but the offense has been uneven at times. That will be a problem at Baltimore against the Ravens defense. Baltimore will have been off for 10 days after playing last Thursday. That matters. Ravens take it.

Pick: Ravens 26, Broncos 17


Cincinnati at Carolina

1 p.m. ET (CBS) 
Line: 
Panthers -3

The Bengals are 2-0 and will have a nice rest after playing last Thursday night. Carolina didn't look good against Atlanta, especially on defense. I think Andy Dalton and the improved Bengals offense will get the best of this matchup. Bengals will win a road game.

Pick: Bengals 24, Panthers 20


New York Giants at Houston

1 p.m. ET (Fox) 
Line: 
Texans -6

The Giants are playing consecutive road games, and didn't look good at all last week against the Cowboys. The Texans will be playing their home opener, losing the first two. Being back home will matter, but the Giants will hang around in this one.

Pick: Texans 27, Giants 24


Tennessee at Jacksonville

1 p.m. ET (CBS) 
Line:
Jaguars -6.5

The key here will be the emotion of the Jaguars coming off their big victory over the Patriots last week. Since they lost to the Titans twice last season, I think the focus will be good. Tennessee has been plagued by injuries, including to quarterback Marcus Mariota, and that's a problem against the Jaguars front. Jaguars win it by 10.

Pick: Jaguars 24, Titans 14


San Francisco at Kansas City

1 p.m. ET (Fox) 
Line:
Chiefs -6.5

This will be the first home start for Patrick Mahomes, who has been on fire. Too bad the Chiefs defense isn't very good right now. That means we will see a shootout between Mahomes and Jimmy Garoppolo. It will be fun to watch as the Chiefs win a high-scoring game.

Pick: Chiefs 31, 49ers 28


L.A. Chargers at L.A. Rams 

4:05 p.m. ET (CBS) 
Line: 
Rams -7

The battle of Los Angeles is an interesting early-season game. The Rams have looked great in their first two victories, but this is a step up in competition. The Rams will move the ball on offense, but I think Philip Rivers will keep it close. Rams take it, but it's tight.

Pick: Rams 27, Chargers 24


Dallas at Seattle 

4:25 p.m. ET (Fox) 
Line:
Seahawks -1

The Seahawks will be playing their home opener, which will bring some extra juice to an already lively building. The problem is that they aren't the same team. Dallas looked impressive in beating the Giants, but this will be different. The Seahawks will rally in front of the home folks to find a way to win this one.

Pick: Seahawks 21, Cowboys 17


Chicago at Arizona

4:25 p.m. ET (Fox) 
Line:
Bears -6

The Cardinals have been woeful the first two weeks, and the offense has been really bad. That's not a good thing against an improved Bears defense. Even so, I think the Cardinals will keep this close. The Bears will win it late, but it's tight.

Pick: Bears 19, Cardinals 16


New England at Detroit 

8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) 
Line:
Patriots -6.5

The Patriots are playing consecutive road games, after losing to the Jaguars last week. But that won't matter here. The Lions are bad. They have major issues on defense. Even if Josh Gordon doesn't play, Tom Brady carves up the Lions.

Pick: Patriots 33, Lions 23


Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay 

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) 
Line:
Steelers -1

The Steelers haven't looked right, while the Bucs are flying high. The Steelers defense has been putrid, which will again show up against this high-powered Tampa Bay offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick will have another big day. The Bucs stay unbeaten.

Pick: Bucs 30, Steelers 28

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

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