Week 3 NFL best bets: Jump on these two underdogs to cover, plus the best total play on the board
Three picks and a cloud of trust
There are some who will tell you that losing Ben Roethlisberger for the season is a huge blow to the Pittsburgh Steelers. There are others who will talk about how, at 37 years of age and about to undergo elbow surgery, we could be nearing the end of Big Ben. Well, while I'm sure that's devastating news to both the Steelers and Ben, I'm pretty sure I'm the biggest victim in all of this.
Let's not just glance past the fact that, in this very column, I took the Steelers -4 against the Seahawks last week. They did not cover. Would they have covered had Ben been healthy? Of course they would have! Why else would I have picked them to? But they didn't, and as a result, instead of having a perfect 3-0 week I had to settle for 2-1.
I guess I'll just have to go 3-0 this week instead.
Pete Prisco and R.J. White joined Will Brinson on the Pick Six Podcast to break down all the games, hand out best bets and build a winning parlay for Week 3. Listen below and be sure to subscribe:
1. Cincinnati Bengals (+6) at Buffalo Bills
The Bengals were blown out at home by the 49ers last week, losing 41-17. Kyle Shanahan's offense carved the Cincinnati defense up for 8.4 yards per play. It was an absolute clinic. It's also why I think the Bengals are being a bit undervalued with this line against Buffalo. The Bills have a strong defense, as they've allowed only 30 points through two games, and both have come on the road. It's just that they haven't exactly played two juggernaut offenses in the Giants and Jets, so I'm not sure how seriously we should be taking Buffalo's 2-0 start. Maybe the Bills are 3-0 after this one, but they're not going to cover this spread.
Prediction: Bills 24, Bengals 21
2. Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts (Over 47)
I see a lot of value on this total. The Falcons offense is better indoors, and that will be the case on Sunday. Plus, after a horrible start to the season against Minnesota, the Falcons offense looked much better against Philadelphia on Sunday night. If not for three turnovers they've have put a lot more than 24 points on the board, and I think we'll see them do so against the Colts. As for Indianapolis, while Jacoby Brissett isn't Andrew Luck, he's played well enough. With the Colts playing their first home game of the season I expect Frank Reich to put a bit more on his QB's shoulders than he did in two road games to start the season, and I smell a shootout coming our way in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Prediction: Falcons 31, Colts 27
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3. Washington Redskins (+4) vs. Chicago Bears
The Bears narrowly escaped Denver with a win last week. It was a horrible game from start to finish, and the problems were only exacerbated by terrible officiating. In that game it was clear that Bears coach Matt Nagy was not willing to trust Mitch Trubisky against a Vic Fangio defense on the road, nor should he. Nagy and the Bears know all too well about how tough Fangio defenses are. This week, in another road game, I don't think Nagy will want to trust Trubisky either, even if the Redskins have been awful. I'm not going to trust Trubisky, either. I think the Bears win again, but it won't be pretty.
Prediction: Bears 17, Redskins 14
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