Needless to say this is a crucial week for the Arizona football teams. The Cardinals host the Cowboys on Monday Night Football for their home opener while the Wildcats and Sun Devils are underdogs despite opening Pac-12 play at home. Without spoiling my picks below, I’m picking only one of the three to win this week. Don’t cheat – who do you think it is? (Hint: you’re probably wrong).
Week 3 NFL Picks
Last Week: 12-4 Straight Up (SU), 12-4 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 22-9 SU, 19-12 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; home teams in caps)
I CRUSHED it last week…not sure how I went 12-4 against the spread but as I said in last Wednesday’s column, it was a week of favorites apparently!
SAN FRANCISCO 24, LA Rams 17 (ATS: 49ers +2)
Why in the world would the NFL schedule makers put this game on a Thursday night in Week 3? So both teams weren’t mathematically eliminated yet? 49ers RB Carlos Hyde leads SF to a minor home upset and coach Kyle Shanahan’s first win.
Baltimore 20, Jacksonville 10 (ATS: Ravens -4)
They’re playing this game in London and I almost feel bad for those in attendance who are paying to see offense. Take the under with ease here in this matchup of two fine defenses.
BUFFALO 24, Denver 20 (ATS: Bills +3)
Denver is coming off an emotional win at home against Dallas and now has to fly across the country to take on a motivated Bills team. I’ll be happy to take the Bills with the points and straight up.
Pittsburgh 30, CHICAGO 20 (ATS: Steelers -7.5)
The Bears’ receiving weapons are so bad that a little 5’6″ rookie RB, Tarik Cohen, will continue to lead the team in receptions as long as he can stay healthy. Sorry Bears fans…it’s going to be a LONG year.
Atlanta 30, DETROIT 27 (ATS: Falcons -3)
The Lions are an impressive 2-0 but haven’t played an offense anywhere near the caliber of the explosive Falcons. An upset win here would go a long ways towards Detroit’s playoff hopes.
INDIANAPOLIS 20, Cleveland 17 (ATS: Colts +1)
Might as well flip a coin in this game. The Browns might actually be better than the Colts but give me the home team.
MINNESOTA 27, Tampa Bay 21 (ATS: Vikings -2.5)
I’m under the assumption that Vikings QB Sam Bradford will play…and if so, Minnesota holds serve at home against a very impressive Bucs team.
NEW ENGLAND 30, Houston 13 (ATS: Patriots -13)
New England’s defense has been gashed in the first two weeks. Fortunately they’re facing a rookie QB at home this week. Sorry Deshaun Watson, brighter days will come…just not this Sunday.
Miami 26, NY JETS 13 (ATS: Dolphins -5.5)
Get used to it folks…I don’t plan on picking the Jets to win any week. They’re the worst team we’ve see in the NFL in quite a while.
PHILADELPHIA 23, NY Giants 20 (ATS: Giants +6)
Based on what the Giants have shown in the first two weeks, giving them 20 points here as a team is a gift. They’ve combined for 13 in the first two weeks. Coach Ben McAdoo might be a good bet to be the first coach fired this season if New York’s offense doesn’t improve quickly.
CAROLINA 24, New Orleans 21 (ATS: Saints +5.5)
I thought about picking the upset here. Carolina is without starting tight end Greg Olsen for 6-8 weeks with a broken foot and QB Cam Newton doesn’t look himself coming off shoulder surgery. But the Saints D is SO bad…
TENNESSEE 21, Seattle 17 (ATS: Titans -3)
Complete toss-up game…I’m going with the Titans because they’re at home and Seattle offensive line thus far has been…well, offensive.
Green Bay 31, Cincinnati 21 (ATS: Packers -9)
The Bengals and QB Andy Dalton have been a dumpster fire thus far and only they and the 49ers haven’t scored a touchdown yet in 2017. That will change on Sunday but the defense won’t do enough to slow down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense.
LA CHARGERS 27, Kansas City 24 (ATS: Chargers +3)
The Chargers could easily be 2-0 if it weren’t for their rookie kicker and his two last second misses. I’ll say he gets some redemption on Sunday in this upset win.
Oakland 31, WASHINGTON 24 (ATS: Raiders -3)
The Raiders’ offense is really good and the Redskins defense is not. Should be a sneaky fun Sunday night game in the rematch from Super Bowl XVIII (a Raiders 38-9 win).
Arizona 23, Dallas 21 (ATS: Cardinals +3)
And here’s the one game I’m picking an Arizona football team to win this weekend! Surprised? I expect Carson Palmer to be sharp and the Cardinals’ defense to make a crucial play to seal the game and prevent a last-second Cowboys field goal.
Guest picking our college football predictions this week is local radio personality, co-host of Wildcat Country & The Saturday Tailgate on 1580 The Fanatic, and University of Arizona basketball public address announcer, Jeff Dean. Having guest co-hosted his radio show with him in early-August, I can tell you that Jeff is as much of a CFB fanatic as anyone…so I expect his picks to be spot on. No pressure there, buddy!
Steve is coming off a 9-1 SU, 7-3 ATS week so for now he leads the overall standings outright by one game.
While I know Rich Rodriguez is 4-1 against Utah’s Kyle Whittingham, Steve and I are reluctantly picking against our alma mater this week.
Week 4 College Football Predictions
|Eric Cohen||Jon Bell||Steve Malina||Guest Picks|
|Overall (Straight Up):||21-9||21-9||22-8||21-9|
|Overall (Against the Spread):||11-18||9-20||13-16||16-13|
|Last Week (SU):||8-2||8-2||9-1||8-2|
|Last Week (ATS):||5-5||3-7||7-3||5-5|
|Utah (-3) at Arizona||UTAH 24-20||AZ 21-17||UTAH 34-27||AZ 26-23|
|Oregon (-14.5) at ASU||ORE 48-37||ORE 52-31||ORE 55-37||ORE 48-34|
|Texas Tech at Houston (-6)||HOU 31-17||HOU 38-24||HOU 34-31||HOU 38-33|
|USC (-16) at California||USC 35-17||USC 31-20||USC 38-18||USC 41-24|
|TCU at Oklahoma State (-11.5)||OK ST 45-35||OK ST 31-10||OK ST 45-21||OK ST 44-24|
|Michigan (-9.5) at Purdue||MICH 24-13||MICH 23-21||MICH 31-20||MICH 30-17|
|Mississippi State at Georgia (-6)||GA 23-16||MSU 24-17||GA 28-20||GA 27-24|
|Penn State (-12) at Iowa||PSU 34-20||PSU 35-14||PSU 28-24||PSU 34-24|
|Washington (-10.5) at Colorado||WASH 33-19||WASH 38-18||WASH 38-21||WASH 24-16|
|UCLA at Stanford (-7.5)||STAN 34-16||STAN 24-20||STAN 37-31||STAN 21-20|
This Week’s Bold Prediction:
EC: Watch out Florida teams! With a new QB and after two weeks off, Florida State is rusty but beats NC State 24-20 in Tallahassee. In Miami, a determined Toledo team puts a scare into the Hurricanes into the 4th quarter though the ‘Canes hold on late, 35-28. There will be no luck for the Florida Gators in Lexington this weekend though. Kentucky’s defense stifles the Gators, holding them to under 250 total yards in a 20-13 upset victory.
JB: The annual head coach carnage watch heats up as a chess match between ASU and A&M develops to see who blinks first to officially enter the Chip Kelly sweepstakes. On the flip side, Jeff Brohm and Justin Wilcox have done excellent work in short time at Purdue and Cal, respectively. Purdue in particular is relevant for the first time since Homecoming, 2004. Suddenly, Purdue/Michigan is appointment television and Michigan’s red zone struggles on the road indicate that this might be a prime candidate for a huge upset.
SM: Tennessee quits on coach Butch Jones and barely holds on to beat UMASS in a one possession game.
JD: After one of the most thrilling victories in program history, Florida will have an emotional letdown and lose as a three point favorite at Kentucky.
For more thoughts and predictions on these games, check out Friday’s Quick Hitters blog.