NFL Week 3 Predictions

Week 3 has some interesting things going for it.  After the Tampa-Atlanta game, we’ve already had one of the biggest beatdowns in league history.  We have two teams favored by double-digits, which will provide some more evidence on the ‘double digit dogs are a good bet’ front.  Two supposed-to-be-good teams, the Saints and Colts, try to get their first wins in very winnable games (the Saints are one of those double digit favorites).  There’s that Seattle-Denver game.  And generally speaking we have no idea how good many teams are, and this is going to be an informative game.  Read on to see what the models think will happen.

If you had to guess the highest-scoring game of the week, you might not have gone with Tampa-Atlanta.  But if any other game is going to get close to 70, it could be Detroit-Green Bay or maybe Philly-Washington.

home away Over/Under Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Atlanta TB 46 41.17 43.59 42.58
Buffalo SD 45 46.96 43.59 46.52
StL Dallas 44 41.71 43.59 42.2
Philly Washington 50 47.64 43.59 46.71
Giants Houston 41.5 43.86 43.59 43.86
NO Minnesota 49 46.6 43.59 45.48
Cincy Tennessee 42.5 46.3 43.59 46.61
Cleveland Baltimore 41 45.92 43.59 46.3
Detroit GB 52 45.73 43.59 44.91
Jacksonville Indy 45 48.17 43.59 46.19
NE Oakland 46.5 41.74 43.59 42
Arizona SF 42 44.26 43.59 43.73
Seattle Denver 48.5 49.12 43.59 47.83
Miami KC 42.5 42.25 43.59 42.77
Carolina Pittsburgh 42 45.52 43.59 45.31
Jets Chicago 45.5 41.98 43.59 42.57

In terms of winners, the models think your best bet is Buffalo.  But in terms of who’s worth looking at against the money line, they have a number of consensus picks.  The surprising ones are probably Minnesota and Oakland, which makes this a good place to point out that money line bets don’t have to be expected to win per se, just expected to win often enough.  I think my favorite upset pick this week, for no particular reason, is Arizona over the 49ers.

home away Home Line Away Line Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Atlanta TB -265 225 0.673 0.558 0.629
Buffalo SD -130 110 0.821 0.577 0.687
StL Dallas -105 -115 0.37 0.578 0.497
Philly Washington -260 220 0.526 0.514 0.546
Giants Houston 105 -125 0.225 0.296 0.382
NO Minnesota -550 445 0.608 0.656 0.627
Cincy Tennessee -290 245 0.739 0.517 0.691
Cleveland Baltimore 105 -125 0.531 0.503 0.565
Detroit GB -140 120 0.795 0.55 0.65
Jacksonville Indy 265 -325 0.329 0.526 0.475
NE Oakland -1200 825 0.679 0.658 0.627
Arizona SF 140 -160 0.513 0.741 0.591
Seattle Denver -225 195 0.54 0.561 0.548
Miami KC -200 175 0.539 0.682 0.561
Carolina Pittsburgh -170 150 0.72 0.616 0.655
Jets Chicago -150 130 0.613 0.443 0.56

Moving on to the spread, I mentioned the two double-digit favorites.  Those have typically gone the underdog’s way in recent years.  The other underdog-y pick is to look for home underdogs.  This week that would be Arizona, Jacksonville, Cleveland, and St. Louis (and maybe the Giants depending on what line you see).  The models are usually all about home dogs, but not when it’s the Giants.  It also isn’t the Jaguars, but only because Luigi’s prediction is too close to their touchdown spread.

home away Spread Odds Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Atlanta TB -6 -110 6.85 -0.17 6.36
Buffalo SD -2.5 -105 11.95 7.27 10.22
StL Dallas 1 -110 -3.02 2.41 -1.73
Philly Washington -6 -110 3.11 0.02 2.68
Giants Houston 0 -110 -8.02 -4.74 -6.95
NO Minnesota -10.5 -105 3.11 4.81 4.2
Cincy Tennessee -6.5 -110 9.69 0.8 9.49
Cleveland Baltimore 2 -110 0.22 1.35 0.95
Detroit GB -2.5 -110 9.75 0.57 8.13
Jacksonville Indy 7 -110 -6.65 -0.47 -4.49
NE Oakland -14 -110 6.03 8.24 5.48
Arizona SF 3 -110 1.58 3.41 2.81
Seattle Denver -4.5 -110 1.78 -2.04 1.82
Miami KC -3.5 -110 0.59 2.97 0.98
Carolina Pittsburgh -3 -120 9.37 3.3 8.28
Jets Chicago -2.5 -115 2.11 -0.33 1.81

Bill Simmons’ picks are here for the curious, and in the table below.  I need to catch up some, so I’m hoping for the Chiefs, Raiders, Broncos, and Browns to at least cover.

home away Simmons Spread Simmons Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Atlanta TB -6.5 Atlanta Atlanta TB TB
Buffalo SD -2.5 Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo
StL Dallas 1.5 StL Dallas StL Dallas
Philly Washington -6 Washington Washington Washington Washington
Giants Houston 2 Houston Houston Houston Houston
NO Minnesota -10 Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota
Cincy Tennessee -7 Cincy Cincy Tennessee Cincy
Cleveland Baltimore 1.5 Baltimore Cleveland Cleveland Cleveland
Detroit GB -2.5 Detroit Detroit GB Detroit
Jacksonville Indy 7 Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville
NE Oakland -14.5 NE Oakland Oakland Oakland
Arizona SF 3 Arizona Arizona Arizona Arizona
Seattle Denver -4.5 Seattle Denver Denver Denver
Miami KC -4 Miami KC KC KC
Carolina Pittsburgh -3.5 Carolina Carolina Pittsburgh Carolina
Jets Chicago -2.5 Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago

The SuperContest picks weren’t great for Luigi last week, so we’ll see if these go any better.  He’s going with Buffalo -2.5, Oakland +14, Minnesota +10.5, Detroit -2.5 (probably dooming the Lions to a loss), and Houston -2.  Yoshi 2’s line differences are a bit more tightly packed than Luigi’s so while they mostly line up he’s going with Buffalo, Oakland, Minnesota, Detroit, and Arizona +3.  Yoshi 1 likes to make his own choices, and this week they are Oakland, Denver +5, Arizona, Tennessee +6.5, and Washington +6.5.  The Washington pick thankfully just beat out Tampa, which is just ahead of taking Jacksonville, so I could be wrong but I feel good about that set.

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