NFL Picks Week #3



University Professor. PhD in stats. Proud dad of 2 boys.


(click here for audio MP3 version, corresponding to episode #6 of "The Sports Investor Podcast")

Hi guys, this week I’ve got 3 more picks for you in the NFL. Let’s have a more in-depth view of each one.

PICK #1: Redskins +3 against the Raiders

Most people will disagree with me on this pick, as shown by the 75% of bettors who have backed Oakland against the spread so far. I’ve got 4 reasons to like Washington in this matchup: 1) the Raiders are a West coast team travelling East. That’s always an unfavorable situation because of jet lag. 2) This is one of the Raiders’ two non-conference road games. Teams tend to take these games more lightly by putting less effort and focus than when they are facing divisional opponents, for instance. 3) Oakland may be looking ahead to two critical games for them: at Denver and at home against the Ravens. 4) I have observed a “reverse line move” on this game, as shown by the spread dropping from 3.5 to 3 points despite a huge proportion of gamblers taking the Raiders. Sharp money is definitely on Washington.


PICK #2: Bears +7.5 against the Steelers

It looks like I’m going all-in on unpopular picks this week, right? This time, 80% of gamblers are putting their money on Pittsburgh, while I’m going to go with the Bears. The motivating factors behind this pick are similar to the ones mentioned in my first pick. First of all, this is a road non-conference game for Pittsburgh, which is less motivating for them, especially considering the Bears are viewed as a pretty weak team. Secondly, the Steelers are probably having a hard time not thinking about their following week’s matchup against their archrivals in Baltimore. Granted, the Bears will be facing Green Bay and Minnesota in their next two games (two divisional foes), but I’m not sure their excitement level is as high since they are 0-2 and they must be aware they are probably not a playoff-caliber team. Finally, as was the case on the Oakland-Washington game a reverse line move occurred on this game, which is something I always like to see.

Remember that the Steelers did struggle in their only road game this year by winning by only three points at Cleveland. Not only that, but Chicago’s other home game came down to the wire against a strong Falcons team. Chicago could have easily won this game, if not for screwing up a first and goal at the 5-yard line in the last minute (including two dropped passes that would have probably won the game for them).


PICK #3: Bills +3 against the Broncos

Denver impressed a lot of people by beating up on the Dallas Cowboys last week, while the Bills wasted a great defensive showing by dropping a 9-3 game in Carolina. I expect the Bills to show up strong and focused in front of their home crowd this week, while the Broncos might feel too comfortable after such a strong game against the Cowboys, while looking ahead to their key game against division rivals Oakland next week. The Broncos have to travel two time zones for this game, which adds a little more incentive to grab Buffalo.



Here is what I might call a “bonus” pick. I’m not done yet compiling numbers about this angle, but I feel like when a specific team wins easily against a lousy club, they might not enter their following game with as much intensity (still feeling too good about their previous performance, even though there was nothing to brag about considering they hammered a weak team). For that reason, my logic dictates that it may be a good idea to lay them in the first quarter of their following game. Following this reasoning, I suggest taking the Redskins in the first quarter against Oakland, who just beat up on the Jets. At the time of writing, the first quarter lines are not posted yet, but since the spread on the full game is 3, I expect the line to be Redskins +0.5 on the first quarter.

Here is a quick recap of my 3 picks, along with the associated lines posted on 3 selected bookies which are currently ranked 3rd, 5th and 10th in my ratings (you can have a look at my in-depth sportsbook reviews here):



SBOBET: Redskins +3.5 at -128 against Raiders

NITROGEN SPORTS: Redskins +3 at -105 against Raiders

BETONLINE: Redskins +3 at -105 against Raiders



SBOBET: Bears +7.5 at -123 against Steelers

NITROGEN SPORTS: Bears +7.5 at -124 against Steelers

BETONLINE: Bears +7 at -104 against Steelers



SBOBET: Bills +3 at -105 against Broncos

NITROGEN SPORTS: Bills +3 at -105 against Broncos

BETONLINE: Bills +3 at -107 against Broncos


Thanks a lot for reading this write up and I wish you the best of luck on your plays this weekend!

Professor MJ