Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:02 AM
Sunday Blitz - Week 3
GAMES TO WATCH
Colts at Eagles (-6 ½, 47 ½) – 1:00 PM EST
Philadelphia’s title defense started with an ugly home victory over Atlanta in a playoff rematch in Week 1. However, the Eagles were torched by a pair of 75-yard touchdowns in a 27-21 defeat to Tampa Bay last week in the final game played without Carson Wentz at quarterback. Super Bowl MVP and backup Nick Foles threw for 334 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers, but Wentz will be back in the fold on Sunday for the first time in a regular season game since tearing his ACL in a Week 14 victory over the Rams last season.
The Eagles welcome in old friend and former offensive coordinator Frank Reich and the Colts, who face an NFC East opponent for the second straight week. Indianapolis rebounded from an opening week setback to Cincinnati as the Colts cruised past the Redskins last Sunday in D.C. as six-point underdogs, 21-9. The Colts held Washington to three field goals, while quarterback Andrew Luck tossed two touchdown passes for his first win since 2016.
Philadelphia is riding a 12-1 SU and 10-3 ATS run in the last 13 games at Lincoln Financial Field since Week 16 of 2016, while winning five consecutive matchups with AFC opponents dating back to 2015. Indianapolis last won consecutive games in 2016, while posting a 1-2 ATS record off a victory last season with the lone cover coming as a 10 ½-point underdog against Pittsburgh. The Eagles and Colts last hooked up in Week 2 of the 2014 season in Indianapolis as Philadelphia pulled out a 30-27 road ‘dog victory.
Best Bet: Eagles 20, Colts 17
Saints at Falcons (-3, 53 ½) – 1:00 PM EST
New Orleans has gone from a 10-point favorite in consecutive home games to a short underdog in its first road contest of the season on Sunday. The Saints couldn’t stop the Buccaneers in a 48-40 opening week defeat, while coming a kick away from losing to the Browns last week. New Orleans staved off Cleveland, 21-18 by scoring 18 fourth quarter points, highlighted by a pair of Drew Brees touchdown tosses to Michael Thomas. The Saints dropped to 2-7 ATS in their last nine regular season contests, which includes a 2-4 ATS mark at the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
The Falcons rebounded from an opening week loss to the Eagles by winning their home opener over the Panthers last Sunday, 31-24. Atlanta cashed as 5 ½-point favorites thanks to a pair of touchdown passes by Matt Ryan, while the Falcons’ quarterback also rushed for two scores. The Falcons improved to 6-0 in its past six home games against division opponents, while Atlanta has won three of the previous four home matchups with New Orleans since 2014.
These two NFC South rivals each won at home last season in a pair of December matchups. The Falcons rallied from a 17-10 fourth quarter deficit by scoring the final 10 points of a 20-17 win as 2 ½-point favorites, in spite of Ryan getting intercepted three times. The Saints slumped to a 1-3 ATS mark as a road underdog in the 2017 regular season, one year after putting together a 6-1 ATS record in the same role.
Best Bet: Saints 31, Falcons 24
Chargers at Rams (-7, 48) – 4:05 PM EST
The battle of Los Angeles is the key game to watch among the three late kickoffs on Sunday. One season removed from winning the NFC West title, the Rams haven’t missed a beat in two blowout victories over the Raiders and Cardinals. L.A. has outscored its opponents, 67-13, while easily covering each time. Running back Todd Gurley rushed for only 42 yards, but found the end zone three times, while quarterback Jared Goff threw for 354 yards in last week’s 34-0 pounding of the Cardinals.
The other L.A. squad broke through the win column for the first time last week with a rout of its own by drilling the Bills, 31-20. Buffalo scored a touchdown in the final minute to make the score look closer, as the Chargers jumped out to a commanding 28-3 lead as Philip Rivers tossed three touchdown passes. The Lightning Bolts rank third in the NFL in yards per game at 445, while Rivers is averaging 329 yards per game, which also ranks third in the league.
The Chargers closed out last season as a tremendous UNDER team by cashing in 10 of its final 11 games. However, the Bolts have hit the OVER in their first two contests of 2018, while the Rams have gone the opposite way with a pair of UNDERS. The Rams captured all four wins over AFC opponents last season, but did lose three times as a home favorite against the Redskins, Seahawks, and Eagles, all off a win the prior week.
Best Bet: Chargers 28, Rams 23
Kevin Rogers (2-3 last week, 3-6-1 on season)
Indianapolis +6 ½
N.Y. Giants +6 ½
Chris David (2-3 last week, 6-4 on season)
Washington +2 ½
N.Y. Giants +6 ½
New England -7
Kevin Rogers (New Orleans last week – 2-0)
Minnesota over Buffalo
Chris David (L.A. Rams last week – 2-0)
Minnesota over Buffalo
BEST TOTAL PLAY (0-1 last week, 1-1 this season)
UNDER 44 ½ - Broncos at Ravens
After an easy win in Week 1 between the Redskins and Cardinals, it was a blowout loss for the UNDER in Week 2 as the Chiefs outlasted the Steelers, 42-37. The Broncos have depended on the ground game through two weeks, while trying to keep the ball out of quarterback Case Keenum’s hands. Baltimore fell behind Cincinnati 28-7 last week before losing, 34-23 as the defense couldn’t stop A.J. Green, who scored three touchdowns. Last season, Denver lost seven of eight road games, while scoring 16 points or less in five of those defeats.
TRAP OF THE WEEK
Is it crazy to think the Cardinals can pull off the upset of the Bears at home? It doesn’t seem like much of an upset as the Bears are coming off their first win last week, but Arizona’s offense has totaled six points in two losses to Washington and Los Angeles. In the last two seasons, the Cardinals are a perfect 5-0 when coming off back-to-back losses, while the Bears are 2-14 in this same span away from Soldier Field.
BIGGEST LINE MOVE
The Texans are one of two 0-2 teams listed as a favorite this week (Seattle the other). The Giants travel to the Lone Star State for the second straight week after falling to 0-2 following a 20-13 loss at Dallas. The Texans opened up as 3 ½-point favorites at the Westgate Superbook, but the line has spiked up to six at many books and even 6 ½ at several outfits. In 2014, 2015, and 2017, the Giants also started 0-2. In each of those seasons, New York covered the spread in the third game, including last season in a three-point setback at Philadelphia.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW
As a follow-up to the Texans (along with the Seahawks and Chiefs), teams playing their first home game of the season following back-to-back road games are not squads to support. Since 2008, home clubs are 8-20 ATS in this situation, including a horrific 4-19 ATS record in the role of a favorite. Houston, Seattle, and Kansas City are all listed as favorites, but the Seahawks have never started 0-3 under Pete Carroll as they host the Cowboys.
Want FREE picks for Week 3 in the NFL? Check them out here for the top six games of the weekend along with other insider selections.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.