The NFL season has just begun, but it’s getting late very early for a number of teams. Old guard teams such as the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers are both 0-2 and in desperate search of their first win of the season.
Even the Detroit Lions, who won nine games last season, are staring down the barrel of an 0-3 start with the New England Patriots visiting this week. All of these teams are in the topic of conversation as we make our weekly moneyline plays. Here are our straightup picks for NFL betting fans in Week 3:
The Packers still have Aaron Rodgers, but they have a version of Aaron Rodgers which is not fully healthy due to a knee injury suffered in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears.
As the Packers – who played their first two games of the season at home – now venture on the road, they might run into problems. Washington’s defense has been very solid through two games, allowing an average of 13.5 points per game.
The Redskins offense struggled last week, but the Packers allowed 22 fourth-quarter points a week ago to the Minnesota Vikings and are hardly playing their best defense as well. This feels like a trap for the Packers, especially if Washington can put some hits on Rodgers in the first quarter and limit his mobility in the pocket.
The Seattle Seahawks as the NFL has known them for the past six years are gone. The team that regularly ventured deep into the playoffs and was a lock for 10 wins has fallen on hard times. The running game and offensive line are still big problems but now the defense – that was once the heart of the team – has crumbled.
More of a burden has fallen on quarterback Russell Wilson, who has been mistake-prone early on this season. Dallas is not extremely impressive, but it does not face the depth of crises the Seahawks are staring at.
We’ve seen the Cowboys play well at Seattle as they are 3-2-1 in their last six visits. They’ve covered eight of the last 13 meetings overall. They should be able to run the ball a little bit with Ezekiel Elliott, play better along both lines of scrimmage and eke out a win. Take the Cowboys at +107 with Karamba.
The Lions fought hard in a Week 2 loss, which was important after getting blown out in Week 1. However, Detroit will be playing New England the week after the Patriots lost. How many times do the Pats lose two straight games? Not very many. Since 2003, the Patriots are 44-6 the next game following a loss. Overall, they haven’t dropped back-to-back losses since 2015.
The Lions have allowed at least 30 points in each of their first two games and they’ll make it three in a row as the Pats rebound and get the win on Sunday Night Football. Take them at -278 with Karamba.
Tampa Bay has a great chance to go to 3-0 because Le’Veon Bell is still out for the Steelers, tearing apart an offense which needs his presence and the balance he offers in the running game.
But there are bigger issues brewing in Pittsburgh with Antonio Brown’s failure to show up early in the week, and the defense has been a problem. They blew a 21-7 lead in Week 1 at Cleveland and then were picked apart by Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs offense to the tune of six touchdowns and 42 points.
Making matters worse is now the Steelers are on the road in a must-win situation against the 2-0 Buccaneers. Ryan Fitzpatrick has looked fantastic and the Bucs have been very balanced on both sides of the ball.
But it’s also possible we’re making a bit too much of their first two wins – one coming against a Saints team that was either asleep at the wheel or overrated, and another against an Eagles team that was quarterbacked by Nick Foles.
Although the Steelers will be a popular pick this week, count us in. It’s hard to see a unit this talented starting the season 0-3. They are 7-2 in their last nine Monday Night Football games and should make it 8-2 this week.