I’m in a NFL contest where you need to submit five picks against the spread each week. Through two weeks, those picks have gone 7-3. Picking a single winner can be tough, much less picking five, but it’s a good challenge. It’s worth noting that the lines are set spreads released each Wednesday so there may be some movement on these come kickoff. Selections are submitted Friday night.
Here are the five ATS picks I like for Week 3.
Bills -6 at Dolphins
Miami is 12-7 ATS as an underdog and an even better 13-4 ATS at home, the best ATS home record in the NFL in the last two seasons. Fading that strong of a trend is a risk but Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa is coming off a six-touchdown, 469-yard passing game in a 42-38 comeback win over the Ravens! I'm expecting regression. The Miami defense allowed Ravens QB Lamar Jackson to throw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. I like what Bills QB Josh Allen could potentially do to this secondary.
Jets +5 vs. Bengals
Bengals QB Joe Burrow has been sacked 13 times through two games. Until this offensive line can show some resemblance of protection, Cincinnati is a fade. After averaging 7.2 yards per play last season, the Bengals offense is averaging 4.5 this year, which is the fewest in the league. Meanwhile, Jets QB Joe Flacco has thrown for over 300 yards in back-to-back games. The last time Flacco had back-to-back games throwing for 300-plus yards was Week 13 and Week 14 in 2016.
Lions +6 at Vikings
The Minnesota offense has scored zero touchdowns in the second half of games, while the Detroit offense is ranked top 10 in scoring in each quarter. You can’t trust an offense to cover a six-point spread if it spends an entire half kicking field goals or punting. Plus, there’s a good chance that Lions RB D’Andre Swift could go off. The Vikings rushing defense ranks 28th in opponent yards per carry, while Swift and Co. rank first in the league with 7.2 yards per rush attempt.
Colts +5.5 vs. Chiefs
Indianapolis could not look worse. The Colts were shut out in Week 2, losing 24-0 to the Jaguars. Now they get Patrick Mahomes. The Colts had back-to-back road games to open the season, with a new quarterback in Matt Ryan, but finally has its first home game. The Kansas City defense ranked 30th in opponent yards per carry last year. This is a game for 2021 rushing leader Jonathan Taylor. Despite the Colts being 0-2, Taylor is third in rushing yards and top 10 in yards per carry.
49ers -1.5 at Broncos
San Francisco has historically been a good road team, 6-3 straight up last year and 18-7 in the last three seasons compared to 11-10 straight up at home during that same span. The 49ers offense is humming. Only two of the 21 total possessions for the Niners have failed to gain a first down or touchdown, while the Broncos are 0-6 in the red zone. Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett's decision-making has been questionable at best, so I couldn’t consider the Broncos as a short dog.