Week 3 was not kind to Palmer’s Picks. I employed some seriously faulty logic, and it burned me. It burned me bad. After some self hatred and reflection, I’m back and ready to learn from my mistakes. My biggest takeaways: Jay Cutler is not to be trusted, the Broncos need to run the ball to be good and the Seahawks’ window of dominance is pretty well shut. With that said, it’s time to get back on the horse:
I need an easy one: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick at home vs. Cam Newton’s bum shoulder feels like the closest thing to that on this list. The Panthers have yet to play a good team this season. They beat down the 49ers in the first week, won an ugly affair against the Bills and got manhandled by the Saints last week. Ron Rivera has traditionally limited the Pats throughout his career, but there’s nothing he’ll be able to do if his offense can’t put points on the board.
Rams/Cowboys — over
Coming into the season, I thought Wade Phillips’ defense was going to shut down the league, as he did in Denver. I was wrong. Through three weeks, the Rams have allowed 25 points per game (25th best in the NFL) and have been miserable against the run surrendering 139 rushing yards per outing, including 113 to the 49ers last Thursday. They’ll face the Cowboys, whose offense got back on track last Monday and will be playing at home. As long as Jared Goff can continue his ascendence, this will be an easy over.
Bengals/Browns — under
The Battle of Ohio should be penciled in for playing the under until further notice. Cleveland doesn’t score, hasn’t been able to for years. Cincinnati has the worst scoring offense in the league. One game under a new offensive coordinator won’t fix that. Andy Dalton won’t have one of his favorite weapons in Tyler Eifert (surprise, surprise) and if the Browns can hurry him in the pocket, history has shown that he’ll break down. According to Pro Football Focus, Dalton’s passer rating falls by more than 35 points when he’s pressured.
Don’t pay too much attention to the Jaguars absolutely dominating Baltimore in London last weekend. I’ll admit, it didn’t look good, but I’ll never count a Harbaugh out at home, especially when he’s going against Ben Roethlisberger on the road, who is a completely different player than Big Ben at home.
I’m not ready to crown the Chiefs just yet, and this seems like far too many points considering Washington is a solid team with a defense that showed a lot of promise last week against the Raiders. Time to find out which one of these teams is for real.
Week 3: 2-3
MATCHUP SPREAD MONEYLINE OVER/UNDER
Saints vs. Dolphins (in London) NO -3 NO -150, MIA +130 +/- 50.5
Carolina at New England NE -9 CAR +360, NE -440 +/- 49
LA Rams at Dallas DAL -6.5 LAR +250, DAL -300 +/- 48.5
Detroit at Minnesota MIN -1.5 DET +110, MIN -130 +/- 42.5
Tennessee at Houston TEN -2 TEN -140, HOU +120 +/- 44
Jacksonville at NYJ JAX -3 JAX -170, NYJ +150 +/- 38.5
Cincinnati at Cleveland CIN -3 CIN -170, CLE +150 +/- 41
Pittsburgh at Baltimore PIT -3 PIT -155, BAL +135 +/- 41.5
Buffalo at Atlanta ATL -8 BUF +330, ATL -410 +/- 48.5
NYG at Tampa Bay TB -3 NYG +135, TB -155 +/- 44
Philadelphia at LA Chargers LAC -1.5 PHI +105, LAC -125 +/- 47
San Francisco at Arizona ARI -7 SF +265, ARI -325 +/- 44.5
Oakland at Denver DEN -3 OAK +130, DEN -150 +/- 46.5
Indianapolis at Seattle SEA -13 IND +700, SEA -1100 +/- 41.5
Washington at Kansas City KC -6.5 WAS +235, KC -275 +/- 49.5
Lines courtesy William Hill; updated Friday, Sept. 29