Sunday, September 24, 2017

Week 3 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

Planning to use the Steelers before Sam Bradford was ruled out and the spread increased last week, I missed out on a 3-0 ATS week and ended up just 2-0 ATS in Week 2. No regrets this week as I will play all of my picks.

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With that said, here are my Week 3 NFL picks against the spread:

Tennessee Titans -2.5 over Seattle Seahawks (3 Units)

Since 2008, the Seahawks are 2-12 on the road both straight up and against the spread in the month of September. (Is that bad?) The Seahawks are one of the better teams in the league, but they haven't looked like it through the first two weeks and at least part of that can be attributable to their typical slow starts.

The Titans have one of the best offensive lines in football; the Seahawks do not. The Seahawks have allowed 16 QB hits -- only five teams have allowed more -- and the Titans have allowed just five QB hits -- only the Raiders and Dolphins have allowed fewer. Eventually we will see improvement from Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin & Co., but I'm not sure that starts this week.

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Los Angeles Chargers +3 over Kansas City Chiefs (3 Units)

Which team has the longest active losing streak in the NFL? Believe it or not, it's the Chargers (seven consecutive games) although they are not as bad as that distinction would otherwise suggest. In fact, they could very well by 2-0 this season.

Perhaps the most impressive team to start the season with wins over the Patriots and Eagles, the Chiefs are the top-ranked team in Consensus NFL Power Rankings. That said, it's difficult to win on the road (especially in division) and the Chargers may not have much of a "home-field" advantage given the new/current stadium situation, but I think Philip Rivers and the Chargers get their first win of the season in Week 3.

Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints -- Under 46.0 (2 Units)

Historically, Drew Brees has been much more prolific at home than on the road and that has clearly been the case when facing the Panthers. Since 2008, Brees has thrown nine touchdowns and nine interceptions in seven games played on the road in Carolina. In all 10 of his regular-season games ever played in Carolina, the game has exceeded 46 points only twice (2011 and 2012).

On the other side, Cam Newton has yet to look like his old self and the team will be without Greg Olsen (foot) for an extended period of time. Of course, the Saints defense is one of the league's worst, but I see this game being lower-scoring than what some may expect.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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