Just a few weeks into the 2016 NFL season, it’s becoming clear which teams are among the worst in the league. Five underdogs are getting at least seven points, according to the latest betting odds, and the upcoming slate of games could feature a few big blowouts.
The favorites performed better in Week 2 than they did in Week 1, covering eight of the 16 point spreads. Ten teams are still looking for their first win against the spread, while eight others are 2-0 against the spread.
Below are picks against the spread for every game in Week 3, as well as updated betting odds at Las Vegas and online sportsbooks. Betting lines and trends are courtesy of OddsShark.
Houston Texans (-1) at New England Patriots
The Patriots are far and away the best team in the NFL, and it doesn’t seem to matter who starts for them as quarterback. Houston’s defensive line will give New England some trouble, but the Patriots’ defense is good enough to keep them in a low-scoring game. New England is 10-1 against the spread in their last 11 games as home underdogs, and Bill Belichick gives the Patriots a significant edge on a short week.
Prediction ATS: New England
Denver Broncos (+3) at Cincinnati Bengals
Denver’s defense looks to be every bit as good as it was in last year’s Super Bowl season. Andy Dalton was sacked seven times in Week 1, and it could be a similar story for Cincinnati’s quarterback against the Broncos’ defensive front. Trevor Siemian has been competent enough to ride Denver’s defense and running back C.J. Anderson to a 2-0 record, and the Broncos might be on their way to another division title.
Prediction ATS: Denver
Oakland Raiders (+1.5) at Tennessee Titans
Both teams are 1-1, but the Raiders are much better than the Titans. They’ve already proven this year that they can head east and win on the road, and Tennessee has lost 15 of their last 17 home games. The Titans’ Week 2 victory over a bad Lions team wasn’t very impressive, and Tennessee doesn’t have the offense to keep up with Oakland.
Prediction ATS: Oakland
Arizona Cardinals (-4) at Buffalo Bills
This has the feel of a trap game for Arizona, but Buffalo is probably too much of a mess at this point to stay within a touchdown of a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The Cardinals scored 40 points against the Buccaneers last week, and they shouldn’t have much trouble moving the ball against an overrated Bills defense.
Prediction ATS: Arizona
Baltimore Ravens (PK) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Ravens haven’t proven much in 2016, barely beating the Bills and Browns, who are among the NFL’s worst teams. The Jaguars nearly beat the Packers in Week 1, and their blowout loss to the Chargers was an aberration. Jacksonville has too much talent on offense to continue playing that poorly, and Blake Bortles could put up big numbers on Sunday.
Prediction ATS: Jacksonville
Cleveland Browns (+9.5) at Miami Dolphins
Oddsmakers can’t make this line high enough. The Browns could very well lose by three touchdowns when they start Cody Kessler, who wasn’t highly rated coming out of college and is the team’s fifth starting quarterback in as many games. Miami lost by one score to two good teams, and they should break through with a big game against the NFL’s worst team.
Prediction ATS: Miami
Washington Redskins (+4.5) at New York Giants
If the defense that the Giants spent so much money on in free agency is legitimate, which it seems to be, New York could be one of the NFC’s best teams. Their offense has been shaky, but Eli Manning and Co. might put it together against Washington, who has allowed more yards than 25 other teams. Odell Beckham Jr. had decent success against Josh Norman in their infamous matchup from last year, and he could be part of a rejuvenated Giants offense. New York has won seven straight games in which they’ve been favored by at least 4.5 points, and Washington is 4-18 in their last 22 road games.
Prediction ATS: New York
Detroit Lions (+7.5) at Green Bay Packers
Whatever the reason, Aaron Rodgers has not performed like a top quarterback since the start of last season. He hasn’t posted a passer rating of at least 100.0 in his last 14 games, and it’s been a year since the Packers scored more than 30 points in a regular season game. Detroit played Green Bay tough last season with a win and a four-point loss, and Sunday could be another close contest.
Prediction ATS: Detroit
Minnesota Vikings (+7) at Carolina Panthers
The Panthers should be closer to being favored by a field goal rather than a touchdown. Minnesota’s defense is among the league’s best, having scored two touchdowns in Week 1 and shutting down the Packers in Week 2. Adrian Peterson won’t play, but the Vikings have managed to go 2-0 without any contribution for their star running back. Carolina might pull out the win, but it should be a game that comes down to the wire, much like their season opener against Denver.
Prediction ATS: Minnesota
San Francisco 49ers (+9.5) at Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are better than what they’ve shown thus far, and the 49ers might be exactly what they need to bust out of their slump. Pete Carroll and Seattle own San Francisco, covering the spread in the last 10 matchups between the NFC West rivals. Russell Wilson should have a bounce-back performance with another week to rest his injured ankle, and the 49ers will have trouble finding the end zone against a defense that’s allowed just one touchdown this season.
Prediction ATS: Seattle
Los Angeles Rams (+5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s unknown which version of Jameis Winston will show up, the one that threw four touchdown passes in Week 1 or the one that threw four interceptions in Week 2. But there’s only one version of Case Keenum, and it’s one that plays like one of the NFL’s worst quarterbacks. The Buccaneers might not be for real, but they might only need two touchdowns to cover the spread.
Prediction ATS: Tampa Bay
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are better than many expected them to be, but it still might not be good enough to defeat the Steelers, who are looking like one of the top Super Bowl contenders. Philadelphia hasn’t been tested yet by even a decent team, and they could be in for a rude awakening against Pittsburgh.
Prediction ATS: Pittsburgh
New York Jets (+3) at Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs were burned by three lost fumbles in Week 2, and they’ll be more careful with the ball on Sunday, considering only the Patriots committed fewer turnovers in 2015. Kansas City’s defense is much better than the Buffalo defense that Ryan Fitzpatrick torched, and the Chiefs should be able to pull out the win in a low-scoring game.
Prediction ATS: Kansas City
San Diego Chargers (+3) at Indianapolis Colts
San Diego’s offense has been among the NFL’s best through these two weeks, but the absence of Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead should be evident in Indianapolis. Andrew Luck and the Colts have blown opportunities to win their first two games in the fourth quarter, and they might not let a third chance slip away this Sunday.
Prediction ATS: Indianapolis
Chicago Bears (+7) at Dallas Cowboys
With two straight losses and injuries to their starting quarterback and other key players, conventional wisdom says that the Bears won’t be competitive on Sunday night. But things are constantly changing in the NFL, and Chicago could have a surprising performance and stay competitive with Dallas for most of the way. The Bears entered the fourth quarter in Houston with a lead in Week 1, and the Texans might turn out to be one of the AFC’s best teams. Dallas has covered the spread in just two of their last 14 home games, and Dak Prescott is due to make some rookie mistakes.
Prediction ATS: Chicago
Atlanta Falcons (+3) at New Orleans Saints
The Falcons are the very definition of a .500 team -- good one week and bad the next. After winning in Oakland, Atlanta and their 28th ranked defense could have trouble slowing down New Orleans on the road. The Saints have lost on last-minute plays in each of the first two weeks, and they could have better luck on Monday night. New Orleans has won 15 of their last 20 matchups against Atlanta.
Prediction ATS: New Orleans
Season Record: 16-16