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2018 SQ Insiders: Week 3

Austin Taliaferro

Our insiders pick the Week 3 games to help you beat Vegas and your pick’em league.

Week 2 was crazy, but as we start to get more calibrated towards how these teams are playing, we should have a better line of sight into games to keep an eye on this week. One of these is the New Orleans Saints traveling to take on the Atlanta Falcons. Our writers are split as to who will win this game, and so the Insider pick hear is take the points and go Saints +3.5.

Another game to watch will be the Monday night matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Despite the Steelers being winless, Fitzmagic being on fire, and the game being in Pittsburgh, our Insiders are on the Steelers for the game but have Tampa Bay +1.5 against the spread, so not a lot of room for error.

Matchup

Max V

Hunter B

Matt F

Adrian N

NY Jets at Cleveland
New Orleans at Atlanta
San Francisco at Kansas City
Oakland at Miami
Buffalo at Minnesota
Indianapolis at Philadelphia
Green Bay at Washington
Cincinnati at Carolina
Tennessee at Jacksonville
Denver at Baltimore
NY Giants at Houston
LA Chargers at LA Rams
Chicago at Arizona
Dallas at Seattle
New England at Detroit
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay
Total Record

17-1314-1619-1120-10



Matchup

Conglomerate Score

ATS Winner

Pick’em Winner

Why the home team will win

Why the away team will win

NY Jets at Cleveland16-20CLE-3.5Cleveland has played two very good teams tight in back-to-back weeks. They are playing at home against a Jets team with a rookie quarterback that just lost at home to an average Dolphins team. Another opportunity here for the Browns to not lose.The media will spend most of its attention this year on Darnold, but this Jets team will win and lose on the merits of their defense. Against the Lions they got pressure and against the Dolphins they did not. Cleveland’s offensive line can be dominated, giving the Jets an opportunity in this game.
New Orleans at Atlanta26-26NO+3.5TiedThe Falcons are coming off of a strong offensive performance, which is key because a matchup with the Saints could turn into a shootout. Atlanta always plays better at home, and with New Orleans looking unimpressive against Cleveland, the Falcons have enough to win this.With two big pieces out for the Falcons defense, it might be hard for the fast flying Falcons defense to contain WR Michael Thomas and RB Alvin Kamara. With these weapons, Drew Brees could definitely outduel Matt Ryan.
San Francisco at Kansas City22-32KC-6.5Patrick Mahomes is looking like the real deal. Ten touchdowns in two career starts is impressive. Look for him to outperform Jimmy G.Kyle Shanahan has as many tricks in his playbook as Andy Reid does. This will be a fun matchup, and if the 49ers defense can put up another solid performance, they’ll win this game.
Oakland at Miami21-22OAK+3.5Shockingly, the do-nothing Dolphins are out the gates to a 2-0 start. Their offensive line has looked amazing, and with the Raiders already struggling to rush the passer, it’s a classic case of strength on weakness. Playing hot and at home, the Dolphins should be able to keep this moving in the right direction.For the Raiders to counter the Dolphins, they will need to stop the run and get superb cornerback play. Their DBs have played well for halves, meaning they have that ability. Stopping the run will prove to be the tougher task having relinquished 100 yards rushing so far to Gurley and Lindsay.
Buffalo at Minnesota9-32MIN-16.5The Vikings picked up where they left last year’s regular season. After beating the 49ers in Week 1, Minnesota earned a tie at Lambeau against Aaron Rodgers, which is no easy feat in this league. If that doesn’t convince you they have a good chance to win in Week 3, then their opponent will. Hosting the Bills should be as easy a win there is on the schedule.If Josh Allen looks like the guy they hoped he was when they drafted him and nobody retires at halftime, I guess the Bills have a chance. They still sport a great safety tandem in Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, allowing the corners to play more aggressively. If Kirk Cousins starts to turn the ball over and the Bills’ defense can score a touchdown or two to help Allen, there’s a shot.
Indianapolis at Philadelphia17-25PHI-6.5Since 2016, the Eagles are a league-best 14-3 at home, which includes last year’s meaningless Week 17 loss to the Cowboys. The defense is dominant at home and the crowd will be juiced for the return of Carson Wentz. The Eagles are the better team, and as long as Wentz can settle in, they should win handily.Coach Frank Reich was integral to the Eagles’ offensive gameplan last year, giving the Colts an advantage of what to expect from Pederson’s offense. Andrew Luck is back and Carson Wentz is playing in a football game for the first time in over nine months. If Wentz can’t shake the rust, the Colts could steal a victory on the road.
Green Bay at Washington27-20GB-2.5Aaron Rodgers is still bothered by a leg injury, which will limit his ability to get out of the pocket and extend the play. Washington’s secondary is strong enough to be able to stick with Green Bay’s receivers. If Rodgers can’t work his magic and Alex Smith continues to manage the game, Washington could secure a big conference win over the Packers.Whenever Rodgers is on the field, the Packers have a chance to win. After drawing a tie against an impressive Minnesota team, traveling to Washington and stealing a road win shouldn’t intimidate this Packers team. If Green Bay can establish the run against a good front seven for Washington, the field will open nice and wide for Rodgers to work.
Cincinnati at Carolina21-25CAR-2.5Carolina was impressive at home in 2017, losing only to strong NFC playoff teams in New Orleans and Philadelphia. Although they impressed last week, no one is sure if this Bengals team is for real or just off to a hot start. The Panthers’ defense should be able to limit Andy Dalton at home.The Bengals are atop the NFC North division thanks to an impressive win over the Baltimore Ravens. Although strong, this Panthers team isn’t without holes. A relatively weak receiving corps will allow the Bengals to crowd the box and limit Cam Newton‘s ability to extend plays with his legs.
Tennessee at Jacksonville13-24JAC-7.5The Jaguars victory over the Patriots in convincing fashion proved that they are still one of the best teams in the AFC. They should have little problem beating a Titans team that is most likely going to be without Mariota once again.With Blaine Gabbert as their starter, the Titans were still able to beat a favored Texans team that is underperforming thus far this season. The Jaguars are a whole different animal. It should be a rough outing for a Titans offense that struggles to score against an average defense, much less the Jaguars.
Denver at Baltimore15-20BAL-4.5Don’t let their 2-0 start fool you. Denver has had some lucky breaks. Baltimore is coming off of a loss and knows that their division is wide open. They will be coming in hot at home.The Ravens have relied on their passing attack to move them downfield this season, but they’re going up against the best pass rush in the league.
NY Giants at Houston15-22HOU-5.5Houston’s 0-2 start is shocking for a team with such high hopes entering the year, but in their home opener they should be able to get on track. If Clowney is able to return to the lineup, the pass rush will have a field day against a Giants offensive line that couldn’t block anyone on Sunday Night in Dallas.If the Giants are going to pull off the road upset to avoid starting the season 0-3, they are going to need to get a much better performance from the offensive line in both the rushing and passing attack. The Giants must have a sustainable running game this week to allow them to get in more third-and-managable situations rather than third-and-long.
LA Chargers at LA Rams27-34LAR-6.5The battle for LA could be the game of the week. The Rams defense is coming off an impressive shutout against the Cardinals, but the Chargers offense poses a much bigger test. The Rams offense will be able to put up points, but in order for the Rams to win, they need Aaron Donald and the rest of the pass rushers to get pressure on Rivers early and often.Without Joey Bosa in the lineup once again, the Chargers defense is going to struggle to get consistent pressure on Jared Goff because of the Rams excellent offensive line. More likely than not, the Chargers are going to have to simply outscore the Rams if they want to come out on top in the battle of LA.
Chicago at Arizona21-8CHI-4.5Arizona has some defensive playmakers who can take advantage of Mitchell Trubisky’s inexperience.Chicago’s defense has given Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson runs for their money. No one envies whichever Cardinals QB comes out to face them.
Dallas at Seattle17-22SEA-2.5The Seahawks offense has been terrible in their first two games of the season. The good news is they finally return home where their crowd can give them a much needed boost.Dallas has a defense that looks to be much improved from 2017, but the offense still has the same problems. Receivers can’t get open consistently and defenses are continuing to stack the box. It’s hard to see the Cowboys scoring enough points to beat a desperate Seahawks team on the road.
New England at Detroit32-17NE-6.5Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia can use his knowledge of his former team to Detroit’s advantage.New England rarely loses two games in a row, and Detroit hasn’t come close to finding its groove, yet.
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay27-26TB+1.5If there were a bi-weekly MVP award, Ryan Fitzpatrick would have a strong candidacy. The surprisingly potent Bucs offense can take advantage of a lost Pittsburgh team this week.“Fitzmagic” has to come to an end at some point. Pittsburgh is desperate for a win and will give Tampa Bay their best shot.

Edited by Jeremy Losak.

SQuiz
What team did Ryan Fitzpatrick play for in 2017?
Created 9/18/18
  1. New York Jets
  2. Houston Texans
  3. Tennessee Titans
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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