Oddsmaker Greatness of the Gridiron Challenge: NFL Week 3 Picks

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There is no greater time to try to get into this competition than right now, as every week you beat me gives you another opportunity at that big cash prize at the end of the year. Let's get started right now with my Week 3 picks…

Tennessee Titans (+3) @ New York Giants – Both the Giants and Titans looked like crap last week, but I'm fairly sure that the Titans have the ace in the hole in this one. Chris Johnson didn't come anywhere near the 100+ yard mark last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he is certain to get there this week, especially if the G-Men are giving up over 150 yards on the ground to the Colts, who never really want to run the ball 40 times in a game like they did last week. If Peyton Manning is smart enough to know that his brother's team can't stop the run, what do you think Johnson is going to do to this club, huh? Titans +3 for me.

Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots (-13.5) – Really… Only 13.5 points after the Pats are coming off of a loss? The Bills might not be able to stick in front of a two TD spread against the UMass Minutemen, let alone the New England Patriots. No doubt, New England -13.5 here.

Cleveland Browns (+10.5) @ Baltimore Ravens – Don't get me wrong. I still love the Ravens in spite of the fact that they lost last week to the Cincinnati Bengals. However, there's something wrong about laying 10.5 points in a game with a team that has scored exactly ten points in each of its first two games, right? Cleveland could be stingy in this one, so I'll go with the winless Browns +10.5.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Told ya so! The Steelers had no business being underdogs to the Titans last week, and even though they tried their damndest to blow it at the end ,there was never a doubt that that ridiculous spread was being covered. I really could care less whether Mickie Mouse was going to be drafted to play quarterback this week for Pittsburgh in Tampa Bay. As long as Troy Polamalu is out there, we're laying Pittsburgh -2.5 against a team that has no business being in the playoff picture.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Carolina Panthers (+3.5) – The Bengals might be coming off of a big win against the Baltimore Ravens last week, but are we too far removed from this team's first road game to know that there is no business that they should be laying 3.5 points in a game? I'm a little weary over Jimmie Clausen making the first start of his career, but when push comes to shove, I'll go with the rook and the Panthers +3.5 to keep this one close if nothing else.

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints (-4) – Home field advantage is worth three points, right? So let's do some simple math here. New Orleans is only one point better than Atlanta is on a neutral field? Get real. I could care less that Reggie Bush just busted up his leg. It gives him more time to worry about where his Heisman Trophy award is going… Drew Brees will pick this lousy second apart, as no one has tested it all season long after ranking in the bottom third of the league last year. I'm marching with the Saints -4.

San Francisco 49ers (-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs – I wasn't buying into the 49ers this year as a Super Bowl contender, but they're a lot better than an 0-2 team. Kansas City is a lot worse than a 2-0 team as well. This seems like a real easy one to me, just based on those two factors. San Fran -1, even on the road, is a nice price.

Detroit Lions (+10.5) @ Minnesota Vikings – Oh oddsmakers, when will you learn… The Vikes suck! It isn't totally inconceivable to think that the Lions have the better team in this game, believe it or not. Detroit has played two strong games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears, at least one, if not both of which could be better than Minnesota. Watch good ol' Brett Favre throw four picks in this one. Don't be shocked if he gets booed off the field and the Lions come up with the outright upset! Go with Detroit +10.5 without a doubt.

Dallas Cowboys @ Houston Texans (-2.5) – Anyone have any last words for Wade Phillips before he gets thrown out of Dallas by a huge catapult that Jerry Jones is clearly having installed at Dallas Cowboys Stadium this week? No way does Wade get a pass for starting 0-3 against this type of a schedule, especially with the bye week on the horizon… The Texans roll in this one for the first 3-0 start in franchise history. Go with Houston -2.5.

Washington Redskins @ St. Louis Rams (+4) – Here's a good candidate for the first win of the year in the Sam Bradford era. The Skins are okay, but they're not four points better than the Rams are in St. Louis. Bradford has had his team on the verge of two victories this season, but unfortunately only has one cover and two straight losses to show for it. That could change on Sunday. I'm sticking with St. Louis +4.

Philadelphia Eagles (-3) @ Jacksonville Jaguars – Last week, the Jags showed just how bad they were when they were trampled by the San Diego Chargers, who were without Ryan Mathews for the majority of the game. The Iggles had no business not covering the Cowardly Lions last week. Props go out to Andy Reid for making the right call. He might hate Michael Vick, but he gives Philly a significantly better shot to win than Kevin Kolb does. As long as Reid doesn't change his mind again, Vick's Eagles -3 is the pick, even on the road.

Indianapolis Colts (-5.5) @ Denver Broncos – It feels like the Colts win by at least 70 points every time they take on the Broncos. Oh wait, that's because they basically do. Since 2004, the Colts are 5-2 SU and ATS against Denver and have dropped at least 24 points in each game, including the losses. Kyle Orton isn't scoring 20 against this Indy 'D' this week. That being said, I love my odds with Indianapolis -5.5.

San Diego Chargers @ Seattle Seahawks (+5.5) – Are the Broncos that good, are the Seahawks that bad, or is Qwest Field just that hard to play at? I'll take Qwest Field for $400, Alex. I'll be taking the Seahawks +5.5 as home underdogs for a lot more than $400 against anyone in the NFL, especially with the Chargers coming to town without Ryan Mathews.

Oakland Raiders (+4) @ Arizona Cardinals – Someone needs to check my contract and figure out why in the hell I have to pick these crappy West Coast games. The Cards and Raiders both suck. I guess when all else fails, I'll try my best to pick the team that sucks less, and I think that leaves me with Oakland +4.

New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins (-1.5)Remember to make your tiebreaker picks in this game!!! The Pats got cute last week and tried to beat the Jets with the passing game, and the truth of the matter is that that just isn't going to work more often than not. We tend to believe that the Dolphins are in for a big result here, as they are going to use that tremendous rushing attack to go right at the teeth of a Jets defense that is missing Kris Jenkins for the year. Tony Sparano knows that it won't work all the time, but punting the ball is okay as long as the Fins don't turn it over. This is the game that could separate Miami and the field just a tad in the AFC East at the outset of the season. I'm taking Miami -1.5 on Sunday night!

Official Week 3 NFL Lines Courtesy of Oddsmaker Sportsbook
Tennessee Titans (+3) @ New York Giants
New England Patriots (-13.5) vs. Buffalo Bills
Cleveland Browns (+10.5) @ Baltimore Ravens
Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina Panthers (+3.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals
New Orleans Saints (-4) vs. Atlanta Falcons
San Francisco 49ers (-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs
Detroit Lions (+10.5) @ Minnesota Vikings
Houston Texans (-2.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys
St. Louis Rams (+4) vs. Washington Redskins
Philadelphia Eagles (-3) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Indianapolis Colts (-5.5) @ Denver Broncos

Seattle Seahawks (+5.5) vs. San Diego Chargers
Oakland Raiders (+4) @ Arizona Cardinals
Miami Dolphins (-1.5) vs. New York Jets

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