It didn’t take long for the NFL to remind us that anything can happen on any given Sunday as the Arizona Cardinals went into Gillette Stadium and beat the defending AFC Champion New England Patriots outright as a 13.5-point underdog last week. What surprises will unfold this week? Here are some of our top plays for Week 3.
Pittsburgh Steelers -4.0 at Oakland Raiders at 5Dimes
After losing star wide receiver Jacoby Ford for the season, the Raiders also lost their best cornerback, Ron Bartell, to an injury. Already razor thin in the secondary, the Raiders gave up 200 passing yards last week in a 35-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Wide receiver Brian Hartline (nine catches, 111 yards) and running back Reggie Bush (26 carries, 172 yards) both enjoyed career days.
Going up against Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Wallace, and Antonio Brown, how will this Oakland defense survive? Pittsburgh has faced two tough defenses so far against the Denver Broncos and New York Jets, and should relish the opportunity to go up against a much softer unit this week.
Atlanta Falcons +3.0 at San Diego Chargers at Pinnacle
Both Atlanta and San Diego are off to 2-0 starts this season, but we’ve seen a lot more out of the Falcons so far. Matt Ryan is leading an outstanding passing attack and is spreading the ball around well to all of his big weapons in Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez. The defense lost Brent Grimes in Atlanta’s season opener, but responded by forcing four turnovers and holding Peyton Manning and Denver to just 21 points on Monday night.
San Diego has played well too, but they were given their season opener on a silver platter when the Oakland Raiders botched three punts. We also didn’t learn much in their stomping of a very bad Tennessee team that always gets stomped by the Chargers anyway (now 0-8 SU and ATS in their last eight meetings).
This should be a close game regardless of who wins it, making the Falcons a worthwhile play with the points. Slow starts are Norv Turner’s MO as the Chargers have started off the last five seasons 4-4, 3-5, 5-3, 3-5, and 4-4 straight up. This one “feels” like a Norv Turner loss waiting to happen.
Other lines available this week (all at Bet365) include New York Giants -1 at Carolina, St. Louis +7 at Chicago, Buffalo -3 at Cleveland, Tampa Bay +7 at Dallas, Jacksonville +3 at Indianapolis, New York Jets -3 at Miami, San Francisco -7 at Minnesota, Kansas City +8 at New Orleans, Detroit -3 at Tennessee, Cincinnati +3.5 at Washington, Philadelphia -4 at Arizona, Houston -2 at Denver, New England +3 at Baltimore, and Green Bay -3 at Seattle.