Sliced Spread: 2012 NFL Football Week 3 Picks and Predictions

Welcome to SLICED SPREAD, the place on Inside Pulse Sports for weekly NFL picks against the spread, head to head survivor picks, and score prognostications. So, did anyone else get knocked out of their survivor pools this week by picking the New England Patriots over the Arizona Cardinals? Stupid Gostkowski.

It’s no secret that Weeks 1 and 2 have certainly been a struggle for me, especially when it comes to picking the early Sunday games. If there is any silver lining, it’s that I rebounded to go 4-2 in the late games for the second straight week, and I did sweep the Sunday night and Monday night games when the Niners and Falcons covered their respective spreads. Thank you, replacement refs!

All joking aside, let’s get back on track, shall we?

Onto the breakdown!

SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 2 BREKADOWN

WEEK 2 ATS: 6-10
WEEK 2 LOCKS ATS: 1-2
WEEK 2 H2H: 7-9
WEEK 2 H2H SURVIVOR PICK: Loss (Cardinals def. Patriots) 

THIS SEASON ATS: 12-20
THIS SEASON LOCKS ATS: 1-5
THIS SEASON H2H: 18-14

H2H SURVIVOR TEAMS USED:
Texans (Week 1, Win)
Patriots (Week 2, Loss) 

SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 3 PICKS

Home teams are shown in CAPS
Point spreads shown in ().

*New feature: UNTOUCHABLE SPREAD OF THE WEEK — look for it below!

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:

*LOCK IT UP: NY Giants (-0.5) over CAROLINA — I know, I know. I am currently 0-2 against the spread with these Wednesday and Thursday night games so far, and not only that I am 0-2 in locks for these games, including Week 1 when the Giants spit the bit against the Cowboys at home. Therefore, I am either a glutton for punishment … or I am putting all of that negativity behind me and going with my instincts. The Giants are an excellent road team with Eli Manning at the helm, and while Carolina can certainly match the Giants point for point, is there anyone you trust more in the fourth quarter? I think this will be close, but in a virtually even contest, I think the Giants definitely will pull it out. Giants win 31-28

SUNDAY:

Tampa Bay (+7.5) over DALLAS — One thing the Bucs have proven this early on is that they are a feisty bunch who really will play through to the bitter end. The Cowboys are not as bad as they showed to be up in Seattle last week, but perhaps they are not as good as they were in New York either. I see a close game that Dallas takes late. Cowboys win 23-20

CLEVELAND (+2.5) over Buffalo  Buffalo has certainly put a ton of points on the board during their first two games, but at some point reality is bound to set in. The Browns have a lot of injuries on defense, particularly at cornerback, but it may not be such a bad idea to tempt Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw the ball. You know, depending on which Ryan Fitzpatrick shows up this week. I think the Browns win in a mild upset because I still don’t trust the Bills all that much. Browns win 27-23

Detroit (-2.5) over TENNESSEE  I really thought the Lions had no chance to beat the Niners because San Francisco is likely the best team in the league. This week could be a trap game for Detroit … or they can unleash their frustrations on a less talented Titans team. I think the latter will happen. Lions win 31-17

*LOCK IT UP / H2H SURVIVOR PICK: San Francisco (-6.5) over MINNESOTA  Right now, I trust the Niners to win anywhere against anyone at anytime. The spread being under 7 points is a mere bonus, though this will be a little closer than people think. One thing I am hoping against is a Vikings backdoor cover, but Jim Harbaugh seems to have that defense locked and loaded for the entire game, so… Niners win 28-17

Cincinnati (+3.5) over WASHINGTON  Man, the Redskins can score points … they just can’t finish games consistently … yet. I like the Bengals to keep it close, but this week Washington will escape with the victory. Redskins win 28-27

St. Louis (+9.5) over CHICAGO  Anyone else think the Bears marched into Green Bay with just a tad too arrogance last week? The Rams aren’t world-beaters, but Sam Bradford is healthy and has a couple of weapons in his arsenal. Also, the Bears’ offensive line reminded me last week how atrocious they can be. This all adds up to… Bears win 23-19

*UNTOUCHABLE SPREAD OF THE WEEK: NEW ORLEANS (-9.5) over Kansas City  God I hate this spread. The Saints are obviously not the same team without their head coach (or a bounty system in place), but the Chiefs are so terrible that I just can’t trust them either. Regrettably / If I must … Saints win 30-20

MIAMI (+2.5) over NY Jets  One thing I absolutely did get right last week is that people were overreacting to the Jets beating Buffalo at home to start the year and I knew that Gang Green would wilt in Pittsburgh. If Darelle Revis is ready to go, I may change my mind about this pick. Therefore, see below for the two scenarios. However, it’s not looking good at the moment, so I am actually going to call this one for the Dolphins in an upset. I just don’t like how the Jets offense sputters without huge help from their defense, and without Revis those are less likely to happen, even against Ryan Tannehill. Therefore…

WITH REVIS: Jets win 24-21
WITHOUT REVIS: Dolphins win 31-24

INDIANAPOLIS (-3.5) over Jacksonville  The Colts are not going to blow anyone out this year, but I’ll take my chances with a four-spot against the most inept offensive team in the league. Division game or not, Indy is on the right track while the Jaguars are going nowhere fast. Colts win 24-13

Atlanta (+3.5) over SAN DIEGO  The Falcons and Chargers have been very impressive to start their 2012 campaigns, so of course this one is a touch matchup to call in either direction. I like the Chargers at home, but something about the Falcons this year just seems a little more transcendent than they’ve shown in the past. I am going with a pure hunch here and saying… Falcons win 31-26

ARIZONA (+3.5) over Philadelphia — Of course, the Cardinals will likely be in for a huge letdown this week after the biggest upset of this early season to date. With that said, Michael Vick has turned the ball over a ton in the Eagles’ first two games and that has enabled Philly’s opponents to take late leads before two straight late comebacks have given them a 2-0 start. Arizona is no pushover, though, especially on defense, and I like their odds of covering the spread in what will be another close game. Eagles win 20-17

Houston (-1.5) over DENVER  Peyton Manning said last week that regardless of their sterling Week 1 results, the Broncos remain a “work in progress” on offense. I can’t really blame Denver for every single thing that happened down south in Atlanta in what was one of the sloppiest refereed games I’ve ever witnessed, but I have to continue to roll with the hot hand and take the Texans until proven otherwise. Texans win 30-27

*LOCK IT UP: Pittsburgh (-3.5) over OAKLAND — The Steelers may be getting older on defense, but the Raiders simply don’t scare me at all right now. Oakland isn’t the easiest place to escape with a road win, but I’ve seen enough from Big Ben over the years to know he can hang in there in tough environments and play well enough to win. Pittsburgh’s talent and toughness advantages trump everything else in this one. Steelers win 23-15

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:

New England (+3.5) over BALTIMORE  Talk about a Sunday Night Football matchup with serious early season implications. Both the Ravens and the Pats suffered setbacks last week and while New England’s loss at home to Arizona is the more inexcusable of the two defeats, Baltimore’s vaunted defense did blow a late lead in Philly to lose in heartbreaking fashion themselves. I think both teams will be refocused and ready by the time Sunday night rolls around, and ultimately I like the Ravens to edge out New England here … I just don’t think they will win by more than 3 points. Ravens win 26-24

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:

Green Bay (-2.5) over SEATTLE  The Seahawks are certainly for real when they play at home, but the Packers are just a different beast than Dallas and I can’t bet against Aaron Rodgers with such a close game against the spread when the opposing team’s quarterback has logged a total of two games in his very young NFL career. Oh, and Clay Matthews is SCARY good. Packers win 28-17

Week 3 ATS Locks Recap: Giants, Niners, Steelers

Week 3 H2H Survivor Pick: Niners over Vikings

Week 3 Untouchable Spread of the Week: SAINTS (-9.5) vs. Chiefs

That’s it for this week’s edition of SLICED SPREAD.

See you next week – CB.

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