NFL Picks Week 3: It Could Be A Rough Week For The NFC East

Sep 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants fan watches during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Dallas won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

As week 3 approaches in the NFL, things could be getting tricky for the NFC East.

Remember that I'm making against the spread picks here, so I'm not necessarily saying who wins (we do that in our writer picks). With that in mind, I see Dallas as 9 point favorites over Tampa and have to scratch my head. Tampa got a win in week 1 and nearly beat the Giants on the road in week 2. Meanwhile, Dallas was beaten as badly as anyone last week by a mediocre Seattle team. I don't see how they have any business being the biggest favorites of the week.

The Giants play tonight in what looks like a really tough spot for them. I don't really know if the Panthers are that good yet, but the scheduling is as big a threat as they are to the Giants. Traveling on a short week is always rough and its magnified this week because the Giants will be without Hakeem Nicks, Ahmad Bradshaw & Domenic Hixon.

A hard to peg Redskins team will host a hard to peg Bengals team, but will do so without Brian Orakpo & Adam Carriker and possibly also Pierre Garcon.

We made a final call on these games and more in our week 3 NFL picks.

Giants At Panthers (-2.5) - This is a rough spot for the Giants who will be without starters at WR, Hakeem Nicks, and RB, Ahmad Bradshaw. In fact, even 3rd WR Domenic Hixon is out. Traveling on a short week is not kind either. Pick: Panthers

Rams at Bears (-9) - This is a surprising line given the fortunes of these teams last week, where the Bears stunk and the Rams won. Simulations have the Rams covering 57% of the time. Pick: Rams

Bills at Browns (-3) - Kind of a shock to see the Bills as road favorites everywhere, but a lot has to do with the uncertainty of the Browns. Brandon Weeded really struggled against a pressure defense in the opener and the revamped Bills pass rush should be able to rattle him this week. Pick: Bills

Buccaneers at Cowboys (-9) - This is a near inexplicable line given how the Cowboys played last week. I could see them winning, but sims have the Bucs covering nearly 60% of the time. Pick: Bucs

Lions at Titans (+3.5) - This is the strongest conviction pic of the week. Go Lions to win and cover. Pick Lions

Jaguars at Colts (-3) - Indy probably deserves a little more than the home 3 points here. This looks like a good value and the sims back that up. Pick: Colts

Jets at Dolphins (+1) - Don't let last week fool you. The Jets were in a tough spot in Pittsburgh while Miami hosted a west coast team on a short week. It was set up for those results. Pick: Jets

49ers At Vikings (+6.5) - This is a big home dog, which should always set off alarm bells. This is the type of game that looks easy but can be deceptive. Still, simulations have SF covering 2/3rds of the time. Pick: 49ers

Chiefs at Saints (-9) - The Saints defense has been terrible, which makes them risky, but KC's D has been equally as bad. You get the feeling that Drew Brees is just waiting to unload on someone and its easy to see KC as that team. Add in the out of conference road game and this should be a win & cover for NO. Pick: Saints

Bengals at Redskins (-3) - This is probably the toughest ATS pick of the week. Sims have the Redskins covering only 51% of the time, so its a near dead heat. If you go to the similar games model, its more confident in a Washington cover as teams like them have prevailed in 4 of 5 similar contests. Still, they may not take into account that the Skins just lost their best pass rusher in Brian Orakpo. Pick: Redskins

Eagles at Cardinals (+3.5) - This game pits an inconsistent offense and great defense vs a nonexistent offense and great defense. Take the more complete team. Pick: Eagles

Falcons at Chargers (-3) - I was surprised to see the sims calling for an Atlanta cover 58% of the time. I think they are better than San Diego, but there's nothing I like about an east coast team traveling west on a short week. Pick: Chargers

Texans at Broncos (+1) - The Broncos have played a brutal early schedule, while the Texans have endured anything but. This game is essentially a pickem, so just go for who you think wins where. Pick: Texans

Steelers at Raiders (+3.5) - I was surprised to see this line stay where it has. Where there is a travel factor to take into account, there's not a lot else to like about Oakland in this matchup. Trends heavily favor PIT. Pick: Steelers

Patriots at Ravens (-3.5) - Two of the AFC elite both with bruised egos after last week. However, at least you can see how Baltimore could lose on the road to the Eagles. Sims and trends are both very tight here, but slightly favor Baltimore. Pick: Ravens

Packers at Seahawks (+3) - Seattle is always a tough place to play, but the line has stayed reasonable here. Pats are a pretty strong play here. Pick: Packers

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