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NFL Pro Football 2013 Week 3 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 3 Picks - Early Games

Welcome to the very best in winning NFL and College Football picks.
Rick Gagliano | September 19-22, 2013

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, September 19

Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles (-3 1/2, 50 1/2), 8:25 pm - Well, it didn't take long for the NFL to figure out how to stop Chip Kelly's read-option offense. In week 2, the San Diego Chargers didn't exactly stop them, but they did outscore the Eagles, 33-30, making the new head coach 1-1.

Now, the Chiefs, sporting a 2-0 record under Andy Reid, come back to Philly, the deposed head coach seeking to show them the error of their ways.

Kansas City has a pretty capable, mobile defense which should prove decisive against the run-and-gun Eagles. Philly is 0-5 ATS and SU its last five home games. Also, Philly's offense showed signs of fatigue late in both of their first two games, so there's no telling how long Mike Vick and his mates can continue the high tempo.

Prediction: Chiefs 27 Eagles 23

Sunday, September 22

Houston Texans (-1, 45) at Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 pm - The Texans have done just enough to win both of their games - 31-28 at San Diego and 30-24 in overtime at home against the Titans - so there's reason to believe they'll do the same against the Ravens, though their are 1-6 SU against them, dating back to 2002, though, notably, the one win was last season, a 43-13 blowout at home.

The Texans haven't covered the line thus far in 2013, but with the game called almost even, if they win, they can do no worse than a push.

Baltimore has had trouble moving the ball and are obvious susceptible to a high-powered passing game, as evidenced by their blowout loss opening weekend in Denver. Houston can surely chuck the pigskin, so look for the Texans to ride the arm of Matt Schaub to victory.

Prediction: Texans 30 Ravens 21

Green Bay Packers (-1, 48) at Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 pm - Both teams are coming off wins at home and are 1-1 on the year, so this is a "leg up" game in the longer scheme of things.

Judging by the line, the Bengals are fairly highly-regarded this season, possessive of a solid defense and a capable running game featuring a pair of solid backs. QB Andy Dalton was shaky against the Steelers Monday night in a 20-10 win, but the defense bailed him out with timely stops and a couple of turnovers.

The Packers absolutely pounded Washington, 38-20, and QB Aaron Rogers appears to be in mid-seasoon form, throwing for 480 yards and 4 TDs. A loss for the Bengals won't be the end of the world, as it is a non-conference game, but they'll have to keep improving in coming weeks.

Prediction: Packers 31 Bengals 24

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New York Giants at Carolina Panthers (even, 45 1/2), 1:00 pm - Both teams are off to 0-2 starts, the Panthers losing a heart-breaker in Buffalo, 24-23, while the Giants were thoroughly smashed by Denver, 41-23, with the defense looking pretty shaky and the offense far from sharp.

Carolina's defense will have to step it up against the Giants, though the Panthers are tough in the red zone, where New York often struggles.

These two don't meet often, and they're 4-4, dating back to 1996, though the Giants have won four of the last five meetings. Still, the Giants are having problems on both sides of the ball and traveling won't help them.

Prediction: Panthers 24 Giants 21

St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys (-4, 47), 1:00 pm - The Cowboys and Rams are both 1-1, though they are both coming off losses from last week. St. Louis played admirably in their 31-24 loss at Atlanta and remain on the road, while the Cowboys lost a squeaker at Kansas City, 17-16, after topping the Giants in week 1.

While Dallas has looked pretty good offensively in both of their games, the defense hasn't measured up, though they are just a little worse than the Rams, both teams surrendering nearly 400 yards of offense per game thus far.

San Bradford, St. Louis' QB, continues to improve, and he may be able to keep this one close into the fourth quarter, possibly springing the upset.

Prediction: Cowboys 33 Rams 31

Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings (-5 1/2, 40 1/2), 1:00 pm - This is a pretty suspect line, especially considering that neither team has yet to win a game and the Browns edge on defense is substantial (285.5 yards per game allowed to 440.0 for the Vikes).

The Browns have scored only 16 points this season, but should find their way a little easier against the Vikings, though Cleveland, a bad team overall, may be even worse on the road.

The key here is whether Adrian Peterson can crack the Browns' rugged run-stoppers. The best back in the league should find some holes, enough to lead the Vikings to victory.

Prediction: Vikings 24 Browns 14

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots (-9, 44 1/2), 1:00 pm - Tampa Bay is making the rounds of the AFC East, having played, and lost to, the Jets in week one, but they are up against a different kind of foe when they meet the Pats and Tom Brady, who has been somewhat frustrated with his latest squad of receivers, except for Danny Amendola.

The Bucs have lost both of their games this season, though by one point to the Jets and by two, 16-14, to the Saints. They're fairly solid defensively, but the offense struggles to sustain drives, which could be an issue against New England. However, the 2-0 Pats haven't looked as dominant as usual. They've on their two games by a total of just five points, leading one to believe that this game is going to be close.

Take the generous spread and hope it's a little rainy or windy in New England on Sunday.

Prediction: Buccaneers 24 Patriots 23

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints (-9, 49), 1:00 pm - The Saints squeaked by the Bucs last week, 16-14, after topping the Falcons, 23-17, in week 1, but they haven't exactly overwhelmed anyone either offensively or defensively.

The 1-1 Cardinals had a solid preseason, winning three of four, and that's carried over to the regular season. After losing a close one, 27-24, at St. Louis in their opener, they somewhat stunned the Lions, beating them, 25-21, holding Detroit to just 16 first downs and 322 total yards.

It would be foolhardy to dismiss the Cardinals so early in the season, despite being in the same division as the 49ers and Seahawks, and, even though New Orleans is 2-0, atop the NFC South and very good at home, the Cardinals will give a good account of themselves and may prove the better team.

Prediction: Cardinals 27 Saints 21

San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans (-3, 44), 1:00 pm - If you're looking for feel good stories, look no further than the two teams in this game, both 1-1, and playing quality football. The Titans have been especially tight defensively, snuffing the Steelers in their opener before losing in overtime to the Texans, 30-24, last weekend.

San Diego has done it mostly off the arm of Phillip Rivers, the Chargers having put up 61 points in their first two games, though they've allowed the same amount. The Chargers are 31st of 32 teams in yards allowed, only the Redskins having given up more.

Therein lies the difference for this game. If the Titans, who get home field to boot, can get a number of three-and-outs from San Diego, Joe Locker should be able to find the way to the end zone multiple times.

Prediction: Titans 30 Chargers 17

Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins (even, 49), 1:00 pm - While RG3 continues to progress back from his season-ending injury from the playoffs last year, the Lions are going to make life difficult for the Washington defense, dead last in yards allowed, though the stats may be skewed a bit since their two losses came against the Eagles and Packers, two of the best offenses in the league.

They'll get not break facing Matthew Stafford and the potent Detroit offense, but they do get home field and are sorely in need of a win. Going 0-3 after winning the NFC East last season is not exactly part of the script. Look for the Redskins to force a couple of key turnovers and ride off with a win.

Prediction: Redskins 24 Lions 20

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

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