Doug Fitz, Systemplays.com
Baltimore (2-0) vs. Jacksonville (1-1)
Time: 6:30 a.m.
Line/Total: Ravens -3½, 39½
Doug Fitz’s analysis: The Ravens are as good as their record and performances indicate. The Jaguars are the same old Jaguars despite their impressive Week 1 win at Houston. Blake Bortles continues to be one of the most underperforming quarterbacks in the league. I doubt Jacksonville will be able to put up any meaningful offense against a very good Ravens defense that has forced 10 turnovers and allowed only 10 points.
By the numbers: The Ravens are 6-1 ATS in Week 3 away from home. … Baltimore coach John Harbaugh is 15-5 ATS in September after a spread win of at least three points. … Underdogs of at least four points are 0-6 straight up and 1-5 against the spread all time in London games.
Pick: Ravens, 23-13
Cleveland (0-2) at Indianapolis (0-2)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/Total: Browns -1½, 42½
Doug Fitz’s analysis: The Browns and favorite never should be uttered in the same sentence. The last time the Browns were favored on the road was 2014 at Jacksonville, and they lost 24-6. I know the Colts are a mess without quarterback Andrew Luck, but they should have enough to win as a home underdog.
By the numbers: The Browns are 1-19 straight up over their past 20 road games and 6-21-1 ATS in their last 28 games overall. … The Colts are 25-8 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
Pick: Colts, 20-10
Pittsburgh (2-0) at Chicago (0-2)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/Total: Steelers -7½, 44
Doug Fitz’s analysis: Sometimes just going with the vastly superior team is the right way to go. I don’t expect the Bears to be able to score against the great Steelers defense. Chicago was in a great spot at home in Week 1 against the high-powered Atlanta offense on natural grass, but they showed their true colors last week getting demolished at Tampa Bay.
By the numbers: The Bears are 2-13 straight up and 5-10 ATS as home underdogs vs opponents with a .500 record or better. … The under is 20-7 in Pittsburgh’s last 27 road games.
Pick: Steelers, 28-7
Miami (1-0) at New York Jets (0-2)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/Total: Dolphins -6, 43
Doug Fitz’s analysis: The Dolphins returned home for the first time since Hurricane Irma. That could be a big distraction having to turn around and travel again. I’m fully aware the Jets are about as bad as a team can be, but this is too big a number to lay on the road against a division rival.
By the numbers: Miami is 2-5 straight up and ATS in division games after an away game. … The Jets are 14-5 straight up and 16-2-1 ATS after consecutive road games. … The road team is 14-6-1 ATS in the last 21 meetings between the teams.
Pick: Jets, 16-13
Denver (2-0) at Buffalo (1-1)
Time/TV: 10 a.m., KLAS
Line/Total: Broncos -3, 39
Doug Fitz’s analysis: Denver could be in for a big letdown in its first road game after its huge home win over the Cowboys. It’s a bad spot for Denver that they won’t overcome. The Bills will pull off an outright upset.
By the numbers: The Bills average an impressive 129.5 yards rushing and have one of the top rushing defenses, allowing only 57.5 yards. … The under is 16-7-1 in Denver’s last 24 games as a favorite. … The over is 8-1 in Buffalo’s last nine home games.
Pick: Bills, 21-10
Houston (1-1) at New England (1-1)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/Total: Patriots -14, 44
Doug Fitz’s analysis: This number has predictably gone up, as the Patriots are probably the most public team in pro sports. One hard and fast rule I have is to never back double-digit NFL favorites. I would pass on this game, but for the purposes of this article, I’ll take the large number on Houston.
By the numbers: The Texans have a big edge in every defensive category, especially passing yards allowed, where Houston has given up an average of 169 and New England 350. … The home team is 7-1-1 ATS in the last nine meetings. … Houston is 1-6-1 ATS in the last eight meetings and 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games overall.
Pick: Patriots, 28-21
New Orleans (0-2) at Carolina (2-0)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/Total: Panthers -5½, 46
Doug Fitz’s analysis: I can’t back a team such as the Saints, who have managed to rush for only 70.5 yards with a defense that gives up an astounding 388.5 yards passing. Carolina has struggled on offense, but its defense is light years better than the Saints’. The Panthers can tee off on New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who’s already at a disadvantage playing on natural grass.
By the numbers: Carolina is 18-9 ATS on grass over the last three seasons. … The under is 11-3 in the last 14 meetings in Carolina. … The road team is 22-9 ATS in the last 31 meetings.
Pick: Panthers, 24-16
Tampa Bay (1-0) at Minnesota (1-1)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/Total: Buccaneers -2½, 39
Doug Fitz’s analysis: With Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford out, it becomes impossible to figure this one out. Bradford’s replacement, Case Keenum, looked poor last week and is just not an NFL-caliber quarterback. I’ll give a lukewarm recommendation to the short underdog, but it’s not a game I’ll play.
By the numbers: The Vikings are 14-3 ATS at home vs nondivision opponents under coach Mike Zimmer. … Minnesota is 23-7 ATS in its last 30 home games. … The Buccaneers are 5-1 ATS as underdogs after a win and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games overall. … The under is 6-1-1 in Tampa Bay’s last eight games.
Pick: Buccaneers, 17-13
Atlanta (2-0) at Detroit (2-0)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line/Total: Falcons -3, 51
Doug Fitz’s analysis: This is my favorite game of the NFL weekend, and all signs point to a Lions victory. A successful yards-per-point system I developed several years ago gives a big edge to the Lions. The Falcons are in a letdown situation after their dominating home win over Green Bay and the regular season-opening of their new stadium. I also recommend a play on the Lions on the money line (+140).
By the numbers: Defending straight Super Bowl losers are 27-47-5 ATS as road favorites in nondivision games. … Lions coach Jim Caldwell is 9-4 straight up and ATS in September against nondivision opponents. … The over is 17-3-1 in Atlanta’s last 21 games. … The under is 10-3 in Detroit’s last 13 games.
Pick: Lions, 37-16
New York Giants (0-2) at Philadelphia (1-1)
Time/TV: 10 a.m., KVVU
Line/Total: Eagles -6, 42½
Doug Fitz’s analysis: Anyone with a pulse knows the Giants have looked as bad as any team can possibly look. But this is a division game, and I’m willing to give New York one more chance at redemption. This number is too high.
By the numbers: The Giants are 9-1-1 ATS on the road after a Monday night game, including 5-0 straight up and ATS in division games. … The Eagles are 6-2 ATS in their last eight home games. … The under is 9-2 in New York’s last 11 games.
Pick: Giants, 23-20
Seattle (1-1) at Tennessee (1-1)
Time: 1:05 p.m.
Line/Total: Titans -2½, 41
Doug Fitz’s analysis: Hard to believe the Seahawks have looked so bad and scored only one touchdown. That changes this week. Titans running back DeMarco Murray is questionable, and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is too good for Seattle’s offensive woes to continue.
By the numbers: Seattle coach Pete Carroll is 13-2-2 ATS in his last 17 games as an underdog off a win. … Wilson is 13-3-1 ATS as an underdog, including 9-1-1 ATS after a win. … Tennessee is 7-22-2 in its last 31 home games and 15-37-3 ATS in its last 55 games overall.
Pick: Seahawks, 26-14
Kansas City (2-0) at Los Angeles Chargers (0-2)
Time: 1:25 p.m.
Line/Total: Chiefs -3, 47½
Doug Fitz’s analysis: Tough game to call. The Chiefs are obviously the superior team, but that alone usually doesn’t equate to winning bets in the NFL. The Chargers can hang around the number primarily because of quarterback Philip Rivers’ 254 yards passing average against the Eric Berry-less Kansas City defense.
By the numbers: The Chargers have lost eight of 10 games decided by three points or fewer the last three seasons. … Los Angeles is 5-17 ATS in its last 22 home games.
Pick: Chiefs, 21-20
Cincinnati (0-2) at Green Bay (2-0)
Time/TV: 1:25 p.m., KLAS
Line/Total: Packers -7½, 46½
Doug Fitz’s analysis: The Bengals are the only team left without a touchdown. They’re in a terrible spot facing Green Bay at home coming off an embarrassing prime-time loss to Atlanta. The number is a bit high, and I really don’t like the game, but I’ll side with the Bengals.
By the numbers: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is 17-3-2 ATS in his career as an underdog against NFC opponents, including 10-0-1 ATS when his team has a winning percentage of less than .400. … The over is 8-1 in Green Bay’s last nine games. … The under is 21-8 in the Bengals’ last 29 games.
Pick: Packers, 35-28
Oakland (2-0) at Washington (1-1)
Time/TV: 5:30 p.m., KSNV
Line/Total: Raiders -3, 55
Doug Fitz’s analysis: This is another game with an inflated number knowing the majority of bets will be on the Raiders. I’m not buying it. Oakland isn’t that much better than the Redskins getting a field goal at home.
By the numbers: The Raiders are 1-8 straight up and 3-6 ATS vs NFC East opponents, including 0-3 straight up and ATS after a win. … The Redskins are 4-1 ATS at home between away games. … Oakland is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 road games. … The over is 20-7 in Washington’s last 27 games.
Pick: Redskins, 31-20
Dallas (1-1) at Arizona (1-1)
Time/TV: 5:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN
Line/Total: Cowboys -3, 46½
Doug Fitz’s analysis: Another value play in support of the home underdog against the public favorite. Arizona is in a must-win situation. The Cardinals will be fired up for this prime-time game and win straight up.
By the numbers: Dallas is 0-3 straight up and ATS in its last three games in Arizona, losing all three as favorites. … The Cowboys are 3-9 ATS in their past 12 Monday night games. … Arizona is 12-3 straight up and 14-1 ATS in its past 15 games against NFC East opponents.
Pick: Cardinals, 28-23