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Free Week 3 NFL Predictions

THE NFL DOUBLE TAKE

It’s not that often we can get these guys to agree on things, but our Sportsbook.com writers are on the same page for this Sunday’s Week 3 games.

Both have fared well over the first two weeks with neither posting a losing Sunday and entering this weekend with identical 5-3 records over their first eight picks of the season.

Here’s how they break down Week 3.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Chicago Bears

Mike: Chicago played great in an opening week win at Indianapolis and then lost a tough one at Carolina when they blew a 14 point lead. Now, the Bears return home with a more excited fan base and a quarterback in Kyle Orton who plays better than his modest numbers suggest.

Tampa Bay has Brian Griese starting at quarterback now. Griese was steady in their win against Atlanta last week and he has something to prove as a former Bears’ quarterback. This should be a low scoring game with the Total at just 35.5. I’m taking the points.

Prediction: Tampa Bay +3

Cras: You know what you’re going to get from each defense in this game. The Bears and Bucs will limit the other team’s yardage and points, create turnovers and possibly even create some points of their own.

The offenses for each team are not great but they have good running backs with Tampa Bay possessing the better, more experienced quarterback in Griese. Add Chicago’s offensive weapon Devin Hester as a game-time decision and it’s surprising that everyone is backing Chicago for what could easily be a field goal game.

Pick: Tampa Bay +3

Carolina Panthers @ Minnesota Vikings

Mike: Let me get this straight. Minnesota claimed all off-season they were happy with the progression of their young quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson. Now, Jackson struggles for a couple of games and they are making the switch to journeyman Gus Frerotte?

Carolina is 2-0 after a last-second win at San Diego and a comeback win over Chicago. They will have trouble running the ball against the Vikings’ front seven, but fortunately they get back receiver Steve Smith from a suspension. Minnesota is desperate for a win, but I’ll take the 3.5.

Prediction: Carolina +3.5

Cras: Minnesota is 0-2 but could easily be 2-0 after opening losses to Green Bay and Indianapolis. It only gets tougher for the Vikings with the 2-0 Carolina Panthers in town and star running back Adrian Peterson possibly a game-time decision with a hamstring injury.

Peterson was limited in practice Wednesday and missed all of Thursday. Even with Peterson, this would be a tough game for the desperate Vikings and new starting quarterback Gus Frerotte. If Peterson can’t play, you have to put your money on the Panthers.

Pick: Carolina +3.5

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Philadelphia Eagles

Mike: This is for Pennsylvania bragging rights and it means a lot more to both teams than a regular non-conference game. Pittsburgh looks like an elite AFC team right now with wins over Houston and Cleveland, but this will be a big step up in competition.

 Philadelphia has shown a very potent passing offense the first two weeks, leading the NFL at 336.5 yards per game. They will pass the ball early and often and hope to outscore the Steelers at home. The Eagles are still smarting from their MNF loss to Dallas, but they rebound here.

Prediction: Philadelphia -3.5

Cras: This is one of the best games on Sunday with Philly’s prolific offense up against the vaunted Pittsburgh defense. Sportsbook.com members like the Eagles in this game and for good reason; they can pass the ball and Pittsburgh has proven vulnerable to the pass game in years past.

I’m definitely not worried about the Philadelphia defense, even after last week’s effort against Dallas. There’s too much talent to have another lackluster performance and you can bet that defensive coordinator Jim Johnson will have them ready this week.

Pick: Philadelphia -3.5

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens

Mike: Cleveland is the Minnesota of the AFC. They were touted as Super Bowl contenders before the season and everyone is jumping off the bandwagon after an 0-2 start. At least Cleveland is staying with their quarterback (Derek Anderson) for now.

Baltimore has only played one game this year, an opening week home win over Cincinnati before having an inopportune bye-week in Week 2. The Ravens were able to win their opener with rookie Joe Flacco throwing for just 129 yards, and they will struggle to match points with this Cleveland offense.

Prediction: Cleveland +2

Cras:The Cleveland Browns may not be ready for primetime after all. In the Browns unimpressive 0-2 start they managed to put up just 16 points, the same number as the St. Louis Rams. Just so you know, that ties them for last in the NFL.

Things don’t get any easier with a division tilt against the Ravens. Baltimore’s defense looked good in Week 1 but it’s hard to know whether that was because the Cincinnati Bengals are a team in disarray. I expect this to be a close game but the Browns have too many weapons on offense to continue their poor start and be beaten by a rookie quarterback.

Pick: Cleveland +2

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Articles on CappersPicks.com are written by Q (the Head Honcho) at Cappers Picks or by our resident "in house" handicapper Razor Ray Monohan! Enjoy the free picks folks! "Pad that bankroll one day at a time!"


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