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2011 NFL Predictions – NFL Preseason Week 3 Lines

NFL Preseason Week 3 Picks

Everyone claims to have expert theories about the NFL preseason but the truth is that you have to take anything we say with a grain of salt, as no one can truly predict how things play out.

That said, I have a tasty nugget for you: listen to it and combine it with your own theories.

The way I see it: Week 3 of the NFL preseason most closely mirrors the real season. It’s the week most likely to field actual starters in extended duty, as teams will want to stretch out their offenses close to the season without putting them in harm’s way too close to the season (in Week 4). Position battles are also often resolved around this time.

Week 3 Preseason Football Lines

So Week 3 is arguably the best moment to make educated preseason bets.

Here are a few to try.

Washington Redskins @ Baltimore Ravens
Thursday, August 25, 8:00 p.m. ET
NFL betting favorite: Ravens -5.5

As much as I hate the Redskins’ chances overall in 2011, I’m liking them as a preseason play. They’re 2-0 so far, having beaten the Steelers and Colts by a combined margin of 32-10. That’s what happens when you’re team is bad enough that every guy is fighting for his job.

In Week 1, the Redskins got an inspired passing effort from Rex Grossman (19 of 26, 207 yards, 1 TD). Last week, John Beck staked his claim to the starting job with 14 of 17 passing for 140 yards. Whoever takes snaps for Washington on Thursday will be playing hard. Also consider that Roy Helu, who looked explosive with 101 on 14 totes last week, will want to push Tim Hightower for more carries.

On the flipside, while Baltimore will surely give Joe Flacco more snaps and try to establish his deep passing rapport with Lee Evans, the Ravens’ skill position battles are mostly decided. They just have less to play for tomorrow night. Washington can at the very least cover the spread. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Pick: Redskins +5.5

Green Bay Packers @ Indianapolis Colts
Friday, August 26, 8:00 p.m. ET
NFL betting favorite: Packers -9

I’m almost never one to pounce on a nine-point spread, especially in the preseason, especially in a road game, but I like this one. Consider that (a) Peyton Manning won’t play for Indy; (b) the backup options, like Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky, are awful; (c) newly signed backup quarterback Kerry Collins either won’t be ready to play or will be rusty; and (d) Aaron Rodgers backup quarterback, Matt Flynn, is quickly emerging as one of those guys who “could start for 10 other teams in the NFL.”

Whoever throws the ball for Green Bay on Friday will be good; whoever throws for Indianapolis will be bad. That’s a recipe for a drubbing.

Pick: Packers -9

New York Jets @ New York Giants
Saturday, August 27, 7:00 p.m. ET
NFL betting favorite: Jets -1

One of the quietest but most intriguing stories of the NFL preseason: the play of rookie quarterback Greg McElroy behind Mark Sanchez. McElroy has shown all the poise he did at Alabama and then some. Sanchez has also looked strong, the Giants will face on offense on Saturday that appears to be in midseason form.

That’s bad news considering that the Giants’ defense is horrifically decimated. Promising rookies Marvin Austin and Prince Amukamara are out with long-term injuries; Terrell Thomas blew out his knee last week; and Osi Umenyiora is lost to knee surgery. With so many high-impact starters out, the Giants will have to really protect their second-stringers, meaning the Jets will face plenty of third-stringers on Saturday. Love Gang Green for this pick.

Pick: Jets -1

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.