Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 12:00 AM
KEY NFL WEEK 3 PREVIEWS
It’s only the third week of this here-and-now 2015 NFL season and yet there’s only one head-to-head matchup pitting a pair of unbeatens – congrats if you thought the Atlanta at Dallas showdown this Sunday in Arlington would be that game! – but there’s plenty of intrigue all around whether you’re talking about the New Orleans Saints playing without mega-star QB Drew Brees or the two-time defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks looking for a win (and some peace of mind) following their rotten 0-and-2 start or maybe you are focused more on the plights of all those winless teams.
Hey, there’s a whole lot of meat on the bone to chew on as we get ready for NFL Week 3 and we’ll have a fistful of previews shortly but first this key reminder:
Jim Hurley’s Handicappers and Bloggers are set to torch Las Vegas and all the off-shore books with loads of NFL Week 3 and NCAA Football winners this busy September weekend and that includes a full slate of Saturday games and then there’s a solid NFL Week 3 card on Sunday including Cincinnati at Baltimore, Atlanta at Dallas and the Sunday Night showdown between Denver at Detroit and we’ll wrap it up Monday Night with Kansas City at Green Bay.
Check with the Jim Hurley Network right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 1 p.m. ET on week days and any time after 10 a.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.
Plus get all our down-the-stretch Major-League Baseball winners too! The MLB Playoffs are just days two weeks away now with wild card games slated for Tuesday, Oct. 6 and Wednesday, Oct. 7.
NFL WEEK 3 PREVIEWS
Let’s zip ‘round the league to check out some of Sunday’s key games:
CINCINNATI (2-0) at BALTIMORE (0-2) – 1 p.m. ET, CBS
It’s now-or-never time for the Baltimore Ravens – remember up next is a Thursday Night tilt in Pittsburgh – and head coach John Harbaugh has plenty on his to-do list not the list of which is getting his club a pass rush (see only one sack in last Sunday’s 37-33 loss in Oakland) because Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton already has thrown five touchdown passes this year and is playing to a 120 QB Rating.
Spread Notes – Baltimore is just 7-11-1 ATS (against the spread) when playing fellow AFC North foes the past three-plus seasons. Cincinnati is a solid 8-4-1 ATS as underdogs the past two-plus seasons.
ATLANTA (2-0) at DALLAS (2-0) – 1 p.m. ET, Fox
At last glance, the visiting Falcons were listed as 1-point betting favorites – no Dallas QB Tony Romo nor Cowboys’ WR Dez Bryant – does make a really big difference, eh? The ‘Boys are counting on QB Brandon Weeden (7-of-7 passing in relief of Romo in last week’s 20-10 upset win at Philadelphia) to have the golden touch here but our Jim Sez sources say don’t expect Weeden to hook up often with TE Jason Witten who’s suffering from ankle, knee and back problems these days … expect Witten to play in no more than 50 percent of the Dallas offensive snaps.
Okay, so maybe we’ve skipped the real centerpiece of this game – Atlanta WR Julio Jones nabbed 13 balls for 135 yards in last week’s come-from-behind win against the NY Giants and, get this, Jones was peeved afterwards because he felt he should have caught all 15 of the passes aimed in his direction by QB Matt Ryan.
Spread Notes – Atlanta’s covered its first three games in a season just once in the past 10 years (see 2012) while Dallas enters this tilt at 14-28 vig-wise in all home games since the start of the 2010 campaign.
PHILADELPHIA (0-2) at NEW YORK JETS (2-0) – 1 p.m. ET, Fox
There’s lots of NFL folks that are hoping Dr. Frankenstein – a/k/a Eagles head coach Chip Kelly – will get snuffed one mo’ time here after rather stunning season-opening losses versus Atlanta and Dallas but we here at Jim Sez always like to take a contrarian viewpoint. In other words, maybe it’ll fire up the Birds to come into MetLife Stadium with a winless mark thus far as Kelly and Company have had a week to digest that no-show effort against the Cowboys in Week 2 while the Jets do come in off the MNF triumph in Indianapolis and the short week plus injuries to key NYJ offensive players WR Eric Decker and RB Chris Ivory could catch gang green a tad short-handed.
Hey, first-year Jets’ head coach Todd Bowles said QB Geno Smith might be activated as Ryan Fitzpatrick’s backup here – isn’t that a reason to go ga-ga?
Spread Notes – The NY Jets are 0-3-2 ATS when playing NFC teams the past year-plus while Philly’s looking to avoid its second 0-3 ATS start in four years (see 0-3-1 start back in 2012). The Eagles, however, have covered four of their last five road games played against AFC competition.
INDIANAPOLIS (0-2) at TENNESSEE (1-1) – 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Okay, already. Stop asking what’s wrong with QB Andrew Luck and these Indy Colts … and start telling us what’s right with ‘em.
Umm, not much!
Luck has thrown five INTs and has completed less than 55 percent of his passes this year and there’s major internal bickering that’s hogging up all the headlines in Nap City – will Luck get any downfield help here from WR T.Y. Hilton, will RB Frank Gore hang onto the ball near the goal line and will a Titans’ defense coached up by long-time Pittsburgh Steelers’ brain Dick LeBeau have the answers in keeping the bearded one silent?
Hey, one thing about Tennessee: The Titans’ defense allowed 78- and 50-yard touchdown flings last week in the loss at Cleveland and so maybe there’s a real weak point in that secondary. Stay tuned.
Spread Notes – Indianapolis is a snappy 6-0-1 ATS in its last seven head-to-head showdowns against Tennessee. Note the Titans are an ugly 2-11-3 ATS as hosts since the start of the 2013 season.
CHICAGO (0-2) at SEATTLE (0-2) – 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
History lesson time: The last time the Seahawks opened up a season at 0-2 SU (straight-up) was also the last time Seattle sported a losing record (see 7-9).
Okay, so the 15-point favorite Seahawks don’t expect to spit the bit against a QB Jay Cutler-less Bears bunch that ranks 20th in passing offense and 22nd in rushing defense – maybe that means Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch finally has a break-out game – and so second-string QB Jimmy Clausen (121 yards passing on 14-of-23 completions in relief of Cutler last week against Arizona) better put on a Superman performance here, or else.
Spread Notes – Seattle is finally back home where the Seahawks have compiled a heady 59-27-3 ATS home mark the past 10 years. Chicago is 18-31-1 ATS overall since the start of the 2012 season and that, of course, includes season-opening spread setbacks this year against Green Bay and Arizona.
On Sunday Night, it’s …
DENVER (2-0) at DETROIT (0-2) – 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Was last week’s, last-minute 21-yard fumble bring-back for a touchdown by Broncos CB Bradley Roby a sign that this is gonna be “their year”?
Hey, folks, gotta remind you that the Broncos have not won a Super Bowl the past 16 years and no doubt they paid QB Peyton Manning all that loot a few years back to bring ‘em the holy grail that this franchise snapped up in both 1997 and 1998. Manning isn’t a one-man band these days – the Broncos rank only 26th in the league in passing offense (194 ypg) – but our Jim Sez insiders say you can expect Manning to chuck it often here against a Lions’ defense that ranks only 23rd in the NFL in pass defense (269 ypg).
Meanwhile, Detroit QB Matthew Stafford’s been banged up pretty bad in the first two regular-season games – he was X-rayed for chest/ribs injuries following last week’s 26-16 loss in Minnesota – but some home cooking may be the remedy as the Lions have won 10 of their last 13 games at Ford Field.
Spread Notes – Denver’s just 4-8 vig-wise in non-divisional games since the start of last year but the Broncos are 30-17-1 ATS as betting favorites the past three-plus seasons. On the flip side, Detroit enters this prime-time affair at a wobbly 8-15-1 ATS as pups the past four-plus seasons.
NOTE: Get our Monday Night Football Preview – that’s the Kansas City Chiefs at the Green Bay Packers – plus loads of NFL Week 3 and NCAA Football re-caps in the next edition of Jim Sez … and don’t forget to cash in big all weekend long with loads of winners at 1-800-323-4453 or right here online at www.jimhurley.com