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Pick #1: Buffalo -2.5 (-105) vs San Diego
Of the seven teams that enter Week 3 with a 2-0 SU mark, the Buffalo Bills have to be the biggest surprise. Buffalo has looked good on both sides of the ball with a balanced attack on offense and a defense that has been creating havoc for opposing QB’s by collapsing the pocket on a routine basis. This week they welcome Philip Rivers and Chargers to town fresh off San Diego’s 30-21 win over the defending champs from Seattle.
However, it’s that win over the Seahawks that put the Chargers in a tough spot this week. San Diego has to travel cross country to play an early body clock game against a surging Bills team that isn’t the same pushover from years past. Yet, even in those down years Buffalo has found a way to send the Chargers packing with an ATS loss when they come to town. Buffalo is 3-0 ATS in the last three times they’ve hosted the Chargers and I believe that run goes to 4-0 after this week.
San Diego looked very impressive in beating Seattle, but teams that beat the defending Super Bowl champion as underdogs have not done well historically the next week. When you include the cross-country trip for the Chargers, the home team being 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings, and Buffalo playing well in all three phases of the game right now, I have no problem laying these points with the Bills. Many bettors out there will have no problem grabbing the points with the Chargers after last week’s performance, but history tells us that this is a brutal spot for San Diego. Buffalo opened up as a favorite for more reasons than just being the home team and should win this game by at least a touchdown.
Pick #2: Washington +6.5 (-110) vs Philly
Other than some slow starts and poor first halves, Philly hasn’t done much wrong this year. Chip Kelly’s uptempo offense looks even better in it’s 2nd year when guys are clicking and they could finish the season as the highest scoring team in the league. But after two games against AFC South opponents, the Eagles start their division schedule this week against a Kirk Cousins-led Washington team.
Many will remember Philly’s 2nd half comeback on Monday night and have no problem laying these points against a backup QB. However, Cousins looked great in relief last week (albeit vs. Jacksonville) and could be a more suitable option for Jay Gruden’s offense. Gruden was the OC at Cincinnati the last few years and he sees a lot of similarities between Cousins and Andy Dalton and that should work in Washington’s favor. We can’t forget about this being Desean Jackson’s return to Philly after his unceremonious exit last year and his new teammates will definitely want to rally around him and get a division win.
Finally, it’s a short week for the Eagles and that does hurt them a bit, but this is not a good spot for them for many other reasons. Philly is 1-7 ATS at home when playing a division rival coming off a double-digit win and on a 7-21-1 ATS run in their last 29 at home overall. Meanwhile, Washington is 6-1 ATS before they play a Thursday night game (play the Giants next Thursday), 11-2 ATS away against a division rival that’s .500 or better, and 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games before playing the Giants. They are also 6-1 ATS after scoring 30+ points in their last outing and that offense surge should give the Redskins confidence that they can keep pace with the Eagles dynamic offense and keep this game closer than many expect.