Minnesota Vikings (London) New Orleans Saints 9:30 EST
Line Vikings -3, 41.5
This game is an early start from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London England. Be ready to enjoy this game first thing when you wake up Sunday morning.
The big news for this matchup is the key injuries on offence for the Saints (1-2), primarily the status of QB Jameis Winston who is listed as doubted with multiple injuries. Long-time starter and now journeyman Andy Dalton is the likely starter for the Saints at QB. The Saints will also be without several other key starters on offence including RB Alvin Kamara, TE Taysom Hill, and WR Jarvis Laundry.
The Vikings (2-1) needed a game-winning TD drive to overcome the Lions last week and avoid falling below (.500). The Vikings still have not performed at their peak despite their winning record, particularly on offence.
QB Kirk Cousins is completing just 62% of his passes through three games. He also has three INTs to start this season after tossing just seven all last year. Minnesota needs to improve its running game in order to be serious contenders and I expect them to do so. RB Dalvin Cook does not have a 100-yard rushing game yet this week but that could change this week.
My Pick: Vikings (-3)
The Saint’s offence is going to struggle to score points in this game, particularly with so many key pieces of the offence missing. That combined with the new environment playing in Britain could see this game get ugly for the Saints.
I expect the Vikings to improve as the season progresses as the offence finds its true form.
Baltimore Ravens Vs Buffalo Bills, 1:00 EST
Line: Bills -3, 51
The MVP Heavy Hitters
This is the most hyped game of the week featuring the two leading contenders for MVP this season. Josh Allen is the current leader on that list at (+325) with Lamar Jackson (+600) second. But it is Lamar’s play that deserves more focus.
Through three games, Jackson has 749 yards passing and more impressive, 243 yards rushing. He is well known for being an effective running back under center, but it’s his 10 passing TDs that have gotten the most attention this season. If Lamar continues at this pace, he will easily win his second MVP.
The Bills were dealing with multiple bunch injuries in their secondary last week in Miami after dominating in their first two games. They should get a couple of those defensive players back in the lineup but it is hard to predict exactly who will be back there this Sunday.
Buffalo struggled with their situational execution last week and it cost them the game. The failure to ground the ball at the end of both halves, cost them two field goal attempts, either of which could have won them the game. Buffalo still cannot clean their stain of being the team unable to win close games. It seems they either blow out their opponents or lose by a field goal. They will need to break that trend in order to win the Super Bowl as they were predicted to do by many.
The Ravens rebounded nicely with a quality win in New England after their disastrous collapse against the Dolphins two weeks ago. The Ravens should be 3-0 but have shown they will be a dangerous team again this year.
My Pick: Over (51)
Both of these teams can easily put up 28 points every week. Scoring is down significantly so far this season but I don’t expect that to be the case in this matchup. That combined with potential injuries in the Bill’s secondary suggest this game could be a shootout. This is a heavyweight contender fight that could see multiple knockdown punches.
Philadelphia Eagles Vs Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 EST
Line: Eagles -6.5, 45
The Eagles are now the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL after just three weeks. The hype train is now at full speed for the Eagles led by QB Jalen Hurts. He is having a breakout season already and is on pace to smash his career totals in passing yards, rushing yards and TD passes. It is only week three, but Hurts is now just (+700) to win MVP this season, the same odds as Patrick Mahomes.
But the even bigger story should be the play of the Jacksonville Jaguars. My Week 3 power ratings are super bullish on the Jaguars. Going strictly on my stats from this season, I have Buffalo rated #1, with the Jags coming in at second with the Eagles a close third.
Jacksonville’s loss in Washington in Week 1 is now looking like an outlier. The Jaguar’s defence has been outstanding the past two games shutting out the Colts and limiting Justin Herbert and the Chargers to only 10 points.
QB Trevor Lawrence has performed admirably in his second season so far, tossing 6 TDs against just 1 INT. If the defence continues to perform at a high level such as they are, you will see continued improvement from Lawrence and his ceiling still is not set. After winning just four games in the previous two seasons, the playoffs are a real possibility this season for Jacksonville.
My Pick: Jaguars (+6.5)
With both these teams currently playing at a high level, I like taking the points in this spot. The Jags may even be the better team in this matchup so the (+6.5) points seem too high.