2010 NFL Weekly Locks: Week 3

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Week two couldn’t have gone any better for us and anyone who was smart enough to take our picks.  Terrible offensive showings from both the Steelers and the Titans allowed their game to easily go under the 37.5 total.  The Atlanta Falcons continued their home dominance with Matt Ryan under center as they trounced the Cards by a whopping 34 points.  The Houston Texans used a late rally to not only beat the Washington Redskins in overtime, but cover the 2.5-point spread.  And it was a cakewalk for the Broncos at home against a Seahawks team that once again looked lost away from the friendly confines of Qwest Field.

As a result, we finished the week with an unblemished 4-0 record, bumping our season record to an impressive 6-2.  A perfect weekend is never an easy one to follow, but our confidence couldn’t be higher and another 4-0 week is certainly not out of the question.

So now that we have had a week to bask in the glory of perfection, it is time to get back to work.  And without further ado, here are our TotalProSports.com 2010 NFL Weekly Locks for week three.  Enjoy!

The Game: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Pick: Under 33.5
The Reason: In all seriousness, I would consider taking this under if it were at 23.5.  Throughout their first two games, the Steelers offense has only managed to score one touchdown, and that came in overtime during their week one game against the Atlanta Falcons.  With Charlie Batch expected to start for the Steelers, I do not see an offensive revolution on the horizon.  As for the Steelers defense, they have only allowed one touchdown through their first two games.  Troy Polamalu is playing some of the best football of his life, and the entire defensive unit has taken it upon themselves to carry this team while Ben Roethlisberger serves his 4-game suspension.  Add that to the fact that the Bucs have also been playing some great defensive football, and five touchdowns between these two teams seems highly unlikely.

The Game: Dallas Cowboys @ Houston Texans
The Pick: Texans -2.5
The Reason: Last week we took the Texans by the same number of points, and they were playing IN Washington against a Redskins team that had just beaten the Dallas Cowboys.  Now the Texans will face those very same Cowboys, but this time it will be on the Texans’ home turf at Reliant Stadium.  When these two teams met in the pre-season, Arian Foster ran wild, rushing 18 times for 110 yards and a touchdown in a 23-7 victory.  Sure, that may have only been the pre-season, but it is likely enough to get the Cowboys defense focused on Foster, which should open up the passing game for Matt Schaub and company.  Dallas had a difficult time stopping the Bears offense last week at home, and things will only get harder when they face a Texans team that has multiple threats all over the field on the offensive side of the ball.  It is hard to imagine the Cowboys starting the season at 0-3 after entering 2010 as Super Bowl contenders, but don’t expect the Texans to be the ones who role over for Jerry Jones’ team.  Houston should come out on top of this Texas-sized battle and cover the 2.5-point spread in the process.

The Game: New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
The Pick: Dolphins -1
The Reason: With both the New England Patriots and the New York Jets also playing in the AFC East, the Miami Dolphins and their 2-0 record have flown under the radar, but that will change on Sunday night when they host the Jets at Sun Life Stadium.  Both teams appear to be carbon copies of one another: strong running games, dominant offensive lines, stout defenses, and quarterbacks that do not necessarily strike fear into the eyes of their opposition.  With that being said, this game should be a close one, but we will give the edge to the home side.  Last season the Dolphins took both games in this matchup, including a 31-27 week five victory at home.  This year they will have the luxury of avoiding Darrelle Revis, who is nursing a hamstring injury.  That should free up Brandon Marshall for the big play, and keep the Jets defense off-balanced just enough to come away with the victory in this big division matchup.

Game: Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
Pick: Lions +11.5
Reason: It can be tough to put your money on the Detroit Lions, but what is even more difficult is figuring out how a team that has looked as poor as the Vikings is actually 11.5-point favorites.  Brett Favre has looked like a 40-year-old quarterback should look thus far this season, and it appears as though missing training camp and a lack of weapons at the wide receiver position have finally caught up to him.  If the retooled defensive line for the Lions can hold Adrian Peterson in check (and by “in check” I mean under 150 yards), and Jahvid Best and Calvin Johnson can make a few big plays, Detroit should be able to keep this score within single-digits, thus covering the spread.

Overall Record: 6-2 (Last Week’s Record: 4-0)

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