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Ben Axelrod's NFL Week 3 Picks: Titans beat Jaguars, Rams beat Browns

WKYC's Ben Axelrod makes his picks against the spread for Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season.

When you're making picks against the spread for an entire season, sometimes it's not about making up all of your ground in one week, but rather getting back to your winning ways.

In Week 2, I did just that.

After a rough Week 1 in which I amassed a 5-10-1 record, I bounced back to go 9-7 in my Week 2 picks. That brings my total record for the season to 14-17-1, which puts me within striking distance to get my head back above water.

Of course, doing just that is contingent on me keeping my winning streak going. Fortunately, I feel even better about my Week 3 picks than I did in Week 2.

Let's keep the momentum rolling.

All lines via Bovada:

Jacksonville Jaguars (+2) vs. Tennessee Titans

Pick: Titans -2

I don't love picking against a home underdog on Thursday night football. But between starting an unproven rookie quarterback on a short week and the distraction of Jalen Ramsey's trade demand, two points just aren't enough for me to have faith in picking Jacksonville to cover.

Indianapolis Colts (-1) vs. Atlanta Falcons

Pick: Colts -1

I'm not buying the Andrew Luck-less Colts' hype train as much as some, but this pick is more about Atlanta than it is Indianapolis. Even after last week's win over the Eagles, I just don't trust this Falcons team to show up on a weekly basis. I'll take the Colts to win outright at home.

Kansas City Chiefs (-7) vs. Baltimore Ravens

Pick Chiefs -7

Considering Lamar Jackson's early success this season, I'm expecting the Ravens +7 to be a popular pick, but I think it's worth noting that Baltimore's resume has been inflated by wins over two of the NFL's five worst teams (Miami and Arizona). While the opponents the Chiefs have beaten (Jacksonville and Oakland) may not be much more impressive, both of those victories have come on the road, which means that Baltimore won't only have to overcome Patrick Mahomes, but a rabid Kansas City home opener crowd.

Credit: AP
El quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) de los Chiefs de Kansas City lanza un pase al running back Damien Williams durante la primera mitad de un partido de pretemporada, el sábado 24 de agosto de 2019, en Kansas City, Missouri.(AP Foto/Charlie Riedel)

Buffalo Bills (-6) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: Bengals +6

I really don't love this pick considering I think Cincinnati might be the second-worst team in the league, but even at 2-0, Buffalo hasn't shown me enough to prove its worth of being a near-touchdown favorite. Plus, could we really live in a world where the Bills start the season 3-0? I'll take the Bengals and the points just in case they don't.

RELATED: Chalk Talk: Nick Camino and Ben Axelrod break down the college football Week 4 and NFL Week 3 betting lines

Green Bay Packers (-7.5) vs. Denver Broncos

Pick: Broncos +7.5

Much like the Bengals, I don't feel great picking the Broncos, but 7.5 points are just too many to pass on against a Green Bay team that's been more inconsistent this season than its 2-0 record indicates.

Philadelphia Eagles (-6) vs. Detroit Lions

Pick: Eagles -6

The Eagles at home in a bounce-back spot vs. a Lions team coming off an overachieving win vs the Chargers? And all I have to lay are six points? Where do I sign up?

Dallas Cowboys (-23) vs. Miami Dolphins

Pick: Dolphins +23

It's the Gambler's Fallacy to assume the Dolphins are going to cover one of these massive spreads at some point. But even for as bad as they are (and as good as the Cowboys are), they can't keep getting blown out like this on a weekly basis -- can they?

New England Patriots (-23) vs. New York Jets

Pick: Patriots -23

The Jets are:

  1. Coming off a short week with a third-string rookie quarterback
  2. Decimated by injuries elsewhere
  3. Facing the best team in football on the road

You could set this line at New England -40 and I'd still have to think about it.

Credit: Elise Amendola/AP
New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon runs for a touchdown after catching a pass during the second half of a game against the Minnesota Vikings in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Sunday, December 2, 2018.

Minnesota Vikings (-9) vs. Oakland Raiders

Pick: Vikings -9

This feels like a classic "good team beats bad team and does so handily" type of game. I don't know what the Vikings' ceiling is yet, but I'm confident it can handle a team like the Raiders at home.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7) vs. New York Giants

Pick: Giants +7

If Daniel Jones is going to be an upgrade over Eli Manning -- and clearly the Giants think he will be -- this line seems way too high. Tampa Bay's win over Carolina last Thursday said more to me about the Panthers than it did the Bucs. And let's not forget, this is the same Tampa Bay team that got blown out at home by the 49ers in Week 1.

Los Angeles Chargers (-3) vs. Houston Texans

Pick: Chargers -3

That the Chargers are still favored by 3 points against a 2-0 team after last week's loss to the Lions tells me oddsmakers aren't overreacting and I won't either. Los Angeles isn't perfect, but still has enough overall talent on defense to keep the Texans' high ceiling offense in check.

Credit: AP
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler plays against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Seattle Seahawks (-4.5) vs. New Orleans Saints

Pick: Seahawks -4.5

I've been wary of this Saints team this season and that was before Drew Brees went down last week. At this point in his career, Teddy Bridgewater feels more valuable as a name than he does as an actual backup. I'll take a Seahawks team coming off an impressive road win at Pittsburgh to cover by at least five points at home.

San Francisco 49ers (-7) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Steelers +7

This is one of my favorite picks this week, which is scary considering how little we know about Mason Rudolph. But at 0-2, the Steelers are in a must-win spot and as this week's acquisition of Minkah Fitzpatrick showed, they aren't ready to pack it in just yet. Between JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner, Pittsburgh still has more than enough offensive firepower to cover a 7-point spread against a 49ers team whose resume has been inflated by big wins over the Bucs and Bengals.

Cleveland Browns (+3) vs. Los Angeles Rams

Pick: Rams -3

I think the Browns will play up to their competition this week, so this is a spot I could very well be wrong. But I just haven't seen enough from Cleveland through the first two weeks for me to trust the Browns in primetime against the Rams, who are still one of the most talented teams in the entire league.

RELATED: GUIDE | Everything you need to know for the Cleveland Browns-Los Angeles Rams game on Sunday Night Football

Washington Redskins (+4) vs. Chicago Bears

Pick: Redskins +4

Sometimes in life, the best thing we can do is admit our biases. So with that in mind, I'm not afraid to say I'm still scarred from betting on the Bears in primetime in Week 1, only to watch the Mitchell Trubisky-led offense let me down -- and then some.

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