Just like that, we’re already two weeks into the 2021 regular season. So far, we’ve been treated to quite the collection of games as each one — particularly in prime time — seemingly becoming instant classics. In those prime-time games, Overs are currently running hot with a 6-0 mark to begin the year. However, that hasn’t been the case for the bulk of the season with the Under owning a 17-15 record (8-8 in Week 2). Meanwhile, underdogs continue to hold an edge with a 21-11 ATS record through Week 1. That said, favorites are still 18-14 outright.
Over here, we’re been running strong with our locks of the week as we rolled through yet another 3-1-1 mark in Week 2 to bring us to 6-2-2 on the year. We’ll try to keep that momentum going into Week 3 as we run through our picks for the upcoming slate.
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
Locks of the Week ATS: 6-2-2
Don’t look now, but the Panthers defense has been playing extremely well to begin the year, allowing the fewest yards per game (190) through the first two weeks. In Week 3, they’ll get a Texans team that has been scrappy to begin the year with a 2-0 ATS record. However, I expect Houston to see its first ATS loss of the season on Thursday night with rookie quarterback Davis Mills under center for the injured Tyrod Taylor. Mills didn’t light the world on fire in his debut and I don’t expect the rookie to be able to go toe-to-toe with this defensive unit. Meanwhile, Sam Darnold has played well to begin his tenure in Carolina, completing 68.5% of his passes through the first two weeks. The Panthers are also 7-0 ATS in their last seven road games.
Projected score: Panthers 27, Texans 17
The pick: Panthers -7.5
Kyler Murray is playing at an MVP clip to start the season and now gets a Jaguars team that looks utterly lost under first-year head coach Urban Meyer. Arizona is averaging 36 points per game to begin the year, which is second-best in the NFL. As for the Jaguars, they have mustered 17 points per game (fourth-lowest in the NFL) on offense and the defense has given up an average of 30 points a game. That’s well within our margin of 7.5 points and the Cardinals have a solid history of covering on the road, owning a 19-7 ATS record in their last 26 road contests against teams with a losing record.
Projected score: Cardinals 33, Jaguars 17
The pick: Cardinals -7.5
Carson Wentz is once again banged up as the Colts quarterback is dealing with two sprained ankles. If he plays in Week 3, it sounds like Wentz will be pretty limited. If he doesn’t, Jacob Eason would get the starting nod and limit the ceiling for Indy’s offense, which is good news for those holding Titans tickets. Tennessee’s defense isn’t anything to write home about but should be able to contain either a hobbled Wentz or inexperienced Eason and be able to win this game by a touchdown. Mike Vrabel’s team is also riding some strong momentum from an overtime win over the Seahawks in Week 2, making this the perfect opportunity to re-solidify their dominance within the AFC South. It also doesn’t hurt knowing that the favorite is 7-2 in their last nine meetings.
Projected score: Titans 28, Colts 21
The pick: Titans -5
San Francisco 49ers
The Packers were able to reset their season by blowing out the Detriot Lions on Monday night and it appears like they are back on track as one of the dominant forces in the NFC. While the 49ers are a conference contender in their own right, I do love Aaron Rodgers’ history against his hometown team that snubbed him at the NFL Draft back in 2005. Against the 49ers in his career, Rodgers is 5-3 and has completed 65.7% of his throws for 292 yards per game, 18 touchdowns, and just two picks. If I’m getting that type of play from Rodgers coupled with a 3.5 point bump, I’m feeling good heading into Sunday Night Football.
Projected score: 49ers 27, Packers 24
The pick: Packers +3.5
Ben Roethlisberger is dealing with a left pec injury that he suffered against the Raiders and coach Mike Tomlin did note that this will impact his preparation for Pittsburgh’s Week 3 contest with the Bengals. Not only is Big Ben hobbled, but the Steelers are also dealing with multiple injuries. On the defensive side of the ball, corner Joe Haden and linebacker Devin Bush missed last week’s game and star pass rusher T.J. Watt exited Sunday with a groin injury. Receiver Diontae Johnson also sustained a knee injury on the final play of the game in Week 2. With all those injuries in mind, I’m leaning towards the Bengals and the points. Cincinnati is looking to rebound after a loss to the Bears and has historically done well in that department. Over their last eight games following a straight-up loss, the Bengals are 6-2 ATS.
Projected score: Steelers 24, Bengals 23
The pick: Bengals +4
Rest of the Bunch
Washington at Bills
Projected score: Bills 33, Washington 21
The pick: Buffalo -9
Bears at Browns
Projected score: Browns 28, Bears 17
The pick: Browns -7
Ravens at Lions
Projected score: Ravens 27, Lions 20
The pick: Ravens -8.5
Chargers at Chiefs
Projected score: Chiefs 31, Chargers 28
The pick: Chargers +6.5
Saints at Patriots
Projected score: Patriots 24, Saints 20
The pick: Patriots -3
Falcons at Giants
Projected score: Giants 28, Falcons 26
The pick: Falcons +3
Jets at Broncos
Projected score: Broncos 30, Jets 17
The pick: Broncos -10.5
Dolphins at Raiders
Projected score: Raiders 28, Dolphins 20
The pick: Raiders -3.5
Buccaneers at Rams
Projected score: Buccaneers 27, Rams 24
The pick: Buccaneers -1
Seahawks at Vikings
Projected score: Seahawks 24, Vikings 21
The pick: Seahawks -2
Eagles at Cowboys
Projected score: Cowboys 33, Eagles 27
The pick: Cowboys -4
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