Over the last week, the world of music lost two key members of the classic rock era. On September 13, Eddie Money died at the age of 70 of esophageal cancer while Ric Ocasek, the lead singer of The Cars, died of heart disease just two days later. As a kid, my older brother built up my musical interests with a steady dose of classic rock, including each of these artists. I have regularly played a number of each’s hits throughout the years. As a result, it felt right to honor both Money and Ocasek by making this week’s theme tied to their catchy tunes. KP’s Week 3 NFL Picks are here. Get ready to tap that foot and take a trip down memory lane. That is, if you were a fan at any point in your life. Here is hoping this week’s picks are money, too.
Each game on the slate will feature a hit song by either The Cars or Eddie Money. It’s really that simple, and hopefully will bring some nostalgia to music fans that stumble upon these TWHS picks.
Also, this week’s NFL slate is an interesting one, with two lines eclipsing the three touchdown mark. The Patriots and Cowboys are huge favorites against the floundering Dolphins and injury-battered Jets.
How do we handle spreads like this, especially when we are used to lines like these in the college game only? Let’s just cross that bridge when we come to it, shall we?
Here are my Week 3 NFL Picks against the spread, based off the lines presented by CBS Sports:
KP’s “More Than Money” Week 3 NFL Picks
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+1.5)
“Think I’m In Love” – Eddie Money
Jaguars shutdown corner Jalen Ramsey made headlines earlier in the week when he requested a trade out of Jacksonville. Plenty of teams have interest, but the Jags have a hefty asking price and therefore, no deal is done yet. Despite the news, the story in Jacksonville remains Gardner Minshew II. If you judge by social media alone, it’s fair to say he is the story of the year. “I Think I’m in love and my life’s lookin’ up”, as Eddie Money once sang.
Two years ago, it was “You Like That?” and Kirk Cousins. Last year, it was “FitzMagic” with the Bucs. This year, it’s Gardner Minshew, or the “Secret Gardner”, as my co-worker likes to call him. As for the game, the Jags have home field and the Titans have had success rushing the QB through two weeks. That will be the story. Jacksonville typically plays better at home and the Jags also pushed the Texans to the brink last week. Jacksonville also has some defensive talent of its own. If I’m going to dedicate this one to Minshew, then I need to take the Jags here. Give me the JAGUARS at home in what should be a low-scoring, close game.
UPDATE: Jaguars 20, Titans 7 – The legend of Gardner Minshew continues to grow.
Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills (-5.5)
“Running Back” – Eddie Money
The Cincinnati offensive line is struggling, allowing nine sacks through two games. The running game has faltered and each game ends up with Andy Dalton piling up the passing numbers in a game of catch-up. Buffalo, meanwhile, has home field and a 2-0 start with victories over the Jets and Giants. Toss Cincinnati in as the next opponent and you really couldn’t have a better opening schedule. But the Bills running back situation is also up in the air. Rookie Devin Alexander is out, leaving the bulk of the work to the ageless Frank Gore (with T.J. Yeldon complementing). In the end, the song “Running Back” is not in the same context, but this game is like to be about who establishes a better run game. I like the Bills to have more balance and win the game, but the BENGALS keep it close.
Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys (-21.5)
“You Might Think” – The Cars
Yikes. It will get uglier before it gets better in Miami. Minkah Fitzpatrick is off to Pittsburgh, throwing more high draft picks into the mix for the Dolphins. Miami has been outscored 102 – 10 over its first two games. Josh Rosen now gets his chance in the starting QB role. Expect mistakes, but this could be a good thing for Miami. Inject some youth and a guy that desperately wants to prove himself to a franchise. “You might think I’m crazy.” Yes, we do think you’re crazy. I know that’s what you’re thinking. But don’t fret, I’m not so crazy that I’ll take the Dolphins in this game.
Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott and the Dallas offense that is really clicking under Kellen Moore. Moore is the next big thing. I don’t typically take NFL teams favored by more than three TD’s, but who can honestly pick the Dolphins right now? We have to see how Rosen plays. One can’t imagine it will be all that great considering the supporting cast around him. Give me the COWBOYS to cover.
Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)
“Drag on Forever” – The Cars
The Broncos have zero sacks through two games. This is with its new defensive minded head coach and a ton of big names on the defensive front. Now throw in the crafty Aaron Rodgers who knows how to exploit defenses that are failing to get pressure on him. The game is also at Lambeau. Oh, and the Green Bay defense is one of the most improved units this season. The Packers caused a ton of fits for the Bears and Vikings through the first two weeks. “Must this drag on forever”? That is what fans of the Broncos will say by halftime. Take the PACKERS to cover at home.
Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5)
“Pull Together” – Eddie Money
What a challenging opening three weeks for the Falcons. Atlanta opened with the Vikings and Eagles, now get the Colts on the road in week three. The boys in red and black need to continue to “pull together”. The song says “both hearts through the fire”, but in this case, it’s an entire locker room. Get through this stretch and it could mean good things for the Falcons, what with all the question marks in Carolina and New Orleans.
Indianapolis, meanwhile, is struggling in its kicking game, with Adam Vinatieri teetering between the game and retirement. That’s not exactly something you want to deal with during what is likely to be a hard fought, close game. Throw in some questionable tags to key players on defense (e.g. Darius Leonard) and I’ll take the FALCONS to squeak out a key victory on the road.
Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5)
“Two Tickets to Paradise” – Eddie Money
This is easily the game of the week. I’ve got two tickets to paradise. Paradise equals the Super Bowl. Many expected the Chiefs to be a Super Bowl contender heading into the system. I also took the over for the Ravens heading into the season (insert post link). The combination of Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram and Hollywood Brown is proving to be lethal. The Ravens defense is difficult to throw on when healthy. So will this be a high-scoring game with each team exchanging touchdowns throughout? That is what the line suggests. My gut says it will be closer than that and more of a tactical grudge match. Give me the Chiefs at home by four and therefore, take the RAVENS and the points.
Oakland Raiders at Minnesota Vikings (-7.5)
“Touch and Go” – The Cars
The Raiders will need to be able to shut down Minnesota’s run heavy offense. Oakland is fifth in rushing yards allowed, although the Chiefs mostly threw the ball in week one. Shutting down the Minnesota run game is a job that is easier said than done. Dalvin Cook is healthy and when he is, he is both explosive and effective. He has arguably been the best back in the NFL over the first few weeks.
The Minnesota scheme is “Touch and Go”, as in, give it to Cook (let him touch it), then let him go. Oh, oh oh. It’s a stretch, but you get the idea. As for the game, the Raiders are improving, but heading halfway across the country to a rowdy dome in the Midwest is a tall ask. Give me the VIKINGS at home to control the clock and win this game by ten.
New York Jets at New England Patriots (-22.5)
“Walk on Water” – Eddie Money
It is yet another football season and the Patriots are once again dominating the NFL. It feels like Tom Brady and Bill Belichick can “walk on water”. The Antonio Brown distraction is gone and it won’t matter. The talent and the coaching is there.
Enter the Jets, a team crumbling in key areas. Sam Darnold is out with mono. Backup QB Trevor Siemian (ankle injury) is out for the year. That leaves 24 year-old Luke Falk to take over the offense, with his first start on the road in New England. On top of that, the Jets played on Monday night, which means less preparation time and fewer reps with the first string. It’s therefore hard to imagine the Jets giving the Pats that much of a game. But could the Jets defense keep this game within reach? My gut says yes for the first half. By the second half, New York’s D will tire once the Jets are unable to regularly move the ball. PATRIOTS cover.
Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5)
“Hello Again” – The Cars
you gave your body
you gave the best
staring at the green door
living in the sky
you don’t want to know it
you just want to fly
Hello, Matt Patricia, say the Eagles. “Fly, Eagles, fly”, as they did against Patricia’s defense in Super Bowl LII, a 41-33 win for Philadelphia. How do we feel Patricia can adjust now that his staff gets another shot at the Eagles? Well, for one, this isn’t the same roster that New England had a few seasons ago. It’s also a road game. Sure, Detroit was able to shock the Chargers last week, but I’m not sold on the Lions. I’m more sold on the talent in Philly. EAGLES cover at home.
Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals (+2.5)
“Just What I Needed” – The Cars
Cam Newton has bee ruled out of this game. Still, once the leg injury started to bother him again, Newton faltered in the latter part of last week’s game against the Bucs. Perhaps a fresh face is just what the Panthers need. Enter Kyle Allen, who posted a 113.1 QB rating in minimal time at the end of last season. This situation just feels different. Allen should be able to move the ball against the Arizona defense. The key will be how Carolina’s defense handles Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray. My gut feeling is that Carolina feels the desperation and its defense will carry it on this day, while Kyle Allen – a fresh body that makes enough plays in the game – will be just what the Panthers needed. PANTHERS cover.
New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5)
“Shake It Up” – The Cars
We know the drill here. Eli Manning gets all the flack for the way the Giants are playing. There is just a lack of overall talent on this roster right now. With that said, it is the right time to give the football to Daniel Jones. It is the right time to “shake it up”. See what Jones can do. Get him some experience.
There is some similar crossover when comparing the situation in Tampa Bay. Jameis Winston did not play well in Week 1, but recovered a bit last week at Carolina. With some additional prep time, Winston and the Bucs face a Giants team that has struggled defensively. The home field advantage helps. The offensive weapons could light up the Giants secondary. With that said, Tampa Bay isn’t exactly perfect. Saquon Barkley will make a few big plays. My gut says Daniel Jones makes a few plays, too. Mistakes will also be made, but will it be enough to allow the Bucs to cover? My gut says no. Tampa Bay wins, but give me the GIANTS and the points.
Houston Texans at Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5)
“You’re All I’ve Got Tonight” – The Cars
It is hard to gauge just where each of these teams are at right now. The Chargers look explosive at times, yet failed to post many points on the board at Detroit. The same goes for Houston against the Jags. For the Texans, it essentially seems like if you can shut down Hopkins, then you shut down Watson and the entire offense. It seems that like with DeAndre Hopkins, it’s “you’re all I’ve got tonight”.
Still, I know that simply isn’t true. So, what gives? In the end, this is one of the better games of the week, featuring two fairly well balanced teams. I believe Houston needs time to gel both offensively and defensively. With this kind of match-up and a 3 ½ point line, I tend to lean on a three-point game at the final whistle. Therefore, give me the TEXANS and the points, but with not a ton of confidence.
Pittsburgh Steelers at San Francisco 49ers (-6.5)
“Drive” – The Cars
Who’s gonna tell you when it’s too late
Who’s gonna tell you when things aren’t so great
You can’t go on thinking nothing’s wrong
Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?
With Big Ben out for the year, Mason Rudolph gets the start. James Conner is a bit banged up and no clear #2 receiver has stepped up behind JuJu. With that said, can the Steelers piece together enough offense to compete with the Niners in San Francisco? Right now, the Steelers “aren’t so great”. They are a west coast road game loss away from starting 0-3. Does that mean Mike Tomlin is on the hot seat? Yes, he should be. No matter what else it means, it doesn’t look good facing a San Francisco team that has an underrated defense and some key playmakers on offense. Give me the 49ERS to cover.
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5)
“Baby Hold On” – Eddie Money
Baby hold onto me
Whatever will be, will be
The future is ours to see
When you hold onto me.
That is the story with the Saints. Drew Brees had successful surgery on his injured thumb and will be out at least six weeks. That leaves Teddy Bridgewater and the fans that need to “hold on” to the talent that he possesses. Trust the offensive minded Sean Payton and the fact that he had faith in Bridgewater. He had enough faith to ensure he was signed to a new deal as the backup. Now, the Saints face the 12th Man in Seattle, a team that has been hit or miss over the first few games.
What should we expect in this one? My gut says most will lean to Seattle covering, but I have faith in Bridgewater, despite the fact that he looked lost and out of sync last week. One full week of practice gets Bridgewater and the Saints offense on track. This will be a close game and therefore, give me the SAINTS and the points on the road.
Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland Browns (+2.5)
“Runnin’ Away” – Eddie Money
Don’t get too excited, Cleveland. Sure, a blowout win last Monday night was nice, but this was against the Jets and their third-string quarterback. Enter the Rams and a slew of weapons. Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens knows his offensive line has struggled and will need a game plan that will allow Baker Mayfield to get the ball out of his hands quicker.
Aaron Donald will be rushing the passer, after all. As the song goes, “it gets harder every day when you’re running away”. The question remains, will Baker Mayfield have time to throw or will he be running away (from the pass rush) all game long? Cleveland has the right idea in building a new game plan, but in the end, the Browns haven’t showed me enough. The RAMS have too much talent and cover.
Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins (+4.5)
“Stop Steppin’ on My Heart” – Eddie Money
This song could apply to a lot of teams in the league. The Browns come to mind, but let’s see what Cleveland does with the talent it has. Instead, this song belongs to the hot mess Washington Redskins, who will need to knock off the Bears at home in order to avoid a 0-3 start. Daniel Snyder is at the forefront of the many of years of losing, followed by Bruce Allen in the front office.
This song could also be applied to the Monday Night Football schedule to this point. This is the one game of the night… in primetime. We get Browns-Jets last week. Now we get Bears-Redskins. The next few weeks we will get Bengals-Steelers and Browns-49ers. Stop stepping on our hearts, NFL.
As for the game, the Redskins are 31st against the run to open the season. Washington also only has two sacks of opposing quarterbacks. This is just what the Bears need… to give Mitch Trubisky time to throw and get David Montgomery going in the run game. That combination alone should be enough to down the lowly Redskins. BEARS cover on the road.
2019 NFL Season to Date (ATS)
Feel free to comment with either some of your NFL Week 3 picks or your favorite songs by Eddie Money or The Cars. As always, thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
Archive: 2018 NFL Season (ATS)
Music Credits: Eddie Money and The Cars