NFL SuperContest Picks: Week 3 Locks Include Ravens, Panthers, Cardinals

We got back on track.

Team NESN — comprised of NESN.com’s Mike Cole and Ricky Doyle — got their act together with a strong showing in Week 2 of the Las Vegas SuperContest.

After a miserable Week 1 showing, the NESN.com duo rattled off four wins and started a hopefully steady climb up the Team OddsShark standings.

Here’s who they’ve got in Week 3 of the premier NFL handicapping contest as they look to build on last week’s success:

Baltimore Ravens (-3) over Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET
Wembley Stadium, London
We’re buying into the Ravens’ defense, which has allowed just 4.9 yards per play this season and now gets a Jacksonville offense that, last time we checked, was still run by Blake Bortles. We’re admittedly a little skeptical of what the Ravens will do offensively on quite literally foreign soil, but we’ll bank on a few turnovers putting Joe Flacco and Co. in position to succeed even against a stout Jaguars defense.

Denver Broncos (-3) over Buffalo Bills, Sunday, 1 p.m.
New Era Field, Buffalo, N.Y.
No shortage of road favorites to choose from this week, which is sometimes sketchy. But the Broncos are starting to look like a legitimate AFC contender, especially if Trevor Siemian (106.9 passer rating) is for real. Here’s something we’re feeling really confident about: Buffalo is banged up in the trenches, down an offensive lineman (Cordy Glenn) and two defensive linemen (Marcell Dareus, Jerel Worthy). Those absences will really hurt against a smashmouth team like Denver.

Carolina Panthers (-5.5) over New Orleans Saints, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Bank of America Field, Charlotte, N.C.
This could be a funeral game for the Saints’ season. Carolina is giving up the fewest yards per play this season, and while that’s come against two iffy offenses in San Francisco and Buffalo, that’s still a talented bunch capable of slowing down a Saints offense that’s going on the road on grass, one week after scoring just 20 against a Patriots defense with question marks. And after watching Patriots running backs catch 11 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown last week, Panthers rookie Christian McCaffrey looks poised for a breakout day.

Minnesota Vikings (+3) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, 1 p.m.
U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
Sam Bradford is out, so we’re rolling with Case Keenum, which seems like a bad idea on the surface. But getting three points at home with that defense is too much to pass up, as are some of the trends. The Vikings are 15-5-1 against the spread in their last 21 games as a home underdog, and they’re also 21-8 ATS in their last 29 following a loss. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is just 4-12-1 in its last 17 games as a road favorite.

Arizona Cardinals (+3) over Dallas Cowboys, Monday, 8:30 p.m.
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
We liked this line even before seeing reports that Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott might be forced to sit out this game. What really draws us to the Cardinals here, though, is they look like a team capable of duplicating the Broncos’ game plan last week against Dallas. Arizona’s run defense is ranked fourth (2.8 yards per carry) after finishing third last season. If they can bottle up Elliott or whoever’s in the Dallas backfield, Patrick Peterson should be able to do a number on Dez Bryant on the outside leaving Dak Prescott without a whole lot of viable weapons. This might even be a good money line pick, too … if you’re into that kind of thing.

Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images

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