Entering Week 3 of the NFL season, our own Irascible Ira Kaufman is off to a decent start, going 9-7 against the spread (ATS). He even hit on his upset special: Minnesota plus 4 ½ at Arizona (Cardinals won 34-33). So here we go again, and let’s see if our expert can come through again for usracing.com and its bettors. Ira Kaufman is an award-winning sports writer, former columnist at the Tampa Tribune, and currently the co-host of an NFL-themed podcast, columnist for a website covering the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and a weekly contributor on Sirius XM Mad Dog Sports Radio.
By Ira Kaufman
The Saints and Texans both returned to Earth in Week 2 while Tennessee, Buffalo and New England rebounded from disappointing season openers.
It’s not surprising to see the Bucs, Rams and 49ers off to 2-0 starts, but few expected Carolina, Las Vegas and Denver to display such early strength.
The Panthers, Raiders and Broncos are all solid favorites Sunday to remain unbeaten while the Bucs and Rams meet in an NFC September showdown at Los Angeles.
Here’s the Week 3 slate, with odds from BUSR.ag.
Here’s a chance for Carolina’s young, aggressive defense to show out before a national TV audience. Panthers, 27-13.
Arizona’s defense still has much to prove, and Trevor Lawrence is poised to inflict some damage — if Chandler Jones doesn’t get to him first. Cardinals, 30-24.
The Chargers let one slip away at home against Dallas, but Justin Herbert will make KC’s suspect defense pay. UPSET SPECIAL: Chargers, 34-31.
Led by Nick Chubb, Cleveland’s punishing ground game will wear down Chicago. Browns, 24-14.
Buffalo ironed out some early kinks in trouncing Miami and Josh Allen is just getting started. Bills, 30-17.
That was one impressive road win for Mike Vrabel’s gritty group in Seattle, led by the relentless Derrick Henry. Titans, 27-20.
New England’s defensive complexity will test the patience of Jameis Winston, who is coming off a drab effort in Charlotte. Patriots, 21-17.
Matt Ryan is gaining trust in rookie Kyle Pitts as a pair of desperate 0-2 clubs meet in the Meadowlands. Falcons, 23-21.
Joe Mixon should find some open running lanes at Heinz Field, where Ben Roethlisberger is showing his age. Steelers, 30-27.
Baltimore must guard against a letdown after Sunday night’s emotional win against the Chiefs. Ravens, 31-24.
Teddy Bridgewater is off to a terrific start for Denver while Zach Wilson experiences growing pains with a pedestrian attack. Broncos, 35-14.
Speaking of terrific starts, even Jon Gruden is having trouble finding fault with Derek Carr’s decision-making. Raiders, 34-20.
Tampa Bay takes an 8-game road winning streak into L.A. as Tom Brady continues his assault on Peyton’s Manning single-season record of 55 TD passes. Bucs, 30-27.
With both clubs coming off narrow losses, Dalvin Cook makes the difference for the home team. Vikings, 33-31.
This 49er defense is for real – Green Bay’s is not. 49ers, 24-17.
The Cowboys showed some moxie against the Chargers, returning to their smashmouth ways as Dak Prescott threw only 27 passes. Cowboys, 27-20.