BlackJack: Why I’m Fading the Red-Hot Chiefs, More Week 3 NFL Plays
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Jimmy Garoppolo, Patrick Mahomes
- The red-hot Kansas City Chiefs' home-opener against the San Francisco 49ers offers one of BlackJack Fletcher's favorite Week 3 NFL plays.
- BlackJack is also betting Saints-Falcons and Patriots-Lions this weekend. Find out why.
It’s Week 3 of the NFL season, brother. We’re starting to get a handle on some teams. We have surprises in both directions — and a whole lot in the middle.
There are some good games this weekend — and some important ones. What we’re looking for are the ones that will cash those tickets for us.
We’ve got three good prospects on the board. Let’s break them down.
San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5)
1 p.m. ET
People are very high on the Chiefs right now, and deservedly so.
Patrick Mahomes has looked absolutely incredible. But he isn’t going to throw for 6,000 yards and 80 touchdowns this season. That means at some point, this has to slow down. I think that happens this week.
Kyle Shanahan is one of the brightest minds in the NFL, and now that he has two weeks of film on Mahomes, I think the 49ers coach will throw enough wrinkles to slow the Chiefs dynamic offense down a bit.
The Niners offense has also shown it’s capable of moving the ball.
The pick: 49ers +6.5
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (-2.5)
1 p.m. ET
Full disclosure: I opened the season holding a Saints Super Bowl future, so I think pretty highly of them.
The Falcons concern me because of their injuries. Deion Jones is out, as is Keanu Neal, and Devonta Freeman is also banged up.
Another big issue is the Falcons’ difficulty scoring in the red zone. You need touchdowns, not field goals, to beat Drew Brees and the Saints. I don’t think the Falcons find enough pay dirt to bring this one home.
Take the Saints and the points.
The pick: Saints +2.5
New England Patriots (-7) at Detroit Lions
8:20 p.m. ET
You’re not going to like laying a touchdown on the road any more than I do, but in this spot, I have to do it.
The Pats are coming off a loss, which means this game has their entire focus. They have an extra day of rest and have added Josh Gordon. Furthermore, they’re playing against their former defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia.
I have to believe Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels have a pretty good idea of what they’re going to see from the Lions on Sunday night. I like the Patriots when they’re angry, and I expect them to take it out on the Lions in prime time.
The pick: Patriots -7
Let’s enjoy another full football weekend and cash some tickets, baby!
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.