NFL Week 3 Tips: New Orleans and Atlanta to pile on the points

This should be a productive game for Drew Brees, against Atlanta's weak secondary
This should be a productive game for Drew Brees, against Atlanta's weak secondary

Dallas can slay Chicago late on Sunday. While they've saved the best for last - with a shootout between New Orleans and Atlanta set for Monday night. Neil Harvey previews the final NFL games of the week...

"Drew Brees needs no introduction. And he should make hay against an Atlanta secondary that made Jameis Winston look a Hall of Famer in Week One, allowing him four TDs and 281 yards"

Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys
Monday, 01:30

Oh how the Bears imploded last week, gifting the win to Philadelphia in a few cataclysmic moments. Jay Cutler was the chief villain. Firstly he gifted Philly the ball by fumbling it to them. Then he just outright threw the ball to an opposing player who was completely alone. Classic Cutler! I've said before he's a player who blows hot and cold. But on Monday Cutler was a tundra wind, ruining everything he touched.

Perhaps then it's a blessing in disguise for Chicago fans that Cutler will miss this game with a thumb injury. Brian Hoyer, who steps in as Cutler's replacement, is his exact opposite - a much safer QB who prefers dumping off to running backs and hitting tight ends on short routes. He makes the low risk throws, but for much less yardage. And while that might not be exciting, it's perhaps what Chicago need right now after the latest Cutler debacle.

Hoyer's presence should mean lower output for Alshon Jeffrey, who's averaging more than a hundred yards a game so far. But it could play right into the hands of Eddie Royalthough. Royal shone in last week's defeat, scampering for yards after the catch and returning a punt brilliantly down the sideline for a touchdown. He could be the go-to outlet for Hoyer on those short passes.

Running back Jeremy Langford put this column in profit last week by scoring the opening touchdown at 10.09/1. Yards per carry were poor. And he fumbled. But while he may struggle against the Dallas D-Line, he should still be entrusted with opportunities near the goal line, and could hit paydirt again.

Chicago really did look defensively inept though last week, allowing huge spaces for the receivers in zonal coverage. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott may be a rookie but he has a lot of expert fans who believe he's the real deal. And like Carson Wentz last week, he looks good enough to pick the Bears apart. Ezekiel Elliot may or not play because of injury. But Lance Dunbar would be a very good deputy. And the Dallas O-Line is strong enough to make most RBs look good.

It's America's team all the way for me. With Dallas good enough to shrug Chicago aside with ease.

Recommended Bets:

3pts Dallas(-6.5) to beat Chicago at F/T @ [10/11]
2pts Dallas (-2.5) to beat Chicago at H/T @ 2.001/1

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
Tuesday, 01:30

To be quite frank, I expected each of these teams to be rubbish coming into the season, with both possessing a good offense but much worse defense.

Well, New Orleans have indeed been stinky so far, going 0-2. While Atlanta started horribly, losing at home to Tampa, before regaining some pride with a tight victory in Oakland last week. Nevertheless, I still think both sides will end the season with losing records, and all because of their defenses. The Falcons have shipped 59 points in two games and the Saints 51. They're a defensive coordinators nightmare!

So two powerful offenses against two woeful defenses can surely only mean one thing - points right? Matt Ryan should have a big day, with Julio Jones in line for some big receptions. New Orleans gave up over 300 yards to both David Carr and Eli manning, so Ryan have should have no problem.

For the Saints, Drew Brees needs no introduction. And he should make hay against an Atlanta secondary that made Jameis Winston look a Hall of Famer in Week One, allowing him four TDs and 281 yards. Receivers Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks are each averaging one hundred yards and a touchdown per game. Both must be looking forward to this one.

Indeed this looks all set to be one of the greatest aerial dog fights since World War Two. But I'm not expecting much of a ground game. Mark Ingram's been below par for the Saints. While Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman could both tote the rock for Atlanta against a run defense that's allowed meagre yardage.

The Saints with home advantage edge it for me, with Ryan turnovers perhaps being crucial. It's a tough call though, so I prefer to back the points and the passing yards to be high all round, in what could turn out to be a barn burner.

Recommended Bets:

3pts Back Total Points over 52.5 @ 1.981/1
2pts 1st half total points to be over 26.5 at 20/23 (Sportsbook)

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