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NFL computer perfect on Thursday; picks upsets in Week 3 betting
It's the rest of the week that is giving the computer all the problems.
And its curious selections like picking the Indianapolis Colts to win outright in San Francisco that is messing with its record. The formula spit out a 20-11 win for the Colts, which would be the first time since 2002 that Indy won as a double-digit underdog.
So through two weeks and one game of Week 3, the NFL picks machine is 23-10 SU, but just 15-17-1 ATS. It has been terrific picking over-under winners, hitting at a 21-11-1 clip so far.
What else does it have to say about Week 3?
E.J. Manuel and the Buffalo Bills have passed the eye test so far this season, getting off to a 2-0 ATS start by giving the New England Patriots all they could handle in Week 1 and then upsetting the Carolina Panthers on a late touchdown drive last week.
But are they ready to win on the road, visiting the New York Jets as a 2.5-point underdog this Sunday?
The computer thinks so, predicting a narrow victory for the Bills with a calculated score of Buffalo 16.8, New York 16.3. The Jets are 1-1 SU and 2-0 ATS after getting a cover in a losing effort against New England last Thursday night.
With Trent Richardson traded out of town and inexperienced quarterback Brian Hoyer under center, the Cleveland Browns have the lowest computer score projection on the board this week, projected to lose 10.2 to 14.8 to the Minnesota Vikings. A score like this one would go well under the posted total of 40.5
On the other side of the scoring spectrum, the Denver Broncos have sailed OVER the total in each of their first two games, beating Baltimore 49-27 and the New York Giants 41-23. The computers are projecting another offensive shootout this Monday night when the Broncos host the Oakland Raiders, projecting a score of Oakland 26.6 to Denver 42.3.
This total would easily crush the posted total of 48.5, and give Denver a cover at -14.5. But beware the Raiders, who are 6-1 ATS in their past seven trips to Mile High and who are 10-1 ATS in 11 recent division games on the road.
After starting the season off 2-0 SU and 0-2 ATS with two close wins, the computers have the Houston Texans picking up their first ATS cover of the season this week. The Texans are a 2.5-point road favorite visiting the Baltimore Ravens, and are projected to win comfortably at 28.3 to 17.7.
The rest of the Week 3 computer picks from OddsShark.com. See the latest NFL spreads here at SBNation.
NY Giants (12.1) at Carolina (20)
Tampa Bay (13.9) at New England (17.6)
Atlanta (20.4) at Miami (27.8)
Houston (28.3) at Baltimore (17.7)
Arizona (19.8) at New Orleans (23)
Buffalo (16.8) at NY Jets (16.3)
St. Louis (22) at Dallas (25.7)
Oakland (26.6) at Denver (42.3)
Kansas City (34) at Philadelphia (22.9)
Cleveland (10.2) at Minnesota (14.8)
Jacksonville (3) at Seattle (26.9)
Indianapolis (20.4) at San Francisco (11.1)
Detroit (28.4) at Washington (14.6)
San Diego (23.2) at Tennessee (23.7)
San Francisco (13.9) at St. Louis (21.3)
Green Bay (28.1) at Cincinnati (25.8)
Chicago (20.5) at Pittsburgh (10.8)
Tebow clears waivers, now a free agent
The popular but polarizing quarterback cleared waivers Tuesday, a day after being let go by the Jets following an embarrassingly unsuccessful year in New York.
Tebow is now a free agent, but his NFL future is uncertain. It was expected he would clear waivers since a team would have had to pick up the remainder of Tebow's contract, about $1.9 million over the next two seasons.
The Jets must still pay the Broncos, from whom they acquired Tebow in March 2012, $1.53 million as a result of their trade agreement.
It's unclear if any NFL team will give Tebow an opportunity for next season. His inaccurate passing, in addition to the relentless media attention he draws, makes for a tricky mix.
The Omaha Beef, an indoor football team, have offered him to play for them, as have the Orlando Predators of the Arena League. The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League hold his rights, but general manager Jim Popp said he could come compete for a job - as a backup.
It's quite a fall for Tebow, who led the Broncos to the postseason in 2011, but became expendable when Denver signed Peyton Manning as a free agent. The Jets acquired him for a fourth-round draft pick and $1.5 million in salary, and he was expected to be a vital part of New York's offense. Instead, it was a miserable season for Tebow as the Jets failed to find an effective way to use him, and he didn't impress Rex Ryan and his coaching staff enough in practice to force them to give him more playing time. Tebow was also leapfrogged by third-stringer Greg McElroy when starter Mark Sanchez was benched for a game late in the season.
''We really didn't take advantage, in my opinion, of his skill set,'' Ryan said on ESPN Radio on Tuesday. ''It's nobody's fault. Ultimately, it's my fault.''
Tebow attempted eight passes and completed six for 39 yards and rushed 32 times for 102 yards - and stunningly had no touchdowns.
New general manager John Idzik said on ESPN Radio and later during a conference call with Jets season ticket holders that the team never asked Tebow to switch positions from quarterback. Some have suggested that Tebow's best chance at remaining in the NFL would be to become a tight end or fullback.
''While I was here, he was slated as a quarterback,'' Idzik said.
Tebow's fate with the Jets was sealed when the Jets drafted former West Virginia star Geno Smith in the second round last Friday night, giving them the team six quarterbacks at the time.
Idzik said Smith will compete with Sanchez, McElroy, David Garrard and Matt Simms for the starting job this season.
''There is no guarantee that Mark will be our starter, there's no question,'' Ryan said on ESPN Radio. ''That job's going to have to be earned.''
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