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Against the Odds: Week 3

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    NEWSLETTERS

    OK, we all know betting on sports is illegal in 49 states, so don't do it unless you're in Sin City, but if you're going, you can make these bets for me.

    1. New England (-8.5) at Buffalo, Sunday, noon — Buffalo has been one of the pleasant surprises of the NFL so far behind Harvard quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the Bills have a different kind of animal to deal with on Sunday in the form of the New England Patriots and the historic pace quarterback Tom Brady is on with a 500-yard passing game and a 400-yard effort in his first two outings. This should be a shootout, but the Patriots will push it to double-digits before the game ends.

    2. Houston at New Orleans (-4), Sunday, noon — The Texans have been good this year so far with their Wade Phillips-led defense and an effective offense. The Saints are banged up right now with Marques Colston out at least a month and are still trying to find a running game with their plethora of running backs led by rookie Mark Ingram. But, the Saints still have Drew Brees, and the game is still in the Superdome where the Saints are hard to beat.

    3. Detroit (-3.5) at Minnesota, Sunday, noon — The Lions have the second-best scoring offense in the NFL through two weeks (sandwiched between Buffalo and New England) and the Vikings have one of the worst pass defenses in the league. That doesn't bode well as Matthew Stafford comes to town with Megatron.

    4. Atlanta (+1.5) at Tampa Bay, Sunday, 3:15 p.m. — Tampa Bay seemed to find some offensive rhythm in the second half of last week's comeback victory as running back LeGarrette Blount finally got into a groove on the ground. The Falcons had an impressive home win over Philadelphia as Michael Turner turned in a good game and Matt Ryan threw for three touchdowns. This game is in Tampa, but that doesn't sway me enough. Take the Falcons.

    5. Washington (+5) at Dallas, Monday, 7:35 p.m. — Things are starting to come together for Dallas. It sounds like Tony Romo's lung is healed and he's set to play. It sounds like Dez Bryant will be ready to go as well. But don't forget, the Redskins are 2-0 and quarterback Rex Grossman is playing out of his head. I think the Cowboys win their home debut, but not by five points. Their first two games have been field-goal differences, so why not this one?