Our NFL Analyst shares his best bets for the entire NFL Week 3 Slate
Week 2 is in the books and it’s time for another week of picking every single NFL game in hopes of having a perfect week. Perfection is hard to come by. When was the last time you got in bed at the end of the day and thought to yourself “what a perfect day!”, or took a bite of a burger and thought “this burger is perfect!”? It doesn’t happen often, and that’s what makes it so special when it does.
Here are the ground-rules I set for myself once again, in case you’re new here: I can’t take heavy favorites, all odds must be less than -160. I must bet on every single game, every single week.
If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last two weeks, it’s that holding myself to a standard of perfection has increased the quality of my picks drastically. So far, through two weeks of NFL action, I’m 19-11-2 and up 5.9 units. It’s not a bad start to the season, especially considering I’m forcing myself to pick every single game (not something I would typically advise bettors to do). But it’s not perfect, so we’re going for perfection in week 3.
Sixteen NFL Bets to Make This Week
- Week 2 Record: 10-6
- NFL Season Record: 19-11-2
- Week 2 Picks
Dolphins at Jaguars: Jaguars -3 (+100) [Pointsbet]
It’s time to buy into Minshew Mania. The Jaguars are 2-0 against the spread this year, and they almost beat a really good Titans team in week 2. Their offense is clicking and if they had kept any players on defense instead of trading them all away, they would be a legitimately good team. I trust Minshew to keep this team in games, and I’m having trouble betting against the Jaguars here against a Dolphins team that allowed 8.9 yards per play in week 2. And that was against the Bills!
The Dolphins defense looks horrendous. I would also lean over 47 here, but getting the Jaguars -3 at even odds is too appetizing for me to pass up. I can’t wait to see Gardner Minshew’s beautiful hair under those Thursday Night Lights in front of thousands of fans who love football so much, they’re willing to kill themselves and their families for it.
Bears at Falcons: Falcons -3 (-110) [Draftkings Sportsbook]
The 0-2 Falcons are 3 point favorites against the 2-0 Bears. What a bizarre set of circumstances. But how do you not take the 0-2 team here?
Listen, the Falcons are a miserable franchise that love giving up 20 point leads. The fact that their week 2 loss to the Cowboys isn’t their worst meltdown in the last 5 years is a testament to just how outlandishly horribly coached this team is. Dan Quinn absolutely must have blackmail on Arthur Blank, there simply is no other explanation as to how he has kept his job this long. This is an offense with incredible weapons, and they’re squandering it with inept coaching decisions and a god awful defense.
With all that being said, I’m still taking the Falcons to cover here against the Bears. Sure, the Bears are 2-0, but they’ve played against the Lions and the Giants. They have yet to play against a top 25 NFL team, and I don’t trust this team to beat anyone remotely good. Fading them last week worked out against New York, and if the Giants can cover 5.5 against this team, the Falcons can certainly beat them by 3. Unless the Bears just do onside kicks all game. That seems like a decent strategy against this team.
Rams at Bills: Rams ML (+125) [BetMGM]
The Rams look like they’re back in 2018 form, and as a Rams fan, I’m probably buying into it way too hard. The offense looked dynamic in week 2, and the defense has held the opposition to under 20 points in both games this season. The Bills offense also looks explosive, but with their first two games coming against the Jets and the Dolphins, have they really played a decent defense yet? Most books have the Rams at +2.5 right now, but I’m going to go ahead and take the moneyline.
To me there’s not much of a point of betting an underdog to cover by less than three points. There’s only been one game this year that was decided by less than three points, and it was that debacle of a Monday night game between the Titans and the Broncos where Stephen Gostkowski turned into Roberto Aguayo. The moneyline offers a better return on investment for a very small risk (famous last words before the Rams lose by 1 point).
There’s some concern with the Rams playing an early game on the east coast, but since Sean McVay took over in 2017, the Rams are 5-0 in early east coast games, scoring at least 30 points in each of those 5 games. McVay also dominates the AFC, going 10-2 against AFC teams since becoming head coach. I’m worried that Josh Allen is going to run for like 100 yards against the Rams, but if they can keep him contained and force him to make accurate throws, I like the Rams’ chances.
Buccaneers at Broncos: Buccaneers -6 (-110) [Draftkings Sportsbook]
If you were to tell me the Buccaneers would be 6 point favorites against the Broncos before all the injuries in week 2, I probably still would have considered taking them. But now, with the Broncos losing Courtland Sutton and Drew Lock, this seems like a no-brainer!
The Bucs should get Chris Godwin back, and as far as the NFL goes this year, the Bucs have been one of the few teams that have avoided the injury bug (knock on wood). Evans was banged up for a week and Godwin was out for a week, but if you’re telling me they’re back to full strength against a crippled Broncos team who lost Von Miller before week 1 and is now missing it’s starting quarterback and number one receiver, you have to take the Bucs! How can you trust this Broncos team to keep the game within a touchdown?
Lions at Cardinals: Cardinals -5.5 (-110) [Draftkings Sportsbook]
A fun fact about the Lions: They haven’t won a game since October 27th, 2019. How are the Cardinals less than a touchdown favorite against this disgusting Lions team? There’s no way this line stays at 5.5, I could easily see this at 6.5 by Sunday.
The Lions are atrocious. Just completely inept. They play like a decent team in the first half, and then are absolutely the worst team in the NFL when the second half rolls around. They have no discipline or stamina to close out games. I took the Packers second half last week against the Lions and it paid off beautifully, but this week I’m just going to take the Cardinals to win the game by 5.5.
This Cardinals team is for real. Their defense has yet to really be tested, but their offense is really exciting to watch. Kyler Murray is off to a great start, despite making a few mistakes along the way. The Cardinals are 2-0 against the spread, and they’ll continue that winning streak this week with a disrespectful line from Vegas at under a touchdown.
Washington Football Team at Browns: Browns -1 and Over 38.5 Teaser (-110) [FanDuel Sportsbook]
I hate this game. I’m really struggling to find a side that I like here. Normally I just wouldn’t bet this game, but for the purposes of this blog, I have to! I don’t trust either team, and I have no idea which way to lean for the total. The trends are telling me to take the over, but was last week’s Cleveland offense what we’ll see this week? The Washington Football team’s offense is so young. You can’t trust a group of guys under the age of 25 anywhere, let alone on a football field!
Sometimes in these situations, the best thing to do to make yourself feel more comfortable is to tease. So I’m teasing the Browns to -1 and the over to 38.5. Both of these numbers seem way more doable to me and I feel a bit more comfortable with those picks. This game was already not going to be very fun to watch, and now I’ll be sweating out two picks in the final minutes.
Titans at Vikings: Titans -2.5 (-110) [Draftkings Sportsbook]
Stefon Diggs had more receiving yards for the Bills than the entire Vikings team did in week 2. This offense looks repulsive and the defense isn’t doing much to make you feel good either. The Titans have won a couple of really close games, so I’m happy to get them laying less than a field goal here in Minnesota.
Derrick Henry gets at least 25 touches a game, and when you shut him down like the Jaguars did last week, Tannehill has proven that he’s good enough to beat you in the air. The Vikings do tend to play better after losing, probably due to Mike Zimmer absolutely reaming everyone all week, but I can’t trust this Viking team. Thank you to Kirk Cousins for getting negative fantasy points last week though. Secured an easy victory for me in one of my leagues.
Raiders at Patriots: Patriots -6 (-103) [Draftkings Sportsbook]
Here’s a crazy stat that took me way too long to research: The Patriots are 56-17 straight up after losing a game since 2001. They don’t lose two in a row very often. This stat isn’t hugely helpful when dealing with spreads, but I was curious and it’s interesting so back off!
The Raiders look way better than they actually are after that performance against New Orleans on Monday night. It was their first game in the new stadium, Drew Brees is terrible, Michael Thomas is hurt; of course they were going to win. This game opened at 6.5 and is now down to 6 because the public is betting so heavily on the Raiders to cover. You could probably wait on betting this game until Sunday and see if it dips to 5.5, but I’m happy with taking the Patriots to win by 6.
49ers at Giants: Giants +10 and Over 34.5 Teaser (-110) [Draftkings Sportsbook]
This game has too many unknowns for me to feel comfortable taking either side. The 49ers are 4 point favorites, but multiple 49er players have said they don’t feel comfortable playing at MetLife stadium after watching so many players get injured there last week. I do think the 49ers still pull out the win, but I could easily see this being a field goal game.
Instead, I’m teasing the Giants to +10 and the over to 34.5. We don’t even know who is going to start at quarterback for the 49ers yet. The Giants signed a running back off the street in Devonta Freeman; is he going to get 15 touches? Nobody knows anything, so giving myself room to work with here makes me feel better about betting this game.
Bengals at Eagles: Eagles -5 (-106) [BetMGM]
The Eagles are starving for a win, and what better time to get it than at home against a rookie-led Bengals team. The Bengals offense looked exciting in week 2, but their defense crumbled. Carson Wentz has to be feeling the pressure going into this game. The Eagles pumped boos into their own stadium last week for crying out loud! The Eagles are going to come out guns blazing and beat the Bengals by at least a touchdown.
Texans at Steelers: Texans +4 [Pointsbet]
This is another instance of one team needing their first win badly. The Texans schedule to start out the season has been absolutely brutal, and with how the Steelers have been playing, this might be their first winnable game of the year.
Sure, the Steelers defense has been stout, and the Texans have been suspect, but give me Deshaun Watson plus four points in a must win game over Ben Roethlisberger in a game they can afford to drop.
Jets at Colts: Under 44 (-105) [FanDuel Sportsbook]
The Jets are terrible. Like really really terrible. They have the worst head coach in professional sports, all of their offensive weapons are hurt, and they’ve scored a total of 30 points through two games. They burned me on the backdoor over last week against a depleted 49ers team, but this week I’m putting my faith in the Colts to keep this game under 44 points.
The Colts are 11 point favorites in this game, and while I think the Jets are the worst team in the NFL, I don’t trust the Colts enough to cover that spread. So give me the under on a game that I’m probably not going to watch unless it pops up on redzone channel.
Panthers at Chargers: Panthers +6.5 (-105) [FanDuel Sportsbook]
This is going to be another slog of a game. The Panthers are without Christian McCaffrey and the Chargers are likely going to start Justin Herbert, who now has tape the Panthers can watch. I think Herbert makes the Chargers a better team (and I think the team doctor knows that too), but I’m not sure I feel comfortable taking the Chargers to lay 6.5 points against anyone, let alone a Panthers team that has been surprisingly competitive through two games.
Cowboys at Seahawks: Seahawks -4.5 (-110) [Draftkings Sportsbook]
The point total of this game is 55.5! The Cowboys are coming off one of the craziest wins in NFL history and the Seahawks are coming off another consistent performance led by my choice for MVP, Russell Wilson. The Cowboys aren’t a bad team. Their offense can score points and their defense should eventually figure it out and at least generate a pass rush. But the Seahawks are too good to bet against, and even though I think this will be a close game, I’m taking them to cover 4.5 points at home.
Packers at Saints: Packers +5 (-110) [FanDuel Sportsbook]
The Saints are a totally different team at home in prime time, but my gosh did they look terrible on Monday night in Vegas. The Packers offense is clicking, and I’m just not sure the Saints will be able to keep up. Aaron Jones looks unstoppable, and if the Saints try to commit to stopping the run, Aaron Rodgers will have his way with their secondary. I’m not completely buying into this being the end of Drew Brees, but I don’t expect him to have a phenomenal game without his top receiving threat.
Chiefs at Ravens: Ravens -3 (-125) [Draftkings Sportsbook]
How can you not be excited about this game on Monday night? The two AFC favorites going head to head in what could end up being the deciding factor for who gets the number one seed. There’s going to be a lot of money on this game, so keep an eye out on how the spread changes throughout the week and weekend.
The Ravens look too good on both sides of the ball, and the Chiefs offense completely stalled last week against the Chargers. I think this will be a close game where the Chiefs will never truly be out of it, so I bought half a point to bring this spread to an even 3. Another fun pick for this would be to take Ravens 1H and Chiefs 2H if you’re feeling frisky!
That’s it for the week 3 slate! Thanks for joining me on my quest to perfection. If you want to tell me which of these picks is sure to flop, hit me up on twitter at @steveclark217.
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