NFL Week 3 Preview

By: Nick Radivoj

An unfortunate wash of a weekend in Week 2 as I finish with an average 8-8 record across the board bringing the season total to 17-15 (still up!). This NFL Week 3 slate seems a lot tougher to dissect so join me as we maneuver our way through the board to pick out the best bet from each game!

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-1)

When: 8:15 PM on 9/22

Line: Browns -4.5

O/u: 38.5

A pair of division rivals are set to face off Thursday night to jump start us into Week 3 of NFL action. This Steelers team will look different than the last time Cleveland faced them as they will be missing their defensive star TJ Watt to injury and Hall of Fame QB Big Ben to retirement. The Jacoby Brissett experience has been a roller coaster to start the season as Cleveland finds themselves at .500 currently but could easily be both defeated and undefeated. Pittsburgh’s offense is still pedestrian from last year as OC Matt Canada’s offense refuses to take deep shots down the field but rather play in a 5 yard box away from the line of scrimmage. I rarely encourage taking the under in low totals but with Mitch Trubisky and Jacoby Brissett at the helm I don’t see any other way.

The Play: Under 38.5

Houston Texans (0-1-1) at Chicago Bears (1-1)

When: 1 PM on 9/25

Line: Bears -2.5

O/u: 40.5

Two quarterbacks from the 2021 NFL Draft are set to face off for the first time in Davis Mills and Justin Fields. Both teams are projected to have a high pick in next year’s draft but both have been a nice surprise to start this year as Houston has been in both of their first two games and Chicago started off the year with an underdog win. Chicago may be rebuilding but they really need to see what they have in QB Justin Fields as throwing the ball 14 times per game isn’t the best way to evaluate what you have in him. On the other hand, Davis Mills has led Houston down the wire in both of their games but unable to seal the victory come closing time. Cheers to hoping the Bears open their playbook and Houston continues to move the ball down the field. I’m a happy camper to not be tuning into this game on Sunday.

The Play: Over 40.5

Las Vegas Raiders (0-2) at Tennessee Titans (0-2)

When: 1 PM on 9/25

Line: Raiders -2.5

O/u: 45.5

Titans HC Mike Vrabel looked absolutely disgusted on the sideline Monday night as Tennessee was pummeled by Buffalo by 34. After losing their home opener on a missed game winning field goal, Tennessee comes back home in an attempt to find their first win of the season welcoming in the also defeated Raiders. Las Vegas was on their way to securing their first win last week but blew a 20-0 lead as Kyler Murray brought back Arizona for their first win. Titans OT Taylor Lewan left Monday’s game early with an injury and will be a player to keep an eye out for as Tennessee will be tasked with keeping their QB upright against Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones. Although Monday’s loss left an incredibly poor taste in my mouth, I will keep faith in Mike Vrabel to right the ship here at home with the points.

The Play: Titans +2.5

Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1-1)

When: 1 PM on 9/25

Line: Chiefs -6.5

O/u: 49.5

The Colts come into this game still defeated on the year as they are unable to get the monkey off their back losing yet again to Jacksonville in Florida. Keep an eye out for injury updates on Colts WR Michael Pittman as he was unable to play last week and without him Indy is unable to move the ball downfield. Kansas City comes on the road undefeated after an exciting home win Thursday night against the Chargers. The key to beating any star QB is to limit the amount of possessions that team gets and insert variance into the mix hoping for a turnover or two. Indy will lean on the back of their star running back in order to win the time of possession battle and maybe, just maybe, sneak out a win. Colts plus the points is in play here but rather play the under with slow methodical drives sure to come.

The Play: Under 49.5

Buffalo Bills (2-0) at Miami Dolphins (2-0)

When: 1 PM on 9/25

Line: Bills -5.5

O/u: 53.5

Buffalo looks every bit the Super Bowl favorite as they crush the Titans 41-7 in their home opener. As a Dolphins fan, I truly won’t believe they can beat the Bills until they finally do as this team has owned Miami for the past several years. Bills offseason signee Von Miller has seemed to transform their defensive front 7 as they have caused havoc in both games thus far and will be the biggest test for Miami’s new look offensive line. Miami showed off their new offense this past week as they managed to come back down 3 touchdowns in the 4th quarter to overcome Baltimore. Tua had the game of his short career as he threw for over 450 yards and 6 TDs but will need to build off this game as he welcomes Josh Allen and the undefeated Bills. I’m unable to back Miami until they prove it but that doesn’t mean I’m going against them so with too much offensive talent on display give me points and give me a lot of them.

The Play: Over 53.5

Detroit Lions (1-1) at Minnesota Vikings (1-1)

When: 1 PM on 9/25

Line: Vikings -6

O/u: 53.5

Minnesota’s offense took a major step back after their Week 1 performance as they looked lost in Philadelphia Monday night. Kirk Cousins looked every bit Primetime Kirk as he continuously threw up turnover worthy balls into the Philadelphia night. Luckily, Minnesota will welcome in a Lions team that has yet to allow less than 27 points in a game thus far. Their defense may be a work in progress, but their offense has been explosive as Detroit has put up over 35 points in each game to start the season. I expect Minnesota’s offense to get back on track behind Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook this week while Detroit will continue providing explosive plays on their side of the ball.

The Play: Over 53.5

Baltimore Ravens (1-1) at New England Patriots (1-1)

When: 1 PM on 9/25

Line: Ravens -3

O/u: 43

Baltimore comes to New England with a poor taste in their mouth as they let up a 3-touchdown lead in a losing battle against the Dolphins this past Sunday. Lamar Jackson looks like a man looking for a new contract as he was nearly perfect in this game throwing for 3 TDs while adding another one on the ground against Miami. New England was able to find themselves in the win column for the first time this year as they managed to defeat another AFC North team in the Steelers. Although they managed to secure the win, New England’s offense has yet to pop off this year under second year QB Mac Jones which may not be the biggest surprise as the team did little to surround him with weapons this offseason. Baltimore’s defense can’t look any worse after allowing 35 second half points, can they? With minimal weapons on the offensive side of the ball and with running QBs often giving their defense mishaps I don’t love New England in this spot at home.

The Play: Ravens -3 

Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) at New York Jets (1-1)

When: 1 PM on 9/25

Line: Bengals -4.5

O/u: 45.5

Super Bowl hangover? Cincinnati looks like a far cry from the team that played in last year’s Super Bowl as they start this year 0-2 and losing to a Dak Prescott-less Cowboys team. Zac Taylor could have easily found himself on the hot seat were it not for Cincinnati’s Super Bowl run last year. Joe Burrow has looked terrified this year running for his life from both TJ Watt and Micah Parsons in his first two games behind what was supposed to be one of the best revamped offensive lines in the league. Disappointed after their second loss, Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase seemed to have choice words calling out their offense. Meanwhile, New York logged their first win of the season last week in a thrilling 13-point comeback in the final 2 minutes of the game. Despite the slow start, Cincinnati will need a commanding victory this week if they have any aspirations this year for another deep playoff run.

The Play: Bengals -4.5

Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) at Washington Commanders (1-1)

When: 1 PM on 9/25

Line: Eagles -6.5

O/u: 47

Jalen Hurts and the Eagles looked impressive on Monday night as they begin their season off 2-0. The Carson Wentz experience in Washington hasn’t been a horrendous start this year as the offense has put up over 24 points in both of their games to start the season. This game will display good against good as Washington’s defensive line will battle Philadelphia’s offensive line in the trenches. Commanders’ defense has been slightly overrated to start the year but if they are able to contain and get pressure on Jalen Hurts with their front 4 anything is possible. Carson Wentz will be looking for redemption against the team that gave up on him as the division dog is alive at home to take this one outright.

The Play: Commanders +6.5

New Orleans Saints (1-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-2)

When: 1 PM on 9/25

Saints -3

O/u: 41  

A few different bounces of the ball and Carolina could see themselves as undefeated as opposed to defeated entering this game. The Baker Mayfield led Panthers have looked rather sloppy thus far on offense while the defense, for the most part, has held their own. They welcome in Jameis Winston and the Saints at home as they also look to bounce back after a loss to Tom Brady last weekend. Two major factors in this game to keep an eye out for is if Saints RB Alvin Kamara will play and this game and second is if Jekyll or Hide will be playing QB for New Orleans this week. How New Orleans looks heavily correlates with whether Jameis takes care of the ball or not. If Brian Burns and company can create some short fields off turnovers for the offense then the Panthers can secure their first win this season. One thing is for certain and that is we need more characters like Jameis in the NFL as he gets me excited to watch him on the field and listen to his pressers postgame as well.

The Play: Panthers +3

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)

When: 4:05 PM on 9/25

Line: Chargers -7

O/u: 48

Everything in my normal process tells me to lay the points with the Chargers here as the Jaguars are coming across country and 3 time zones to play in this one, but with the way Trevor Lawrence looked in Week 2 I can’t resist in backing this Jacksonville team. Under new regime, Jacksonville looks more composed and more confident out on the field as they are filled with young talent across the field. Keynote to look out for is the health of Justin Herbert as he injured his rib in Los Angeles’ loss last Thursday to Kansas City. If Jaguars do arrive in LA as expected then this game could also lead us to a shootout with the over as a good play as well but give me the young, tough Jaguars here instead.

The Play: Jaguars +7

Los Angeles Rams (1-1) at Arizona Cardinals (1-1)

When: 4:25 PM on 9/25

Line: Rams -3.5

O/u: 49

The Rams have not looked like the Super Bowl winner from last year as they lose handedly to Buffalo Week 1 and sneak out of LA with a win against the Falcons that should have been a whole lot easier than it was. Los Angeles was up 28-3 with little time remaining in the 3rd quarter but as soon as you look back Atlanta has the ball with a chance to win it at the end. Rams have yet to cover a game this season but that comes to a screeching halt here as Sean Mcvay has owned the Cardinals since he took over as HC for the Rams. Kyler Murray was able to pull off a miraculous comeback last weekend against the Raiders, but his heroics may not be enough this time as he isn’t left with many offensive weapons with Deandre Hopkins suspension and Arizona’s defense often resembling Swiss cheese.

The Play: Rams -3.5

Atlanta Falcons (0-2) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)

When: 4:25 PM on 9/25

Line: Seahawks -2

O/u: 42

Atlanta has surprised many this year as they have come out in both games and nearly stolen a win against 2 quality teams in the Saints and Rams. Atlanta has been able to move the ball on offense behind first round WR Drake London and with former 1st round pick Kyle Pitts sure to get in the mix soon this offense has the capability to be tough to stop. Meanwhile, Seattle forgot to show up playing the 49ers this week as they looked like a completely different team that played Denver the week prior. Offense seems rather uncapable of creating explosive plays with the unwillingness to throw the ball downfield to star WR DK Metcalf. Definitely not one of the top games I’m looking forward to this weekend, but Atlanta finds themselves in the winners circle for the first time this year.

The Play: Falcons +2

Green Bay Packers (1-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)

When: 4:25 on 9/25

Line: Buccaneers -2

O/U: 41

Much of this game has lost its spark as Tampa Bay will be without many of their key offensive weapons with Mike Evans facing a suspension and Chris Godwin likely out with injury. Aaron Rodgers got the Packers back on track Sunday night as the offense was proficient with the defense stepping up making plays left and right. I wold normally love playing an over as low as this with Rodgers and Brady set to face each other but with both of these defenses being stout units and Tampa missing offensive players I don’t think it’s a smart play here. Rather, I will take the 2 points given to the team up in Greeen Bay as they continue to build off of their win against Chicago.

The Play: Packers +2

San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at Denver Broncos (1-1)

When: 8:20 on 9/25

Line: 49ers -1.5

O/u: 41.5

After losing their starting running back in Week 1, 49ers have the injury bug strike yet again as they lose QB Trey Lance for the rest of the season. Luckily. San Francisco still has last year’s starter Jimmy Garoppolo on the team as he slides back into the starting role. Offense shouldn’t miss a beat with Jimmy behind center as he has been the starter for the past couple years. This 49ers defense is also familiar with their opposing QB as they have faced Russel Wilson for the majority of his career when he was sporting Seahawks colors. 49ers have one of the best defensive lines in football and with a few offensive playmakers missing for Denver I see a slow day moving the ball for Russ. The altitude will surely play a factor on a California based team and with that combined with the 49ers defensive prowess I’m taking the under.

The Play: Under 45

Dallas Cowboys (1-1) at New York Giants (2-0)

When: 8:15 PM on 9/26

Line: Giants -2.5

O/u: 39.5

No Dak Prescott? No problem. The Cowboys find themselves in the winners’ circle for the first time this year after taking down Cincinnati at home. The key to that win was playing mistake free football and leaning on the back of the defense and elite pass rusher Micah Parsons. Dallas is trying to scratch and claw their way to any win they can get to keep their young season alive while awaiting on Dak to return from an injury suffered in Week 1. Meanwhile, the Giants find themselves in unknown territory as they start their season off 2-0 under their new regime. I see this game playing out a lot likeDallas’ prior game with defense causing chaos and forcing Daniel Jones to turn the ball over. Under may be the right play here but I can’t find myself on the side of two under below 40 this week.

The Play: Cowboys +2.5

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