This article is part of our NFL Picks series.
It's been a brutal stretch against the spread, with Monday's dual prime-time showing perfectly encapsulating the swings in gambling momentum. Especially as we navigate the early portion of the season, live betting a few of these lines feels like a safer call than just taking the spread early in the week. It doesn't help that it feels like teams are more coy about who will/won't play -- looking at you, Chargers -- than ever before.
Below you'll find my picks against the spread and on the totals for each game on the Week 3 NFL slate. For more NFL betting content here at RotoWire, check out our NFL picks series with several articles dropping each week.
NFL Week 3 Betting Picks For Each Game
|Date||Game Matchup||Week 3 Picks|
|Thursday, September 21||Giants vs. 49ers||49ers -10.0, over 45|
|Sunday, September 24||Colts vs. Ravens||Ravens -7.5, under 44|
|Sunday, September 24||Titans vs. Browns||Titans +3, under 39.5|
|Sunday, September 24||Falcons vs. Lions||Lions -3.0, over 46|
|Sunday, September 24||Saints vs. Packers||Saints +1.5, over 42.5|
|Sunday, September 24||Texans vs. Jaguars||Texans +9.5, over 43.5|
|Sunday, September 24||Broncos vs. Dolphins||Dolphins -6.5, under 48|
|Sunday, September 24||Chargers vs. Vikings||Chargers +1, under 54|
|Sunday, September 24||Patriots vs. Jets||Patriots -3, over 36|
|Sunday, September 24||Bills vs. Commanders||Bills -6.5, over 44.5|
|Sunday, September 24||Panthers vs. Seahawks||Seahawks -6, over 42|
|Sunday, September 24||Cowboys vs. Cardinals||Cowboys -12, over 43.5|
|Sunday, September 24||Bears vs. Chiefs||Bears +12.5, under 47.5|
|Sunday, September 24||Steelers vs. Raiders||Steelers +1.5, over 43.5|
|Monday, September 25||Eagles vs. Buccaneers||Eagles -5, under 45,5|
|Monday, September 25||Rams vs. Bengals||*Bengals -2, over 43.5*|
Predictions for NFL Week 3
In this article, we also take a look at NFL Week 3 odds and our predictions for each NFL game. Home teams are listed last.
Week 2 Record ATS: 5-10-1
Week 2 Record on Totals: 8-8
Season Record ATS: 10-21-1
Season Record on Totals: 16-15-1
Giants vs. 49ers
|Giants vs. 49ers||49ers -10.0||San Francisco -550; New York +410||45|
It's truly shaping up to a three-horse race in the NFC with the 49ers, Cowboys and Eagles all jockeying for position to avoid having to play both of the other two in the playoffs. Yes, I know it's too early in the season to say that and anything can happen in any given game (i.e. Nick Chubb), but at the moment it's not really up for debate.
I didn't believe in the Giants last year and I think their quarterback is truly miserable -- bad enough to never win against good teams, but good enough to never be "that bad" -- but head coach Brian Daboll typically is good enough to get a backdoor cover on most teams. However, I'm assuming Saquon Barkley (ankle) doesn't play, which completely changes the equation. The better call might be to just take the Giants under for team total points scored, which is listed in best bets below.
Spread Pick: 49ers -10.0
Total Pick: Over 45
Colts vs. Ravens
|Colts vs. Ravens||Ravens -7.5||Baltimore -345; Indianapolis +275||44|
It's really not fair to try and guess this outcome without knowing whether Anthony Richardson (concussion) or Lamar Jackson (hand) will play, but the latter seems to be in a better spot given Richardson entered the league's concussion protocol Sunday.
I'm taking the Ravens line with the assumption Richardson won't play. Maybe that's a bad idea because Gardner Minshew is a capable backup going against a battered Baltimore secondary, but he's also capable of a back-breaking turnover. One thing is for certain -- I don't believe the Ravens will really be able to move the ball on the ground, which makes the under very interesting to me. Or just grab the under on Gus Edwards' rushing total, which typically comes out later in the week.
Spread Pick: Ravens -7.5
Total Pick: Under 44
Titans vs. Browns
|Titans vs. Browns||Browns -3.0||Cleveland -148; Tennessee +124||39.5|
I had this pegged as Browns -4 prior to Monday's game. That means Vegas credits Nick Chubb for only a full point, which feels wrong given what we saw take place against the Steelers. Tennessee doesn't boast a pass rush of T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith, but it still has a really good run defense. You can beat the Titans by moving the ball through the air, but it sure seems like Deshaun Watson isn't capable of doing that at the moment.
The over/under total is murky for me, but the extra point in favor of the Titans is certainly a blessing.
Spread Pick: Titans +3
Total Pick: Over 39.5
Falcons vs. Lions
|Falcons vs. Lions||Lions -3.0||Detroit -162; Atlanta +136||46|
I don't understand why people were so surprised by Detroit's loss last week. The opening-night win over the Chiefs felt incredibly fluky -- would people have been talking the same way about Detroit if Kadarius Toney could catch a football?
I'm not convinced Atlanta's defense is as good as the advanced metrics suggest, but this will certainly be a good test against one of the best offenses, especially when playing in a dome. That is, so long as Amon-Ra St. Brown (undisclosed) is available to play. The dynamic third-year wide receiver supposedly left Sunday's game with cramps, but reports have since trickled out that he could be dealing with a turf toe injury. The 23-year-old has only missed one game in his career to date, but he's obviously a critical weapon for Jared Goff and the Falcons can milk possessions with the best of them. I'm just staying away from this contest entirely.
Spread Pick: Lions -3
Total Pick: Over 46
Saints vs. Packers
|Saints vs. Packers||Packers -1.5||Green Bay -122, New Orleans +102||42.5|
Look, AJ Dillon needs to learn how to actually balance, but the new theme in the NFL is absurdly bad spotting. It happened twice last week against Atlanta and obviously in the Pats/Dolphins game too, not to mention a few other Week 2 contests that I'm surely blanking on. I'm not sure if I'm noticing it more because the officiating isn't as horrendous as it has been in past seasons or if the marking is just that bad that I'm forced to notice it. Whatever the reason is, I'd like it to stop.
Christian Watson (hamstring) at least managed to practice last Friday, so it's possible he is trending in the right direction, but given his already lengthy injury history, even if he's active against the Saints he will likely just get fed to Marshon Lattimore for a few snaps. The status of Aaron Jones (hamstring) is the real key here, if only so Dillon can play less. I'm probably wrong here, but I don't think Jordan Love's home debut is going to be enough of a difference-maker. The Saints are no joke and seem to be the clear frontrunners in a gamey-looking NFC South.
Spread Pick: Saints +1.5
Total Pick: Over 42.5
Texans vs. Jaguars
|Texans vs. Jaguars||Jaguars -9.5||Jacksonville -425; Houston +330||43.5|
There's backdoor cover possibilities of course, and in fact if I'm forced to choose I'm taking that line, but the rookie QB battled a shoulder issue in practice all last week and was roughed up plenty by the Colts. The best play would be to throw this in a teaser of some sort and basically get even money for the Jags winning. More on that below.
Spread Pick: Texans +9.5
Total Pick: Over 43.5
Broncos vs. Dolphins
|Broncos vs. Dolphins||Dolphins -6.5||Miami -285; Denver +230||48|
Nathaniel Hackett was obviously a horrendous head coach, but the one thing he did right was empower Ejiro Evero to be an effective defensive coordinator. Think about how many prime-time games we were forced to watch last year where the Broncos hung around solely because the defense was lights out. The defensive players this year are largely the same; how can this unit look this bad through two weeks?
I'd feel confident that the Broncos could cover this spread if Evero was in charge, but he's not, and more importantly, the Dolphins look down-right electric this year. Patrick Surtain is one of the best cover corners in the league already, but he still might have issues against Tyreek Hill, who is simply faster than almost anyone he plays against. The availability -- or lack thereof -- of Jaylen Waddle (concussion) doesn't factor into the equation much in my estimation. That over/under line is just a bit too high with the Broncos' offense looking so inconsistent.
Spread Pick: Dolphins -6.5
Total Pick: Under 48
Chargers vs. Vikings
|Chargers vs. Vikings||Vikings -1||Los Angeles -110; Minnesota -110||54|
I'd like to know the status of Austin Ekeler (ankle) before considering any sort of spread line here. Joshua Kelley just isn't a good replacement option, to the point where I'm a little surprised there aren't rumors about the Chargers sniffing around running backs like Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette and Cam Akers.
It's worth noting that of the three 50-plus totals through the first two weeks, just one actually went over. Especially if Ekeler is unable to go, I don't think the over is really in play just based on the Chargers' inability to convert touchdown opportunities. As a result, I'd recommend looking for field-goal props specifically for this game. Oftentimes you can find total kicker points offered by sportsbooks later in the week, but even things like "how many field goals will be attempted" I've seen in a few places, and those can be a good pivot from game-specific parlays where the overs on player yards are juiced to match the higher over/under total.
Spread Pick: Chargers +1
Total Pick: Under 54
Patriots vs. Jets
|Patriots vs. Jets||Patriots -3||New England -148; New York +124||36.5|
I don't think it's that big of a surprise to see the Patriots sitting at 0-2 to begin the year. I would be very surprised if they lose this game though.
I was pretty confident since April 30, 2021 -- Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft -- that Zack Wilson wouldn't be very good, but I don't think I envisioned him looking this bad this early in his career. There's just never a point where he looks comfortable dropping back. You hear the coaching adage all the time, "we need to get X QB in a rhythm," but Wilson has been out of sync ever since being drafted.
I'm not especially confident on the over, but 36.5 total points is such a minuscule number so early into the season. A defense or special teams touchdown puts this in play no problem, and while I'm also out on Mac Jones being a productive, winning quarterback, he's been serviceable enough to lead a few touchdown drives against good defenses.
Spread Pick: Patriots -3
Total Pick: Over 36.5
Bills vs. Commanders
|Bills vs. Commanders||Bills -6.5||Buffalo -285; Washington +230||44.5|
I rolled the dice last week assuming the Bills would look as bad as they did Week 1, but the Raiders really only seem to play to the level of other dysfunctional franchises. Funny enough, that's how I'd describe the Commanders under head coach Ron Rivera.
That being said, I'm really anxious about this line. It's a home game for Washington, and they have the type of pass rush that could make Josh Allen nervous. This fits much better in a teaser when it's essentially just picking the Bills to win, as opposed to covering the spread.
Spread Pick: Bills -6.5
Total Pick: Over 44.5
Panthers vs. Seahawks
|Panthers vs. Seahawks||Seahawks -6||Seattle -238; Carolina +195||42|
I would have liked to grab this line prior to Monday when Seattle was favored by only 4.5 points, but Carolina's offense just looks way to squeamish to seriously challenge anyone over a full game. I'm not ready to entirely blame it on Bryce Young because the system, head coach and offensive weapons are all subpar, but the rookie hasn't looked anything like the top pick in the draft.
The Seahawks might have been the best Week 1 overreaction team, as they pretty handily took care of the Lions in Detroit last week. They aren't going to be winning many (any) playoff games, but Pete Carroll will keep that team competitive most weeks.
Spread Pick: Seahawks -6
Total Pick: Over 42
Cowboys vs. Cardinals
|Cowboys vs. Cardinals||Cowboys - 12||Dallas -600; Arizona +440||43.5|
This is one of two double-digit spreads this week. I don't really know what else there is to say here: the Cowboys defense looks superb and Dak Prescott hasn't even needed to be "the guy" yet.
I've been surprised by Joshua Dobbs' competency, but this is another ask entirely. There's no amount of checkdown throws and James Conner runs I can think of to salt enough time away for the Cardinals to cover.
Spread Pick: Cowboys -12
Total Pick: Over 43.5
Bears vs. Chiefs
|Bears vs. Chiefs||Chiefs -12.5||Kansas City -700; Chicago +500||47.5|
Someone needs to convince me the Chiefs are "back" because I just don't see it yet. Patrick Mahomes is easily capable of 300-plus yards passing, and the return of Chris Jones made an immediate difference defensively, but this doesn't quite feel like the juggernaut we've come to know the Chiefs as.
The Bears are a miserable team and realistically don't have much of a chance of winning this one, but I do think they could sneak in a cover if Kansas City's doesn't care too much at the end. That's based in part that I believe the Bears have to run Justin Fields on more designed quarterback runs, if only because the entire coaching staff could lose their jobs before October. It's gotten that bad that quickly in Chicago.
Spread Pick: Bears +12.5
Total Pick: Under 47.5
Steelers vs. Raiders
|Steelers vs. Raiders||Raiders -1.5||Las Vegas -122, Pittsburgh +102||43.5|
It's a battle of mediocre quarterbacks! I'm already sick of Pittsburgh being on prime time and it's been one week.
Much in the same way Watt won the game for the Steelers on Monday, I think the same is entirely possible come Sunday night. Kenny Pickett is just abysmal, but it doesn't matter when the defense can get you 14 points and put relentless pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
When I was preparing this write-up Monday evening, the Steelers were favored by a point, so I'm gleeful I now get this at plus money. This is also another perfect candidate for a teaser.
Spread Pick: Steelers +1.5
Total Pick: Over 43.5
Eagles vs. Buccaneers
|Eagles vs. Buccaneers||Eagles -5||Philadelphia -218; Tampa Bay +180||45.5|
The line has come down some since the beginning of the week. This will be the true test if the Tampa Bay defense can do enough to keep Baker Mayfield and the offense hanging around. It's one thing to do that against the turnover-heavy teams in the NFC North, and another thing entirely against the defending NFC champions.
I know the Eagles haven't looked quite right either, but I give a lot of credit to New England's defense in Week 1, and the weird circumstances a Thursday game can generate in Week 2. Conventional wisdom would suggest the under hitting would benefit the Buccaneers, but I think the Eagles could just squeeze the time of possession to the point where points become too much of a premium for the home team.
Spread Pick: Eagles -5
Total Pick: Under 45.5
Rams vs. Bengals
|Rams vs. Bengals||Bengals -2||Cincinnati -125; Los Angeles +105||43.5|
I truly have no idea what this game looks like. If Joe Burrow (calf) doesn't play, or does one of those doesn't-practice-and-might-be-GTD-until-minutes-before things, then I'm taking the Rams.
If we find out later in the week that Burrow is moving around well enough and "will likely play" or something to that affect, I'd take the Bengals by 4.5-5. I marked this as an asterisk on my initial breakdown because I'm affording myself the right to flex the picks depending on the news that comes out later this week. Maybe that isn't in the spirit of Tuesday picks, but I don't care. I get to make the rules.
Spread Pick: Rams +2 if Burrow is out, Bengals -4.5 if he plays
Total Pick: Under 44 if Burrow is out, over if he plays
NFL Week 3 Best Bets
Next, we take a look at our favorite Week 3 NFL best bets at the best NFL betting sites. We went 9-5 in best bets last week, including three plus-money hits. While I'm obligated to pick against the spread above, the best bets section highlights my favorite leans and also tries to take advantage of a few of the parlay props offered as of this writing.
BetMGM Best Bets for NFL Week 3
BetMGM offers some of the best odds available for Week 3. If you're not signed up at BetMGM yet, new players at BetMGM can use the BetMGM bonus code ROTOBONUS for a risk-free bet worth up to $1,000. Here are our NFL best bets for Week 3 at BetMGM.
- Steelers moneyline (+105)
Caesars Sportsbook Best Bets for NFL Week 3
Caesars Sportsbook also has great betting odds for NFL Week 3. If you are not registered yet, use the Caesars Sportsbook promo code ROTOFULL for a first bet on Caesars.
- Eagles to score more touchdowns than Buccaneers (-250)
WynnBET Best Bets for NFL Week 3
WynnBet has a strong menu of NFL Week 3 wagers to choose from, along with competitive odds. Sign up with the WynnBET promo code XROTO for up to $100 in free bets if you have yet to register at WynnBet.
- Cowboys -11.5 (-110)
- Seahawks moneyline (-240)
DraftKings Best Bets for NFL Week 3
DraftKings Sportsbook has special offers for new users just in time for Week 3 of the NFL season. Here are our best picks available at DraftKings Sportsbook this week.
- Cowboys race to 20 points first (-310)
- Patriots moneyline (-148)
- Patriots/Jets over 36.5 points (-110)
FanDuel Best Bets for NFL Week 3
One of the most popular sportsbooks available is FanDuel Sportsbook. Let's take a look at our favorite betting picks with FanDuel odds.
- Seven-point teaser with Patriots, Jaguars, Seahawks and Steelers (+180)
- Under 48.5 points between Dolphins/Broncos (-110)
- Lions moneyline (-158)
BetRivers Best Bets for NFL Week 3
BetRivers is an up-and-coming and underrated sportsbook, and they are offering up to $500 in second-chance bets with the BetRivers bonus code. Bettors can use those for these picks on NFL Week 3.
- Titans to score in both halves (-480)
- Dolphins up at end of fourth quarter (-265)
PointsBet Best Bets for NFL Week 3
For bettors looking for a unique way to wager, try the PointsBet promo code for our Week 3 NFL picks. You can try "PointsBetting" for Week 3 to maximize your return.
- Seahawks moneyline (-240)
- Bills moneyline (-275)
Look ahead at the NFL Week 4 odds as well if you're interested in getting ahead of the line movement.