NFL Odds, Predictions, Picks: Bucs vs. Rams, Dolphins vs. Raiders, More Ways To Bet Sunday’s Late Games
Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Dolphins’ Jaylen Waddle
- Why are three of our experts betting on the Dolphins to cover this spread against the Raiders in Week 3?
- Find out that (and more) as they break down their favorite NFL picks to bet for Sunday's late afternoon games.
Week 3’s late slate of games offers a lot of intrigue, especially when it comes to the Rams hosting the Buccaneers and the Dolphins traveling to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders.
Our betting experts have you covered on all the ways they’re betting these matchups, with the Dolphins’ spread a favorite across the board — so don’t miss out!
NFL Odds & Picks
Dolphins vs. Raiders
Sean Koerner: I expect this game to be very low-scoring. I bet on the under 45.5 mid-podcast recording with Chris Raybon, but with the total down to 43.5 now, the next-best play here is to back the Dolphins at +3.5.
Tua Tagovailoa has already been ruled out due to a rib injury, meaning Jacoby Brissett will start. Brissett is one of the better backups in the league, and Tagovailoa hasn’t shown enough to be considered more than replacement-level QB. Therefore, I’m lowering the Dolphins’ power rating by only one point and have them as +2.5 underdogs after the adjustment.
The Raiders have been one of the bigger surprises of the young season as they are 2-0 after beating the Ravens and Steelers. However, based on my expected wins metric that looks at the percentage of time a team has been leading, trailing or tied, the Raiders have played closer to a 0.9 win team. Their 1.1 wins above expectation is the highest by any team so far, indicating they have been more lucky than good.
Las Vegas will be without RB Josh Jacobs and LG Richie Incognito again this week, meaning it will be difficult for them to get anything going on the ground. The Dolphins have the best CB duo in the league and rank seventh in DVOA against the pass. And while Derek Carr has played like a legit MVP candidate to date, this is a terrible matchup to be forced into a pass-heavy game script.
I like the Dolphins at the key number of +3.5 here.
Dolphins vs. Raiders
Stuckey: I played the Dolphins +4, primarily to sell the Raiders after back-to-back upset victories over the Ravens and Steelers. When these two teams met last December in Las Vegas (without fans), Miami closed as a 2.5-point favorite. Now the Dolphins are +3.5? That’s too much of a correction for this Raiders start, fans in the stands and the drop-off from Tua Tagovailoa to Jacoby Brissett, which I think is marginal.
In that December meeting, Ryan Fitzpatrick saved the day late (17-of-22 for 94 yards) in a one-point victory for Miami, but Tagovailoa didn’t have much to work with at receiver with DeVante Parker out with an injury. The Dolphins not only have a healthy Parker now, but added first-round pick Jaylen Waddle and acquired deep-threat Will Fuller, who will make his season debut Sunday.
Speaking to the buy-low nature of this play, teams that have failed to cover by four or more touchdowns in their previous game — like the Dolphins, who are coming off a 35-0 loss — have gone 115-71-6 (61.8%, 19.1% ROI) since 2003. Road teams have performed even better at 64-36-3 (64%) against the spread over that same span. I also fancy the under in what I see playing out as a lower-scoring game, which makes the 3.5-point underdog even more appealing.
Dolphins vs. Raiders
Raheem Palmer: The Dolphins are coming off a 35-0 home blowout loss against Josh Allen and the Bills. Despite being shut out against a Bills team that has scored 122 points in their last three matchups, the Dolphins had their opportunities last week, failing to score on three trips inside the red zone.
Nevertheless, in Week 3, the Dolphins will take on the Raiders, who have won back-to-back games against the Ravens and Steelers. While the Raiders have improved this season, I’m not sure they’ve improved enough to warrant this number. I’m not upgrading the power rating for this Raiders team after their win over the Steelers — who’ve had issues offensively and dealt with losses to T.J. Watt, Devin Bush and Joe Haden defensively. Plus, their win over the Ravens was largely because of two Lamar Jackson fumbles.
The elephant in the room is the absence of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who will miss Sunday’s game with fractured ribs. Jacoby Brissett will step in and he’s more than capable of keeping the Dolphins afloat in Tagovailoa’s absence. It’s also possible Brissett could be an upgrade for this team as opposed to a downgrade given his arm strength. Derek Carr also comes into this game dealing with an ankle injury and he’ll be facing a Dolphins defense that is still 11th in efficiency and leads the league in quarterback hits (15).
The Raiders’ offensive line is banged up and is 32nd in adjusted line yards and 16th in adjusted sack rate (5.5%), so Miami should be able to cause problems for this unit. According to our Bet Labs database, teams who lose by 35 points or more are 24-15-4 (61.5%) in their following matchup since 2003. Overall, I see this number as a bit high and believe the spread is overvaluing the loss of Tagovailoa. I’ll play the Dolphins.
Jets vs. Broncos
Chris Raybon: I grabbed this under at 43 early in the week and still like it down to 41.
The Jets have already allowed 10 sacks, which is great for killing drives and hitting unders. And with Zach Wilson coming off a four-pick game, coaches will preach being conservative this week, which could mean more sacks and punts and fewer turnovers (which can sometimes cause issues for unders if they happen too close to the offense’s end zone).
The Broncos have allowed just 13 points in both games, and it could have been less. In Week 1, the Giants got a TD in garbage time as time expired, and last week, the Jaguars got a kickoff return TD from Jamal Agnew.
The under is also 30-20-1 (60%) in Teddy Bridgewater’s career.
I would bet this down to 41.
Dolphins vs. Raiders
Mike Randle: The Raiders return home after a 26-17 upset at Pittsburgh to battle a Miami team coming off a 35-0 blowout loss to Buffalo. This 3.5 points spread will seem too low to the casual bettor, but we are backing the visiting Dolphins in a game that actually opened with Miami favored by one point.
The drop-off from starting Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to Jacoby Brissett is minimal. This is still a Miami team that traveled to New England in Week 1 and earned a 17-16 win against a Patriots team with an elite defense. The Dolphins still rank 11th overall in defensive Football Outsiders’ DVOA, even after that blowout loss to Buffalo.
The Raiders defense has struggled to contain opposing running backs, a weakness the Dolphins should exploit. Baltimore has allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, which was particularly evident against the Ravens in Week 1. Baltimore averaged a robust 5.6 yards per carry, and only lost the game because of costly late-game turnovers. The Raiders have won both games due to big passing plays on offense, something that Miami will limit. The Dolphins rank seventh in pass DVOA, even limiting Josh Allen to just 179 passing yards last week.
Brissett is an experienced quarterback who can run an efficient offense with minimal mistakes. The Dolphins defense is much better than most realize after last week’s outlier, and will keep this game close against an overrated Las Vegas team. I love getting the full 3.5 points in a game Miami can absolutely win outright. I would bet this line down to 3, but feel more comfortable having the field goal loss covered.
Buccaneers vs. Rams
Raheem Palmer: I expect most of the public to play the Buccaneers this week. They’ve won 10 straight games through last season (including the playoffs) with Tom Brady throwing 31 touchdowns to just six interceptions in that span.
That said, I still believe the Rams are the right side in this matchup as oddsmakers opened them as one-point favorites before this moved through the zero, making the Buccaneers the favorite. These two teams met last year and in many ways, it provided a blueprint for what we’ll see this Sunday.
The Buccaneers have been first in defensive run efficiency the past two seasons and teams have recognized that it doesn’t make sense to run on this team. Last season, the Rams ran 51% of the time on early downs. In their matchup against the Bucs, they passed 77% of the time on early downs. It was a blueprint followed by the Cowboys and Falcons this season, who passed on 81% and 71% of their early downs against Tampa Bay in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively.
Opposing NFL offenses are passing against the Bucs 77% of the time and calling running plays just 35 times this season. There’s a clear method of beating this team and it’s through the air. The Rams are fully equipped to beat this banged-up secondary with Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. The Rams are second in drop back EPA/play (0.489) and are facing a Buccaneers defense that is 21st in Passing Success Rate. The Buccaneers are missing Sean Murphy-Bunting — who is out with a dislocated elbow — which won’t bode well against this prolific Rams offense. With Jason Pierre-Paul out of the lineup, we have to downgrade this defense a bit more.
The Buccaneers will get theirs offensively but this feels like a game where the wrong team is favored. I’ll take the Rams as a dog here and feel free to add them to 6-point teasers.
Buccaneers vs. Rams
Billy Ward: BetMGM continues to deal the same line on this prop for every game, regardless of the spread as I outlined here. This bet is a value anytime the spread is less than three or so, with the value increasing as the spread narrows.
I had some concerns initially about the high total — more scoring overall seems like it would lead to teams scoring three straight times more often. I went back to my database, and found that games with a total of at least 50 — and spreads less than 2.5 points — fail to have three straight scores almost 46% of the time. That’s good for close to a 10% edge based on the current line.
As far as I can tell, BetMGM is the only book offering this prop, and they don’t move the line. However, if you’re able to find it somewhere else, I’d bet it down to +150 (40% implied). This keeps us over a 5% edge, which is about what I’d need to feel comfortable playing it.