NFL Odds & Picks For Week 3: Bucs, Broncos, More Spreads We’ve Already Bet Based On Opening Lines
Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Tom Brady.
Editor’s note: The following Week 3 NFL odds and picks have been updated to reflect the betting market as of Monday morning.
The first two weeks of the NFL season are now in the books, and with a two-game sample size for oddsmakers to analyze, the lines are out for Week 3.
Week 3 has several compelling matchups highlighting the slate, such as Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs visiting the Los Angeles Rams, or Justin Herbert and the Chargers playing the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
NFL Odds & Picks For Week 3
Falcons at Giants
Chris Raybon: After fading the Falcons as favorites against the Eagles in Week 1 then against the Buccaneers in Week 2 (via tease), it’s finally time to buy low on Atlanta. Arthur Smith showed he was a brilliant offensive mind in Tennessee, and I expect the first-time head coach’s team to improve as the season progresses.
The reason I faded Atlanta in Weeks 1-2 was that it was badly outmatched in the trenches — correctly evaluating the offensive line vs. defensive line battle on both sides is a key to being a profitable long-term NFL bettor. In this matchup, though, the Falcons should be able to hold their own against a Giants front that has brought down the quarterback only three times in two games. And on the defensive side, the Falcons won’t be great, but the matchup against the Giants’ bottom-tier offensive line is substantially better than the top-tier Eagles and Bucs units.
It’s also worth noting that the Falcons out-gained the Bucs (348-341) in Week 2 but had major turnover issues, committing three, including two pick-sixes. In Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, the Falcons will now be facing a more turnover-prone opponent: Jones has 22 interceptions and 30 fumbles in 29 career games.
The Giants covered on the road last week, and now they’re getting a field goal (or more at some books) at home. This has been the formula to betting the Giants: Giants stink at home, go on the road and surprise people, and then come back down to earth just in time to be overrated for what turns out to be an ugly showing in the Meadowlands of New Jersey.
Case in point: According to our Action Labs data, Jones is 10-4 against the spread (ATS) on the road, but just 4-10 ATS at home.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Atlanta wins this game outright. I like the Falcons on the spread at a field goal (+3) or better.
Jets at Broncos
Mike Randle: The Broncos have started 2-0, with both wins coming on the road. Now they return to Denver to host their home opener against an 0-2 Jets team with a rookie quarterback.
New York’s neophyte Zach Wilson struggled against Bill Belichick’s defense in Week 2, tossing four interceptions in a 25-6 loss. Now Wilson gets to face Vic Fangio’s defense, which has held each of its first two opponents to exactly 13 points.
Then there’s Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who is an efficiency machine, completing more than 77% of his passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions. In his career, Bridgewater has also been a cover machine, covering an incredible 73% of the time as a starting quarterback.
Denver brings a pair of running backs in Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams against a Jets defense that has allowed more than 4.1 yards per carry in its first two games. Wide receiver Courtland Sutton looks fully recovered from this ACL surgery with nine receptions (12 targets) and 159 receiving yards against Jacksonville.
Traveling to Denver is never easy, as the high altitude always causes difficulty for opponents. I expect Fangio to baffle Wilson much like Belichick did, and for the Broncos to again win the turnover battle and force the Jets to play from behind.
This is a big number, but I’m laying the points with the undefeated Broncos at home. I bet this at -8.5, but I’m expecting another comfortable double-digit win for Denver, so I would play this number up to Broncos -10.5 (available at BetMGM as of Monday morning).
Bucs at Rams
Brandon Anderson: I literally had to triple check this line to make sure I wasn’t imagining that plus in front of the number.
I’m sorry … you’re giving me Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers … as underdogs? I can bet on the Bucs at plus money? The team that’s won nine straight games with at least 30 points scored in all of them, and that includes six road or neutral-site wins and four postseason victories? That team? I get to bet on that team as an underdog?
So … yes. Tom Brady in the Game of the Week? Yes please. Fade Matthew Stafford in the first genuinely meaningful game of his life? Yes please. All those Bucs weapons against a Rams defense that hasn’t exactly slowed down the Bears or the Colts? Please and thank you.
Maybe this is the trappiest trap that ever trapped, but take my money.
There’s no way the Bucs will still be underdogs when this game kicks off, right? I mean, you can literally tease Tampa Bay to +7.5 if you play right now. Books are giving us a possibly invincible Bucs team as better than a touchdown dog on a tease. They’re really doing that!
The Rams are 2-0 and darling underdogs right now, but L.A. has not been particularly overwhelming. It was lucky to win in Indianapolis, buoyed by terrible red-zone offense by the Colts and a Carson Wentz injury, and the Week 1 victory over the Bears was unconvincing outside of a few bombs, too.
And sure, the Bucs haven’t exactly been blowing teams out. They won on a late field goal in Week 1 and were basically playing the Falcons even before blowing it open in the fourth quarter. But again — we only need a win. Heck, we can lose by a point and still cover.
I have a feeling we might look back in a month or two and feel pretty darn silly that we ever dared to make these Bucs an underdog in the year of our Lord 2021. I want the Bucs, and I want them while I’m still catching that little plus sign in front. Yes please.