Week 3 in the NFL is often a moment of truth. We have a couple of data points for each team now, but do we trust Week 1 or Week 2 more? What if they are the same data point such as Puka Nacua rewriting the rookie record books for catches for the Rams?
We wanted some reliability in our best bets for Week 3, which you can find at the top-rated betting sites listed below. One of the surest things this week is that the Chargers and Vikings will play some wild game that is decided in the 4th quarter (or overtime). That is their brand, and this is what happens when brands collide.
Let’s get into the NFL odds for Week 3 and break down our picks.
- Chargers-Vikings Over 27.5 2nd Half Points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
- Broncos-Dolphins Over 23.5 1st Half Points (-120) at Caesars Sportsbook
- Falcons-Lions Both Score 20 Points (+130) at Bet365
Chargers and Vikings Keep Things Exciting in 0-2 Battle
What happens when the team that made a 33-point comeback takes on the team that blew a 27-point lead in the playoffs? Hopefully some hilarity and highlights. The Vikings and Chargers have not won since losing on Wild-Card Weekend and they continue losing close games.
The spread on this game is a virtual pick ‘em, which is fitting, and the total is 54 points. But we are looking for the points to keep rolling in the 2nd half (over/under 27.5) in this one.
Sunday, September 24, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at US Bank Stadium
Kirk Cousins Getting Things Done for Minnesota
Minnesota could be viewed as the underdog in this one given it is the home team, and that is usually worth a couple of points on the spread.
But the Vikings may have an advantage in that the offense is moving the ball well through the air despite getting almost nothing out of the running game with Alexander Mattison struggling to replace Dalvin Cook. Justin Jefferson has gone over 150 receiving yards in both games.
While Kirk Cousins figured to be the scapegoat in the team’s 34-28 loss in Philadelphia in Week 2, he actually had one of the best road performances in a losing effort in NFL history. Cousins passed for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns without any interceptions. He did lose a fumble, but so did 3 other Vikings on the night.
Bounce Back Spot
Cousins should be in great form again at home against a Chargers defense that has been horrible against the pass and solid against the run, playing right into Minnesota’s hands in 2023. So far, Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins) and Ryan Tannehill (Titans) have completed 69.6% of their passes with 10.3 yards per attempt and a 116.3 passer rating against the Chargers.
Tyreek Hill’s 215 yards in Week 1 set a high bar for Jefferson this week, but this passing game can pull it off against this defense.
The Chargers Keep Blowing Leads
It seems the only way the Chargers can win a game is if Justin Herbert scores the winning points with only seconds remaining. This way, the defense will not have a realistic shot to take the field and blow it. The Chargers have blown 4th-quarter leads against the Jaguars (playoffs), Dolphins (Week 1), and Titans (Week 2) in their last 3 games dating back to last season.
Nothing seems to change for Brandon Staley’s defense. The team either lives or die on Herbert’s ability to get the last score. In Tennessee, he led a go-ahead touchdown drive that was not enough. He led a game-tying field goal drive to force overtime, but the Chargers then went 3-and-out in overtime before the Titans kicked a game-winning field goal.
With the way these teams play games, it should continue being a back-and-forth affair in the 2nd half until someone is fortunate enough to get the ball last and score the winning points.
The Vikings just played a game in Philadelphia where both teams scored 21 points after halftime for a whopping 42-point second half. The Chargers had 33 points in the second half of their 36-34 loss to Miami, the shootout of the season so far.
It would be a real disappointment if this game did not see numerous lead changes and drama right down to the final possession. Trust these teams to deliver on their brand and entertain us with at least 4 touchdowns after halftime for your NFL ATS best bets.
Broncos Find Offense But Where Is the Defense?
Denver finally had an offensive explosion in the Russell Wilson era with 33 points in Sean Payton’s 2nd game. Unfortunately, the Broncos blew a 21-3 lead to Washington and are now 0-2. The Dolphins are 2-0 and looking for more points than last week and a bit of a revenge game for pass rusher Bradley Chubb and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio against their old team from Denver.
The Dolphins are a 6.5-point home favorite with a total of 48 points, but our focus is on the first half over (23.5).
Sunday, September 24, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at Hard Rock Stadium
Denver Keeps Wasting Solid Starts
Everyone knows the Broncos were the lowest-scoring team in the NFL last season, the resounding piece of evidence against Wilson in his 1st year with the team. But one thing the Broncos are flying under the radar over is the fact that they have blown 7 leads in the 4th quarter in their last 15 games, a staggering number and the highest in the NFL in that time.
It has already happened twice this year with Sean Payton as the new head coach, and both times, the offense fell apart after halftime:
- Week 1: Broncos scored 13 of their 16 points against the Raiders in the 1st half.
- Week 2: Broncos scored 21 points in the 1st half but only 10 in the 2nd half, including a tipped Hail Mary on the final play.
Payton has improved the offense, but things are still not clicking well enough for the Broncos to win games. Part of that has been some decline in defense.
Miami Can Score on Denver
The Dolphins were the hottest offense in Week 1 in a 36-34 win over the Chargers, but things cooled down a bit in New England. Tyreek Hill was held to 40 yards, but that is what Bill Belichick does to teams. He takes away the best option and makes you go to other players.
Fortunately, the Dolphins still have Jaylen Waddle and they got 121 rushing yards from Raheem Mostert, an unexpected contribution. If this offense can get the running game going too, then it may be the best unit in the league this year.
But Miami’s speedy receivers should do very well this week in the heat in the team’s home opener. The Broncos have solid players in the secondary, but they just allowed Sam Howell to pass for 299 yards and lead the team to 35 points at Mile High. The pass rush is just not the same since Chubb was traded from Denver to Miami, and you can bet he will be a factor this week.
With Payton as coach and Jerry Jeudy healthy at wide receiver, you can trust the Broncos this year to not be a team that makes scoring 17 points look hard. Even in Week 1 when the Broncos scored 16 against the Raiders, that game had a combined 12 possessions between the teams, the fewest in a game in many years (if not all time).
The Broncos are doing a better job on offense, and Miami’s offense is always potentially explosive with that speed and scheme. Tua Tagovailoa is also legitimately a good passer who continues to get better with experience. Trust these teams to start well and hit the over in the 1st half.
NFL Pick: Broncos-Dolphins Over 23.5 1st Half Points (-120) at Caesars Sportsbook
Falcons and Lions Keep Exchanging Scores
If the Week 3 schedule looks underwhelming to you, and you want to watch a good game where both teams could score 20 points and have it come down to the wire, then Falcons-Lions is a game you want to check out. Both teams could make the playoffs this year too in the NFC.
The Lions are a 3.5-point home favorite with a total of 45.5 points. We are focusing on both teams scoring at least 20 points.
Sunday, September 24, 2023 – 01:00 PM EDT at Ford Field
Atlanta Is Reliable
There is understandable concern with the Falcons in their 1st road game this season, but Atlanta has scored 24 and 25 points in their games despite ranking 27th on 3rd down and average performance in the red zone.
Last season, the Falcons scored and allowed at least 20 points in each of their first 4 games for coach Arthur Smith. This year, he has a big upgrade at running back in Bijan Robinson, who was great against Green Bay (172 yards from scrimmage), and he thinks he has an upgrade at quarterback in Desmond Ridder.
The Lions still have issues on defense after ranking 32nd in yards allowed last year and near the bottom in points too. In Week 1, the Lions caught some major breaks with the Chiefs not having Travis Kelce and dropping so many passes in a 21-20 win. But against Seattle, the team that won 48-45 in Detroit last year, the defense struggled again and the Lions lost 37-31 in overtime.
This reliance on running could lead to a game with fewer possessions and ultimately fewer points, but 20 is a low bar for these teams to clear. Despite a pick-6 last week in the Seattle loss, Jared Goff is also doing a very underrated job at quarterback for this team, consistently leading them to 25-plus points in home games since 2022 started.
The Lions have scored at least 25 points in 12 of their last 13 home games. The Falcons are the team to be more concerned about here but run-based teams have a lot of scoring success when facing Detroit.
Last year, the Lions allowed at least 24 points to 9-of-10 teams that were able to rush for at least 107 yards against them. Only the Bears were held to 10 points, and that is because Justin Fields cannot execute the passing game in the NFL. Ridder is at least serviceable in this offense, and the Falcons have only turned the ball over 5 times in his 6 career starts (never more than once in any game).
Trust both teams to score at least 20 and make this an enjoyable game between new contenders in the NFC.