NFL Betting Predictions: Week 3 Opening Line Report and Picks
Welcome back as we look forward to Week 3 of the NFL season, and here we will provide analysis and early predictions of what is to come this weekend ahead.
First let's review Week 2, which was honestly as exciting and nerve wracking as Week 18 of last season. This past weekend was filled with wild back door covers and fourth quarter fireworks across the NFL. Here are some of the highlights:
- We saw the Falcons cover a double digit spread by putting up 17 points in the fourth quarter and making a push to complete the upset until Jalen Ramsey called game by “mossing” a receiver in the red zone and ending the Falcons miracle drive with a minute to go in the game.
- The Jets also put up 17 to upset the Browns in the fourth, with Joe Flacco showing flashes of his younger self. Old Joe finished with 4 TDS and 300 yards. The Jets covered the +6.5 line and pushed the total “over”.
- The Arizona Cardinals put up 29 points in the second half, including overtime, against the Raiders to crush the life of Vegas fans. Kyler Murray made the second half look like a repeat of his Heisman season at Oklahoma.
- Then the most electrifying kick of the day occurred when the Cowboys Brett Maher kicked an absolute missile through the uprights to upset the Bengals and cover a ridiculous spread. This game was a nail-biter that could've gone either way in the fourth quarter as both teams had possessions within the last five minutes of a tied game.
- The Dolphins also put up a 28 spot on the Ravens in the fourth quarter to take the lead and upset the favorites after getting absolutely blown out the first 3 quarters of the matchup.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL expert picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
As exciting as Week 2 was, we now have to put our focus on Week 3 and the opening lines as our main goal is to maximize profit and connect on as many games as possible. There are a few games on our radar as some eye-popping lines have opened up
Game 1: Las Vegas Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans
Opening line: Raiders -1, O/U 45.5
The Raiders are a very good team filled with a solid corps of offensive power. When I see their team, they are stacked. The Titans, on the other hand, are not the team they were a year ago (this article was written before their Monday Night Football matchup with Buffalo). For the Titans to be a successful team, they have to get up on the board early and control the pace of the game through Derrick Henry’s ground and pound game. The best player on the Titans can’t have the ball in his hands if they’re playing from behind. I really like the Raiders in this spot as the bookmakers are overreacting to back-to-back losses to the Chargers and Cardinals.
Derek Carr has 4 TDS and 547 passing yards through two games. In Week 2, Carr had trouble finding Adams, as they only connected twice for 12 yards. However, he completed 23 passes to the rest of his weapons and finished the game with a passer rating of 99.5. They should be 1-1. However, with minor mistakes from the defense, things went the other way quickly. Let’s buy low ASAP on Carr now before the Bills run through the Titans and the lines are adjusted.
Pick: Las Vegas Raiders -1 (-110) play up to -3
Game 2: Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins
Opening lines: Bills -3.5, O/U 51
The Bills are a phenomenal team firing on all cylinders. They are the favorites to win the Super Bowl, and they also have Josh Allen, who is the favorite to win MVP this season. If the first week performance wasn’t enough to show that Allen is an absolute stud, I don’t know what it is. Allen right now has the pocket presence of Joe Montana and the rushing capability of a prime Cam Newton.
Not only is the Bills offense one of the best in football, but they also have a great defense despite Tre'davious White being out with an injury. The Bills in Week 1 absolutely dismantled the defending Super Bowl champs. The opening line for this game was -3.5. However, it has been bet to -4.5. I believe this is a perfect time to buy in as the bookmakers seem to be a little too high on the Dolphins at the moment. Yes, Tua had two good weeks, but Week 1 was against a sorry Patriots team – the game opened up as a pick’em game -- and Week 2 was against a Ravens defense that had one of the worst fourth quarters I’ve seen in a while. Let's take the Super Bowl favorites in this divisional matchup as they make an AFC East statement and shut down the overachieving Dolphins
PICK: Bills -4.5 ( -110) play up to -5.5.
Game 3: Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
Opening lines: Giants -3, O/U 40.5
With our third pick, let’s stay in the east but flip it over to the NFC. This is one of the biggest rivalries in football: the Dallas Cowboys vs. the New York Giants. For the past two weeks, the Giants have been a success story. They won two close games. They played the Panthers, who are running a new offense under Baker Mayfield that seems to be a work in progress, and a weak Titans team. The Cowboys are coming off a huge win against previous Super Bowl runner ups, the Cincinnati Bengals. The Cowboys have huge momentum as they shut down one of the most hyped-up offenses in the NFL this season. The only reason that the Giants are favored is because the Cowboys are missing Dak Prescott. Cooper Rush proved himself more than capable of running the Dallas offense against one of the better teams in the NFL. Rush marched the Cowboys down the field, setting them up to kick a field goal as time expired to win the game.
The Cowboys have historically dominated this matchup in the past couple years. In the previous five meetings, Dallas has won four out of the five games played. They have covered the spread in three of those games. And in all three games they have been favored by a touchdown or more.
The teams haven’t changed much since the first of these five meetings. Daniel Jones and Barkley were still the QB and RB duo. Along with Dak and Elliot for the Cowboys. Honestly, the only impressive thing about the Giants has been Saquon Barkley. He had two really good weeks. However, Jones has underperformed, and I believe the Giants have a weak receiving corps compared to the Cowboys. The Giants also lack the ability to put pressure on the quarterback, as they only have a total of 8 QB hits through two games.
Rush will take advantage of his time in the pocket to find receivers CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz. Look for the Cowboys to not only cover but win this game and keep the momentum from Week 2 as Jones will be out played by Rush and forced to make hurried throws by the Cowboys pass rush. Barkley isn’t going to be able to save Jones from this one
PICK: Cowboys +3 (-110), Play up to even
Game 4: Green Bay Packers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Opening lines: Bucs -3.5, O/U 48
Who doesn’t love some Tampa Bay football? I’m surprised this game isn’t the primetime game of the day on Sunday. This is an NFC Championship Game rematch from 2020, featuring future Hall of Fame quarterbacks and also the oldest quarterbacks in the NFL. These two quarterbacks still play at an MVP-caliber level. As of right now, the public is very bullish on Green Bay as more than 90 percent of the tickets being placed on their opening line. Right now, the Buccaneers have a better offense and a strong counter to Arron Jones’s run game.
This is a tricky game with Mike Evans serving a one game suspension for his brawl on Sunday. Even with Tom Brady missing his top receiver, I’m very confident that he can cover the current spread of -2.5. For years, Brady took on premier teams with random people in uniforms and had won Super Bowls. The shining point for the Buccaneers in this game is their defense against the run. They are a very strong defense with a strong secondary. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have a strong receiving corps as in previous years. This puts them out of this advantage, and they have relied heavily on the run game as Jones has been dominating defenses. Let’s buy this field goal on Brady as the Packers will have a tough time moving the ball in Tampa, and Brady will add another win to his Hall of Fame resume.
PICK: Buccaneers -2.5 (-110), Play up to -3
Bonus : Honorary mention
Game: Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Jets
Opening line: Bengals -4.5, O/U 43
Since 2010, NFL teams that start the season 0-2 straight up have gone 55-40-1 ATS in week 3. Man, I really love the Bengals and the spot. The Bengals had tough weekends back-to-back. However, the old line for the Bengals is suspect and I expect Joe Burrow to put it together this game and at least cover the spread. From what we saw with the offensive woes, I don’t expect a blowout, but I do expect a solid win out of the Bengals here. Cincinnati getting more than 90 percent of the sharp money placed on this game. Let’s look for the Bengals to make a statement shut down result. I can’t see Burrow losing this game with the weapons that he has. The Bengals should run all over the Jets, who had a fairytale ending in yesterday's matchup against the Browns.
Pick: Bengals -4.5 (-110), Play up to -5.5
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