Your curated list of wagers for Week 3 of the NFL season, from moneylines and player props to overlooked underdogs.
Welp, our season is officially off to an inauspicious beginning after what we encountered last week.
Ravens -3.5 and up 35-14 in the fourth quarter? Of course they’ll lose! Jets-Browns Under 49.5 cruising into the final two minutes to complete our teaser bet? Of course Joe Flacco will turn back the clock to 2012 and pull off the most miraculous comeback of his career! Need to quote Scott Hanson on this:
NFL Week 3 Best Bets Overview 2022
Best Over/Under Bet of Week 3
It’s no surprise to see this inter-conference contest draw one of the lowest totals on the board for Week 3. Just look at these two anemic offenses. Despite the deflated number that the linesmakers put out, it merits action on the under.
First off, whenever the Bears are in action, expect sluggish play — not just from the still-developing Justin Fields-led offense but the other side, too.
As usual, Chicago carries one of the better defenses in the league — one that has ranked around the top 10 in fewest yards allowed the last five seasons. Though Roquan Smith (hip) hasn’t practiced yet this week, defensive coordinator Alan Williams said he expects the fifth-year All-Pro to be active Sunday.
The Bears are getting a tasty matchup either way with Houston traveling to the Windy City. This is a rebuilding team — something that continues to flash through the season’s first couple weeks, given that they’ve only scored 26 total points so far.
Davis Mills showed promise in the second half of his rookie season. But previously, he struggled mightily and that appears to be the case this year as the Texans try to find their way. Plus, Mills is now dealing with a thumb issue on his throwing hand, according to the club’s injury report, which could easily cap an offense.
Chicago, meanwhile, is also still in the process of figuring things out offensively. The offense hasn’t even put up 20 points in a game yet. Fields hasn’t been throwing much, and with the Bears logging 32 rush attempts on average, that could be a favorable tendency in guiding any ballgame to a low final score.
Well, when you see Fields’ “top” receivers are Equanimeous St. Brown and Darnell Mooney, it’s understandable why da Bears take it to the ground so frequently already. I’d look for that to continue, and so long as that is the case, the stagnant drives will ensue. Fields, of course, is dangerous with his feet but Houston’s D plays well opposite scrambling QBs. Last year, in fact, the Texans allowed the third-fewest rushing yards to signal-callers, and against Russell Wilson a week ago, they held the future Hall-of-Famer to virtually squat.
Since the most important over/under number in the lower half of the 40’s, 41 (think 24-17), is within sight, I recommend buying a half-point for critical protection.
Pick: UNDER 41 (-120)
Best Point Spread Bet of Week 3
Very, very rarely is Aaron Rodgers tabbed an underdog. Sunday’s road date at Tampa Bay will provide one of those rare instances.
Of course it would be when visiting fellow all-time great Tom Brady and his bunch. But should the Pack really be considered underdogs here?
True, the Bucs are 2-0. And they’re at home, which generally gives teams an extra edge in the eyes of the linesmakers (meaning that if this game was at Lambeau Field, for example, the Pack would be listed as slight favorites).
But Tampa is an unconvincing 2-0, beating a couple teams that were missing arguably their best players (Dak Prescott, Alvin Kamara). In the process, Brady has looked rather, err, old, amassing a paltry-by-his-standards 82.8 passer rating across the two triumphs. He also might again be without both Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee) — not to mention tailback Leonard Fournette (hamstring) is questionable as well — and with those two stud receivers missing in action last week, the six-time Super Bowl champion completed only 18-of-34 passes for 190 yards. That simply won’t be enough to beat Rodgers and Co.
Green Bay comes in feeling good, too, after washing away the stench of their Week 1 defeat with a pounding of the rival Bears on Sunday Night Football. Not only did Rogers look much sharper compared to his season debut, but the ground game was in complete control, with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon tallying nearly 200 rushing yards combined. Last week’s W could be what propels the Packers on their annual hot run.
Pick: PACKERS +1.5 (-110)
Best Teaser Bet (2 games, 6.5 points) of Week 3
Among one-sided rivalries throughout all of sports, Lions-Vikings is one of the most underrated. How many people know that Minnesota is 79-40-2 lifetime against its fellow NFC North division resident? Clearly not many.
And making this more tempting, the first meeting between the Lions and Vikings of the year will be a home affair for the latter, presenting a scenario Detroit has not won in since 2017. Remember that in a teaser, the 5.5-point spread can be tossed aside and all we need from the Vikings is a win.
Considering they were my pick to win it all, of course I’ll lean on Minnesota to get back on track. The Lions haven’t looked bad to start the campaign, but their defense has been lacking. Opposite a high-octane Vikings offense, it’ll be real tough.
For the second half of this teaser, we’ll look to the 4 p.m. offerings, featuring an NFC West collision. The Rams and Cardinals will see each other for the first time since their historic Monday Night Football playoff encounter — their first ever! — last year.
LA smashed the Cards that night on their way to a Super Bowl conquest but this is a much different situation. Arizona is coming off a fortunate overtime victory over the Raiders last week that saw them come back from deficits of 20-0 and 23-7. Had they not done so, they’d be 0-2 going into Sunday. That momentum from such an intense comeback, coupled with being back at home, should lead to a tight bout. If they lose by 10, we’re still good.
Best Prop Bet of Week 3
Amon-Ra St. Brown Over/Under 6.5 Receptions
It’s possible that Amon-Ra St. Brown is evolving into one of the top receivers in the league. The second-year sensation is simply a monster that cannot be controlled.
And Jared Goff clearly loves him. Dating back to Week 13 of last year, St. Brown has garnered double-digit targets in each week since — that’s eight straight games — including a whopping 24 throws his way in the first pair of games of 2022. Remarkably, the former USC wide-out is already approaching his touchdown total of a season ago.
Such favoritism figures to continue while St. Brown keeps putting up the numbers, and with that should come plenty more receptions. We only need seven here, a total he’s also eclipsed during the aforementioned previous eight bouts.
Of course, examining potential game script is a key component when projecting any prop bet and that’s another beautiful thing about this wager. Win or lose, the Lions are about to enter a likely high-scoring showdown with the Vikings, and a typical outing from St. Brown will be required to either hang around or pull it out.
Pick: OVER 6.5 Receptions (-130)
NFL Best Bets Record for the 2022 Season
- Over/Unders: 1-1
- Spreads: 0-2
- Teasers: 0-1
- Props: 0-1
- Overall Record*: 1-5, -4.94 units
*Each over/under is graded to win 2 units; everything else for 1 unit
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