Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season was a wild one, and we kicked off the next slate with the New York Giants against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night. The 49ers took care of business against the banged-up Giants, and now without further ado, let’s get to the rest our NFL Week 3 picks, predictions, and odds series.
In the second week of the NFL season, we learned that the Philadelphia Eagles are still good, while the Chicago Bears are still not. We eased back on the panic meter for Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills but cranked it up to 11 for Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals, and Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.
This week was a roller coaster of emotions for many teams, filled with incredible highs and brutal lows. On one side, the New York Giants got outscored 60-0 through six quarters before coming back to win. On the other, the Cleveland Browns suffered a devastating Nick Chubb injury on Monday Night Football. We even saw both sides in the span of a few minutes in one game when the Denver Broncos hit a Hail Mary to have a chance to win but couldn’t convert the 2-point conversion.
Week 2 also got a bit easier to predict after we had a week of data to go on. In Week 1, we went 9-7 straight-up and 6-10 against the spread here. Just a week later, though, things got a lot better. When the dust settled, we were 11-5 straight up and 10-4-2 against the spread. That’s making money!
So, let’s get right to the NFL Week 3 picks, predictions, and odds.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the NFL odds
NFL Week 3 Picks, Predictions, Odds
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers (-10.5)
The Giants allowed 60 points this season before scoring a single one of their own. Yes, coming back and beating the Cardinals on the road showed moxie, but come on, it was the Cardinals! Plus, it was a pyrrhic victory for the G Men, as losing Saquon Barkley for any time at all will be a massive blow for this team. I have faith the Giants will get back on track at some point in the near future, but on Thursday, 3,000 miles from home, that’s not when it will happen, so the Giants-49ers pick here goes with the home team.
Pick: 49ers 28-13
Update: This pick was almost right on the money, with the 49ers earning a 30-12 win over the Giants
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (-3.5)
The Browns are a better team than the Titans from an overall talent perspective. However, Tennessee is also a team that knows exactly who it is and plays to its strengths. Cleveland is the exact opposite, and without Nick Chubb, they could have an even bigger personality crisis in Week 3, even with Kareem Hunt in place. This will be a game where Derrick Henry rolls and Ryan Tannehill does just enough, while Deshaun Watson will try to do too much to make up for losing Chubb, which is why the Titans can not only cover but take this one straight-up.
Pick: Titans 20-19
Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings (-1.5)
It’s only Week 3 of the NFL season, but we already may have the matchup between the two most disappointing teams in the league on tap. These two 2022 playoff teams are already both 0-2 at this point after some wild games. While they’ve each found different ways to lose, they’ve both lost in bad ways. The good news for Vikings or Chargers fans is that someone has to win this game. (No ties please!) So, with no real belief in either of these teams, give me the better quarterback in Justin Herbert.
Pick: Chargers 33-30
New England Patriots (-2.5) at New York Jets
Welcome to the Zach Wilson Era for the Jets, where one of the most talented rosters in the NFL is a home dog against a mediocre 0-2 division rival. The Patriots have lost twice, but they’ve put up a solid fight both times against two of the best teams in the league (Eagles and Dolphins) right now. Bill Belichick will make Wilson’s life miserable on Sunday, and Mac Jones and the offense will do just enough to get into scoring range a few times. The Pats will come away with their first win of the season by more than a field goal.
Pick: Patriots 20-10
Buffalo Bills (-5.5) at Washington Commanders
The Commanders are scrappy, and Sam Howell does seem like he’s improving on every drive. That’s why Washington is a trendy sleeper upset pick this week. However, Josh Allen got smacked in the face in Week 1 and showed that he learned his lesson in Week 2 by destroying the Raiders. Allen may not be able to keep up his responsible game-manager act all season, but he should be able to do it for a few more weeks, which means the Bills play within themselves and smoke the Commanders.
Pick: Bills 33-13
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-7.5)
The Jaguars haven’t quite looked like the playoff team many predicted this season in a shaky win over the Colts and an even shakier loss to the Chiefs. Still, playing the Texans at home is a perfect time and place to get right, and Trevor Lawrence and company will take advantage of that. That said, this is a division game, the Jaguars don’t have a distinct home-field advantage, and 0-2 teams historically do well against the spread in Week 3. That’s why I’ll take the Jaguars to win and the Texans to cover.
Pick: Jaguars 21-17
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens (-8)
Anthony Richardson was looking like a real weapon for the Colts before he left last week’s game with a concussion. Gardner Minshew came in and played well to preserve the victory, and now he may start in Week 3 as the rookie QB is still in concussion protocol as of Wednesday. No matter who starts, though, the Ravens look like one of the most dangerous teams in the league, and Lamar Jackson is performing even better than in his MVP season. The Ravens should continue their winning ways this week.
Pick: Ravens 24-12
Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions (-3.5)
The Lions came back to earth in Week 2, losing to the Seahawks, while the Falcons pulled off a miraculous comeback vs. the Packers. This makes this week’s spreads for these teams much more realistic than last week's. So, despite the Falcons' running game’s excellent chance of dominating the Lions' defense, the Lions will have too much firepower in the passing game, and they’ll take this one.
Pick: Lions 21-16
New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers (-1.5)
Both these teams have looked different by the quarter at times this season. At times they’ve both looked solid, and at other times sketchy. In fairness, the Packers have looked better for longer this season, but that’s not a ringing endorsement. Ultimately, this game will come down to which units win their head-to-head battles, and the Saints' defense is the only elite unit on the field Sunday. That’s why I’ll take them to upset the Packers in this week’s NFL picks, predictions, and odds column.
Pick: Saints 24-23
Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins (-6.5)
Pour some out for Russell Wilson in what may be his final start for the Broncos. We all knew Sean Payton would have a short leash on his QB this year, and after blowing double-digit leads twice in Week 2, this could be the end of Russ in the Mile High City. The Dolphins look too good right now, and there are few places tougher to play than down in the sweltering heat of South Beach early in the season. This one shouldn’t be all that close.
Pick: Dolphins 34-19
Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (-5)
Bryce Young may have been the No. 1 overall pick this year, but the QB doesn’t look ready for primetime yet. The Panthers haven’t gotten anything going on offense this season, and it won’t get any better against the Seahawks. This is a team that got a wake-up call in Week 1 and responded nicely in Week 2. In Week 3, they should take care of business against a bad team.
Pick: Seahawks 23-9
Chicago Bears at Kansas City Chiefs (-12.5)
This is a big number that seems like a trap. Road teams are doing well this season, 0-2 teams do well against the spread in Week 3, and the Bears did have some preseason hype while the Chiefs haven’t hit their stride yet. Maybe this is the game where Matt Eberflus finally lets Justin Fields be Justin Fields and runs the old-school Wing-T offense that takes advantage of the Bears QB’s strengths. Maybe this is the game where Patrick Mahomes finally gets on the same page as his young WRs and the Chiefs' offense clicks. I have more faith in the latter than the former, so I’ll give the points, even at the big number.
Pick: Chiefs 35-13
Dallas Cowboys (-12.5) at Arizona Cardinals
The Cowboys have outscored the football teams from the state of New Jersey 70-10 this season. Their defense is incredible, and the offense — while still a work in progress — is starting to come along nicely. The Cardinals have played the Commanders and Giants tough in two losses, but it seems clear that the Cowboys are a notch above those two teams. I hate giving 25 points in two games (see above), but I just see another Cowboys rout here.
Pick: Cowboys 27-3
Pittsburgh Steelers at Las Vegas Raiders (-3)
This is another matchup of two teams that didn’t look good at all last week on offense. The difference is that the Steelers' defense propped the team up and led to a win, while the entire Raiders roster folded in the Bills’ blowout. In Week 3, this is another case of betting on the best unit when everything else seems pretty even, which is why the new Steel Curtain will carry the day.
Pick: Steelers 17-16
Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The argument against the Buccaneers winning last week was that Baker Mayfield is an inconsistent QB. Tampa Bay’s defense is good, though, and Mike Evans made his quarterback look great with some incredible plays. Still, the root argument holds, and the Eagles are just the team to expose Mayfield in primetime on the first of two Monday Night Football games.
Pick: Eagles 28-19
Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5)
The Bengals are struggling this year as Joe Burrow’s injuries and rust are proving hard to shake. On the other side of the equation, the Rams are one of the year’s biggest surprises so far, winning in Week 1 and giving the 49ers a tough time in Week 2. The bright lights and the fired-up Paycor Stadium crowd are just what the doctor ordered for Burrow this week, as long as he actually suits up and plays. We're going to assume he plays, and Cincinnati finally gets a win.
Pick: Bengals 24-21
Establish the Pass Podcast Week 3 Predictions
|NYG @ SF||49ers||49ers|
|TEN @ CLE||Browns||Browns|
|IND @ BAL||Ravens||Ravens|
|DEN @ MIA||Dolphins||Dolphins|
|NE @ NYJ||Jets||Patriots|
|BUF @ WSH||Bills||Bills|
|ATL @ DET||Lions||Falcons|
|NO @ GB||Packers||Packers|
|HOU @ JAX||Jaguars||Jaguars|
|LAC @ MIN||Chargers||Chargers|
|CAR @ SEA||Seahawks||Seahawks|
|DAL @ ARI||Cowboys||Cowboys|
|CHI @ KC||Chiefs||Chiefs|
|PIT @ LV||Raiders||Steelers|
|PHI @ TB||Eagles||Eagles|
|LAR @ CIN||Rams||Rams|