We’re back with our NFL Week 3 picks, and the slate is packed with a ton of great matchups. Week 3 is where the preseason rust starts to wear off and good teams start to show themselves, especially ones that cover.
So, without further ado, here are our two favorite bets for Sunday!
New Orleans Saints (+4.5) at Seattle Seahawks
The Saints, of course, lost Drew Brees, but luckily for them, it is not a season-ending surgery. And, per the responses of the veterans on the team, the sky’s not falling in New Orleans. The team has a capable backup in Teddy Bridgewater who knows the system and has been there. Coach Payton also will find ways to incorporate Taysom Hill into the offense. Look for a big week from Alvin Kamara as well.
On the flip side, the Seahawks are 2-0 but could easily be 0-2. But what is even more worrisome when you dig into the numbers is that they have a point differential of only +3. Look for them to come back down to life a little vs. a veteran team and coaching staff.
This line opened at Hawks -6 and was quickly gobbled up by the sharps, despite the public being all over Seattle in this one. All in all, this just a good situational spot to take the Saints. Always go against the injury over-reaction by the public.
Baltimore Ravens (+6) at Kansas City Chiefs
This Ravens-Chiefs matchup is the game of the week! Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes. The Ravens D vs. Chiefs O. Who will prevail?
From a betting perspective these two teams met in a similar spot last season, with the Chiefs winning 27-24. But, guess what? The Ravens covered, despite the Chiefs offense clicking on all cylinders. I see the same thing happening this weekend.
The Chiefs are banged up at WR, LT and RB, while the Ravens come into this game fairly healthy despite missing Jimmy Smith. While the Chiefs offense is putting up points, rain is also expected at game-time, which might help slow them down a little. The x-factor in this game is going to be the Ravens run offense. Look for them to pound the ball and try to control the time of possession. Especially because this Chiefs defense has been weak against the run. Last season, the Chiefs were dead last with a 9.8% run-defense DVOA, and while improved, still rank 17th against the run.
Lamar Jackson is the best dual-threat QB in the league. Mark Ingram is a punishing RB. Throw in Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, and they should be able to have their way when on offense. Which should keep the ball away from Patrick Mahomes and keep this one close. This game should come down to the wire, so give me the points.
If you are looking for a safe survivor pick this weekend, look no further than the Minnesota Vikings. While the Vikings comeback fell short last weekend against the Green Bay Packers, look for them to get back on track on home where they are a much better football team. Minnesota’s passing game should be able to post big numbers vs. the Raiders 27th ranked DVOA pass defense.
The Vikings should be able to win this game easily. Now, covering, that is another thing. But luckily for you, you just need them to win in the survivor.
Fun parlay of the week:
Carolina Panthers +3, Denver Broncos +7.6
The Panthers-Cardinals look ahead line was Carolina -3 before last week’s abysmal showing and subsequent Cam Newton. Call me crazy, but Cam being out for this game might be a good thing. While he is a beast, he just has not been himself this season, and it has showed. Teams were stuffing the box and daring Newton to throw over 10 yards.
While we don’t know what to expect from Kyle Allen, he should be able to pass the ball against a Cardinal team that does not defend the pass well. Which, in turn, should open things up for Christian McCaffrey. The Cards are a team I like as dogs, not favorites, thus why I am on the Panthers in this spot.
The Broncos lost a heart-breaker to the Chicago Bears last week, but their defense should be the reason they stick around in this one. Vic Fangio knows Aaron Rodgers well and did a good job against him last season. Von Miller and Bradley Chubb and the entire Broncos D still has not generated a turnover. Look for that to regress back to the mean this weekend.
The Packers also might be caught in a little bit of a look ahead spot to next week and their big showdown against the Philadelphia Eagles. This game will be a tight one.
While risky, pairing those two teams up presents some value.
So, there you have it! Here is to a green weekend, and good luck with your wagers this weekend.