Predictions and underdog picks for NFL Week 3
The NFL Week 3 schedule includes just two division games and follows bounce-back scoring that saw Week 2 games average 49.75 points per game. The over/under game totals went 13-3 - the most overs in a week since 1990, according to BetOnline.
Week 2 Recap and Stats
Our Week 2 underdog picks went 1-2, as our request for bonehead QB Justin Fields to hang onto and protect to ball was too much for him with a pick-6 from his own goal line in the closing 2 minutes to send us and the Bears to another defeat. The Colts opinion was correct, and while we didn't add Indy to our underdog picks, we'll continue to add more insight and analysis to assist you in your pursuit of profit.
Betting favorites are just 18-14 SU and 11-20-1 ATS ('Dogs 20-11-1), and home teams are also struggling going just 12-20 SU and 11-20-1. We can do better on game selection management with underdogs off to a very good start, and note that in 2021 during our 70% season, underdogs went 21-11 ATS to start the season, similar to this season, and we started 6-1 ATS through 3 weeks on our way to a 28-12 ATS season. That's not happening again, ever, but we'll continue to shoot for more fairways and greens on the gridiron.
The 2023 record for NFL underdog picks is 4-3 ATS with 3 outright winners, and now 166-120 ATS (58.1%) the past 6+ years with 95 outright winners.
As I load boxscore data into a spread sheet every week, I noted that teams that ran the ball 30 or more times in Week 2 went 9-1 SU and 7-2-1 ATS to run the season record to 18-3 SU and 16-4-1 ATS. If you can correctly identify which team will control the line of scrimmage, run the ball more and perhaps a weaker defensive front, you're on your way to more point spread winners. Teams that struggle to run the ball or find themselves playing from a big deficit are far less likely to have success winning SU and ATS. Teams that run the ball less than 23 times per game are now 2-17 SU and 5-13-1 ATS following a 1-9 SU Week 2.
Also, teams that outrush their opponent by at least 30 yards in a game are 17-5 SU and 15-6-1 this season following a 11-1 SU and 8-3-1 result in Week 2. Of course, turnovers are always costly and teams that are on the losing end of the turnover battle by 3 or more turnovers in a game are 0-7 SU and 1-6 ATS, or 0-6-1 ATS if you bet the Vikings (+6) on game day Thursday for a push. We added the Vikings (+7) to our mid-week underdog picks, and the line was +6.5 as well ahead of game day.
We'll continue to post our early week opinions and considerations for our weekly underdog picks, and add select picks early and finalize the card each Friday after injuries are determined. Analysis on select games will also follow by Friday with any additions over the weekend.
Week 3 Underdog Picks, Opinions and Considerations
Los Angeles Chargers (PK/+1) at Minnesota
New England at New York Jets (+2.5)
New Orleans (+2) at Green Bay
Denver (+7) at Miami - BookMaker
Buffalo at Washington (+6.5)
NFL Week 3 injury reports
The early betting data from BetOnline. Note there are four road favorites in Week 3, and NFL Game 3 road Favorites of greater than 3 points have gone 1-15 over/under in the last seven years (15 game totals under).
Early NFL Week 3 bet count— Dave Mason (@DaveMasonBOL) September 19, 2023
74% SF -10 v NYG
52% MIN pk v LAC
75% TEN +3 @ CLE
54% JAX -9 v HOU
84% NE -2.5 @ NYJ
74% GB -2 v NO
77% MIA -6.5 v DEN
82% BUF -6.5 @ WSH
52% ATL +3.5 @ DET
56% IND +8 @ BAL
78% SEA -5.5 v CAR
79% DAL -12 @ AZ
59% KC -12.5 v CHI
53% PIT +2 @ LV
Fairway's Forecast - NFL Week 3 Underdog Picks
Los Angeles (Pk/+1) at Minnesota - Chargers Moneyline (-108)
Denver (+6.5/7) at Miami - Broncos Moneyline +240
Washington (+6.5) vs Buffalo - Commanders Moneyline +225
Updated other picks than Chargers on Friday early afternoon, and Chargers now +1 across board and ML -105.
LA Chargers at Minnesota - Vikings rank dead last in NFL in rushing at 34.5 yards per game and just 13 attempts at 2.7 yards per rush through first two weeks. Not only should our rushing guidelines work favorably for the Chargers, but QB Herbert should have a big game while Vikings QB Cousins will be passing plenty again, setting up an 'over' bet even with higher total of 54.
Denver at Miami - Wait for +7 as able on Broncos, which BookMaker had, but we're including here at +6.5. That despite dumbo DEN defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who ran the Broncos into the ground as head coach for two years, while Miami defensive coordinator is polished and proven Vic Fangio, who did much better with less as Denver's head coach before also getting fired. What was Sean Payton doing hiring Joseph as DC? Broncos will run the ball more and short passes with some Dolphins LB issues, and Denver's offense is getting a first down on 79% of their opportunities (3rd). Broncos fit solid Week 3 angle for teams starting 0-2 and playing better than record with just a few plays from being 0-2 after blowing 21-3 lead at home last week vs WASH and their QB in third start. That lies on Joseph, and concerns of course with Dophins high flying offense, but WR Waddle in concussion protocol, LT Armstead? along with LB Phillips.
Buffalo at Washington - Also see if you can get +7 by game day. Bills without two key defenders in safety Hyde and Edge rusher Floyd, and Washington's defense is top 5 in dropback success rate and are equipped to slow the Bills main targets in passing game. Defensive end Chase Young was sensational last week for the Commanders while the offense made significant strides last week in QB Howell's third start. Better than an 80% chance of rain in D.C. Sunday, and home 'Dog is play.
Check back again over weekend for any added Week 3 underdog picks, game analysis, stats and information you can bet on, and take an advance peak at the NFL Week 4 lookahead lines.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper with unparalleled success in NFL pointspread prognosis. Fairway is recognized as one of the sports industry's insightful analysts, and he chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Follow FairwayJay here at OSGA.com and on X (Twitter) @FairwayJay for more sports betting insights.