NFL Week 3 best bets: One wager to make for every team

USA Today

Two weeks into the 2023 season, there have been a few surprises – including the Bengals, Vikings and Chargers all being 0-2, and three of the four NFC South teams sitting nicely at 2-0.

From a betting perspective, things typically get easier as the season progresses because teams begin to skew toward being either contenders or pretenders. But as we all know, betting is never easy.


Heading into Week 3, we’ve got one wager you should make on each team, from the Giants and 49ers on Thursday night to Rams-Bengals in the second game of a Monday night doubleheader.

All odds are courtesy of BetMGM unless otherwise noted.

Giants at 49ers: Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET

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Giants: Daniel Jones over 37.5 yards rushing (-115)

If Vegas is going to keep giving this, we’re going to keep taking it. Jones has gone over the projected over/under in each of the first two weeks of the season and at 37.5, there’s no reason to believe he doesn’t do it again in Week 3. The 49ers struggle to contain athletic rushing quarterbacks and the Giants will also be without RB Saquon Barkley, meaning Jones will have to do some more heavy lifting. This should go over before halftime. – Dan Benton, Giants Wire

49ers: 49ers to win by 13-18 (+375)

The spread for this one is San Francisco -10, so we can already lean toward the 49ers controlling this one throughout. Thursday night games are always a little odd, but the Giants are without RB Saquon Barkley and their offensive line against the 49ers defensive front could spell disaster for New York’s offense. Not to mention the Giants have allowed 68 points in two games and are coming into Levi’s Stadium on a short week where they’re playing back-to-back road games. A win in the range of 14 or 17 points isn’t unreasonable, and the value is good at +375. – Kyle Madson, Niners Wire

Titans at Browns: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Titans: Derrick Henry over 89.5 rushing and receiving yards (-115, DraftKings)

Derrick Henry has tallied 119 and 95 scrimmage yards in his first two games, and broke 90 or more scrimmage yards in 12 of 16 games last season. While the Browns sport the No. 3 run defense in the NFL, volume and his increased usage in the passing game should be more than enough to put Henry over the top. Mike Moraitis, Titans Wire

Browns: Deshaun Watson longest rush over 11.5 (-115, DraftKings)

This seems like a relatively easy one. Despite his ineptitude through the air over the first two weeks of the season, Deshaun Watson has still been effective using his legs. In both of the first two games, Watson’s longest run has been 12 yards or more. And now entering this matchup against the staunch run defense of the Titans without Nick Chubb, the Browns may have to rely on more creative ways to get yards on the ground. This could include an uptick in read option. Never discount Watson’s tendency to tuck the ball and run either. – Cory Kinnan, Browns Wire

Falcons at Lions: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons: RB Tyler Allgeier over 40.5 rushing yards (-120)

Even with Bijan Robinson’s breakout performance in Week 2, Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier rushed 16 times for 48 yards on an uncharacteristically low 3.0 yards per attempt. This was after he rushed for 75 yards on 15 attempts in Week 1. Based on volume alone, the second-year running back looks like a good bet to top 40.5 rushing yards for the third straight game against the Lions in Week 3. – Matt Urben, Falcons Wire

Lions: Lions total points under 25.5 (-120)

Detroit has some significant injury issues on offense. They could very well be without top RB David Montgomery, LT Taylor Decker, RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai and, most importantly, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. The Falcons defense is better than advertised too, allowing just 17 points per game. In a matchup where both teams will want to run the ball a lot, expect less drives and less points. Jeff Risdon, Lions Wire

Saints at Packers: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

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Saints: Derek Carr longest passing completion over 37.5 yards (-110)

Carr hasn’t been afraid to air it out – he leads the league in pass attempts, completions, and yards gained on throws of 20-plus yards. He has connected with wide receivers Chris Olave (for 45 and 42 yards) and Rashid Shaheed (for 41 and 45 yards) on gains of 40-plus yards in each of the first two games. Jaire Alexander can’t cover everyone, and at some point he’ll ask one of those two deep threats to make a play. They have both rewarded him with their efforts thus far. Maybe next time they can take one of those long receptions to the house for a touchdown? John Sigler, Saints Wire

Packers: Jordan Love over 0.5 interceptions thrown (-120)

Love hasn’t thrown an interception through two games, but the Saints defense presents a difficult challenge given all the veterans at each level. I think this is the week Love gets fooled into making a mistake. The Saints already have three picks in 2023, including one from each starting cornerback. The guess here is the Saints do a nice job against the run, get Love into some tough down-and-distances and he eventually forces one into traffic for a turnover. He can’t go the whole season without an interception…right? Zach Kruse, Packers Wire

Broncos at Dolphins: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos: Denver to score over 20.5 points (-110)

The Broncos are averaging 2.88 points per drive through two weeks and a typical game yields about 10-12 possessions. At that average, Sean Payton’s offense would score around 28 points. The Patriots only managed to score 17 against the Dolphins last week, but the Chargers dropped 34 points against Miami in Week 1, and Denver scored 33 points last week. It seems like a good bet for the Broncos to score three touchdowns in Miami. – Jon Heath, Broncos Wire

Dolphins: Dolphins -3.5 AND game total over 40.5 points (+115)

The Dolphins have won their two games by one score or less, defeating the Los Angeles Chargers by two and the New England Patriots by seven. Both of those teams present more problems than this current iteration of the Broncos, so Tua Tagovailoa and company should be able to outscore Russel Wilson’s unit. However, they do have the ability to find the end zone, as they showed by putting up 33 against the Washington Commanders in Week 2. With Miami’s high-powered offense also on the field, these two teams should combine for at least 41 points with no problem. Mike Masala, Dolphins Wire

Chargers at Vikings: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

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Chargers: Over 54 (-110)

The Chargers and Vikings meet, both looking to find their first win. Los Angeles will lean on their offense to keep them in this contest, averaging 29 points per game through the first two weeks. They face a Vikings defense that just allowed 34 points to the Eagles last Thursday. Minnesota’s offense, on the other hand, has been prolific in passing the ball. And they get a Chargers defense that’s dead last in pass defense. Additionally, L.A. has surrendered the third-most points per game through this week (31.5). Expect fireworks in what will likely be an offensive shootout. Gavino Borquez, Chargers Wire

Vikings: Jordan Addison first touchdown (+1100)

The Vikings have done a great job spreading out touchdowns over their first two games, so much so that Justin Jefferson doesn’t have a touchdown yet. Yes, the stat in itself is inherently random, but Jordan Addison being the only Viking to have one in each of the first two games doesn’t feel that way. They brought him in to win in man coverage and be a deep threat and his two touchdowns coming from 39 and 62 yards out isn’t a mistake. Watch for Kevin O’Connell to try and connect on a deep touchdown to start the game off right. Tyler Forness, Vikings Wire

Patriots at Jets: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

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Patriots: Under (36.5)

Leave the beer and wings in the fridge for this one, and bring a Snuggie and a glass of warm milk instead. Both offensive lines have been awful, and both defenses are among the best in the NFL. There wasn’t a single offensive touchdown scored the last time these two teams met. Instead, the game was decided on a walk-off punt returned for a touchdown by Patriots cornerback Marcus Jones. Do yourselves a favor and take the under in this game. – Jordy McElroy, Patriots Wire

Jets: Garrett Wilson over 48.5 receiving yards (-115)

Zach Wilson and Garrett Wilson have started rebuilding their connection now that Zach is back as the starter. The Wilsons have connected for a touchdown in both games to start the season and Garrett Wilson is averaging almost 60 yards per game. Even matched up at times against Christian Gonzalez, the Jets should move Garrett around enough and he should see enough volume from Zach that 50 yards feels easily attainable this week in what feels like a must-have game for the Jets. Billy Riccette, Jets Wire

Bills at Commanders: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen

Bills: Josh Allen over 31.5 rushing yards (-110)

The Bills had a heck of a rushing attack without QB Josh Allen getting involved much last week. RB James Cook had his first career game over the century mark as Buffalo cruised vs. the Raiders. But… don’t get used to that. In Week 1, Allen had four turnovers. Last week, he was playing a buttoned-up game. After winning, expect him to loosen up – and let’s not beat around the bush. The Bills offensive line trying to stop Maxx Crosby is one thing. Buffalo slowing down Chase Young, Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen and Montez Sweat is another. We’ll see Josh “run Forrest, run” Allen in DC. Nick Wojton, Bills Wire

Commanders: Brian Robinson Jr. over 10.5 receiving yards (-110)

Robinson has established himself as the lead back in Washington, which means he’ll get plenty of opportunities as a runner and receiver. He went over this total on Sunday and he should do the same against a Bills defense that will force quick throws.

Cameron DaSilva, NFL Wires

Texans at Jaguars: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

[Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

Texans: Ka’imi Fairbairn over 1.5 field goals made (+140)

The former 2015 Lou Groza Award winner has connected on 5-6 field goals with at least two made per game this season. Fairbairn has also made at least two field goals in each of the Texans’ past five trips to TIAA Bank Field. The Fairbairn prop bet may not be the whole enchilada at +140, but might be a nice wager to keep in mind if building a parlay. – Mark Lane, Texans Wire

Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence over 14.5 rushing yards (-110)

The Texans allowed each of the first two quarterbacks they faced this year to gain at least 35 rushing yards. Granted, it was against uber-mobile passers, Lamar Jackson and Anthony Richardson, but that may be something Houston contends with often against its Wide 9 defense. Lawrence ran for more than 20 yards in each of the Jaguars’ first two games and had at least 15 rushing yards in eight games last year. Adam Stites, Jaguars Wire

Colts at Ravens: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

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Colts: Colts over 17.5 total points (+100)

There’s a strong chance the Colts will be without rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson, who is currently in the concussion protocol and missed Wednesday’s practice. Fortunately, for the Colts, they have a pretty strong backup option in Gardner Minshew. With his feathered and lethal flow, Minshew is going into his third season in Shane Steichen’s offense. He led the offense to 17 points in Week 2 after Richardson exited with his injury and even though the Ravens sport a solid defense, this Colts offense is already much better than the unit from a year ago. Steichen and Minshew will be able to do enough to clear the line of 17.5 points even if they aren’t favored to win. – Kevin Hickey, Colts Wire

Ravens: Lamar Jackson over 225.5 passing yards (-115)

In their Week 2 win over the Texans, the Colts defense allowed rookie QB C.J. Stroud to end up with some big numbers after trailing for much of the game. Stroud passed for 384 yards at 8.2 yards per attempt. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson had 237 yards in Baltimore’s Week 2 win over Cincinnati, and he’ll feast on an Indianapolis defense that allowed 241 passing yards to Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence in the season opener. – Glenn Erby, Ravens Wire

Panthers at Seahawks: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith

Panthers: Panthers to score under 17.5 points (-120)

Almost nothing is clicking for the Carolina offense thus far. Quarterback Bryce Young is going through some growing pains, the wide receivers are amongst the worst in football at gaining separation and the play-calling of head coach Frank Reich has already come into question. And as if matters couldn’t get worse—Young, who is now dealing with an ankle injury, may not be able to go in this one. So, would you trust the Panthers to get over the 17-point mark for the first time this season with 35-year-old Andy Dalton under center? Anthony Rizzuti, Panthers Wire

Seahawks: Seahawks -6 (-110)

The Carolina Panthers may eventually grow into a contender, but right now they have a lot of developing to do. Through 2 weeks QB Bryce Young is among the worst starters in the league statistically and an extremely weak wide receiver corps isn’t going to improve his numbers. Losing linebacker Shaq Thompson for the year won’t help this team’s chances, either. Seattle should also be on high alert given what happened between these teams in 2022. It’s hard to imagine the Seahawks would allow another upset against Carolina given how shocked they were by their Week 1 loss to the Rams and how well they bounced back in their win over a favored Lions team. Tim Weaver, Seahawks Wire

Bears at Chiefs: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Bears: Justin Fields over 59.5 rushing yards

This seems like a bold prediction after Fields totaled just three rushing yards last week, which was very uncharacteristic. But after listening to Fields this week, he’s determined to get back to his playmaking ways and leave his “robotic” play behind. Expect to see Fields utilize his elite athleticism when plays break down – and hopefully some more designed QB runs from offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. – Alyssa Barbieri, Bears Wire

Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes over 283.5 passing yards (-115)

Mahomes has had a quiet start to the 2023 season and is sure to play with an extra edge in this game as he looks to get Kansas City’s offense back on track. Other quarterbacks may struggle to get over the 300 yard threshold with regularity, but it seems anomalous that Mahomes hasn’t hit it yet. Expect that to change against the Bears this week. – John Dillon, Chiefs Wire

Cowboys at Cardinals: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

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Cowboys: CeeDee Lamb longest reception over 23.5 yards (-120)

This line is juiced a little bit to -120, but it’s still worth a bet. Lamb has been a big-play weapon throughout his career and this season alone, he already has five catches of 20-plus yards and three of at least 25 yards. Against a bad Cardinals team, Lamb should be able to create at least one big play from Dak Prescott. The Cowboys offense is humming right now and Lamb is averaging about 110 yards per game. He could go off against this poor Arizona defense that’s lacking playmakers. Cameron DaSilva, NFL Wires

Cardinals: Joshua Dobbs over 0.5 interceptions (-155)

This isn’t the best line, but it’s not a terrible one at -155. The Cowboy have picked off at least 2 interceptions in each of their first 2 games of the season. While Dobbs hasn’t thrown one yet, he would have had one last week, but it was nullified by a penalty. With the Cardinals likey having to play from behind most of the game, they will have to pass the ball more, which means much a much higher likelihood of turnovers. Jess Root, Cards Wire

Steelers at Raiders: Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET

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Steelers: Under 43 points (-110)

The over/under for points this week between the Steelers and Raiders is 43. Given how bad both of these offenses looked last week and the injury situations for both teams, I’m taking the under all day long. The Steelers offense was outscored 12-6 by the defense last week and there’s no way that happens again. This is going to be an ugly, low-scoring game that many will wish had not been the prime-time matchup on Sunday night. Curt Popejoy, Steelers Wire

Raiders: RB Josh Jacobs under 71.5 rushing yards (-110)

The Bills bottled up Jacobs in Week 2, holding him to -2 yards on nine carries. He’ll obviously have a better game in Week 3, especially with the Steelers being without Cameron Heyward. However, expect Pittsburgh to load up the box and dare Jimmy Garoppolo to beat them through the air. For that reason, take the under on rushing yards for Jacobs as he continues to work himself back into playing shape. Marcus Mosher, Raiders Wire

Eagles at Buccaneers: Monday, 7:15 p.m. ET

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Eagles: Over 46 (-110)

Philadelphia has scored 25 and 34 points in their first two games and even with one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses, they’ve yet to play a complete and efficient contest as a unit. Tampa Bay has scored 20 and 27 points in their first two contest and they’ll face an Eagles defense that’s allowed 20 points in both wins and Monday night offers the potential for a shootout at Raymond James Stadium. Glenn Erby, Eagles Wire

Buccaneers: Rachaad White over 17.5 receiving yards (-120)

Rachaad White not only ran for 73 yards against the Chicago Bears, he also found time to catch five passes for 30 yards. The Eagles’ run defense is the only run defense in the NFL better than Tampa Bay’s (by two yards) so it would make sense that the Bucs will try to pass — and look no further than White here, who could certainly repeat his performance against Chicago on Sunday and might even get more targets. River Wells, Bucs Wire

Rams at Bengals: Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Rams: Rams +3 (-115)

This line opened with the Rams being 6.5-point underdogs. Then, Joe Burrow’s status was brought into question and it dropped all the way down to 1.5 points in favor of Cincinnati. Getting the Rams at +3 feels like a great bet regardless of Burrow’s status. If he plays, sure, the line will move up in the Bengals’ favor. But this is an 0-2 team that has struggled badly, even with Burrow. I like the Rams to win outright, so you could even take them at +125 on the money line. But getting 3 points from a winless team, even on the road, feels like a great value for the Rams. – Cameron DaSilva, Rams Wire

Bengals: Under 44 (-110)

Joe Burrow’s status is very much up in the air, with Zac Taylor calling him day-to-day in the lead up to Monday’s game. Even if he plays, the Bengals offense has sputtered in the first two weeks, ranking last in the NFL in total yards. Though the Rams are moving the ball well on offense, it could be a different story if they struggle to convert on third down at the high rate that they have. The under feels like a good bet no matter what Burrow’s status is. Cameron DaSilva, NFL Wires

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