NFL Week 3 - Betting Preview
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NFL Week 3 - Betting Preview

<h4>NFL WEEK 3 &ndash; PREVIEW</h4>

Can Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints knock off the Falcons in Atlanta? Will the Miami Dolphins remain unbeaten against Oakland? And who will come out on top in the battle of two up-and-coming quarterbacks as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs host Jimmy Garopollo and the San Francisco 49ers?

We take a look at all the big games ahead of Week 3 in the NFL, providing quick hits and top trends.


How very Browns-like. We highlighted last week that Cleveland had a good record when visiting New Orleans – and as eight-point underdogs, they came close to an upset. Kicker Zane Gonzalez, who missed four attempts that cost the team eight points in a three-point loss Sunday, was subsequently waved and on Monday the Browns signed rookie kicker Greg Joseph, who played for Miami in the pre-season.

It is rough on Gonzalez, who was kicking with a groin injury. It was also rough on the Browns’ fan-base that has not seen Cleveland win since December 24, 2016 - 634 days ago.

The New York Jets won their opener in Detroit but Miami put them in their place with a 20-12 defeat that was not as close as the score would suggest last Sunday. Jets’ QB Sam Darnold, who was passed over in the draft by Cleveland, threw two interceptions in the loss and goes up against a Browns defense that is starting to look elite. They rank 4th in lowest rate of opponent drives ending in scores and 2nd in highest rate of opponent drives ending in turnovers.

The Browns almost beat Pittsburgh, settling for a tie in their home opener, and if they have fixed their kicking issues, it could be time for them to snap their losing streak in a big game on Thursday night. The Browns are 6/10 Gentingbet Moneyline favourites and are 21/20 conceding 3.5-points on the handicap.

The good news for Cleveland is that ex-Miami receiver Jarvis Landry has developed a nice chemistry with QB Tyrod Taylor and with Josh Gordon being traded to New England, Landry is now the legitimate No1 receiver, and he is 8/1 to be the first TD scorer. Some may think that represents a little value.


We’ll say it even if others are too timid to: Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes looks like the second coming of Dan Marino. We’re not kidding.

Mahomes is an old head on young shoulders, a devotee of the game, and the way he reads and reacts quickly to a defense has been a joy to behold in his three starts.

Head coach Andy Reid has given him a lot of autonomy at the line of scrimmage and he called his own plays in the second half in a rare win against Pittsburgh last week.

While many talk about his arm strength, Mahomes is so much more than that and the rate that he is absorbing information from Reid, a master at developing QBs, is easy to see.

There will be a lot on his shoulders until the Kansas City defense actually shows up, so there may be a dip in production at some point. Yet for now we should marvel at just how good last year’s 10th pick out of Texas Tech really is.

San Francisco also has their franchise QB in Jimmy Garoppolo, who led his team to a 30-27 home win over Detroit last week after a tough 24-16 defeat in Minnesota.

The Chiefs, who have two big road wins on the board, play at home for the first time this season and the 49ers will need their ground game to ignite if they are to keep things close. Matt Brieda leads the league in rushing with 184 yards and while Garoppolo has been excellent for the most part, he does not have a receiver who has reached 100 yards this season.

The Chiefs are 4/5 on the Genting Casino Handicap, conceding 6.5 points, while the Niners are 4/6 in receipt of 9.5 points and 23/10 on the Moneyline.


The Miami Dolphins are 2-0, the Raiders are 0-2, and the hosts won five of the last seven meetings in South Florida. Raiders have not won back-to-back meetings in Miami since 1990.

This is a long road trip for the Raiders, who gave up a 12-point half-time lead to the Denver Broncos last Sunday and lost their divisional clash 20-19. Miami’s young secondary and much-improved defensive line play helped them to overcome the Jets in New York.

Oakland QB Derek Carr was almost flawless last week, with a 29 of 32 pass completions for 288 yards and one touchdown, and if the Dolphins can’t create pressure up front, with strong safety Rashad Jones an injury doubt, Carr may test the secondary.

It will be interesting to see if the Dolphins can contain TE Jared Cook, as they have struggled against decent tight ends in the past, and some bettors may feel that the Dolphins could overlook the Raiders with a divisional clash against New England looming next week. The Raiders are 8/11 in receipt of 4.5 points on the Genting Casino handicap and 7/5 on the Moneyline.

Scattered thunderstorms and high humidity is in the forecast, so there may be some who feel the 43.5 points line may be too high and therefore the unders at 19/20 might be the call.


The Saints have lost their last two trips to Atlanta, but have never lost three consecutive trips there since 1977-1999, so some who like such trends may be interested in taking the visitors on the Genting Casino Moneyline at 13/10.

Those odds start to look generous when you consider Atlanta lost starting left guard Andy Levitre for the season with a triceps injury and WR Julio Jones, RB Devonta Freeman, DE Takk McKinley and DE Derrick Shelby all missed practice on Wednesday.

After both NFC South rivals started the season with losses, they each bounced back to win last week, with the Saints struggling past the Browns and Falcons dealing easily with Carolina.

The Falcons have so far masked the loss of starting safety Keanu Neal and linebacker Deion Jones, but whether Wes Schweitzer is up to filling the shoes of Levitre is open to question.

The Falcons are asked to concede 3.5 points on the handicap at 21/10 but the line-makers expect plenty of points, setting the bar at a 53.5 total.


Both teams seek their first win and while the Giants struggled to move the ball in their 20-13 loss at Dallas last Sunday, they held the Cowboys passing attack to just 87 yards following Dak Prescott’s opening 72-yard touchdown drive. That staunch defense also held Jacksonville scoreless in the second half of their opening game.

The Texans’ offensive line looks very ordinary and in a battle of QBs, many will take Eli Manning to bounce back over Deshaun Watson, so there could be a few takers for the Giants +4.5-points on the Genting Casino handicap at odds of 23/20. For the brave, the 23/10 Moneyline odds for a Giants win may also entice.


The Packers have won five of the last seven regular-season meetings and including the 2015 NFC Wild Card contest in Washington, the teams have combined to score 50-plus points in each of the last three matchups. The points total line is set at 47.5 points and it is 23/20 that this bar is eclipsed.

Green Bay holds a 3-0-1 record in September games against the Redskins, but are only 2-2 with Aaron Rodgers at QB. He has thrown 10 touchdowns verses one interception in those four outings.

The Packers are 1-0-1 after tying last week’s clash with Minnesota and should they avoid defeat, it will be only the ninth time since 1970 that they are unbeaten in their first three games.

The Redskins struggled against the Colts last week and had a hard time running the ball, with Adrian Peterson managing just 20 yards on 11 carries. They should have more success on the ground this week and although it is surprising to see the Packers as only 2.5-point favourites at 4/5, that has a lot to do with Rodgers’ on-going knee injury. The odds say this game has upset potential.


This is one of the most fascinating match-ups this weekend. The Bengals are 2-0, while the Panthers slipped to 1-1 after beating Dallas and then losing in Atlanta.

Cincinnati has scored 34 points in each of its first two games, and the addition of seventh-year OT Cordy Glenn via a trade with Buffalo has brought forth significant offensive improvement.

QB Andy Dalton has completed  64.3 percent of his passes for 508 yards and six TDs, while tossing just one interceptions. His 108.5 passer rating makes him the third most efficient passer in the AFC.

Carolina’s efficient ground game, with QB Cam Newton and RB Christian McCaffrey, is diverse, and the pass rush is going to be key. Kawann Short and Dontari Poe have proved very effective at creating pressure up the middle, while Mario Addison is one of the most under-appreciated edge rushers in the league.

The Bengals are 3.5-point underdogs on the Genting Casino handicap at 4/5 and this game is a good barometer to see where each team is heading. The Panthers are 4/6 Moneyline favourites and can be backed at 13/8 conceding 6.5 points.


The Broncos come into this with a 2-0 record, but neither success has been convincing and they have also lost on five of their last six trips to Baltimore.

While the Ravens lost to Cincinnati a week ago, they have had three extra days to prepare and they looked formidable against an admittedly awful Buffalo on opening day.

As such, the Ravens are considered 6.5-point favourites on the Genting Casino handicap at odds of 19/20, and 2/5 on the Moneyline.

With several key Broncos including Adam Jones, Case Keenum, Brandin Marshall and Jared Veldhher absent from practice on Wednesday, they would appear to face an uphill task.

If the Ravens can limit Denver’s running attack, spearheaded by Phillip Lindsay, there will be many thinking the hosts can cover the spread.


The Eagles have been far from the polished Super Bowl-winning team of last season in two games thus far, struggling past Atlanta on opening night and then losing at Tampa Bay last week.

The Colts, whose defense has been much improved, face another tough trip to an NFC East opponent, having beaten Washington on their own patch past week. The good news for Colts’ backers is they have history on their side, having won four of their last six trips to Philly.

Despite the 27-21 defeat in Tampa, Eagles’ QB Nick Foles passed for 334 yards and a touchdown, and there are question marks over the Colts’ ability to defend tight ends, so we expect Zach Ertz to be influential.

Eagles will start Carson Wentz at QB this week with the signal-caller recovering fully from a knee injury and while he may be a little rusty, the Eagles are 6.5-point Genting Casino handicap favourites and 1/3 Moneyline jollies as they bid to bounce back.

Adding a little more intrigue is Colts new head coach Frank Reich, who will know the strengths and weaknesses of this Eagles team, having served as a coordinator for the Eagles last season.


Battle Los Angeles was one of the most dreadful movies of all time. This particular battle of Los Angeles should be far more entertaining. The Chargers lost on opening day to the Chiefs, but hit back with a win in Buffalo, while the Rams steamrolled both Oakland and Arizona by a combined score of 67-13.

That is in large part due to Wade Phillips’ defense, which was boosted by the arrivals of Ndamukong Suh, Sam Shields, Marcus Peters and Aquib Talib. With Aaron Donald’s contract signed, it means Michael Brockers is the third best lineman, so it is easy to see why opponents will continue to struggle and why the Rams are considered one of the favourites for the Super Bowl.

The Chargers are also a fad pick to go to the AFC Championship and they will be sharing the Rams’ new stadium when it is completed.

They have had no problems moving the ball, but defensively they look vulnerable, especially without defensive end Joey Bosa, who is expected to be sidelined with a foot injury. The Chargers have ceded only 232.5 yards per game, but have given up 29 points per game, which means they need others to step up quickly to replace Bosa.

The Rams will finally get a team that can test them, and they are 7.5-point favourites on the Genting Casino handicap line at Evens. This may be a lofty number, given QB Philip Rivers has been outstanding thus far. The points total is set at 47.5 and there will be a few who think this will be eclipsed and take advantage of the 17/20 odds for that to occur.


The Bears, winners of four of their last five trips to Arizona, bounced back from a 24-23 loss to the Green Bay Packers, winning 24-17 over the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.

It is never easy to travel off a short week, but they could not have easier meat than the Cardinals, who have been inept in two outing thus far, generating six points in two games and just 90 yards last week against the Rams.

Playing the Bears and their highly-touted defense, led by Khalil Mack, means the Cardinals are considered 5.5-point underdogs at 17/20 on the Genting Casino handicap line.

The Bears sacked Russel Wilson six times last week, but it is the running game, led by Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, that the Cardinals will have to stop. They have not proven capable of slowing anyone thus far.


The Cowboys covered the spread when beating the New York Giants last week to move to 1-1 on the season, but for the most part, it was Rod Marnelli’s defense that did the damage.

QB Dak Prescott completed 16 of his 25 passes and ran for 45 yards on Sunday, but he is getting little support and the cupboard is largely bare in the receiving corps.

This game will be pivotal for Seattle, who opened up with two straight losses – at Denver and Chicago, but no-one is convinced by this Dallas attack and it can be only a matter of time before they run out of options.

Seattle are 5/6 on the Genting Casino Moneyline and are 10/11 conceding 1.5 points on the handicap, indicating a close contest.


Monday Night Football offers a fascinating match-up. Pittsburgh has yet to win, having tied in Cleveland and fallen at home to Kansas City, while Tampa dispatched Philadelphia last week, having won a shoot-out with the Saints in week 1.

The Bucs are 8-3 against the spread in their last 11 games when coming off a handicap win, but have failed to cover the spread in their last five week 3 games.

Tampa QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has been a revelation for the Tampa offense and Pittsburgh is missing fiery running back Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers’ defense is struggling, but they have too many veteran players to struggle for too much longer. This is a must-win for Pittsburgh and they are 4/5 on the Genting Casino Moneyline and 10/11 conceding 1.5 points to Tampa Bay on the handicap.

Many will be expecting the Steelers to win ugly, but win they must.

Those seeking picks against the handicap spread may wish to take a look at, America’s leading football authority.

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V: 1.38.0 All rights reserved. August 2021