We’ve spent all week compiling the best betting angles – and not just for spread and totals – presenting our NFL picks for team totals, props and derivatives in our daily NFL betting predictions. So sit back, relax, and check out the best NFL bets for Week 3.
NO SONY OF MINE
Through 36 rushes, New England Patriots running back Sony Michel has forced zero missed tackles. His 2.96 yards per carry has him ranked between Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson. Heading into the 2019 season, Michel’s injury history was well documented as he has a durability rating of 1 on Sports Injury Predictor, with 1 being the least durable. These injuries may be playing a big factor behind the lack of burst and elusiveness.
Michel and the Pats will host the New York Jets on Sunday as 21.5-point favorites. The Jets are in the middle of the pack in yards per carry allowed and rank 11th in DVOA rush defense. With the back’s total rushing yards at 83.5, we feel that too many things have to go right for him to top that number, especially since he is averaging just 1.69 yards after contact. Take Sony’s Under 83.5 rushing yards.
FALK THE PLANK
The fade train continues as we turn our shading onto the worst starting quarterback in the league. This lucky signal-caller is playing on the road versus the best football dynasty in history that is currently sporting the league’s best defense.
New York Jets third-stringer turned starter Luke Falk is in for a world of hurt on Sunday versus New England’s No. 1 defense. Last week Falk “led” the Jets’ offense to three three-and-outs, a fumble and two turnover on downs. This week Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will have had six days to game plan against him. There is a reason that the Pats are 21.5-point favorites. Take the Under 0.5 TD passes from Falk (-103).
COOK THE BOOKS
In Week 1, as the favorite and at home, the Minnesota Vikings ran the ball 38 times and passed just nine times. On Sunday, the Vikes will host the Oakland Raiders as 9-point favorites and may use Week 1’s game plan as quarterback Kirk Cousins is in, or near, the bottom of most QB statistical leader boards. This will benefit running back Dalvin Cook the most as the RB saw 21 carries which he turned into 111 yards and two rushing TDs in Week 1’s win over the Atlanta Falcons.
The Raiders are allowing just 2.8 yards to opposing running backs and have yet to allow a rushing TD, but things will change on Sunday as Minnesota will lean on Cook as Cousin struggles. Take Cook’s Over 0.5 rushing TDs for plus money (+118).
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is +180 to win the offensive rookie of the year after opening at +200. Since the beginning of the year, the No. 1 pick has become only the second player in NFL history to throw for 300 yards in his first two games. Aiding the 22-year-old QB is the fact that the Cardinals have run 91-of-136 offensive plays with four or more receivers. The other 31 NFL teams combined have just 60. The Air-Raid Offense is real.
Murray will square off with the Cam-Newtonless Carolina Panthers whose defense held Jameis Winston to 208 yards last week and Jared Goff to 186 yards in Week 1. Seems like a legit passing defense but Winston and Goff are ranked 27th and 28th, respectively in QBR and the Panthers rank 18th in DVOA passing defense. We are putting our bucks on Murray’s Over 261.5 passing yards.
WAVERING WENTZ WILL WANE
In Week 2, the Philadelphia Eagles lost a ton of players due to injury, including receiver DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey. Jackson will miss Sunday’s matchup versus the Detroit Lions while Jeffrey is questionable but may suit up. Quarterback Carson Wentz has looked awful in the first half of each game this year as the Eagles have been outscored 30-16.
Wentz has gone 21-for-38 (55 percent) and thrown for 189 yards with one score and two INTs in the first half this year. Outside of a 51-yard touchdown in Week 1, Wentz’s longest completion in the first 30 minutes has gone for 12 yards. Wentz is playing with fire starting so slowly and may have some lingering effects from last week’s rib-crushing hit while also having to play with a decimated offense.
We are fading Wentz and the Eagles against a tough Lions passing D that sit No. 5 in completion percentage against and allowing a QB rating of 74.4. Smash the Under Eagles team total 26.5 and if you want to double down, take Under Wentz’s 285.5 passing yards.
BONUS: If you have access to head-to-head markets, there is a lot of value in Mathew Stafford more passing yards than Wentz at +104.
I WAS BORN A SCRAMBLING MAN
Daniel Jones will take control of the Giants offense this Sunday in Tampa Bay. Mr. Jones will have the services of receiver Sterling Shepard after the wideout cleared concussion protocol this week. It couldn’t have come at a better time as the Buccaneers actually have the league’s best DVOA rushing defense — allowing 2.7 yards per carry to opposing backs.
There is no doubt that Jones will be asked to throw a lot, especially if the G-men fall behind. If you think this is the part where we tell you to play the Over on his passing yards, you are mistaken.
We are expecting the rookie to have trouble going through his progressions and tuck and run. At Duke, Jones rushed the ball over 400 times in 36 games and accumulated more than 1300 yards, so we know the first-rounder is familiar with scrambling. It may be a hard market to find, but we are going to seek and destroy the Over on any total below 16-20 rushing yards.
The Indianapolis Colts may be without their defensive captain and All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard. The 2018 league leader in tackles is still in concussion protocol and is in danger of missing Sunday’s game versus the Atlanta Falcons.
This is great news for Falcons back Devonta Freeman. Freeman hasn’t done much on the ground, averaging just 41 yards on 19 totes but has seen at least four targets in each game resulting in six catches for 54 yards. Freeman saw his snap count rise to over 60 percent last week and he will benefit the most by not having the game’s best linebacker on him in coverage.
Take the Over 2.5 receptions for Freeman and if the line rises closer to kickoff and you miss the 2.5, feel safe grabbing the 3.5 as well.
THE END OF A LEGEND
Adam Vinatieri deserves a lot of respect for what he has accomplished in his 24-year NFL career. Perhaps that’s why the Indianapolis Colts kicker still has a job heading into Week 3 after beginning his 2019 season 1-for-3 while missing three-of-five extra points. The writing is on the wall as Indy held kicking tryouts for six different kickers earlier this week.
We don’t see a fairy-tale ending for Vinatieri and are going to fade him in a game that he probably knows could be his last NFL match. If the Colts don’t have faith in going for three, look for them to have a higher probability of going for it on 4th-down instead. Take the Colts Under 1.5 total field goals (+100).
ALLEN’S PASSING: TAKE THREE
Here is your weekly reminder that Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is more than just a set of legs. Allen has eclipsed his passing totals in both games this year as his Week 1 and 2 totals were both set around 210 yards. This week will be tougher sledding with the O/U on Allen’s passing total set at 230.5 yards. Good thing for Allen and the Bills, the Cincinnati Bengals are coming to town for the home opener as the Bills look to go 3-0.
The Bengals are averaging more passing yards per game than the Dallas Cowboys, meaning that Cincy won’t roll over and die, keeping Allen in passing mode. Things aren’t as pretty on the other side of the ball for the Bengals as they are third-worst in total defensive DVOA. We are looking to make it 3-0 on the Over on Allen’s passing yard and taking the Over 230.5 as the Bills QB has surpassed 250 yards in both games this year.
BRIDGE IS OUT
We are throwing a first-time prop bet for anyone looking to cheer three-and-outs — there are dozens of us!
Teddy Bridgewater will have nearly a full week to prepare for his first start in a meaningful game since January 2016. The New Orleans Saints new No. 1 QB did not look impressive last Sunday versus the Rams and it wouldn’t surprise us if No. 3 Taysom Hill sees a handful of plays under center.
Game Planning against Teddy & Co. are the Seattle Seahawks who will welcome the Saints to the loudest stadium in the league. The Seahawks have a sneaky good defense as they sit in the top-half in total defense DVOA — 13th in the pass and 9th in the run. The Saints also don’t match up well against the run-heavy Hawks as NO has the worst-ranked DVOA run defense and will be without starting linebacker Alex Anzalone.
With wind and rain in the forecast, we expect Bridgwater to struggle to move the offense in a tough environment. Take the Saints as the team with most punts (-125).
The lone bright spot for the Chicago Bears offense is rookie running back David Montgomery. The third-round pick is starting to take over the Bears’ backfield. After seven touches in Week 1, Monty received 19 touches against the Broncos which he turned into 66 yards and a score. The efficiency wasn’t there — 3.4 yards per carry — but for the 220-pound back who can break tackles with the best of them and contribute in the passing game, the opportunity is.
Fellow running backs Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis are becoming less of a threat to Montgomery’s usage. Cohen is blending into a new hybrid role as he saw 36 snaps out of the slot, eight as a wideout and just two in the backfield in Week 2, while Davis received just 25 percent of the offensive snaps last week. With coach Matt Nagy expressing his desire to establish the run to open up other plays, expect a heavier workload for Montgomery on Monday night versus a Washington team in a game that the Bears are favored by 4-points.
Take the Over 15.5 carries on David Montgomery’s total.
THE SNORING DEAD
The Cleveland Browns (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 O/U) may be feeling better after getting their first win, but a win versus the Siemian-Falk Jets isn’t anything to brag about, especially with the L.A. Rams (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 O/U) in town for Sunday Night Football. There are also concerns in Cleveland, particularly the team’s ability to kill offensive drives while extending their opponents at the same time. We are talking about penalties. The Browns have been flagged a league-high 27 times, seven more than the next highest which is one of a few reasons why they haven’t gone Over their team total in either of their first two games.
The Rams have had more success running the ball this year, as they are seventh in rushing yards per game, and are averaging 4.5 yards per carry. The passing game, however, has been hit or miss as Jared Goff’s struggles have him in 27th place in total QBR, just above Cam Newton and Mitch Trubisky — not great company. Until this Rams passing group shows more consistency, we are going to fade them.
Bettors have noticed this as the total has fallen two points to 49 after opening at 51. We are still jumping on this Under 49 and are doubling down on a Browns’ team total Under 22.5 (-110).
DALLAS OF POWER
Heading into this season, the Dallas Cowboys scored 30-plus points, had 400-plus yards of total offense and won by more than 10 just seven times over the last seven years. Seven years! But Jerry’s ‘Boys have accomplished this feat in both games so far this year. Dak Prescott’s offense leads the league lead in yards per play, sitting just ahead of the vaunted Kansas City Chiefs.
Losing receiver Michael Gallup for two-to-four weeks won’t slow this offensive beast down as Devin Smith will take over Gallup’s role. Smith is a former 2015 second-rounder with 4.42 speed and can stretch the field. Smith’s skillset works well with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore’s play-action-happy offense.
Smith isn’t a household name, which may help bettors get a great number on his total yards receiving. The receiver who was scouted as having game-breaking speed can go for 50-plus yards on any play. And even if Dallas gets up big, Smith may still see the field as he looks to get more reps after seeing just 9 percent in Week 1 and 18 in Week 2. We expect a major bump — closer to 50 percent — as Smith absorbs Gallups snaps. Take the Over on Devin Smith’s reception yards on any total below 42 yards.
DRAWN AND QUARTERED
With everyone likely tuning into the Ravens and Chiefs for their 1 p.m. ET pleasure, here’s another prop that will impress your fellow watchers as you awkwardly fist pump what could be a meaningless field goal.
The Chiefs got blanked in the second half in Oakland last week, but that was after four TDs in the second quarter and a three-score lead. Kansas City will have to keep its foot on the accelerator this Sunday as they know that the Baltimore offense can put up points in a hurry.
Assuming the Chiefs will not slow their offensive juggernaut down, jump on Kansas City Chiefs to score every quarter (+120). Baltimore allowed the Cardinals to score in every quarter last week and it will only be more difficult at Arrowhead this Sunday.
KICKING WITH CONFIDENCE
Eddy “The Haberno” Piñeiro is the darling of Chicago after last week’s 53-yard, game-winning kick in Denver. The kicker made all three of his attempts in the thin air and is 4 for 4 to start the year.
As the title suggests, Piñeiro will be kicking with confidence entering his Week 3 matchup versus Washington, who have allowed over 900 yards to two very good offenses. Thankfully, the Chicago is not a good offense – not even close.
Expect Mitch Trubisky and the offense to sputter on Monday under the lights, leaving the rookie kicker to clean up the mess. We like two plays here and are 4-0 on kicking props to start the year. For the “Safe Sallys”, take Chicago first score method as a field goal (+110), and for the rest take Chicago Over 2.5 FGs (+225).
DOWN WITH THE DOLPHINS
The books have caught on to our “Fade the Fish” betting strategies (2-0 to start the year) as their Under 1.5 total TDs has plummeted to -175 after being -120 the last two weeks. We will be looking at a couple of first-half props instead, that may hold more value.
With the possibility of Dallas jumping out to a big lead early, the Cowboys may be inclined to rest some players in the second half. The Dallas defense has allowed one first-half TD in both of its games this year and will have a good chance of blanking the warm-blooded mammals at home. Miami managed to move the chains just twice in the first half last week while going three-and-out on four of five possessions in the first 30 minutes.
Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has named Ryan Fitzpatrick as the Week 3 starter. Through two games, Fitzpatrick has a 27.3 percent uncatchable pass rate – good (well, not so good) for third-worst in the league. He also sits in last with a 50 percent completion rate and has a sub-40 passer rating. It must suck to be Josh Rosen.
The Under 0.5 first-half TDs is where we’re putting our money at -110. The Dolphins’ team total Under 6.5 (-110) is also something to consider as an alternative. Good luck with your Fins fades.