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Expert NFL Picks Against the Spread Week 3

Ryan Metivier

by Ryan Metivier in NFL Football

Updated Sep 23, 2023 · 3:02 PM PDT

Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard (31) celebrates
Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard (31) celebrates after defeating the Los Angeles Chargers 27-24 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023.
  • Get our top against the spread picks for this weekend from September 24-25
  • This week the Titans and Buccaneers are getting plenty of love from our NFL experts
  • Read on for our expert NFL picks against the spread for Week 3 below

We now have two weeks of games to analyze from this new NFL season and while some teams are off to flying starts at 2-0, others at 0-2 are already facing the prospect that their playoff hopes could be over. In this week’s expert NFL picks against the spread we’re targeting several underdogs to bark, plus a couple of short favorites.

NFL Expert Picks Today

Ryan Metivier Bob Duff Zach Reger
Titans (+3.5) Falcons (+3.5) Patriots (-2.5)
Bucs (+5.5) Titans (+3.5) Colts (+8.5)
Rams (+3) Packers (-1) Bucs (+5.5)
Record: 1-5 Record: 0-6 Record: 3-2-1

For Week 3, our expert NFL picks against the spread came in strong on the Titans and Bucs as underdogs to the Browns and Eagles. We’re also fading the injured Joe Burrow and the Bengals. as well as the struggling Zach Wilson and the Jets. Overall we have picks on seven different teams for Week 3.

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Ryan Metivier

Titans +3.5 

This looks like a rock fight to me between the Titans and Browns and a game that could come down to a field goal either way.

The Browns are coming off two divisional games, beating Cincinnati 24-3 and losing to Pittsburgh 26-22. That MNF loss was even harder to handle as star RB Nick Chubb was knocked out of the game and season with a knee injury. That leaves the offense in the hands on Deshaun Watson who has yet to return to the height of his powers pre-suspension. Watson has only thrown for 154 and 235 yards respectively in Weeks 1 and 2 for just 2 TDs and 2 INTs. In fact, only the Jets’ Zach Wilson has  worse completion percentage that Watson’s 55.1%.

The Titans have already played to two games decided by three or fewer points, losing 16-15 to the Saints and beating the Chargers 27-24 in overtime.

Both of these teams can stop the run, ranking tied in fourth in 65 YPG. But only the Browns boast a balanced defense that also ranks second in passing yards allowed per game. The Titans, by contrast are way down in 28th. With Chubb on the shelf, that likely means most of the offense will run through Watson which could be bad news for Tennessee. But Watson hasn’t proved capable of having a big game as of yet, and Mike Vrable has the best record as an underdog in the NFL. Give me the points for my expert NFL picks against the spread this week.

Rams +2.5

This line is dropping to Bengals -2.5 but is still -3 at some sportsbooks. That’s entirely based on the expectation that Bengals’ starting quarterback Joe Burrow may miss out (as of this writing he’s day-to-day) with his lingering calf injury that he aggravated last week.

We spoke of Watson’s poor completion percentage above, and Burrow’s isn’t much better. He’s 29th overall (56.9%), only better than Jordan Love, Watson and Wilson.

I’d still rather Burrow than any backup option. Jake Browning has attempted one career NFL pass and the Bengals just added Reid Sinnett to the practice squad. He’s only ever been a practice squad player, while also playing in the XFL.

Matthew Stafford and the Rams are 1-1 and Stafford is finding success with Kyren William, Puka Nucua and Tutu Atwell despite the loss of Cooper Kupp. The Rams are second in YPG on offense while Cincy is 32nd. Even with Burrow, the Rams could pull an upset here. But if he sits out or can’t make it through the game, I like my chances of getting points with the Rams.

Bucs +5.5

Something just doesn’t seem right with the Eagles. Maybe it’s the much talked about “Super Bowl loser hangover” or maybe it’s because they lost both coordinators this offseason and have yet to adjust.

Rushing-wise, the Eagles have been able to run the ball ranking second in yards per game (178). They’ve also been able to stop the run ranking first in rushing yards allowed per game (52). But nothing is working right in the air—either offensively or defensively. The Eagles are 29th in passing (162.5) and have given up the second-most yards per game to rank 31st (326).

By contrast, the Bucs have the tools to slow down the Eagles run game ranking top three with the Eagles (54 YPG allowed). They too have lagged in defending the pass ranking 24th (248.5). But they’re a little more balanced offensively being 18th rushing (96.5) and 9th passing (243).

Baker Mayfield hasn’t been flashy but he did throw for 317 yards last week and has three TDs to zero interceptions through two weeks.

Mayfield should be able to make plenty of safe passes over the middle as the Eagles have allowed the most receptions, second-most yards and most touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year. Tight end Cade Otton, 8/9 for 60 yards could be worth a look in Week 3 NFL player props. Mayfield could also find space in the secondary with as many as three players listed on the injury report in the secondary for Philly. But the Eagles are littered with injuries all over the defense with seven players listed as questionable.

ATS picks-wise, I haven’t seen enough from Philly to see them winning by almost a touchdown on the road on MNF. Also, when non-division teams meet and the road team is favored by four or more points, those teams have gone just 1-9 ATS in recent games.

 

Bob Duff

Falcons +3.5

Interesting stat about the Detroit Lions under head coach Dan Campbell. Against the rest of the NFL they are 24-9 ATS. When facing the Seattle Seahawks, the Lions under Campbell are 0-2 ATS and SU.

They failed to cover last week at home against Seattle. The Seahawks carved Detroit up for 393 yards of total offense and 37 points.

Detroit’s defense tends to struggle against teams that can run the ball. Atlanta is #3 in NFL in rushing, averaging 170.5 yards per game. Another interesting stat – the Falcons are 4-0 ATS in their last four September games.

Titans +3.5

Since Mike Vrabel took over as Tennessee head coach in 2018, the Titans have won outright an NFL-best 23 games when taking the field as the betting underdog. Sunday, they toppled the Los Angeles Chargers 27-24 in overtime as 2.5-point home underdogs.

Cleveland will be playing host to Tennessee on a short week. The Browns are currently the 3.5-point home chalk, though that line could be impacted by the outcome of Cleveland’s MNF game at Pittsburgh. Tennessee is 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS in the Titans’ last eight visits to Cleveland.

Packers -1

The youngest team in the NFL this season, the Packers threw a game away on Sunday at Atlanta that they should’ve won. But it’s also imperative to remember that Green Bay lost 25-24 on the road minus their two most explosive offensive players – RB Aaron Jones and WR Christian Watson.

It’s expected both will be back at home this week against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are coming to Lambeau Field on a short week. Green Bay is 7-2 ATS in the past nine games when favored by less than a field goal at home.

Zach Reger

Patriots -2.5

It rarely feels good to bet on divisional road favorites, but this is a great spot for the Patriots. Despite being 0-2 straight up and against the spread this season, New England played tough against the Eagles and the Dolphins.

Now they face Zach Wilson and the Jets. The Patriots have beaten the Jets 14 straight times and as a result, Zach Wilson has never beaten the Patriots. I expect New England’s defense to cause a lot of problems for Wilson and force some key turnovers giving the Patriots’ offense good field position. The Patriots win and cover on Sunday to make it 15 in a row.

Colts +8.5

Anthony Richardson might be out, but the Colts did not skip a beat when Gardner Minshew entered the game last week. Granted it was against the Texans, but Indianapolis should be able to move the ball enough to keep this game close, especially with Minshew getting first-team reps all week.

Baltimore’s defense has been their usual selves, but their offense has looked sloppy through two games. The Ravens have a chance to figure it out this week, but 8.5 is just too many points to lay for our expert NFL ATS picks against the Colts who have looked pretty good so far.

Bucs +5

Monday Night Football should bring a low scoring battle with two talented defenses, so I like the underdog to cover against the defending NFC champions for my ATS picks. The Eagles have been strong against the run to start the year, but they have been vulnerable against the pass, which plays right into what Tampa Bay wants to do. With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rachaad White coming out of the backfield, Baker Mayfield will have plenty of weapons to keep the Bucs in this game.

Since 2020, Monday Night Football home underdogs are 16-9-1 against the spread, and that trend should continue this week.

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