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Upset Picks for Week 3 in the NFL – See Which Underdogs We’re Betting to Win

Eric Thompson

by Eric Thompson in NFL Football

Updated Sep 26, 2020 · 6:05 AM PDT

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback
The Kansas City Chiefs haven't been underdogs since Week 14 of last season, but they'll be in that role again when the visit the high-powered Baltimore Ravens on Monday Football. Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire
  • The NFL’s game of the year will see Patrick Mahomes’ underdog Kansas City Chiefs visit Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football
  • Can the winless Houston Texans get on track against the 2-0 Pittsburgh Steelers?
  • Last week’s picks went 1-1 and won 0.95 units, bringing our season total to +5.15

Sure there were tons of close games and thrilling moments, but Week 2 in the NFL went almost entirely chalk. Across 16 games, only two underdogs won outright, which is normally very bad for the upset-picking business.

Guess it’s a good thing we nailed one of them!

The Raiders win over the Saints meant a second-straight weekend of winnings for Upset Picks to start the year. We’ll look to keep that momentum going after scouring the NFL Week 3 odds for a few underdogs who are poised to reverse last weekend’s trend.

We start with the no-brainer upset pick of the season.

Take Chiefs as Rare Underdogs vs Ravens

Bettors only had one week all of last season where they could back Patrick Mahomes and get points, a Week 14 trip to New England that, of course, the Chiefs won outright. This week may mark the only game Kansas City is an underdog for the rest of 2020, so we can’t pass that opportunity up, no matter who they’re playing.

Kansas City Chiefs vs Baltimore Ravens Odds

Team Moneyline
Kansas City Chiefs +155
Baltimore Ravens -180

Odds taken Sept. 25th from DraftKings

Last week’s close affair with the Chargers was the first time the Chiefs failed to cover the spread since Nov. 10, 2019. Maybe that’s why the Chiefs vs Ravens odds lean towards Baltimore. Normally you’d call that 23-20 overtime win a nail-biter, except everyone expects Kansas City to come through in the clutch.

Baltimore looks dominant for their part, rolling 33-16 over a Texans team that the Chiefs dispatched in Week 1. The Ravens defense in particular has been great out of the gate, picking up right where they left off last season with one of the highest blitz rates in the NFL. But with the kind of speed Kansas City has all over the field, you wonder how effective that strategy will be on Monday.

Both teams appear to be the class of the AFC again, but this Monday Night matchup clearly means a lot more to the Ravens. With Lamar Jackson at the helm, Baltimore is 0-2 in the postseason and 0-2 against the Chiefs. The Ravens need a defining win to prove they aren’t just an also-ran to a burgeoning KC dynasty.

With all the heat on Baltimore, let’s play it cool with Mahomes and the Chiefs.

Pick: 1.25 units on Chiefs moneyline (+155)

Texans Stop Slide At Steelers

As you’ve probably heard by now, teams that are 0-2 against the number coming into Week 3 usually bounce back in a big way. In fact, they’re 25-12 ATS over the past five years. For these next two picks, I’m banking on these 0-2 teams to get it done outright.

Houston Texans vs Pittsburgh Steelers Odds

Team Moneyline
Houston Texans +184
Pittsburgh Steelers -220

Odds taken Sept. 25th from FanDuel

Houston’s rough start hasn’t been surprising (they played Kansas City and Baltimore after all), so it makes sense the Texans vs Steelers Betting Trends are leaning their way.  What has been odd is that Bill O’Brien is putting the ball in Deshaun Watson’s hands in game-neutral situations and it is not paying off.


After allowing eight sacks through their first two games, you would expect O’Brien to switch up the game plan against this fierce Pittsburgh pass rush. But for a team that can get after the quarterback, the Steelers had a tough time closing out the Broncos and backup QB Jeff Driskel.

The Steelers offense is still finding its footing after Ben Roethlisberger missed almost all of last season. Though they’ve put up 26 points in each of their first two games, they had plenty of missed opportunities against Denver, turning the ball over three times (once on downs) in the second half of that game.

We’ve seen Houston get off to slow starts before and rally to make the playoffs. Throw in the fact that Watson has gone 8-4 outright when the Texans are an underdog of fewer than five points and I feel alright about backing them here.

Pick: 1 unit on Texans moneyline (+184)

Panthers Pull One Over on Bolts

Justin Herbert will be getting the start again this week for Los Angeles after a promising debut. But how will he fare going against a defense that actually game-planned for the rookie?

Carolina Panthers vs Los Angeles Chargers Odds

Team Moneyline
Carolina Panthers +235
Los Angeles Chargers -275

Odds taken Sept. 25th from DraftKings

Well, considering the Panthers vs Chargers Odds see LA as big favorites here and the goal of this column is to pick the opposite of that, I think you know which way I’m leaning on how Herbert’s second start will go.

The Panthers lost Christian McCaffrey in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game in Tampa, which is not ideal. But Matt Rhule and Joe Brady didn’t alter their game plan much, as Mike Davis proved to be a reliable receiver, catching eight passes for 74 yards.

Carolina’s offense has not been the main issue through two games. A defense that allowed over 30 points a game in six straight contests is the issue.

The Panthers D keeps racking up costly penalties and they don’t have a sack, even though Brian Burns has one of the highest pass rush win rates in the league. Against a rookie QB, look for numbers like that to regress to the mean and for this feisty underdog to shock some people on Sunday.

Pick: 0.75 units on Panthers moneyline (+235)

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