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NFL Week 3 Picks Straight Up – Predicted Upsets & Underdogs Showing Value

Eric Thompson

by Eric Thompson in NFL Football

Updated Sep 24, 2022 · 6:30 AM PDT

Jamaal Williams
Dec 5, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams (30) tries to avoid a tackle from Minnesota Vikings free safety Xavier Woods (23) at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports
  • Can Rodgers best Brady in a Bucs uniform for once?
  • Will the Lions offense keep rolling against Minnesota?
  • Last week’s picks went 1-3, losing us 0.7 units, which is also our season total (2-4-1)

The first two weeks of these picks haven’t been successful, but at least they’ve been thrilling to the very end. We were a late Jalen Ramsey pick away from a positive return last week, and we’re expecting some more nail-biters on this week’s slate for the NFL Week 3 upset picks.

This round of underdogs has a lot to like if you’re a fan of offense. We’re backing an elite QB, one who could join those ranks very soon and… Jared Goff. But hey, don’t let the name fool you, the Lions are putting up points this year! Hopefully, these upset picks can say the same thing after this week.

NFL Week 3 Upset Picks

Matchup Spread Moneyline Pick Units
Green Bay Packers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB -1 +100 Packers 1
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Los Angeles Chargers LAC -3 +143 Jaguars 1
Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings MIN -6 +210 Lions 1

Odds as of September 16th at BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook

Packers handle Bucs

The Green Bay Packers are rare underdogs, getting one point when they travel to Tampa to take on the Buccaneers.

A good policy I’ve learned doing this column: when Aaron Rodgers is getting points, back him every time. Since Matt Lafleur took over, Green Bay is 8-2 straight up in regular season games where they’re underdogs and Rodgers is active.

The Buccaneers are still banged up with a lot of those injuries coming to key offensive players. Tom Brady is going to have to attack a strong  Packers secondary without his top two receivers and behind a patchwork offensive line.

The Pack have receiver injuries of their own, but this offense runs through the backfield this season. Green Bay rolled out the pony personnel, putting both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon on the field, and had a ton of success against Chicago. Of course, the Buccaneers pose a much greater threat, though their run defense hasn’t looked as fierce as years past and they’ll be without Akiem Hicks.

Neither one of these QBs are guys you feel great about betting against. But with Rodgers facing down a third straight loss to the Bucs, look for the future Hall of Famer to acquit himself here, much like Brady did last week vs the Saints.

Jaguars beat Bolts

What once was a seven-point spread favoring the Chargers now sees the Jaguars getting just three points in L.A.

That late week shift tells you all you need to know about the status of Justin Herbert’s ribs.

The Chargers’ third-year pivot could gut it out like he did to finish last Thursday’s game with the Chiefs, but we saw how this injury limited his ability to make plays. At one point he bailed on an easy third-down run because the pain was too much. Against a fierce Jaguars pass rush it seems almost certain we’ll see Chase Daniel make an appearance here.

The major worry at this point is whether Brandon Staley’s defense can do enough to pull this one out. Though the Bolts boast a dominant pair of edge rushers themselves, with Doug Pederson’s offense making life easy for Trevor Lawrence, it may not matter how quick Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack get off the ball.

The AFC South is miserable. The Jaguars can take an early stranglehold on the division with a win here. And as is customary when talking about the Chargers (at least until they move back to San Diego), we must mention they still have no home field advantage. Take Duval.

Lions lash Vikings

The Detroit Lions are a popular play this week when they visit their division rival Vikings as six-point dogs.

The Lions have been a great ATS bet under Dan Campbell, but their straight-up wins have been few and far between. However, they did manage to get one against Minnesota last year and both their meetings were decided on the final play of the game.

Both teams have improved since last season, but it’s not the squad that brought in a Sean McVay disciple to coach who has the elite offense. The Lions rank just below Buffalo through two games, averaging over 400 yards of offense and 35.5 points an outing.

Minnesota hasn’t shown much in the way of an offensive game plan outside of “get the ball to Justin Jefferson.” Admittedly, that plan has worked well against Detroit so far: he’s averaging 125 yards a game in four matchups with the Lions.

Until the Vikings show they can clean up their own defense, which currently ranks 30th in way-too-early-DVOA, why not take Detroit to win what should be an incredibly entertaining shootout?

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