Best NFL Bets Week 3: Bucs beat Packers, Lions and Cardinals cover, Joe Burrow highlights a few surprising UNDERs


Through two weeks of the 2022 NFL season, it almost feels like a year worth of action has passed. We’ve seen injuries, breakouts, comebacks, and busts, and we’re only a little over 10 percent into the regular season! The wildest part of this campaign so far, without a doubt, has taken place on the betting front. Upsets have become commonplace, and certain over/under totals have been as unpredictable as ever. Still, we must forge ahead and continue to put in the research, stat analysis, and trend evaluations to find the best bets for the upcoming week.

Every Wednesday during the NFL season, we scour the sportsbooks in search of prime betting value. We delve into the data both past and present and weigh out potential variables for each game before turning it all into one succinct listing of nine or 10 best bets. Whether you prefer wagering on the moneyline, making spread picks, betting over/unders, or playing props, we have you covered! Last week, we profited plenty. Highlighting our hits last week, we had the Dolphins (+3.5) at Baltimore and Justin Herbert’s OVER 1.5 passing TDs (-225) at Kansas City. 

There’s plenty of work to do, so let’s get to it and assemble a more profitable Week 3. Plenty of juicy bets can be found on this full slate, but it’s up to us to determine where the value lies. We’ll be looking to see where oddsmakers appear to be overreacting to early-season results, and where they seem to be missing key takeaways or invaluable trends. Making money in sports betting is all about finding an angle or an edge and capitalizing on it. 

MORE: Full list of odds for NFL Week 3

Without further ado, here’s a look at Sporting News’ best bets for Week 3 of the 2022 NFL season, including picks against the spread, moneyline bets, over/under wagers, and some player props.

JUMP TO: Spreads | Moneylines | Over/under | Player props

NFL Best Bets Week 3: Against the spread

All odds are courtesy of Sports Interaction.

Buccaneers (-1) vs. Packers

The 2-0 Buccaneers have a lot more problems than their record suggests, with top receivers Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Mike Evans (suspension) both expected to out this weekend. As such, BetQL’s sharp betting report had 77 percent of money on Green Bay’s +1.5 spread earlier this week and a whopping 93 percent of money on the Packers’ +115 moneyline. 

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Let’s go against the crowd on this one, folks. Aaron Rodgers has historically struggled against the Buccaneers, especially at Raymond James Stadium during Tom Brady’s tenure in Tampa. The back-to-back MVP has lost his last three tilts with the GOAT and gone just 1-3 at Raymond James with three TDs and eight interceptions. 

Maybe native Californians don’t like Florida, or Rodgers is afraid of pirates (the official medical term would be “Piraticaphobia”). Regardless, it’s probably not in your best interest to back the Pack with a still-evolving passing game against an elite Bucs defense. Even with Godwin and Evans out, Brady will find a way to win at home.

Tampa has signed 2021 standout slot receiver Cole Beasley, a much-needed and sure-handed veteran. Five-time MVP and seven-time champion Brady could make the former Bill and Cowboy his new Julian Edelman/Wes Welker. Don’t be surprised if we also see plenty of Leonard Fournette out of the backfield. Despite beating the Bears in blowout fashion last weekend, Green Bay allowed Chicago’s David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert to explode for 180 rushing yards.

While the Packers played with their food at home against the hapless Bears, the Bucs tangled in the Bayou with the division-rival Saints. Even with things not fully cooking with gas, Brady and company pulled off the 20-10 win over a bona fide contender. Tampa Bay is simply a superior team at this stage in the season and our best bet of the week. 

NFL WEEK 3 PICKS: Against the spread | Moneyline Picks 

Lions (+6) at Vikings

This Lions team has shown a lot of heart and grit the past two seasons and not just because it was featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks. We saw Dan Campbell’s squad cover in 11 of 17 games last regular season, the fourth-best cover percentage in 2021. Now we get them with a touchdown-handicap against a Minnesota team still figuring itself out? Sign us up. 

The Vikings got trounced by the Eagles on Monday Night Football 2.0. Now they have a short week to get Kirk Cousins right and also prepare for an underrated Detroit offense. Cousins, obviously still adapting to Kevin O’Connell’s system, threw three interceptions in the 24-7 loss to Philly, and the Vikes averaged just 4.5 yards per play. The stud duo of RB Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson combined for just 5.3 yards per touch.

The Lions, meanwhile, have scored 35-plus points in each of their first two weeks of the 2022 season. They nearly knocked off said Eagles on opening weekend, then put up 425 yards en route to a 36-27 Week 2 win over Washington. Everyone seems bought in at this point for Detroit. 

Quarterback Jared Goff is limiting mistakes and actually passing downfield; Amon-Ra St. Brown looks like a top-five receiver, notching game after game with eight-plus catches; D’Andre Swift has gashed opponents to the tune of an NFL-leading 10.0 yards per rush; and Aidan Hutchinson, who just broke Detroit’s rookie record with three sacks in a game, has changed the Lions’ front-seven in the best way. We’ll take a team gelling and getting six points against a team scuffling under a new head coach. 

Cardinals (+3.5) vs. Rams

If not for Lamar Jackson and Tua Tagovailoa’s insane shootout over the weekend, Kyler Murray and the Cardinals might have been the talk of the NFL leading into Week 3. Murray led Arizona to a 16-point, game-tying fourth-quarter rally in Las Vegas on Sunday, and then the Cardinals walked the game off in overtime on a scoop-and-score touchdown. 

This was exactly the kind of adrenaline-rush win Kliff Kingsbury’s squad needed early in the season, especially after getting demolished by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Week 1. Arizona had struggled to keep up with Kansas City’s high-powered passing attack, clearly missing suspended All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins. Week 2’s road victory erased all that bad energy, and now Murray and company get a home divisional tilt with a Rams squad clearly suffering from Super Bowl hangover syndrome. 

Many factors seem to be contributing to L.A.’s lukewarm start. QB Matthew Stafford doesn’t seem 100 percent due to an elbow injury. The Rams clearly miss wideouts Odell Beckham (free agent), Robert Woods (now with the Titans), and Van Jefferson (recovering from knee surgery). Cam Akers’ recovery from a 2021 Achilles’ tear seems to be ongoing, too.

Here’s the worst part: the Rams’ two most important factors — offensive line and defense — just aren’t where they need to be. L.A. has turned the ball over six times in two games, Stafford has been sacked eight times, and the Rams have allowed 58 total points. Give me the Cards and the points. 

MORE NFL WEEK 3: Power Rankings

Best NFL moneyline bets Week 3

Raiders (-134) at Titans

The Raiders have endured a tumultuous start to the Josh McDaniels era, suffering two losses by a touchdown or less. Derek Carr has been good but not great, throwing two TDs in each of the first two games and totaling 547 passing yards. In Week 1 in L.A. against the Chargers, Carr tossed three picks, and in Week 2 against the Cardinals, the Raiders D allowed 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and overtime. 

This week could be the get-right game for McDaniels, Carr, and this Vegas squad. Tennessee’s young, banged-up secondary has looked abysmal out of the gates this season, losing to Daniel Jones and the Giants in Week 1 and getting rolled by Josh Allen and the Bills 41-7 in Week 2.

What’s worse, the Titans are getting much less production than usual from two-time rushing champ Derrick Henry. The king logged 82 yards opening weekend and then just 25 yards on 13 carries on Monday night. He often looks uncharacteristically slow off blocks, and his feet seem to stop on first contact — something we haven’t seen from him since his early days as a pro.

The Raiders have a much better team top-to-bottom than Tennessee, especially with A.J. Brown no longer catching passes from Ryan Tannehill. Titans rookie Treylon Burks has shown flashes, but he’s nowhere near where Mike Vrabel needs him to be in Brown’s absence. It could be a long season in Nashville. 

Seahawks (-118) vs. Falcons

Just two weeks ago, the Seahawks beat long-time franchise QB Russell Wilson and his new squad when Denver rolled into Lumen Field. How quickly the oddsmakers forget that home-field advantage still lives in Seattle! 

The battle of the birds this weekend benefits the Seahawks, who feature a surprisingly-strong front-seven led by linebacker Cody Barton. Sure, Seattle’s secondary is still a work in progress, especially with veteran Jamal Adams (quad) out for the season, and sure, the Niners destroyed Pete Carroll’s squad 27-7 last weekend. However, San Francisco on the road and Atlanta at home are far different battles. 

Geno Smith looked capable against the Broncos two weeks ago, so expect a perennially brutal Falcons secondary to struggle against DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. It won’t always be pretty, but this should be a “W” for the Seahawks. 

Broncos (+107) vs. 49ers

Through all the blemishes on Nathaniel Hackett’s early days of his head-coaching career, the Broncos are still positioned to be 2-1 after this weekend. They have allowed just 26 total points and 487 yards! So, yeah, we’ll take Russell Wilson and the Broncos as underdogs at home in prime time. We want all that smoke despite some of Hackett’s coaching blunders. 

It’s not going to be easy for the 49ers to win at Mile High without their starting QB or two of their top three running backs. The Niners already put starter Elijah Mitchell (knee) on the IR last week, then franchise QB Trey Lance went down with a brutal ankle injury. It’s back to the Jimmy G drawing board for San Francisco.

We like what we saw out of Kyle Shanahan’s defense last weekend in a 27-7 win over Seattle. The Niners forced three turnovers, held the Seahawks to 180 passing yards and 36 rushing yards, and dominated time of possession 38-22. Russell Wilson in Denver is a vastly different challenge than Geno Smith in San Francisco, though. Take the Broncos to win their second of two home games this season. 

Best NFL over/under bets Week 3

Cowboys at Giants: UNDER 39 (-110)

The UNDER has hit in both games for each of these squads, and we like it to hit once again on Monday Night Football in the Meadowlands. This matchup presents two underwhelming passing games led by Cooper Rush and Daniel Jones and two above-average defenses. Need I say more?

I can and will say more, you know that. Giants games went UNDER or PUSH in 12 of 17 games last regular season, while Dallas road games went UNDER six of nine times. The studs of this game will be Cowboys elite second-year linebacker Micah Parsons and Giants stud pass-rusher Leonard Williams. Keep an eye on the status of Williams’ MCL. If he sits, I’d be less inclined to wager a ton here, but if he plays, BetQL’s model and I both love our chances of a 20-17 game here.

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Packers at Buccaneers: UNDER 42 (-110)

When people think Brady vs. Rodgers, they think of touchdown passes. The fair-weather fan or novice bettor thinks “upper-echelon signal-callers = tons of points.” That’s not often the case, especially with two top-tier defenses facing off, multiple offensive weapons removed from the equation since the previous season, and one QB notoriously struggling at the listed venue. 

Without All-Pro receiver Davante Adams, Rodgers’ passing game has been a touch inconsistent to start the season. He has relied heavily on his running backs, something we don’t often see with the four-time MVP.

The Buccaneers, meanwhile, have made life very difficult on opposing running games and offenses in general. Through two games, Tampa has allowed 173 rushing yards and no TDs. The Bucs have also racked up four interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Expect Rodgers to once again struggle at Raymond James and Brady to be good but not great without his four top receivers from a season ago (Godwin, Evans, Rob Gronkowski, and Antonio Brown). 

Best NFL player prop bets Week 3

Player props are from DraftKings Sportsbook. 

Joe Burrow UNDER 264.5 passing yards (-115)

Burrow has suffered through a brutal 0-2 start to the season, losing to Mitchell Trubisky and the Steelers and then Cooper Rush and the Cowboys. Now he must travel to the Meadowlands to face a Jets defense that has been surprisingly good against the pass, allowing just 216 air yards per game.

Burrow managed just 199 yards against Dallas last week and had a handle of turnovers the previous week against Pittsburgh. In order for Cincinnati to prevail this weekend, he will need to limit mistakes and be efficient. The key to success for Joey Brr is not 400 yards — it’s 250 with two TDs and zero turnovers. Smash the UNDER here until Burrow gives us a reason to believe again.

Jacoby Brissett OVER 0.5 interceptions (+108)

Just like Cincinnati needs Burrow to protect the ball, the Browns need the same from Brissett while he mans the QB position in Deshaun Watson’s absence. Cleveland won its Week 1 tilt over former QB Baker Mayfield 26-24, winning the interception battle 1-0. In Week 2, the Browns lost to the Jets 31-30, and Brissett’s interception halted what would have been a game-winning drive near the end of the game. The veteran journeyman apparently played through an ankle injury in that final frame, and now he gets the misfortune of the dreaded short week ahead of Thursday’s divisional clash with Pittsburgh. The Steelers are tied for the NFL lead with 2.5 interceptions per game, so this feels like a stone-cold lock with plus-odds as a cherry on top.

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