© Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY Sports
The Giants and the Lions held their own in Week 2, and we cashed in as a result, while the Colts really let us down. Losing Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce was a brutal blow to the offense that meant Matt Ryan was struggling for passing options, and the offense fell apart. Shoutout to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are now sitting in first place in the division through two weeks.
Week 3 brings a new set of storylines, including a brawl between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins down at Hard Rock Stadium. The weather might factor in that one with Buffalo on the road and playing in what's expected to be a scorching hot September afternoon. Both offenses were on fire in Week 2. While Buffalo seems to be the league's juggernaut right now, Miami will head into the game riding high on confidence, having mounted an impressive comeback against a very good Baltimore Ravens outfit.
The Colts' tough start doesn't get any easier with them facing the Kansas City Chiefs, the Cardinals host the Rams, and Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers face off in Tampa.
So, another week of football means another week of opportunity. Here are our picks for the Week 3 lineup of NFL action.
© Junfu Han / USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
- Spread: Lions +6.0, Vikings -6.0
- Total: Over/Under 53.5
- Moneyline: Lions +215, Vikings -260
We all overreacted to the Minnesota Vikings outing against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1. Green Bay looked flat, their offense was woeful, and they lost Justin Jefferson on multiple occasions. Fast forward to Week 2, and the Eagles shut down the Justin Jefferson show on Monday Night Football with a brilliant performance from Darius Slay and the Philly defense.
Minnesota struggled, and when option A fell apart, they quickly ran out of answers. I wouldn't say I like that situation for them heading into a gritty matchup against a Detroit Lions defense that's going to chew on your kneecaps. I don't know what's going on with the run game, but Dalvin Cook having six rushing attempts for a total of 17 yards is abysmal, and the Lions front has the talent to do a great job in knocking Kirk Cousins off his game.
As for Detroit, they're averaging 35.5 points a game through the first two weeks. Scoring isn't the problem. They put 35 points on the Eagles' defense that just held Minnesota to 7. Are they just better, or do they have more outlets than the Vikings do offensively?
Amon-Ra St Brown was a force on Sunday, with nine catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns against the Commanders, plus another 68 yards on the ground. He's looking like Goff's top target right now, but TJ Hockenson, D'Andre Swift, and Josh Reynolds can all cause damage when called upon.
Detroit wins this game. I'll take the Moneyline and bet the over.
© Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts
- Spread: Chiefs -6.5, Colts +6.5
- Total: Over/Under 49.5
- Moneyline: Chiefs -290, Colts +235
This is not a good matchup for the Colts after last week's nightmare with Jacksonville. The Chiefs are rolling, and those that believed Tyreek Hill's departure would slow Mahomes and his offense are already eating their words.
Mahomes has thrown seven touchdowns through the first two weeks, including a five-touchdown outing in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals. The Chiefs have plenty of options not named Tyreek Hill for Mahomes to work his magic with. In Thursday's game against the Chargers, he threw at least two passes to no less than eight different pass catchers. Guys like tight end Justin Watson are showing up for 50 yards receiving. They're deep on offense.
The same cannot be said for the Colts. Matt Ryan struggled with his group of wideouts on Sunday, throwing no touchdowns and three interceptions. The Colts are currently dead last across the league in turnover differential, giving the ball away five times in two games. The Chiefs have only given the ball away once so far this year.
The Colts are not ready for this game. Kansas City has had an extra three days of rest to prepare for the Colts, while Indy needs to turn themselves around after getting shut out by the Jacksonville Jaguars. It's a mismatch, and the 6.5 spread is reasonably generous. I would still like KC here if it were 9.5.
I'll take the Chiefs to cover and the under. Indy should not score all that many here, and the Chiefs might be able to take their foot off the gas.
© Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Spread: Packers +2.0, Buccaneers -2.0
- Total: Over/Under 41
- Moneyline: Packers +110, Buccaneers -130
In a replay of the 2021 Conference Championship game, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady will meet again in Tampa. Seeing an over/under line of 41 between two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game is a little unsettling, but it does make some sense.
Both quarterbacks are missing a wide range of talent. Mike Evans' boneheaded decision to fight Marshon Lattimore again earned him a suspension, and the Bucs are turning to veteran Cole Beasley amidst struggles for healthy pass catchers.
The same is true for the Green Bay Packers, who couldn't put anything together in Week 1 but found a little rhythm in Lambeau against the Bears. Despite being active for the game, Allen Lazard was not at 100%, but Rodgers dealt the football to Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb, and rookie Romeo Doubs when he needed to. Watkins had three catches for 93 receiving yards.
That said, Green Bay was leaning on the ground game. AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones wore down the Bears' defensive line, and Rodgers only needed to throw the football 25 times. Tampa Bay will make him throw if they want to win, with a sturdy defense and a prolific set of run stuffers.
While the over/under is set pretty low, with both sides struggling offensively at times and Tom Brady's Surface Pro paying the price, this is still going to be a dual, but a dual of the defenses.
The two sides can squeak the over, but I like Green Bay to win the game. Brady will be trying to create an offense on the fly, and the Packers might have one more successful drive than the Bucs. Take Green Bay, Moneyline and the over.
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