NFL Picks Week #3 (2022 regular season)
NFL PICKS (WEEK #3)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Written Wednesday September 21st, 2022 at 2 pm Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)
With Week #2 of the NFL season in the books, let me recap the performance of my picks. Again, remember there are two categories:
- The prop bets;
- The bets on sides & totals.
Let's start with the player proposition bets. In Week #1, we posted a 4-3 record. In Week #2, we held a 5-4 record, which means that through the season we have picked up 9 wins and 7 losses.
Let's now turn our attention to the bets on sides and totals. In Week #1, we had 3 wins and 2 losses against the spread (ATS). Now, in the second week of the season, we had once again a 3-2 record. So, thus far, we hold a 6-4 record.
That being said, let me share some free NFL picks for Week 3!
PICK #1: DETROIT LIONS +6 AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS
First of all, the Vikings lose one day of rest and preparation after playing last Monday night.
Now, here is a betting system that few people are aware of:
Big or moderate favorites coming off games in which they threw 3+ interceptions tend to perform poorly compared to expectations in their following match.
More specifically, since 2013, teams that were the victim of at least three interceptions in their previous game and were now established as 5.5-point favorites or more have generated a poor 17-26 record against the spread, a 39.5% win rate.
To me, this betting strategy makes perfect sense. After encountering a bad performance, good teams tend to get more conservative in response, especially if they are the better team in the next game. This conservatism often leads to underperforming the betting market’s expectations.
Moreover, Detroit has done a fine job on the road recently. Indeed, they hold a 5-2 ATS record in their past seven meetings as the visiting team.
The last six times the Lions scored more than 30 points in a game, they followed up with a 5-1 record ATS.
Their offense has been very impressive thus far in 2022: they have put up 35 points on the board against the Eagles and 36 points against Washington. In both cases, we are not talking about weak defenses, but rather very decent units.
So, in summary, I truly believe the Lions can keep up with Minnesota in this divisional matchup. Sure, Detroit will probably allow quite a few points themselves since their defense is suspect, but a point spread of 6 is too high not to take a stab at it, in my opinion.
PICK #2: GREEN BAY PACKERS +2 AT TAMPA BAY BUCS
In my mind, there may be two arguments backing Tampa in this key NFC matchup. First, the Bucs hold a 5-2 ATS record over the past 7 meetings between these two squads. Secondly, Tampa owns an impressive 11-3 ATS record over their past 14 games at home.
However, that’s about it. From an injury standpoint, there is a big edge favoring Green Bay. They basically only have left tackle David Bakhtiari who is worth noting on the injury list, and he has a chance of suiting up this Sunday.
On the other side, the Bucs will be missing star wide receiver Mike Evans, who was suspended one game. Chris Godwin and Julio Jones are also banged up, and their status is up in the air at the time I made this post.
Left tackle Donovan Smith is also hurt and has a 50/50 chance of being on the field on Sunday. Given that the offensive line was already decimated, that’s bad news for Tom Brady.
One player that I really like and I feel is being underrated in the NFL is defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. He hurt his foot and won’t be available in Week 3.
The revenge factor also plays a role in this matchup. In 2020, the Bucs humiliated Aaron Rodgers and company via a 38-10 victory in Week #6. Then, Tampa went on to eliminate the Packers during the playoffs, thanks to a 31-26 win at Lambeau Field. The Packers will be extra motivated to get some payback.
I also like the fact that the Buccaneers are coming off a very emotional win in New Orleans last week. It will be difficult to keep that level of intensity for a second straight week, in my humble opinion.
Finally, let me mention a couple of trends suggesting to bet Green Bay:
- The Packers are 9-3 ATS following an ATS win;
- The Packers are also 9-3 ATS the last 12 times they faced a team with a winning record.
For all of these reasons, I am taking the team from the Frozen Tundra to cover the 2-point spread at Raymond James Stadium.
Let me share with you a couple of additional plays for which I have not pulled the trigger yet, but I may do it before kickoff. I usually call them “leans.”
- LEAN #1: Steelers +4.5 at Browns (People betting the Browns are hoping that a team led by Jacoby Brissett will win by 5 points or more. That seems like an event that has much less than a 50% of occurring. I know Pittsburgh’s offensive line and QB are not good, but their defense is solid and they have some playmakers on offense with Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and Pat Freiermuth. It should be an ugly low-scoring game, in which case it is often best to side with the underdog. Please note that Pittsburgh has beaten the spread in 5 of the last 6 meetings between these two clubs.);
- LEAN #2: Cardinals +3.5 vs Rams (Last year, Arizona got ousted from the playoffs by the Rams, who crushed them by a 34-11 score in L.A. So once again, I am making use of the revenge factor to justify one of my picks. According to SportsBettingDime.com, as of September 21, just 29% of spread bets have gone on Arizona, but 52% of the total amount wagered was on them. That means that the majority of people are taking the Rams, but sharp action from big bettors has made it evenly split in terms of money wagered on that game. It is often a smart idea to follow smart action, so that’s what I’m going to do here!).
I am so grateful that you are following my picks every week, thank you my good friend, I appreciate you a lot!
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(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)