NFL Picks Week #3 (2023 regular season)
NFL PICKS (WEEK #3)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Written September 20th, 2023 at 2 PM Eastern Time (spreads/odds may have changed)
In this post, I’m going to discuss 6 potential bets for Week 3 in the NFL. Are you ready for this? Let’s rock and roll!
PICK #1: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS -5.5 (VS CAROLINA PANTHERS)
My first official pick in the NFL for Week 3 is the Seattle Seahawks laying 5.5 points at home against the Carolina Panthers. I’ve got many arguments supporting this pick, so let me share them with you.
First of all, rookie Bryce Young looks pretty overwhelmed right now. He rarely completes medium to long throws, and he seems limited to short passes only. In terms of yards per pass attempt, he ranks dead last in the NFL right now. To me, his confidence level seems very low. Playing in a super loud stadium in Seattle won’t help his cause for sure.
The Panthers played on Monday night, which means they are losing one full day of preparation and rest for their upcoming meeting with the Seahawks.
I also like the fact that Carolina is coming off two straight divisional games, which makes their contest against the Seahawks less exciting and motivating.
The revenge factor also comes into play here. Last year, Seattle lost 30-to-24 at home against those same Panthers with Sam Darnold under center. I’m sure Geno Smith and company remember that game and they will be looking for some payback. In that game, Smith threw a couple of picks so I expect him to have laser focus this time around.
The Seahawks opened the season with a very disappointing outcome, as they were dismantled 30-to-13 at home against the Rams. They bounced back with a nice overtime win in Detroit, and I believe they will make amends for their home fans. Give me the Seahawks to roll in this game.
PICK #2: DENVER BRONCOS +7 (AT MIAMI DOLPHINS)
Pick number two for Week 3 in the NFL goes to the Denver Broncos, who are established as 7-point underdogs in Miami, or 6.5 with other sportsbooks.
This is what we call a “sandwich” game for Miami. Indeed, they played the Patriots last week and they are awaiting the Buffalo Bills next week. The current contest against a non-divisional opponent, the Broncos, clearly looks less enticing for the Dolphins. History has shown that, under such circumstances, teams tend to put less effort and therefore cover the spread less often.
I also like how the betting action is shaping up. At the time I wrote this post, Wednesday afternoon, only 22% of spread bets were backing Denver. However, if you looked at the total amount of money wagered on this matchup, 66% of the cash was on the Broncos. This means that the wise and sharp bettors are placing big bets on Denver to cover the spread. Personally, I like to follow sharp money.
Miami may only have half of their frightening duo of wide receivers for this game since Jaylen Waddle left Week 2’s game with a concussion. He entered the league’s concussion protocol and based on the reports I’ve read 75% of wide receivers in such conditions have missed their next match.
Many people may disagree with me, but I don’t think the Broncos are as bad as what they’ve shown us so far this season. Losing their first two games at home against average teams was a disappointment for sure, but Russell Wilson and company may feel more loose on the road this week.
Wilson has thrown 5 TDs versus just one interception this year. He has a good supporting cast with Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and rookie Marvin Mims, who has flashed so far. Also, running back Javonte Williams was among the league leaders last year in terms of broken tackles.
The Broncos also have a decent defense, so I do believe they will either win the game straight up, or lose by a margin of seven points or fewer.
LEAN #1: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS -10 (VS NEW YORK GIANTS)
Would you like 4 quick-fire leans? Please note that the following are NOT official picks, I am tempted to bet them but so far I have not pulled the trigger. In order to get all of my official betting plays in the NFL, including the moneymaking player prop bets, you need to sign up at mjpicks.com.
Lean number one concerns the Thursday Night game: I am taking the San Francisco 49ers -10 points against the Giants.
For those of you who have been following my NFL picks for a while, you have heard this before: according to some scientific reports, peak athletic performance occurs in the late afternoon or early evening.
Why am I bringing up this piece of information? In late primetime games, a team from the East Coast plays at 8 pm, which is not ideal, while the team from the West Coast feels like the game is taking place at 5 pm, and that corresponds to a good timing in terms of athletic performance. That will play in favor of the 49ers on Thursday night.
Also, elite teams like the 49ers can be very dangerous in “focus” games. The upcoming match against the Giants qualifies as a “focus” game since it will be played on national television. There is no way San Francisco will take New York for granted.
Saquon Barkley is also expected to miss the game, and that will put a big target on Daniel Jones. He would immediately become the focus of San Francisco’s fierce defense.
LEAN #2: HOUSTON TEXANS +10 (AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS)
Here is a betting angle that has produced great results over many years:
Betting a bad team on the road in a divisional matchup when they are coming off a loss by 8+ points.
In the current case, the Texans lost by an 11-point margin against the Colts, and they are indeed a bad team on the road against a divisional foe.
In these cases, games tend to be tighter than what the betting public expected. Give me Houston to cover the 10-point spread.
LEAN #3: LAS VEGAS RAIDERS -2.5 (VS PITTSBURGH STEELERS)
Again, I am making use of the peak athletic performance thing that I told you about earlier when taking the 49ers. Las Vegas should be in better form in this late Sunday night game compared to Pittsburgh, a team coming from the East.
Moreover, the Steelers are losing one day of rest after playing last Monday against the Browns. They are coming off an emotional game against Cleveland, so their energy level may not be the same in Vegas.
Finally, the Raiders will be looking to get some revenge after losing 13-10 in Pittsburgh last season in Week 16.
LEAN #4: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES -5 (AT TAMPA BAY BUCS)
Baker Mayfield has surprised many by winning both of his first two games with his new club. However, the Eagles defense is nowhere close what he has seen thus far when he played the Bears and the Vikings. I believe he will be roughed up and Philly will blow up the Bucs, especially with the Eagles having three extra days of preparation after facing Minnesota last Thursday.
Congratulations to Bill Hoge who won my Week 2 NFL prediction contest!
He earned $100 US in cash!
I am running the contest again this week, so all you have to do is enter your picks against the spread for the 15 games that will take place Sunday and Monday at mjpicks.com. This contest is completely free, and the top performer gets $100 US!
I’m Professor MJ, a 15-year university professor of statistics, cheers my friend!
(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)