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NFL Week 3 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson / Rob Carr/Getty Images
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Week 2 of the NFL season is in the books. It's time to look forward to Week 3. This past week was... a weird one by all regards, but had some really fun games and outstanding performances from great players.

The Big Lead's pick record took a bit of a hit this week, going 5-7 to bring our record to 16-12. But it's a long season and we're just getting started. Without further ado, here are our picks and predictions for Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season (all odds via Wynnbet).

NFL Predictions Week 3

PANTHERS (-7.5) over TEXANS

David Culley is moving forward with the knowledge that another chance on third down is better than choosing to punt the ball away. That could make all the difference. It's a risky proposition trusting someone named Davis Mills to win an NFL game or even make it competitive. Meanwhile the Carolina Panthers have allowed three touchdowns in two games and might be the surprise team of the year. Panthers 27, Texans 11

BILLS (-9) over FOOTBALL TEAM

Something makes us think Josh Allen and the Bills didn't much enjoy their lackluster Week 1 performance. The Super Bowl hopefuls looked very competent and angry in dismantling the Miami Dolphins, shaking off all the cobwebs along the way. We may have to admit the Football Team is no closer now to finding their franchise quarterback than they were a year ago. Bills 30, WFT 13

BEARS (+7.5) over BROWNS

Matt Nagy bravely sent a PR staffer out there to face the tough questions and assert Andy Dalton is the starter if healthy. Such faith will be rewarded with a moral victory, which is the point, right? Browns 24, Bears 21

LIONS (+9) over RAVENS

Lamar Jackson reminded everyone that he has MVP potential by outdueling Patrick Mahomes in a game that felt like an AFC title matchup. Something tells me it will be a bit harder to get up for the lowly Lions, who secretly can move the football and could become a reliable backdoor cover side throughout the year. It happens here with a cosmetic, meaningless touchdown. Gotta love gambling. Ravens 38, Lions 30

TITANS (-5) over COLTS

Years down the road there will be a class-action lawsuit stemming from the NFL's decision to let a human tank named Derrick Henry play in the league. Seems unsafe. Compare his ability to withstand hits with Carson Wentz's. Indianapolis' season is on the line but they just don't have the weapons or guts to do anything about it. Titans 34, Colts 17

CHIEFS (-6.5) over CHARGERS

Hell hath no fury like a Patrick Mahomes who didn't get a chance to put together a game-winning drive. He won't be putting himself in that position again. Putting this one on 50-burger watch. Chiefs 45, Chargers 21

PATRIOTS (-3) over SAINTS

Okay, so it appears Jameis Winston did not become the greatest quarterback in the world simply by getting LASIK. This year will be more of a roller-coaster. Bill Belichick loves nothing more than exposing flaws through scheme. Mac Jones' progression continues and the Patriots' playoff run begins in earnest with a convincing win. Patriots 26, Saints 13

GIANTS (-3) over FALCONS

Were you aware that Daniel Jones has a top-10 QBR in the league, just barely worse than Tom Brady? Makes you think. Someone has to win this game and they have to put it on TV but my question would be, do they really? Giants 21, Falcons 17

BENGALS (+4.5) over STEELERS

This line could change drastically if TJ Watt can't go after suffering a groin injury last week, but we work with what we have. And what we have is a good opportunity for the Bengals to cover again after squeaking by last week. Joe Burrow isn't yet a winning quarterback but has done enough to keep his team in the game for two weeks. Pittsburgh's D is banged up even with Watt and Ben Roethlisberger is no longer the big-play threat he once was. It's time to worry about the Steelers. Bengals 25, Steelers 21

CARDINALS (-7.0) over JAGUARS

The Cardinals looked far from infallible last week, and the same goes for Kyler Murray. But the Jaguars are not a good team and let Teddy Bridgewater walk all over them. Kyler is going to have a field day, even if Trevor Lawrence and the rest of the offense will put up bigger numbers in Week 3. Cardinals 36, Jaguars 24

BRONCOS (-11.0) over JETS

This is an offensively huge line and yet Zach Wilson really did look that bad last week. He isn't on a one-way road to Bust City yet but he struggled immensely when facing pressure against the Patriots and the Broncos have a much better pass rush than New England with equally opportunistic defensive backs. It won't be another four-INT day for Wilson, but it will not be a fun game for him, either. Broncos 27, Jets 10

RAIDERS (-4.0) over DOLPHINS

If Tua Tagovailoa can suit up, the Raiders will win. If it has to be Jacoby Brissett back there, the Raiders will win by a lot. Las Vegas has looked good and Miami doesn't have anywhere near enough weapons to take advantage of Jon Gruden's questionable secondary. It may be the most uninteresting game of Sunday, but it will be a Raiders win and cover. Raiders 30, Dolphins 20

BUCCANEERS (+1.0) over RAMS

It is very interesting that the Rams are favorites in the early part of the week. What does Vegas know that we don't? Maybe nothing, but it still feels like a mistake. The Bucs are a finished product on both sides of the ball and Tom Brady is a monstrous/immortal football god. The Rams are a work in progress and it's worth questioning how good their defense really is despite the obvious talent. Matt Stafford will hit a few patented deep shots but Brady will rule the day. Again. Buccaneers 37, Rams 28

VIKINGS (+1.0) over SEAHAWKS

The Vikings, as predicted, lost in heartbreaking fashion to Arizona last week and face the demons of past heartbreak in the Seahawks. But, at home and reeling after a 0-2 start, we say Mike Zimmer gets his guys going and pulls off the upset. Dalvin Cook will have a huge game and there will be fireworks as Minnesota earns its first win of the year. Vikings 27, Seahawks 23

PACKERS (+4.0) over NINERS

Recent history has shown that Aaron Rodgers struggles against the defense his hometown team throws at him. But! It doesn't feel like Kyle Shanahan trusts Jimmy Garoppolo at all and San Francisco will need a significantly better offensive performance than they put on against the Eagles last week to beat Green Bay. Rodgers will dice up a depleted Niners secondary and Jimmy G's shortcomings will be on full display yet again. Packers 31, Niners 21

EAGLES (+4.0) over COWBOYS

Eagles-Cowboys in primetime means the game is going to be wild. This will be no exception. Dak Prescott will have another excellent game under the bright ESPN lights. But so will Jalen Hurts, and Nick Sirriani will learn from his red zone mistakes of last week. Defense will be few and far between, but Philly will come out on top and call into question who should be the leader in the NFC East clubhouse. Eagles 41, Cowboys 38

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