Eli’s NFL Week 3 Picks: 3 Home Teams To Consider

Written By Eli Hershkovich on September 25, 2022
NFL picks

After an 8-1 mark through two weeks, let’s hope we can keep things rolling. Below are my NFL picks for Week 3 — centered around three wagers against the spread. As always, these are bets I have wagered my own money on as well and will never post a bet I haven’t also made.

Join our NFL betting channel to receive notifications when I bet anything. Click on any of the odds to place a wager on these NFL picks.

Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts

In the first of my NFL picks, this game represents the ultimate buy-low, sell-high spot. The Chiefs are off to a 2-0 start while the Colts are winless. The look-ahead line was Kansas City -3, and the spread hit as high as -7 before sinking back down.

Sure, I’ve bet against Matt Ryan & Co. in each of their first two games. They were banged up leading up to their Week 2 loss in Jacksonville, including injuries to wideouts Michael Pittman (quad) and Alec Pierce (concussion). Couple that with continuity issues in the season-opening loss at Houston, and Indy has posted the third-lowest EPA per play thus far.

Both Pittman and Pierce practiced on Wednesday. Assuming they suit up in Week 3, they’ll be in position to pick apart a Chiefs secondary that surrendered the ninth-highest Dropback Success Rate (SR) versus the Chargers’ Justin Herbert in Week 2. Outside of cornerback L’Jarius Sneed and safety Juan Thornhill, Kansas City lacks notable depth at defensive back after losing Tyrann Mathieu and Charvarius Ward in the offseason.

For context, a play is successful if teams produce: 50 percent of the yards needed to move the chains on first down, 70 percent of yards to gain on second down, or 100 percent of yards to gain on third or fourth down.

Indy may not have gotten off to a hot start offensively, but if its passing attack can open things up for Jonathan Taylor on the ground, it’s certainly undervalued in this matchup. Mind you, the Chiefs’ defensive front struggled to generate pressure or limit the Chargers’ run game until their offensive line was banged up. It was an area of concern dating back to last season, too.

Similar to Indianapolis’ receiving corps, Gus Bradley’s defense has clearly missed All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard (back), who’s one of the league’s top playmakers at his position. If Leonard returns, he’ll aid this unit in every which way. Nevertheless, Bradley’s Cover-3 scheme looks flawed minus another true ballhawk — outside of Stephon Gilmore — in the secondary.

In theory, Patrick Mahomes and an explosive offense should exploit a defense that’s surrendered the fifth-highest Dropback SR of its own. Still, considering how Mahomes lucked out on a pair of near-interceptions that led to touchdowns in Week 2, Kansas City is slightly overvalued as a whole.

In a must-win situation for the Colts, I’ll take the points. The Chiefs could be in for a bit of a letdown after knocking off their division rival, too. If you weren’t able to grab +6.5 or better, see if the market reverts towards that direction.

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Commanders

Prior to the Eagles’ dominant win over the Vikings, Nick Sirianni’s team was roughly a four-point favorite. But like we’ve seen over the last year-plus, the betting market favors Philadelphia, bumping it up to -7.

Even though Jonathan Gannon two-deep zone coverage is loaded with talent, Kevin O’Connell likely set himself up for disaster in the aforementioned contest. Minnesota’s offensive scheme was put on full-display versus the Packers in Week 1, leading to a game plan that the Eagles’ defense was very familiar with. Combine that with a 1-for-4 showing in the red zone, and Kirk Cousins & Co. posted a mere 4.5 Yards Per Play (YPP).

Enter Carson Wentz, who squares off against his old team for the first time in his career. Despite delivering a mixed bag of results versus zone defenses during his NFL tenure, his profile is shinier against Gannon-like coverages.

On top of that, Wentz has a combined EPA and Completion Percentage Over Expected (CPOE) that’s above the league average. Why is CPOE an important metric? It isolates a QB’s performance from his opponent, proving that Wentz’s solid start isn’t necessarily a product of positive variance and a negative game script.

He also possesses an underrated group of receivers, led by Terry McLaurin, rookie Jahan Dotson, and a healthy Logan Thomas, to attack the Eagles’ secondary on short and medium routes, respectively. There may be regression in store for Philly, which has allowed the fourth-lowest Dropback EPA to date.

Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts, who’s seen his NFL MVP odds shorten of late, could very well have his way with Washington’s weaker secondary. Plus, the Eagles’ elite offensive line will be in position to handle another brawny pass rush. With that being said, the market inflation steers me towards the Commanders.

Most shops are trading +6.5 as of Thursday, yet there was a Washington +7 available at PointsBet Sportsbook for a moment. I landed on a cheap +6.5 (-105) at BetMGM for the second of my NFL picks.

Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Just like the Eagles, some bettors were all over the Packers after their 17-point win over the Bears. This line was quickly bet down from Buccaneers -3.5 to a near-pick’em at some sportsbooks.

You can credit the line movement to Tampa Bay’s depleted wide receiver room, too. Not only will Mike Evans serve his one-game suspension on Sunday, but the status of Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee) is unknown, too.

However, Green Bay’s run defense remains a major liability, yielding the seventh-highest EPA per carry. Although Todd Bowles’ ground-oriented offense hasn’t translated into much success so far, Leonard Fournette and the rest of the Bucs’ tailbacks should have space to operate this time around.

That should give the legendary Tom Brady, whose downfield accuracy has yet to diminish, more chances for explosive plays as well.

Brady and his teammates were undoubtedly assisted by referee Shawn Hocculi versus the Saints last week. Hence, it may have been overvalued when the first market opened. But that’s no longer the case with a deflated number.

Regarding the Packers’ offense, their talent level at wideout, following Davante Adams’ departure in March, is eerily similar to what the Buccaneers could present. Given their wounded receiving corps (Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, and Randall Cobb), what should you expect?

Bowles’ units have stymied Aaron Rodgers in their recent duels, surrendering 6.1 Yards Per Pass Attempt (YPA). His defensive personnel is almost identical, including reliable safeties Mike Edwards and Antonie Winfield Jr.

Look for the four-time MVP to be forced into hurried throws against a pressure-heavy scheme, especially with left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) still hobbled.

I bet the Bucs on the moneyline, as you’ll also see below. I’d back them up to -1, which is widely available, per the NFL Week 3 odds board.

Best of luck with your NFL picks in Week 3.

Additional NFL Picks For Week 3

San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos

Waiting a bit longer for the best Broncos spread finally paid off. Look for a relatively healthy Denver defense to hamper the 49ers’ ground attack, which has benefited from facing softer run defenses thus far. They’ve tallied the 10th-highest Rushing EPA in the process.

Ejiro Evero’s unit has underperformed in that regard in its own right, but its personnel is set up to bounce back while putting heat on Jimmy Garoppolo. For what it’s worth, I have the Broncos rated slightly higher on a neutral field, so this spread is slightly off, per my numbers.

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Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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