NFL Pool Picks Cheat Sheet: Week 3 Pick Em Contest Leverage Plays

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Written By Jeffrey Schreiber | Last Updated
nfl pool picks

NFL Pick Em pools continued to roll on in Week 2, with several underdogs winning outright. Anyone making NFL pool picks on underdogs has already been rewarded. Among the notable upsets were the Seattle Seahawks defeating the Detroit Lions and the Tennessee Titans defeating the Los Angeles Chargers. For Week 3, let’s dive deep into matchups to help make more intelligent and strategic NFL picks. We’ll also use moneylines from the best NFL betting sites to help determine teams with the highest implied probabilities to win.

Looking at pool game theory, we will highlight some of the most popular picks in straight-up pools and against the spread pools for NFL Week 3. Keep reading to stay up to date and compare spreads, moneylines, and totals across NFL betting sites.

Week 3 NFL Leverage Play Pool Picks: Straight Up

A straight-up pick means that you are picking the winner of the game. No spread is considered in this type of contest.

One of the ways you get leverage in NFL Pick Em pools is by capitalizing on underdogs with a legitimate chance of victory, yet your peers are not selecting. These undervalued and often ignored underdogs can be a goldmine in these pools and are often termed leverage plays. If correct, it’s the fastest way to move up the standings.

Teams coming off very bad losses the week before can be value picks. Teams that were big favorites the week before and teams that knocked people out of Survivor pools are also worth eyeing. Public perception can create overreactions week to week. Therefore, making bets that can seem uncomfortable can be critical.

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks

Carolina could be the most significant underdog shot to take, as a small percentage of entries is likely to back the Panthers. However, the Panthers have an implied probability of winning around 33% against a defense that ranks near the bottom of the league through two weeks.

After Bryce Young was disappointing in Weeks 1 and 2, it’s not surprising the public is out on Carolina. However, he’s injured, and if Andy Dalton starts, it might actually be an upgrade over the inexperienced rookie.

Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins

The Broncos face the darlings of the NFL right now, the Miami Dolphins. Teams playing against overachievers can be great picks because the overperforming opponent makes people think their performance will be sustained. With Miami playing its home opener and winning outright the last two games on the road, it’s not surprising the Dolphins are getting a lot of love.

However, Miami star WR Jaylen Waddle is questionable to play with a concussion.

It’s likely a much lower percentage of entries will click Denver than its implied probability of around 30% to win this game after converting the moneyline odds to win percentage.

Week 3 NFL Leverage Play Pool Picks: Against The Spread

A spread pick means that you will make your picks based on the difference in points between the two teams. For example, you might predict that your chosen team will win by at least a six-point margin.

With spread picks, the spread is supposed to be an attempt to get even action on both sides. Seeing a spread get overwhelmingly bet on one side usually means a price that won’t last. In this context, fading the highest-picked spreads can provide value. If these teams fade out, you gain massively on the others in your pool by gaining a game when so few did.

This only applies to games where the pool and Vegas spread are aligned. With the Bengals-Rams line moving due to a potential quarterback change, this isn’t a leverage spot. The line at sportsbooks can be blown out because of Joe Burrow’s injury. The reason is that picking the team not on the injury side is getting points of value.

BetMGM team lead on the sports trading desk Seamus Magee told TheLines.com that the current line of Bengals favored by less than three is straddling between Burrow starting and rookie Jake Browning starting Monday night. He predicted the Rams would close a favorite if Burrow is out.

The Bears () and Cardinals ()? Oh My …

The two most significant underdogs of the week are Chicago and Arizona. These two teams are surely going to be the least popular picks, despite getting double digits on the spread.

If you’re looking for leverage, Arizona to cover the spread for the third straight week can be viable. Maybe the Cardinals aren’t as bad as we all thought? Maybe Chicago can figure out its problems against Kansas City enough to not lose by two touchdowns?

Sportsbook betting splits are completely useless if you’re trying to use them to determine which side to bet. However, it can be a glimpse into how popular a side may be in your pools. Almost 70% of the action is on the favorites to cover the spread in both of these games.

Best of luck navigating NFL picks for your Pick Em pools in Week 3.

NFL Week 3 Odds

You can use the table below to browse moneylines across sportsbooks in your area. The more negative the number, the bigger the favorite that team is. You can also toggle to spreads to browse who are the biggest favorites there. Again, the more negative the number, the bigger the favorite. For example, a team that is -4 is a more significant favorite than -2.

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