NFLX picks and predictions for Week 3
Week 3 of the preseason has always been referred to as the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season and that certainly rings even truer now. This will be the final game for all 32 NFL teams prior to Week 1, as next week is a week off for everybody to get their affairs in order before the win-loss records start to matter.
It will also be the last time that coaches will really fill you in on their plans, so try to take advantage of it. Some teams will use their starters a lot more than others and some teams need a lot more work than others, so you’ll want to do your research and try to extract some value out of these Week 3 preseason games.
NFL Odds | NFL Betting Splits
Here are a couple of best bets to consider for NFL Preseason Week 3:
(Odds as of 8/23, 8:30 p.m. PT)
Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
The Bears head into their final preseason tune-up with major concerns on the offensive line. Four of the team’s top six offensive linemen missed practice on Wednesday, so it seems highly unlikely that any of those guys are put at risk in the largely meaningless game against the Bills. It would also seem ill-advised to let Justin Fields play for too long behind an offensive line chock full of backups.
This past week was one about getting serious for the start of the season for Buffalo. The Bills were uncompetitive in last week’s 27-15 loss to the Steelers and Sean McDermott lamented being outcoached and outplayed, so the message would appear to be a lot stronger in Buffalo than it might be in Chicago, where the focus is mostly about staying healthy.
Kyle Allen and Matt Barkley are fighting for the backup gig for the Bills, but Barkley has been sporting a sleeve on his sore elbow this week and is questionable to even suit up. The Bears will be trotting out PJ Walker and Nathan Peterman for most of this one, especially if they err on the side of caution with Fields.
The Bills are focused on the details - clean up the penalties and work on the effort level. The Bears are trying to stay healthy. That looks like an Under bet to me and I’d play this down to 37.
Pick: Under 39
Saturday, 6 p.m. ET
Aaron Rodgers will make his Jets debut in this one and then Zach Wilson will follow, as the Giants serve as the “home team” at the Meadowlands for this battle between roommates. While the debut of Rodgers is big news, so is the fact that the Jets have had offensive line issues throughout the preseason and their practices, so it’s hard to see Rodgers doing more than a series or two.
The Jets also don’t have a ton of position battles to settle, plus this is their fourth preseason game, so the coaching staff has seen a lot of what they need to see. Only a handful of backup spots are really available for this team and they’re not stretching the field at all, as Wilson has 4.03 air yards per attempt this preseason. That would seem to make it hard to win by margin.
I can’t imagine Daniel Jones will be out there for long either, but he looked darn good in his only drive, going 8-of-9 for 69 yards. He connected right away with Darren Waller and Jalin Hyatt seems like a game-changer on the outside with his speed that will give defenses something more to think about.
Tyrod Taylor and Tommy DeVito will finish out the game, but Daboll has spoken very highly of DeVito and it sure seems like he has a heck of a handle on coaching offense at this level. It’s hard to see how the Jets win this game by this much. I think the Giants are live to win outright, but I wouldn’t take this any lower than 4 if it went back down.
Pick: Giants +6