NFL Picks, Predictions, Odds, Lines for Week 3: Can the Rams outlast the Bucs?

After a crazy slate of games, what are our Week 3 NFL picks and predictions as we look at the early odds and lines for the upcoming week?

Making picks and predictions about Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season is a tough thing to do. Teams that looked great in Week 1 crashed back to earth in Week 2, while others rose from the Week 1 ashes to provide hair-raising victories. Let’s take a look at the early Week 3 NFL odds and lines and give our picks and predictions.

Week 3 NFL picks and predictions | Betting lines and odds

Imagine being a sportsbook right now and having to handicap teams after the two weeks we just saw. The NFL is always crazy, but with injuries and topsy-turvy performances, this year already feels crazier than most. Let’s take a look at the early NFL betting slate heading into Week 3.

Thursday NFL picks and predictions

Here are the Week 3 betting lines and NFL odds for Thursday’s game as of 6 AM ET on September 20.

Carolina Panthers (-7) at Houston Texans

Time and channel: 8:20 PM ET, NFL Network

The Panthers have looked strong so far this season. They brushed away the Saints in Week 2 after handling the Jets in Week 1. However, the Texans have also looked better than expected this year.

The problem for Houston is that they will be without Tyrod Taylor in Week 3, which should make this a relatively simple victory for the Panthers.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Panthers 24, Texans 17

Sunday NFL picks and predictions

Here are the Week 3 betting lines and NFL odds for Sunday’s game as of 6 AM ET on September 20.

Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns (-7)

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, FOX

The injury to Andy Dalton may mean we see Justin Fields make his first career start. Given Chicago’s vulnerable offensive line, however, the prospect of Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney bearing down on the rookie QB is not an exciting thought. The Browns should have more than enough to win this contest at home.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Browns 27, Bears 20

Arizona Cardinals (-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, FOX

Arizona’s defense could not do anything about Dalvin Cook in Week 2, which has to be a major concern. However, the Jaguars do not possess the offensive potency of the Vikings. Therefore, this should be a relatively easy path to 3-0 for the Cardinals this week.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Cardinals 31, Jaguars 20

New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots (-3)

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, FOX

The last few weeks have been really tough for the Saints, both physically and emotionally. Heading into New England on the back of a bad divisional loss is less than ideal. Still, New Orleans could catch the Patriots with half an eye on their Week 4 matchup with Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

New England’s offense doesn’t seem explosive enough to run away with this one, meaning it could be a tight affair. However, New England’s defense will capitalize on any mistake, so Jameis Winston needs to be at his best.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Patriots 23, Saints 20

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-5)

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, CBS

A huge divisional clash in the AFC South has a lot riding on it, even at this early stage. If the Colts start 0-3, they could be staring down the barrel at a miserable year. Meanwhile, the Titans have unconvincingly limped to 1-1. The health of Carson Wentz could be key, but even with him on the field, the Titans should have too much.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Titans 27, Colts 23

Washington Football Team at Buffalo Bills (-9.5)

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, FOX

Washington made tough work of beating the Giants on Thursday Night Football in Week 2. However, the extended rest should offer them some benefit in the later stages of their Week 3 game. Then again, the Bills essentially only had to play three quarters of football in Week 2 as they destroyed the Dolphins. Buffalo should win, but it very well may be closer than the spread implies.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Bills 27, Washington 20

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-3.5)

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, FOX

The fate of New York’s and Atlanta’s seasons hang in the balance this week. Even in a 17-game season, coming back from 0-3 to make the playoffs is a tough ask.

After this game, one of these head coaches will be facing some difficult questions over their future — and probably the future of their franchise QB.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Falcons 24, Giants 21

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, CBS

The Bengals were oh-so-close to starting the 2021 season 2-0 and leading the AFC North. However, Joe Burrow struggled against a good Bears defense. The Steelers have yet to look convincing through two weeks and could be there for the taking if the Bengals can perform consistently on offense in Week 3.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Bengals 23, Steelers 20

Baltimore Ravens (-8) at Detroit Lions

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, CBS

Coming off an emotional win against the Chiefs, the Ravens could be a little sloppy out of the gate in Week 3. However, the Lions should have nowhere near enough firepower on either side of the ball to challenge Baltimore deep into the second half.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Ravens 31, Lions 17

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-7)

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, CBS

This game has taken on huge importance with the strong start of the AFC West. Lose this game, and either team could already be looking at a two-game deficit in the division. Both lost heartbreakers in Week 2, and as much as a Justin Herbert victory would be a nice story, the Chiefs should be too strong offensively.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Chiefs 31, Chargers 28

New York Jets at Denver Broncos (-11)

Time and channel: 4:05 PM ET, CBS

Through two weeks, the Denver Broncos have done no wrong. They have beaten two bottom-dwelling teams and gotten off to a nice 2-0 start. This matchup should allow Denver to remain undefeated and give them a great chance of earning a postseason berth.

Zach Wilson couldn’t handle the defense nor the situation in New England, and the rookie quarterback could have even more trouble on the road in Denver. This could be another ugly game for the former BYU quarterback.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Broncos 28, Jets 13

Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders (-5.5)

Time and channel: 4:05 PM ET, CBS

The Dolphins were humiliated by the Bills in their own backyard. That loss has raised some tough questions about Miami’s front office decisions. Now, with the health of QB Tua Tagovailoa in the balance, the Dolphins have to face a Raiders team that has started the season with two huge wins against the AFC North.

Look for Miami to play much better this week, but if Tua is not 100%, it will be tough to come away with a victory. The Raiders could be set to start 3-0 and look like real playoff contenders in 2021.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Raiders 24, Dolphins 21

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams (-1)

Time and channel: 4:25 PM ET, FOX

A potential NFC Championship Game preview and a revenge game for Tom Brady all rolled into one. We all know the script for beating Brady — pressure up the middle. Thanks to Aaron Donald, the Rams are better equipped than anyone to follow that recipe. Throw in a suspect Tampa Bay secondary, and the Rams should be able to come away with the victory.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Rams 30, Buccaneers 27

Seattle Seahawks (-1) at Minnesota Vikings

Time and channel: 4:25 PM ET, FOX

These two teams are almost impossible to figure out through two weeks. The Vikings gave the Cardinals everything they had in Week 2, while the Seahawks got worn down by Derrick Henry. Neither team can afford to lose in Week 3. Minnesota would be looking at a 0-3 start, while Seattle could be two games down in the division.

The health of Dalvin Cook will be important in this one, as he could provide a similar stat line to Henry. But the Seahawks should be able to control the ball and control this game.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Seahawks 28, Vikings 27

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-4)

Time and channel: 8:20 PM ET, NBC

The 49ers looked unconvincing in Week 2 but still managed to pull out a win against the Eagles. Assuming the Packers get rolling on Monday Night Football against the Lions, Green Bay vs. San Francisco should be an intriguing game. The 49ers’ defense could be the difference here, as it proved in Week 2 it can carry this team when the offense is struggling.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: 49ers 27, Packers 23

Monday Night Football: Free NFL picks and predictions

Here are the NFL Week 3 betting lines and odds for Monday’s game as of 6 AM ET on September 20.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-4)

Time and channel: 8:15 PM ET, ESPN

The range of outcomes in this game includes everything from a low-scoring tight affair to a high-octane shootout. Both offenses have proven they can pile on the points, but both have also been shut down.

However, neither team’s defense is good enough to hold down an opposing offense for an entire game, so we should see second-half fireworks. The Cowboys should have enough at home, but the Eagles winning in a last-second manner is very much in the cards with Jalen Hurts under center.

NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: Cowboys 28, Eagles 27

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.


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