Whelp, that was an interesting Sunday.
Football bettors have little time to come down from the latest NFL betting results before sizing up the opening odds for Week 3.
A fresh batch of spreads and totals are on the board, which means we dig into which bets you should make now and which ones you should wait on.
Week 3 bet now, bet later picks
- Kansas City Chiefs (-6) at Indianapolis Colts: Bet Now
- San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos (-1): Bet Later
- Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets (Over 43): Bet Now
- New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (Over 40.5): Bet Later
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Kansas City Chiefs (-6) at Indianapolis Colts: Bet Now
Has there been a more disappointing team in the opening two weeks of the 2022 season than the Colts?
Matt Ryan was supposed to be the X-factor in Indy, pushing this team over the top. But instead, the Colts come into Week 3 winless after a half-assed tie vs. Houston and a full-on ass whoopin’ at the hands of the Jaguars. Injuries may have played a hand in that Week 2 shutout, but this offense is a mess and the defense just made Trevor Lawrence look like… well, Patrick Mahomes.
The real Mahomes and the Chiefs looked amazing in Week 1 and then confirmed their place in the AFC pecking order with a huge win over the L.A. Chargers last Thursday, giving Kansas City a mini bye to rest up and prep for the Colts. And as impressive as the offense has been for KC, this defense has very much stepped up to the challenge with great pass pressure up front. Ryan has been sacked seven times already in 2022.
If you like Kansas City, grab it below a touchdown.
San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos (-1): Bet Later
Speaking of disappointing starts, the Broncos avoided a huge stumble by hanging on against Houston at home on Sunday. Denver fell short as 10-point chalk and had already soured bettors who jumped on it in last Monday’s upset loss in Seattle.
Books pegged Denver as a 2.5-point home favorite for this Week 3 non-conference clash with San Francisco, with new head coach Nathaniel Hackett in well over his head opposite Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers got right with a win over Seattle on Sunday after an upset loss of its own at Chicago in Week 1. The Niners did, however, lose starting QB Trey Lance for the season and now turn to “old reliable” Jimmy Garoppolo.
Denver’s biggest issue is finishing drives. The Broncos have outgained their first two opponents 783-487 in yardage but have only 32 total points to show for it, owning a disgraceful 0-for-6 count inside the red zone.
If you hold out hope for Russell Wilson to right the ship and believe in this Broncos defense, pump the breaks and wait for the market to wash its hands of Denver. This -2.5 is already down to -2 and -1 at select sportsbooks as of Sunday night. It wouldn’t shock me to see this flirt with pick’em, especially if Denver WR Jerry Jeudy misses time with a shoulder injury.
Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets (Over 43): Bet Now
The Bengals are mired in a nasty Super Bowl hangover at 0-2 out the gate. But Cincinnati has faced two very sound defensive opponents in Pittsburgh and Dallas — both of which rank among the best pass rushes in the NFL. And with that, Joe Burrow has been blasted for 13 total sacks. When Burrow remains upright and unbothered, he’s moved the chains for late-game rallies.
The Bengals’ high-priced offensive line has work to do but at least it faces a less aggressive defensive attack in Week 3. The Jets have three total sacks through two games and their stop unit has allowed 54 total points, including 30 to the Browns in a wild come-from-behind win in Week 2. New York’s defense is 31st in EPA allowed per dropback with rival QBs owning a success rate of 53%.
Let’s not poo-poo what Gang Green has done with the football, though. New York managed to put up 380 yards in the opening loss to Baltimore and finished with 402 yards and some points (31 to be exact) against Cleveland. The Jets were fourth in EPA per play in Week 2 (with primetime games to go) and sneakily sit No. 15 in this metric after two weeks — ahead of heavyweights like Tampa and the L.A. Rams.
Grab the Over on this total now as it is starting to climb at sharp books Sunday night.
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (Over 40.5): Bet Later
Woof. When the Falcons are the best offense in the NFC South, you know something is up.
There are a number of reasons to jump on the Under in this divisional matchup in Week 3, which is driving the total down Sunday night. But if the market overreacts too much, we could see value with the Over later in the week.
The Saints defense did one hell of a job on Tom Brady and Tampa Bay on Sunday, but five turnovers and six sacks allowed from the offense stunted any progress under promoted OC Peter Carmichael. New Orleans actually outgained the Bucs and put up 300-plus yards but with RB Alvin Kamara out of action and Jameis Winston nursing a busted back, NOLA finished 4-for-13 on third downs against a very aggressive Tampa stop unit.
The Panthers are a sound defense but definitely not in the same vein as the Buccaneers. New Orleans boasts some very good skill players and Winston — healthy or not — and this passing game is the best offense Carolina will have seen so far after taking on Jacoby Brissett and Daniel Jones.
These rivals met in Week 17 last January with Sam Darnold and Taysom Hill under center and that total opened at 39.5 points before closing 37.5. Baker Mayfield is a slight upgrade for the Panthers’ passing game and Winston is capable of so much more.
Given what we saw in Week 2, this total could keep shrinking. If it gets anywhere near 39, give the Over a good long look as I think NOLA’s offense has much more to show this season.