The NFL season is here and so are all the glorious prop markets that come with it. We are looking into every market to uncover some of the week’s best side, team, player and derivative prop bets. We do the heavy lifting so you don’t have to.
We came out of the gates cold to begin the season but are going to hit our stride in Week 3 and are already 1-0 SU after a Davis Mills Under passing yard win. This weekend, we’re finding a WR/CB mismatch in the Sunday-nighter, hitting an RB receiving yard total, and making sense of the Colts' offense game plan.
We bring you our favorite free prop picks and predictions for Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season.
Latest NFL prop picks
- Deebo Samuel Over 66.5 receiving yards (-115 at PointsBet)
- J.D. McKissic Over 18.5 receiving yards (-115 at William Hill)
- Jonathan Taylor Over 59.5 rushing yards (-114 at FanDuel)
Check out full analysis of picks below, or click here to view the full betting card.
If you're signing up for a new sportsbook for NFL Week 3, here are two of the best welcome bonuses available:
USA: Risk-free bet up to $5,000 plus get a free NFL jersey at Caesars. Claim Now
Canada: Get up to $500 in free bets at Sports Interaction. Claim Now
NFL prop picks for Sunday
The Home Deebo
The 49ers host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night as three-point favorites with a total that has hit 50.5. One reason for the high total has a lot to do with a Green Bay defense that is ranked 26th in DVOA pass defense. If you caught the Green Bay secondary in action on Monday night, you’ll know CB Kevin King has struggled to keep up with NFL talent.
King started the year on the outside but has since been pushed to the nickel corner due to the play of rookie Eric Stokes. King may still see some outside reps in the base defense, but when GB goes with more CBs, King is going inside where he will have to cover the 49ers’ slot game.
Deebo Samuel has taken the most snaps out of the slot when Kyle Shanahan goes to 3-receiver sets. Samuel leads the team in targets, catches, receiving yards, and has one score on the year. He’s topped 90 yards in each game this year and has one of the best WR/CB matchups in Week 3. He’s created 55 percent of all SF’s passing yards through two weeks and is hands down the No. 1 option in the passing game with a 38 percent target share.
His receiving yard total is set at 66.5 yards across the board, which is up just seven yards from Week 2. His reception total is at 5.5, which is a great number and the same as last week, but it is shaded heavily to the Over at -155. That means we’re hitting the Over on the receiving yardage, as this is one of our favorite matchups to exploit in Week 3.
PICK: Deebo Samuel Over 66.5 receiving yards (best odds: -115 at PointsBet)
Sealed with a McKissic
After seeing just one target and getting out-touched 20-1 in a 20-16 loss to the Chargers in Week 1, J.D. McKissic was more involved in the passing game in last week’s victory, seeing six targets which he turned into five grabs and 83 yards. This is more accustomed to the role we’re used to seeing from the Football Team’s 1B back.
The RB’s receiving yard total closed at 28.5 yards in Week 1 and plummeted to just 13.5 yards after Week 1’s dud. Last season, McKissic’s average rec total varied from 25-32 yards, as he was averaging 36.8 rec yards on 5.0 catches per game. Getting his receiving yardage total at 18.5 yards seems insane considering how Heinicke incorporated him into the offense last week versus the Giants. Just in a pair of two-minute warnings, McKissic had four catches and 15 yards.
Buffalo has the No. 2 DVOA defense, per Football Outsiders, and could be forcing Washington into plenty of third-and-longs which would put McKissic into the backfield and be a key piece in the passing game. This is a great total that’s only going to go up as kickoff approaches.
PICK: J.D. McKissic Over 18.5 receiving yards (best odds: -115 at William Hill)
Taylor to the Moon
Carson Wentz looks like he is going to tough it out in a Week 3 start with a pair of sprained ankles after getting through a Friday practice. There is no certainty that the veteran QB will finish the game, but we can probably assume the Colts will lean on the running game either way.
Wentz has already been sacked six times and hit another 21 times to open the season, and keeping him safe is likely a priority for Frank Reich. Good thing for the Colts, they’ll face the Titans’ bottom-three DVOA defense.
It’s well-known that Tennessee’s secondary is atrocious, but its run defense hasn’t been great either. The Titans are allowing 4.2 yards per carry, which is league average, but they have also seen a pair of successful passing teams in the Seahawks and Cardinals.
Jonathan Taylor has been running to 3.3 YPC average to begin the year but a heavy workload is in store, and he has topped 50 rushing yards in Weeks 1 and 2. He has seen at least 15 rushes in each game this year despite the Colts trailing for the most part.
FanDuel is still hanging 59.5 rushing yards (-114) when the majority of other books are in the low-to-mid-60s. With the Titans’ terrible defense and the Colts’ need to lean on the run, this game should hopefully follow a neutral game script. Getting Taylor’s rushing total at a number lower than Week 1 and 2 is another bonus.
PICK: Jonathan Taylor Over 59.5 rushing yards (best odds: -114 at FanDuel)
NFL prop picks for Saturday
Just because we can’t trust the Lions on the ML or ATS doesn’t mean we can’t trust their offensive players in the prop world.
Quintez Cephus is at the right place at the right time. Detroit is constantly playing in a negative game script, has no WR depth, and a running game that is averaging 5.2 YPC that is keeping defenses honest. Cephus has the most targets amongst Detroit WRs, and although his catch rate isn’t elite, he still has scored a TD in back-to-back games and has caught two of his three RZ targets for touchdowns.
With Tyrell Williams hitting the IR, Cephus will again be the No. 1 WR option for Jared Goff in the passing game in Week 3 against the Ravens. Baltimore is allowing 13 catches, 210 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game against opposing WRs through two weeks. With the Ravens putting up 63 points to begin the season and entering the game as 7.5-point favorites, the offense will force Detroit to play catch up early and often.
We’re avoiding his reception total (3.5) and receiving yard total (40.5) and focusing on his TD prop instead, as his catch total is up one full grab from last week and his receiving yard total is also up near 50 percent from a week ago. However, his anytime TD can be had for as high as +280, which is a decent value for a WR1 despite paying +400 a week ago. Cephus has Goff’s trust in the red zone and should see some shots inside the 20 versus a defense that has allowed five passing TDs through two weeks.
PICK: Quintez Cephus anytime TD (best odds: +280 at Willam Hill)
Dallas vs Dallas
Dallas Goedert has not gotten off to a great start in his first full year with Jalen Hurts. He had just two targets last week and played 38 out of 58 snaps compared to Zach Ertz’s 37 snaps. However, Ertz is on the reserve/COVID-19 list and is very questionable to play Monday night. If Ertz sits, Goedert could be in for a bigger role versus a Dallas defense that is averaging 6.5/63.5/1 to opposing TEs so far this season.
In the four games that Ertz sat out last season, Goedert caught 17 balls on 23 targets for 200 yards and two scores. Goedert did get looks from Hurts last year and saw 17 targets over three Hurts starts at the end of the year, averaging 40 yards per game with Ertz in the lineup.
Even if Goedert hasn’t thrown up big numbers, he has been getting a lot of looks in the red zone. The Philly TE leads the team in RZ targets and has caught four of his five RZ balls, including one for a TD.
With the PHI/DAL game posting a 51.5 total, we’re going to bypass Goedert’s receiving props and hit him for an anytime TD at a tasty +225. He was +250 a week ago and we think the possibility of not having Ertz is worth the dip in price.
PICK: Dallas Goedert anytime TD (best odds: +225 at PointsBet)
We Like How it Fields
Everyone except Matt Nagy is excited about Justin Fields getting his first NFL start this weekend versus the Browns. The first-round rookie did not look good in the pocket in relief of Andy Dalton last week, going 6 for 13 for 60 yards and a pick, but the athletic QB did give his legs a workout with 10 rushes in his 42 snaps. The yardage wasn’t there with just 31 yards, but the green signal-caller is not afraid to take off, and ran for 92 yards and a score in 11 preseason rushes.
Cleveland has struggled to get pressure this year and have a 6.5 QB hurry percentage, which ranks 18th in the league. If Fields has time in the pocket and lets his receivers get deep downfield, taking off could gain big yardage compared to a QB trying to rush against a decent pass rush.
Houston QB Tyrod Taylor had a 15-yard rushing TD last week versus the Browns before exiting due to an injury, while Patrick Mahomes topped his rushing total against Cleveland in the opener.
The speed of the NFL is always the most difficult thing for rookie QBs to adjust to, so we don’t expect Fields to start throwing to his third or fourth reads. Also in our favor is the health of the CHI receivers, as Darnell Mooney and Marquise Goodwin are both questionable heading into the meeting.
PICK: Justin Fields Over 53.5 rushing yards (best odds: +100 at PointsBet)
NFL prop picks for Friday
Hock and Roll
Second-year TE T.J. Hockenson has been a beast for the Detroit passing game to begin the season. He leads the team in targets (20), receptions (16), and yards (163) which is good for an 8/81.5/1 weekly average. This week, Jared Goff’s favorite weapon faces a Baltimore defense that allowed Travis Kelce to go 7/109/1 in Week 2 and Darren Waller to go 10/105/1 in Week 1. The Ravens may be seeing 2021’s three best pass-catching TEs in back-to-back-to-back weeks.
With how the Ravens’ offense has been rolling — and how bad the Lions can play at times — the Detroit offense should be in a negative game script yet again and forced to pass the ball. Baltimore’s Patrick Queen will have the task of shutting down the Detroit TE. The second-year LB graded as the second-worst linebacker last year, per Pro Football Focus, and is well on his way to repeating this year. He's improving but is still one of the worst coverage linebackers in the league and will be a point of attack for the Detroit game plan.
Hockenson’s reception total can be found at 5.5 across the board while his receiving yard prop can be found as low as 57.5, which is up 11 yards from last week but 30 yards less than Kelce’s total a week ago. It’s tough not to catch six balls and get 60 yards but it’s much more plausible to reach 60 yards in under six catches. His reception total is one catch higher than both Weeks 1 and 2.
PICK: T.J. Hockenson Over 57.5 receiving yards (best odds: -115 at William Hill)
Mike Williams may not lead the Chargers in receiving yards but the 6-foot-4 receiver has topped 80 yards in back-to-back games and has also drawn double-digit targets (and a TD) in each game to open the season. He leads the team in targets — and red zone targets — and gets a plus matchup against a Kansas City defense that has given up 19 catches and over 300 yards to opposing WRs.
The Chiefs’ best corner, Mike Hughes, is listed as 5-foot-10, which is a massive size mismatch. If Kansas City decides to put outside CB Charvarius Ward (6-foot-1) on Williams, the LAC wide receiver should also produce as Ward is PFF’s 89th-ranked CB this season.
Justin Herbert looked great in a defeat to the Cowboys last week and is looking like the best young pocket passer in the league in his second season. He has looked Williams’ way often and with the other receiving threats in Los Angeles, Williams should get less attention from defenders on Sunday.
FanDuel is still hanging a receiving yard total of 66.5 yards which is five yards less than other books. Williams closed at 49.5 yards last week and with this game projected to be one of the highest-scoring on the board Sunday, the jump in yards isn’t worrying us.
For comparison, Keenan Allen’s yardage total is as high as 82.5 yards.
PICK: Mike Williams Over 66.5 receiving yards (best odds: -114 at FanDuel)
Clyde the Lightning
Clyde Edwards-Helaire has not impressed to begin the season, as as he hasn’t eclipsed 50 rushing yards in either of Kansas City's first two games. He also had a costly fumble last week and was on the non-COVID list to begin the week. However, he is expected to suit up on Sunday versus the Chargers and that should be great news to the CEH faithful.
The Chargers’ defense has been RB gold this year, giving up 143.5 rushing yards per game to opposing backs. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys leaned on the run last week versus the Chargers, who allowed Tony Pollard to rush for 109 on 13 carries and a score, while Ezekiel Elliott also had 16 for 71 and a touchdown. This LAC defense is better suited at defending the pass and Andy Reid may have to take a note from Dallas and pound the ball.
Despite the low usage, CEH out-touched Darrel Williams 13-3 last week, with the latter gaining -2 yards on his three totes. The second-year RB’s rushing total has closed at around 50 yards in both weeks this year and is set at 51.5 yards heading into Week 3. However, at -135 we’re going to instead take it at 53.5 (-115). If Reid wants to get the rushing game going it should be against the Chargers and their generous rush defense.
PICK: Clyde Edwards-Helaire Over 53.5 rushing yards (best odds: -115 at PointsBet)
NFL prop picks for Thursday
Thursday brings a Sam Darnold 2-0 SU Carolina team versus a 1-1 SU Houston team that will be starting 2021 third-round pick Davis Mills at QB on a short week. The Carolina passing defense is flying under the radar as well, as it shut down Jameis Winston last week and is currently the No. 1 DVOA pass defense, per Football Outsiders. With the Panthers as 8-point favorites, Houston could be playing from behind Thursday and Mills and the Carolina defense are not a good combination for Texans fans.
Mills completed 8 of 18 passes for 102 yards, a score, an INT and fumbled. The fumble came on a sack that Mills somehow didn’t see and absolutely got leveled. Not noticing unblocked rushers could be a problem Thursday when the QB faces Carolina edge rusher Brian Burns and three other positively-graded D-linemen for the Panthers. We’re going to hit the Under on Mills’ passing total that can be found as high as 216.5 yards at FanDuel with a low of 212.5. This total was as high as 220.5 on Wednesday morning but has been dropping since. Mills will also be without two of his three top receivers in Nico Collins and Danny Amendola.
Winston failed to throw a TD against the Panthers in Week 2 and threw for just 111 yards. The Carolina defense has only allowed two trips in the red zone this season and gets the services of former Pro Bowl CB A.J. Bouye back after a two-game suspension. New York’s Zach Wilson picked up most of his passing yards (258) late in Week 1 versus soft coverage, and it looks like Carolina addressed this heading into Week 2. It could be a long day with short rest for the Houston QB de jour.
PICK: Davis Mills Under 216.5 passing yards (best odds: -114 at FanDuel)
15 Minute Snoozer
The first quarter hasn’t been kind to either the Bengals or Steelers. Through two weeks, both teams have scored a combined zero points in the game’s first frame. They're two of the three teams in the NFL who have yet to score in the first quarter to begin the season. Sunday’s Week 3 matchup has a 1Q total of just 7.5 points — shaded to the Under — and we still don’t think both teams can top that number.
For starters, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh both failed to score early when they were healthy. Now they’re banged up and missing key pieces, including Ben Roethlisberger (questionable), Diontae Johnson (questionable) and Cincinnati could be without their starting right guard in Xavier Su'a-Filo.
Pittsburgh has scored just 40 points through two games and having a banged-up QB and leading WR will no doubt have negative effects on this struggling offense. If Pittsburgh is forced to run the ball, it could be a nightmare as the Steelers have just 114 rushing yards this season which is the lowest amount in the league.
Cincinnati can’t keep Joe Burrow upright, and missing an offensive lineman is not going to help the situation against a strong Pittsburgh D-line. Zach Taylor and the offense have had to offset the pressure by running the ball too much as the Bengals sit second-last in the league in pass rate above expected.
Injuries, struggling offenses and an increase in running have us hitting the 1Q Under 7.5 -115 on Sunday.
PICK: Bengals vs Steelers first quarter Under 7.5 (best odds: -115 at bet365)
Plus Money Kicking
We took a bath last week in the prop market but one prop we’re riding until we lose is in New England. Mac Jones has the Pats at 1-1 SU to begin the season and now he enters Week 3 against the Saints as a three-point favorite. The TDs haven’t come easy for New England, as it has scored just three over two games, but Jones has been getting the offense into the red zone with ease — the only problem is that he can’t finish off drives.
Of its three TDs, only one has come in the RZ, as New England and Jones have begun the season 1 for 7 inside the 20. What this has created is a ton of chip-shot field goals for kicker Nick Folk, who has made 33 straight field goals dating back to last season.
Folk has started the season 7 for 7 on field-goal tries and has hit at least three in each game. Kicking props may not excite many, but they pay just the same as all the other popular props and Over 2.5 field goals pays very handsomely.
Last week, we hit a NE Over 2.5 FGs at +240 that cashed in the third quarter. This week, versus a Saints team that has allowed just two RZ touchdowns this season, Folk is paying +300 to split the upright three times. Sure, the Over 1.5 FGs at -115 might be the safer bet, but +300 is a serious number. That’s almost the same price as a Sam Darnold TD.
We swear, this will be our only kicking prop this week.
PICK: New England Over 2.5 field goals (best odds: +300 at bet365)
Season to date: 10-15, -5.72 units (betting 1 unit per pick)
NFL Week 3 prop betting card
- Deebo Samuel Over 66.5 receiving yards (-115 at PointsBet)
- J.D. McKissic Over 18.5 receiving yards (-115 at William Hill)
- Jonathan Taylor Over 59.5 rushing yards (-114 at FanDuel)
- Quintez Cephus anytime TD (+280 at Willam Hill)
- Dallas Goedert anytime TD (+225 at PointsBet)
- Justin Fields Over 53.5 rushing yards (+100 at PointsBet)
- T.J. Hockenson Over 57.5 receiving yards (-115 at William Hill)
- Mike Williams Over 66.5 receiving yards (-114 at FanDuel)
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire Over 53.5 rushing yards (-115 at PointsBet)
- Davis Mills Under 216.5 passing yards (-114 at FanDuel)
- Bengals vs Steelers first quarter Under 7.5 (-115 at bet365)
- New England Over 2.5 field goals (+300 at bet365)
Where can I bet on the NFL?
You can bet on NFL odds at every online and casino sportsbook, including NFL moneylines, spreads, Over/Under totals, and a ton of NFL prop odds. Head over to our best football betting sites for the top spots to bet on NFL odds in your area.