NFL

2021 NFL picks against the spread, Week 3: Packers enticing as road underdog

Making NFL picks against the spread for Week 3 of the 2021 season with the Packers as road underdogs against the 49ers and much more. 

Especially early in the season when making NFL picks against the spread, all you can ask for is to float above .500 for the season. We’re still learning about all 32 teams and things will change throughout the year. So it’s all about keeping pace until, hopefully, we hit our stride. And thus far, that’s what my picks for the 2021 NFL season have done.

Last week, we weathered some tough results to still finish with an 8-8-0 record against the spread. That puts as at 17-14-1 through two weeks, meaning we’re keeping pace. And with some truly tasty matchups between contenders in Week 3, we’ll try to keep that pace up.

Let’s go Thursday-to-Monday as we make our Week 3 NFL picks against the spread. All odds are courtesy of WynnBet.

NFL Picks Against the Spread in Week 3 of the 2021 season

Carolina Panthers (-8.0) vs. Houston Texans

With how dominant the Panthers defense has looked to this point, I’d be inclined to take them regardless of what the Texans had going on. But with third-round rookie Davis Mills getting the start, run that Carolina ticket up to the window.

Chicago Bears vs. Cleveland Browns (-7.0)

Unfortunately, I make these picks before we have full clarity on who will play, namely if Odell Beckham Jr. will be in this game. I’m going on a limb, though, and saying the defensive talent of Cleveland will make life truly difficult for Justin Fields.

Los Angeles Chargers (+6.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Especially at Arrowhead, I’m confident the Chiefs pick up the win. But with how Kansas City’s defense has played, having them win by a full touchdown up against Justin Herbert and this offense is something I’m not buying at all.

New Orleans Saints vs. New England Patriots (-3.0)

Mac Jones hasn’t been a star by any means but he’s avoided mistakes like a pro to this point. When you put that up against what we saw from Jameis Winston last week, the Patriots in Foxborough seem like the safe, easy bet.

Atlanta Falcons (+3.0) vs. New York Giants

Not that Matt Ryan and the Falcons have done anything to inspire confidence worthy of picking them but I refuse to take the Giants as a favorite in any football game right now. Sure, they were close with Washington but a mistake-free game from Daniel Jones twice in a row seems unlikely.

Baltimore Ravens (-7.5) vs. Detroit Lions

This is a game that could very much play out like Packers-Lions on Monday Night Football. Detroit will likely keep it close against the Ravens at home for the first half but Lamar Jackson and Co. will run away to a big victory in the final two quarters.

Washington Football Team (+8.5) vs. Buffalo Bills

Buffalo beat the brakes off the Dolphins last week but that had more to do with Miami than the Bills. I’ve not liked what I’ve seen from Josh Allen to this point and Taylor Heinicke looks too frisky for Washington to be this heavy of an underdog.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans (-5.0)

Not that the Titans have been anything but a rollercoaster to this point but they got back to putting the team on Derrick Henry’s large shoulders. Couple that with Jacob Eason starting for the Colts and Tennessee should take this one pretty comfortably.

Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Eventually, I’m a firm believer that Kyler Murray and the Cardinals are going to come back to Earth. With that said, the Jaguars aren’t the team that’s going to cause that to happen. The positives for Jacksonville are hard to come by through two weeks.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)

This game gave me the most trouble in the Week 3 slate. My faith in the Steelers is waning, especially if they don’t have T.J. Watt or have him at less than 100 percent. But even then, the Bengals have enough holes up front and on defense that Pittsburgh should get a touchdown win at home.

New York Jets vs. Denver Broncos (-10.5)

Pretty simple logic here: The Jets have looked downright abysmal while the Broncos have been one of the most pleasant surprises of the young season. Take Teddy Bridgewater and Denver and run with it.

Miami Dolphins vs. Las Vegas Raiders (-4.0)

With Tua Tagovailoa either not playing or banged up in addition to how well the Raiders have been playing on both sides of the ball, I’ve got to lean with the home team on this one — even if Derek Carr enters the game a bit nicked up as well.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Los Angeles Rams (+1.0)

For as impressive as Tom Brady and the defending champs have been to start, the Rams have also been impressive enough that I, on principle, have to take them as home underdogs. At minimum, this should be one of the most exciting games of Week 3.

Seattle Seahawks (-2.0) vs. Minnesota Vikings

What happened in the second half against the Titans does have me worried about the Seahawks. The offensive strategy just seems to be lacking a bit. That said, the Vikings might just be cursed this season, as Greg Joseph will attest to.

Green Bay Packers (+3.5) vs. San Francisco 49ers

Though the 49ers have a 2-0 start to their credit and are a team I believe in, their offensive game-planning has been a tad shaky to this point. Throw in a Packers team that appeared quite hungry in Week 2 and they are too enticing as underdogs to pass up.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys (-4.0)

For as talented as Jalen Hurts is, the offense has already started to hit walls and the Eagles also have some key injuries. Meanwhile, the Cowboys look better defensively than expected and we all know how good that offense can be. Philly probably can’t keep up on Monday night.