NFL picks, predictions against the spread Week 3: Buccaneers best Packers; 49ers solve Broncos; Colts, Raiders fall to 0-3


Week 2 in the NFL of any given regular season tends to be weird. Week 1 results can force you to lean in a certain direction before having the long-term data points to understand how good and bad each team is.

Thanks to some unlikely comebacks against favorites who appeared to be in complete control of their games, the tips and predictions versus the spread hit a rough patch. But all you have to do is turn the page to Week 3 and call fearlessly in the face of tougher matchups.

Here’s the latest ATS and a straight breakdown for another full game:

(Odds courtesy of Sports Interaction)

POWER RANKINGS: Dolphins Shoot for Top 10; 49ers, Rams recover; Colts, Browns crash in week 3

NFL votes against Week 3 spread

  • Game of the Week: Steelers at Browns (-5, 38.5 o/u)

Thursday 8:15 p.m. ET, Amazon Prime Video

The Steelers get an underperforming QB play from fill-in Mitchell Trubisky before deciding to turn to rookie first-rounder Kenny Pickett. The Browns watch Jacoby Brissett play well while waiting for Deshaun Watson. Nick Chubb was the driving force behind the offense and can have success against Pittsburgh’s front seven. Trubisky, a Cleveland native, won’t be able to earn enough points in a hostile road environment.

Choose: Browns win 20-17 but can’t cover the span.

  • Game of the week: Packers at Buccaneers (-2.5, 41.5 o/u)

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox

The Packers returned to the basics of their defense and running game at home at Lambeau Field in a bid to get Aaron Rodgers back in the comfort zone. The Bucs won’t let them down with their own QB-backing combination for Tom Brady. Both offenses address line and receiver issues, and Tampa Bay is a little tighter defensively overall. But with MVP vs. GOAT one last time. Expect a well played and balanced classic.

Choose: Buccaneers win 24-20 and cover the spread.

  • Lock of the Week: Vikings (-7.52.5 o/u) over Lions

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Vikings’ defense is greatly improved with a 3-4 scheme re-anchored by a good cross pass rush. They should also be able to move the ball down with Justin Jefferson and run for chunks with Dalvin Cook at home against an overwhelmed Detroit defense. Minnesota will shake up Jared Goff plenty while Kirk Cousins ​​settles in to thoroughly outplay him.

Choose: Vikings win 34-17 and cover the spread.

  • Excitement of the Week: Cowboys over Giants (-2.5, 39.5 o/u)

Monday 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Cowboys rallied around Cooper Rush and their defense to shock the Bengals in the first full game without Dak Prescott. The Giants were also a surprise early on with their 2-0 start. The difference will be Dallas’ pass rush with Micah Parsons and more big backend plays from Trevon Diggs vs. Daniel Jones and limited passing. This is also a good opportunity for the Cowboys to ride Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard and more of the running game.

Choose: Cowboys win 24-23.


  • Bills (-4.5, 51 o/u) at Dolphins

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Bills will have a physical game against the Titans on Monday night to face the September heat in Miami. Josh Allen and the passing game Buffalo must prepare for a shootout where Mike McDaniel gets Tua Tagovailoa rolling with his fast guns. But both defenses can have some impact on pass rush and coverage, making it a little easier to trust the more mobile Allen to be the more efficient quarterback.

Choose: Bills win 31-27 but fail to cover the span.

  • Ravens (-3, 44 o/u) at Patriots

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens downfield passing game are humming and he became the overall running game in Week 2 as well. The Patriots don’t have the receivers to keep the Ravens’ secondary grounded and Mac Jones isn’t getting what he needs from the rushing attack. There are enough gaps in New England’s defense at mid-to-deep cover for John Harbaugh’s team to defeat Bill Belichick’s team in this long-running coaching rivalry.

Choose: Ravens win 24-20 and cover the spread.

  • Chiefs (-6.5, 49.5 o/u) at Colts

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The 2-0 Chiefs feel their new offense with Patrick Mahomes. Her defense has also excelled with new and younger figures. The Colts have no offensive life other than Jonathan Taylor and have now injured Michael Pittman Jr. as Matt Ryan has gone cold. Shaquille Leonard also misses her defense very much. Desperation will set in for them and Taylor will do his best to bring them into play, but Kansas City will continue their stellar away game for Andy Reid.

Choose: Chiefs win 31-24 and cover the spread.


  • Bengals (-4.5, 45 o/u) at Jets

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The 2-0 Bengals are unlikely to take the 1-1 Jets lightly for a second straight season after losing in New York in 2021. They must help take the pressure off Joe Burrow by getting healthy with a heavy dose of Joe Mixon and the running game. That will allow for more favorable downfield shots from game action since Burrow doesn’t take as many sacks. On the other hand, the Bengals must avoid giving up big plays and making more of them.

Choose: Bengals win 30-17 and cover the spread

  • Raiders (-1, 45.5 o/u) at Titans

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Raiders with Derek Carr and the Titans with Mike Vrabel are two of the most unpredictable units in the NFL. Las Vegas should have great success here with Carr, but Tennessee can counter by putting Derrick Henry back on track for strong answers from Ryan Tannehill.

Choose: Titans win 30-27.

  • Eagles (-4, 50.5 o/u) at Commanders

Sunday.1 p.m. ET, Fox

Carson Wentz gets a home game against Jalen Hurts. The commanders’ defense is an absolute mess that power running or downfield passing play can’t stop. Hurts will come out on top with AJ Brown and he and the Eagles will also attack with a big rushing attack. Wentz and Washington added firepower and Philadelphia has some real defensive holes, but he’s more likely to make a critical error or two than hurts.

Choose: Eagles win 35-27 and cover the spread.


  • Saints (-3, 40.5 ou) at Panthers

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Saints see Jameis Winston grinding through his injury and working with an offense that has little support, with or without Alvin Kamara. Their defense is still sorting things out with Dennis Allen, but they can play hard on Baker Mayfield and the Panthers with their pass rush and cover. This sloppy, low-scoring play will boil down to turnovers and red-zone execution, and it’s a Big Easy play when it comes to New Orleans vs. Matt Rhule-led Carolina.

Choose: Saints win 20-13 and cover the spread.

  • Texans at Bears (-2.5, 39 o/u)

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

The Texans’ defense did well early against the Colts and Broncos, with former Bears coach Lovie Smith leading the team. However, Davis Mills has taken some nuggets to limit his passing game while rookie Dameon Pierce is starting to rev up the running game. The Bears offense looks lost around Justin Fields, but here’s a chance to get their key playmakers in QB to go 2-0 at home.

Choose: Bears win 24-20 and cover the spread.

  • Jaguars at Chargers (-7, 47.5 o/u)

Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

The Jaguars pull off an emotional shutout victory over the Colts. The Chargers had a minibye to recover from the tough loss to the Chiefs and give Justin Herbert’s ribs a rest. Herbert and Austin Ekeler should come out on top with the Jaguars’ defense, while Trevor Lawrence faces a much tougher pass rush and secondary.

Choose: Chargers win 34-24, covering the spread.

  • Rams (-4, 50 o/u) at Cardinals

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox

The Rams and Cardinals each had key rebound wins in Week 2. Los Angeles’ passing game is back on track with Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson. The Cardinals’ pass defense found a few answers late against the Raiders, but they are still overwhelmed here. Kyler Murray, meanwhile, will evoke memories of a tough playoff game against the Aaron Donald the Rams defense.

Choose: Rams win 30-22 and cover the spread.

  • Hawks at Seahawks (-2, 42 or)

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox

The Falcons pushed the Saints and Rams to the limit but have no win to show for it. The Seahawks crashed in San Francisco after defeating Denver. Marcus Mariota returns to the Pacific Northwest and will find more success with Drake London as his visiting team also gets Kyle Pitts going. Seattle will struggle to get the ball rolling again and see a frustrated DK Metcalf shut down by AJ Terrell.

Choose: Falcons win 23-20.

  • 49ers at Broncos (TBD, 43 o/u)

Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

The 49ers’ winning formula remains unchanged with Jimmy Garoppolo as quarterback, and there’s hope they can bring George Kittle back into the lineup with him to help the game in progress and create even more favorable coverage for Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk . Nick Bosa and the San Francisco defense will set the tone against well-known opponent Russell Wilson and Denver will be inconsistent running the ball to help him.

Choose: 49ers win 26-20.

Recording of week 2 direct: 8-7

Week 2 record vs spread: 6-9

Season balance directly: 18-12

Season balance against the spread: 15-16

Dave Gallo

Dave Gallo is a pioneering sports analytics expert, renowned for his revolutionary work in AI-driven sports simulations, projections, and advanced statistical analysis. With a profound passion for sports and technology, he crafts cutting-edge computer models that accurately predict outcomes. Dave's game-changing insights have reshaped strategy, player evaluation, and decision-making across various sports. His dynamic presentations make complex analytics accessible and inspiring, ensuring his legacy as a visionary in sports analytics. Check out Dave's Pick Record.

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