NFL Week 3 picks against the spread: 4 best bets including Lions at Vikings and Colts vs. Chiefs

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell on the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

It is time to turn the page from Week 2, and that is very much a good thing because it was a weekend to forget.

In last week’s spread picks column, I ended up writing about four sides and only bet two of them. Unfortunately, I ultimately chose the wrong two teams when I decided to bet on the Washington Commanders and Carolina Panthers. But it is a long season, and some of those days are just going to happen.

Week 3 figures to be an interesting slate, and a few lines caught my eye immediately. I am not in a rush to bet on these games, but these spreads are worth monitoring as we get more information throughout the week. I did place one bet when the lines were released, and I’ll explain why I acted so fast.

Remember to place your bets at Caesars Sportsbook, which is the official odds partner of Bet Chicago Sports. Click the link to take advantage of their new-user offer ahead of what should be a promising Week 3 schedule.

Detroit Lions (+7) at Minnesota Vikings

Let’s start with the game I have already bet, as I pounced on Lions +7.5 when the lines opened Sunday night. I still like the Lions at a full touchdown, though it does start to become more dicey if the line gets under the key number of seven.

Hand up, I fully got the Lions-Commanders game wrong. I was on Commanders +2.5 and the market moved in my favor, but they never had a shot in that game. The Lions remain a strong “over” team after scoring 71 combined points through two weeks. Considering the offensive play we see from some of the teams in this league, this spread is simply too much for a Lions squad that can move the ball and will never give up.

The Vikings will have a short week after playing on Monday Night Football, but this pick is more of a reminder to not get rooted in your preseason priors. The Lions were a team I was going to be quick to change my opinion on, because people smarter than me were hyping up this team in the offseason. It might be too early to call the Lions a playoff contender, but I do like them to stay within striking distance against the Vikings in Week 3.

New England Patriots (+3) vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens collapsed in the fourth quarter of their home opener, surrendering a 21-point advantage in a 42-38 loss to the Miami Dolphins. It was great to see Tua Tagovailoa throw for six touchdowns and 469 yards, but that game exposed more concerns about the Ravens.

John Harbaugh’s squad is not healthy to start the year, and I don’t think we will see the best version of this team until later in the year when that happens. The Ravens have no semblance of a run game outside of Lamar Jackson, and the defense had too many breakdowns under first-year coordinator Mike Macdonald.

I’m not sure anybody is playing better than Lamar right now, but I’ll be betting on the Patriots if this spread moves to 3.5. Even if it doesn’t, I might still end up on the Pats at home by kickoff on Sunday.

Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts (+6.5)

My theory is that this will be your classic Pros vs. Joes matchup. I’m guessing that the public is going to pounce on the Chiefs on anything under a touchdown. If the line does hit a key number, I’m assuming sharps will bet it as an attempt to buy-low on the Colts.

That doesn’t necessarily mean one side is the better option, either, as both the public and sharps will take their lumps over the course of a season. But it is easy to see the logic behind both sides entering this Week 3 matchup.

The Chiefs are 2-0 to start the season, including a convincing win over the Cardinals and a statement victory over the Chargers. The Colts, meanwhile, have yet to record a win and the pressure is building for a team that was favored to win the AFC South.

Keep an eye on how the market attacks this game ahead of Sunday.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+5) at Cleveland Browns

Ending with the game that kicks off Week 3, simply because I have to convince myself to bet on Mitch Trubisky.

This spread was steamed in the Browns’ favor Monday morning, which has offered up a good chance to take the points with Mike Tomlin’s squad against a division rival. This game won’t be pretty, as the total of 38.5 would indicate. But that’s exactly why I’m even more tempted by the underdog on a short week.

I still haven’t convinced myself to do just that, so I know I’m doing a bad job of convincing you to take the Steelers. But don’t be surprised if you see me on Thursday’s Bet Chicago Sports Podcast talking about how I’m on the Steelers ahead of Thursday Night Football.

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Shane Jackson

Shane Jackson

Shane Jackson is the Sports Betting Content Director for the Shaw Media Local News Network.