3 total picks to consider for NFL Week 3, including Colts vs. Chiefs and Lions at Vikings

Coming off a 2-1 clip on totals in last week’s column, let’s keep the momentum with a promising Week 3 slate.

There are no games featuring a team favored by more than a touchdown this week, setting up a chance for more craziness and an opportunity to attack these games from a total perspective. I’ve identified three games to consider betting the over or under on, and will be looking for the best price to pounce on.

All odds listed in this article are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, which is the official odds partner of Bet Chicago Sports.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs | Total: 50

After taking an under in last week’s Chiefs-Chargers showdown, I’m looking at the over ahead of Sunday’s matchup in Indianapolis. The market is disagreeing with me, as this line is now down to 50 after opening at 52.5 at Caesars Sportsbook.

The Chiefs are going to be able to decide what the final score ends up being. They have stormed out to a 2-0 start with Patrick Mahomes throwing for 595 yards and seven touchdowns through two weeks. But don’t be surprised when Mahomes posts his best day yet on Sunday.

Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid have 10 days to prepare for the Colts defense, which is now under Gus Bradley’s guidance. The Chiefs are very familiar with Gus Bradley, who was the defensive coordinator for the Raiders last season after being the DC for the Chargers between 2017-20.

Bradley runs a Cover 3 defense, which is objectively the dumbest way to try and defend Mahomes when almost everyone else is playing two-deep against him. In two meetings against the Raiders last year, Mahomes threw for 664 yards and seven touchdowns to help the Chiefs record wins of 41-14 and 48-9. The Chiefs are averaging 33.3 points per game in seven matchups against Bradley’s defense since Mahomes became the starter.

Pick: Over

Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions | Total: 52.5

Prior to the season, I tried to identify the best way to bet on each of the four NFC North teams and came to the conclusion to bet over on the point total in Lions’ games this year. Through two weeks, the over has cashed twice and the Lions have scored 71 combined points.

If you are just now jumping on the over train, I’m afraid that you might be too late. Oddsmakers have made the adjustment, as this week’s total is hovering around 53 after the over/under was 48.5 in each of the first two games. This drastic increase has me considering the under in this week’s NFC North matchup.

These two teams are obviously familiar with each other, and both want to utilize the ground game to get things started. As a result, I think this total is a touch too high and will be looking for the best under price to bet this week.

Pick: Under

Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills | Total: 52

Another total that might be a bit of an overreaction is the over/under in this much-anticipated AFC East matchup. Both offenses are off to a hot start, though some context is key when discussing the Miami Dolphins.

First-year head coach Mike McDaniel is maximizing this offense for Tua Tagovailoa. There is a lot of pre-snap motion and Tua has been able to get the ball to his talented pass catches. Yet it is important to remember the Dolphins scored 20 points in Week 1, and then took advantage of some busted coverages in the fourth quarter of last week’s 42-38 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

The Bills, who rank No. 1 in defensive DVOA via Football Outsiders, won’t surrender as many easy scores this weekend. Taking an under with the way Josh Allen has started the season makes me a bit uncomfortable, but I do think this total is inflated a bit by what we saw from the Dolphins last week.

Pick: Under

Must be 21 or older to gamble. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537)

Shane Jackson

Shane Jackson

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