We’ve reached Week 3 in this young season and so far, so good for our article plays. Week 3’s NFL slate looks to be a difficult one with injuries piling up around the league. Let's get into the live odds and best bets for NFL Week 3 below.
I’m going back to the well with my 2023 darling team the Atlanta Falcons. This one opened up at 4.5 but has moved down to 3.5, which I believe to be as a result of injury news. I think the injuries are significant for the Lions and I’m showing value on the Falcons side.
The Lions placed linebacker James Houston and CB C.J. Gardner-Johnson on IR this week after suffering a fibula injury and torn pec respectively. They are also likely to be without RB David Montgomery and RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai. The offensive line is an important strength for this Lions team and it’s concerning to see LT Taylor Decker also listed on the injury report with an ankle injury.
Should Vaitai and Decker both be out the Lions will have a difficult time against a very solid Atlanta pass rush. The defense continues to be a concern for the Lions as the Seahawks offense moved at will against them in their 37-31 overtime victory. The Falcons certainly won’t have as much of a potent passing attack, but their run game is certainly strong enough to take advantage of Lions defense filled with holes.
Further, we could see Amon-Ra St. Brown miss this game or at least be limited with a turf toe injury. This would force Josh Reynolds into the WR1 role alongside Marvin Jones Jr. The Falcons have boasted a strong secondary through two games, albeit not going up against the most potent offenses in the league. With the Lions nursing so many impactful injuries, I think this is a spot where the Falcons are undervalued.
The Lions need to be highly concerned with keeping their players healthy, especially as they look ahead to a divisional matchup on a short week against the Green Bay Packers next Thursday. Should Amon-Ra St. Brown and/or Taylor Decker end up being ruled out, I’d probably expect this line to come back to 3 or perhaps touch 2.5. I’ll take the value with the hook and make the Falcons +3.5 a 1% play for this week.
The Bills open up on the road as 6-point favorites at the 2-0 Washington Commanders. This line has flirted with -7 at points during this week, but always seems to get bought back down to the 6. I’m not sure if I’m missing something here but this looks to be either an undervaluation of the Bills or an overvaluation of the Commanders.
Despite the 2-0 start I haven’t been all that impressed with Washington in 2023. They squeaked by what could end up being one of the worst teams in the NFL in Week 1. Then on the road in Denver they had a switch up of preseason expectations. I think most people expected a stronger effort from this defense, especially the secondary who allowed Russell Wilson and company to score 27 points, not counting the bobbled Hail Mary.
They generated a bunch of pressure, getting seven sacks of Wilson, but still allowed way too much yardage through the air and on the ground. A more in-sync and talented Bills offense will torch this defense and the Bills front seven will terrorize Sam Howell in the way that the Broncos were expected to.
The Bills had a get right game against the Raiders where the offense looked back on track after a turnover ridden performance by Josh Allen, Week 1 against the Jets. I think the Bills will remind the league why they are one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl this year with a strong performance on both sides of the ball.
Although this isn’t a “Wong” teaser spot, I think it will be a popular leg in teasers and I show value on this game under 7. While I’m somewhat surprised by Washington’s 2-0 start, I’m not ready to give them the upgrade necessary to make them on this side of a seven-point spread. I’ll be laying the -6 with Buffalo for 1.5%.