NFL Week 3 best bets and predictions from 5 of Pickswise's best experts: Buffalo Bills stampede over Washington Commanders
Week 3 of the 2023 NFL season is underway and Pickswise got off to the best start possible as we went 2-0 on our side and total picks, with the 49ers crushing the Giants in a low-scoring game. As we start to get more of a read on how each team is looking this season, our experts are becoming more confident on their NFL picks — and we’re already up +19.3 units on sides this season! Now, we’ve asked 5 of our best football experts to give us their NFL Best Bet of the week, which you can find below. That’s 5 best bets, all in one place! Let’s get into it.
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The Betting Queen: Browns -3 over Titans (-115)
We have a matchup between a pair of 1-1 teams as the Tennessee Titans head to Cleveland to take on the Browns in this Week 3 matchup. The Browns fell to the Steelers last Monday but the worst news was star running back Nick Chubb suffered a season-ending knee injury during the game. He is a huge part of this Browns offense and is one of the best running backs in the league, and his impact on the field will be missed. The Browns are a run-first team and they just signed Kareem Hunt to replace Chubb, who should be productive alongside Jerome Ford, who put in a great performance against Pittsburgh. Deshaun Watson will be expected to pick up the slack and he has weapons like Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore and David Njoku at his disposal. The good news for the Browns is that the Titans have allowed over 300 passing yards in back-to-back weeks to start the season. They are ranked 5th-worst in passing yards allowed per game so this will be Watson’s chance to put them to the sword.
On the other side, we have a Titans offense that tends to struggle at times with Ryan Tannehill under center. He already has 3 interceptions through 2 games and his offensive line isn’t helping him out, having already given up 8 sacks. The Browns’ defense has elite playmakers who can get to Tannehill, with Myles Garrett likely chasing him down all game long. I’m confidently backing the Browns to get back on track with a win this week and cover the 3-point spread.
Be sure to check out our full Tennessee Titans vs Cleveland Browns predictions
Andrew Ortenberg: Texans +9 over Jaguars (-110)
We’ve got an AFC South showdown here in Week 3 as the Jacksonville Jaguars get ready to host the Houston Texans. CJ Stroud will be looking for the first win of his young career against another former top draft pick in Trevor Lawrence. Houston might be 0-2, but they have to be encouraged about what they’ve seen from Stroud. This season is primarily about Stroud’s development more so than wins and losses, and the Ohio State product has shown plenty of flashes of franchise quarterback potential. Enough to jump at the opportunity to catch more than a touchdown here. The Jaguars got past the Colts in Week 1, but they had the luxury of playing Anthony Richardson in his first career start. And they didn’t exactly look convincing doing it, as they actually trailed entering the fourth quarter of that one.
And then this past week, they looked pretty awful against the Chiefs, only mustering 9 points while losing at home. Lawrence averaged just 5.3 yards per attempt while taking four sacks against Kansas City. The Texans might be 0-2, but they’ve actually out-gained their opponents in both of their two losses, and each game was a lot closer than the final score indicates. Now is a good time to buy low on Houston when they’re at the bottom of the market. DeMeco Ryans and his staff are building something, and they aren’t going to roll over here against a divisional opponent. Houston was also a 9-point ‘dog on the road against the Ravens in Week 1, and I think Baltimore has looked a heck of a lot better than Jacksonville has so far this season.
Be sure to check out our full Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars predictions
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Caleb Wilfinger: Bills -5.5 over Commanders (-110)
While I understand the trepidation around this game given the potential heavy rain we might see early Sunday afternoon in the Washington D.C. area, I still fail to see how the Bills are now laying less than 6 points in this matchup. The Commanders are 2-0 and have turned a few heads for sure, but this is about as fraudulent of a 2-0 team as you can find in the NFL. After all, Washington started the season by narrowly defeating the Cardinals 20-16 at home, failing to cover in the process. The Commanders followed that up with a stirring comeback victory against the Broncos, but if we’re being honest, some of that comeback was absolutely due to self-inflicted wounds by a struggling Denver team. Washington faced a pair of awful defenses and awful quarterbacks; neither of those things apply to this game, where the Commanders are stepping up in class in a big way.
This bet essentially serves as a money line wager on Buffalo, and I’ll explain why. Over the last 3 seasons, Buffalo has racked up 40 wins, while covering this line in 32 of those victories, good for a whopping 80% cover rate. When Josh Allen and company win, they tend to win big and that’s what we saw last week against the Raiders. After struggling on offense in Week 1, the Bills offensive line got going and started to impose their will, leading to 180 yards on the ground for a running game that has been much maligned in the past. Not only was that a good sign going forward, but Allen played a very clean and efficient game, getting the ball out quickly and accurately. Expect more of that approach, as Buffalo using the short passing game will come in handy against this stingy Washington front seven. On the other side, Sam Howell is surely in for a rude awakening against a Bills defense that has been excellent over the first 2 games of the campaign.
At the end of the day, this Bills team isn’t perfect, but they’ve still only lost 5 total games over their last 22 contests. When Buffalo is handed a mismatch on paper, it usually runs away with the proceedings. At least for now, I won’t let the forecast scare me off. I’ll gladly lay anything under a touchdown with the Bills here.
Be sure to check out our full Buffalo Bills vs Washington Commanders predictions
Phil Agius: Chargers vs Vikings Over 54 (-110)
The biggest surprise in this attractive Week 3 matchup of winless teams would be if it turned into a defensive battle, with an end-to-end barnburner of a game seeming far more likely. The Chargers have 2 overs on their record already this season, including a 36-34 loss to the Dolphins in Week 1 and something along those lines would not be out of the question as Justin Herbert duels with Kirk Cousins with both teams already in desperation mode.
The Vikings somehow scored only 17 points against Tampa Bay in Week 1 despite Cousins putting up 344 passing yards, with 150 of them going to Justin Jefferson. They posted 28 in Week 2 against one of the league’s top defenses in Philadelphia despite possessing the ball for only just over 20 minutes. Both teams rank in the top 8 of the league in yards per game after Week 2, while the Chargers are dead last in yards against per game, which is all adding up to what should be a highly entertaining shootout in Minneapolis.
Be sure to check out our full LA Chargers vs Minnesota Vikings predictions
Ricky Dimon: Eagles -5 over Buccaneers (-110)
We have another Monday Night Football double-header this week and it begins with the Philadelphia Eagles paying a visit to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s one of the marquee matchups on the Week 3 schedule given that both teams are 2-0, but despite identical records I have a lot more faith in the club that everyone expected to be 2-0 at this point. That, of course, is Philadelphia. The defending NFC champions have churned out 356 rushing yards through 2 games and Jalen Hurts has already scored twice on the ground. Even though it’s not flashy, running the football has always been a recipe for success in this league. It should also be noted that the Eagles are playing on a long week, having defeated the Vikings on Thursday Night Football in Week 2.
Tampa Bay’s perfect mark through 2 weeks is more surprising, and it is due in part to unspectacular competition. Chicago is already in shambles and Minnesota dropped to 0-2 with a loss to Philadelphia. The Buccaneers have been decent defensively so far but are dealing with plenty of injuries on that side of the ball. DE Calijah Kancey, nose tackle Vita Vea and defensive backs Carlton Davis III and Ryan Neal are all questionable. Now they have to face a well-oiled machine in the Eagles’ offense, so even at 100 percent this TB defensive unit would have its hands full. I can’t see the home team being good enough on either side of the ball to keep this game within 5 points.
Be sure to check out our full Philadelphia Eagles vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers predictions