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NFL picks against the spread Week 3: Vikings win first game, Titans pull upset

When looking at NFL picks agains the spread for Week 3, one must take into account some pretty evenly-matched contests on the docket.

The Cleveland Browns find themselves as mere 3.5-point home favorites against the Tennessee Titans following the season-ending injury to star running back Nick Chubb. Heading to Sin City, the Pittsburgh Steelers are narrow one-point favorites against the Las Vegas Raiders.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are also some huge point spreads heading into Week 3. That includes the San Francisco 49ers (-10.5) hosting the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football. The Dallas Cowboys are shocking 12.5-point road favorites against the Arizona Cardinals.

Related: Unlock Fantasy Sports Success! Get FREE Insights & Tips From Dr. Roto and His Team Of Big-Money Fantasy Winners!

In the third edition of this article for the 2023 NFL season, we will focus on the fourgames (listed below) that offer up NFL picks against the spread worth your bet.

NFL picks against the spread, Week 3 edition

GameTime (ET)
Tennessee Titans (+3.5) @ Cleveland Browns1:00 PM
Los Angeles Chargers @ Minnesota Vikings (+1.0)1:00 PM
New Orleans Saints (+2.0) @ Green Bay Packers1:00 PM
Buffalo Bills @ Washington Commanders (+6.5)1:00 PM

Tennessee Titans pull off road upset over Cleveland Browns

nfl picks against the spread: week 3, tennessee titans
Denny Simmons / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

The loss of Nick Chubb for the remainder of this season is a major blow for Cleveland. It coincides with quarterback Deshaun Watson struggling big time through two weeks (2 TD, 4 turnovers) after last week’s mistake-filled loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cleveland must now vie with a Titans team that is coming off a surprise win over the Los Angeles Chargers to snap an eight-game losing streak dating back to last season.

What we like most about this matchup for Tennessee is its ability to control the time of possession with Derrick Henry on the ground. He’s racked up 213 yards on 45 touches through two games. If the Titans can limit Cleveland’s offense while forcing a turnover or two, a road upset is not too unlikely.

Related: Sportsnaut’s NFL Week 3 power rankings

Minnesota Vikings continue to send Los Angeles Chargers spiraling (NFL picks lock)

nfl picks against the spread, week 3: minnesota vikings
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers are now 9-9 on the road under head coach Brandon Staley. Of those nine losses, seven have come by one score (three in overtime). It’s just the continuation of the Los Angeles not being able to win close games. It also has Staley firmly on the hot seat with the Chargers at 0-2.

Also 0-2 on the season, Minnesota finds itself in a must-win situation heading into Week 3. Only one team has earned a playoff spot after starting a season 0-3 since 2002. Both the Chargers and Vikings find themselves in desparation mode.

Last season saw Kirk Cousins lead the Vikings to an 8-1 record at home. He threw 18 touchdowns against four interceptions for a 99.6 QB rating in said situations. It doesn’t hurt Minnesota’s cause that the Chargers are giving up nearly 32 points per game and a 116.3 QB rating on the season. With the way Cousins is making sweet music with Justin Jefferson (20 receptions, 309 yards) and Jordan Addison (7 receptions, 133 yards) through two games, we’re loving this matchup for the Vikings.

New Orleans Saints start 3-0

nfl picks against the spread, week 3: new orleans saints over green bay packers
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

By virtue of their win against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2, the Saints find themselves at 2-0 for the first time since back in 2013. This is a pretty amazing stat given the success this organization had under Drew Brees and Sean Payton for a majority of that time.

New Orleans has done it primarily on defense. This unit ranks fourth in total yards, seventh against the pass and fifth in points allowed. That’s where the impressive Jordan Love and his Packers will be tested in Week 3. Green Bay ranks second in the NFL at 31 points per game while Love has thrown six total touchdowns against zero interceptions.

At this still-early juncture in the season, defenses remain ahead of offenses. We’ve seen that at a near never-ending clip through two weeks. Of the teams that rank in the top-10 in yards allowed, they boast a combined 15-5 record. Those who rank in the top-10 in total yards are a combined 11-9. We envision this trend holding true. At the very least, for Week 3 in Green Bay.

Washington Commanders keep it close against the Bills

nfl picks against the spread: washington commanders cover against buffalo bills
Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

Washington’s 35-point breakout last week against the Denver Broncos was not a fluke. Second-year quarterback Sam Howell (66% completion, 501 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) is playing stellar football. Fellow sophomore, running back Brian Robinson Jr., has put up 195 total yards and three touchdowns in two games. It has Washington ranked seventh in the NFL in scoring at nearly four touchdowns per game despite star wide receiver Terry McLaurin being limited by injury through two games.

Fresh off a 38-10 smacking of the Raiders, we’re not expecting Buffalo to go into Washinton and lose. We’re just not fans of the road team being a near-touchdown favorite. Bills quarterback Josh Allen has combined for seven touchdowns and 10 giveaways in his past five road starts dating back to last season, including four in Week 1 against the New York Jets. These two factors lead us to believe Washington will cover at home in Week 3.

NFL picks against the spread results