Welcome back to the 2023-24 NFL season and this article series, where we provide our best game line bets for the Sunday-Monday NFL slate each week on sportsbooks. This is NFL Best Bets Week 3!
Each week’s article features two to three picks on either the moneyline, spread, game total, or team total. For each bet, we will provide a wager size recommendation (note: 1 unit = 1% of your gambling bankroll). Keep the exposure disciplined and stick to the recommendations. It is always worth line-shopping at the time you place your bet. This way, you can get the best value available online.
We reverse-swept in Week 2 after two close but unsuccessful reads. It is necessary that we bounce back. These are our picks for Week 3. These bets include the best odds provided as of Wednesday night.
1 unit: Patriots -2.5 (-115, FanDuel/BetMGM)
Last week, we were burned by a Patriots roster that had spurts of good football. However, their blunders on both ends of the football led to big plays for a dynamic group of Dolphins playmakers. New England was involved in a close contest at home. Unfortunately, they eventually saw their 0-2 record sealed with a breakaway run from Raheem Mostert.
We don’t hold grudges in this business though. We are getting a buy-low in Week 3 against a Jets roster that is severely inferior without their quarterback of choice. The Jets offense has unsurprisingly been subpar under quarterback Zach Wilson. Wilson ranked dead-last among all quarterbacks in early down EPA per play and around middle-of-the-pack in late down EPA per play.
As previously explained in offseason articles, there isn’t much to be impressed with in the Jets’ pass-catching room outside of stud wideout Garrett Wilson. However, Wilson will be tasked with the tough matchup led by rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez. Gonzalez was PFF’s top-graded Week 2 cornerback. New England just restricted Tyreek Hill to 40 receiving yards. They should have no issues bottling up a Jets offense that is heavily dependent on their lead wide receiver’s greatness.
Christian Gonzalez gets his first career interception off of Tua Tagavailoa — and the Patriots have life. pic.twitter.com/qdUAzqp35c
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 18, 2023
As for the Jets defense and their matchup against a shallow Patriots offense, although that defensive unit has been one of the league’s best since last year, this is an overreaction. In Week 1, Buffalo was held back by Josh Allen‘s four turnovers. However, the Jets still allowed wide receiver Stefon Diggs to power his way to 102 yards. In Week 2, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb eased his way to 143 yards.
Teams are finding ways to get their best weapons efficient production against this defense. Even though New England doesn’t have a certified alpha, they have enough healthy weapons to accompany Mac Jones‘ strong play. Through two weeks, Jones ranks top-10 among all quarterbacks in success rate and slightly above league-average in completion percentage over expected (CPOE).
Take the team with the better offense and arguably the better defense right now to win by a field goal. New England will avoid beginning the season 0-3 for the first time since Belichick’s first year as head coach.
1 unit: Broncos +6.5 (-110, BetMGM)
This is another buy-low on a team that looks better to start off the 2022-23 season and isn’t getting respect from the books. Despite the Broncos’ 0-2 start, they are unsurprisingly an above average rush defense by EXP. That, by itself, should be scary for a Dolphins team that prides themselves on setting the tone with a strong running attack.
For Miami, there are several concerning injuries. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill is expected to play but was limited in practice with an ankle issue. Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is dealing with a concussion and was out of practice. Offensive lineman Terron Armstead was limited in practice with three separate injuries.
For Miami to successfully dominate this game, they will have to find a way to keep tempo with Denver’s deep offense, and I’m not convinced this is a spot for them to do so. Russell Wilson has quietly had himself a solid start to the season. Through two weeks, he ranks top-10 among all quarterbacks in success rate and top-3 in CPOE. Now he meets a Miami defense that ranks middle-of-the-pack in pass defense EXP and dead-last in run defense EXP.
Take the points with Denver in this one, who should be able to take advantage of Miami’s banged up personnel.