Welcome to Week 3 of the NFL season.
There are 10 teams still looking for their first win of the year entering this weekend.
The Miami Dolphins opened 0-2, but won and covered as a three-point underdog in a 31-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football.
Meanwhile, nine teams are 0-2 against the spread entering Week 3.
Over the last five seasons, teams that opened 0-2 ATS have produced a combined 25-12 ATS record in Week 3 (67.5%).
Will we see that trend continue this season?
It might, but when it comes to our top plays for this Sunday, none of us here at the TSN Edge were willing to roll the dice on one of those teams.
Here are our best bets for Week 3 in the NFL.
Week 3 Best bet - LA Rams +1.5 at Buffalo Bills
Give Buffalo credit.
They’ve beaten up on New York and Miami in Weeks 1 and 2, but let’s see how they fare against a talented Los Angeles Rams team before we anoint them a legitimate contender.
Josh Allen and the Bills have excelled so far against the league’s 26th and 29th ranked defences, but the Rams come to town boasting Pro Football Focus’ second-ranked coverage unit and the ninth-highest graded defence overall.
LA limited the high-powered offence Dallas to 17 points in Week 1, and surrendered only 19 points to Philadelphia last Sunday. They’ve allowed just two touchdowns in both contests and have held opposing quarterbacks to a 73.6 rating.
On the other side of the ball, the Rams boast the league’s second-highest graded offence, averaging 435.5 yards per game. Buffalo showed plenty of cracks on defence last week versus the Dolphins, and have been roasted over the middle of the field. The Bills have given up 28 catches and 358 yards to slot receivers and tight ends this season. Do you know which team features studs at both those positions?
The Los Angeles Rams.
Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee combined for 10 receptions, 135 yards and three scores in Week 2 against the Eagles, and have accounted for 37 per cent of the team’s total targets thus far.
Also of note, the Rams are 5-0 under head coach Sean McVay in 1 PM starts on the East Coast, outscoring their opponents 185-89 in those contests.
I’ll take the Rams.
Green Bay Packers +3 at Saints
The Green Bay Packers were my best bet for Week 2 and I’m going right back to the well for Week 3.
It was a slow start for the Packers against the Detroit Lions, as they trailed 14-3 after the opening quarter. But 31 consecutive points solved that issue and Green Bay easily covered the six points in a 42-21 win.
Aaron Rodgers had a monster Week 1 and followed it up with a respectable 240 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions against Detroit.
On the other side of the ball, the Packers defence has forced an interception in both of their games, taking one to the house for a touchdown against the Lions.
It’s no secret that Drew Brees hasn’t looked right after two games in 2020.
He passed for just 160 yards in a Week 1 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Despite throwing for 312 yards in Week 2, Brees and the Saints passing game seemed out of whack in their loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Saints will once again be without a major part of their passing game as Michael Thomas has been ruled out with an ankle injury.
Rodgers won’t have to deal with a loud crowd either as fans will not be allowed to attend the game in New Orleans, something he was able to take advantage of against the Vikings in Week 1.
"The cadence was obviously a big factor," Rodgers said following the team’s Week 1 win in Minnesota. "Definitely was a weapon for us today, keeping them off-balance."
The Saints have received permission to allow 750 family members as well as players, coaches, and staff to be in attendance for this game, a staggering difference from what would’ve been a sold-out crowd with 74,295 fans in the stands.
In this spot, I would like the Packers as three-point favourites.
So I love them at +3.
New England Patriots -5.5 vs Las Vegas Raiders
There is a good chance I will be all-in on the Indianapolis Colts at home against the New York Jets in my Survivor Pools this week.
Yes, I know they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1.
I’m not expecting another letdown at home against one of the worst teams in the NFL as long as Sam Darnold’s top targets are Chris Hogan and Josh Malone.
However, the number for that game has climbed all the way from Colts -8.5 to as high as Indy -11.5 at most spots.
So while I love Indy this week, I’m hesitant to give the first double-digit favourite of the season as my best bet for Week 3.
Instead, I’ll go with the Patriots as a 5.5-point favourite at home to the Raiders.
Las Vegas is coming off an impressive 34-24 upset win over the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football to improve to 2-0.
Now they have to travel across the country on a short week for a 1 PM ET start against a New England side that is coming off a tough 35-30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks that came down to the final play of the game.
The Raiders have covered in just three of their 10 1 PM ET starts in the Jon Gruden era.
Meanwhile, the Patriots are 40-15 ATS coming off a loss since 2003.
Since 2007, they are 30-11 ATS at home when favoured by less than seven points.
Bill Belichick’s defence should be motivated after Russell Wilson torched them for five touchdowns last week.
Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is questionable to play and Belichick will scheme to limit tight end Darren Waller’s production after he had 12 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown against the Saints.
Meanwhile, Cam Newton threw for 397 yards on 13.2 yards per completion last week against Seattle.
Newton should be able to move the football efficiently against a Las Vegas defence that allowed an average of 406.0 yards per game in wins over Carolina and New Orleans.
I’m on Belichick and the Patriots at -5.5 in this spot.
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