Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) passes in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) passes in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins

NFL Week 3 Betting Cheat Sheet: Breaking Down Every Key Matchup

Week 3 of the NFL seasons features a slate of spreads that are much narrower than what we saw in Week 2. There’s only one spread currently at seven points or above with eight matchups having a spread of three points or less. Here’s what the board looks like as well as a few notes on each matchup.

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1, 1-0-1 ATS) vs. Cleveland Browns (1-1, 1-1 ATS)

Moneyline: Steelers +165, Browns -200

Spread: Browns -4.5

Total: 38.0

Jacoby Brissett vs. Mitchell Trubisky far cry from last Thursday when we were treated to Justin Herbert vs. Patrick Mahomes. As is the case with a few matchups on this slate, it might be a defensive score that determines the winner of this game.

Kansas City Chiefs (2-0, 1-1 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (0-1-1, 0-2 ATS)

Moneyline: Chiefs -240, Colts +195

Spread: Chiefs -5.5

Total: 50.0

Can the Colts really be this bad? Getting shutout against Jacksonville in Week 2 was a result even the most optimistic Jaguars fan couldn’t have predicted. Logic says that if you tie the Texans and get smoked by the Jaguars, then you’ll get obliterated by the Chiefs. And yet the line is only 5.5…

Philadelphia Eagles (2-0, 1-1 ATS) vs. Washington Commanders (1-1, 1-1 ATS)

Moneyline: Eagles -290, Commanders +230

Spread: Eagles -6.5

Total: 47.5

Philadelphia has the fourth-ranked scoring offense and the top-ranked offense in terms of total yards. The Eagles are assuredly the superior team here, but laying 6.5 points as a road favorite against a division rival is a lot. This may be a team that dominates defensively at home (as was the case on Monday against the Vikings) but struggles on the road (as was the case in Week 1 against the Lions). Washington’s Carson Wentz-led offense ranks eighth in points and sixth in total yards.

Buffalo Bills (2-0, 2-0 ATS) vs. Miami Dolphins (2-0, 2-0 ATS)

Moneyline: Bills -260, Dolphins +210

Spread: Bills -6.0

Total: 52.5

Miami is as tough a place to play in September as Buffalo is in January. And yet, it might not matter as the Bills seem like an unstoppable juggernaut through two games this season.

Detroit Lions (1-1, 2-0 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (1-1, 1-1 ATS)

Moneyline: Lions +200, Vikings -250

Spread: Vikings -6.0

Total: 53.0

Detroit and Minnesota already have a common opponent, and the Lions were far more competitive against the Eagles. This is a lot of points to lay for a Vikings team that struggles to stop the run while the Lions have one of the best running games in football. Detroit’s offense ranks second in points scored and fourth in total yards.

Cincinnati Bengals (0-2, 0-2 ATS) vs. New York Jets (1-1, 1-1 ATS)

Moneyline: Bengals -220, Jets +180

Spread: Bengals -5.0

Total: 45.0

Every survivor pool entry that’s still alive will likely be praying the Bengals figure it out and beat the Jets on Sunday. But woof Cincinnati has been awful, and it’s especially troublesome the offensive line has been the primary issue following what transpired in last year’s playoffs as well as the organization’s offseason investments.

Baltimore Ravens (1-1, 1-1 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (1-1, 0-1-1 ATS)

Moneyline: Ravens -145, Patriots +120

Spread: Ravens -2.5

Total: 43.5

Pro Football Focus ranks New England’s offense seventh. That could be troublesome for a Ravens defense that just got torched for six touchdowns by Tua Tagovailoa. And yet, it seems like 2.5 points is a pretty modest number given the discrepancy at quarterback between the two teams.

Houston Texans (0-1-1, 2-0 ATS) vs. Chicago Bears (1-1, 1-1 ATS)

Moneyline: Texans +120, Bears -145

Spread: Bears -2.5

Total: 40.5

I dare someone who isn’t a Bears or Texans fan to watch every snap of this game rather than Red Zone. Chicago’s run defense ranks 25th in rushing yards allowed per attempt, which means maybe this is the week for Dameon Pierce’s coming out party. If you’re looking for an edge that favors the Bears, the Texans rank ninth in scoring offense despite ranking 31st in yards allowed. That’s not a very sustainable combination.

Las Vegas Raiders (0-2, 0-2 ATS) vs. Tennessee Titans (0-2, 0-2 ATS)

Moneyline: Raiders -130, Titans +110

Spread: Raiders -2.0

Total: 45.5

Finding reasons to sell yourself on one of these teams could be tough. On one hand, you might like to take the points with a home underdog. On the other, you might think it’s just a matter of time before Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby (1.0 combined sack through two weeks) get going.

New Orleans Saints (1-1, 0-2 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (0-2, 0-2 ATS)

Moneyline: Saints -160, Panthers +130

Spread: Saints -3.0

Total: 40.5

As someone who has continually had irrational faith in both Jameis Winston and Baker Mayfield, this feels like the perfect game to avoid all together. It’s sure to be a game that goes down to the wire where you’re left feeling like you were on the right side no matter the outcome.

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1, 1-1 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (2-0, 2-0 ATS)

Moneyline: Jaguars +260, Chargers -330

Spread: Chargers -7.0

Total: 47.5

That’s a whole lot of points to lay with Justin Herbert less than 100% against a Jaguars team that is coming off a dominant Week 2 performance. The Doug Pederson effect is already kicking in as Trevor Lawrence ranks fifth in QBR through two games.

Green Bay Packers (1-1, 1-1 ATS) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0, 2-0 ATS)

Moneyline: Packers +100, Buccaneers -120

Spread: Buccaneers -1.0

Total: 41.5

A pair of sluggish passing games and dominant defenses make it no surprise the total is so low despite two of the best quarterbacks of all time under center.

Los Angeles Rams (1-1, 0-2 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (1-1, 1-1 ATS)

Moneyline: Rams -190, Cardinals +155

Spread: Rams -3.5

Total: 49.0

The Rams are 1-1 after getting blasted by the Bills and narrowly escaping the Falcons. Both games were at home. It’s hard to know what to make of this team thus far. As for Arizona, did the Cardinals have an epic comeback against the Raiders? Or did Las Vegas choke that game away? Whichever you pick will likely determine who you like in this game with Arizona getting 3.5 points at home.

Atlanta Falcons (0-2, 2-0 ATS) vs. Seattle Seahawks (1-1, 1-1 ATS)

Moneyline: Falcons -110, Seahawks -110

Spread: Pick-em

Total: 41.5

Atlanta’s offense quietly ranks 11th in net passing yards per attempt and ninth in scoring. That’s why the Falcons have been able to cover the spread in back-to-back weeks. There isn’t anything the Seahawks have consistently done well to start the season, but this game is a pick-em because they’re the home team in this one. You never know what’s going to happen when two bad teams meet, but this feels line feels like it’s giving Seattle too much credit.

San Francisco 49ers (1-1, 1-1 ATS) vs. Denver Broncos (1-1, 0-2 ATS)

Moneyline: 49ers -125, Broncos +105

Spread: 49ers -1.5

Total: 45.0

Denver should have a sizeable edge at the quarterback position, but given how rough Russell Wilson and the Broncos passing game has looked through two games, will that edge be enough to overcome San Francisco having the advantage in almost every other area? It’s hard to know the ceiling of Denver’s defense given it has faced to of the league’s worst offenses thus far. The same is true for the 49ers defense, though that group has a lengthy track record of success at this point.

Dallas Cowboys (1-1, 1-1 ATS) vs. New York Giants (2-0, 2-0 ATS)

Moneyline: Cowboys +100, Giants -120

Spread: Giants -1.0

Total: 39.5

It’s unfamiliar territory for the Giants as favorites against the Cowboys in a rivalry that has been dominated by Dallas of late. New York is 1-9 against Dallas since 2017. The total being under 40 tells you everything you need to know about Vegas’ respect for these quarterbacks. Both of these teams rank in the top 10 in scoring defense, but Micah Parsons has made Dallas’ unit much more imposing. The Cowboys have eight sacks to the Giants three. Parsons has 4.0 all by himself. This game is likely to go down to the wire, but that doesn’t mean it will be fun to watch if you’re a fan of competent offensive play.