We’re on to Week 3 in the 2023 NFL season, and October’s just around the corner. Some teams have begun to separate themselves from the pack. But what does that mean long term, and how will it affect your luck come game time?
If you’re in it to win like me, head over to DraftKings Sportsbook to make your bets. Here are the teams I’m picking in Week 3.
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. EDT
Am I the only one who likes what quarterback Anthony Richardson has put on film so far as a professional? I can’t say I’ve gone back to watch the All-22 on the Colts, but I have seen enough live action to know he’s exciting and entertaining to watch. So it’s unfortunate that he won’t suit up today. It will be interesting to see how the offense looks when running back Jonathan Taylor is back. But in the meantime, Zack Moss will be filling in at the running back — and to most Bills fans, that’s just not enough. The Ravens are rolling and will look to keep the win streak going. Keep an eye on wide receiver Zay Flowers during this game. I wouldn’t be surprised if he won a few matchups for folks in the fantasy football community. I expect a big outing from the rookie wideout.
The Colts will beat the spread, but the Ravens are too good even if Richardson was playing. No Taylor and no Richardson means Indianapolis will struggle to keep up with the former MVP.
The Ravens win by 6.
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. EDT
This was the most difficult game of the week for me to try and predict. I would say “let’s go with the team that has the best QB” — and most would have said that’s Deshaun Watson. But over the first two weeks of the 2023 season, I’m not sure what’s going on in Cleveland. Watson has looked pedestrian at best and now he’s without his best offensive weapon after the Browns lost star running back Nick Chubb for the remainder of the year following a nasty knee injury. The Titans squeezed out a win against the Chargers in a fun overtime matchup, but I still wonder if wide receiver Deandre Hopkins regrets chasing the money, rather than the ring. In two weeks he’s combined for 105 yards and no touchdowns.
Cleveland wins and covers the spread but this is going to be a tough defensive matchup. Pound the under on points (o/u 39.5).
Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. EDT
Rookie running back Bijan Robinson is as fun to watch as advertised. He’s dynamic and explosive. I kept wondering who he reminds me of, then I figured it out. LaDainian Tomlinson. No, Bijan has not yet proven to be a Hall of Famer, I know that. But watching him play impresses me in the same way LT did. He’s dominant with the ball in his hands in open space or in a crowd, rushing or receiving. The Lions on the other hand are just one of my favorite teams in general. They’re a tough team that grinds games out. They weren’t able to hold quarterback Geno Smith and the Seahawks off in overtime last week, so they’ll want their luck back.
I expect the Lions to win and cover.
New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. EDT
Quarterback Derek Carr just might be the signal caller who works down in New Orleans. He has the Saints off to a 2-0 start with big plays in big moments down the stretch in both games. I’m actually excited to see what the offense looks like when running back Alvin Kamara is back from his suspension. The Packers look way better than I anticipated. Quarterback Jordan Love is good. He needs running back Aaron Jones healthy if the Packers are going to win enough games to be competitive in their division.
The Saints will win this game with a small upset.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. EDT
As the Jaguars get ready to face off against the Houston Texans, I can’t help but feel like the Jaguars are on the verge of becoming one of the elite teams in the AFC. With the dynamic duo of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and wide receiver Calvin Ridley, I believe they have a special tandem that will shine throughout the entire season. While Houston may beat the spread at +9, I don’t think they will pose much of a challenge for the Jags.
Jags win by a touchdown, but not by double digits.
Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m. EDT
I can type out a bunch of stuff to talk about when it comes to this game. Quarterback Russell Wilson’s continued struggles, bad defense letting down the team, or even Rex Ryan feeling entitled to a job as the defensive coordinator. But there’s nothing to talk about after mentioning Tua, Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle. The Broncos can hang with this Dolphins offense. If Tua is protected, they win this game. Denver will make it interesting in the fourth but won’t be able to come all the way back and win.
Denver will beat the spread but lose in crunch time.
Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. EDT
Is there anything wide receiver Justin Jefferson can’t do? Through 2 weeks, he leads the league in receiving yards at 308 on 20 receptions. Jefferson’s averaging 15.5 yards per reception. Insane. If quarterback Kirk Cousins just keeps feeding this man the ball they’ll have success. But I can tell you one thing for certain, the Vikings miss running back Dalvin Cook. It was a mistake to move on from him. They’re one-dimensional and unable to move the ball with Alexander Mattison anywhere close to as effective as they did with Cook. The Chargers are just looking for a bounce back despite having scored 58 points, which is the second-most in the AFC. The problem? They have allowed 63 points through two weeks, which is the fifth-most in franchise history. The Vikings don’t have a problem scoring, but the Chargers have an issue with defense.
Vikings win big, especially if running back Austin Ekeler still has to deal with the nagging ankle sprain.
New England Patriots at New York Jets, 1 p.m. EDT
Isn’t it something how the Jets went from the Super Bowl favorites to now being the underdog against the team that was thought to be the worst in the division? This game is going to lack offense. If I was a betting man (I am) I’d bet the under on points here. The Jets don’t have a quarterback who can reliably get the ball in the end zone and Mac Jones won’t be able to move the ball against cornerback Sauce Gardner and the Jets’ very physical defense.
I believe the Patriots pull this one out and the AFC East returns to being a two-team race between the Bills and the Dolphins.
Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m. EDT
The Carolina Panthers started the season off 0-2 in their division. Teams don’t want to start 0-3 in the conference. But that’s exactly what will happen against last year’s Comeback Player of the Year, Geno Smith and the Seahawks. As long as wide receiver DK Metcalf and the rest of Smith’s weapons are healthy, I don’t think this game is close. But, I think Metcalf might not be 100% yet. Rib injuries aren’t anything to play with and they are difficult to play through.
I have the Seahawks winning, but the Panthers will be able to beat the spread.
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. EDT
There isn’t much to say about this game. The Cardinals are decidedly not a good team. The Cowboys are — they’re better in every phase of the game in this matchup. Arizona just lost safety Budda Baker to Injured Reserve due to a hamstring injury that will keep him inactive until at least Week 6.
The Cowboys and their fans should be disappointed if they don’t win this game by at least 14 points.
Chicago Bears at Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m. EDT
I really hoped Chicago would be a better team than they have shown so far. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds left a contender for a team that’s hopeful to win nine games this year. But Chicago lacks effort and passion from everything I’ve seen. Wide receiver Chase Claypool was put on notice this week, being told he’d either find himself inactive or moved off the team if his efforts don’t pick up going forward. The Chiefs are more prepared, better coached and they have the best player in the world throwing the football around.
Chiefs by a lot.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Las Vegas Raiders, 8:20 p.m. EDT
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is going to have a day. Don’t believe me? Just watch. Wide receiver Davante Adams came out strong against the Bills and looked like he was going to have a huge game until Buffalo’s defense buckled down and got to business. Although the Steelers are known for their defense every year, an aging Patrick Peterson and an underperforming Levi Wallace spells a big day for Adams.
Raiders redeem themselves with a big primetime win at home.