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NFL Week 3 Best Bets, Picks and Odds: All Eyes on Raiders and Chargers

There are 14 NFL games on the schedule for Sunday. Our betting analysts cut through the clutter and highlight which matchups to wager on.

There are seven teams in the NFL with a 2-0 record but only three of those teams are undefeated against the spread: the Broncos, Panthers and Raiders. Carolina already improved to 3-0 ATS after its win Thursday night over the Texans, and now Denver and Las Vegas will try to stay in that group with their matchups against the Jets and Dolphins.

Las Vegas has two impressive victories over the Ravens and Steelers in Weeks 1 and 2. The Raiders were underdogs in both of those contests and won outright! In Week 3, they are favored by 3.5 points on SI Sportsbook over the Dolphins (who are without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa). As you'll see below, all five of our analysts picked the Raiders to cover the spread this weekend.

Meanwhile, the Broncos easily covered the spread in their first two games with a double-digit winning margin in both outings. Denver is a heavy favorite for its game against the Jets with a spread of 10.5 points.

Week 3 Best Bets

Here's our criteria for picking games:

  • All odds from SI Sportsbook
  • Each analyst must pick five games games
  • Three of the bets must be against the spread or over/under
  • The remaining two picks (if didn’t pick all five ATS or O/U) can be on the moneyline (but at least one of those ML picks must be on an underdog)
  • We believe transparency is paramount in the world of sports betting, which is why we entrust Sharp Rank to keep track of all our picks/performance.

Frank Taddeo's Best Bet: Las Vegas Raiders -3.5

The surprise of the young NFL season is easily the play of Derek Carr and the 2-0  Raiders. The Raiders, who have embraced the role of underdog, are also 2-0 ATS after earning wins over the Ravens and Steelers. Now the Raiders return home to the Las Vegas strip and get to face a short handed Dolphins club that will be without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Miami is fresh off a 35-0 drubbing at the hands of the Buffalo Bills. The Raiders' fierce front seven, led by Maxx Crosby, will harass Jacoby Brissett all game. "Just win, baby" will do just that in Week 3. Back Las Vegas and lay the points.

Jennifer Piacenti's Best Bet: Las Vegas Raiders -3.5

Jacoby Brissett gets the start for the Dolphins behind a weak offensive line in an offense that has only put up 17 points on the year. The Miami defense has also underwhelmed, allowing 35 unanswered points last week vs. the Bills, while the 2-0 Raiders have exceeded expectations. Derek Carr currently leads the league with 819 passing yards and 93 passing attempts, connecting not only with superstar Darren Waller, but with young playmakers Bryan Edwards and Henry Ruggs III. This will be the easiest matchup so far for the Raiders, and I’m laying the three points. 

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Richard Johnson's Best Bet: Los Angeles Rams Moneyline +105 

Not exactly out on a limb here to take a team +105 to win outright but it is an underdog all the same, especially against the defending champs. The Buccaneers defense has yet to regain its outstanding late 2020 form, and Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is finally in a real offense. I like Los Angeles to win outright.

Casey Olson's Best Bet: Las Vegas Raiders -3.5

The Dolphins (1-1) travel west and visit the Raiders (2-0) in a Sunday afternoon game, and you know that Las Vegas crowd will be tuned up and ready to go. If playing in front of this hostile crowd against a white hot Raiders offense wasn't enough, the Dolphins took another blow and will be without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who bruised his ribs this past Sunday. Jacoby Brissett will get the nod, who's just 12-20 in 32 career starts. Brissett will look to lead a Miami offense that is averaging just 8.5 points per game, which ranks 32nd in the league. On the other side of the ball, the Raiders now average just short of 30 points per game and come in with a clear edge in pretty much every applicable matchup stat across the board. The home team in this matchup is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings. 

Bill Enright's Best Bet: Denver Broncos -10.5

The Broncos are one of three teams with a 2-0 record against the spread thanks to covering against the Giants and Jaguars. The Jets haven’t been able to cover this year despite getting 3.5 points from Carolina in Week 1 and 5.5 against New England last week. Gang Green is getting 10.5 points in Denver. They were underdogs by 10.5 points or more four times last year and covered just once; 25% against the spread when getting double-digit points is pretty pitiful. Jets are lucky this isn’t the other kind of football or they may be on the brink of getting relegated like AC Richmond

Sports Illustrated's Betting 101 series

Whether you are an experienced sports bettor or someone who is new to the scene, the Betting 101 series is perfect as a refresher course or guide to learn more. Check out our list of key terms that every sports bettor must know.

For a complete list of spreads for NFL Week 3, check out SI Sportsbook.

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