Week 3 in the NFL kicked off with a lackluster matchup between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, though the game had the ultimate bad beat finish for bettors who had gotten the under on 41, as the Browns scored a defensive touchdown on Pittsburgh’s last-ditch attempt to score on a pitch-back play, pushing the point total from 40 to 46.
Hopefully, the wild ending carries over into more of the last-second finishes we’ve seen over the first two NFL weekends. Here are some prop bets to spice up the day; for more bets, be sure to sign up for The Oracle’s picks to get bets on lines and totals texted to your phone on game day. Odds are from DraftKings.
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Commanders
Carson Wentz, WSH, Over 239.5 Passing Yards, -115 (Model Projection: 267.6)
Dallas Goedert, PHI, Over 47.5 Receiving Yards, -105 (Model Projection: 49.1)
A.J. Brown, PHI, Over 71.5 Receiving Yards, -115 (Model Projection: 77.5)
A.J. Brown, PHI, TD Scorer, +105 (Model Projection: 0.6)
Washington’s formula through two weeks has been consistent: play poor defense, rack up turnovers on offense, and allow quarterback Carson Wentz to stuff the stat sheet as the Commanders attempt to rally late. It’s a great thing if you’re an owner of any of Washington’s skill players in fantasy, though perhaps not as great if you’re a Washington fan.
On the other side of the ball, Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert dominated this matchup last season, racking up six catches for 71 yards in their 20-16 win and seven catches for 135 yards in a 27-17 win. Philadelphia’s passing offense is now operating at a higher clip between quarterback Jalen Hurts’ improved accuracy and the presence of star receiver A.J. Brown, which sets Goedert up for another big day against the weak middle of Washington’s defense. As for Brown, the Commanders don’t have a cornerback to cover him. Look for Brown to continue to dominate, and to finally get into the endzone after some near misses in the first two weeks.
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
Lamar Jackson, BAL, Over 214.5 Passing Yards, -105 (Model Projection: 233.5)
Lamar Jackson, BAL, Over 1.5 Passing TDs, +120 (Model Projection: 1.5)
Mac Jones, NE, Over 0.5 Interceptions, -130 (Model Projection: 0.8)
Lost in Miami’s insane comeback was the fact that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson played some of the best in-pocket football that we’ve seen from him in his young career. Based on what we’ve seen over the first two weeks, Jackson seems to have made that area of his game a key offseason focus, which would make sense, given that his ability to win from the pocket is the one thing preventing him from getting the stamp of approval as a Tier 1 quarterback. New England’s defense posted decent numbers against Miami’s offense, but the Patriots trailed all game and Miami never had to push the action, while Jackson will likely come out looking to prove doubters wrong by throwing against a Bill Belichick-coached defense.
As for Mac Jones, he was fortunate that Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton dropped an interception last week, and Jones will end up playing from behind in this one if the Jackson scenario plays out as planned. Ravens safety Marcus Williams had two interceptions last week; look for the secondary to add to that total against a receiving group that won’t get deep the way the Dolphins did.
Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets
Breece Hall, NYJ, Over 27.5 Rushing Yards, -130 (Model Projection: 53.8)
Garrett Wilson, NYJ, Over 47.5 Receiving Yards, -130 (Model Projection: 58.9)
Rookie Breece Hall split carries with second-year back Michael Carter last week, but Robert Saleh and the rest of the Jets’ coaching staff are likely to change that after Hall’s Week 2 performance. Hall went for 50 yards on his seven carries, while Carter went for 23 on his seven, and those numbers aren’t a fluke; Hall is a markedly more talented player than Carter.
Speaking of more talented players, there’s a reason that rookie Garrett Wilson saw 14 targets while second-year receiver Elijah Moore saw five. Moore is a good player, but Wilson is a superstar; with better quarterback play, the Ohio State product would have racked up 150+ yards last week. The Jets are far from an elite offense, but this is a case where the carry and target share numbers don’t appear to have reacted quickly enough to what New York’s rookies did on Sunday. These yardage totals are awfully low for a lead back and top receiver.
Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts
Patrick Mahomes, KC, Over 2.5 Passing TDs, +105 (Model Projection: 2.4)
There is a lot of hope going around that the Colts will find a way to salvage their season after going down 20-3 to Houston in Week One (before rallying for a tie) and losing 24-0 against Jacksonville in Week Two. Perhaps that is the case, but there is an awful lot wrong with the Colts right now, from inept left tackle play to a lack of receivers to a defense that has struggled against two second-year quarterbacks. Now they have to face the Chiefs, and while the Colts have Stephon Gilmore to negate one receiver, they may not have the unit depth to combat Kansas City’s long list of pass catchers. Throw in the way that Mahomes destroyed Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley when he was in Las Vegas last season, and there’s a lot to like about #15 this week.
Steven Clinton, better known as "The Professor", is a former D-1 Quality Control Assistant (Northwestern, Toledo) who holds a B.A. in Economics and M.S. in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University. He maintains an end-to-end NFL game projection model and is a film junkie who breaks down the tape of every NFL game.