NFL Week 3 Preview: The Big Three

Charlie Boccanegra | Updated Oct 04, 2017

A look at the three big games this coming weekend, with all relevant NFL betting information included. All lines are courtesy Sports Interaction.

Atlanta Falcons (2-0) at New England Patriots (1-1) New England -4.5, Over/Under 45 points

The quarterback of the future, Matt Ryan, meets the quarterback of the present, Tom Brady, in what promises to be an enticing affair. Despite their early season struggles, the Patriots are still a force to be reckoned with – they’re riding a 15-game regular season win streak against NFC opponents and have the Falcons coming into the unfriendly confines of Foxboro. That’s a rather daunting challenge for the Dirty Birds.

Still, though, you’ve got to like Atlanta’s chances here. Two impressive wins over playoff teams from a year ago – Miami and Carolina – have the Falcons believing they’re ready to win now, not a few years down the road. That’s got a lot to do with the addition of TE Tony Gonzalez, who’s brought another dimension to an already impressive Atlanta offense. Through two games, Gonzalez leads the Falcons in receptions (12), receiving yards (144) and touchdowns (two); he’s instantly become one of Ryan’s favourite targets. The public will probably back New England here, but savvy bettors might want to make a play on the Falcons. Lest we forget this is something of a homecoming game for Ryan, the former Boston College standout. He will be motivated.

San Francisco 49ers (2-0) at Minnesota Vikings (2-0) Minnesota -4.5, Over/Under 40.5 points

Raise your hands if you thought the lone matchup of undefeated teams in Week 3 would be Minnesota and San Francisco. Whoa, not so fast everybody.

Granted, these aren’t the “sexiest” teams in the National Football League, but there are some fantastic head-to-head battles on the board that should make for a quality contest. The big one is Vikings RB Adrian Peterson vs. stalwart 49ers LB Patrick Willis; oddly enough, the two came into the league at the same time (2007) but have only squared off once in their careers. As rookies, Peterson’s Vikings crushed Willis’ 49ers 27-7, but it was Willis who had the edge in the head-to-head battle, recording 10 tackles while helping hold A.P. to a career-worst three rushing yards on 14 attempts.

Tennessee Titans at New York Jets New York -3.0, Over/Under 37 points

Hardly anyone expected the Titans – last year’s AFC regular season champions – to be 0-2 and even fewer expected the New York Jets – with their rookie QB and head coach – to be 2-0. So you can see where the storylines are going for this one. If you’re a sports betting enthusiast that likes playing underdogs, the Titans are a smart pick here; running back Chris Johnson, who went wild against the Texans last week, is making it a personal vendetta to become the first player this season to score a touchdown against the Jets defense. And we’ve got a feeling he won’t just stop at one.