Week 3 NFL Betting Odds: Early Betting Lines, Previews For Every Matchup

Posted By Brian Sausa on June 29, 2021 - Last Updated on July 20, 2021

Online sportsbooks across the United States are known for posting odds ahead of time for every National Football League contest on the upcoming regular-season schedule. This means that whether it’s an early-season clash in September or a snow game in December, bettors can wager on it anytime they want.

We are currently focusing on the third week of the 2021 NFL schedule. It features 16 games, beginning on September 23rd and ending on the 27th. Here, we have compiled NFL Week 3 betting odds from multiple sportsbooks including DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM.

Week 3 NFL Betting Lines

Game MatchupOpening Line
Carolina Panthers vs. Houston TexansPanthers -4
Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee TitansColts -1
Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Giants Giants -2.5
LA Chargers vs. Kansas City ChiefsChiefs -7.5
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh SteelersSteelers -6
Chicago Bears vs. Cleveland BrownsBrowns -7
Baltimore Ravens vs Detroit LionsRavens -7.5
New Orleans Saints at New England PatriotsSaints -1
Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville JaguarsCardinals -2.5
Washington at Buffalo BillsBills -7.5
New York Jets at Denver BroncosBroncos -5.5
Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas RaidersPK
Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota VikingsVikings -1.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. LA RamsRams -1
Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers49ers -5
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas CowboysCowboys -6.5

NFL Week 3 matchups and predictions

Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans (+4)

Things begin on Thursday, September 23rd with a TNF clash in Houston between the Texans and Panthers. The black cloud that looms over every Texans game is the Deshaun Watson situation, which will greatly impact the odds. If Watson isn’t on the team, it could be Tyrod Taylor under center. Carolina is traveling for the first time and opened as four-point road underdogs with new QB Sam Darnold running the offense and star RB Christian McCaffrey back in the fold.

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (+1)

In one of the most highly-anticipated matchups of the week, Indianapolis travels to Tennessee for a clash of AFC South powerhouses and potential playoff teams. Each of these teams beat the other on the road in 2020 and this time around, the visiting Colts opened as a one-point favorite. With two strong offenses that have gotten even better this offseason, the scoreboard could explode in this one.

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-2.5)

The Falcons’ second consecutive road game in the early going will be at MetLife Stadium against the Giants. New York is the customary 2.5-point home favorite, which really just indicates that oddsmakers see this one as a pretty even game. Atlanta struggled against the pass in 2020, but the Giants also struggled to throw it. Working in the Giants’ favor is that the Falcons no longer have Julio Jones and look to be committed to the rebuild in 2021.

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)

The Chargers visiting the Chiefs at Arrowhead is another game that could undoubtedly produce some fireworks. The Chiefs opened at -7.5, which is tied for the largest opening line of the week. Kansas City’s offense and Patrick Mahomes need no introduction, and Los Angeles QB Justin Herbert is becoming a household name himself. The Chargers are installing a new offense but with all its firepower, things could be clicking by Week 3 and this could be an exciting, high-scoring game.

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6)

This game pits a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger against an up-and-comer in Joe Burrow, who will still be starting his return from last year’s ACL injury. The Steelers are six-point favorites and it makes sense considering they blew out the Bengals at home last season before Burrow went down. Cincinnati will be improved on offense but Pittsburgh still has the superior talent on both sides of the ball, it just remains to be seen which version of the Steelers will start the season.

Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns (-7)

The AFC and NFC north will clash in Cleveland as the Bears visit the Browns. Both were playoff teams in 2020, but Cleveland is seen as the stronger overall team and opened as touchdown favorites. It’s easy to side with the Browns at this point after seeing its offense take huge strides in 2020 en route to the second round of the postseason. Plus, nobody really knows what to make of the Bears offense with Andy Dalton at the helm.

Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions (+7.5)

After playing Green Bay at Lambeau on Sunday Night Football, things don’t get any easier for the Lions. They get to go home, but the Ravens and another loss will be waiting. Baltimore being -7.5 on the road tells you all you need to know about this mismatch. It’s hard to expect much from this offense and Jared Goff, and even tougher to envision this bottom-five defense containing Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore offense.

New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots (+1)

Anytime coaches like Sean Payton and Bill Belichick match up, the game is going to receive some hype. These teams, however, will both be different from last year. Cam Newton is back for the Pats but with new weapons like Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. In New Orleans, Drew Brees is out and Jameis Winston is now the starting quarterback. With the Saints opening at -1, oddsmakers aren’t quite sure what to make of this one yet either.

Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5)

The interest in the Urban Meyer-Trevor Lawrence relationship and how things work out in Jacksonville will be huge during the whole month of September, and this game with Arizona will be part of it. This matchup will feature two of the last three No. 1 overall picks playing quarterback and there’s no doubt that even though the two are different players, comparisons will be made between their performances. The Cardinals opened at -2.5 despite being on the road.

Washington Football Team at Buffalo Bills (-7.5)

After two home games, the Washington Football Team will go on the road for the first time and play Buffalo. This matchup is a result of the 17th game being added for all teams, and it was a tough draw for the WFT. This one pits strength against strength, as the WFT boasts a stellar defense and the Bills ranked top five in many offense categories behind MVP candidate Josh Allen. Buffalo opened at -7.5 points and judging by the team’s huge success at home in 2020, the line is unlikely to come down very much. For what it’s worth, Buffalo went 11-5 against the spread including 6-2 at home last year.

New York Jets at Denver Broncos (-5.5)

After playing two games on the road to begin the season, the Broncos’ home opener will be in Week 3 against the New York Jets. These two played a sloppy, albeit exciting TNF game early in 2020 with Brett Rypien and Sam Darnold starting under center. This time around, it will be Drew Lock for Denver and first-round pick Zach Wilson for the Jets. As a result, the Broncos were -5.5 on the opening line. The schedule gets considerably tougher for Denver after this game, so it’s one that the Broncos will be desperate to win at home.

Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders (PK)

These two played an absolute thriller in Las Vegas last December and we’re all getting treated to a rematch in Week 3. The 26-25 win for Miami featured five scores in the last four minutes, so we can only hope for similar excitement here in the same stadium. The major difference now will be that there is no Ryan Fitzpatrick to enter for Tua Tagovailoa, but the Dolphins remain one of the league’s elite defenses. For this one, the line opened as a pick ‘em.

Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings (-1.5)

Two NFC playoff hopefuls will meet in Minnesota as the Vikings host the Seahawks in Week 3. Despite Seattle being a playoff team and the Vikings missing out, the home team was still -1.5 on the opening line. Things can certainly change year-to-year, but keep in mind that Minnesota was 2-5 against the spread in home games while Seattle was 2-6 ATS on the road. We should also note that Vikings games were 7-0-1 to the over in 2020 so consider the team that you’d rather have in a shootout.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams (-1)

The Rams defeated the Bucs by three points in an exciting prime time game in 2020 and now, they have Matthew Stafford at QB. That said, you can never sleep on the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. Both of these teams have elite defenses and offenses laden with weapons, so it’s easy to see why the spread is just a single point. This may come down to how Stafford gels with his new team and whether the Bucs’ defense can cause the same confusion it did for opponents during the playoff run.

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-5)

In a rematch from the NFC title game a couple of seasons ago, the Packers will visit the 49ers. Given the uncertainty surrounding the Packers, San Francisco opened as a five-point favorite and will remain around there until some news breaks one way or the other about Aaron Rodgers. The 49ers lost both coordinators from the coaching staff but still have Kyle Shanahan and a deep roster on both sides of the ball. Without Rodgers, this feels like a win for the Niners at home on Sunday Night Football.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)

The first divisional game for these NFC East rivals will also be the Cowboys’ first home game of the 2021 season. It will also take place in prime time on Monday Night Football to close out the week on September 27th. Both clubs will look different than last season now that Jalen Hurts is cemented as the Eagles’ QB and Dak Prescott is back under center for the Cowboys. Dallas is favored to win the division this season and as a result opened at -6.5 at home. The NFC East traditionally plays tight games, so that line could see action from people taking the points with the road team.

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Brian Sausa

Brian Sausa is a longtime sports writer with extensive betting experience and knowledge of the industry. A journalism graduate with an extensive sports background, Brian has been employed by multiple professional leagues including MLB, MiLB (Minor League Baseball), and the NHL.

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