NFL odds, picks, predictions for Week 3: Expert model projects Jets, Vikings upsets over Patriots, Chargers

At this point, all eyes in the NFL world are going to be on the calf of the league’s highest-paid player.

Joe Burrow said he “tweaked” his calf in the Bengals’ loss to the Ravens, and comments since then have cast doubt on what the rest of his season will look like in 2023. One of the team’s preseason Super Bowl favorites, the Bengals now have to hope he can be healthy enough to help the team dig out of an 0-2 hole and turn the fortunes of the franchise around.

Other teams in the AFC have to view the uncertainty with the Bengals as an opportunity. The Ravens are now division favorites, and Super Bowl odds for the Bills and Chiefs are only going to go up, particularly after those latter two teams picked up wins in Week 2 following disappointing Week 1 efforts.

MORE WEEK 3 PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up

Each week, Sporting News’ model will project every game in the NFL 10,000 times to generate the number of times a team wins a matchup and calculate the win probability. The model adjusts after each week as it learns more about each team and that team’s quarterback. If Burrow misses time and is replaced by Jake Browning, for example, the Bengals’ win probability will suffer for it. The model does not account for other positions. So injuries to Saquon Barkley and Nick Chubb will not impact the Giants and Browns.

Listed for each game is its projected spread, according to the model, and a team’s win probability. We’ve also included updated playoff and Super Bowl odds at the bottom. The odds listed with each game are not based on bookmakers, but rather how the model sees the game playing out.

Here’s how the model sees Week 3 shaping up.

NFL picks, predictions Week 3

49ers (-11) vs. Giants

Win probability: 82.9%, 49ers

The 49ers are already big enough favorites. Now consider that the model does not take into account the fact the Giants will be without Barkley and left tackle Andrew Thomas. This is shaping up to be one of the more lopsided games on the schedule this week.

 

Browns (-2) vs. Titans

Win probability: 58.6%, Browns

Again, the model does not take into account injuries to non-quarterbacks. If it did, the Chubb season-ending injury could be enough to sway a close game to favor the Titans. As it is, the Browns get the slight edge as the home team despite some uninspiring performances by Deshaun Watson to begin the year.

 

Lions (-5) vs. Falcons

Win probability: 66.7%, Lions

This might be the all-preseason hype game right here. The Lions and Falcons both came into the 2023 season as breakout candidates, with the Lions’ hype particularly going off the rails. The model has been a big believer in the Lions since the preseason as well, and is expecting them to edge the Falcons on Sunday.

 

Packers (PK) vs. Saints

Win probability: 50.4%, Packers

The closest game of the week belongs to the Packers and Saints. The model has put a lot of faith in New Orleans, but it acknowledges the difficulties of playing at Lambeau, particularly against a defense of this caliber. Jordan Love’s performance through two weeks has helped instill more confidence in what Green Bay can be this season.

 

Jaguars (-9) vs. Texans

Win probability: 77.8%, Jaguars

C.J. Stroud continues to look the best among the rookie quarterbacks, but this roster is not nearly on the Jaguars’ level, let alone in Jacksonville. The model thinks Stroud and the offense are putting it together, but that this should still be a big margin of victory for the Jaguars.

 

Dolphins (-6) vs. Broncos

Win probability: 69%, Dolphins

The Broncos just can’t seem to figure it out. They nearly pulled off the comeback win against the Commanders in Week 2, but the two-point try came up short. The Dolphins have won some close games, though they also might be the only offense to be fully awake through two weeks. In Miami, this will really test Denver’s defense.

 

Vikings (-2) vs. Chargers

Win probability: 57.2%, Vikings

Two teams that made the playoffs in 2022 and two teams that have disappointed to start 2023. Both Minnesota and Los Angeles have begun the season 0-2, and are looking for answers to turn things around. In a close call, the model is going with the home team as a slight favorite to snap its losing streak.

 

Jets (-2) vs. Patriots

Win probability: 55.6%, Jets

At the beginning of the year, this one would have looked like a confident Jets win. But with Zach Wilson at quarterback instead of Aaron Rodgers, this game looks a whole lot closer. The Patriots might be 0-2, but they’ve narrowly lost to the Eagles and Dolphins. Still, the Jets are a stout roster and are at home. Those two are enough to give them the edge despite the quarterback disadvantage.

 

Ravens (-11) vs. Colts

Win probability: 83.3%, Ravens

Baltimore has begun the season 2-0 and is now officially the favorite to win the AFC North after its road win against the Bengals. The Ravens appear on track to be 3-0 as they prepare to host a Colts team that could be without Anthony Richardson, who has looked dangerous in his rookie season, though his physical style of play has now seen him with different injuries in both the first two games.

 

Bills (-6) vs. Commanders

Win probability: 71.1%, Bills

The Commanders are off to a promising start with wins against the Cardinals and Broncos, but those are games against the Cardinals and Broncos. Not exactly the toughest opponents. Next, Washington gets the Bills, who righted some offensive issues against the Raiders after a tough Week 1 loss to the Jets.

 

Seahawks (-8) vs. Panthers

Win probability: 77.2%, Seahawks

The Panthers have yet to get fully going in the Bryce Young era, while the Seahawks pulled off an impressive win over the Lions in overtime after a disappointing effort against the Rams in the first week of the season. Seattle is more in sync right now, and at home, it should be a comfortable favorite over the Panthers.

 

Cowboys (-10) vs. Cardinals

Win probability: 81%, Cowboys

There could not be a game between two more polar opposite teams. The Cowboys have been unstoppable to start the 2023 season. The Cardinals are 0-2 despite, perhaps accidentally, leading late in both games during a season in which it is clearly tanking. This should be the most lopsided spread and win probability of the week, but somehow it’s not quite the largest. 

 

Chiefs (-12) vs. Bears

Win probability: 85.6%, Chiefs

There was some preseason hype before the year for Justin Fields. That has likely all dried up at this point after a disappointing start to the 2023 season. The Chiefs haven’t exactly been world-beaters to start the season, but this could be a get-right game for the whole team after a loss to the Lions and a slow offensive game vs. the Jaguars. 

 

Raiders (-4) vs. Steelers

Win probability: 63.1%, Raiders

The Steelers bounced back from an ugly Week 1 performance against the 49ers to win a tight home game against the Browns. But that win took a season-ending injury to Chubb and two defensive scores, while the offense still looks rough. That might be the product of facing back-to-back standout defenses, but the model has slightly more trust in the Raiders in Las Vegas despite a Week 2 drubbing against the Bills.

 

Eagles (-8) vs. Buccaneers

Win probability: 76.8%, Eagles

Is Baker Mayfield back? He has looked more than serviceable in his first starting action for the Buccaneers, helping the team out to a surprising 2-0 start. But those games have also been against an inconsistent Minnesota team and a woeful Bears squad. He faces his first real test against the Eagles, who will hope to put it all together in a game in which they should be heavily favored.

 

Bengals (-12) vs. Rams

Win probability: 85.1%, Bengals

That the Bengals are favored isn’t surprising. That it is by this much certainly is. Cincinnati faces plenty of uncertainty with Burrow questionable to play and the offense still looking to fully click, while the Rams have looked better than expected to begin the year. If Burrow can’t play, the win probability dips to 76.2 percent.

 

Updated NFL projections 2023

AFC East

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Bills 11-6 48.1% 25.9% 74% 12.7% 15% 7.6%
Dolphins 10-7 35.8% 28.5% 64.3% 7.5% 6.2% 2.7%
Jets 8-9 13.2% 19.7% 32.9% 2.1% 1.8% 1%
Patriots 6-11 2.9% 7.1% 10% 0.2% 0.4% 0.1%

AFC North

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Ravens 11-6 44.4% 31.7% 76.1% 17.2% 10.9% 5.1%
Bengals 10-7 27.9% 39.4% 67.3% 7.5% 13.3% 7.6%
Browns 9-8 17.1% 30% 47.1% 4.2% 4.7% 23.%
Steelers 8-9 10.7% 24.5% 35.2% 2.4% 1.9% 1%

AFC South

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Jaguars 10-7 54.9% 12.3% 67.2% 7.1% 6.8% 3.4%
Titans 9-8 31.9% 13.5% 45.4% 3.2% 2.2% 0.9%
Colts 7-10 9.2% 7.1% 16.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.2%
Texans 5-12 4% 2.1% 6.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0%

AFC West

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Chiefs 12-5 76.6% 12.4% 89% 30.6% 30.6% 15.7%
Chargers 8-9 12.1% 21.8% 33.9% 2% 4% 1.7%
Raiders 8-9 8.2% 16.8% 25% 1.2% 1.1% 0.5%
Broncos 7-11 3.1% 7.3% 10.4% 0.2% 0.6% 0.3%

NFC East

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Eagles 12-5 51.8% 35.6% 87.4% 20.8% 21.7% 11.1%
Cowboys 11-6 39.8% 40.6% 80.4% 15.3% 15.6% 7.4%
Giants 8-9 5.6% 24.1% 29.7% 1% 1.9% 0.9%
Commanders 7-10 2.8% 14.2% 17% 0.4% 0.4% 0.2%

NFC North

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Lions 10-7 56.5% 13.1% 69.6% 5.7% 8.8% 4.3%
Vikings 8-9 18.2% 13.4% 31.6% 0.7% 2.5% 1.2%
Packers 8-9 17.6% 13% 30.6% 0.8% 1.4% 0.6%
Bears 6-11 7.8% 7% 14.8% 0.1% 0.7% 0.3%

NFC South

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
Saints 11-6 67.2% 18.7% 85.9% 17.1% 10% 4.5%
Falcons 9-8 25.6% 32.2% 57.8% 4% 2.2% 1%
Panthers 7-10 3.5% 11.5% 15% 0.2% 0.3% 0.1%
Buccaneers 7-10 3.8% 9.2% 13% 0.2% 0.1% 0%

NFC West

Team xW-L Division% Wild card% Playoff% No. 1 seed% Conference champion% Super Bowl champion%
49ers 12-5 81% 12.6% 93.6% 31% 29.8% 16.2%
Seahawks 9-8 13.3% 32.4% 45.7% 2.1% 3.7% 1.8%
Rams 8-9 5.6% 21.8% 27.4% 0.7% 1% 0.4%
Cardinals 3-14 0.1% 0.5% 0.6% 0% 0% 0%

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