Bears, Cardinals, AFC South Teams Face Long Odds
Two NFL games into the 2023 season and we’re at a point where we can start to tell who the bad and good teams are. The biggest NFL Week 3 underdogs feature the usual suspects. Chicago, Arizona, and Houston are all winless while Indianapolis’s one win came over Houston. But upsets happen. Favorites only went 7-9 and 5-10-1 against the spread (ATS) in Week 3 last season. So can any of these four longshots pull it off?
Can Houston Be a Problem?
Opponent: at Jacksonville Jaguars
Point Spread: Houston Texans +8½ (-110)
If you’re hunting for upsets, look no further than the division game. These are typically closer than the NFL odds indicate. Case in point: All three of Houston’s wins came against its division rivals (3-2-1) last season. And one of those was against Jacksonville. The Texans are actually 7-1 in their last eight trips to the Jaguars’ lair.
Sure, the Jaguars are a better team on paper. This squad even won a playoff game and its offense is projected to be a top-10 unit at worst. But Jacksonville has some weaknesses up front, which is something Houston can exploit as it is built from the inside out on defense. Houston will make a game of this. Pick: Texans +8½ (-110)
Do the Colts Have Horse Shoes Up Their…
Opponent: at Baltimore Ravens
Point Spread: Indianapolis Colts +8 (-110)
In this time last year, the Colts emerged as one of the biggest NFL Week 3 underdog winners as they took out the Chiefs. Now, Indianapolis has an even larger NFL spread as it faces an improved Ravens squad. Quarterback Anthony Richardson is also banged up and his status is up in the air.
Gardner Minshew is a capable backup with a career passer rating of 93.4. Indianapolis is also 7-1 ATS in its last eight visits to Baltimore. Also notable is that the Ravens are just 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games as a home favorite. Maybe Indy doesn’t win this time. But eight points is a pretty comfortable leeway. Pick: Colts +8 (-110)
It Could Get Real Hot in the Desert in Arizona
Opponent: at Dallas Cowboys
Point Spread: Arizona Cardinals +13 (-110)
Despite being 2-0 ATS this season, the public has quickly bet the Cardinals’ line from +9.5 to +13. That’s a field goal and some change. It’s understandable given that Dallas is also 2-0 ATS and has crushed NFL team stats. So the team has some injuries. Guard Zack Martin and cornerback Trevon Diggs got injured. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks also hurt his knee.
But the Cowboys have a +60 point differential and crushed the Giants 40-0, the same team whom Arizona could not beat despite being spotted 20 points. Sure, Arizona isn’t tanking. This team will continue to play hard, especially on defense. It could make this a closer game than expected. We’re not holding our breath. Pick: Pass.
The Good News Bears?
Opponent: at Kansas City Chiefs
Point Spread: Chicago Bears +13 (-110)
Last and least, the Bears are already a dumpster fire. Quarterback Justin Fields is calling out his coaching staff. The offensive line remains a mess. And defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned following some scandalous rumors. Now, the Bears go to Arrowhead where KC is 40-9 as a favorite in the Patrick Mahomes era.
It will be tough to back Chicago as one of the NFL Week 3 underdogs considering what’s going on. This team has lost 12 straight games and is 5-12 ATS as a road underdog since 2021. While the Chiefs seem to have their own issues on offense, it would be the biggest shocker if the Bears somehow win. Pick: Chiefs (-800).
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