Hands up if you’ve heard this before: The Los Angeles Chargers lost in heart-breaking fashion last week. The Bolts dropped a game in overtime against the Tennessee Titans, and L.A. will try to break into the win column when it visits the 0-2 Minnesota Vikings.
Additionally in Week 3, the Detroit Lions look for another offensive explosion at Ford Field, and the Cincinnati Bengals hope to secure their first win of the season Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams.
Here are our best NFL parlay predictions (odds via our best NFL betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Best NFL Week 3 Predictions
Chargers +7.5 (-339) at Vikings ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This might be the most important game on the Week 3 NFL slate as the Vikings and Chargers, both playoff teams a year ago, look to avoid an 0-3 start. Oddsmakers are pricing this game as a fairly even matchup, slightly favoring the Vikings on their home field, but I don't see these teams as equal at all.
Los Angeles could easily be 2-0. The Bolts blew a late lead in a Week 1 loss to the Miami Dolphins and then fell to the Tennessee Titans last week in overtime. Meanwhile, Minnesota lost its opener at home to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad that may end up finishing at the bottom of the NFC South, then gave up 259 rushing yards in a 34-28 loss to Philadelphia that wasn't as close as the score indicated.
I like the Chargers to get the job done in this do-or-die spot, but it's also incredibly hard to trust an L.A. team that always finds a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. If there's one thing we should be able to count on, though, it's that Justin Herbert and Co. won't be blown out. Each of the Chargers' last seven losses have come by seven points or less, while only one of Minnesota's last 12 victories came by more than a single possession. Chargers +7.5 on the alternate spread at FanDuel is worth the heavy juice and a nice way to get our Week 3 parlay underway.
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Lions team total Over 24.5 (-110) vs. Falcons ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Detroit's offense is an absolute wagon at Ford Field, where the Lions have eclipsed this team total in 12 of their last 13. In fact, the Leos have scored into the 30s in each of their last four games on this fast track, including last week's 37-31 overtime loss to Seattle.
Atlanta's defense has keyed the Falcons' surprising 2-0 start, allowing an average of 17 points in those two contests. However, those games came against Bryce Young and Jordan Love, young quarterbacks who had just one career start combined coming into the season. Jared Goff and the Lions will be a much tougher challenge.
Wood is looking at the other side of the ball in his Falcons-Lions prediction, noting that Bijan Robinson is positioned for a quality pass-catching game.
Bengals ML (-155) vs. Rams ⭐⭐⭐
Jake Browning is expected to be Cincy's quarterback Monday night after Joe Burrow re-aggravated a calf injury at the end of last week's 27-24 loss to Baltimore. Oddsmakers have responded accordingly, dropping the Bengals from favorites of more than a touchdown to as low as 1.5-point chalk before the line drifted back towards Cincinnati.
Burrow's injury opens the door for us to get a discounted price backing a Bengals squad desperate to avoid its second straight 0-3 start. The Rams have been one of the league's most pleasant surprises, splitting their first two games and covering each of them, but let's not forget that this team was projected by many as a contender to be the worst team in the NFL. They're also still without star wideout Cooper Kupp.
Even without Burrow, Cincy has enough proven talent to get the job done in a game it almost has to win in order to avoid falling too far behind in the AFC North. It's also important to note that Burrow hadn't officially been ruled out as of Thursday, meaning we could still see Cincinnati's top signal-caller on Monday night - which would make this an even bigger bargain.
In his Rams-Bengals prediction, Mike Spector believes the scoreboard won't be lit up in this contest due to the injuries for both sides.
NFL Week 3 parlay: +307 via FanDuel
Week 3 NFL parlay picks made Thursday, Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. ET
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