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Here’s a close look at Sunday’s four late afternoon games for NFL week 3 bettors: Miami at Las Vegas, NY Jets at Denver, Seattle at Minnesota, and Tampa Bay at LA Rams. 

Weather will be no object. 

The odds below are provided by DraftKings. All times EDT. 

Miami Dolphins (1-1) at Las Vegas Raiders (2-0)

  • Time: 4:05 p.m.
  • Line: Raiders by 4.5 (44.5)

The skinny: The Raiders will be seeking their first 3-0 start since they last went to the Super Bowl 19 seasons ago.

Facts: Both teams have damaged quarterbacks, but only Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa is on IR (fractured ribs). Jacoby Brissett, who had 18 TD passes and six INTs as the the Colts’ regular starter for 2019, will fill in. Vegas’ Derek Carr (ankle), who’s averaging more than 400 yards passing through two weeks, praciticed fully Wednesday and has been ruled good to go. The Dolphins won in Vegas in Week16 last year 26-25 on a 44-yard FG with a second left in the game. The Raiders, who were 0-for-10 on third-down conversions that game, had taken the lead 18 seconds earlier on their field goal. The Raiders’ efficient offense has had at least one first down on its past 15 possessions dating to Week 1’s comeback victory vs. Baltimore. 

Analysis: The Dolphins were embarrassed at home last week 35-0 by Buffalo and will be catching a Raiders team that is coming off stunning upset victories over perennial AFC North powers Baltimore and Pittsburgh. But can Vegas win again without bulldozing RB Josh Jacobs, who’s considered very questionable for this game? Plus, if Carr has to miss any time at all, that means Nathan Peterman gets to play. Arrgghh! There has to be someone better somewhere, anywhere, they could have picked up this week.

Forecast: Dolphins 23, Raiders 20

NY Jets (0-2) at Denver Broncos (2-0)

  • Time: 4:05 p.m.
  • Line: Broncos by 10.5 (42)

The skinny: The Broncos will get to face a rookie QB for the second straight week when Zach Wilson and the Jets visit Mile High. 

Facts: The game has the week’s biggest spread yet the smallest o/u total. This season double-digit favorites are 2-1 ATS, but last season were 12-14-1. In 2020 in the Meadowlands, Denver beat NYJ 37-28 behind QB Brett Rypien and a minus-3 turnover differential. Rypien never threw another pass. Denver’s QB this year, veteran Teddy Bridgewater, is the league’s sixth-rated passer, 28 spots ahead of last-place Wilson. Bridgewater and WR Courtland Sutton, a Pro Bowl receiver who missed 15 games last year, teamed for 159 yards on nine connections last week in a 23-13 win against Jacksonville and QB Trevor Lawrence..

Analysis: The Broncos are down three defensive starters from the beginning of the season, which surely will be a factor once the schedule gets tougher, but not here. Not against Wilson. What’s especially killing the Jets is their starting field position. They are one of three teams not to have a short field to start a possession and on average their opponents have had a 14.5-yard edge in starting field position.

Forecast: Broncos 26, Jets 10

Seattle Seahawks (1-1) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2)

  • Time: 4:25 p.m.
  • Line: Seahawks by 1.5 (55.5)

The skinny: Both teams lost in walk-off fashion last week — Seattle when Tennessee kicked a FG to end overtime, and Minnesota when it missed on a 37-yard try as time expired.

Facts: The Seahawks have won seven in a row in this series, including last year’s 27-26 game in which Seattle rallied from a 13-0 hole and saw the Vikings have 201 rushing yards, one of two games last year Minnesota lost despite 200-plus on the ground. All other league teams had a total of four such losses. Then there was the 2015 season playoff game outdoors in Minnesota when the temp at kickoff was minus -6 with a wind chill of minus 25. Again, Seattle rallied, this time from a 9-0 hole to win 10-9. Vikings standout RB Dalvin Cook (questionable)  sprained an ankle last week and didn’t take part in Thursday’s drills.

Analysis: Cook’s absence from that late-week practice is a bad sign for a team desperate to avoid a second consecutive 0-3 start to the season. And dating to last year, that losing streak is at six, but at least their 34-33 loss in Arizona snapped an eight-game ATS losing streak. Although Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins has been roundly applauded for his performances this season, without a full-go Cook it will be hard for him to keep up with Seattle QB Russell Wilson and WR Tyler Lockett, who has 278 yards and three TDs this season.

Forecast: Seahawks 31, Vikings 23

Tampa Bay Bucs (2-0) at LA Rams (2-0)

  • Time: 4:25 p.m.
  • Line: Bucs by 1.5 (55)

The skinny: The only Week 3 game between unbeaten teams is a rematch of last year’s game, won by the Rams in Tampa, 27-24, as a 4-point dog.

Facts: The Bucs had two pick-6s less than four minutes apart late in last week’s 48-25 win over Atlanta. That’s one more INT score than they had last season.  A year earlier, though, the visiting Bucs, behind Jameis Winston’s four TD passes, beat a Rams 55-40 as a 9-point dog. That point total is tied for the 11th-highest in league history. This will be Tom Brady’s last game before heading to New England next week to face his ex-coach Bill Belichick in prime time. 

Analysis: The Bucs aren’t invincible, for they were only three points ahead of a relatively weak Atlanta team last week and then benefited from two tipped Matt Ryan passes that were taken back for scores. The Rams, meanwhile, have looked extremely potent offensively with new QB Matt Stafford and their as-usual punishing defense (just ask Indy’s Carson Wentz). The Rams look like winners and likely to snap the Bucs’ record streak of 30-plus games. 

Forecast: Rams 31, Bucs 24 

Last week: 9-6-1 ATS, 10-6 SU

Season total: 19-12-1 (.613) ATS, 22-10 (.688) SU

About the Author
Bob Christ

Bob Christ

Bob Christ, based in New Mexico, has been a gaming writer (primarily the NFL) for almost four decades, with his work appearing in publications/websites across North America. He's a big fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks, Philadelphia's Eagles and Phillies, and inexplicably the NHL's Winnipeg Jets.

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