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NFL best prop bets Week 3: Patriots, 49ers are solid picks

Zach Wilson, New York Jets, New England Patriots
Zach Wilson, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Getty Images

The Patriots and 49ers highlight the best NFL prop bets for Week 3

As the New York Jets prepare to take on the New England Patriots, bettors should know one thing: pick the Patriots’ defense. With Zach Wilson at the helm, Bill Belichick has been even more of a house of horrors than usual for the Jets.

The Jets aren’t the only New York team to bet against, though. Fresh off a historic comeback against the Cardinals, the Giants head to San Francisco to face Nick Bosa and the 49ers’ defense. Flashbacks to their Week 1 shellacking at the hands of the Cowboys should also be at the forefront of any betting decisions.

Here are some prop bets to consider for Week 3. I try to provide a combination of bets that are likely to happen with those that are more likely to happen than the odds say they are. In general, that’s a sound betting strategy: use the less risky bets to insure the high-risk, high-reward gambits.

Nick Bosa over 0.75 sacks (-135)

Nick Bosa has yet to fully unleash his disruptive powers this season, as he has no sacks and an 11.8% pressure rate. Still, his third-ranked 29.7% pass rush win rate indicates that he’s close. The Giants’ tackle pairing of Joshua Ezeudu and Evan Neal are the perfect opponent to break out against. Bosa has lined up on both sides of the line roughly equally, so he’ll have chances against both players.

Ezeudu is making his second consecutive start at left tackle in place of injured second-team All-Pro Andrew Thomas. A natural guard, he performed admirably last week against Arizona, allowing just a 2.2% pressure rate (although he did yield one sack). Still, the Cardinals don’t have an edge rusher anywhere near Bosa’s caliber. On the other side, Neal has had an almost historically bad start to his career, and he has a 10.6% pressure rate allowed through two games.

I’m taking Bosa in this one.

Christian McCaffrey over 80.5 rushing yards (-115)

The Giants’ run defense has picked up right where it left off in 2022, surrendering 122 and 151 rushing yards in their first two games. The Cardinals ran all over them to the tune of a 5.2 YPC average and four rushes of 15+ yards.

Meanwhile, Christian McCaffrey has been the 49ers’ workhorse so far this season, playing an incredible 92% of their offensive snaps. He has over 100 rushing yards in each of his first two games, averaging 6.4 yards per carry.

The Giants can’t stop the run. McCaffrey is rushing all over the field. This is a slam-dunk pick.

Zach Wilson over 0.5 interceptions (-210)

The odds are the odds, but there’s no way you can go into a Jets-Patriots game and expect anything other than a Zach Wilson interception. In fact, retired Patriots safety Devin McCourty, who picked off Wilson twice in 2022, said that New England’s defensive philosophy was to wait for Wilson to throw them the ball. A boneheaded pick against Buffalo and three against Dallas only amplify the likelihood that Wilson will throw an interception. In fact, I might go a step further with an additional prop bet in this area.

1st NY Jets drive result – interception (+1100)

Why not sweeten the pot with this bet? In four career games against the Patriots, Wilson has seven interceptions on 38 drives, an 18.4% rate. The implied probability of +1100 is 8.3%. Good odds.

Patriots D/ST anytime TD (+650)

The Jets allowed two of the NFL’s three punt return touchdowns in 2022. They’ve turned the ball over 10 times in their last four matchups with New England, spanning 49 drives. Is the chance of New England scoring a touchdown on defense or special teams really 13.3%? No, but it’s an interesting pick, nonetheless.

Patriots to record the most punts (+175)

If I pick the Jets to throw a bunch of interceptions, I think the Patriots will punt more often. It’s a silly pick, but it fits with what I expect to happen. The Jets actually punted more times in nine of 17 games in 2022. While they’ve punted more in both games so far, I expect the turnovers to preclude that in this game.

Rhamondre Stevenson over 22.5 receiving yards (-110)

In the two Jets-Patriots games in 2022, Stevenson had 72 and 56 receiving yards, respectively. Although he exceeded 22.5 receiving yards in eight of 17 games total, or less than half the time, it’s a good bet against the Jets’ defense, which can’t seem to tackle Stevenson out of the backfield. He forced seven missed tackles just in the passing game against the Jets in 2022, including five in the second matchup. Last week, Stevenson put up 64 receiving yards against the Eagles.

Tony Pollard had 37 receiving yards against the Jets in Week 2, though no Bills running back exceeded 22.5 receiving yards in Week 1. In 2022, the Jets allowed over 22.5 receiving yards to an individual running back 10 times. I think this is a very safe bet.

Dak Prescott over 12.5 rushing yards (-115)

From 2021-23, Dak Prescott has rushed for more than 12.5 yards in 16 of his 29 games played (55%). The implied odds are 53.5%. It’s not a great bet, but when you combine that with the 59 rushing yards Daniel Jones had against Arizona a week ago and the 11 that Sam Howell put up on just two rush attempts in Week 1, this seems reasonably likely.

Cameron Dicker over 7.5 kicking points (+105)

The Vikings’ defense. What more needs to be said? Losing 34-28 to the Eagles was emblematic of their continuing struggles despite a defensive coordinator change. The Chargers have yet to fully get going, but Cameron Dicker had 10 kicking points in each of the first two weeks. Obviously, it’s possible that the Chargers will score a bunch of touchdowns without field goal attempts, but Dicker has also scored over 7.5 kicking points in seven of his 10 career games.

Eagles-Buccaneers under 46 points (-110)

The Buccaneers have given up 17 points in each of their first two games. This is a defense with many of the same pieces from their glory days. While they haven’t faced the likes of the Eagles yet, Jalen Hurts is not off to his best start. I think this will be a lower-scoring affair.

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