Betting News & Analysis

NFL Week 3 Betting: Darius Butler’s favorite bets of the week

Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden talks with quarterback Derek Carr (4) before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

After a strong 3-1 start in Week 1, I regressed to the mean with a 1-3 record in Week 2, bringing my betting record to 4-4 through two weeks.

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Every week, I look at who has the edge in these five categories: quarterback, defense, offensive talent, play in the trenches and coaching.

Let’s get to my favorite bets.

Related content for you: NFL Week 3 best bets via Eric Eager and George Chahrouri

Los Angeles Chargers (+7) @ Kansas City Chiefs 

Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense will put up points against this Chiefs defense. I know Los Angeles lost a close game to the Dallas Cowboys (and the referees) last week, but I think the Chargers come out guns blazing against the Chiefs. Herbert actually threw for more yards in the last game between these two teams.

If you have any experience betting on the Chiefs in the last couple of years, you know they win games but do not cover. I believe that trend will continue this week.

Derwin James is the No. 1 graded safety through two weeks. I expect him to match up with Travis Kelce early and often. It should be a battle all afternoon, but I believe James has a slight edge. I can’t wait to see it.

Derwin James: PFF grades by year
Year Snaps played Run-defense grade Coverage grade Overall grade
2018 1,169 82.4 87.7 87.8
2019 299 70.3 83.9 82.3
2021 117 79.8 87.7 89.9

Las Vegas Raiders (-3.5) vs. Miami Dolphins 

The Raiders pass rush has been excellent this season without blitzing, and it matches up with a Miami offensive line that was absolutely manhandled last Sunday. I’m giving the Raiders defensive front a huge edge.

PFF’s OL/DL Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool that you can use to help you set the best lineups. You can use this chart to find advantageous fantasy football matchups for run blocking (run) or for pass blocking (pass).

Derek Carr is on fire. He should be in everyone’s MVP conversation right now based on his play this season. He and Jon Gruden seem to be on the same page, especially in the game’s biggest moments. Defensive coordinators dialed up pressure against Carr for the first couple of weeks, and he has made them pay. Can he continue to play the best ball of his career against a talented Miami secondary? I believe so.

Derek Carr vs. pressure in Week 2
Dropbacks under pressure Yards per attempt Completion percentage Big-time throws Turnover-worthy plays Passing grade 
13 13.2 72.7% 2 1 79.1

Raiders win and cover at home.

Seattle Seahawks (ML) vs. Minnesota Vikings

 PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

Russell Wilson should outplay Kirk Cousins. Both QBs are coming off of heartbreaking losses in games that they feel like they should’ve won. I have to bank on Russell outplaying Kirk, especially this early in the season. Kyler Murray dominated this Vikings defense, so let's see if Mr. Unlimited can do the same.

I predict DK Metcalf will have his first breakout game of this season. The Vikings secondary will be eyeing Tyler Lockett, so I expect Metcalf to get behind Minnesota's secondary for a couple of game-changing plays. I would hammer the over on Metcalf's 74.5-yard receiving prop.

DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett: 2021 production
Player PFF receiving grade Targets Receptions aDOT
Yards per route run
DK Metcalf 68.7 16 10 11.1 1.79
Tyler Lockett 83.8 16 12 17.8 4.48

Dalvin Cook‘s injury/availability is a big factor in this game as well. We will have more details as it gets closer to game time, but I am confident the Seahawks will win with or without Cook in the lineup. If he is held out of the game, I take the Seahawks to win and cover.

Darius Butler is a former NFL free safety. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts.

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