NFL Week 3 Picks and Predictions: NFC Divisional Matchups Trifecta in Early Games

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Below we will analyze and evaluate three early afternoon NFC matchups.

So, let’s dig in and break down these games so we can fatten our bankrolls with our NFL picks and have plenty of ammo for Sunday’s late games! 

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Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

Sunday, September 25, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at U.S. Bank Stadium

There’s a reason why Kirk Cousins is as enigmatic a quarterback as there is in the game. He can look like a world-beater in one game and devolve into a puddle of miscues and mistakes in the next. We saw the latter in his last game when he could muster only 221 yards on 46 attempts and toss three picks in the process.

It’s especially disheartening when he has a pair of the best receivers in the game, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, at his disposal. In case you missed it, the Vikings lost, 24-7, to the Eagles on Monday night.  

But now Minnesota returns home, where they will face what is expected to be a much easier brand of competition in the form of the Detroit Lions. But the Lions are a different breed this year and not so easily dismissed. They recently defeated the Commanders, 36-27, after losing to the Eagles, 38-35, but this will be Detroit’s first game on the road.  

The public will be down on the Vikings after their lackluster performance in Philadelphia and their short week due to their appearance on Monday Night Football. However, the Achilles heel of the Lions is their defense and this should be target practice for Cousins compared to last week.  

Lions vs. Vikings: Pick and Prediction

The early NFL odds are showing Minnesota as six-point favorites, and although it’s tough to lay nearly a touchdown on an offense that looked so inept, I suspect a big bounce-back game for Cousins and a double-digit win for the Vikings

Scoring Prediction: Vikings 36 – Lions 20 

NFL Pick: Vikings -6 (-109) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Vikings -6 (-109)
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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Commanders 

Sunday, September 25, 2022 - 01:00 PM EDT at FedExField

Many believed Jalen Hurts would take the next step in his evolution as an NFL quarterback this season, and he did just that on Monday night with a performance that signaled he is a force to be reckoned with this year. Hurts was a surgical 26-of-31 for 333 passing yards with one touchdown strike coupled with two rushing touchdowns in Philadelphia’s 24-7 win over the Vikings. 

We should also note the Eagles’ defense shut down the talented Minnesota offense that had defeated the Packers, 23-7, in their opening game of the season. And understanding all of this, it’s difficult to believe Washington will be able to hang and bang with a team like Philadelphia.  

The Commanders fell, 36-27, to the Lions in Detroit last week, but will be getting an opportunity to regroup at home against a team on the rise. However, the Commanders have a date with Dallas the following week and I’m not sure they are equipped to handle this Philadelphia offense, particularly if they are looking ahead to meeting America’s Team. 

Carson Wentz is a wild card and turnovers will be a killer for the Commanders if he throws into traffic. Secondary cover men like Darius “Big Play” Slay will make his life miserable if he starts getting reckless.

Eagles vs. Commanders: Pick and Prediction

The Commanders would have to play nearly perfect football to contend in this matchup. I don’t see that happening.  

Scoring Prediction: Eagles 34 – Commanders 23 

NFL Pick: Eagles -5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Eagles -5 (-108)
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New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers 

Sunday, September 25, 2022 - 01:00 PM EDT at Bank of America Stadium

The Saints mounted a furious rally in their opening week game against the Falcons and came away with a breathtaking 27-26 victory in Atlanta. And although they failed to cover the six-point impost, they did get a road win and hoped to carry over their mojo into their Week 2 game against Tampa Bay

However, the good vibrations didn’t last long as the Saints welcomed a team they have had surprising success against, but couldn’t make the magic happen this time around as the Bucs secured a 20-10 victory down on the Bayou. Perhaps most concerning for New Orleans was the three interceptions thrown by Jameis Winston, all in the fourth quarter when the Bucs put the game away.  

Winston has reinvented himself since leaving Tampa Bay, focusing on smart decisions as opposed to padding his stats by chucking the ball early and often, tossing as many touchdowns as interceptions. And this concerning pattern could very well continue in this game, as the Panthers will pressure Winston and try to force him into errant throws.

Saints vs. Panthers: Pick and Prediction

I don’t trust the Saints to beat too many teams by more than a field goal on the road, and I believe the Cats have enough offensive firepower to keep this one within the margins

Scoring Prediction: Saints 23 – Panthers 21 

NFL Pick: Panthers +3 (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Panthers +3 (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.