NFL preseason Week 3 weekend preview: Chiefs-49ers and more

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August 23rd, 2019

San Francisco 49ers
+3.5 (-105)
Over 44.5 (-110)
Kansas City Chiefs
-3.5 (-105)
Under 44.5 (+100)
The most important week of the preseason is finally here, as coaches bring out the first team to see extended action in Week 3.

Kansas City Chiefs head man Andy Reid is known to keep his starters in well into the third quarter during the third week of exhibition games, so Saturday’s matchup with the 49ers should come loaded with star power.

Reid already gave us a glimpse of Kansas City’s offense, which apparently hasn't lost a beat, when he put 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes in for a series during Week 1. In the Chiefs’ opening drive, Mahomes went 4-of-4 for 66 yards and kicked it off with a deep pass to tight end Travis Kelce.
Chiefs rookie Mecole Hardman also looked impressive when he caught a pass from Kyle Shurmur and took it 17 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Bengals. Hardman also reached the end zone in Week 2 on a pass from Chad Henne in the first half against the Steelers.

Mahomes looked less sharp in Week 2, as he completed just two of his five passes for 11 yards in Kansas City's 17-7 loss to Pittsburgh. On Saturday he and the Chiefs will face an undefeated 49ers team at Arrowhead Stadium.

In Week 1, San Francisco took down the Broncos 24-15 in Denver and followed it up with a win at home against the Cowboys. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a lackluster performance in his return from a torn ACL he suffered against Saturday's opponent in Week 3 last season. Garoppolo completed one of his six passes for zero yards and had an interception. He sat out Week 2, and backup quarterbacks C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens led the way to victory.

San Francisco has played well on defense in the first two games of the preseason, but taking on the Chiefs at Arrowhead will be a tall task. The stadium is already one of the toughest to play in, but with Reid shipping out a majority of his starters for the entire first half and some of the second, Kansas City will come out on top and cover the spread.

Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -3.5

Friday games

Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7:30 p.m. ET

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield sat for the first time in the preseason during Week 2, while Odell Beckham continued to stand on the sideline. Still, the Browns managed to win on the road against the Colts behind backup quarterbacks Garrett Gilbert and David Blough. Expect an explosion on offense with Mayfield back and a glimpse of OBJ, as the Browns knock down the Bucs of Tampa Bay.

Pick: Cleveland Browns moneyline

Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions, 8 p.m. ET

Buffalo is undefeated in the preseason, but a trip to Detroit to face the Lions’ first team will result in the Bills’ first loss.

Pick: Detroit Lions +3

Saturday games

Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET

The Vikings have shown incredible promise on offense during the preseason, while Kyler Murray and the Cardinals have been less consistent. Minnesota will continue its dominance in a home win at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Pick: Minnesota Vikings -5.5

Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts, 7 p.m. ET

Neither the Bears nor the Colts have a win in the preseason, but Indianapolis should finally get one. Quarterback Andrew Luck is reportedly out, but Jacoby Brissett will get the job done with the first team.

Pick: Indianapolis Colts -2.5 

Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys, 7 p.m. ET

The Cowboys seemingly don't care about the preseason and have too much on their minds (Ezekiel who?) to defeat a Texans team that has scored 56 points across Week 1 and Week 2.

Pick: Houston Texans moneyline

New Orleans Saints at New York Jets, 7:30 p.m. ET

The Saints have their eyes on Super Bowl LIV, and they're +950 favorites to win for a reason. With New Orleans' first team on the field, they'll outmatch the new-look Jets, who are figuring out life under first-year coach Adam Gase.

Pick: New Orleans Saints -3

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Rams, 9 p.m. ET

One game going against the dress rehearsal script most teams are following in Week 3 is the Broncos-Rams matchup Saturday. It's expected both Jared Goff and Joe Flacco will sit, while Blake Bortles and Kevin Hogan take a majority of snaps for the Rams and Broncos, respectively. Denver will be playing its fourth preseason game. It should be an ugly contest, but give the Broncos the advantage.

Pick: Denver Broncos +1.5

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Chargers, 10 p.m.

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn has been playing conservatively in the preseason, and he'll do so in Week 3, as well. Philip Rivers is likely to sit for the third straight week, and with Derwin James out for a significant amount of time with a stress fracture, Lynn won't want to take any chances on adding to the injured reserve list.

Pick: Seattle Seahawks -3

Sunday game

Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans, 8 p.m. ET

The Steelers have given up the second-most yards per game (397) on defense in the preseason. They'll need to improve to contain Marcus Mariota and company Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger should play a few series, but it won't be enough to take down Tennessee in Nashville.

Pick: Tennessee Titans -2.5