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NFL Schedule Week 3 – Game info

2023 NFL Regular Season Game
Los Angeles Rams (1-1, 1-0 Away) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2, 0-1 Home)
Date: Monday, Sept. 25
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET

Venue: Paycor Stadium at Cincinnati, Ohio
TV Channel: ESPN, ESPN 2
Live Stream: ESPN+
Live Radio: 700WLW, ESPN 1530, and 102.7 WEBN

In the second game of the upcoming Monday Night Football doubleheader, the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will close out Week 3 of the NFL season with a matchup expected to provide fireworks. The Rams are looking to exceed preseason expectations, while the Bengals are looking to avoid an 0-3 start. The table is therefore set for a great Monday night showdown. Let’s break down what should be a very entertaining game.

Rams vs. Bengals Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - NFL Odds Week 3

Moneyline: Los Angeles Rams +125, Cincinnati Bengals -150
Spread: Rams +3 (-115), Bengals -3 (-105)
Total: Over/Under 43.5 points

Rams at Bengals Preview 

It is uncertain if Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow will be able to play on Monday night, because he’s listed on the team’s injury report as questionable with a calf strain. His game-time status will be pivotal for the Bengals, who are an entirely different – and much weaker -- team without Burrow in their lineup. The Rams, meanwhile, surprised many of their preseason critics with a big 30-13 over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1. They followed that performance by going down to the wire against the powerful San Francisco 49ers. I expect Burrow to play, which will make this a great game on which to end Week 3.

Rams vs. Bengals Predictions and NFL Picks Week 3

Wide receiver Cooper Kupp’s hamstring injury, which has kept him out of two games so far, was expected to hinder the Rams’ offensive production. Instead, Kupp’s absence has opened the door for the emergence of two young Rams receivers in Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell, who have stepped up their games while filling in for Kupp. The Bengals, on the other hand, have not looked anything like their team from last year. In fact, they have looked awful. Perhaps whatever was said during Burrow’s ride in a golf cart with team president and owner Michael Brown at a recent practice will get these Bengals back on track. If Joe Burrow plays on Monday, then I love the over in this game, if he can’t make it onto the field, then I would play the under. One player’s presence doesn’t usually make or break a game, but when you’re talking about a starting quarterback of Burrow’s caliber, then it does.

The Pick: Over 43.5 (-110)

Joe Burrow’s status is still up in the air, and he remains questionable for this game due to the calf injury he suffered in training camp and then aggravated in Week 2. The Bengals quarterback did make it through the first two games with the calf issue, but it might well be the reason he hasn’t looked like the Burrow we all know from past seasons. However, since he did manage to play those first two games, I expect Burrow to suit up on Monday night even though the Bengals went ahead and signed A.J. McCarron on Saturday. When Cincinnati wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was asked about Burrow’s status, he answered with a smile -- saying that he told Burrow not to play unless he’s 100 percent. If Burrow actually does suit up, the Bengals will do whatever they need to do to avoid dropping to 0-3. Although the Rams' offense has been fine so far without injured receiver Cooper Kupp, give me the Bengals and the spread in this one.

The Pick: Cincinnati Bengals -2.5 (-115)

Best NFL Player Prop Bets for Rams vs. Bengals: Monday Night Football Week 3

Puka Nacua

Puka Nacua, a rookie wide receiver out of BYU, has quickly become quarterback Matthew Stafford’s No. 1 receiver in the absence of Cooper Kupp. With 35 targets through the first two games, Nacua is the most-targeted wide receiver in the NFL so far this season. San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel is second with 28 targets, and Samuel has already played in one more game than Nacua. With 10-plus targets expected for Nacua on Monday night, the prop for his receiving total seems too easy to ignore. Give me the over on this rookie as he goes for a third straight game with 100-plus receiving yards to start his NFL career.

The Pick: Puka Nacua over 64.5 receiving yards (-115)

Best Same-Game Parlay Week 3 bets or Rams vs. Bengals: 3-Leg Parlay Pick (+650)

Money Line This is a must-win game for the Cincinnati Bengals, who can’t afford to slip to 0-3 in an AFC North Division loaded with talent. While quarterback Joe Burrow is banged up, he really has no choice but to play in this game unless he absolutely can’t. The Rams’ passing attack continues clicking on all cylinders without Cooper Kupp, and it will cause problems for the Cincinnati secondary. Even if he plays, Burrow will likely not be at 100 percent, so look for the Bengals to lean on their ground game in this one with plenty of carries for running back Joe Mixon. The rushing game will need to come through, too, because the Rams’ secondary has been stout in allowing the NFL’s fifth-fewest passing yards per game at only 150.5.

Leg-1 SGP Pick: Cincinnati Bengals ML (-140)

Puka Nacua Player Stats I know everyone is waiting for the Puka Nacua train to stop, but how can it? He’s a very talented wide receiver with a gunslinger at quarterback and a mastermind of a head coach in Sean McVay. Plus, given the amount of targets he’s accumulating, it’s nearly impossible for him to slow down. Nacua has exceeded 100 receiving yards in each of his first two games quite easily and will likely do it again in week 3. While Monday’s Betway parlay does not offer an option to predict Nacua reaching 100 yards in this game, the set maximum of 90 yards is more than doable for a rookie who has made the football world take notice of his ability. 

Leg-2 SGP Pick: Puka Nacua 90+ receiving yards (+225)

Joe Mixon Touchdowns Like all his teammates on the Bengals offense, Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon has been held in check through the season’s first two games. While this game against the Rams is not technically a must-win situation for the Bengals, in reality it is -- given the talent in rest of the AFC North. The Rams’ secondary has been their strong suit through two games, but their run defense has been something of an Achilles heel. Look for the Bengals to rely on the run more in this game with Burrow not 100 percent healthy, and if Burrow doesn’t play, then you can especially look for Cincinnati to rely on the run. Mixon has yet to crack 60 yards rushing or score a touchdown in either of his first two games, but that will change on Monday night when Mixon will get six.

Leg-3 SGP Pick: Joe Mixon anytime touchdown scorer (-110)

Odds are subject to change* 

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