The NFL schedule makers have lined up two games to cap off an insane Week 3 on Monday night. The first game kicks off at 7:15 p.m. ET between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia Eagles, followed by the Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Rams at 8:15 p.m. ET. I’ll break down the NFL lines for these matchups and give my best MNF game predictions here.
If you’re just joining the touchdown train, you need to know that I will always play this game smart. We’re not going to shoot blindly and throw noodles at the wall to see if they stick just because a player’s odds are long to score. The research I’ve done will always back up my anytime touchdown picks.
I’ve narrowed down the best Monday Night Football picks for anytime touchdown scorers for you here on Monday Night Football. Let’s get to the best anytime touchdown picks for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Rams. Best of luck if you tail!
Eagles vs Buccaneers Pits Unbeatens
In the first kickoff, Jalen Hurts and the defending NFC champion Eagles will battle the surprising 2-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Baker Mayfield. Both sides are undefeated coming into Week 3. Hurts and the Eagles haven’t dominated in their first two wins after coming off a loss in the Super Bowl, but they have shown signs that they are the same team that made it there a year ago. Tampa Bay has been better than we all anticipated, led by Baker Mayfield.
Here is a look at the Monday Night Football over-under for Buccaneers vs. Eagles The current odds for this matchup have the total set at 45½ points, and the Eagles are five-point favorites.
Eagles vs Buccaneers Best Anytime TD Scorer Bets
The Eagles have the second-best rushing offense in the NFL through the first two weeks of the season. Last week, we saw Hurts rush for two touchdowns, and D’Andre Swift added another. It’s going to be strength against strength as the Buccaneers own the second-best run defense in the NFL, allowing just 52 rushing yards per game through two weeks. The moral of the story is I expect both teams to pass the ball to move their offenses effectively down the field.
If you believe the squeaky wheel gets the grease, this is your bet to make on Monday night. In Week 2, it appeared Brown and Hurts were having a bit of a heated exchange on the sideline (typical for a wideout to want the ball). My assumption is the Eagles will get the ball to Brown early and often in a matchup with a porous pass defense. Tampa Bay has allowed the fifth-most yards per catch and, despite Brown not producing big numbers through the first two weeks, he has a team-high 31% target share.
AJ Brown is not happy with Jalen Hurts 😳 pic.twitter.com/k5STo7uj2r
— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) September 15, 2023
Fantasy football managers have been groaning about Goedert’s usage so far this season. After being held without a catch in Week 1, the Eagles made it a point to get him more involved, peppering the tight end with seven targets. He only caught six of them for just 22 yards, but it’s still a positive sign. I mentioned the Eagles might struggle to run the ball with the same type of success we’re used to seeing from them, so I like them to utilize play-action.
This brings the tight end into play on Monday night against a Bucs defense that is tied for the third-most receptions allowed to tight ends through the first two weeks. Goedert isn’t typically the touchdown scorer for this offense, but five of his last seven regular season touchdowns came on the road.
The Eagles’ defense is facing a plethora of injuries early on, particularly in its secondary. Last week, they lost nickel corner Avonte Maddox for the season, and fellow defensive backs James Bradberry and Reed Blankenship missed Week 2 due to injuries. The latter two are questionable to suit up on Monday night. I’m expecting Bradberry to shadow Chris Godwin and Darius Slay to shadow Mike Evans.
The Buccaneers’ run game should struggle to get things going, so that leaves me to believe that Cade Otton is going to get his fair share of looks on Monday night. The big tight end is third in targets and receptions for Tampa. The Eagles have allowed the most receptions to tight ends and a touchdown to the position in both games so far this season.
Burrow Storyline in Bengals vs Rams
The later kickoff will be in Cincinnati when the Bengals look to get their season back on track after a shocking 0-2 start. It won’t be easy as the Bengals will host Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams in a Super Bowl rematch from two years ago. Joe Burrow’s calf injury is the story we’re watching headlining Monday night. His status is still unclear, and the Bengals would be in big trouble if he sits.
Burrow was limited in practice on Friday and is questionable to suit up, and some reports are leaning toward him sitting. This makes for a tricky situation, and I advise waiting to wager on any Bengals player until we get a status update on Burrow.
The Monday Night Football over-under for the Bengals vs Rams is currently at 43½. The total has shifted late in the week down from 46½ with the uncertainty of Burrow’s status heading into the weekend.
As of writing this on Friday, I’m expecting Burrow to sit. In that case, we’ll see Jake Browning under center for the Bengals. The only two Bengals I would trust in that case are Joe Mixon and Ja’Marr Chase, to a lesser extent. If Burrow does somehow play on Monday night, I believe Chase is going to have a monster game against a suspect group of defensive backs for the Rams.
Rams vs Bengals Best Anytime TD Scorer Bets
Stafford has attempted an insane 93 passes and has thrown for over 300 yards in each of the first two games. The Bengals’ defense has the fourth-lowest pressure rate and has allowed the third-highest average depth of target.
Higbee has failed to get much going through the first two weeks, but that’s mainly because Stafford has garnered more attention to breakout receiver Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell. The Bengals’ secondary is still strong despite losing both starting safeties in free agency. They’ve allowed a tight end to score in both games this season.