Week 3 NFL capsules

MIAMI DOLPHINS at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

This Thursday night showdown features a pair of Florida teams looking to rebound from tough losses. The Dolphins (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) fell to the Bills 31-28 at home but covered as 5.5-point underdogs. Meanwhile, the Jaguars (1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS) battled hard in a 33-30 loss to the Titans but covered as seven-point dogs. This line opened with Jacksonville listed as a 2.5-point home favorite. Some books even opened closer to -1.5. Regardless, we’ve seen a steady dose of action back the Jaguars, pushing the line up to the key number of 3. Historically, Thursday night games have provided an edge to home favorites as the short week benefits the team that didn’t have to travel. We’ve also seen big money hammer this Over. The total opened at 45 and has been bet up to 47.5. The Over is 1-1 in Dolphins games and 2-0 in Jaguars games.

 

LOS ANGELES RAMS at BUFFALO BILLS

This game features two undefeated teams. The Rams (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) have looked great, beating the Cowboys 20-17 as one-point dogs and then crushing the Eagles 37-19 as 1.5-point dogs. The Bills (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) have also looked impressive, although they’ve feasted on lowly divisional opponents, handling the Jets 27-17 as 6.5-point favorites and beating the Dolphins 31-28 last week but failing to cover as 5.5-point favorites. This line opened with Buffalo listed as a three-point home favorite. We’ve seen pros and Joes both load up on the Rams at the key number of + 3, which has dropped this line to 2.5 across the board. An edge for the Bills is that they’ll likely be contrarian favorites with a deflated line, and the Rams will be a West Coast team traveling east for an early 1 p.m. start. The total has ticked up from 46 to 47.5. The Over is 2-0 in Bills games and 1-1 in Rams games. Weather could play a role. The forecast calls for 15-mph winds in western New York.

 

CHICAGO BEARS at ATLANTA FALCONS

Public perception of these teams couldn’t be more different. The Bears (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) are undefeated and just beat the Giants 17-13, although they failed to cover as 4.5-point favorites. Meanwhile, the Falcons (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) are winless and coming off one of the worst choke jobs in recent memory, losing to the Cowboys 40-39 but covering as three-point dogs. The public is gladly grabbing the points with the undefeated Bears against a winless team off an epic loss. But value-minded pros seem to be buying low on the Falcons. This line opened with Atlanta listed as a three-point home favorite, and we’ve seen the line quickly move to -3.5. The total is 47.5. The Over is 1-1 in Bears games and 2-0 in Falcons games. This game will be played indoors, which historically benefits Overs.

 

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

The Raiders (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) couldn’t have asked for a better start to their inaugural Vegas season. They are undefeated and riding high after a “Monday Night Football” win over the Saints 34-24 as four-point underdogs. The Patriots (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) nearly knocked off the Seahawks as 4.5-point underdogs but came up a yard short on the final play, losing 35-30 on “Sunday Night Football.” This line opened with the Patriots listed as 6.5-point favorites at home. The public is once again leaning New England, but pros have gotten down on the streaking Raiders getting the hook, dropping this line to 6. Some Over betting has also hit the market, pushing the total up from 47.5 to 48. New England enjoys a rest advantage, having last played on Sunday night while the Raiders played on Monday night.

 

HOUSTON TEXANS at PITTSBURGH STEELERS

These teams are trending in opposite directions. The winless Texans (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS) have been outscored 67-36 and just fell to the Ravens 33-16 at home, failing to cover as 7.5-point dogs. On the flip side, the undefeated Steelers (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) are coming off a 26-21 win over the Broncos but didn’t cover as 6.5-point home favorites. This line opened with Pittsburgh listed as a five-point home favorite. Some books opened closer to -6. The public is rushing to lay the points with the Steelers, but we’ve seen sharp money load up on Houston, causing a dramatic line move toward the road dog. The Texans are all the way down to + 3.5 across the market. Historically, it has been profitable to buy low on undervalued teams in Week 3 that failed to cover their first two games. The total is 45. Both teams are 1-1 to the Over/Under. Keep an eye on the forecast. It might be rainy and windy at Heinz Field, which would provide a slight edge to the Under.

 

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS at NEW YORK GIANTS

Both teams are off to slow starts and dealing with a barrage of big injuries. The 49ers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) rebounded from a Week 1 loss to the Cardinals with a resounding 31-13 win over the Jets as seven-point favorites. But edge rusher Nick Bosa suffered a season-ending injury and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has a high-ankle sprain. Star tight end George Kittle remains questionable with a knee injury. The Giants (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) are winless but battled back in Week 2, falling to the Bears 17-13 but covering as 4.5-point dogs. New York lost star running back Saquon Barkley to a torn ACL against Chicago. This line opened with the 49ers listed as 6.5-point road favorites. With injuries to Bosa and Garoppolo, it has dipped to 49ers -4. The public is still backing San Francisco. The Giants have value as contrarian home dogs with a line move in their favor. The total dipped from 42 to 40 since opening. The forecast calls for 10-mph wins in New York. The Under is 2-0 in Giants games and 1-1 in 49ers games.

 

TENNESSEE TITANS at MINNESOTA VIKINGS

This nonconference clash features teams trending on opposite ends of the standings. The Titans (2-0 SU, 0-2 ATS) are undefeated and coming off a thrilling 33-30 win over the Jaguars, although they failed to cover as seven-point favorites. Meanwhile, the winless Vikings (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS) have looked awful through two games and just got thumped by the Colts 28-11, failing to cover as 3.5-point dogs. This line opened with Tennessee listed as a short 1.5-point road favorite. We’ve seen pros and Joes both load up on the Titans, pushing Tennessee up from -1.5 to -2.5. If the line goes to 3, Minnesota will have value getting a key number in a huge contrarian spot with an inflated line. Pro money has also hammered the Over. The total has risen from 45.5 to 47.5. This game will be played indoors, providing a slight edge to higher-scoring games. 

 

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM at CLEVELAND BROWNS

After a thrilling 27-17 win over Philadelphia in the season opener, Washington (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) came back to Earth in Week 2, falling to the Cardinals 30-15 and failing to cover as a seven-point underdog. On the flip side, the Browns (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) rebounded from a 38-6 Week 1 loss to the Ravens with a 35-30 win over the Bengals, although they failed to cover as six-point favorites. This line opened with Cleveland listed as a 6.5-point home favorite. We’ve seen a combination of pro and Joe action flow in on the Browns, pushing this line up to -7. The Browns have a big rest advantage and don’t have to travel, having last played Thursday night at home. Also, buying low on teams that failed to cover the first two weeks of the season has been a profitable strategy historically. Pro money has also leaned on the Under in this one. We’ve seen the total fall from 45 to 44. Weather could be an issue as the forecast calls for 10-mph winds at the Dawg Pound. 

 

CINCINNATI BENGALS at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Both teams are desperate to avoid 0-3 starts. The Bengals (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) have lost a pair of close games, most recently falling to the Browns 35-30 but covering as six-point dogs. The Eagles (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS) have been dreadful through two games, blowing a big lead to Washington in the opener and then getting crushed by the Rams 37-19 last week despite being favored by 1.5 points. This line opened with Philadelphia listed as a six-point home favorite. Spread bets are split, and the public doesn’t know whom to back. However, we’ve seen this line move slightly toward Philadelphia -6 to -6.5, signaling some smart money buying low on the struggling Eagles. This total has ticked up from 46 to 46.5. The Over is 1-1 in Bengals games and 2-0 in Eagles games. One advantage for the Bengals is that they last played Thursday, while the Eagles played Sunday.

 

NEW YORK JETS at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

The Jets (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS) have looked terrible through two games, losing by 10 to Buffalo in Week 1 and getting crushed by San Francisco 31-13 last week. On the flip side, the Colts (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) rebounded from an embarrassing 27-20 Week 1 loss to the Jaguars with a resounding 28-11 win and cover over the Vikings as 3.5-point favorites. This line opened with the Colts listed as 9.5-point home favorites. Pros and Joes are happily fading the injured Jets. Sharps immediately hit the -9.5 before it hit the key number of 10. This line has continued to rise to Indianapolis -10.5. If it continues to rise, the Jets will have value as contrarian dogs with an inflated line in a high-total game. We’ve also seen smart money target the Under, dropping the total from 45 to 43.5. Offense may be hard to come by for New York, which will likely be without several offensive weapons, including running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Jamison Crowder. 

 

CAROLINA PANTHERS at LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

The Panthers (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS) have gotten off to a rough start under new coach Matt Rhule, losing 34-30 to the Raiders and 31-17 to the Bucs. And now Carolina will be without its best player as star running back Christian McCaffrey will miss the four to six weeks with an ankle injury. Things are looking much better for the Chargers (1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS). After beating the Bengals 16-13 in Week 1, Los Angeles battled and nearly beat the mighty Chiefs last week, losing 23-20 but covering as a nine-point underdog. This line opened with Los Angeles listed as a 6.5-point home favorite. We’ve seen sharp money lay the points with the Chargers, pushing this line up to -7. It might rise even further. Chargers top pick Justin Herbert is expected to make his second start, replacing the injured Tyrod Taylor. The total is 44. This will be a clash of styles, as the Panthers are 2-0 to the Over and the Chargers are 2-0 to the Under.

 

DETROIT LIONS at ARIZONA CARDINALS

These NFC foes have raced to polar-opposite starts. The Lions (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS) have lost and failed to cover both games, blowing a big lead to the Bears in Week 1 and then getting throttled by the Packers last week 42-21 as seven-point dogs. But Kyler Murray and the Cardinals (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) have looked tremendous, upsetting the 49ers 24-20 as seven-point dogs in the opener and then crushing Washington 30-15 as seven-point favorites last week. This line opened with Arizona listed as a 5.5-point favorite at home. This is one of the most lopsided bets of the week, with more than three of four bets laying the points. This heavy action pushed the line up to -6.5. That’s when we saw value-minded wise guys buy low on the desperate Lions at + 6.5, causing the line to fall back to 5.5. Essentially, we are looking at a sharp line freeze on Detroit. We could also be in for a high-scoring game. The total opened at 53 and has been bet up to 54.5. The Over is 2-0 in Lions games but 0-2 in Cardinals games. The Lions could get a big boost if injured star wide receiver Kenny Golladay plays.

 

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS at DENVER BRONCOS

After a tough loss to the Saints in Week 1, Tom Brady and the Bucs (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) rebounded with a 31-17 win and cover over the Panthers as 7.5-point favorites last week. The Broncos (0-2 SU, 2-0 ATS) have lost twice but covered both spreads, most recently losing to the Steelers 26-21 as 6.5-point dogs. This line opened with Tampa Bay listed as a short 3.5-point road favorite. But the Broncos are suffering some major injuries, most notably losing quarterback Drew Lock and wide receiver Courtland Sutton. As a result, this line ballooned to Bucs -6. The public is hammering the Bucs after their first win. This creates value to buy low on the Broncos as contrarian home dogs getting the key number of + 6. Denver backup QB Jeff Driskel will start after playing well against Pittsburgh (256 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT). The Broncos also enjoy home-field advantage due to the Mile High altitude. The total is 43.5. The Over is 2-0 in Bucs games and 1-1 in Broncos games. 

 

DALLAS COWBOYS at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

The Cowboys (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) saved themselves from an ominous 0-2 start by posting one of the most thrilling comeback victories in recent memory, beating the Falcons 40-39. They will now face their toughest test yet as they travel to CenturyLink Field to take on the undefeated Seahawks (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS). Seattle is coming off an impressive 35-30 win over the Patriots on Sunday night, covering on a last-second goal-line stand as a 4.5-point favorite. This line opened with the Seahawks listed as 3.5-point home favorites. Pros and Joes have loaded up on Seattle, pushing this line up to Seahawks -4.5. Some books reached -5 and got hit with some respected Cowboys money, dropping the line back to 4.5. The Cowboys have value as contrarian road dogs with an inflated line in a prime-time afternoon game. This is the highest total of the week at 55.5. The Over is 2-0 in Seahawks games and 1-1 in Cowboys games. It looks like an easy Over, but the total hasn’t budged despite heavy Over betting. This signals some liability on the contrarian Under. Keep an eye on the weather. We might be looking at 10- to 12-mph winds in Seattle.

GREEN BAY PACKERS at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Bettors are in for a treat with two of the NFC’s best teams going head to head on Sunday night. The Packers (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) have looked great out of the gate, putting up lots of points (42.5 PPG) in wins and covers against the Vikings and Lions. The Saints (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) are coming off a disappointing loss on Monday night, falling to the Raiders 34-24 as four-point favorites. This line opened with New Orleans listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. Pros and Joes are both rushing to the window to grab the points with the streaking Packers. This overload of Green Bay money has dropped the line from Saints -3.5 to -3. Some shops are even down to -2.5. If this lopsided betting continues, the Saints will have value as deflated contrarian favorites in a heavily bet game. The total has risen from 52 to 53. Both teams are 2-0 to the Over. The Packers enjoy a rest advantage as they last played Sunday while the Saints are on a short week.

 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at BALTIMORE RAVENS

Bettors couldn’t have asked for a better “Monday Night Football” matchup. Both Super Bowl contenders are undefeated and look primed for championship seasons. The Chiefs (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) are coming off a tough 23-20 win over the Chargers, although they failed to cover as nine-point favorites. The Ravens (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) have looked unstoppable, crushing the Browns 38-6 and then dominating the Texans 33-16. This game opened with Baltimore listed as a three-point home favorite. The public respects the Ravens but also can’t believe they’re getting Patrick Mahomes as a dog. However, despite a slight majority of bets grabbing the Chiefs, we’ve seen this line move further to the Ravens -3 to -3.5. This signals pro money backing Baltimore at home and fading the trendy dog. We could be looking at a high-scoring game as the total opened at 52 and has been bet up to 53.5. Surprisingly, the Over is 1-1 in Chiefs games and 0-2 in Ravens games.

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