Hit the Road, Jack.
Four of these chalks received initial handle above 90%, and two reflect public indifference to what had been classic “push” territory, the “3” and “7” betting spread.
The Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs topped the early voting at 93%, despite being on these key numbers. Baltimore opened -3 against the host New England Patriots, and Kansas City was -7 against the host Indianapolis Colts. (The line moved to Kansas City -6.5 on Tuesday night, despite the lopsided action at DraftKings).
Through the first two weeks of the season, six games have ended with a three-point difference, and only one finished at seven.
Increased use of the two-point conversion has already eased betting concerns on “7”, and even the “3” number can be absorbed by bettors who want to buy half a point on either side for a few basis points (in Thursday’s Week 3 opener, the Cleveland Browns were -4.5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday afternoon. Moving the Browns to -4 was -122, not expensive from an original -110).
That strategy can also be used as a link to anchor multi-legged parlays.
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NFL Bettors’ Recency Bias …
Monday Night Magic propelled the next two teams, the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles, near the top of public betting support.
The Bills garnered 92% of the early money at -5.5 as they visit the Miami Dolphins in a battle of stellar 2-0 teams. Bettors have apparently figured Buffalo’s 41-7 prime-time massacre of the Tennessee Titans into the equation. The Bills have outscored their first two opponents, 72-17.
The Philadelphia Eagles, who squelched the Minnesota Vikings 24-7 on Monday night, take a 2-0 record and 92% betting support into their matchup against the Washington Commanders at -6.5.
… But Also Retaining Faith
Bettors are still backing the Cincinnati Bengals, who have labored to an 0-2 start as defending AFC champs. For the first time this season, they are giving less than a touchdown. At -5 against the host New York Jets, they earned 89% of the early action.
Contrarians who think the Bengals are heading for a down year have been feasting by going against them. Cincy is 0-2 vs the number and the moneyline.
The San Francisco 49ers, who showed good defensive prowess in a 27-7 triumph over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2, had 88% of the early money at -1.5 against the Denver Broncos.
Also read: Odds for an NFL Team to go Undefeated
Lions Building Bankrolls
On the plus-points side, bettors are in love with the Detroit Lions, who are +6 at the Minnesota Vikings.
The Lions have become a cash register for gamblers on the spread and the Over. Detroit is 2-0 on both, easily. The Lions were 11-6 ATS last season.
This team could be an early-season gold mine for gamblers. In two home games, they were +5.5 against the Philadelphia Eagles and only -2.5 against the Washington Commanders.
They have easily rewarded the Over, with point totals of 73 and 63. The Lions are reminiscent of the Bengals from last season: most betting lines look favorable to their backers.
The Lions also have an electrifying young player in Amon-Ra St. Brown. He notched two more touchdowns last week in Detroit’s 36-27 triumph over the Washington Commanders.
St. Brown became the first player in NFL history to have six straight regular-season games with at least eight receptions and a touchdown, according to the league. The streak began in Week 15 of the 2021 season and has carried into this year.
Those numbers come from him being targeted more than 10 times every game.
Does that put special emphasis, and perhaps double-coverage on his back? Bettors will have to make that decision. One thing is not in doubt: he is Jared Goff’s favorite receiver.
NFL Week 3 Totals Betting
The Lions-Vikings is by far the most popular Over, with 92% handle at 52.5.
The largest Under support, 79%, was tied between the Kansas City Chiefs-Indianapolis Colts (49.5), and the Arizona Cardinals-Los Angeles Rams (50.5).
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Any Concern for Justin Herbert Injury?
On the injury front, Justin Herbert’s fractured rib cartilage is not expected to hinder him, according to the betting line. His Los Angeles Chargers are -7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Bettors will watch this. Johnny Avello, the director of race and sports book operations for DraftKings, told Gaming Today he believes Herbert is worth a full five points to the line.
Also check: NFL Week 3 Power Rankings
DraftKings Bettor Hits $25K Same Game Parlay
Amplifying the Lions’ popularity with bettors, one DraftKings gambler took it to the financial house with a Week 2 bet:
The customer placed a $25 Same Game Parlay on the Washington-Detroit game and won a $25,050 payout. Here are the winning legs:
• Total Points – 1st Quarter: Over 9.5
• DET Lions to Win by 5+ in 1st Quarter
• Carson Wentz Over 224.5 Passing Yards
• Carson Wentz 2+ Passing Touchdowns
• Antonio Gibson Under 74.5 Rushing Yards
• D’Andre Swift Over 49.5 Rushing Yards
• Amon-Ra St. Brown Over 49.5 Receiving Yards
• D’Andre Swift Over 19.5 Receiving Yards
• DET Lions Over 19.5 Total Points
• WAS Commanders Under 29.5 Total Points
• DET Lions 3+ Sacks Made
As multi-legged parlays go, this was relatively devoid of sweat.
But not entirely. The key to Washington staying under 29.5 points was a missed two-point conversion early in the fourth quarter. Had that been made, Washington would have stood right at 29 with an extra point that was eventually missed with 1:56 left.
Imagine having 25 Gs riding on an extra point?
There are several parlay hits like this each week. Bettors love the idea of leveraging a potentially big payout for a small investment.
Try your luck: Best sportsbook apps for NFL parlays
Compelling Backstories: One for Each Conference
Early Betting Line: Philadelphia -6.5 at Washington
Behind the Lines: Carson Wentz Faces Eagles for First Time
This is a natural high-interest game.
Toss aside Philadelphia’s dominance of this series in the last three decades –13-8 in the 1990s, 13-7 in the 2000s, and 12-8 in the 2010s.
This is the Eagles’ past versus the future.
When Wentz was laboring in 2020, going 3-8-1 in the 12 games he started, the Jalen Hurts chants went out from the crowd. It continued on the talk-show circuit throughout the off-season.
Wentz, for whom the Eagles had bestowed a monster $128 million, four-year contract in 2019, wasn’t the same player since returning from an ACL injury.
Eagles management received significant media heat for linking their future to Wentz after he’d been hurt and while he had been visibly slowed by the injury.
General manager Howie Roseman had twice traded up in the draft to get Wentz in 2016. While that looked understandable early in Wentz’ career, he was already hobbled by the time Roseman okayed the big contract in 2019.
There wasn’t room in Philly for both quarterbacks.
During the offseason, Wentz was traded to the Colts, and the Eagles became Hurts’ team.
He guided the Eagles to the post-season last year, while Wentz flopped in Indianapolis and was then traded to the Commanders.
Media platforms kept running comparisons of Hurts and Wentz.
And now, here … we … go. Both players are on the same field.
Wentz has led the Commanders to a 1-1 mark. Hurts has begun to look like the real deal in Philly, evidenced by his outstanding effort in Monday’s rout of the Minnesota Vikings.
Roseman might be off the hook now because he orchestrated a 2021 draft-night maneuver to obtain DeVonta Smith, landed A.J. Brown in the off-season, and has watched Hurts come into his own.
It’s official, the Eagles were better off going with Hurts. They just need one more “so there” game. Is this it?
Help with Handicapping: NFL Week 3 Betting Tips & Strategies
Early Betting Line: Bills -5.5 at Dolphins
Behind The Lines: Air Show
Never mind the Bills having won the last seven meetings.
Let’s look at the last eight quarters.
Josh Allen put up 317 yards and four touchdowns for the Bills in Monday’s 41-7 rout of the Tennessee Titans.
Tua Tagovailoa was unstoppable for Miami, throwing for four touchdowns in a single quarter. Tua delivered 469 yards with a career-high six TD’s. The books projected significant improvement for the Dolphins this year and are already seeing it. He brought the Dolphins from 35-14 down in the fourth quarter all the way to a 42-38 victory.
This team has Jaylen Waddle. And Tyreek Hill.
The Bills have Stefon Diggs and Allen.
Fill the air with footballs, we can’t wait to see these quarterbacks, who delivered 786 yards and 10 touchdowns last week.
The over-under is 53. For which half? Unless it’s really the Bills defense that becomes the story.
In any case, the bettors await a Prop-Till-You-Drop field day.
Also check: Super Bowl 57 odds
Current NFL Week 3 Betting Lines
Here are live odds for the third week of the NFL season from various legal US sportsbooks.