After shrugging off the preseason rust, underdogs compiled a glittering record of 11-4 against the spread (ATS) in Week 2 action.
That included outright winners like the Indianapolis Colts (1-1) suffocating the Washington Redskins (1-1) as 6-point road underdogs, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0) stunning the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) as 3.5-point home dogs.
Week 2 proved that parity still reigns supreme in the NFL, especially for bettors attempting to navigate perfectly calculated point spreads.
Week 3 is just one day away, and online sportsbook Bovada has posted a fresh set of spreads for the upcoming slate, so read on for a rundown of Week 3 betting action.
Free Points Aplenty When the Vikings Host the Bills
One of the more eye-catching numbers on the Week 3 betting board is (+17), which the Buffalo Bills (0-2) will be getting when they visit the Minnesota Vikings (1-0-1).
The Vikings are a defensive force to be reckoned with, returning 10 of their 11 starters from the best squad in football last season. And that lone replacement is none other than former Pro Bowl caliber defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, so the Vikes are clearly built to stop opposing offenses in their tracks.
That may be easier than ever this week, with the hapless Bills coming to town. Buffalo has already benched Week 1’s starting quarterback Nathan Peterman, but rookie signal-caller Josh Allen isn’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard either.
Bettors don’t see 17-point spreads very often in the NFL, so it may be tempting to snag the three-score number and hope for the best. But with the league’s top defense taking on what might be the worst offense assembled in recent memory, a blowout akin to the Bills’ 47-3 shellacking from Week 1 may be in the cards.
Several Games Feature 7-Point Spreads
The Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) are on fire to open the year, with second-year quarterback and first-year starter Pat Mahomes slinging 10 touchdowns already – including a six-pack in last Sunday’s 42-37 shootout win over the Steelers.
Befitting such a high-powered offensive attack, the Chiefs are (-7) at home against the San Francisco 49ers (1-1).
Another offense that can do no wrong through two weeks resides in Los Angeles, where the Rams (2-0) have put up 67 points in two blowout wins. The Rams can certainly score, but they may be even more impressive on defense, holding the opposition to just 13 combined points – including a shutout last Sunday to down the Cardinals.
With the vexing Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) – a team that can alternate between brilliant and broken down on a weekly basis – coming to town, the Rams are (-7) home favorites.
And on the flip side of the coin, the struggling Detroit Lions (0-2) will host the New England Patriots (1-1) on Sunday Night Football as (+7) home dogs.
Lackluster Offering on Thursday Night Football
Circling back to the beginning of Week 3, the Thursday Night Football game pits a pair of struggling upstarts against one another in what could be a sloppy contest.
Bettors will get the standard (-3) home field advantage when the Cleveland Browns (0-1-1) host the New York Jets (1-1).
The Browns could’ve – and should’ve – won both of their games thus far, after limiting both the Steelers’ and Saints’ high-powered offenses to just 21 points apiece. But late miscues in the kicking game cost Cleveland both victories, so the Browns will undoubtedly be hungry for their first win since December of 2016.
As for the Jets, a rousing opening week victory over the Lions caused the usual Big Apple excitement to build around rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. The buzz didn’t matter last Sunday though, as the Jets dropped their home opener to the Dolphins amidst a lackluster performance by Darnold.