Week 3 of the NFL is primed to bring some added excitement, as some of the highest profile matchups we’ve seen so far this season are on the schedule for Sunday (and Monday). The Cowboys are in Seattle to face the Seahawks, the Packers are in New Orleans to take on the Saints, and the game of the week is set for Monday night between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens.
For this week’s DraftKings Sportsbook betting insights and analysis, we look through these games and more as many teams face roster turmoil due to the injuries of the past two weeks. You can check back in on Sunday for some of those updates, as well as to see how lines have moved over the weekend leading up to the 1:00 p.m. ET start times.
Sunday Line Movement Update
- With Julio Jones inactive, the Bears have moved from +3.5 to +2.5, and the total is now down to 46 off of the 48 where it started at the beginning of the week.
- The Patriots spread continues to climb, and has now reached the key full touchdown at -7. This is likely in large part due to the Raiders injuries, as it looks like Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller might be somewhat limited for this game.
- The Eagles fell from -6.5 to -4.5 earlier in the week behind a slight bettor preference for Bengals bets, but that line has since corrected in the other direction and the Eagles are back up to -6.
This week’s Monday Night Football game is as good as it gets, with two of the leading MVP candidates and two of the best teams in football squaring off on one of the sport’s biggest stages. Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson actually met almost exactly a year ago, and Mahomes outplayed Jackson en route to a 33-28 Chiefs’ win. Even after that showing — and even after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl — the Ravens are still favored at -3.5 for Monday night’s game.
The Chiefs opened at +3 and moved to +2.5, but the line has gone back up to 3.5 despite lopsided bets and handle percentages in the Chiefs’ direction. So what is it that “sharp bettors” might be seeing to move the line back the other way? Well, the most obvious explanation is that even though both teams are 2-0, the Ravens have simply played much better in 2020. It’s only been two games, but the Ravens have been much more efficient. By Football Outsiders’ DVOA, the Ravens have been the best team in the NFL at 60.6%, while the Chiefs are just 16th at 10.4%. The Chiefs are likely to play a bit better going forward, but there’s almost no question that the Ravens have been the class of the NFL so far this season.
Betting Splits Breakdown
Week 3 betting looks like more of a mess than the first two weeks, and that surely has a lot to do with key injuries that several of these teams are facing. Almost every team is now dealing with an impactful injury of some kind, but there are a few standouts that seem to clearly be impacting the betting lines. The largest line movement of the week is in favor of the Colts (more on this below) as they go up against a Jets team that is missing a pair of starting wide receivers.
The 49ers and Broncos are on to their backup quarterbacks, the Giants and Panthers will be missing their star running backs, and the statuses of several top-end receivers are in doubt, as well. There are essentially too many injured players to even name for Week 3, so checking back in for Sunday’s updates will be more important than usual.
How the Lines are Moving
Spread movement looks to be a lot more subtle this week, with the key mover being the aforementioned Colts. The Colts are only getting 58% of the bets against the Jets, but they are up to 94% of the handle, so clearly there’s some big money that’s moving this line. In addition to wide receivers Jameson Crowder and Breshad Perriman, the Jets are also potentially going to be missing starters on the offensive line and in the secondary — and this is a team that’s already missing an important pass-catching running back in Le’Veon Bell. The Colts are relatively healthy in contrast, and bettors seem to be viewing this as a big advantage.
The total movement for Week 3 is actually highly unusual, as the two games that are seeing significant jumps in the over/under aren’t even getting disproportionate betting in that direction. Titans-Vikings is only at 41% bets for the over (44% handle) and Lions-Cardinals is only at 53% bets for the over (80% handle). The Cardinals, in particular, are an interesting case because they actually haven’t been that efficient (20th in offensive DVOA) but they’ve played an up-tempo style and are facing a Lions defense that ranks 31st in defensive DVOA. The Lions are also tentatively expected to get receiver Kenny Golladay back this week, so that could be a big factor in the line movement, as well.
Themes for the Week
The most obvious trend for Week 3 is injuries, and it’s often quite difficult to predict in advance just how much some of these players’ absences will matter. There are backups all over the place who figure to get substantial playing time, and many of them will be playing without much NFL experience. There are also many players who have undetermined statuses at this point, so the betting lines could move around a lot before Sunday as some of that news starts to break.
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