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There is a free 5K Sportsbook Pool for NFL Week 3. You have to pick each of the 14 games on Sunday against the spread, and the higher you finish on the leaderboard, the more money you earn.
Let’s take a look at all 14 contests slated for Sunday, including my five personal favorites.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)
The Pick: Bengals +6.5
We’re getting an insane amount of line value with the Bengals in this contest. The spread is down to just three points on DraftKings Sportsbook, but we’re getting nearly a full touchdown here. The sharps have been teeing off on the Bengals all week, with 87% of the spread dollars siding with the road team.
Both of these teams will likely be missing key receivers – Diontae Johnson is out for the Steelers, while Tee Higgins is doubtful for the Bengals – but the Steelers have two other key injuries. Ben Roethlisberger is dealing with a pec injury, and while he’s no stranger to playing through pain, it could impact his effectiveness in this contest. T.J. Watt is also questionable, so the team could be without last year’s runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5)
The Pick: Chiefs -6.5
A lot has been made recently about the Chiefs’ inability to cover the spread, and it’s definitely worth mentioning. They’re just 2-11 against the spread over their past 13 games including the playoffs.
That said, the Chiefs are large favorites most weeks, and they’re laying less than a touchdown at home vs. the Chargers. Mahomes has historically posted a record of 16-10 against the spread when favored by seven or less, resulting in a +21.4% return on investment.
Backing elite quarterbacks coming off a loss is also usually a good idea. Mahomes hasn’t racked up a ton of losses during his career, but he is 5-3 ATS following a defeat during the regular season.
Ultimately, this is a nice buy-low spot for the Chiefs.
Baltimore Ravens (-7.5) @ Detroit Lions
The Pick: Lions +7.5
The Lions were expected to be one of the worst teams in football this season, and their early results haven’t changed that perception. Their defense has been dreadful, surrendering 41 points to the 49ers in Week 1 and 35 points to the Packers in Week 2.
Still, this team has been frisky offensively. They came roaring back vs. the 49ers, ultimately losing by just eight points, and they kept pace with the Packers in the first half. This team is not going to quit, so they could keep the backdoor open for bettors all season.
The Ravens also enter this contest in poor health. Lamar Jackson and Marquise Brown are both questionable, while Baltimore is expected to be without four starters on defense. The team also lost a host of RBs during the offseason, so they are the most shorthanded team in the league at the moment. They’re still better than the Lions, but I don’t think the Ravens deserve to be favored by more than a touchdown on the road.
Miami Dolphins @ Las Vegas Raiders (-0.5)
The Pick: Dolphins +0.5
This spread is up to 3.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, and normally I would take the value with the Raiders in that situation. That said, the Dolphins are arguably my favorite play of the week, so I’m willing to grab them at a bad number.
One of the biggest mistakes amateur bettors make is adjusting their expectations too early in the season. The Raiders have won two straight games, so now the general perception is that they’re the better team. I don’t agree with that.
Buying low on teams coming off a blowout loss is also a proven strategy. The Dolphins lost by 35 points last week, and teams that lost by at least 35 points have posted a 65-37-5 ATS in their following contest. That’s good for a return on investment of more than 22% over a large sample size.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Los Angeles Rams (-1.5)
The Pick: Buccaneers +1.5
This game looks like a potential NFC Championship preview. There are cases to be made for both sides, but I can’t resist grabbing Tom Brady as an underdog in this contest. The Buccaneers have moved to slight favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, so we’re getting a bit of line value.
Brady hasn’t been an underdog very often throughout his career, but he’s been absolutely elite in that situation. Shocking, right? Brady has posted a mark of 23-9-2 ATS since 2004 when getting points during the regular season, including a mark of 2-1 with the Buccaneers.
Here’s who I’m targeting for the rest of the Sunday games. Remember, we’re looking to beat the competition and climb up the leaderboard, so I’ll be looking to gain leverage on the field and fade the public in situations where I don’t see a huge edge on the spread.
Washington Football Team @ Buffalo Bills (-8.5)
Pick: Football Team +8.5
Chicago Bears @ Cleveland Browns (-8.5)
Pick: Bears +8.5
New Orleans Saints @ New England Patriots (-0.5)
Pick: Patriots -0.5
Atlanta Falcons @ New York Giants (-2.5)
Pick: Giants -2.5
Arizona Cardinals (-5.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Cardinals -5.5
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans (-2.5)
Pick: Colts +2.5
New York Jets @ Denver Broncos (-8.5)
Pick: Broncos -8.5
Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) @ Minnesota Vikings
Pick: Vikings +2.5
Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers (-2.5)
Pick: 49ers -2.5
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.
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