By Jason McIntyre
FOX Sports Betting Analyst
This week’s NFL slate features a ton of great matchups, but what stuck out to me during my research was there being nine home underdogs on the card.
Per FOX Sports Research, these are the most home underdog occurrences in Week 3 since 2003.
Let’s have some fun and break down the nine cases in order of what I think their chances are to win. In Week 1 we saw 10 instances of home dogs and had success diving in, so let’s run it back. With odds courtesy of FOX Bet, of course.
It’s just a bad matchup for the Cardinals (+3.5). Kliff Kingsbury has lost six of his seven meetings with Sean McVay, and the Rams have scored 30-plus points in five of those games.
Arizona has been thrashed in the first half this season, 43-7. The Cardinals got saved by Kyler Murray against the Raiders, but don’t expect those heroics again. Murray is terrified of Aaron Donald and threw four interceptions in the final two meetings against the Rams last year.
I would love to make a case for the Jets (+6), but the matchup isn’t good. Teams have flummoxed Joe Burrow the first two weeks with deep safeties to take away the big play. The Jets safeties — LaMarcus Joyner and Jordan Whitehead — have graded out 71st and 69th, respectively, by Pro Football Focus, and that’s out of 71 safeties.
Can the Jets keep up offensively? Joe Flacco has attempted the most passes in the NFL through two games, which normally would be a very bad thing, except for the emergence of rookie receiver Garrett Wilson. His dynamic ability to get open quickly makes Flacco less of a liability in the pocket. I still don’t see this one happening.
The Titans (+1.5) went from the No. 1 seed last year to playing in an elimination game in Week 3. At 0-2 and with just one touchdown in eight quarters, Tennessee would go on life support if they can’t beat the Raiders at home. Las Vegas has been inconsistent, falling behind 17-3 to LAC, and blowing a 20-0 lead against Arizona. The total has gone down from 48 to 45. Expect Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones to have their way with the Titans’ offensive line.
No team is getting more love in the AFC right now than Miami (+6). Tua’s MVP odds have skyrocketed; same with Mike McDaniels’ Coach of the Year odds. But this weekend, they will face the best team in the league, one with an overpowering defensive line that could overwhelm Miami.
Are the Panthers (+2.5) good? They’ve lost two close games on field goals from 55-plus yards in the final few minutes. Now they host a reeling Saints team that offensively has only looked good for one quarter (the fourth vs. Atlanta).
Jameis Winston’s back injury didn’t cause him to throw three interceptions in the second half against the Bucs, but you have to wonder if his confidence is a bit shaken. Last year in Charlotte, he was 11-of-22 for 111 yards and two INTs and was sacked four times in a loss.
The Patriots (+2.5) rebounded from losing to the Dolphins with an emphatic victory over the Steelers. They now find themselves as short home underdogs against a Ravens team that may still be in shock after blowing a 21-point fourth-quarter lead at home. If the Ravens don’t blow that lead, what’s the line here?
Baltimore’s running backs have struggled this season, but perhaps budding star JK Dobbins returns after missing all of last season due to injury.
This should be a low-scoring game, and if Belichick takes away Lamar Jackson’s running ability, the Patriots could pull the upset.
The Colts (+6) have arguably looked like the worst team in the NFL through two weeks, tying the Texans — thanks to a fourth-quarter rally — and getting shut out in Jacksonville. But teams coming off a shutout loss are frisky — since 2015, they are 25-9 against the spread (ATS) the following week.
But now you get 2-0 Andy Reid and Pat Mahomes — the pair has never lost a game indoors — with a chance to put the nail in Frank Reich’s coaching tenure. If the Colts don’t have their best receiver (Michael Pittman) and defender (Shaq Leonard) back from injury, they won’t win. Watch the injury report.
The Commanders (+7) needed a fourth-quarter rally to beat the Jaguars, or they’d be 0-2. Detroit averaged 7.0 ypp behind Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift and led Washington 22-0 before a bunch of garbage time points made the scoring respectable.
The Eagles shut down Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson Monday night and are the darlings of the AFC. Still, perhaps there’s a letdown against Curtis Samuel (watch the injury report), Jahan Dotson and Terry McLaurin. The real question is, which Carson Wentz will show up? It’s a revenge spot for the former Eagles QB.
The 49ers cratered against the Bears and Justin Fields in the opener, then overwhelmed the Seahawks and Geno Smith in Week 2. The Seahawks were a few days removed from winning the Super Bowl (aka beating Russell Wilson), so I don’t know how much stock to put into that big win.
The Broncos have not scored a red zone touchdown yet; Nathan Hackett has looked lost through two games. The Broncos are 0-2 ATS, but expect a juiced-up crowd at night in Denver, which should balance out the coaching mismatch.
Jason McIntyre is a FOX Sports betting analyst and co-host of The Herd. He also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. He joined FS1 in 2016 and has appeared on every show on the network. In 2017, McIntyre began producing gambling content on the NFL, college football and NBA for FOX Sports. He had a gambling podcast for FOX, “Coming Up Winners,” in 2018 and 2019. Before arriving at FOX, he created the website The Big Lead, which he sold in 2010.
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