With two weeks of exposure to all 32 NFL teams in hand, bettors have that much more of an advantage when it comes to placing wagers. While we can anticipate the sportsbooks to adjust as well, there is still value to be found. Here are a few lines that I have an early edge on for Week 3.
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook
Atlanta Falcons (+2.5) at Indianapolis Colts
The battle in the trenches figures to play a key role in this matchup of 1-1 teams. The Colts offensive line is the key to their success, both in the run game and in affording Jacoby Brissett enough time to throw. The problem in this game is the scary Falcons defensive front that they will be going up against. Headlined by Grady Jarrett, Tak McKinley, Vic Beasley and Adrian Clayborn, the unit suffocated a potent Philadelphia Eagles offense in Week 2, holding them to just 286 total yards and forcing three turnovers. Miles Sanders was the Eagles’ leading rusher on the game, with just 28 yards. If Atlanta can smother Marlon Mack in the backfield, the pressure will be squarely on Brissett.
On the other side of the ball, the Colts defense could be missing one of their biggest playmakers in linebacker Darius Leonard, who is in concussion protocol. With the array of receiving weapons at Matt Ryan’s disposal, the absence of Leonard would be costly. Add it all up and the Falcons have a real shot to potentially win the game outright. This spread has dropped a full point from the +3.5 opening number.
Back Atlanta now before it gets any lower, or perhaps shop around as there are some full field goal spreads of 3.0 out there.
Houston Texans (+3.5) at Los Angeles Chargers
Both the Texans and Chargers had rather underwhelming offensive performances in Week 2. With both teams having 1-1 records, Sunday’s matchup is critical for the standings now, but also potentially for playoff positioning down the road. This line has actually climbed from an even 3.0 to 3.5 in the last 24 hours, but is there really enough to give the Chargers over a field goal’s edge? LA doesn’t net much of a home field advantage playing in the StubHub Center. For every playmaker they have on either side of the ball, Houston has a strong counter. Philip Rivers vs. Deshaun Watson. Austin Ekeler vs. Duke Johnson Jr. Keenan Allen vs. DeAndre Hopkins. Joey Bosa vs. J.J. Watt. Casey Heyward vs. Johnathan Joseph. Back and forth we go. Through the first two weeks, Football Outsiders’ advanced DVOA analytics ranks the Chargers 11th and 23rd in offensive and defensive efficiency while the Texans are 13th and 24th. This game is literally splitting hairs. With the line now up over a field goal, Houston is worth a play.
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (UNDER 40)
A point total of 40 is as low as you’ll see for a regular season NFL game, but for this AFC South matchup, it is justified. Both teams are loaded with playmakers on the defensive side of the football. For the Titans, Cameron Wake, Jurrell Casey, Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan are the focal points of the unit that shut down the talented Cleveland Browns in Week 1 and prevented the strong Colts offensive line from dominating the trenches in Week 2. From a points allowed perspective, the Jaguars aren’t quite as impressive, but they did go up against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1. The way Jacksonville held the high-flying Texans to just 13 points and 263 total yards on the road in Week 2 speaks volumes. Apart from Jalen Ramsey’s noted discontent, the defense looked more like the “Sacksonville” squad of two years ago this past Sunday. If Houston and Indianapolis couldn’t crack 20 points on these defenses, do you really want to trust a Marcus Mariota or Gardner Minshew-led offense to do so? Add in the Thursday Night Football affect and going under is the play to make.
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