NFL Betting Tips: The Best Ways to Buy Low in Week 3

NFL Betting Tips: The Best Ways to Buy Low in Week 3 article feature image
Credit:

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mason Rudolph.

  • Week 3 in the NFL is a perfect time to be a contrarian sports bettor.
  • Using Bet Labs, we share three profitable strategies for Week 3 that go against the grain.

One of the best times in the NFL season to be contrarian is Week 3. Teams that start slow are often buy-low candidates while those that come out of the gates strong could be overvalued.

There are three situational spots I’m eyeing for Week 3:

  • Buying low on teams that failed to cover in Weeks 1 and 2
  • Fading teams in home openers
  • Betting the over after both teams went under the previous week

The sample size is not huge for any of these trends but the results have been consistent year-to-year. If you buy the reasoning behind the systems, there is situational value to be found this weekend.

Check out PointsBet, where Action Network users can exclusively bet every NFL spread this season at reduced juice (-105).

Buy Low on 0-2 ATS Teams

Eight teams have started the 2019 season 0-2 against the spread (ATS). Most recreational bettors will fade a team after they fail to cover. In Week 3, six of the eight 0-2 ATS teams are receiving less than 50% of spread tickets.

But while bettors have had enough, this could be the worst time to jump off the bandwagon. Since 2003, teams that fail to cover the spread in back-to-back games to start the season have gone 70-53 (56.9%) ATS in Week 3.

Oddsmakers know the public will bet against poor performing teams, which leads to inflated lines for their opponents, and thus creates value buying low on teams that have yet to cover. According to Bet Labs, these teams are even more profitable if they are underdogs:

Since 2003, 0-2 ATS teams that are underdogs in Week 3 have gone 52-33 (61.2%) ATS. A $100 bettor following this contrarian strategy would have returned a profit of $1,688.

Five underdogs in Week 3 are 0-2 ATS and match this system.

Game Matches

  • Miami Dolphins +21.5 at Dallas Cowboys (1 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • New York Jets +22.5 at New England Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • New York Giants +6.5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • New Orleans Saints +4.5 at Seattle Seahawks (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers +6.5 at San Francisco 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)

Fade Teams in Home Openers

The schedulers did not do the Chiefs any favors to start the season. Kansas City began the year with back-to-back road games on the East and West Coasts. But that didn’t slow down Patrick Mahomes & Co., as KC is 2-0, winning each game by at least two touchdowns.

The Chiefs have their home opener in Week 3, and bettors like Kansas City to cover in Arrowhead. More than 60% of bets are on Andy Reid’s high-scoring offense.

Casual bettors reason that if KC can have that kind of success on the road then nothing can stop them at home. The only problem is that home-field advantage is overrated. Since 2003, home teams have covered the spread less than 50% of the time and teams like the Chiefs that start the season with consecutive road games have been dreadful in their home openers:

Betting against teams in Week 3 home openers after starting the season with back-to-back road games has gone 27-11-2 ATS.

Game Matches

  • Cincinnati Bengals +6 at Buffalo Bills (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Baltimore Ravens +6 at Kansas City Chiefs (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Atlanta Falcons +1 at Indianapolis Colts (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers +6.5 at San Francisco 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)

Bet the Over After Both Teams Go Under

Thanks to a goal-line fumble and two missed field goals, the Chargers scored just 10 points in a loss to the Lions in Week 2. Their opponent on Sunday, the Texans, also struggled to get their offense going. The 13 points Houston scored were tied for the fewest in a game that Deshaun Watson has started.

Unsurprisingly, Los Angeles and Houston each went under their Week 2 total. It is natural given the team’s recent offensive struggles that bettors would want to wager on the Chargers-Texans under. More than 60% of bettors are banking on these teams combining for fewer than the total of 48 points.

But history says the over has value. Since 2003, the over is 480-437-12 (52.3%) in games when both teams went under the previous week.

Oddsmakers know recreational gamblers tend to chase results. If both teams went under in their past game the bookmakers will shade the total to the under anticipating public money.

This strategy works the best early in the season when we can take advantage of bettors putting too much emphasis on a small sample of team performances.

Since 2003, in Weeks 2-4 it has been profitable — to the tune of 102-64-1 (61.4%) — to bet the over when both teams went under the previous week. In addition to Chargers-Texans matching, there are 10 other plays for this system in Week 3.

Game Matches

  • Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL)
  • Oakland Raiders at Minnesota Vikings (1 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles (1 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers (1 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • New York Jets at New England Patriots (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)
  • Houston Texans at Los Angeles Chargers (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)
  • Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland Browns (7:20 p.m. ET, NBC)