NFL Week 3 Odds: Historical Betting Trends Favor Colts, Panthers, More Underdogs

NFL Week 3 Odds: Historical Betting Trends Favor Colts, Panthers, More Underdogs article feature image

Don Juan Moore/Getty Images. Pictured: Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Indianapolis Colts.

  • Chris Raybon has identified five trends that value Week 3 underdogs.
  • Coming off an uneven start to the season, history says a few teams are poised to bounce back this week.
  • Check out Raybon's analysis below.

Week 3 NFL betting is a lot like Week 2: Overreactions run rampant, and underdogs reign supreme.

According to our Action Labs data, underdogs are 145-117-6 (55.3%) in Week 3 since 2005, beating the spread by an average of 1.68 points per game. Blindly betting every Week 3 dog over that span would have netted you an 8.4% ROI, which is pretty impressive for such a broad trend over such a long period of time. Of course, there will always be spots we can target to get that win rate even higher.

Below are five A-graded Week 3 trends that have cashed at least 60% of the time for the last decade-plus.

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NFL Week 3 Betting Trends

Week 3 Dogs +7 or Less vs. Favorite with Negative ATS Margin

Just like point differential is more predictive than winning percentage, ATS differential can be more predictive than ATS record.

Week 3 Dogs that are already expected to lose by no more than a touchdown tend to be undervalued against favorites with a negative ATS margin. There's a lot of luck involved in football, and early in the season, it's easy to mistake some of that luck for skill.

Since 2006, dogs in this spot have gone 57-29-2 (66%), beating the closing line by an average of 3.84 points per game.

These dogs have been profitable at home (16-10; 62%), but even more so on the road (41-19-2; 68%).

Six teams fit this trend in 2022:

  • Panthers +2.5 vs. Saints
  • Falcons +1 at Seahawks
  • Jets +6 vs. Bengals
  • Titans +2 vs. Raiders
  • Cardinals +3.5 vs. Rams
  • Broncos +1.5 vs. 49ers

Week 3 Dogs With At Least One ATS Loss That Opened Under a TD

Though ATS differential gives us the strongest trend, the market can be overly pessimistic on Week 3 dogs that have failed to cover at least once in the young season.

Since 2005, Week 3 dogs with at least one ATS loss that opened under a touchdown are 89-54-2 (62%) ATS, beating the closing number by an average of 2.61 points per game.

Dogs that fit this trend are 26-17-1 (60%) at home, 56-33-1 (63%) on the road, and 1-0 at neutral sites.

The last time this trend failed to have a profitable year was 2015. Since 2016, it has gone 33-17 (66%).

Five teams fit this trend in 2022:

  • Colts +5.5 vs. Chiefs
  • Panthers +2.5 vs. Saints
  • Jets +6 vs. Bengals
  • Cardinals +3.5 vs. Rams
  • Packers +1 at Buccaneers

Winless Week 3 Dogs +1.5 to +7

Being a winless team heading into Week 3 is the worst. The entire fanbase is sentenced to death by 1,000 "teams that start 0-2 only make the playoffs 2-point-never percent of the time" cuts.

If the team is a dog in Week 3, forget about it, the sky is falling. Except it is't — at least when it comes to covering the spread, that is.

Since 2005, dogs +1.5 to +7 that are winless entering Week 3 have gone 40-26-2 (62%).

This trend has been profitable in each of the past six years, registering a record of 23-8 (74%) over that span.

Four teams fit this trend in 2022:

  • Colts +5.5 vs. Chiefs
  • Texans +3 at Bears
  • Panthers +2.5 vs. Saints
  • Titans +2 vs. Raiders

Week 3 Dogs vs. Favorites That Covered for the First Time in Week 2

This is a classic recency bias trend. A favorite that covered in Week 2 after not covering in Week 1 is often viewed to be improving or getting on the right track after a rough start despite a sample size of only two.

Dogs in this spot have gone 62-39-4 (61%) ATS since 2005, beating the spread by an average of 2.61 points per game.

This trend holds as long as the line has moved more than 3 points in either direction from open, which would suggest something beyond typical market factors is influencing the line, such as a quarterback injury.

No teams fit this trend this season, but it went 5-2 in 2021 and is worth filing away for the future.

Week 3 Home Teams vs. Visitors With At Least One Win

This trend doesn't apply to just dogs. All winless home teams hosting a visitor with at least one win on the season have gone 31-19-2 (62%) ATS since 2005, beating the spread by an average of 1.77 points per game.

This trend doesn't come up often, but it's 11-5 (69%) over the past five seasons.

Two teams fit this trend in 2022:

  • Colts +5.5 vs. Chiefs
  • Panthers +2.5 vs. Saints

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