Week 3 NFL Picks: Trends To Bet On For Raiders-Patriots & 2 More Games
Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Newton.
Week 3 is upon us. Let’s take a look at some applicable trends for the early sides and totals.
Although I am not a trends bettor, I find that trends help me identify spots I should consider further when analyzing games. Using our Bet Labs database, I have uncovered some intriguing NFL trends for three games this week.
All lines are from our NFL Odds page.
Early Week 3 NFL Picks
Click on a pick to skip to that analysis.
Patriots -5.5 vs. Raiders
Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday | TV: CBS
I’m writing this just as the Patriots-Seahawks game on Sunday Night Football is wrapping up, so the early lines could change significantly depending on how the Raiders perform against the Saints on Monday Night Football and if they suffer any key injuries in the game.
But regardless of whatever happens on MNF, I can’t imagine not betting on the Patriots in this spot.
Say whatever you want about the Pats and the style of their offense under quarterback Cam Newton. They are a good team — and the Raiders probably aren’t.
Since 2004 (as far back as our database goes), Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is 114-59-6 against the spread (ATS) against teams that failed to make the playoffs in the previous year, good for a 28.6% return on investment (ROI) and an A grade within Bet Labs.
Under the Belichick regime, the Pats have been a “no mercy” franchise against overmatched opponents.
They have also been hard on teams relatively unfamiliar with them that don’t play them every year. Against non-divisional opponents, Belichick is 104-63-4 ATS (22.5% ROI).
And against non-divisional opponents that didn’t play in the postseason, Belichick is an imposing 64-25-1 ATS (41.1% ROI).
He no longer has quarterback Tom Brady, but Belichick still has something even more valuable: Himself.
In his 21 games without Brady (15 in 2018, four in 2016 and two this year), Belichick is 13-8 ATS (22.3% ROI). I’m not worried about Belichick’s ability to cover without Brady.
Coming off their SNF loss, the Pats should be focused, motivated and extremely desirous to put Week 2 behind them by dominating in Week 3. After a loss, Belichick’s Pats are 40-15 ATS (44.2% ROI).
And it’s just a cherry on top of the sundae that the Pats are playing the Raiders. Under head coach Jon Gruden, they have underperformed against teams outside of their division: Non-AFC West teams are 13-8 ATS (21.9% ROI) against the Raiders over the past two-plus years.
And teams that went to the playoffs the previous season are 14-8 ATS (25.5% ROI) against them.
Action: Patriots -5.5 (-110) at FanDuel [BET NOW]
Limit: -8.5 (-110)
Texans +6 at Steelers
Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday | TV: CBS
The Texans have opened the year with less-than-rousing back-to-back efforts against the Chiefs and Ravens, probably the two best teams in the league. It’s not a surprise they’re 0-2 straight up.
As for the Steelers, they have opened their season with schedule-stuffing matchups against the Giants and Broncos. Naturally, they are 2-0 straight up.
My sense is that bettors will see the records and recent performances of these two teams and lean toward the Steelers more than they should.
When 0-2 teams have faced opponents with better records, they are an A-graded 53-37-2 ATS (14.7% ROI).
It helps that the Texans have quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is 9-5 ATS (27.2% ROI) as a road underdog.
Action: Texans +6 (-110) at William Hill [BET NOW]
Limit: +3.5 (-110)
Chiefs +3 at Ravens
Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. ET on Monday | TV: ESPN
As a sports fan, I almost don’t want to bet on this game. It would be nice simply to watch this fantastic matchup with the comfort of knowing that I have nothing riding on the outcome.
But as a degenerate sports bettor, there’s no way I’m not putting action on this game — and I like the Chiefs.
Throughout his tenure with the team, Andy Reid has regularly opened the season fast, going 21-9 ATS (38.4% ROI) in Weeks 1-4. And with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs are 9-1 ATS (77.7% ROI) in the season’s first month.
Baltimore is historically a tough place to play, but there won’t be any fans in attendance at M&T Bank Stadium because of COVID-19, and Reid is one of the league’s best road coaches. As strong as the home-field advantage is at Arrowhead Stadium, Reid is an A-graded 39-18-1 ATS (34% ROI) when playing outside of Kansas City in the regular season.
As great as the Ravens are, opponents are actually 9-4 ATS (33.8%) against them when quarterback Lamar Jackson is a home favorite.
Action: Chiefs +3 (-105) at Bet365 [BET NOW]
Limit: +1.5 (-110)
Matthew Freedman is 621-506-24 (55.1%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.
He’s the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Rosemount, Minnesota, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.