How should we attack the NFL odds in Week 3? A low total has been posted for Houston's home game against Tampa Bay and we think we have a good read.
The Texans are favored by 6.5 points right now, and it'll be interesting to see if there's any movement on that number as we inch closer towards kickoff.
It's the O/U we're focused on here though, and that number is at 40.5 points, the lowest number on the NFL odds board for Week 3. Given some of the struggles we've seen out of these two offenses, and the unreliability of the quarterbacks, it makes sense that the number is as low as it is.
It's been a rough start for the Texans so far, as they've dropped each of their first two games of the season. They fell 27-20 at home to Kansas City and then lost 24-17 on the road against Carolina in Week 2.
Whenever you change quarterbacks after the first week of the season, you know there's trouble in paradise, but that's exactly what we've seen out of Houston's camp. Brian Hoyer started in the opener but struggled mightily, with Ryan Mallett taking over and then being named the starter for the matchup against the Panthers. Mallett has only completed 49.3 percent of his passes with a QB rating of 66.8, however, and naturally the Texans offense hasn't produced all that much thus far.
Don't expect all that much to change, although DeAndre Hopkins getting upgraded to probable after dealing with a concussion is great news heading into Week 3. Starting RB Arian Foster remains out, though, meaning the likes of Chris Polk, Alfred Blue and Jonathan Grimes will continue splitting the work out of the backfield.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As the biggest underdogs on the board for Week 2, few expected to see the Buccaneers go into the Superdome and beat the Saints straight up. Tampa Bay's defense stood strong and Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense and Jameis Winston did enough at the helm of the offense to guide the road team to the upset.
Winston has shown his inexperience early on, but he's also made some great plays. He's 30-of-54 for 417 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions, and he's run for 41 yards and another score as well. Doug Martin hasn't really hit a groove yet, but all in all the Buccaneers have to be happy that they've already managed a win in what seemed to be a tough spot.
That being said, the odds are once again stacked against Tampa Bay in Week 3.
Whenever you have little faith in either starting quarterback (at least in the present), it's probably wise to steer clear from backing the offenses to score points and taking the OVER.
Even though this number is so low, we still believe the UNDER has a good chance of hitting. We're expecting a bounce-back performance from the Texans at home; J.J. Watt and company should terrorize Winston throughout and force at least a couple of turnovers, and we certainly don't see the Tampa Bay offense finding as much success as they did versus New Orleans in Week 2.
On the other end of the equation, we don't foresee the Texans racking up the points either. They're still without their top running back and have a lot of question marks at the most important position (quarterback) too. Hopkins' status has improved and he's now probable to play, which is a big boost, but it's not like this Houston offense strikes fear in opposing defenses generally.
All in all, we should witness a very low-scoring affair here in Week 3, and so we'll recommend that you take the UNDER as one of your NFL picks.
NFL Pick: UNDER 40.5 at Pinnacle