NFL Picks: Early Betting Value Found in Week 3 Advanced Point Spreads

Kevin Stott

Monday, September 21, 2015 6:07 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 21, 2015 6:07 PM UTC

Let’s look at six games for Week 3 with their Opening Advanced Lines, and try to anticipate where these numbers may making three NFL picks from these thoughts.

There’s a small window before every week’s NFL games where the Advanced Lines are up for betting here at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook in Las Vegas and when the upcoming week’s new and refined line comes out, usually Sunday nights or Mondays for sportsbooks, and though it takes some effort, making NFL picks right before the “new” numbers come out can be profitable and this unique market is seldom written about or is bet into enough. Let’s look at six games for Week 3 with their Opening Advanced Lines, and try to anticipate what might happen today (Sunday) and where these numbers may go due to both the General Public an Oddsmakers perceptions and make three picks from these thoughts.These numbers almost always seem to move a little bit and are a good tool to use in NFL handicapping—available here every Thursday—though hard to find.


Thursday, September 24, 2015
Washington Redskins at New York Giants -5½ (CBS/NFL Network, 8:25 p.m. ET/5:25 p.m. PT)
The Point Spread here seems low, and could be closer to a TD when the Opening NFL odds is released Monday or by game-time on Thursday night. Why? The tendency of many to lazily group these two NFC East teams together, and deem them both as “bad” teams. The Washington Redskins (4-12 SU, 5-11 ATS, vs. Rams Sunday) and HC Jay Gruden (5-12 ATS) are one of the worst five teams in the NFL and are indeed “bad,” but the New York Giants (6-10 SU, 7-9 ATS; vs Falcons Sunday) definitely are not “bad,” and are at least one level above Washington. Over the L4 seasons, New York is 35-33 SU overall—and won a little thing called the Super Bowl—while the Redskins are 22-37 SU. Last season, the Giants won and covered both meetings against Washington (2-10 SU vs. NFC East L2 seasons), romping to a 45-14 victory at Washington as 3-point underdogs, and winning 24-13 here at Home at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford as 7-point favorites. With the Giants are 4-0 ATS the L4 meetings, backing QB Eli Manning and WR Odell Beckham, Jr. here at Home in a romp is the pick. Of note: The Giants are 6-0 ATS, 3-0 ATS vs. the NFC East and 2-0 ATS at Home on TNF while the Redskins are a woeful 1-3 ATS and 0-2 ATS on the Road under the Thursday night lights.


Sunday, September 27, 2015
Pittsburgh Steelers at St. Louis Rams -2½ (CBS, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT)
This seems closer to a Pick’ Em game or maybe even the Steelers being slightly favored if they look good against the 49ers today (they are winning 22-3 in the 2nd Quarter) and the Rams struggle with Washington (they are, losing 14-0 to Washington now in the 2nd Quarter). The Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis is the site of this Week 3 inter-conference meeting next Sunday afternoon between the host St. Louis Rams (6-10 SU, 7-9 ATS; at Redskins Sunday) and QB Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-6 SU, 9-8 ATS, vs. 49ers Sunday). The Steelers will be getting RB Le’Veon Bell back here after serving a 2-game Suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and with Free Agent-signee DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh suddenly has one of the best RB tandems in the NFL. Toss in an All-Pro WR (Antonio Brown), a couple of promising young WRs (Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant—sitting out third game of his 4-game Suspension here)—a dependable TE (Heath Miller) and the Steelers and QB Ben Roethlisberger will be able to beat opponents by Land, by Air and by Sea this Regular Season. Pittsburgh is 6-2 ATS the L8 against St. Louis and the last time these two met here, the Steelers won and covered, 41-24 in 2007 as 8-point favorites. The Rams are improving, but with Nick Foles at QB, Tre mason at RB and Brian Quick and Kenny Britt at WR, the talent differences at the skill spots are big and Pittsburgh knows it will have to win non-divisional games like this with the Bengals and Ravens lurking in their AFC North.

NFL Pick: Steelers +2½ 


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans -8½ (FOX, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT)
First thought here: If a team like the New Orleans Saints closed as 9½-point favorites against the Bucs at home in New Orleans, how can the Texans—a theoretically better team than the Saints—be favored by 1 point less (8½)? This will be the second straight Road game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-14 SU, 7-9 ATS, at Saints Sunday) and Rookie QB Jameis Winston and if the Bucs look poor against the Saints and the Texans performed good at Carolina, then this Week 3 date at NRG Stadium in Houston may be closer to 10. The last time they met was in 2011 where the Texans won 37-9 in Tampa Bay as 3-point favorites while, the last time they met in Houston, the Texans (9-7 SU, 9-6-1 ATS) defeated the Buccaneers, 28-14 as 3-point underdogs. With with Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett at QB, the hosts will have a huge edge at QB over Winston and Houston could win this one by 20.


Philadelphia Eagles -3½ at New York Jets (FOX, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT)
The Philadelphia Eagles (10-6 SU, 9-7 ATS; vs.Cowboys Sunday night) have received an awful lot of Love this last month, and rightfully so to some degree but to think this team is suddenly a Top 5 team in the NFL seems like a bit of a stretch. Philadelphia’s Offense is dangerous and fun to watch now, but the Eagles Defense needs to get to the next level for us to think they have a chance of getting by the Seattle Seahawks or Green Bay Packers in the NFC. Here, getting the 3½ and being at Home in East Rutherford, New Jersey, backing the new-look New York Jets (4-12 SU, 6-9-1; at Indianapolis Monday night) in an inter-divisional affair which they can definitely win seems prudent now as this could be a (minus) 2½ or 2 or maybe even less come Monday. The last time these two teams played, the Eagles rolled to a 45-19 win as 3-point favorites in Philly in 2011 while the last time these two played here in East Rutherford, the Eagles also won and covered, 16-9 as 4-point favorites. The Eagles are 5-1 ATS L6 against the Jets and 3-1 ATS on the L4 here at MetLife Stadium. However, those were different Jets teams and with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB, Free agent-signee WR Brandon Marshall and All-Pro Free Agent-signee Darrelle Revis at CB, the hosts New York (1-0 ATS heading into Sunday) definitely have the shot at the SU win here against the Eagles (0-1 ATS into Sunday) and QB Sam Bradford (14-18 ATS vs. Non-Division) next Sunday.

NFL Pick: Jets +3½


Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens -3 -120 (CBS, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT)
Last season, the Cincinnati Bengals (10-6-1 SU, 8-8-1 ATS, vs. Chargers) and QB Andy Dalton upset and covered against the host Baltimore Ravens (11-7 SU, 10-8 ATS, at Raiders) in Week 1 as 1-point underdogs (23-16), while Cincinnati also won and covered as 3-point underdogs at Home in the return leg in the Buckeye State, 27-24. If the Bengals ground the Chargers and the Ravens fail to impress out west in Oakland, then this Point Spread will “open” closer to -2. This huge AFC North showdown will be Baltimore’s first Home game after playing out West in Denver (Week 1) and this coming Sunday in Oakland (Week 2), so QB Joe Flacco and Baltimore may need some time to get acclimated. With Cincinnati (1-0 ATS into Sunday) looking so strong and Baltimore losing some key guys off last season’s Roster (TE Owen Daniel, WR Torrey Smith, NT Haloti Ngata), the Bengals (and Steelers) seem to be a notch above HC John Harbaugh (68-56-4 ATS) and his Ravens (0-1 ATS into Sunday) right now. The Bengals are 4-1 ATS over the L5 against the Ravens and Cincinnati and RB Jeremy Hill could win this one SU, again, even though it’s the Ravens Home opener.


Indianapolis Colts -4½ at Tennessee Titans (CBS, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT)
Even though Andrew Luck (14-13 ATS Away) and the Indianapolis Colts (13-6 SU, 12-6-1 ATS; vs. Jets Monday Night) will be playing with one day’s less Rest here at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee against the Tennessee Titans (2-14 SU, 3-12-1 ATS), just not playing someone as nasty as AFC East banditos the Buffalo Bills (Week 1) or the New York Jets (Week 2) will seem like a break. If the Titans struggle with Cleveland—they are leading 14-0 over the Titans in the 2nd Quarter right now—and the Colts handle the Jets with relative ease, then this Point spread may be closer to -6 in the next 36 hours. Indianapolis will be going against a Rookie QB in Marcus Mariota and the Colts are 12-0 SU L2 years against the AFC South and Indy went 5-0-1 ATS last year in division and covered both meetings with Tennessee—27-10 here in Nashville as 7-point chalks while Indianapolis won at Home, 41-17 also as 7-point favorites. The Colts are a sugary 6-0-1 ATS the L7 against the Titans.

NFL Pick: Colts -4½


San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals -4½ (FOX, NFL RedZone, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): The San Francisco 49ers (8-8 SU, 6-9-1 ATS, at Steelers Sunday) aren’t half as bad as everyone says or thinks they are. In fact, they are a pretty good NFL football team motivated by much of what happened to their Coaching Staff and their Roster since January. With QB Colin Kaepernick, RB Carlos Hyde, TE Vernon Davis and WRs Anquan Boldin and Free Agent-signee Torrey Smith, San Francisco probably has better skill position players than do the Arizona Cardinals (8-8 SU, 6-9-1 ATS, at Bears Sunday) and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Niners finish above the Redbirds in the NFC West standings. In this game last season, Arizona and covered as 3-point underdogs in the Valley of the Sun, 23-14, while in the return leg in Frisco, the 49ers won 20-17, and the Cardinals covered again this time as 5½-point underdogs. But with San Francisco 9-3 ATS over the L13 in this series and the 49ers and LB NaVorro Bowman an impressive 8-2 ATS the L10 here in the desert against the Cardinals, even though this will be the second of back-to-back Road dates for San Francisco (Pittsburgh, Week 2; losing 16-3 right now in 2nd Quarter), getting them and 4½ points against Arizona seems wise.

NFL Week 3 Advanced Line Value Picks: Steelers +2½ over Rams; Jets +3½ over Eagles; Colts -4½ over Titans (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)


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