Week 3 Preseason NFL Betting Puzzle Solved with Historical Trends

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, August 27, 2015 3:02 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015 3:02 PM UTC

History has taught NFL handicappers like yours truly that in Week 3 of the Preseason, the overwhelming pattern is for teams with positive momentum to have a letdown.

NFL Picks During Week 3 of Preseason
Week 3 of NFL-Ex preseason is often referred to as a dress rehearsal.  It is the week in which most teams play their starters for the majority of the game.  The purpose is to get an accurate read of what your team has for the NFL opener just two weeks hence.  In the following week, teams put the final touches on their offense and defense in preparation for the regular season.  With Week 3 representing our truest look of the teams in August, it also becomes a microcosm of what we can expect in the regular season. 

In articles I have previously written about the NFL this August, I have focused on the fundamentals of each team as represented by the ground game.  This week, we will take a look at the situational aspect of NFL handicapping, which must be included with the statistical analysis for a complete read of team’s ability to beat the pointspread against this week’s opponent.  In this article, I will explore a pair of contrary indicators which are representative of the type of thinking used when handicapping the regular season.  They deal with the reversal of current form.  

The first set of teams will be those who have won and covered their first two games of the preseason by combined double digit margins of victory, both SU and ATS.  It will also feature their counterparts, who have failed to cover by a combined double digit margin, both SU and ATS.

The second pair of lists will look at teams who are both undefeated (and a bit satisfied) and teams who are winless (thus, needing a victory to ensure confidence).

It is the NFL handicapper’s conundrum each week, as to whether he wishes to follow the momentum of double digit victors and 2-0 SU teams, or to fade them for the letdown.  In a similar way, the handicapper must decide whether to play the underachieving teams as bounce back or to continue to follow their negative momentum.  

History has shown that in NFL-Ex Week 3, the overwhelming pattern is for teams with positive momentum to have a letdown, while teams with negative momentum show a bounce back effort.  Only time will tell if this week’s preseason results follow the patterns of history.


Teams Who Have Won and Covered by Combined Double Digit Margins
Philadelphia Eagles      +49 margin … +42AFP (away from the pointspread)
Chicago Bears              +29 margin … +32 AFP
Minnesota Vikings       +29 margin … +20 AFP
Kansas City Chiefs      +16 margin … +20 AFP
Detroit Lions                +16 margin … +15 AFP


Teams Who Have Lost SU & ATS by Combined Double Digit Margins
Indianapolis Colts        -38 margin … -38 AFP (against the pointspread)
St. Louis Rams             -28 margin … -26 AFP
Dallas Cowboys           -27 margin … -21 AFP
Arizona Cardinals        -21 margin … -23 AFP
Baltimore Ravens        -20 margin … -19 AFP


Teams Who Are Undefeated
Minnesota Vikings       3-0 SU … 3-0 ATS
Philadelphia Eagles      2-0 SU … 2-0 ATS
Kansas City Chiefs      2-0 SU … 2-0 ATS
Chicago Bears              2-0 SU … 2-0 ATS
San Diego Chargers     2-0 SU … 2-0 ATS
Denver Broncos            2-0 SU … 2-0 ATS
Washington Redskins  2-0 SU … 2-0 ATS
Carolina Panthers         2-0 SU… 1-0-1 ATS


Teams Who Are 0-2 SU & ATS
Dallas Cowboys           0-2 SU … 0-2 ATS
Arizona Cardinals        0-2 SU … 0-2 ATS
Indianapolis Colts        0-2 SU … 0-2 ATS
St. Louis Rams             0-2 SU … 0-2 ATS
New Orleans Saints      0-2 SU … 0-2 ATS
Seattle Seahawks         0-2 SU … 0-2 ATS
Cleveland Browns       0-2 SU … 0-2 ATS
Miami Dolphins           0-2 SU… 0-1-1 ATS


Remember … making NFL picks based on contrary thinking produces profits when you are doing situational handicapping in the NFL.  If history is to prevail, we will be able to review the Week 3 results and find the teams from List1 and 3 have a combined negative pointspread outcome and the teams from List 2 and 4 have a combined positive pointspread outcome.  Each game, however, must be played on its individual merits with the combination of fundamental handicapping.  

Good Luck putting together the puzzle for NFL Picks in Preseason Week 3!

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