NFL Betting Odds: Week 3 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
Most weeks in this space, I will address some Bovada weekly NFL specials as that site tends to have the most unique ones (caveat: I used to help create some). I'm not going to go into the statistics of how often 2-0 teams make the playoffs on average and how many 0-2 teams don't. That's been repeated often -- it's obviously more often than not and rare, respectively.
But as usual in Week 3 annually, Bovada does offer props on how many from each group will make the postseason. It's an "over/under" of 0.5 for the 0-2 teams, with the under at -150. I truly don't see one. Those with slight chances would be the Chargers, Colts and Giants, and obviously they'd all have to win this week. Indianapolis' hopes rest on if Andrew Luck can get back by, say, next week. That doesn't seem likely. Maybe the Giants suddenly figure out their offense, but I previewed their game this Sunday at the Eagles here at Doc's and recommended against Big Blue, so probably not. The Chargers essentially could be 2-0 and have the talent to be a wild-card team but are in the toughest division in football.
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As for 2-0 teams to make the playoffs, the O/U is 6.5, with the under a -130 favorite. Now, keep in mind the Dolphins and Bucs are each 1-0 since they didn't play Week 1. They wouldn't count here. The 2-0 teams I'm confident that will be playing extra football are the Steelers, Raiders, Chiefs, ONE of Ravens/Broncos and Falcons. Go under that total (near-lock playoff teams like Packers, Seahawks and Patriots are 1-1).
Back to the Colts for a second and the future of Coach Chuck Pagano. Bovada asks if he will be fired before the team's Week 4 game if Indy loses Sunday at home to Cleveland. I'm surprised that "yes" is a -175 favorite. I don't pretend to have encyclopedic knowledge, but I can't remember a coach being fired after Week 3. Week 4, yes. I would say that if the Browns go to Lucas Oil Stadium and rout the Colts, then owner Jim Irsay really has no choice. But I think Indy wins that game, so take "no" he won't be fired before Week 4 at +135.
Here are some line moves or potential game-changing injury notes for Week 3.
Seahawks at Titans (-2.5): This opened with the Titans as 2.5-point underdogs. Wish I had a great reason for the move; Tennessee is only taking a slight lean. It will be without rookie receiver Corey Davis, the No. 5 overall pick in this year's draft, due to a hamstring injury. It's still not clear about running back DeMarco Murray, who sat the second half of last week's win over the Jaguars with a tight hamstring of his own. Frankly, he might already have lost some touches to Derrick Henry, who had 92 yards and a TD on 14 carries last Sunday. Not too many times you may see an all-Heisman starting backfield -- Marcus Mariota and Henry -- like the Titans might roll out. Bovada currently has a prop on whether Henry (-150) or Murray (+110) runs for more yards on Sunday, but that obviously depends on Murray playing. Seattle tight end Jimmy Graham is questionable with both ankle and knee injuries. In addition, the team is expected to shake up its offensive line, which has been one of the worst in football and a big reason why the Seahawks have only one touchdown.
Bengals at Packers (-8.5): This line has risen a point even though the Packers by the end of Sunday night's game in Atlanta were without receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, both starting offensive tackles (they were inactive) and top defender Mike Daniels. It's quite possible all of them do play here, although Daniels' hip problem apparently is the worst of them. The Packers this week re-signed defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, who was released after Week 1, in case Daniels isn't ready. The Packers are looking to win their first two home games for the fifth consecutive season and for the seventh time in the last eight. Since Mike McCarthy came aboard, the Pack at home are outscoring AFC foes by 178 points, tops among NFC teams in home games. This is Cincinnati's first game since dumping offensive coordinator Ken Zampese and promoting QBs coach Bill Lazor to that spot. I don't understand how a team with Andy Dalton (say what you want, but he's usually a bit above average), A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert (he might miss this week) and a good stable of running backs can be held to nine total points in its first two games. Bovada asks whether the Bengals will score an offensive TD this week with yes at -300 and no at +200. With a few extra days to prepare having played Thursday in Week 2, I'd imagine they will.
Saints at Panthers (-5.5): This number has dropped from 6, but the most glaring move has been the total, which has slipped from 49 to 46.5. I believe that's related to the broken foot suffered by Panthers Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen. I touched on that in my Opening Line Report story Monday. Two Saints specials offered by Bovada this week. How many passing yards will they allow: O/U 260, with both at -120. And will Adrian Peterson be on the roster in Week 17, with no a -150 favorite. In losses to Minnesota and New England, the Saints have surrendered 777 passing yards, the most allowed in franchise history through two games -- and the sixth most of any team since the merger. The Patriots you get, but the Vikings trashing that defense through the air too? The Panthers would prefer to run the ball on every play if possible and are averaging just 174.5 passing yards per game. I lean the under there, especially sans Olsen. As for Peterson? That signing was clearly a mistake. He's averaging just 3.1 yards per carry, barely playing and yelling at his coach on the sideline. The only way I see him being on the roster by Week 17 is if either No. 1 Mark Ingram or good-looking rookie Alvin Kamara gets hurt. I would lean no as Peterson might ask to be released.
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