NFL Betting Odds: Week 3 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
Unless there's some huge story that develops between Monday night and Thursday afternoon in the NFL, I'll generally in this space try and address some interesting Bovada weekly specials - no site does that better, and I'm not just saying that because I used to help create them.
I can kill two birds with one stone in that regard here because the Patriots acquired former Pro Bowl receiver Josh Gordon from the Browns on Monday afternoon for a fifth-round 2019 draft pick. Absolutely brilliant low-risk, potentially high-reward deal for Bill Belichick, who is well known for taking risks on low-character, high-talent guys. Sometimes they work (Randy Moss, Corey Dillon), sometimes they don't (Chad Ochocino, Albert Haynesworth). The Pats have a ton of 2019 draft picks in their war chest, and a No. 5 will hardly be missed. Receiver was the clear weak link of this team with Julian Edelman suspended the first four games. Remember, too, that he's coming off a major knee injury.
If any team get keep Gordon's head on straight, one would think it's the Patriots. Bovada has two props on Gordon: "over/under" 640.5 receiving yards this season and O/U 9.5 games played. Both yardage options are -120 and the over is a -150 favorite on the games. If Gordon does play that many games, he's going over 640.5 yards. But how confident can you be in him both physically - he already has a tweaked hammy but reportedly will play Sunday in Detroit - and mentally? I'd probably go under on both.
If you are planning to back New England on Sunday night, then you will be happy because at most books that number has dropped from Pats -7 to -6.5. They haven't lost back-to-back games since the end of the 2015 season. The total has by far jumped more than any game, going from 47 to 53.5.
Here are some line moves or potential game-changing injury notes for Week 3.
Bears at Cardinals (+6, 38): This now has the lowest total on the board, and the line has moved 1.5 points to Chicago. The Bears are taking a massive lean here, no surprise with how good their defense looks and how bad Arizona's offense has been - it has scored six points all season, a garbage-time fourth-quarter TD in Week 1. Why Coach Steve Wilks is still trotting out QB Sam Bradford over rookie Josh Rosen is beyond me. I'd be willing to bet, though, that if Arizona is scoreless at halftime (or down big) that Rosen starts the second half. Instead, Wilks says the team will scale back the offensive playbook. HAHA. That Arizona scores a touchdown in the first three quarters vs. Chicago is -300 with no at +200. Bradford will have future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald apparently. He was in question early in the week with a hamstring injury.
Packers at Redskins (+3, 45.5): This total has dropped two points and the spread up a half-point. Needless to say, I wouldn't touch a 3-point line for either side. I'll be shopping for or using an alternate line -2.5 and on the Packers. My one issue with backing Green Bay, I'll admit, is Aaron Rodgers' knee. He has admitted concern that the more he plays on it, the worse it will get. He already basically is skipping all practices. This is one of the NFC's worst teams if Rodgers goes out and DeShone Kizer in. Rodgers is actually Bovada's +350 favorite to win MVP, which clearly is based on what the site thinks will happen instead of what already has. There's also a prop on whether he plays all 16 games: yes +150 and no -200. I highly doubt he does. If Packers have a playoff spot clinched late, he won't play. If they are eliminated, he won't either. You can also bet on whether Clay Matthews gets another (ridiculous) roughing the passer penalty in Week 3. He got one late in both Week 1 & 2, and the latter cost the Packers a victory - although it clearly shouldn't have been called. That Matthews does get one is +400 with no at -700.
Cowboys at Seahawks (-1.5, 41.5): The spread has dropped from 3 and the total from 44.5. One of my favorite stats of the early season is learning that Seattle hasn't scored a touchdown on its opening possession in a league-worst 31 straight regular-season games. The team's last was Week 3 of the 2016 season against the 49ers, when Christine Michael scored from 41 yards out. That Seattle does here is +300 with no at -500. Have you seen that offensive line? Speaking of which, the Cowboys are given an O/U of 3.5 sacks, with over a -140 favorite. The Cowboys are second in the league with nine sacks, and Russell Wilson has gone down a league-high 12 times. Wilson will be without Doug Baldwin again, but the Seattle D gets it heart and soul back in linebacker Bobby Wagner. He missed Monday's game with a groin injury.
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