NFL Week 3: Cowboys favored, Patriots underdogs

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Dak Prescott has breathed fresh life into the Dallas Cowboys, but the rookie QB is up against some dubious home-field trends as well as the Chicago Bears in a Week 3 Sunday Night Football betting matchup.

The Cowboys are listed as 4.5-point favorites against the Bears with a total of 44.5 points at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Cowboys are a dismal 2-10-2 against the spread in their last 14 games at AT&T Stadium, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. Dallas is 5-2 straight-up when coming off an outright win as an underdog. The Bears are 6-2 ATS over their last eight road games.

With New England turning to No. 3 QB Jacoby Brissett, the Houston Texans are 2.5-point favorites against the Patriots with a total of 41 for their Thursday Night Football matchup. The Texans are 1-5 ATS in their last six games against the Patriots. The Patriots are 9-3 SU in their last 12 games vs. teams with winning records.

With Adrian Peterson (meniscus) likely out, the Carolina Panthers are 7.5-point betting favorites against the Minnesota Vikings, with a total of 43. The Panthers are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight games after losing the previous game in a matchup. The visiting team is 2-5 SU and ATS in its last seven games in this matchup.

The Green Bay Packers are also favored by 7.5, with a total of 48, at home against the Detroit Lions. The Packers are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. The Lions are 1-24 SU in their last 25 road games vs. Green Bay.

In a Marcus Mariota vs. Derek Carr QB matchup, the Tennessee Titans are 1.5-point favorites against the Oakland Raiders, with a total of 46.5. The Raiders are 1-7 SU in their last eight road games after a road win. The Titans are 0-11 SU and ATS in their last 11 games after an ATS win.

The New York Giants are favored by 4.5 points against the Washington Redskins, with a total of 46.5. The Giants have a streak of being 7-0 SU as a favorite of 4.5 points or more. The Redskins are 2-10 SU in their last 12 road games against the Giants.

The Kansas City Chiefs are favored by three points against the New York Jets, with a total of 43.5. The Jets are 2-10 SU in their last 12 games after winning as an underdog.  The Chiefs are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games after winning the previous game in a matchup.

And the Pittsburgh Steelers are favored by five points vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, with a total of 46. The Eagles are 12-5 SU in their last 17 games at home after a win at home. The Steelers are 5-1 SU and ATS in their last six games against the NFC.

Marcus Mariota can’t even explain his historic touchdown catch

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A touchdown pass to … yourself?!

That’s exactly what happened to Titans QB Marcus Mariota in Tennessee’s incredible 22-21 Wild Card victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs were up 21-3 entering halftime and appeared to be well on their way to advancing to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, but then Mariota made history with one of the craziest plays you’ll ever see:

With the six-yard touchdown, Mariota became the first player in NFL history to record a passing and receiving TD in a playoff game.

NFL Wild Card Weekend betting lines reflect recent favorites trend

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Wild Card Weekend has been ruled by favored teams recently – on the field, if not on the board. Favored teams are 10-2 straight-up in wild card games over the last three seasons. At the sportsbooks – and this seems germane with the home teams each laying at least six points this weekend – favorites are a more modest 7-4-1 against the spread.

The 2017 playoffs saw home teams go 4-0 SU and ATS in wild card games. Eighteen of the last 28 wild card games have gone under the posted total, with one push.

The Kansas City Chiefs are listed as 9-point favorites against the Tennessee Titans with a 44-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com in a Saturday matchup. The Chiefs are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven playoff games as a favorite, but QB Alex Smith has had a stronger second half of the season than Marcus Mariota, his Titans counterpart.

Tennessee, which is 5-1 ATS in its last six games against the Chiefs, could be compromised offensively if DeMarco Murray (knee) is unable to play and spell off team rushing leader Derrick Henry. The total has gone over in five of the Titans’ last seven games against the Chiefs.

The Los Angeles Rams are 6.5-point betting favorites against the Atlanta Falcons with a 48.5-point total in the late Saturday matchup. The Rams and first-time playoff QB Jared Goff are just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games. However, Los Angeles, which lost its regular-season finale against the San Francisco 49ers, is 5-0 SU in its last five games after a loss.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan, whose team is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 night games, will not have his optimal offensive line in front of him as LG Andy Levitre (triceps) is out for the season. The Rams defense, led by DT Aaron Donald, has the third-highest tally of interceptions. The total has gone under in the Falcons’ last five games.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are nine-point betting favorites against the Buffalo Bills with a 39.5-point total in a Sunday matchup between teams that had a combined 26-year playoff drought (since 1999 for the Bills; 2007 for the Jags). The visiting team is 5-1 ATS in the last six games of this matchup, but Buffalo will likely only stand a chance if RB LeSean McCoy (ankle sprain) is healthy enough to play; there is no way he will be 100 percent.

The Jaguars, who are only 4-13 SU in their last 17 home games against teams with winning records, must hope QB Blake Bortles has some recent regression out of his system. The total has gone over in the Bills’ last five games against the Jaguars.

And the New Orleans Saints are listed as seven-point favorites against the Carolina Panthers with a 48-point total in a late Sunday betting matchup. The Panthers and QB Cam Newton are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six tries against the NFC South rival Saints and also boast the NFL’s 28th-ranked passing attack while the Saints are fifth through the air (each team’s pass defense is right in the middle of the rankings).

New Orleans and veteran QB Drew Brees are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against divisional opponents, as well as 5-0 SU in their last five home playoff games. The total has gone over in six of the Panthers’ last seven games against the Saints. The total has also gone over in five of the Saints’ last six games in the wild card round.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.