NFL Week 3 Betting Preview: More Than Primetime Showdowns on Schedule

Posted on: September 26, 2020, 09:01h. 

Last updated on: September 27, 2020, 11:08h.

Week 3 of the NFL schedule is highlighted by two monster games. In a potential NFC Championship Game preview on Sunday night, the Green Bay Packers face the New Orleans Saints. In a potential AFC Championship Game preview on Monday night featuring the two betting front-runners to win the Super Bowl, it’s the Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens.

Patriots QB Cam Newton
Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has two touchdown runs in each of the first two games. (Image: Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

“On Sunday night with Packers-Saints, it’s a couple old guys at the quarterback,” said Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, of the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers vs. the Saints’ Drew Brees. “They’re a couple guys that drop back and pass.

“Then you go to the Chiefs-Ravens game, which is the new-age quarterback [the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson] – the guys that can run and pass and do it all. You’ve got a contrast of two different styles and two of the best games of the week.”

There are other games on the docket that Avello was eager to talk about. All lines are from DraftKings.

Tennessee Titans (-3) at Minnesota Vikings

Tennessee is 2-0 behind quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is seeking a 10th consecutive game with two-plus touchdown passes and one-or-fewer interceptions. Only three quarterbacks have a longer streak in NFL history, led by Green Bay’s Rodgers (13 games in 2011).

Minnesota, the preseason favorite to win the NFC North, is 0-2 as it struggles to overcome major personnel losses.

There is no belief in the Vikings at all. Tennessee’s got close to 95 percent of the money,” Avello said, making it the most lopsided handle this week. “The Titans are 2-0, but they barely beat Jacksonville and a Denver team that was also banged up. I find it interesting that the play’s against the Vikings.”

At William Hill, the Titans have drawn the two largest spread bets of the week, including a $24,000 bet that would have a potential payout of $45,818.20.

Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots (-5.5)

The Raiders have made only one playoff appearance since reaching the Super Bowl in 2002, and were 11-21 in the first two years under coach Jon Gruden. However, Derek Carr threw three touchdown passes as they improved to 2-0 by beating the Saints on Monday in the first game played in Las Vegas.

Not only are they 2-0, but usually, the Raiders are a turnover machine,” Avello told “They’re doing everything right. But the Patriots are at home and the public feels that’s the play. The spread is 5.5. Usually, if this were the Patriots with Tom Brady behind center, you wouldn’t find them, much less than 9 or 10 in a game like this.”

The Patriots (1-1), who got most of the early money, have won five straight in the series. Quarterback Cam Newton threw for 397 yards and ran for two touchdowns in last week’s loss at Seattle. His four rushing touchdowns are the most in NFL history by a quarterback in the first two games.

San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) at New York Giants

“Hawkeye” Pierce and B.J. Hunnicutt might as well be coaching these teams, because their rosters resemble M*A*S*H units.

For the 49ers (1-1), quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, running backs Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert, tight end George Kittle and defensive ends Nick Bosa and Dee Ford are out of action. For the Giants (0-2), running back Saquon Barkley and receiver Sterling Shepard are on injured reserve. Those injuries won’t help the league’s worst offense.

“With all those injuries, the 49ers are still a 3.5-point favorite,” Avello told “What San Francisco will want to do is keep their turnovers to a minimum, which they usually do, and the Giants haven’t been able to run the ball even with Barkley in there. I’d expect to see more San Francisco money.”

The Niners have received about two-thirds of the action.

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts (-11.5)

The Colts (1-1) are the heaviest favorites this week, with the line starting at 9 and inching up. The Jets (0-2), who have scored the second-fewest points in the NFL, will be without starting receivers Jamison Crowder and Breshad Perriman.

The Jets are just not a team that the East Coast people want any part of whatsoever,” Avello said. “But you always have one thing you’ve got to remember: You always have that Rivers factor. Rivers has burned a lot of money for bettors through the years, so you’ve got to be careful laying too many points when he’s behind center.”

Rivers is Philip Rivers. The longtime Chargers quarterback, who is in his first season in Indianapolis, is closing in on two milestones, with 59,848 passing yards and 399 passing touchdowns.

Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo Bills (-1.5)

Chiefs at Ravens isn’t the only battle between undefeated teams. The Bills opened as 3-point favorites over the Rams, but the line has been cut in half.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen has 300-plus passing yards, two-plus passing touchdowns, and zero interceptions in each of his first two games. Only Mahomes (Chiefs, 2019) and Peyton Manning (Broncos, 2013) have started a season with three such games. The Rams, on the other hand, are second in opponent passer rating.

At William Hill, the Rams have captured 63 percent of the total number of tickets, but the Bills have received 53 percent of the dollars wagered.