It really does pay to have a backup plan in the NFL, especially at
Week 3 of the NFL saw some safety nets get called upon as injuries took
In Jacksonville Gardner Minshew got the Jaguars to their first win of
the season, Kyle Allen got the Panthers past Arizona and Daniel Jones had a great
start to his career replacing Eli Manning.
It wasn’t all good though and the less said about Luke Falk and Mason
Rudolph the better.
We have gone through the numbers, facts, figures and film to come up with five big takeaways from the third weekend of the NFL right here.
1 – A Good Week to Back the Underdog
It was upsets galore in the NFL this weekend with the underdogs proving
to be the smart play in line betting.
Overall just six of the 16 favourites managed to cover the spread in
their games with the five late window games all going the way of the underdog.
Interestingly enough, it was not just the teams facing the biggest
spreads losing by a little bit less than expected.
New England and Dallas were favoured by over 20 points against the Jets
and Dolphins respectively with Dallas covering and New England only winning by
16 (through no fault of their defence).
The Steelers, Ravens and Bengals all covered spreads of just under a
touchdown in defeat while the Giants and Lions both sprung upsets with lines of
six and six and a half.
Expect some sort of correction in the lines next week with a number of
interesting games on the slate, starting with Thursday Night Football between
the Eagles and Packers.
We’ve had three underdog victories in those games with an average of
24.67 points per game.
2 – Primetime Struggles
The NFL’s primetime games (or midmorning on Australian screens) are
meant to showcase the best of the best and be the most exciting clashes of the
So far though, these feature matches have been pretty brutal and there’s
only really been one memorable clash, the Saints-Texans game from Week 1.
The struggles in the Thursday Night (Friday) games are kind of
understandable with teams coming in on short rest but the Sunday and Monday
Night games have seen some pretty poor execution.
How do you bet on those games then?
Since points are at a premium, back the under, today’s Redskins-Bears was just the second primetime match to go over the total points line with the other one being the Saints-Texans game.
It also means that you’ll have to exercise some restraint on other markets
like the anytime touchdown scorer since there’s only going to be maybe three in
a game if we’re lucky.
3 – The Bills Might Be Good
Six teams have begun their season with a perfect 3-0 record and while
there are some expected names in there, you would be forgiven for doing a
double take seeing the Buffalo Bills in that group.
Most expected the New York Jets to be the second best AFC East team but
instead it’s the Bills who have beaten the Jets, Giants and Bengals so far.
While any bets on the Bills winning their first Super Bowl might be a
little bit premature, their ability to beat bad teams might see them sneak into
the playoff, especially with how many bad teams there are in the league right
There is a real test of their playoff credentials coming up this weekend
though with the 3-0 Patriots coming to Western New York.
4 – A Dream Debut
The bad news from yesterday’s games is that there’s probably not going
to be any more chances to bet against Eli Manning.
The good news however is that at least against the Buccaneers, the
Giants have suddenly become a team at least worth considering week in, week
Jones passed for 336 yards, hitting his best receiver and best tight end
for scores and rushing for another two, including the game winning score.
With Saquon Barkley out for at least the next month, there’s a lot more
pressure on Jones to produce but he does give the Giants a better chance to win
ahead of Manning and his legs also add another aspect to the offence.
Up next is a pretty poor Washington side that fell to the Bears in
embarrassing fashion and should help extend Jones’s soft introduction to the
5 – The Saints Salvage Their
Losing Drew Brees was a potential season ender for the Saints, but they
showed exactly why they made Teddy Bridgewater the highest paid backup QB in
Going into Seattle, a place Brees has struggled in the past, the Saints
put together a total team performance to get by the Saints and move to 2-1 on
With so many backups starting this week, it would have been easy to forget
that Bridgewater was at one point leading a team to the playoffs in Minnesota.
While guys like Gardner Minshew and Kyle Allen will be receiving plenty
of plaudits, Bridgewater might just be in the best position to hold down the
fort and guide the Saints until Brees is eligible to return.
This Monday they have the game of the week hosting the 3-0 Cowboys and
this side might still be good enough to be competitive.