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Week 3 Openers

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Perceptions change in a heartbeat when following the NFL season as opinions are varied from week to week. That's no exception following two games with underrated clubs like Buffalo starting at 2-0 while Kansas City and Seattle have looked awful at 0-2. Looking ahead to Week 3 lines, we'll compare several of the changes made by oddsmakers after the M Resort released openers for every regular season game back in July.

Lions at Vikings

July opener: Minnesota -2
Sunday opener: Detroit -3 ½

These two NFC North rivals are going in opposite directions after the Lions have begun 2-0 with two convincing victories. The Vikings were on their way to a victory over Tampa Bay after building a 17-0 lead at halftime, but the Bucs reeled off 24 unanswered points to stun Minnesota. Detroit is listed as a road favorite for the first time since 2008, but the stunning stat is the 0-7 SU/ATS mark since 1997 when laying points on the highway. In fact, the last time the Lions covered as a road favorite was under Wayne Fontes in 1996 at Tampa Bay.

Broncos at Titans

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July opener: Tennessee -4 ½
Sunday opener: Tennessee -7

The Titans pulled off a shocker in Week 2 by knocking off the Ravens, 26- 13 as 5 ½-point home underdogs. Tennessee goes for a 2-1 start as Denver invades LP Field coming off a two-point victory over Cincinnati. Former Vegas oddsmaker and current VegasInsider.com handicapper Micah Roberts explains the shift from the original pointspread in July, "Before the season started, you might have thought there was value with Denver getting +4 ½ at Tennessee, but that all changed with two good defensive performances by the Titans and two sluggish games by the Broncos. The Titans win over the Ravens appears to be more about the Steelers hangover and playing flat."

Jaguars at Panthers

July opener: Jacksonville -2 ½
Sunday opener: Carolina -3 ½

One of the bigger swings from the summer numbers comes in this interconference matchup with the two clubs that entered the league in 1995. The Jaguars' quarterback situation is in flux after Luke McCown threw four interceptions in Sunday's blowout loss at the Jets. Now, head coach Jack Del Rio has to decide between McCown and rookie Blaine Gabbert, who completed five of six passes for 52 yards. On the other side, this past April's top pick Cam Newton has impressed with two games throwing for over 400 yards, but the Panthers are 0-2 out of the chute.

Chiefs at Chargers

July opener: San Diego -6
Sunday opener: San Diego -14 ½

Kansas City was expected to crash down to Earth this season, but certainly not in this fashion. The Chiefs have been outscored 89-10 in losses to the Bills and Lions, while losing star running back Jamaal Charles for the remainder of the season to a torn ACL on Sunday. The Chargers return home after getting sliced up by Tom Brady and the Patriots, 35-21 as 6 ½-point 'dogs, as San Diego owns a 6-3 ATS record the last nine instances as a nine-point home favorite or more.

Roberts provides an interesting spin on San Diego, "The only question is why the line isn't higher than 14 ½. For all the greatness most of us feel the Chargers have, there is that X factor that doesn't show up in statistics which is playing to the level of their opponents. They should have lost to the Vikings and were overmatched at New England. They look like the same sad group as 2010, but without Darren Sproles."

Steelers at Colts

July opener: Indianapolis - 1 ½
Sunday opener: Pittsburgh -10 ½

This line has moved for obvious reasons with Peyton Manning out and the Colts' offense turning into a complete train-wreck. Indianapolis has scored just two touchdowns in the first two weeks of the season, while facing a Pittsburgh offense that tossed a shutout over hapless Seattle. The Steelers are 0-3 ATS the last three times when laying at least 9 ½ points away from Heinz Field, including two SU losses at Cleveland and Kansas City in 2009.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at rogers@vegasinsider.com

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

  
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