Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
Hot & Not Report - Week 3
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Who's Hot and Who's Not
Week of August 19th
After backing the NFL preseason trends and scenarios to a strong record in Week 1, we were able to get last week's situations to follow suit. Houston got the money in a game that was theirs nearly the entire way, all that love and support for KC in the market was squashed late in their loss to the Steelers, and for those that jumped on the Cowboys late in the week when the closed at -4 and -4.5, there could have technically been another loss in there for the Cowboys as well. But news on the Rams resting basically everyone was out early in the week that nearly all the Dallas numbers got their in the end.
With Week 3 of the preseason being the last week we really see the starters even consider playing, we are looking to end the preseason on a high note as Week 4 is just a debacle of a week to try and stay atop on who's playing and just how far the depth charts are getting extended. So while news continues to pour in over the week about the gameplans in terms of starters minutes for each team, it's back to the a couple of specific scenarios that have been beneficial to back or fade like we've discussed the past two weeks.
And while winless teams will get plenty of attention this week in terms of ATS backing – they always do in Week 3 of the preseason – it's these groups of teams that deserve more of a keen eye for Week 3.
2018 NFC Playoff teams tend to take 'dress rehearsal' week seriously
New Orleans (9-3 ATS run)
Philadelphia (8-1 ATS run)
Seattle (7-1 ATS run)
Chicago (2-0 ATS run)
LA Rams (1-3 ATS run)
Dallas (0-5 ATS run)
The blanket statement above obviously doesn't cover all six of the organizations that made it to January football a year ago, but outside of backing the drama-filled Cowboys this week, the other five organizations have decent enough history to warrant significant consideration for their third game of the preseason.
As of the opening numbers currently out there, the Rams don't have one yet given how close to the vest they've dealt with their starters these past few weeks, the other contests have spreads shaping out like this:
Philly is catching +4 at home against a Ravens team who has quickly become everyone's favorite preseason darling , Dallas is laying -1.5 at home in an in-state battle with Houston, Chicago's catching three on the road in Indy against a Colts team with serious QB questions to address now, the Saints are laying a point on the road against a Jets team that's already come around on sitting starters the rest of this August, and the Seahawks are catching points on the road against a winless Chargers team.
If you were to assume that starters get close to an entire half to suit up and play this week, those are some pretty nice looking spots and situations for all six of last year's NFC playoffs representatives. Now, we all know that the starters for some of these teams will still barely see the field this week, so keep that in mind as you comb through press conferences and interviews trying to discover info about playing time, but know that recent history does favor that majority of this group to cash tickets this weekend.
Of the six games overall, the two that stand out to me at the moment would be the Eagles catching a FG at home, as well as the Saints out in New York. I say that because, Philly may not let Carson Wentz hit the field and are a little thin at QB in the preseason because of it, but this blind love for backing Harbaugh and the Ravens in preseason has reached a sell point in today's betting market in my opinion. With the Eagles likely sticking with a similar QB rotation to what we saw last week (Thorson gets the bulk of the game), this line on the Ravens is only likely to increase, an then it becomes all about picking off the top in terms of getting Philadelphia at the best number.
Backing the Saints against the Jets is another spot I'm looking deeper into, because....
AFC East teams in third preseason game
Buffalo (1-6 ATS last seven)
New England (3-8 ATS last 11)
New York Jets (1-2 ATS last three)
Miami (1-7 ATS last eight)
New Orleans is visiting the Jets, and they do have the 'best' record of their AFC East rivals during dress rehearsal week the past few years, but HC Adam Gase has already come out and blamed himself for losing LB Avery Williamson to a torn ACL this year on his decision to leave him out longer then planned for in last week's game, and New York is probably going to go into a shell these final two weeks to make sure everyone else stays healthy.
Even with the Saints cautious approach with some of their starters, you combine the recent history of both franchises during this week of preseason action with the likely scenario of the Jets going extra cautious, I'd get on New Orleans sooner rather then later this week.
It's those other AFC East teams that I'm interested in fading as well, as New England is about a four-point home favorite vs Carolina, the Dolphins are -2.5 at home against Jacksonville, and Buffalo's catching about a point on the road in Detroit.
Of the three, Miami may be the team that causes most hesitation as they've still got a legit #1 QB battle going on there between Rosen and Fitzpatrick. Neither guy was exceptionally great last week, and although chances are they end up giving Fitzpatrick the starting job at least out of the gate, that top spot is still up for grabs, and with both guys going to get significant time (in all likelihood) in Week 3 to prove they deserve that top spot, fading the Dolphins this week does come with some concerns.
But New England has nothing left to prove after a 2-0 SU start to the preseason, as they will be out filling out depth roles the next two weeks. The same can be argued in Buffalo as well, as they've gone undefeated so far in the preseason too. Considering that Carolina and Detroit – New England and Buffalo's respective opponents – are looking for strong performances late in the preseason, they are definitely worthy of play on spots this week.
Detroit would love to get that first win of 2019 under their belt, and backing them against Buffalo this week might turn out to be one of the easier covers of Week 3's action.