Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
Sunday Blitz - Week 3
GAMES TO WATCH
Ravens at Chiefs (-5 ½, 52) – 1:00 PM EST
Four AFC teams enter Week 3 with 2-0 records as two of those squads hook up at Arrowhead Stadium. Baltimore (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) has jumped out quickly in spite of beating Miami and Arizona, but quarterback Lamar Jackson has exploded for 596 passing yards and seven touchdowns in the two wins. After routing the Dolphins in the opener, the Ravens failed to cover as 13-point favorites in last Sunday’s 23-17 victory over the Cardinals. Baltimore covered in all three opportunities as a road underdog with Jackson starting in 2018, including outright victories over the Chargers and Falcons.
Kansas City (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) scored all 28 of its points in the second quarter of last Sunday’s 28-10 triumph at Oakland to cash as seven-point favorites. Patrick Mahomes hasn’t dropped off since his MVP performance of 2018 by throwing for 443 yards and four touchdowns against the Raiders. The Chiefs didn’t put up a point in the second half at Oakland, but Kansas City improved to 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 road games.
These teams played one of the top games in 2018 as the Chiefs held off the Ravens in overtime, 27-24 in Week 14. The third game in which Jackson and Baltimore covered in the road ‘dog role came at Arrowhead Stadium as 6 ½-point ‘dogs, while the Ravens rushed for nearly 200 yards. Mahomes posted 377 yards through the air, including the game-tying touchdown pass in the final minute. Kansas City closed last season by compiling a 1-5 ATS record as a home favorite, including the AFC title game loss to New England.
Best Bet: Chiefs 31, Ravens 20
Saints at Seahawks (-4 ½, 44 ½) – 4:25 PM EST
Several teams are down their starting quarterback in Week 3, including New Orleans (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS), who begins the next six-week stretch without Drew Brees. The future Hall-of-Famer sustained a thumb injury in a 27-9 setback to the Rams in an NFC championship rematch as two-point underdogs. Veteran backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw for 165 yards in relief, but the Saints dropped to 0-7 ATS the last seven games (including playoffs) dating back to Week 15 of 2018.
The Seahawks (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) held off the Steelers as four-point road underdogs in Week 2 to pick up a rare September road win, 24-20. Seattle had failed to win its previous five road season openers, while posting an 0-5 ATS mark in the past five Week 2 contests. However, Russell Wilson led the Seahawks on four touchdown drives, including three touchdown passes. Seattle’s rushing offense was silenced in Week 1 against Cincinnati, but the Seahawks ran all over the Steelers’ defense for 151 yards.
Seattle has won 15 consecutive September home games dating back to 2010, while Wilson and head coach Pete Carroll have never lost an opening month contest at CenturyLink Field. The Saints are trying to avoid consecutive losses for the first time since dropping the first two games of the 2017 season. New Orleans has lost in its past three visits to the Pacific Northwest, but the Saints won the previous matchup in 2016 at the Superdome, 25-20.
Best Bet: Seahawks 21, Saints 16
Texans at Chargers (-3, 48 ½) – 4:25 PM EST
Both Houston and Los Angeles reached the postseason in 2018, as the two squads look to take that next step towards the Super Bowl in 2019. The Texans (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) rebounded from a last-minute heartbreaking loss to the Saints in Week 1 to edge the division rival Jaguars, 13-12 last Sunday. Houston failed to cash as 7 ½-point favorites even though the defense held Jacksonville out of the end zone for 59 minutes. The Jaguars crept to within one point with a touchdown in the final minute, but Houston stuffed Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette at the one-yard line on a two-point conversion to preserve the win.
The Chargers (1-1 SU, 0-1-1 ATS) staved off the Colts in overtime in the season opener, but couldn’t score points at crucial times in last Sunday’s 13-10 setback at Detroit. Los Angeles lost a fumble at the goal-line and missed a pair of field goals, while quarterback Philip Rivers was intercepted on the final drive as the Chargers equaled their road loss total from 2018 in the defeat to the Lions. The Lightning Bolts have started strong this season, but have scored a total of seven points in the third and fourth quarters in two games.
Los Angeles has put together a pedestrian 2-5-1 ATS mark in its last eight home contests, while only two of those victories came by seven points or more. Houston has drilled the OVER in four consecutive road games since last season, as the Texans have scored 28 points or more in the past three contests away from NRG Stadium. The Chargers are 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS in six meetings with the Texans since Houston entered the league in 2002, including a 21-13 victory in 2016 in the Lone Star State.
Best Bet: Texans 27, Chargers 24
Kevin Rogers (4-1 last week, 6-4 on season)
Broncos +7 ½
Colts -1 ½
Dolphins +21 ½
Giants +6 ½
Steelers +6 ½
Chris David (1-4 last week, 4-6 on season)
Dolphins +21 ½
49ers -6 ½
Kevin Rogers (Philadelphia – Week 1, Baltimore – Week 2)
Minnesota over Oakland
Chris David (Seattle – Week 1, New England – Week 2)
Dallas over Miami
BEST TOTAL PLAY (1-0 last week, 1-1 this season)
Over 43 ½ - Bengals at Bills
Cincinnati was blown out last week at home by San Francisco, 41-17, as the Bengals look for a better performance. The Bills play their home opener following consecutive road wins over the Jets and Giants, as both offenses have been terrible this season. The Bengals have thrown the ball plenty in two weeks, as their running game has been horrific. Buffalo has hit the OVER in four of its last five home games, while Cincinnati is 5-2 to the OVER in its last seven road contests started by Andy Dalton.
TRAP OF THE WEEK
The Packers are in a tough scheduling spot this week following close wins over division foes Chicago and Minnesota. Green Bay welcomes in 0-2 Denver, who is off a tough last-second loss to the Bears last week. The Packers turn around Thursday to face off with Philadelphia at home in an NFC showdown as this non-conference affair Green Bay may not be as sharp for. Green Bay is listed as seven-point favorites, as the Packers compiled a 2-4 ATS mark in the role of home favorites of six points or more in 2018.
BIGGEST LINE MOVE
Carolina opened up as 2 ½-point road favorites at Arizona, but after the news came down on Friday that quarterback Cam Newton would sit out with a foot injury, the Cardinals flipped to a two-point favorite. The Panthers turn to Kyle Allen, who is making his second career start for Carolina, who owns an 8-4 ATS mark as a road underdog since 2016. The Cardinals failed to win in two opportunities as a favorite last season, while Arizona has allowed over 450 yards in each of its first two games.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW
The Steelers turn to Mason Rudolph as their starting quarterback for likely the rest of 2018 after Ben Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury in last week’s loss to Seattle. Pittsburgh has not won a road game without Big Ben as its starting quarterback since a 2015 Monday night victory over the Chargers on a last-second touchdown by Le’Veon Bell. Pittsburgh’s signal-caller that evening in San Diego was none other than Michael Vick.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.