NFL Betting: Prime-Time NFL Favorites Mixed Bag for Bettors in Week 3
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | September 22, 2014
While Week 2 favorites took a bite out of bettors, they certainly took a step back for the most-wagered games of Week 3.
On Thursday at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta laid down a 56-14 embarrassment of NFC South rival Tampa Bay. Only two late touchdowns saved the Bucs from their worst loss in history. Amazingly, Atlanta was up 35-0 before Tampa Bay made a touchdown. The Falcons’ Devin Hester returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown to make it 35-0, and that was Hester’s record-setting 20th return touchdown. That touchdown broke the mark of 19 held by former Falcon and Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.
The Falcons closed as 7-point favorites and took nearly 68% of the action. They garnered nearly 85% of the lean at -300 on the moneyline. And the over 47.5 points took around 64% of the haul. Bettors enjoyed a clean sweep.
Both bettors’ and the book’s top player prop results came with that game. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan benefitted bettors by going over two touchdown passes. Atlanta running back Steven Jackson made over 50.5 rushing yards, which was another big win.
Bucs quarterback Josh McCown benefitted the book by passing under 230.5 yards. He went 5-for-12 for 58 yards and a pick was returned for a touchdown. He left with a hand injury. McCown’s job is likely gone now even when he returns to health. The other win for the book was Tampa Bay receiver Vincent Jackson staying under 70.5 yards receiving. Jackson had a mere 15 yards.
The biggest game win for the book came from the Sunday night matchup in Charlotte. Pittsburgh surprised bettors with a 37-19 victory over Carolina. The Steelers gashed one of the NFL’s top defenses with 264 yards rushing. Both Le’Veon Bell (147) and LeGarrette Blount (118) topped 100 yards, the first time in Steelers history that two backs hit the century mark in the same game since 1986.
Carolina closed as a 3.5-point favorite and took
nearly 75% of the spread action. The Panthers were around 70% at -200 on the moneyline. Bettors fared well on the total with about 59% taking over 42.5 points. One of the Bovada Week 3 specials was over/under 9 points surrendered by the Panthers in the first half; they hadn’t allowed a first-half score for the first two weeks. The under took the heavy lean, but it ended up being a push.
Thursday, September 25: So far this season, the home team has crushed the visitor in the three Thursday night games, but that could change this week as Washington has opened as just a 3-point home favorite against the New York Giants. There will be live betting available at the book.
Washington lost 37-34 in Philadelphia on Sunday. It certainly wasn’t Kirk Cousins’ fault. Cousins, starting for injured Robert Griffin III, threw for a career high 427 yards along with three touchdowns in the loss. New York was a slight home underdog Sunday to Houston but routed the Texans 30-17 behind a career-high 176 yards rushing from Rashad Jennings. Had the Giants lost that game and dropped to 0-3, the team might have fired Coach Tom Coughlin.
The Giants swept the Redskins last season, winning the game at FedEx Field 24-17. Cousins started in Week 17 against the Giants at MetLife Stadium, once again replacing injured Griffin, and Cousins struggled in the 20-6 loss. He was 19 of 49 for 169 yards and two interceptions. Griffin will be out for several more weeks.
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