Davis Mattek’s Week 3 NFL Best Bets
Davis Mattek’s Week 3 NFL Best Bets
After amassing a 36-26-1 record against the spread last season on RotoExperts, I am back to break down more of my favorite NFL sports bets this year on SportsGrid. As always, beating NFL lines is one of the more difficult tasks that a sports bettor can undertake as NFL games are the most bet-on events in the world and the lines are incredibly efficient. If we are able to churn out a profit and have some fun in the process, then we can consider it a battle well fought.
We started off well in Week One with the Ravens blowing out the Cleveland Browns and the Arizona Cardinals not only covering but winning outright against the 49ers. The Colts were just as bad as the Cardinals were good, however, which dropped us to 2-1 for the week. Week Two was not nearly as solid with the Chiefs and Bills both unable to cover their spreads while winning outright.
WEEK 3 NFL SPORTS BETTING PICKS
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS +3.5 VS BALTIMORE RAVENS
In Week 3, we might already have the game of the year as the Kansas City Chiefs travel to play the Baltimore Ravens. These are the two best quarterbacks in the NFL and likely the best offenses in NFL as well. These teams, because they win so many games, keep ending up on each others schedule in the regular season. The Chiefs won by 3 points in 2018, and by 5 points in 2019. Both of those games took place at Arrowhead and this game is taking place in Baltimore which is the reason why the Ravens are favored.
The most complex analysis I am willing to give on betting the Chiefs here is: you are GETTING points with Patrick Mahomes. Not only are you getting points but you’re actually getting 3.5 on the Fanduel sportsbook. For the rest of your life, if you got to bet Patrick Mahomes as an underdog against any team in any circumstance, you would end up being profitable. We think the Ravens are great, we love their commitment to analytics but the real line for this game should be 2 or 3 points and getting “the hook” makes Kansas City a very appealing bet.
TENNESSEE TITANS -2.5 @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS
I’m breaking a cardinal rule of sports betting here by undervaluing an 0-2 simply because they have looked terrible through two games. It is a well known sharp take that 0-2 teams with established QBs and continuity at head coach are likely undervalued heading into Week 3. This would be a historical #trends bet in favor of the Vikings but the on field product hasn’t been unlucky, it has been BAD. The Vikings have only run 96 plays on offense through two weeks of the season and gained 5.8 yards per play. Given their long term commitment to establishing the run, this is the worst sort of game for them to try and right the ship.
Unlike the Vikings, the Titans have basically been able to pick up from where they left off in 2019. The Titans have run 137 plays on offense and scored 49 points in those two games. While Tannehill’s YPA has fallen closer to his career norms (7.3), the Titans have still been able to score touchdowns on offense which basically their biggest question heading into 2020 and they have been able to do it without AJ Brown. This is essentially a bet that the Titans are still who they projected to be heading into the season but that Vikings are substantially worse.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -5.5 VS LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
The Cam Newton experiment is working out better in New England than many people had envisioned. The team was about half a yard shy from beating the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle with Russell Wilson throwing a perfect game. Had Cam been able to get across the line as time expired, this line is probably the Patriots by 7. Had the Raiders gotten blown out at home by an above-average Saints team, this line is also probably 7. While the Raiders have scored over 30 points in each of their first two games, there are some reasons to believe they won’t be able to compete as well in New England.
To begin with, Henry Ruggs’ field-stretching snaps are probably going to a combination of Zay Jones and Nelson Agholor this week. That makes a big difference, even though Ruggs’ has not turned his routes into production yet. There is also the vaunted narrative that Bill Belichik is able to shut down opposing teams’ top weapon, which in this case would be massive difference-maker Darren Waller. I don’t even particularly buy into that theory but I do see this as a pretty easy contest for the Patriots. Cam is putting forth Lamar Jackson-esque efforts as a rusher while averaging 8.8 yards per pass attempt. Any time you can be on the side of an All-Pro QB and Bill Belichik against Jon Gruden and Derek Carr, you need to leap at that opportunity.