Week 3 Key NFL Tidbits

While The Director prepares to his sink his teeth into this Key NFL Trends, Michael Hill of Stat Fox provides a very interesting overview of Week 3:

There are three double-digit favorites this weekend, and all three of them present handicappers with the same solid play. The FoxSheets make a compelling case to play AGAINST home favorites of 10.5 or more points versus division opponents off an upset loss as a favorite. That angle has proven to be successful in 42 of 56 occasions since 1983 (75%, +26.6 units. Rating = 3*). The games that meet this criteria in week three are Cleveland at Baltimore, Buffalo at New England, and Detroit at Minnesota.

Another strong angle for the upcoming weekend is a play AGAINST home teams coming off of a road loss, in the first month of the season, after closing out the previous season with two or more straight losses. This FoxSheets special has performed as follows: 92-46 since 1983 (66.7%, +41.4 units. Rating = 3*). This applies to San Diego at Seattle, Tennessee at New York Giants, Washington at St. Louis, and Philadelphia at Jacksonville. This situation is an even greater opportunity in games in which the line is +3 to –3 (42-12 since 1983.) (77.8%, +28.8 units. Rating = 4*). This further supports playing against the Giants and Jaguars.

As if the above information wasn’t enough ammo to put you onto Tennessee this week, the FoxSheets show that the Titans have performed very well against the NFC under Jeff Fisher. Fisher is 33-15 ATS (+16.5 Units) in non-conference games as the coach of Tennessee. The average score has been Tennessee 25.2, Opponent 19.8 – (Rating = 2*).

After going 5-3 both ATS and SU in week one, the success of home underdogs ATS continued in week two, with Cincinnati and the New York Jets winning their games outright as well. The five home ‘dogs in week two went 4-0-1 ATS (2-3 SU), with Washington’s crushing overtime loss to Houston the only blemish. For the season, that makes it 9-3-1 ATS and 7-6 SU. There are no less than seven such opportunities in Week 3: Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay, Cincinnati at Carolina, Washington at St. Louis, Philadelphia at Jacksonville, Indianapolis at Denver, San Diego at Seattle, and Green Bay at Chicago.

Of all this week’s home underdogs, Carolina looks to have the most evidence in its favor in the FoxSheets. Under head coach John Fox, the Panthers are 10-1 ATS (+8.9 Units) off an upset loss by 10 points or more as a favorite as the coach of Carolina. The average score was Carolina 22.8, Opponent 17.3 – (Rating = 3*). On the flip side, the Bengals are 0-8 ATS (-8.8 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons. The average score was CINCINNATI 16.8, OPPONENT 16.8 – (Rating = 3*).

Keep an eye on a pair of games in which the line has moved to one side despite the other side taking more of the action. “Smart money” opportunities such as these have paid off on a number of occasions so far this season, including Kansas City’s outright win over San Diego in Week 1 and Pittsburgh’s upset victory over Tennessee in Week 2.

Minnesota opened as a 10-point favorite at home against Detroit. While the Lions have taken a vast majority of the early money, the line has jumped to Minnesota –11. Last season, the Vikings soundly defeated the Lions in both of their meetings, posting a 27-10 win in Minnesota and a 27-13 victory in Detroit. Similarly, Arizona has gone from a –4 to –4.5 home favorite against Oakland, despite the fact that the Raiders have attracted about 60 percent of the action thus far. If Detroit and Oakland continue to take more of the action, but the lines do not drop, the “smart money” is likely to follow Minnesota and Arizona.

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