NFL Betting: NFL Matchups for Week 3

Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2012 NFL betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 3!

New York Giants (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) @ Carolina Panthers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Spread: New York -1, Total: 50

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC – Thursday, September 20th, 8:30 ET

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Both the Panthers and the Giants know that they are going to be in for a heck of a challenge going against one another. QB Cam Newton is one of the up and coming leaders in the NFL, and he is going against one of the few men that has not just one, but two Super Bowl rings to his credit as the bona fide leader of a team. Now, these two teams meet for just the third time ever at Bank of America Stadium and for the eighth time ever here on Thursday. The Panthers lead the all-time series 4-3 both SU and ATS. The loser of this one is going to have a massive uphill battle to be able to get back into the playoff chase in the NFC.

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) @ Indianapolis Colts (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Spread: Indianapolis -3, Total: 41.5

Lucas Oil Field, Indianapolis, IN – Sunday, September 23rd, 1:00 ET

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Last year, the Colts and the Jaguars were two of the worst teams in the league, and the two games were total dogs. This year, both of these teams could be just as bad this year. The Colts at least have a future now in QB Andrew Luck, and he had a fantastic game last week in his home opener against the Vikings. Of course, we’ve got a real question as to whether Luck’s great game against Minnesota and QB Blaine Gabbert’s game against Minnesota that was so great are a product of the Vikes instead of a product of their good play. The very next week, Gabbert was a nightmare against Houston. The Jags swept the season series last year, and they have had a great history here in Indianapolis, winning a few games here and there and taking four of the last from an ATS standpoint in this building.

Cincinnati Bengals (1-1 SU, 0-1-1 ATS) @ Washington Redskins (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Spread: Washington -3.5, Total: 49

FedEx Field, Landover, MD – Sunday, September 23rd, 1:00 ET

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If you go under the assumption that the Ravens are making the playoffs and the Browns aren’t, the trend that dates back to last year is continuing for the Bengals. Last year, they went 9-0 against teams that didn’t get into the playoffs and 0-8 (including the playoffs) against teams that did. And now, that’s 1-0 against teams that aren’t going to get in (Cleveland) and 0-1 against teams that will (Baltimore). So that begs the question: Are the Redskins a playoff team this year? QB Robert Griffin III has played well enough to win two games this year, but he has a defense that has a heck of a lot of holes in it. Cincinnati’s offense might be able to capitalize. The defense though, is sure to have its work cut out for it in this intra-conference clash. These two teams have only met twice since 1991, and the Bengals won both games SU and ATS.

St. Louis Rams (1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS) @ Chicago Bears (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Spread: Chicago -7, Total: 44.5

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL – Sunday, September 23rd, 1:00 ET

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The Bears and the Rams are teams that have a lot of growing to do. Chicago is clearly a lot closer in terms of talent to being one of the best teams in the league, but last week’s debacle against the Packers clearly wasn’t what the doctor ordered. St. Louis’ young team is starting to grow, and last week’s comeback against the Redskins was crucial. This is a tough road game though, and it is one that won’t be won easily for a team that is used to playing in a dome. Keep an eye on the injury status of both RB Steven Jackson and RB Matt Forte, both of which are questionable after leaving their respective games injured last week. The Bears are 4-1 ATS in the last five in this series, and they have won three straight SU, though there hasn’t been a meeting between these two squads since 2009.

San Francisco 49ers (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) @ Minnesota Vikings (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS)
Spread: San Francisco -7, Total: 43

HHH Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN – Sunday, September 23rd, 1:00 ET

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There is a point that the 49ers are going to drop from earth and get caught in a game like this one. The question though, is whether this is the game or not. Going into the Metrodome definitely is never an easy task, and Minnesota has played well enough to be a 2-0 team this year (though the argument could be made that the team could be 0-2 as well). QB Christian Ponder looks a lot better in his second year than in his first, and he has a totally healthy RB Adrian Peterson in the backfield as well. San Francisco’s defense doesn’t have the stats of an elite defense, but everyone still recognizes that this is one of the best units in the league. Remember that this is the first game against a team that isn’t expected to make the playoffs that the Niners have faced this year, and it is a team that they have lost four out of five to from an SU standpoint (3-2 ATS).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS) @ Dallas Cowboys (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Spread: Dallas -7.5, Total: 46.5

Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX – Sunday, September 23rd, 1:00 ET

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The Buccaneers have now played two games against two very good teams, and they have proven that they can at least stay in the discussion with seemingly anyone in the league. The question this week though, is whether they can hang with the Cowboys in their home opener. Dallas has to be at least content with splitting road games against the Giants and Seahawks to start the year, but the team is far from cohesive at this point. Last week’s 27-7 loss in Seattle was brutal, and it wasn’t expected after really dominating against the champs the week before. The Bucs have covered four straight games played in September now dating back to last year, but they are 0-4 SU and ATS in this series dating back to 2006, including last year’s 31-15 romp that they suffered at home at the hands of the boys from Big D.

Detroit Lions (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) @ Tennessee Titans (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS)
Spread: Detroit -3.5, Total: 47

LP Field, Nashville, TN – Sunday, September 23rd, 1:00 ET

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The Lions and the Titans have a grand total of one win and no covers between them over the course of their last six games dating back to last season, but someone is going to get into the win column for the first time in quite some time now that they are sharing the field together. RB Chris Johnson is running out of games to prove that he is still a legit back in this league, but the real question comes for the Tennessee offensive line, which might be in a heck of a lot of trouble going forward. The Titans blew out Detroit the last time that these two teams met on Thanksgiving 2008, but the Lions were an absolute disaster, while the Titans were one of the best teams in football that year.

New York Jets (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) @ Miami Dolphins (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Spread: New York -2.5, Total: 40

Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL – Sunday, September 23rd, 1:00 ET

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The Dolphins and the Jets have one of the richest rivalries in football, but this isn’t exactly going to be a series this year worth savoring. New York is one of the more overrated teams in football, and Miami is clearly one of the worst. The QB Mark Sanchez countdown to implosion clock is on once again after he was a disaster last week against the Steelers, and if he doesn’t perform better against the Fins, that could be it, essentially for his career. The Dolphins got in the win column last week, but we have to remember that RB Reggie Bush probably isn’t running for 2,000 yards this year as he is on pace for, and QB Ryan Tannehill is probably still the worst of the 32 starters in the league. The home team won and covered both meetings last year in this series, but the road team had gone 6-1 SU and ATS in the previous seven before that point dating back to 2007.

Buffalo Bills (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) @ Cleveland Browns (0-2 SU, 1-0-1 ATS)
Spread: Buffalo -3, Total: 44

Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH – Sunday, September 23rd, 1:00 ET

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We’ve seen two very different Buffalo teams and two very different Cleveland teams over the course of the first two weeks of the season, and it is anyone’s guess which one on either side we are going to see this coming week. The Bills have the ability to really do some damage if RB CJ Spiller continues to be one of the best backs in the league as he has been thus far this year. The offense can really get the ball all over the field, and the defense, as it showed last week, has the ability to be relentless when it is in situations where it is playing with the lead. The two rookies in the Cleveland offense had great games last week against the Bengals, but the Browns are still looking for their first SU victory of the QB Brandon Weeden era in spite of the fact that it has a cover and a push to show for its work from an ATS standpoint. These two teams have only met five times since the Browns moved back to Cleveland, and three of the five games have failed to reach 20 points.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS) @ New Orleans Saints (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS)
Spread: New Orleans -8.5, Total: 53

Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA – Sunday, September 23rd, 1:00 ET

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The loser of this New Orleans/Kansas City game clearly is going to be in a heck of a lot of trouble for the rest of the year, as it is very, very unlikely that the loser will be able to get into the playoffs. Many think that the Saints are just going to figure out how to get back in the saddle this week after two losing efforts, but the defense just has to get better than it has been. These are the statistically two worst defenses in football right now, and that could mean that a lot of points are going to hit the board this week. The Saints have won and covered both games that these teams have played since 1997, and both games have reached at least 47 points combined. Still, that won’t be enough to get to this ‘total’, which is the highest that we have seen in the regular season to date.

Atlanta Falcons (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) @ San Diego Chargers (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS)
Spread: San Diego -3, Total: 47.5

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego CA – Sunday, September 23rd, 4:05 ET

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The Chargers and Falcons are both 2-0 SU and ATS this year, and this is the only game of the sorts this week where someone’s perfect marks are going to be destroyed. Atlanta has already beaten two teams in the AFC West this year, and it has done so in relatively impressive fashion. The Bolts should be getting back RB Ryan Mathews this week, which should help one of the worst rushing games in the league. San Diego has actually never beaten this Atlanta team here at Qualcomm Stadium (or at Jack Murphy Stadium), and the last six meetings between these two teams have stayed ‘under’ the ‘total’. This is a particularly crucial game for the Bolts, as they’ll either be a game up on the rest of the AFC or will be two up on the Broncos and likely the rest of the AFC West with a win.

Philadelphia Eagles (2-0 SU, 0-2 ATS) @ Arizona Cardinals (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS)
Spread: Philadelphia -3.5, Total: 43

University of Phoenix Stadium, Tucson, AZ – Sunday, September 23rd, 4:05 ET

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The Cardinals and the Eagles have won all four of their games this year, but between the two of them, they only have a combined margin of victory of eight points. This is a game with some weird ties to it, namely that QB Kevin Kolb was drafted by the Eagles and traded to Arizona, and DB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was drafted by the Cardinals and traded to Philadelphia. Last year, Arizona pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season when it went into the City of Brother Love and beat the Eagles. Now, the Cards are coming off of the biggest upset of this season, a win on the road against the mighty Patriots, and now they have a chance to move to 3-0 with a victory in this one. Arizona has won three of the last four in this series.

Houston Texans (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) @ Denver Broncos (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Spread: Houston -2, Total: 46

Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO – Sunday, September 23rd, 4:25 ET

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The Texans and the Broncos are going to be squaring off in what might be one of the biggest games in the AFC this year. Few realize just how important this game really is, knowing that Houston could really be taking a huge jump towards being the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a victory. Remember that the Texans would have the tiebreaker over Denver, not to mention a two-game edge on the Broncos, perhaps the Steelers, and certainly either the Ravens or Patriots as well. Denver could also be two back in the AFC West already just three games in if this one is lost. Obviously, both teams are going to be worried about tiebreakers, knowing that they very well could determine if one of these teams gets a bye in the first round, and the other has to pay a visit to the winner in the first round of the playoffs. The home team has won all three meetings all-time in this series both SU and ATS.

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) @ Oakland Raiders (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS)
Spread: Pittsburgh -4, Total: 44.5

O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA – Sunday, September 23rd, 4:25 ET

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The Steelers have had very little luck playing against the Raiders over the course of the last few years, and we have already seen Oakland totally ruin their season twice in the last several years. This is another one of these games that could go a long way in deciding the fate of the men in black and gold this year. QB Ben Roethlisberger badly needs his offensive line to be better than it has been, and he needs to make sure that he can get the ball up the field, as he was able to do for the most part against the Jets last week. Oakland needs to get its head screwed back on straight in a hurry to compete this year, especially after getting trashed by the Dolphins in South Beach. Of course, we tend to give the Raiders the benefit of the doubt, knowing that they travelled cross-country after playing the latest start time for a game in the NFL on Monday Night Football the week before. This is a different story, though.

New England Patriots (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) @ Baltimore Ravens (1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS)
Spread: Baltimore -3, Total: 49.5

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD – Sunday, September 23rd, 8:20 ET

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It is just really, really hard to believe that one of these two teams is going to be just 1-1 after this week is said and done with. New England is coming off of a shocking loss to the Cardinals at home last week, and now, it needs to come on the road and tango with arguably the best team in football. Baltimore has had a heck of a schedule to date, and it needs to really get back on track in a hurry, because the brutal games in the AFC North against the Steelers have yet to begin. Believe it or not, the Patriots haven’t lost a regular season game to a team from Baltimore since the Colts in 1983, and the only win that the Ravens have in this series since moving from Cleveland came in the 2010 playoffs when they absolutely whooped up on the Pats 33-14. New England is 4-2-1 ATS in the seven meeting that these teams have had since Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore.

Green Bay Packers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) @ Seattle Seahawks (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Spread: Green Bay -3, Total: 46.5

CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA – Monday, September 24th, 8:30 ET

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The Seahawks and the Packers were both atrocious in Week 1 by their own standards and a heck of a lot better in Week 2. Now, Green Bay has a tough road trip, but a lengthy week of preparation to get ready for game in Seattle, and QB Aaron Rodgers is under fire for the way that he has played these first two games of the year. We don’t think that anyone should be slinging stones at Rodgers, as he is one of the best quarterbacks that this league has to offer. He just hasn’t played that well over the course of the last two weeks, albeit against the defenses of the Bears and the 49ers, two of the best in the league. Seattle has had in this series for the most part, ranging from a 48-10 beat down when these two met in 2009, to the infamous 33-27 “We want the ball and we’re gonna score” game when QB Matt Hasselbeck opened up his mouth in the 2004 postseason. Green Bay has covered three in a row, and the only game that Seattle has covered since the team was in the AFC against the Pack was that playoff game at +7.5 when the Seahawks were beaten by six.

Andrew Ryan

Andrew Ryan

Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.

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