The NFL just doesn’t miss. Week 2 did its best to live up to the action that unfolded across the league during the opening slate and we were treated to a number of high-drama games. Last Thursday had us on the edge of our seats at the Washington Football Team was able to boot a game-winning field goal and Sunday Night Football gave us a heavyweight slugfest between the Ravens and Chiefs, which came down to the final seconds. It was also another solid weekend for Underdogs, who went 9-6 ATS through the first 15 games.
While we’re still waiting for Week 2 to fully go in the books with the Packers and Lions still set to kick off Monday Night Football, it’s never too early to keep an eye on what’s to come in Week 3. Below, we’ll analyze the early lines for next weekend’s slate.
Week 3 early odds
(All lines from Caesars Sportsbook, all games on Sunday unless noted)
Opening line: Panthers -7
The Panthers and Texans are two of just five teams who have been able to begin the year 2-0 ATS (Detroit can also move to 2-0 if they cover vs. Green Bay). Sam Darnold has been impressive during the early stages of his Panthers career and is coming into Week 3 following a straight-up win over the Saints where he threw for 305 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. Meanwhile, the Texans are playing better than anyone imagined they would be to start the season. That said, quarterback Tyrod Taylor did leave their Week 2 contest with the Browns due to a hamstring injury. Head coach David Culley did not rule Taylor out for this Thursday matchup, but this will certainly be worth monitoring. If Taylor is out, this spread will likely increase in favor of Carolina with rookie Davis Mills the likely starter for Houston.
Opening line: Titans -5
Tennessee is coming off the heels of a thrilling comeback win over the Seattle Seahawks in overtime. Derrick Henry was able to lead the way with two fourth quarter touchdowns to help force overtime. As for the Colts, they fell to 0-2 on the season after losing to the Rams at home. Carson Wentz was also injured during this matchup, which could have an impact on this line as we continue to learn more about his status for Week 3. If he’s unable to play, that puts Jacob Eason in under center. Recently, the road team has had the edge in this head-to-head as they are 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings.
Opening line: Giants -3
The Falcons are not having an ideal start to the season. Not only are they 0-2 straight up, but they are one of the five teams 0-2 ATS on the year as well. Their defense was shelled by Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense, who totaled five touchdowns through the air in their 48-25 win. Matt Ryan threw three interceptions in the loss. As for the Giants, they let a victory literally slip through their fingertips last Thursday with Darius Slayton dropping what would have been a dagger touchdown catch. New York also got called for a penalty that allowed Washington to get another chance at a game-winning field goal, which they hit. Despite those mistakes, Daniel Jones did play extremely well in that contest. If bettors are expecting a similar performance, you could see folks laying the points with New York.
Chargers (1-1) at Chiefs (1-1)
Opening line: Chiefs -6.5
Kansas City is another team that’s surprisingly 0-2 ATS to begin 2021. A Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s late fumble allowed Baltimore to beat the Chiefs on Sunday night, but this is still one of the best offenses in the NFL and a legit title contender in the AFC. K.C. is also 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a straight-up loss. As for the Chargers, they were on the losing end of their Week 2 matchup with the Cowboys. That said, Justin Herbert continues to blossom into one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. He recorded his 10th 300-yard game and would’ve had an even bigger day through the air had penalties not erased two L.A. touchdowns. In all, the Chargers were flagged 12 times for 99 yards. With this opening under seven, I expect folks to flock to the Chiefs in hopes of a bounce-back at home.
Opening line: Steelers -4.5
Both of these teams are looking to rebound following losses in Week 2. Pittsburgh also could be without star pass rusher T.J. Watt, who left Sunday’s game with the Raiders in the second quarter due to a groin injury. If he misses this contest with the Bengals or is limited in any way, he’s certainly a player who could alter a line. With Cincinnati, they melted down against the Bears as they gave the ball away four consecutive times, including three straight picks by Joe Burrow. That was enough to put them behind the eight-ball against Chicago and likely doesn’t instill much confidence in bettors who are looking to take the points against Pittsburgh next weekend.
Bears (1-1) at Browns (1-1)
Opening line: Browns -7.5
The Bears and Browns both earned their first win of the season on Sunday and will look to move over .500 when they go head-to-head on Sunday. What remains to be seen with this game, however, is who’ll be under center for Chicago. Andy Dalton left the Bears’ Week 2 contest due to injury, leaving rookie Justin Fields to play the entire second half. Depending on the health of Dalton and whether or not Matt Nagy wants to turn the reins over to Fields, it’ll be fascinating to see how this line shifts throughout the week. Over their last seven road games, the Bears are 2-5 ATS.
Ravens (1-1) at Lions (0-1)
Opening line: Ravens -9
Baltimore was able to hang on and win a primetime thriller against the Chiefs on Sunday night. Lamar Jackson was able to make plays with both his arm and legs in his first-ever win against Kansas City. Now, they’ll wait to face the Lions, who’ll be closing out the Week 2 slate on Monday against the Packers. Given how resilient the Ravens looked against the Chiefs, there will be plenty of money being placed on Baltimore, laying the nine points. The Ravens are also 6-1 ATS in their last seven games as the favorite and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 overall. We could see this line move a bit, depending on how the Lions look Monday.
Saints (1-1) at Patriots (1-1)
Opening line: Patriots -2.5
After upsetting the Packers in Week 1, the Saints had a clunker against the Panthers. New Orleans was shut out for the first three quarters and managed just one touchdown for the game in their 26-7 loss to Carolina. They’ll now face a Patriots team fresh off their first win of the year over the Jets. New England was able to pick off rookie Zach Wilson four times on the day, but those turnovers were more on the young quarterback rather than this defense truly forcing them. The Patriots were also outpaced by the Jets in total yards of offense, time of possession, and first downs, so New Orleans may be a strong play especially if this gets above a field goal spread.
Opening line: Cardinals -7
The Jaguars are another team that is also 0-2 ATS on the year and now face a team in the Cardinals who boast a quarterback on an early MVP pace. Kyler Murray threw for 400 yards in the win over Minnesota and had four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing). Given his hot start to the year and Jacksonville looking lost under Urban Meyer, Cardinals -7 will likely be a very popular bet in Week 3 and we should see that spread only grow.
Washington (1-1) at Bills (1-1)
Opening line: Bills -9.5
Buffalo had itself a solid bounce-back win in Week 2, shutting out the Dolphins in Miami, 35-0. That said, this was partially due to Tua Tagovailoa going down early in this game due to injury and forcing veteran Jacoby Brissett under center. Still, Josh Allen was able to throw for two touchdowns, Zack Moss rushed for two scores and Devin Singletary was able to rip off a 46-yard touchdown run as well. Meanwhile, Washington is 0-2 ATS to begin the season and will once again be starting Taylor Heinicke under center. While the Giants gifted Washington plenty of opportunities to win their game last Thursday, it’d be hard to envision Buffalo doing the same. It’s also tough to see Heinicke going toe-to-toe with Josh Allen on the road.
Jets (0-2) at Broncos (2-0)
Opening line: Broncos -11
This is one of the biggest spreads in Week 3 and for good reason. Teddy Bridgewater continues to be a bettors best friend whenever he gets the starting nod and has Denver 2-0 ATS to begin the season. The Jets are also one of the teams to stand at 0-2 ATS following Week 2 and will be rolling into Denver after Zach Wilson threw four interceptions in their loss to New England. The Broncos defense is no walk in the park, so Wilson could be in for another long day. It’s a big number to lay, but this is a situation where Denver should win by double-digits rather easily. The Broncos are also 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a favorite.
Dolphins (1-1) at Raiders (2-0)
Opening line: Raiders -4
This is another spread that could change rapidly depending on what the status of Tua Tagovailoa is after leaving Week 2 due to injury. If he’s unable to play, this could go well over a touchdown advantage for the Raiders, who are white-hot to begin the year owning a 2-0 ATS record. Even if Tagovailoa plays, getting Raiders -4 is strong value, especially with the way Derek Carr has begun the year. The Raiders quarterback is averaging over 400 yards passing over his first two games. Las Vegas is also 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a straight-up win.
Seahawks (1-1) at Vikings (0-2)
Opening line: Seahawks -1.5
Minnesota had no answer for Kyler Murray in Week 2, but they were able to keep the game close enough to cover. As for the Seahawks, they saw a 14-point fourth-quarter lead evaporate thanks to Titans running back Derrick Henry, who rushed for two touchdowns to force overtime. Tennessee then went on to kick a game-winning field goal in OT. Both of these teams will look to rebound in Week 3 where Seattle is a slight road favorite. Historically, the Seahawks have played well at this point in the season, owning a 9-2 ATS record over their last 11 Week 3 games. That said, Minnesota is 18-7-1 ATS in its last 26 games as a home underdog.
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Buccaneers (2-0) at Rams (2-0)
Opening line: Rams -2
This could very well be a preview of the NFC Championship. Both of these teams enter Week 3 undefeated but are 1-1 ATS to begin the year. Los Angeles is getting a slight edge, but not your typical home-field advantage. Tom Brady is coming into this game on a historic pace after throwing five touchdowns in Week 2 against Atlanta. The Rams, meanwhile, were just able to escape Indy with a 27-24 win. L.A. has been good to bettors after an ATS loss, however, owning an 11-2 ATS record in that scenario. As for the Bucs, they are 5-0 ATS in their last five games as an underdog, including playoffs, so this will truly be a slugfest. Brady and the Bucs were underdogs in just two regular season games last season.
Packers (0-1) at 49ers (2-0)
Opening line: 49ers -3.5
Another matchup between two NFC powerhouses. The 49ers were able to edge out a win over the Eagles but were nearing the possibility of yet another backdoor cover. They’ll look to remain undefeated on the year when they face the Packers in primetime. Depending on how Green Bay looks on Monday night, it will be interesting to see which way this line goes as it sits just above a field goal advantage for San Francisco. The 49ers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight home games.
Eagles (1-1) at Cowboys (1-1)
Opening line: Cowboys -4
We have an NFC East head-to-head to wrap up Week 3 as the Eagles and Cowboys will duke it out for the first time this season. Unlike their opening win in Week 1, the Eagles offense was quieter in Week 2, only managing a field goal through the first three quarters. Jalen Hurts and co. should have an easier time against Dallas, who did allow Justin Herbert to throw over 300 yards on Sunday. The Cowboys were able to put together a strong day on the ground against Los Angeles, totaling 198 yards and two touchdowns on 6.4 yards per carry. One thing that’s worth noting in this matchup is that the home team is 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings.