2021 NFL Week 3 Lines and Movement

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NFL Week 3 Lines and Movement

By comparing the opening point spreads for Week 3, which were released on Tuesday, Sept. 14, to the current numbers, the charts below illustrate where sportsbooks pegged matchups for the following week before teams played their Week 2 games.

These charts are updated daily as spreads continually change throughout the week, so check back as we detail and dissect the movement.

Here’s a look at the top two tiers of sportsbooks and where the value lies within the current numbers as of Sunday morning, game day!:

Tier 1 sportsbooks

NFL WEEK 3 GAMESOPENING FAV. 9/14 DRAFTKINGSFANDUELBETMGMCAESARS
TNF: Panthers 24, Texans 9Panthers -4.5
Cardinals at JaguarsCardinals -6Cardinals -8Cardinals -7.5Cardinals -7.5Cardinals -7.5
Colts at TitansTitans -3Titans -4.5Titans -4.5Titans -5.5Titans -5.5
Ravens at LionsRavens -7.5Ravens -7.5Ravens -7.5Ravens -8Ravens -7.5
Football Team at BillsBills -7Bills -7Bills -7Bills -7Bills -7
Saints at PatriotsPatriots -1Patriots -2.5Patriots -3Patriots -2.5Patriots -3
Chargers at ChiefsChiefs -7.5Chiefs -6.5Chiefs -7Chiefs -7Chiefs -7
Falcons at GiantsGiants -2.5Giants -3Giants -2.5Giants -2.5Giants -2.5
Bears at BrownsBrowns -9Browns -7.5Browns -7.5Browns -7.5Browns -7.5
Bengals at SteelersSteelers -6.5Steelers -3Steelers -3Steelers -2.5Steelers -3
Dolphins at RaidersRaiders -1.5Raiders -3.5Raiders -3.5Raiders -4Raiders -3.5
Jets at BroncosBroncos -7.5Broncos -10.5Broncos -10.5Broncos -10Broncos -10.5
Buccaneers at RamsRams -1.5Buccaneers -1Buccaneers -1.5Buccaneers -1 Buccaneers -1.5
Seahawks at VikingsSeahawks -2.5Seahawks -2Seahawks -2.5Seahawks -1.5Seahawks -2
SNF: Packers at 49ers49ers -349ers -349ers -349ers -349ers -3
MNF: Eagles at CowboysCowboys -3.5Cowboys -3.5Cowboys -3Cowboys -3Cowboys -3.5
Current odds as of Sunday morning, Sept. 26. Updated daily throughout the week

Tier 2 sportsbooks

NFL WEEK 3 GAMESOPENING FAV. 9/14BETRIVERSBETFREDFOX BETPOINTSBET
TNF: Panthers 24, Texans 9Panthers -4.5
Cardinals at JaguarsCardinals -6Cardinals -8Cardinals -7.5Cardinals -7.5Cardinals -7.5
Colts at TitansTitans -3Titans -6Titans -5Titans -5Titans -4.5
Ravens at LionsRavens -7.5Ravens -7.5Ravens -7.5Ravens -7.5Ravens -7.5
Football Team at BillsBills -7Bills -7.5Bills -7Bills -7Bills -7
Saints at PatriotsPatriots -1Patriots -3Patriots -3Patriots -2.5Patriots -3
Chargers at ChiefsChiefs -7.5Chiefs -6.5Chiefs -7Chiefs -7Chiefs -7
Falcons at GiantsGiants -2.5Giants -3Giants -3Giants -3Giants -2.5
Bears at BrownsBrowns -9Browns -7.5Browns -7.5Browns -7.5Browns -7.5
Bengals at SteelersSteelers -6.5Steelers -2.5Steelers -2.5Steelers -2.5Steelers -2.5
Dolphins at RaidersRaiders -1.5Raiders -4Raiders -3.5Raiders -3.5Raiders -3.5
Jets at BroncosBroncos -7.5Broncos -10.5Broncos -10Broncos -10Broncos -10.5
Buccaneers at RamsRams -1.5Buccaneers -1.5Buccaneers -1.5Buccaneers -1.5Buccaneers -1
Seahawks at VikingsSeahawks -2.5Seahawks -1.5Seahawks -1.5Seahawks -2Seahawks -1
SNF: Packers at 49ers49ers -349ers -349ers -349ers -3.549ers -3
MNF: Eagles at CowboysCowboys -3.5Cowboys -3.5Cowboys -3.5Cowboys -3.5Cowboys -3.5
Current odds as of Sunday morning, Sept. 26. Updated daily throughout the week

The Chiefs-Ravens tilt to cap Sunday’s Week 2 games thrilled and chilled as the Ravens sealed their comeback victory with a gutsy 4th-and-1 conversion at their own 41-yard line to beat Mahomes and Co., 36-35. The Chiefs opened as a one-point favorite and closed at -3.5, giving contrarian Ravens backers and sportsbooks reason to rejoice when the public-betting darling Chiefs lost outright.

On Monday night, the Chiefs sat at -6.5 across sportsbooks for their Week 3 game at Arrowhead against the division-rival Chargers. FanDuel was the only major book to offer Chargers +7 on Monday, which highlighted early value for Chargers backers. After that, FanDuel fell in line with Chiefs -6.5, which held until Saturday as Chiefs money pushed this spread to seven points across the market late in the week.

The change from 6.5 to seven points highlights the importance of line shopping (comparing offerings across multiple books to find value). After three points, seven is the next key number in NFL wagering.

By Sunday morning, two books bumped the Chiefs back down to -6.5 against the rest of the market holding them at -7. Chargers at Chiefs has been one of the most-bet games for Week 3. The Chargers never fell to +6 and the Chiefs didn’t hit -7.5.

To cap Week 2, the favored Packers covered the closing number of 11.5 hosting the Lions on Monday night, winning 35-17. The Packers were +4 at some books as of late Monday for their Week 3 game at San Francisco. That number quickly evaporated across the market with sportsbooks moving to Packers +3.5 and +3 throughout the week. Bettors clearly had no problem betting down the Pack to a key number, but stopped there.

The Packers-Niners game has no value at three points. To bet this game, value by Sunday morning was Packers +3.5 at FOX Bet as the Niners haven’t fallen to -2.5.

Speaking strictly from a numbers sense, which is the goal of this weekly article, the Chargers-Chiefs and Packers-49ers matchups illustrate examples of games dancing around the first two key numbers in football spread betting. For these two games specifically, all four franchises are storied and have faithful followings.

Parlay that with the boom in legalized sports betting across the country and bettors who wager on numbers, not teams, can find discrepancies in a market that’s now available to an abundance of fans, also known as “the public.”

Other Notables

Spreads that are on or around the most key number of three are: Saints at Patriots, Falcons at Giants, Bengals at Steelers, and Eagles at Cowboys on Monday night.

Across our Tier 1 sportsbooks, half list the Patriots as 2.5-point favorites after opening them at -1. All Tier 2 books except FOX Bet (-2.5) have the Pats -3.

Although less appealing than, say, Saints-Patriots or Buccaneers-Rams (covered below), the Falcons-Giants game showed an advantage for Falcons bettors at DraftKings, BetRivers and FOX Bet on Monday. All three had the road dog at +3.5, while the majority of other books sat at a stale three points.

By Sunday morning, the half-point edge on the Falcons at the aforementioned three books was gone and a handful dropped the spread under three points, giving Giants supporters a buy-back opportunity to win by a field goal.

Bengals-Steelers has seen significant movement. The Steelers opened at -6.5 but the spread has been bet down to either a stagnant three points, offering no value on either side, or Steelers -2.5 — great value on a home team being bet down that much.

For the Monday night game, Early Cowboys money held the line at -4. It has since loosened as Eagles money saturated the line in the road team’s favor.

Point Spread vs. Moneyline

Bucs-Rams highlights spreads that are flirting with pick’em territory, which brings in another dimension of betting moneylines instead of points on close spreads (1-1.5 points).

Sportsbooks on Monday held the Rams at -1 or -1.5 hosting Tampa Bay. Overnight, the line flipped to Buccaneers -1 or -1.5 depending upon the book.

On Monday, a one-point Rams win meant a push or a loss on your ticket. Bucs backers got a push or win depending on which spread was bought. The same now is true in the opposite order.

For any matchup this close on the point spread, the moneyline likely will offer the best value.

Bucs backers, for example, on Monday could get them to win at +100, instead of paying -110 for the Bucs to win outright or lose by less than two points. Moneyline bets on the Rams to win outright were slightly less profitable, -110 at best, which also was what you’d pay for Rams -1. Now it’s the Rams who are at plus-money to win outright, while the Bucs moneyline has crept toward the -115, -120 range.

Of note, a refresher on what +100, -110 means: +100 is even money. A $100 bet profits $100. At -110, a bettor wagers $110 to profit $100. At -115 the price is $115 to win $100 and so on. This is a template that can be applied to a $1 wager to win $1 or $1.15 to win $1, etc.

The Big One

The only double-digit spread as of Sunday morning is the Broncos favored between 10-10.5 points hosting the Jets. At 10 points, the spread is useless, but, should you bet the Jets to cover, some books currently are over a key number of 10.

Quick Hits For Every Game

  • Cardinals held over key number of seven
  • Titans fell to four-point range early Sunday from -5, -5.5
  • Ravens hovered at -7.5 after being a high -9
  • Bills settled at -7 after hitting -10 and -9 across market early on
  • Steelers free-fell from -6.5 to low of -2.5 at select books, buy-back opportunity
  • Patriots bet up to key number -3 from opening -1, never hit -3.5
  • Falcons-Giants held at three points until late move to NYG -2.5. Opened at 3.5
  • Chargers-Chiefs adjusted between home fav. -7 and road dog +6.5
  • Browns bounced between -7 and -7.5
  • Broncos never fell under -10 all week, never reached -12
  • Raiders moved from -3.5 to -4 and back again
  • Bucs flipped from short road underdog to short road fav. early on, never hit -2. Look at moneyline
  • Seahawks never hit key number -3 and fell low as -1
  • Packers opened +4 at San Fran. and were bet down to +3, holding
  • Cowboys reached -4, then fell to -3.5 and -3 across market

Key Number Territory: 3-7-6-10

That’s not a superfecta, rather, the foursome of the most important numbers in NFL spread betting.

Here are the Week 3 games in those respective territories:

3

  • Saints at Patriots
  • Falcons at Giants
  • Bengals at Steelers
  • Dolphins at Raiders
  • Packers at 49ers (Sunday night)
  • Eagles at Cowboys (Monday night)

6-7

  • Cardinals at Jaguars
  • Bears at Browns
  • Football Team at Bills
  • Chargers at Chiefs
  • Ravens at Lions

10

  • Jets at Broncos

Ravens at Lions was the most erratic spread across the market during the week. Books had Baltimore favored between -7.5 and -9 but settled at the lower end of that differential to close.

This weekly piece aims to serve as a guide for how point spreads are moving throughout a given week. And within that, where value lies based upon the key numbers of NFL point-spread betting. For more in-depth analysis on picks and predictions for games every week of the season, visit our staff’s wealth of information on NFL and football cheat sheets.

About the author:

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Mario Sanelli writes about sports betting for BeerLife Sports. He previously was the editorial assistant and a general-assignment reporter at The Denver Post for five years after serving as chief editor of The Metropolitan at MSU Denver. Mario was a NFL and college football insider with Mile High Sports for six years.

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