NFL Betting Guide: Week 3
numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, game line, or moneyline. For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet.
For example, if you would usually bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a 3-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.
Using our models as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets for tonight.
Under 55.5: 5-Star Rating out of 5
Many people expected the Arizona Cardinals to be better this season. With the addition of DeAndre Hopkins and an expected leap in production from Kyler Murray, much of that success was supposed to come via the offense. Through two games, that's been true. They're averaging 4.4 more points per game than last year and are putting up 79.3 more yards per game. The main reason for their 2-0 start, however, is because of their defense.
After giving up the fifth-most points per game last season, the Cardinals' D is giving up the second-fewest through two games this season. Sure, one of those two games came against the offensively-challenged Washington Football Team, but they also held the San Francisco 49ers to just 20 points; last year they allowed the Niners to score 28 and 36 points in their two meetings.
The Cards come into Week 3 as a 5.5-point favorite over the Detroit Lions. In their past 14 games as more than five-point favorites, the under is an incredible 13-1. The under is 11-0 at home in those games.
The Lions are more than five-point underdogs fairly often. In the past 10 years, however, only eight of those games have come with totals set higher than 50 points. The under is 6-2 in those games.
Our models have the NFC teams combining for 48.1 points and suggest that the under has a 72.3% likelihood of hitting. With an expected return of $138 for every $100 bet, the under in this game is marked as a five-star play, the highest on the slate.
Under 56.5: 4-Star Rating out of 5
The Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys have played seven times over the past 10 seasons. The under has gone 5-2 in those contests (5-1 in the regular season), and our models expect that record to move to 6-2 after the teams clash in Week 3.
The teams are second and eighth in points per game in the 2020 season, so it's not that surprising that the 56.5-point total in their matchup this week is currently the highest on the slate. This marks just the second Seahawks game in the past 10 years that they've been home favorites with a total set higher than 50 points.
The under has hit in three of the past four Cowboys games with a total higher than 50 points. The under is 7-3 in their past 10 games as away underdogs. The under is 6-4 in their past 10 games after scoring more than 30 points (they put up 40 on the Atlanta Falcons in a thrilling comeback victory in Week 2).
Last year, the under went 7-4, when teams had scored at least 35 points in their previous two games, as the Seahawks have done in the first two weeks of this season. The Hawks have given up at least 25 points in each of their first two games. The under went 46-36-2 last season, when teams had given up 25 or more points in each of their previous two games.
numberFire's models give the under a 67.0% chance of hitting this week. With an expected return of $127.89 for every $100 wagered, we mark the bet as a strong four-star play.
Under 55.0: 4-Star Rating out of 5
With a matchup between the past two NFL MVPs in Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, few are expecting anything but fireworks. While that might result in an exciting game, our models are indicating the scoring won't be high enough to top the 55.0-point total.
The Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs scored the most and fifth-most points last year. Their defenses, however, we nearly as stellar; the teams gave up the third- and seventh-fewest points. It's led to high totals in each of the teams' games, totals which have for the most part not been exceeded.
The under is 9-5-2 in the Chiefs' past 16 regular season games in which Mahomes played (he was out for two games last year). The under is 8-2-2 in regular season Chiefs games after Week 4 last year. The under is 5-1-1 in the Ravens' past seven regular season games.
Since the 2018 season, the under is 6-1 when the Ravens are home favorites in games with a total set higher than 45 points (the total has been over 50 in just one of those games). On the flip side, however, the over is 4-1 in that time frame when the Chiefs have been away underdogs with totals higher than 45 points. The under was 3-1-1 last year when the Ravens were coming off consecutive wins of more than 15 points.
Our models have the Ravens winning in a game projected to see a combined 48.1 points. We give the under a 68.7% chance of hitting and mark the bet as a four-star play.