NFL WEEK 3 SPOTLIGHT (PART ONE)
By Jack Robinson
Originally I was going to write this article on one of the feature games this week, but the more I look at them I’m just going to summarize all three games. If you are reading this and you are asking what a “feature” game is…then very simply put, it is a game that’s featured by itself in a prime time spot. These games will typically have more money and betting tickets moving around on them because they will obviously have more people watching them.
These games are separated by network. The Thursday night game is on NFL Network, Sunday Night game is on NBC, and the Monday night game will be featured on ESPN. So what, right? Well from sports handicapping perspective these are games that I personally like to key in on because they usually tend to be the sharpest games on the card and generate the most story lines for sports and social media. Also, let’s not forget generating the most money for Vegas and the casinos.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Carolina comes into this one as a heavy road favorite, no doubt in part to their number one defense and a resurgent Sam Darnold at the helm of the offense. The odds makers opened this one at 4.5 points and during the course of the week has ballooned up to 8 points with everyone firmly on the side of the Panthers. As they should be with Houston starting a rookie quarterback in Davis Mills out of Stanford. Mills came into the game last week in a losing effort versus the Browns after Tyrod Taylor left the game with a hamstring injury.
So far this year Carolina is 2-0 straight up and 2-0 against the spread while putting up stellar defensive stats and fantasy points in both games. Houston on the other hand is 1-1 straight up and 2-0 against the spread. On paper this game looks like a blow out which is also indicated with a 4 point spread move for the road favorites.
Always remember there are more angles at play than the obvious that I mentioned above. Let’s take the total for example. This total opened in Vegas at 44 but opened offshore at Bovada at 45.5…why? Smoke and mirrors mostly to get the public thinking up, that is why right now the total has RLM or reverse line movement. This means people are betting on the over but the total is moving down instead of trending upwards with the betting. The total right now sits at 43 across most markets.
The key with this game will be Houston’s ability to move the ball against this defense. Both of the Texans games this year have went over and both of the Panthers games have went under. If you are looking to take a dog shot here probably your best bet will be to take Houston in the first half at plus 4.5 where the scoring on both sides should be minimal and stay under the 21.5 first half total. Super risky you’d think but keep in mind that the Texans only have 1% of the first half spread money.
This concludes Part One of NFL Spotlight, we will continue with the Sunday Night match up between Green Bay at San Fransisco and see if we can find an edge between these NFC rivals.