September 21, 2020
The first two weeks of the NFL season are in the books, and we'll soon start being able to really separate the haves from the have-nots. That typically takes a few weeks to decipher, and this year won't be any easier.
Are the Cardinals, Bills and ... Bears all legit? Are the Eagles, Falcons, Texans and Vikings all as bad as their record suggests? Week 3 should provide some more answers. And while there's still plenty of time left before the games are played, we figured we'd get a jump on things by offering up an early look at all the upcoming NFL game lines.
All of the spreads you'll see below come from TheLines.com's consensus odds, and you can click here to see how they differ slightly at three different PA sports books — FanDuel, DraftKings and Bet Rivers — to decide where the best value is in Week 3.
Without wasting any more time, let's get right into it...
Jaguars (-2.5) vs. Dolphins
The first game of the week isn't a super exciting one, as the 1-1 Jags host the 0-2 Dolphins. It's North Florida vs. South Florida, with the former being a 2.5 point favorite at Hard Rock Stadium. Let's just hope the game goes more smoothly than Sunday's did, when play was stopped first for a power outage and then lightning. Florida's gonna Florida, I guess.
Eagles (-6.5) vs. Bengals
The Eagles are 0-2, have the second worst point differential in the NFL (-28), are off to one of their worst starts in nearly half a century. Against almost any other team in the NFL, they'd likely be an underdog. Instead, they get the Bengals and find themselves as nearly a touchdown favorite. It's almost like they're begging you to take Cincinnati and the 6.5 points.
Steelers (-3.5) vs. Texans
One can't help but feel bad for the Texans, who drew matchups against the Chiefs, Ravens and Steelers in their first three games of the season. And after losing their first two games to the K.C. and Baltimore, Bill O'Brien's team currently has the worst point differential in the NFL (-31). They're not as bad as that suggests, and they still have an incredibly talented quarterback in Deshaun Watson. But they are most certainly missing DeAndre Hopkins. This week they'll host the 2-0 Steelers who boast one of the top defenses in the NFL. It could be another long day for Houston, who will get a break after this weekend. I mean, it can't get any worse, right?
Titans (-2) at Vikings
Kirk Cousins put up an early candidate for worst performance of the 2020 season on Sunday in his team's loss to the Colts. At 0-2, and with similar point differential and points allowed numbers to the Eagles, many are questioning if Minnesota has hit rock bottom. They'll take on the 2-0 Titans as one of just two home underdogs on Sunday afternoon in what should be a battle of two talented running backs in Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook.
Falcons (-3) vs. Bears
The Falcons jumped out to a big lead over Dallas on Sunday before collapsing in epic fashion to lose 40-39 on a last-second field goal following a successful onside kick from the Cowboys. Despite that loss, and their 0-2 record and league-worst 78 points allowed through two games, Atlanta opens as a field goal favorite against the 2-0 Bears in Week 3. Chicago has largely won thanks to its defense (36 PA in two games).
Patriots (-6.5) vs. Raiders
We'll have to see how the Raiders do against the Saints on Monday Night Football, but it looks like the Patriots are still legit with Cam Newton at quarterback. They almost went into Seattle and beat the Seahawks in primetime, which is not easy to do. They were one yard from being 2-0, and if the Raiders get blown out by New Orleans, the Pats could be even bigger favorites heading into Sunday.
49ers (-4) at NY Giants
Now that Saquon Barkley has officially been diagnosed with a torn ACL, it will be interesting to see how much this line moves. It might not actually be as much as you think with the 49ers having key injuries on both sides of the ball, including to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, defensive end Joey Bosa and several others. They should get George Kittle back though, which will help.
Browns (-7) vs. Washington
Yes, the team that ran off 27 straight points against the Eagles in Week 1 are touchdown underdogs against the Cleveland Browns. Perhaps that will help put things in perspective for Eagles fans. Sure, the Browns played well last week, but that was against the lowly Bengals and they still only won by five points. They have one of the worst point differentials in the NFL (-27), but could find themselves at 2-1 next Monday thanks to a favorable matchup against a nameless team. But banking on them to win by more than a touchdown might be tricky.
Bills (-2.5) vs. Rams
Speaking of things being put in perspective for Eagles fans. Take a look at the team that just beat your ass on Sunday. They're heading to Buffalo next week as underdogs. The Bills, like L.A., are 2-0 on the young season, and the Rams having to make another East Coast trip could be taxing on them. But they seemed to fair just fine against the Birds on Sunday, although that likely had more to do with the opponent.
Colts (-9.5) vs. Jets
The Jets are really, really bad.
Chargers (-6.5) vs. Panthers
After barely squeaking by the Bengals in Week 1, the Chargers came out and nearly beat the defending champs in Week 2, and did so with rookie QB Justin Herbert after Tyrod Taylor came down with a chest injury during warmups. The 0-2 Panthers are coming off a loss to the Bucs, but will be without star running back Christian McCaffrey for several weeks after he was injured against Tampa. This line could swing even more in the Chargers favor as the week progresses.
Cardinals (-6.5) vs. Lions
Arizona is 2-0 behind second-year quarterback Kyler Murray after Sunday's win over Washington. They also knocked off the 49ers in their opener. This week, they'll face an 0-2 Lions team that appears to be in shambles and open as nearly a touchdown favorite.
Seahawks (-4.5) vs. Cowboys
We know who Eagles fans are going to need to root for in this one.
Buccaneers (-6) at Broncos
This is our second road favorite of the week. It's a big one, and for good reason. The Broncos will be without starting quarterback Drew Lock and top wideout Courtland Sutton. They're already without Von Miller. This could be a big day for Tom Brady and the Bucs.
Saints (-3.5) vs. Packers
This might wind up as one of the best games of the week, not unlike Week 2's Sunday night matchup between the Patriots and Seahawks.
Chiefs (N/A) vs. Ravens
No odds have been posted for this game just yet, so stay tuned...
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