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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

Under the Hood: Reviewing NFL Week 3


In keeping with the long-standing tradition of weeks 1 and 2, rookie and replacement QBs performed exceptionally well lasl week. New England's Jacoby Brissett, Trevor Siemian of Denver, the Eagles' Carson Wentz and newcomer to the list, Cleveland Brown, Cody Kessler (who got the nod last week when Josh McCown broke a bone in his shoulder), all secured covers as underdogs. To our chagrin, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys likewise covered, but from the position of home favorite.

Unfortunately, Blaine Gabbert disappointed for the second week in a row. The sixth year man was rendered impotent by the Seahawks' defense, and the Niners fell by 19.

The strong 5-1 ATS week 3 run by our Dubious Leaders cohort brings their aggregate record to 14-3 on the season.


Based on closing lines reported by, home teams demonstrated an ever so slight edge in week 3, amassing an 8-7-1 record (favorites were 6-6, dogs finished 2-1-1). Considering the 9-7 week 2 showing and the 5-9-2 out registered the week before, home teams are 22-23-3 on the year against the spread--inline with the modest bias in recent years that toward road teams we cited in last week's installment of Under the Hood.


For the second consecutive week closing line value proved an especially accurate predictor of against the spread results. The direction of the change in the betting spread was 9-3 in week 3, after a 9-5 week 2. On the season the line is 23-18.

(Opening and closing lines sourced from


The OVER exhibited another winning week. Combined scores surprised to the upside in nine games, while aggregate totals disappointed in seven contests. The OVER is now 25-22-1 through three full weeks of NFL action, somewhat surprising considering that the UNDER has failed to demonstrate an edge only once over the last five completed seasons (the UNDER is 668-645-21 from 2011-2015).

Fortunately, the strength of the OVER did not upend our TOTALS picks, each of which backed the UNDER.


Our ATS picks exhibited a decided slant in favor of dogs (our week 3 bet slip featured only one favorite). Fortunately, underdogs delivered a 9-7 week, validating our work.

On the season, underdogs are 24-20-4. So far, dogs have yet to deliver a weekly win rate below 50%. Moreover, at 54% this year, underdogs are besting the historical norm, as the unfavored cashed in after about 53% of games over the last five completed NFL seasons (dogs record during this timespan is 694-627-13).


We were out the gates quick this week, as the Texans could not muster any resistance for the Patriots' offense last Thursday night. We continued to roll through Sunday morning, to the height of our week 3 excellence, as Denver, Oakland and Minnesota all beat the number with relative ease.

We experienced some adversity Sunday afternoon though, as the Niners, Chargers, and later on the Bears could not deliver. However, wins by the Rams and Chiefs, and ultimately the Falcons largely offset our losses.

When all was said and done, our spread plays finished 7-3, for a gain of 3.57 units on the week, and a cumulative gain of 3.43 units.

Additionally, our four totals plays went 3-1 on the week, with the Texans at Patriots, Raiders at Titans and Steelers at Eagles all ending with a combined score below the betting total. The only blemish on our week 3 totals pick card resulted from the shootout between the Saints and Falcons. The lack of defense (both ways) allowed for a combined 77 points in aggregate. Our UNDER play was dead before the third quarter expired.

When all was said and done though, our totals work last week generated the first weekly gain of the season (a hearty +1.72 units) and pushed our over/under effort modestly into the black for the year (+0.46 units).

See you next week.

Happy betting!!

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