NFL Week 3 Report
The NFL 2019 season is two weeks old - and yet "over" players have been beaten down pretty good already.
Okay, so maybe everyone should have "seen this coming" ... after all, hardly any offensive stars played in the preseason and yet most of the early-year betting lines had totals prices in the mid-to-high 40s. Truthfully, it's not all because of the many quarterback injuries thus far, but that has not helped the cause of "over" players.
Add 'em all up while heading into tonight's NFL Week 3 tilt between the Tennessee Titans at the Jacksonville Jaguars and "over" players are just 12-20-0 ATS (against the spread):
In Week 1, the overs actually registered a 9-7-0 ATS log but in Week 2 play the "overs" went just 3-13 versus the vig with Dallas' 31-21 win at Washington (over 46.5 points), Seattle's 28-26 upset at Pittsburgh (over 47 points) and San Francisco's 41-17 triumph at Cincinnati (over 46.5 points) the only "over" winners on the docket.
Heck, even the Week 2 game involving the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs (see 28-10 win at Oakland) went "under" the Las Vegas price tag of 53 points.
The prices were keenly adjusted this week in regards to the games involving the now Ben Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh Steelers (43 points total, down from 46.5 at San Francisco) and the Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints (44.5 points at Seattle, down from an opening line of 50 points) but most everything has stayed the same with an actual uptick in "over" numbers in a couple of games ... see Baltimore at Kansas City and Carolina at Arizona.
Tonight, it's ...
TENNESSEE (1-1) at JACKSONVILLE (0-2) - 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Hmm, two Thursday Night Games so far and two road team winners: Green Bay (+ 3) topped Chicago 10-3 and then Tampa Bay (+ 6.5) defeated host Carolina 20-14 last week.
Now, the Titans are the slight road favorites here as Mike Vrabel's club is a 1.5-point fav at press time - and gotta believe the "meat-and-potatoes" winner (who runs the ball better) will prevail.
Tennessee RB Derrick Henry (averaging 17 carries and 83 yards per game thus far in '19) should count on getting 25-or-so carries here against a J'ville defense that ranks a pedestrian 17th in the league in rushing defense. On the flip side, the Jags want / need sledgehammer RB Leonard Fournette (averaging 14 carries and 57 yards rushing so far) to get into a real rhythm against a Titans' team that has allowed 135 yards per game on the ground and ranks just 26th in the NFL in rushing "D".
Please, no more temper tantrums, Jags' CB Jalen Ramsey!
Spread Notes - Tennessee has copped covers in six of its last seven head-to-head showdowns versus Jacksonville and that included last year's 9-6 upset as 10-point underdogs in a Week 3 affair. Note that the Jaguars went 1-4-1 against the odds in AFC South games last year.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE
Let's poke around and find a couple of "under-the-radar" games on this Saturday's NCAA Football docket - and note that in tomorrow's Jim Sez, we'll post a couple of Friday night game previews including ranked teams in action as Air Force plays at #20 Boise State while #10 Utah visits USC:
On Saturday, it's ...
#15 UCF (3-0) at PITTSBURGH (1-2) - 3:30 p.m. ET, espn2
The question pops up each and every week:
Does UCF deserve a "seat at the table" - a playoff berth, that is - if the Knights win all of their games and there's only one or two other undefeated teams in the FBS? Well, odds are they'll be asking again after this one as UCF's a hearty 12.5-point betting favorite against a Pitt team that fought Penn State to the nub last week only to have Panthers' head coach Pat Narduzzi opt for a field goal late in the game while down a touchdown. Watch out here for UCF frosh slinger Dillon Gabriel who aired four scoring strikes in last week's 45-27 win / cover versus Stanford.
Spread Note - UCF is a perfect 3-and-oh spreadwise out of the starting gate this year and overall the Knights are 21-6 ATS since the very start of the 2017 campaign.
COLORADO (2-1) at #24 ARIZONA STATE (3-0) - 10 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
Don't look now but the new-and-improved Arizona State Sun Devils have allowed 7, 7 and (you got it) 7 points in their first three games this year and just popped into the Associated Press 25 following last week's 10-7 shockeroo win at 15-point fav Michigan State.
Hey, the Devils now need to carry over the positive vibes here in their Pac-12 opener and A-State better step up its ground game that ranks 109th nationally. Paging RB Eno Benjamin (209 yards rushing so far but averaging just 3.7 yards a pop).
Spread Note - Arizona State's just 8-7-1 against the odds under second-year boss Herm Edwards but that already includes "name" covers against Michigan State this year and last year along with Pac-12 pointspread covers versus Washington, Utah and Oregon.