The Recency Report: NFL Week 3 Market Moves And Week 4 Look-Ahead Lines

Written By FairwayJay on September 24, 2019 - Last Updated on September 26, 2019
nfl week 4 opening lines

The changing of quarterbacks and two huge favorites of more than 20 points headline the Week 3 NFL news and betting market. In providing additional information and sports betting resources, TheLines turns to FanDuel Sportsbook for opening look-ahead lines for next week’s NFL games. But first, here’s a look at some of the storylines and betting situations that have impacted (or could impact) the Week 3 NFL card:

  • Eight back-up quarterbacks at the start of the season will now start for NFL teams this week. The most recent announcements have Josh Rosen starting for the Dolphins, who are up to 22.5 underdogs at Dallas. The New York Jets are also a 22.5-point underdog at New England, and the Jets will start QB Luke Falk this week with Sam Darnold (mono) sidelined and backup Trevor Siemian injured and out for the season. The Carolina Panthers are expected to start QB Kyle Allen with Cam Newton (foot) not practicing, and the favorite has flipped with the Arizona Cardinals now a 2.5-point home favorite against the Panthers. Mason Rudolph will start for Pittsburgh this week, and the Steelers are now a 6.5-point underdog at San Francisco after last week’s look-ahead line had the Steelers a one-point favorite before Ben Roethlisberger’s season-ending elbow injury. Rookie Gardner Minshew made his second start for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night replacing injured Nick Foles (Shoulder). Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill will both see action at quarterback for the Saints against the LA Rams as Drew Brees is sidelined following thumb surgery. New York Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones makes his starting debut at Tampa Bay replacing Eli Manning. Colts QB Jacoby Brissett starts for the third straight week following the retirement of Andrew Luck.
  • Seven of those eight teams with replacement quarterbacks are underdogs on the Week 3 betting lines. Only the Colts (-1) are favored.
  • The Patriots (2-0) and Cowboys (2-0) are huge favorites to improve to 3-0. The Ravens and Chiefs are also 2-0, but play each other in Kansas City Week 3 with only one team able to remain undefeated. The Bills, Packers, 49ers, Rams and Seahawks can also improve to 3-0 with a victory as betting favorites, while the Lions (1-0-1) need to upset the Eagles in Philadelphia to remain unbeaten.
  • Only six teams since 1980 have made the playoffs after starting the season 0-3. These teams are looking to avoid that and earn their first win of the season in Week 3. The Jaguars, Dolphins, Jets, Bengals, Steelers, Broncos, Giants, Redskins and Panthers are all 0-2. The Cardinals (0-1-1) are also winless and play the Panthers Sunday in Arizona.

How to use look-ahead lines

We’ll be providing the NFL advance lines from FanDuel Sportsbook each week to allow you a sneak peek at the projected lines for the following week’s games. This advance information from a big bookmaker provides lessons in understanding lines and projections before the current week’s games are played.

The tendency for many bettors is to over-react to previous weeks scores and results. The look-ahead lines provide a sense of stability from the linemaker, who is unbiased in setting the lines in advance without the information from the current week’s contests.

Bettors can also gain an edge or find value in the lines once the current week’s lines are released. They do this based on not only a potential overreaction to the recent week’s results, but by using information they have on teams, including NFL power rankings. Making adjustments is part of the process, along with formulating an opinion and whether they are a believer in some teams or not in others. This can be based on personnel, injuries, situations, stats or angles they want to apply as the season progresses.

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Week 3 market movement

Injuries and starting quarterback changes are impacting the market, as are team performances in the opening weeks of the NFL season. The betting lines are moving quickly, and the oddsmakers and sportsbooks are scrambling as the money keeps pouring in against the disastrous Dolphins and also against the Jets in Week 3. Those two teams have different starting quarterbacks this week.

The two humongous favorites against those foes are the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots, who are both 22.5-point favorites at FanDuel Sportsbook. It’s the first time since 1977 that two teams have been at least a 20-point favorite in the same week (excluding strike season of 1987). The Patriots host the New York Jets, and the Cowboys are home against the floundering fish after the Dolphins were buried again last week 43-0 at home against New England. The betting lines have adjusted since the openers were released and the Patriots and Cowboys have taken the most bets along with the Rams this week. Those three teams along with the Chiefs are the top 4 teams in the NFL power rankings entering Week 3.

A look at the current Week 3 lines compared to the look-ahead lines from last week shows some of the adjustments made by the bookmakers and influence in the market based on news and results. Again, the Patriots and Cowboys have seen the biggest adjustments after New England was a 14.5-point favorite on the look-ahead lines last week at FanDuel Sportsbook, while Dallas was projected as a 15.5-point favorite.

A look at the current Week 3 lines at FanDuel Sportsbook compared to the look-ahead lines from last week shows some of the adjustments made by the bookmakers and influence in the market based on news and results.

TEN at JAX (Thur)JAX -3.5TEN -1.5
ATL at INDIND -1.5IND -1
BAL at KCKC -4.5KC -5.5
DEN at GBGB -6.5GB -7
DET at PHIPHI -7.5PHI -6
MIA at DALDAL -15.5DAL -22.5
NYJ at NENE -14.5NE -22.5
OAK at MNMN -7.5MN -8
CAR at AZCAR -3AZ -2.5
NYG at TBTB -4TB -6
HOU at LACLAC -3.5LAC -3.5
PIT at SFPIT -1SF -6.5
CHI at WASH (Mon)CHI -4CHI -4


Miami at Dallas: If you throw away the trends and break down the matchups, the Cowboys are likely to post near 500 yards offense and sink the fish with a dominant running game and point of attack play. The Cowboys are 8-1 straight-up at home (5-3 ATS) since the start of the 2018 season, but the 22.5-point spread is the first time in 32 years that Dallas has been more than a 20 point favorite. Not even the great Cowboys teams (1992-1995) with three Super Bowl championships were favored by 20 or more points in a game.

New York Jets at New England: The only division game on Sunday is expected to be another blowout. The Jets turn to their third-string quarterback Luke Falk, and it will be a tough matchup against a Patriots defense that has allowed just three points combined in the opening two games. New England has buried New York by an average of 31 points in Jets last three visits to Foxboro, but you can light those trends on fire along with the Jets’ 0-7-1 ATS mark in their last eight AFC East division contests.

The Patriots are getting a vast majority of betting support again despite the huge line, as New England outscored Miami and Pittsburgh by a combined 76-3 and out-gained them 846-492 in the opening two games. The Patriots defense has also allowed just 74 rushing yards at 2.6 yards per rush, but the Jets will need to get the ball into the hands of RB Le’Veon Bell often if they hope to have a chance to stay competitive against the Super Bowl champs.

Week 4 look-ahead lines

Week 4 includes six division games including Cincinnati at Pittsburgh on Monday night. Other AFC division duels include New England at Buffalo and Cleveland at Baltimore. NFC division matchups include Washington at New York Giants, Seattle at Arizona, and Minnesota at Chicago.

GameFanDuel Opener
Philadelphia at Green BayGB -3
Carolina at HoustonHOU -5.5
Cleveland at Baltimore BAL -3.5
Kansas City at DetroitKC -5
LA Chargers at MiamiLAC -15.5
New England at BuffaloNE -6.5
Oakland at IndianapolisIND -6
Tennessee at AtlantaATL -4.5
Washington at NY GiantsNYG -2.5
Seattle at Arizona SEA -3.5
Tampa Bay at LA RamsLAR -9
Jacksonville at DenverDEN -3.5
Minnesota at ChicagoCHI -3
Dallas at New OrleansDAL -2.5
Cincinnati at PittsburghPIT -4

In May, Las Vegas sportsbook CG Technology released NFL lines on every 2019 regular-season game. The biggest projected lines were in Week 4 were the LA Rams (-11) over Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh (-9) over Cincinnati. The LA Chargers were projected as six-point favorites over the Dolphins, and now the Week 4 look-ahead line is Chargers -15.5 at Miami. With three straight weeks of money flooding in against the Dolphins, that Week 4 line on the Chargers may turn out to be too low as well following Sunday’s results.

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FairwayJay is a leading national sports and gaming analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful professionals. Jay has pursued his passions and maintained a pulse on the sports, gaming and poker industries while living in Las Vegas for nearly two decades. He's been a regular featured guest on sports and gaming radio shows, podcasts and produces sports betting and related industry articles and content for various sites and sources.

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