Each week, TheLines will provide a daily betting breakdown and analysis for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game. We’ll look at the odds and see why they’re moving a certain way, along with breaking down the matchup and providing the best sportsbook promotions for SNF.
Week 3 offers a second straight look at the Cleveland Browns (1-1) in primetime as they return to FirstEnergy Stadium from a 23-3 road Monday night victory to host the Los Angeles Rams (2-0). The Browns will look to put on a better performance for the success-starved home crowd after dropping the season opener 43-13 against the Tennessee Titans.
The defending NFC Champions, meanwhile, have gotten off to a near-perfect start. They opened the season with a 30-27 road victory over the Carolina Panthers. They then topped the New Orleans Saints 27-9 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game.
SNF betting odds and analysis
The Rams rightfully opened as favorites on the road. The visitors were spotted three points on the initial spread at FanDuel Sportsbook. The line dropped only slightly to CLE +2.5 as of time Tuesday morning (the opposite shift occurred at DraftKings Sportsbook).
The over/under opened at 51. It also hadn’t moved since opening as of Tuesday morning, though the under became the favored side after initially hinting toward the over. The Rams’ moneyline odds rose slightly overnight Monday. They opened at a convincing -150 at FanDuel and DraftKings.
We’re expecting these trends to stay true through much of the week. The numbers are fair with the Rams on the road. They’d be much larger favorites if at home as the much better team through two weeks. If the spread stays within a field goal by Sunday morning, the sharp money will hammer the favorites, bringing the spread closer to a touchdown by kickoff.
SUNDAY UPDATE: The biggest change throughout the week has been the projected total dropping to 47 or 47.5 as of Sunday morning. OVER bettors who’ve been able to wait this one out should pounce now before the public money drives the total up a few points once again by this evening. The spread now notably exceeds a field goal in favor of the visitors with the trend likely to continue through the day.
Week 3 game matchup
The offseason hype quickly faded on the Browns with their disaster at home in Week 1. A 20-point victory over the Jets with third-string QB Luke Falk handling the majority of the snaps should do little to sway the turning public opinion. QB Baker Mayfield has completed just 60.3% of 73 pass attempts for 610 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. They rank 22nd in rushing yards, led by sophomore RB Nick Chubb’s 137 on 35 attempts.
Rams QB Jared Goff hasn’t been much better thus far on the other side. He’s completed 62.7% of 67 attempts for 469 yards and two scores against one pick. He also added a rushing score against the Saints last week.
L.A. ranks seventh in the league with 281 rushing yards through two weeks. Todd Gurley leads the way with 160 yards and one touchdown, as he and the Rams try to dispell questions about his arthritic knee. Fourth-year back Malcolm Brown has 90 rushing yards on 17 attempts with two TDs.
Both teams have avoided significant injuries thus far (relative to the rest of the league). Browns TE David Njoku (concussion) is being considered week-to-week. Rams TE Tyler Higbee (chest) left Sunday’s game due to a lung contusion but is expected to have a reasonable chance of suiting up in Week 3.
The Browns seemed to struggle with play-calling on offense in Week 2, having a difficult time getting calls in before the play clock expired. Head coach Freddie Kitchens held onto duties despite the hiring of Todd Monken as offensive coordinator. Rams coach Sean McVay is up to 26-8 since the beginning of 2017 with his team’s 2-0 start.
Week 3 SNF betting breakdown
Both teams started 1-1 against the over/under. The Rams have fallen an average of 4.5 points short of the projected totals and the Browns have come up 3.8 points shy. L.A. is 1-1 against the spread, covering by an average of 8.8 points. Cleveland’s Week 1 choke job has them an average of 11 points shy of the cover despite Week 2’s 20-point victory.
Don’t pay much attention to the Rams’ narrow 11-9 lead in the all-time head-to-head series. They’ve won four of the last five meetings dating all the way back to 1999, but they haven’t met since a 24-6 Rams victory in St. Louis in 2015.
The Rams are 11-7 ATS on the road under McVay (including postseason), covering by an average of 5.2 points. They’re also 5-3-1 in non-conference games and 8-6 as road favorites. Most recent trends for the Browns can be ignored due to the high amount of roster and coaching turnover.
The two teams rank in the top 10 of the NFL in seconds per play in the first half on both offense and defense. You might consider getting some extra action on the game with the first-half over. Both sides drop off offensively in the second half, so betting a live under at the break isn’t a bad idea, either.
Sunday Night Football picks
Watch as Matt Brown from TheLines and PlayPicks breaks down the SNF game from a betting perspective.