NFL Week 3 Odds, Lines: Patriots, Lions Lead A Pack Of Road Favorites

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown with Chad Ochocinco #85 of the New England Patriots during a game with the San Diego Chargers at Gillette Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

It's Week 3 of the NFL season and the lines are in, but with more home underdogs than we've seen in a long time, can you trust road team favorites like the Patriots in Buffalo, or the Jets in Oakland? All content courtesy of SB Nation's odds partners at

So many home underdogs, so little time. For NFL bettors who follow systems and situations, the home underdog is one of the favorite betting theories. The home side isn’t getting any respect from the oddsmakers, fans get crazy and players – even though they can’t say it – get annoyed at being underdogs at home.

And Week 3 offers half of the games in this situation, including a rare double-digit home underdog, where the Steelers opened at -11 at Indianapolis. Pittsburgh was favored by 15 at home last week and easily covered 24-0 against the Seahawks. The Peyton Manning-less Colts are 0-2 and looking more like a threat to earn the top pick in the draft than to make the playoffs.

“It’s rare to see this many home underdogs, but the contenders and pretenders have started exposing themselves pretty quickly in 2011,” says Mike Pickett, NFL analyst at SB Nation’s line partner Odds Shark. “If you like home dogs, you get your wish in Week 3.”

The home underdog that will probably enjoy the least betting action is Buffalo. Despite a 2-0 start, the Bills opened as 9-point underdogs to the visiting Patriots. A little problem of losing 15 straight to the Patriots seems to have oddsmakers doubting that the Bills can break that streak in Week 3.

Detroit has only been favored on the road three times since 2005 and they give 4 points at Minnesota, losers of two straight. After opening 0-2 the past three seasons, the Lions are 2-0 and looking for more.

If you wondered how they did in those other games as road chalk, they lost all three.

The Jets (-3.5 at Oakland), Ravens (-3.5 at St. Louis), Cardinals (-3 at Seattle), Atlanta (-1 at Tampa) and the Packers (-4 at Chicago) sound out the group of road favorites. If you like Atlanta to beat the Bucs, pay attention to these trends: they are 2-6 ATS past 8 vs Tampa and they are 1-8 SU in their past 9 September road games.

Check out the full list of opening Week 3 NFL lines. Note that the Eagles-Giants game remains off the board due to the Michael Vick concussion and the Dallas-Washington game similarly without an early open due to Tony Romo’s rib injury.

  • New England -9 at Buffalo + 9
  • New York Giants OFF at Philadelphia OFF
  • Jacksonville +3.5 at Carolina -3.5
  • San Francisco +1 at Cincinnati -1
  • Miami +2.5 at Cleveland -2.5
  • Detroit -4 at Minnesota +4
  • Houston +5.5 at New Orleans -5.5
  • Denver +4.5 at Tennessee -4.5
  • New York Jets -3.5 at Oakland +3.5
  • Kansas City +15 at San Diego -15
  • Baltimore -3.5 at St Louis +3.5
  • Green Bay -4 at Chicago +4
  • Arizona -3 at Seattle +3
  • Atlanta -1 at Tampa Bay +1
  • Pittsburgh -11 at Indianapolis +11
  • Washington OFF at Dallas OFF

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