Hey, West Virginia online sports betting fans, what’s coming up this week?
Another loaded NFL lineup, with marquee games and a Monday Night Football blockbuster.
That’s when the Baltimore Ravens, West Virginia bettors’ most popular team early this year, host the Kansas City Chiefs. And here’s an oddity: the Super Bowl champs are underdogs, +3.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
This is the game fans and bettors wanted to see in last year’s playoffs but were denied after the Tennessee Titans stunned the 14-2 Ravens in the second round.
Monday’s game could be an offensive delight, with Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes locking horns with reigning overall season MVP, Lamar Jackson. It summons expectations of high scoring, and the over-under line for the point total is 53.5 across most major sportsbooks.
The line will be fascinating to watch. Baltimore opened at -3, and the first wave of sports betting fans jumped on the Ravens, pushing that number to 3.5 a week out. The most surprising development of this line is that it did not snap back to three points by midweek.
Leading off NFL betting for Week 3
The Battle of Florida opens the schedule Thursday night when the Miami Dolphins invade the Jacksonville Jaguars. The spread has jumped from Jacksonville -1 to -3.
DraftKings has an odds boost worthy of consideration. It has Jacksonville quarterback Gardner Minshew to throw for more than 250.5 yards and the Jags to win and has been boosted to +150.
Minshew threw for 339 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, and the Dolphins allowed 417 to the Bills. Minshew should get the yardage. And if his team follows with a victory, this is a nice price.
More strong matchups
Weekend games you don’t want to miss include the Los Angeles Rams visiting the Buffalo Bills. Both surpassed 30 points and captured road victories last week. Both are 2-0 and will probably reach the playoffs.
Quarterback Josh Allen is an emerging star for the Bills, while Jared Goff has numerous weapons at his disposal for the Rams. The early line shuffled back and forth between Buffalo -2.5 and -3. Bills backers will jump on that 2.5 when they can.
Another enticing matchup pits the Las Vegas Raiders at +6 against the host New England Patriots. How exciting are these teams? The now 2-0 Raiders surprised the favored New Orleans Saints with an upset victory Monday night, while the Patriots came up one yard shy of defeating the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night. Must see.
The Green Bay Packers, who have exceeded 40 points in both of their first two games, invade New Orleans as 3.5-point underdogs in an expected shootout.
The Dallas Cowboys and the Seahawks each come off a Cardiac Kids episode, with host Seattle being favored. Each team won its last game on the final play. The Seahawks stuffed a run by New England quarterback Cam Newton on the one-yard line as time expired. And Dallas capped the most improbable of comebacks, nudging the Atlanta Falcons 40-39 on a game-winning field goal on the last play.
How improbable? It’s what OUCH looked like to one BetMGM Sportsbook patron, who wagered a reported $35,000 in-game when the Falcons led by 15 points late in the fourth quarter. The bet would have profited only $1,050, but the odds of Dallas winning were more then 3,000-1.
This is a tried and mostly true in-game tactic, bringing substantial leverage to make a small profit on an outcome that looks certain. It almost always works. But when it does not, as happened here, it’s expensive.
This is not an advisable tactic for most players. It has substantial downside risk and small upside gain.
Light up the board at WV sportsbooks
For one of the first times, certainly not the last, there are four games above 50 points in the over-under column this week. They are Dallas-Seattle at 55.5, Green Bay-New Orleans at 51.5, the Arizona Cardinals and visiting Detroit Lions at 54.5 and Kansas City-Baltimore at 53.5.
The projected totals have been climbing in the past couple of years for several reasons. Fast young quarterbacks and an increasing degree of successful two-point conversions are driving score totals higher. There were 79 points in the Dallas-Atlanta game, won by Dallas 40-39. Watch this pattern, however, as, at some point, the bar may go too high for teams to reach. And then the “under” bets will increase.
New blood energizes NFL
The league thrives on upcoming stars. Two have emerged in rookies Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Burrow’s rocket arm propelled Cincinnati to 30 points last week. It wasn’t enough for the Bengals to beat the Cleveland Browns. They lost 35-30, but the last-minute touchdown Burrow threw endeared him to Bengals bettors, who were getting six points. They opened the week getting 6.5 when they visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Herbert saw the field better than most rookies over the last several years, nearly guiding his team past the Chiefs. He saw the plays quickly, got rid of the ball, and, for the most part, made good decisions. Herbert’s Chargers are favored by almost a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers.
“The problem initially for Burrow and Herbert are the teams they are playing on,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told playwv.com.
“The good news is that they are making those teams better. Both Burrow and Herbert have been impressive so far.”
Avello made two multimillion-dollar observations. They involved the amount of money pertaining to two significant developments.
One was the final play of the Seattle Seahawks-Patriots game. Seattle preserved the game and the cover of 4.5 in its 35-30 victory. Avello said millions of dollars would have changed hands had Newton reached the end zone.
Second, DraftKings brings back its 100-1 odds promotion this weekend. Take any team to win the game and collect $100 if the team triumphs. New users only.
“We love to give money away,” he said.
“When we did our season-opening promotion, in which we gave the Chiefs 101 points against the Houston Texans, we gave away $20 million.”
And the WV online sports betting crowd, in one form or another, will pour it right back.
Saquon Barkley could be lost to the New York Giants for the entire season after suffering a torn ACL against the Chicago Bears in Week 2. That’s bad news for a team that’s already 0-2.
Before the season, FanDuel Sportsbook had a prop on when the Giants would win their first game. Week 6 was at +850. That looks better by the week. The Giants are underdogs against the 49ers on Sunday. The line nudged upward to San Francisco -4.5 when news came out that injured Niner quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo might play.
Conversely, the question is whether that’s reckless for San Francisco. The line is in limbo because he might play. If he sits, that line could drop.
The Carolina Panthers’ franchise player, Christian McCaffrey, will be out of the lineup with a high ankle sprain when they visit the Chargers on Sunday. Tough break for the 0-2 Panthers.
NFL Week 3 betting odds
Here are the live betting odds for NFL Week 3.