Over the course of a full NFL season, the number of favorites and underdogs that cover ATS tends to balance out. But not every week balances out evenly, and favorites backers were reminded of that the hard way in Week 3.
Favorites went just 5-10-0 ATS Sunday as underdogs ruled the day. The five teams that managed to cover the spread as favorites were Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis.
Of the 10 underdogs that covered ATS, seven also won outright, paying their moneyline backers off handsomely.
Three teams were favored by over 10 points at(Minnesota -13 over Detroit, New England -14.5 over Buffalo, and Baltimore -12.5 over Cleveland). While all three won outright, only Minnesota managed to cover their large spread, beating Detroit 24-10.
Buffalo had scored only 17 points combined over their first two weeks, but managed to put up 30 points in their narrow 38-30 loss in New England.
The two most dominant favorites of the day were the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles, who both won by 25-point margins over their opponents as small three-point favorites. Charlie Batch filled in wonderfully at quarterback for Pittsburgh in the dominating 38-13 road win.
Newly-named starter Mike Vick continued his assault on the league for Philadelphia with 321 total yards and four touchdowns.
The biggest straight up upset of the day came in St. Louis, where the Rams beat the Washington Redskins outright as five-point underdogs. The Rams took an early 14-point lead in the first quarter, and when Washington clawed back to take the lead 16-14, St. Louis responded with 16 unanswered points of their own to win in convincing fashion, 30-16.
St. Louis wasn’t the only team to win in blowout fashion as an underdog. Tennessee (+3.0) beat the New York Giants 29-10, Kansas City (+3.0) beat San Francisco 31-10, and Dallas (+2.5) beat Houston 27-13. Dogs weren’t just edging by teams on Sunday, they were winning comfortably in many cases, too.
It was a good day for Over bettors as the Over went 9-6-0 on Sunday. Interestingly, there seemed to be some correlation between the Over/Under and whether or not the favorite covered. Four of the five games that the favorite covered in went UNDER, while eight of the ten games that the underdog covered in went OVER.
Two of the most surprising Overs of the day came in games between the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (33-point total) and the New York Jets at the Miami Dolphins (35.5-point total at). Both games featured two strong defenses, which led to the two lowest posted totals on the board.
Offense led the way in both games, which sailed over 50 points and their posted totals, paying off Over backers along the way.