NFL Week 3 Cheat Sheet and Betting Trends & Analysis

Sunday NFL Football Betting
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (+1, 45)

Star receiver Andre Johnson suffered a concussion in the game against the Titans but is expected to be cleared to play. Johnson is tied for the NFL lead with 20 receptions and Houston appears to have found a sensational complement in first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins (12 receptions, 183 yards).

Baltimore has a key player ailing in running back Ray Rice, who injured his left hip flexor in the contest against Cleveland and hasn’t participated in practices. “He’s not going to need the practice to play in the game,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

LINE: Houston opened -2.5 and moved to -1.5. Total moved from 44.5 to 45.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Houston (-5.0) - Baltimore (-1.0) + home field (-3.0) = Ravens +1
WEATHER: Temperatures mid 70s, partly cloudy, winds NNW 11 mph.

* Road team is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.Road team is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
* Texans are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games.
* Ravens are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall.

New York Giants at Carolina Panthers (+1, 46.5)

New York's 10 turnovers - seven of which have been Eli Manning interceptions - are a major cause for concern and have put the defense in a tough spot. The offense has been effective at moving the ball, mostly through the air, and ranks fifth in the league in total yards, but the ground game has to come along and the Giants need to hang onto the ball.

The Panthers find themselves in an 0-2 hole after losing their first two games by a combined six points, including a 24-23 defeat against Buffalo last week. The Panthers have been balanced on offense but they've been far from explosive, ranking 27th in the league with 280.5 total yards per game.

LINE: Carolina opened -1 and moved to +1. Total moved from 45.5 to 47.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: New York (-1.0) + Carolina (+3.0) + home field (-3.0) = Panthers +1
WEATHER: Temps mid 70s, 22 percent chance of early showers, winds 5 north 5 mph.

* Giants are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Road team is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.

Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins (Pick, 48.5)

Detroit is 2-0 against Washington under coach Jim Schwartz, with both victories coming at home. Calvin Johnson had 101 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-25 triumph over the Redskins in their last meeting on Oct. 31, 2010.

Facing a large deficit, the Redskins have been offensive juggernauts in the fourth quarter, outscoring Philadelphia and Green Bay by a combined 26-0 over the final 15 minutes.

LINE: Open pick bounced between -1 and +1. Total moved from 48 to 49.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Detroit (+1.0) - Washington (+2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Redskins -1.5
WEATHER: Temps mid 70s, partly cloudy skies, winds NNW 12 mph.

* Under is 6-1-2 in the last nine meetings.
* Home team is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
* Lions are 0-4 ATS in their last four meetings in Washington.

San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans (-3, 43.5)

Philip Rivers leads a rejuvenated offense that is averaging more than 30 points per game. The only problem: San Diego has allowed as many points as it has scored, thanks to a defense that has surrendered the most passing yards in the league through two weeks.

The Tennessee Titans' defense has helped compensate for a sluggish offense through the first two games of the season. Titans RB Chris Johnson comes into the week ranked sixth in rushing yards (166) but second in attempts (50), averaging just 3.3 yards per carry.

LINE: Opened Tennessee -1 and moved to -3. Total steady at 43.5.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: San Diego (+2.0) - Tennessee (+3.0) + home field (-3.0) = Titans -2
WEATHER: Temps mid 70s, clear skies, winds NNE 7 mph.

* Chargers are 8-0 ATS in their last eight meetings.
* Over is 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings.
* Favorite is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints (-9, 49)

Carson Palmer has injected some life into Arizona's passing game, but the ground game hasn't been as effective and running back Rashard Mendenhall (toe) is questionable. Palmer should have tight end Rob Housler back in the lineup after missing the first two games with a sore ankle, and the Cardinals have eased receiver Larry Fitzgerald along in practice in hopes he can play through a hamstring injury.

While the Saints' offense has struggled to find the end zone, coordinator Rob Ryan's revamped defense has limited its first two opponents to 320 yards and 15.5 points per game. The overhauled defense did a solid job against Atlanta in Week 1 but was dominant in a 16-14 win versus Tampa Bay, allowing 273 total yards - the Saints' lowest total since Week 15 of the 2011 season.

LINE: Arizona opened -9.5 and moved to -7. Total moved from 48.5 to 49.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Arizona (+3.5) + New Orleans (-3.0) + home field (-3.0) = Saints -9.5

* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Home team is 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Cardinals are 2-5 ATS in their last four meetings.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots (-8.5, 43.5)

Quarterback Josh Freeman is under siege after consecutive subpar outings - he was only 9-for-22 for 125 yards with one touchdown and one interception against the Saints - to spark speculation that he could lose his starting job to rookie Mike Glennon. The Buccaneers have dangerous weapons in second-year running back Doug Martin (209 yards rushing) and wideout Vincent Jackson (231 yards receiving), and the defense has been stout in allowing an average of 17 points.

With wideout Danny Amendola (groin) and running back Shane Vereen (wrist) set to miss a second straight game and tight end Rob Gronkowski still rehabbing from multiple offseason surgeries, Tom Brady has been forced to lean on Julian Edelman (20 receptions) and untested rookies in the receiving corps. Starting running back Steven Ridley has rushed for only 86 yards in two games while the defense has forced six turnovers to tie for second in the league.

LINE: Open New England -7 and moved to -8.5. Total moved from 45 to 43.5.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Tampa Bay (+4.0) + New England (-4.5) + home field (-3.0) = Patriots -11.5
WEATHER: Temps low 70s, 83 percent chance of rain, winds WSW 7 mph.

* Buccaneers are 7-2 ATS in their last nine road games.
* Patriots are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* Over is 7-3 in Patriots' last 10 home games.

Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals (+2.5, 49)

While Aaron Rodgers' Week 2 performance was typical, the Packers got a surprising 132-yard effort on the ground from running back James Starks, who replaced Eddie Lacy after the rookie left the game with a concussion. The Packers were forced to juggle their secondary last week after three DBs suffered hamstring injuries. All are questionable for Sunday.

Cincinnati has won the past two meetings against Green Bay and sacked Rodgers six times in its most recent game (2009) but it will be without veteran defensive end Robert Geathers who joined three Bengal linebackers on injured reserve. While questions still abound on Andy Dalton's deep passing ability, he has thrown for 280 and 282 yards in his first two starts and unveiled a new weapon in athletic rookie tight end Tyler Eifert on Monday.

LINE: Cincinnati opened +1 and moved to +2.5. Total moved from 46.5 to 49.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Green Bay (-6.0) - Cincinnati (-1.5) + home field (-3.0) = Bengals +1.5
WEATHER: Temps high 60s, clear skies, winds NNE 6 mph.

* Packers are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
* Bengals are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games in Week 3.
* Over is 5-1 in Packers last six games overall.

St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5, 47)

St. Louis is attempting to start 2-1 for the first time since 2006. The Rams will look for more consistency out of high-priced free agent signing Jared Cook, who caught seven passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 but managed only one grab last weekend.

The last time the Cowboys faced the Rams, DeMarco Murray rushed for a franchise-record 253 yards on Oct. 23, 2011. However, Murray only managed 25 yards on 12 attempts in last week's loss to the Chiefs, a game in which Dallas was unable to force any turnovers after creating six miscues against the New York Giants in Week 1.

LINE: Dallas steady at -3.5. Total moved from 46.5 to 47.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: St. Louis (+2.5) + Dallas (-2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Cowboys -3

* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Rams are 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games.
* Cowboys are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 home games.

Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings (-6.5, 40.5)

Cleveland was already struggling to produce offense with just 16 points in two games and trading RB Trent Richardson, who recorded 950 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns as a rookie, gives an offense starting a third-string quarterback even fewer options. Brian Hoyer starts in place of Brandon Weeden, who injured his thumb in last week's loss to Baltimore.

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, who was 16-of-30 against Chicago, is reportedly on the hot seat and could lose snaps to backup Matt Cassel unless his play improves. Ponder is 88-for-127 passing with five touchdowns and two interceptions in his last four games against AFC opponents.

LINE: Minnesota opened -4 and moved to -6.5. Total moved from 41 to 40.5.
PRIME WAGERS POWER RANKINGS: Cleveland (+5.0) - Minnesota (+2.5) + home field (-3.0) = Vikings -5.5

* Browns are 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Vikings are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven home games.
* Under is 5-1 in Browns last six road games.
Eli Manning vs Peyton Manning 2013

A Tale of Two Manning Brothers by Prime Wagers

Chapter III of the Manning Bowl takes center stage on Sunday when Eli Manning and the New York Giants host older brother Peyton and the Denver Broncos. That the game will be played at MetLife Stadium - the venue for this season's Super Bowl - only adds to the hype for the sibling rivalry that has seen Peyton win the previous two matchups when he was a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Denver is coming off a 49-27 dismantling of the reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

The Broncos were already among the prohibitive favorites to come out of the AFC this season and did little to quell such lofty expectations behind Peyton Manning's record-tying seven-touchdown performance. The Giants, meanwhile, stumbled through a mistake-filled 36-31 loss at Dallas that featured six turnovers, including three interceptions by Eli Manning. Still, he passed for 450 yards and four TDs and had New York in position for the victory until he was picked off with under two minutes to play. 

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Broncos -4.5. O/U 55.

ABOUT THE BRONCOS (1-0): Denver erased a three-point deficit with a spectacular second-half performance as Peyton Manning threw for five of his seven scoring passes and finished with 462 yards overall. Free-agent signee Wes Welker had nine catches for 67 yards and two TDs in his Broncos debut and athletic tight end Julius Thomas added another electrifying dimension to an already high-powered attack with five receptions for 110 yards and two scores. The run game remains in flux but the defense had four sacks and two interceptions despite the absences of Pro Bowlers Von Miller (suspension) and Champ Bailey (foot). 

ABOUT THE GIANTS (0-1): New York has serious concerns about its running game after starter David Wilson lost two fumbles and was benched and backup Da'Rel Scott was injured, necessitating the signing of former Giants back Brandon Jacobs. New York's receiving corps showed it has the requisite firepower to keep up with the Broncos, getting three touchdown receptions from Victor Cruz and five catches and over 100 yards each from Cruz (118), Hakeem Nicks (114) and Rueben Randle (101) despite the slew of turnovers. The Giants could be shorthanded in the defensive backfield after cornerback Prince Amukamara suffered a concussion versus Dallas.


1. The Broncos are riding a 12-game regular-season winning streak, the longest in the NFL.

2. Eli Manning has thrown for 12 TDs and the Giants have averaged 44 points in winning their last three home games.

3. Welker has 20 catches in his last two regular-season games versus New York.

PREDICTION: Broncos 37, Giants 34


Peyton Manning had electricity in his arm. Was it the lightning?

Peyton Manning ElectricPeyton Manning ties record with 7 touchdown passes in season opener over Ravens
Manning and the Denver Broncos waited eight long months, then another 33 minutes to get the season started because of a lightning storm.

It seems like the electricity in the lightning went straight into Manning's arm.

After three punts to start things off, Manning threw a record-tying seven touchdown passes, something no one had done in 44 years, in directing Denver to a 49-27 victory over Super Bowl champion Baltimore on Thursday night in a much-anticipated rematch against the team that ended the Broncos' playoff run in January.

Manning connected with his most prized addition, Wes Welker, and former
college basketball player Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas for two TDs each in
piling up the most points scored on the Ravens in their 18-year history.

''I don't like excuses but I do think that lightning delay did slow us
down,'' Manning said. ''You guys have seen teams break it down: you come up for
the team prayer, you put your hands in and you say, `Broncos on 3,' and you go
out to the field.

''We did it three times tonight,'' Manning said. ''We did it, went back and
sat down for 10 minutes and came back up again. `Broncos on 3,' now sit down for
another 10 minutes. I know they had to deal with it, too, but it took us a while
to get started.''

Wearing an orange-and-gray glove like the one he wore on that icy January
night the last time these teams met, Manning took a while to get warmed up
against a defense that had to replace seven Super Bowl starters.

He ditched the glove when the rain stopped -- and then was unstoppable.

''Peyton had an amazing night,'' Broncos coach John Fox said. ''Peyton's had
a lot of amazing nights.''

Not like this, though.

Manning is the sixth QB in NFL history to throw seven TD passes in a game and
the first since Joe Kapp for Minnesota against Baltimore on Sept. 28, 1969.

Tom Brady never did it. Nor Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Steve Young
or Terry Bradshaw. Or, for that matter, No. 7 himself, John Elway, who had his
binoculars trained on the action from his perch in the luxury seats.

"I felt like we had to keep scoring because Baltimore can score at any
time,'' said Manning, who was 27 of 42 for 462 yards with no interceptions for
an off-the-charts quarterback rating of 141.1.

''He's phenomenal. To continue to come out every year and put that kind of
performance on for us, it's amazing,'' Julius Thomas said.

All part of a thorough thrashing of the team that put a harsh end to what had
looked like a Super Bowl-bound 2012 in Denver. The rematch came nearly eight
months after Baltimore beat Denver 38-35 in double overtime on an icy January
night in the same stadium.

The hero on that night was Jacoby Jones, who caught a 70-yard TD pass over
Rahim Moore with 31 seconds left to tie it in regulation. This time, his night
was cut short when he went back to field a punt in the first half and teammate
Brynden Trawick plowed into him, sending him to the sideline with a sprained
right knee.

''That's an experience problem, he's an inexperienced guy,'' Ravens coach
John Harbaugh said.

When the teams finally took the field after the long delay, it was clear how
much had changed.

This night was certainly a masterpiece for Manning.

Notes: Broncos injuries: KR Trindon Holliday (lower left leg), Eric Decker
(right shoulder) and S Omar Bolden (left shoulder). ... Ravens RT Michael Oher
left with a sprained ankle. ... Shaun Phillips, who played in Miller's place,
had 2 1/2 sacks in his Denver debut. ... The Broncos were without CB Champ
Bailey (foot), who's expected back in Week 2 when the Manning travels to New
York to face his little brother, Eli.


The 2013 NFL season kicks off in grand style when the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens come to Mile High to take on the Denver Broncos, who are set as 9-point home favorites Thursday.

Ravens vs Broncos 9-5-2013

In order to get the best in-depth look at the season opener, we’ve enlisted the help of each team’s expert bloggers. Justin Silberman from Ravens blog “The Purple Chaos” and Kim Constantinesco from Broncos blog “Predominantly Orange” put on the helmets and butt heads over which team will not only win but cover on Thursday Night Football.


Joe Flaco

Justin Silberman writes for “The Purple Chaos”. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @ThePurpleChaos.

No ordinary Joe

Joe Flacco silenced his critics during last season’s AFC Divisional Playoff round matchup against the Broncos. This time around, he won’t have to worry about the talented pass-rushing tandem of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil wreaking havoc in the backfield, which should mean a more comfortable pocket for Flacco. Instead, the Ravens offensive line will be tasked with blocking Shaun Phillips and Robert Ayers, a matchup that favors the defending Super Bowl champions.

Elvis’ homecoming

Speaking of Dumervil, he will be on the Ravens’ sideline after signing with the team in March. With Dumervil playing on the opposite side of a healthy Terrell Suggs - who had 10 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble vs. Denver in Janaury - coupled with Denver’s makeshift offensive line, quarterback Peyton Manning will be hard-pressed to establish any offensive consistency.

Strong starts

The Ravens are 5-0 under head coach John Harbaugh in season openers, but they will be playing in Thursday night’s annual kickoff game for the first time during the Harbaugh era. In Thursday night contests under Harbaugh, the Ravens are 2-1. To beat one of the best teams in the AFC, the Ravens have to win the mind game of playing on a short week, something Harbaugh’s track record has proven his teams have been able to do.


Peyton Manning 2013

Kim Constantinesco is the senior editor for You can follow them onFacebook and Twitter @PredomOrange.

Mile High Air

The Mile High advantage plays a bigger role at the beginning of the season when conditioning for certain players is still an issue. At 5,280 feet above sea level, Peyton Manning is running his offense much faster than last year. A couple of no-hudde series that moves the ball down the field will gas the Ravens defense and the effects will really be felt in the fourth quarter. The three giant receiving threats in Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Wes Welker gives the Ravens too much to look after, particularly when they're tired

Heartbreak still hurts

People get over breakups in less than eight months, but the Broncos have not gotten over the crushing playoff defeat in January. How it happened and the fact that the Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl gives the Broncos enough fuel to light up that giant Joe Flacco banner hanging on Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Anger and revenge are enough to potentially turn this one into a blowout.

The thrill is gone

The Ravens lost keys guys in Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, and Anquan Boldin in the offseason. While the front office worked hard to find solid replacements, the Ravens just don't have the chemistry yet, particularly on defense. Meanwhile, the Broncos kept their main guys in place (other than Elvis Dumervil) and have a full year of experience under their belt.

Join the debate and tell us who you think will cover Thursday night: Baltimore or Denver?