Thu, Sep 20, 8:41am by Staff Writer
Week three of the 2018 NFL season begins on Friday morning as the Cleveland Browns host the New York Jets.
Notable week three fixtures include the New Orleans Saints taking on NFC South rivals the Atlanta Falcons on Monday morning at 3am (AEST) and the winless Pittsburgh Steelers playing the undefeated Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday at 10:15am (AEST).
New York Jets versus Cleveland Browns
Friday, 21 September 2018 at 10:20am (AEST) at FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland
The Cleveland Browns are still searching for their first win in more than a season as they host the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football.
Despite going 0-16 last season, the Browns have already drawn one match this season and suffered a narrow loss last weekend against New Orleans.
They are $1.59 favourites to beat the New York Jets this week, who are paying $2.42.
The Jets boast an impressive winning streak agains the Browns, winning the past five matches between the two franchises. This is the fourth straight year the two teams will meet.
Cleveland has seldom been a betting favourite in recent times and this marks only the second time since December 2015 they have entered a game as the favourite.
The Jets were sloppy in a 20-12 home loss to the Miami Dolphins in week two. Sam Darnold threw two interceptions and gave away a fumble, as Miami capitalised on the Jets coming off a short week after playing Monday Night Football.
The Browns’ 19-game winless streak continued in week two after Zane Gonzalez missed two extra points and two field goals in Sunday’s 21-18 loss to New Orleans.
Josh Gordon has left Cleveland after a tumultuous past couple of seasons as he was traded to New England this week.
The Browns have covered in five of their past seven Thursday games. They are giving away a three-point start to the Jets this week. If the handicap was 2.5, we would be tempted to take the Browns, but it’s a wager on the Jets or no play in this one.
Best bet- New York Jets to cover three-point handicap at $1.91
New Orleans Saints versus Atlanta Falcons
Monday, 24 September 2018 at 3am (AEST), Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
The Atlanta Falcons will be looking to string together consecutive home wins when it plays division rivals the New Orleans Saints on Monday morning.
The Falcons are $1.61 favourites, with the Saints $2.39 outsiders.
New Orleans narrowly avoided starting 0-2 this season, thanks in large part to the Browns’ futility.
Atlanta holds the ascendency in recent head-to-head meetings between these teams, winning three of the past four matches.
Atlanta is strong against the spread at home, with a 5-1 mark in its last six home games. The Saints improved defence last season looks to have disappeared in the early stages of this campaign, with the total going over in four of New Orleans’ past five games.
The Falcons’ offense struggled against Philadelphia in week one but came to life against Carolina. Matt Ryan threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Tevin Coleman had his way with 107 yards.
New Orleans has surrendered 527 yards and 327 yards in two matches this season and will need to tighten up defensively to stand a chance this week.
The Falcons are the better team and the handicap looks too good to pass up.
Best bet- Atlanta Falcons to cover three-point handicap at $1.91
New York Giants at Houston Texans
Monday, 24 September 2018 at 3am (AEST) at NRG Stadium, Houston
Two winless teams meet in Houston on Monday morning when the New York Giants take on the Houston Texans.
Houston is a $1.34 favourite to win the match, with the Giants priced at $3.37.
New York plays its second straight game in Texas after losing on Sunday Night Football to the Dallas Cowboys 20-13.
The Texans two games have been losses against New England and Tennessee.
Houston is favoured by six points in this match, despite only scoring 37 points across two games this season.
The Giants are also struggling on offence, largely due to a battered offensive line. The Giants average only 3.7 yards per carry this season.
The Texans have been dreadful at covering the spread at home in recent times, going only 3-8 against the number in its past 11 regular season games at NRG Stadium.
Deshaun Watson has shown some brilliance this season, but the Texans need more from their franchise player.
The Texans’ rushing game has been good for them this season, at just over 5 yards per carry on average.
Look for the Texans to run the ball and the Giants to again struggle in pass protection.
Best bet- Houston Texans Big Win Little Win 1-13 at $2.50
NFL Week 3 Odds
New York Jets $2.42 Cleveland Browns $1.59
New York Giants $3.37 Houston Texans $1.34
Indianapolis Colts $3.21 Philadelphia Eagles $1.37
Cincinnati Bengals $2.34 Carolina Panthers $1.63
Green Bay Packers $1.70 Washington Redskins $2.21
Denver Broncos $2.81 Baltimore Ravens $1.46
Oakland Raiders $2.41 Miami Dolphins $1.60
New Orleans Saints $2.39 Atlanta Falcons $1.61
Buffalo Bills $9.50 Minnesota Vikings $1.07
San Francisco 49ers $3.22 Kansas City Chiefs $1.37
Los Angeles Chargers $3.37 Los Angeles Rams $1.34
Dallas Cowboys $2.01 Seattle Seahawks $1.84
Chicago Bears $1.39 Arizona Cardinals $3.12
New England Patriots $1.40 Detroit Lions $3.06
Pittsburgh Steelers $1.86 Tampa Bay Buccaneers $1.99
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