For the gambler in you, Week 3: Ravens, Seahawks will cover

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Each week, we'll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by Bovada for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you'll read all week. Because if you can't lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what's the point of watching sports at all?

Note: Home team is listed first in Against the Spread.

Game One: Ravens +2.5 vs. Texans
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

2013 Against The Spread
Overall: 1-1Overall: 0-2
Home: 1-0Home: 0-1
Away: 0-1Away: 0-1
Last 5 vs. HOU: 3-2Last 5 vs. BAL: 2-3
2013 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 14thPass defense: 3rd
Rush offense: 23rdRush defense: 17th
Pass defense: 25thPass offense: 9th
Rush defense: 7thRush offense: 3rd

Verdict: I can't figure out why the Ravens are getting 2.5 at home vs. a Texans game that, frankly, has been underwhelming this season. Sure, Baltimore hasn't been all that good either, but Houston struggled mightily with the Chargers and the Titans -- not exactly teams who are the toast of the AFC. Are the Ravens going to return to the Super Bowl this season? Probably not. Will they knock off the Texans in Baltimore. I'd say yes.

Game Two: Dolphins -2.5 vs. Falcons
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET FOX

2013 Against The Spread
Overall: 2-0Overall: 1-1
Home: 0-0Home: 1-0
Away: 2-0Away: 0-1
Last 3 vs. ATL: 0-2-1Last 3 vs. MIA: 2-0-1
2013 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 13thPass defense: 30th
Rush offense: 28thRush defense: 8th
Pass defense: 1stPass offense: 6th
Rush defense: 12thRush offense: 26th

Verdict: I loved the line when the Dolphins were giving 1.5 points, making them basically a slight underdog at home. But then the line shifted to -2.5, and I love it less so now. Plus, I've been thinking all week about how I'm going against a team that I believe is one of the favorites to win the entire NFC. But then I remembered why I like Miami. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has benefitted from a rejuvenated receiving corps, and the Falcons run game will continue to struggle without Steven Jackson. I still like Miami to cover here.

Game Three (largest spread of week): Seahawks -19.5 vs. Jaguars
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

2013 Against The Spread
Overall: 2-0Overall: 0-2
Home: 1-0Home: 0-1
Away: 1-0Away: 0-1
Last 3 vs. JAX: 2-1Last 4 vs. SEA: 1-2
2013 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 23rdPass defense: 2nd
Rush offense: 8thRush defense: 31st
Pass defense: 1stPass offense: 28th
Rush defense: 22ndRush offense: 30th

Verdict: First of all, 19.5 points in an NFL game is ridiculous. And with that in mind, I originally picked the Jaguars to cover. But at this very moment (Friday at 9:43 p.m. CT), I've decided it'd be ridiculous of me not to go with Seattle in this game. In that environment in Seattle, I just can't go against the Seahawks.

PROP BETS

How many games will be decided by 7 points or less Week 3? (Note: Through two weeks there has been an NFL record 22 games decided by a TD or less)

Over/Under 9

As you should know, there are 15 games this weekend -- which means that in order to win the bet, more than half would have to be decided by less than a touchdown (the Eagles-Chiefs game was a 10-poing game). Here are the games that very well could be that close: Ravens-Texans, Giants-Panthers, Packers-Bengals, Titans-Chargers, Redskins-Lions, Falcons-Dolphins, Jets-Bills, and Steelers-Bears (but, strangely, NOT Jaguars-Seahawks). When in doubt, parity has to rule. Go over.

Will the Jaguars score an offensive TD vs. the Seahawks?

Yes -125 (4/5)

No EVEN (1/1)

As I pointed out here, Jacksonville has scored one touchdown, one field goal and zero extra points this season. Which is not very good through the first two games. You know what's also not very good? The fact that the Jaguars are averaging 3.2 yards per play. Not 3.2 yards per run. That's 3.2 yards per PLAY. In short, Jacksonville's offense stinks, and that means it won't score a touchdown with that loud crowd in Seattle.

Tom Brady -- Completion percentage Week 3 vs. Tampa Bay

Over/Under 60%

There was plenty of noise made last week when the Jets defense held Brady to 48.7 percent passing and the week before when the Bills kept him at 55.8 percent. For a quarterback whose career percentage is a steady 63.6 percent, that's surprising. But obviously, going less than 60 percent two weeks in a row isn't unknown for Brady (it happened in Weeks 15 and 16 last season). But the last time Brady went under 60 percent in three-straight games? Weeks 6-8 in 2010. Don't count on it happening vs. the Buccaneers. Go over for Brady.

Last week: 1-2 against the spread; 1-2 on prop bets. Overall this year: 2-4 against the spread, 2-2 on prop bets. Last two years: 28-39 against the spread; 36-19-1 on prop bets.

 
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