NFL Week 3 Betting Recap: Point Spread, Over/Under Results & Analysis (2020)

NFL Week 3 Betting

Eric Fisher closed out Week 3 with a fat guy TD (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

The Kansas City Chiefs closed out Week 3 with a victory over Baltimore in the most anticipated heavyweight showdown. At the other end of the spectrum, after three games, eight different NFL teams are still looking for their first victory.

In this post, we examine not only how teams performed against the point spread and over/under lines in Week 3, but also review some of the fluky, improbable outcomes that can make ATS records misleading.

This level of analysis often provides clues as to which teams may be setting up well to cover the spread in the future.

(To search for your own NFL betting trends, we invite you to use the beta version of our BetIQ Trend Finder Tool.)

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NFL Week 3 By the Betting Numbers

  • Biggest upset: Carolina over LA Chargers (+6.5, +237 money line)
  • Biggest ATS cover margin: San Francisco over NY Giants (+24, won by 27 points as 3-point favorite)
  • Most points above over/under line: LA Rams-Buffalo (+20.5, 67 total points vs. O/U line of 46.5)
  • Most points below over/under line: Carolina-LA Chargers (-6.5, 37 total points vs. O/U line of 43.5)
  • Most points scored vs. team expectation: Green Bay (37 points vs. 24.25 expected)
  • Fewest points scored vs. team expectation: Jacksonville (13 points vs. 26.0 expected)

Kansas City Chiefs Dominate Ravens

The NFL’s showcase game wasn’t as close as the final 34-20 score indicated. Kansas City did plenty of the little things that normally lose football games (see the Turnovers, Miscues & Failures section below) but still won comfortably.

The Chiefs out-gained the Ravens 517 total yards to 228. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson had only 70 net passing yards, the lowest output in a start in his career.

Baltimore is now 21-1 in the regular season when Lamar Jackson starts against anyone else, and 0-3 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

After a shaky game against the Chargers in Week 2, Kansas City now moves to the No. 1 spot in our NFL predictive power ratings and also becomes the strong favorite to earn the bye as the No. 1 seed in the AFC with the head-to-head tiebreaker over Baltimore.

Comebacks Galore

There was a time when double-digit second-half comebacks were rare events. Now, we seemingly get them every week. Week 3 was no exception, and it makes for some nervy times if you have the team with the lead in a situation where your bet looked safe.

In Week 3, we got the following big comebacks:

  • The Bills had a 28-3 lead late in the third quarter, before the Rams stormed back with 29 straight points in 15 minutes of game time. Buffalo, though, survived with a late touchdown drive to retake the lead, after a controversial fourth down penalty.
  • The Vikings had a 24-12 lead with 20 minutes remaining, but two touchdown drives and two long field goals by Stephen Gostkowski brought Tennessee all the way back for the 31-30 win.
  • The Falcons once again provided the biggest collapse of the week. Atlanta was up 16 with six minutes left, but surrendered 20 points to the Bears and Nick Foles, who replaced Mitch Trubisky at quarterback.

Are the Bears the Worst 3-0 Team Ever?

With Chicago’s second big comeback of the year (along with Week 1 against the Lions), the Bears have moved to 3-0. Those wins have all come in close fashion, in games against the Lions, Giants, and Falcons, teams with a combined 1-8 record so far.

Perhaps tellingly, Chicago benched Mitch Trubisky mid-game against Chicago, despite his 2-0 start.

So where do the Bears rank compared to 3-0 teams? Here is a list of the 3-0 teams with the lowest point differentials through their first 3 wins:

TeamYearPoints ForPoints AgainstDifferentialSeason Wins
TEN202080746?
WAS20054337610
JAC2004352879
NE1999777078
CHI19915143811
CHI2020746212?
PHI19937765128
BAL20165744138
CHI201066511511
BUF2020937716?
MIN19966044169
NYG19947963169
ATL20158972178
MIN200064471711
NO19986244186
NYJ20006749189
BUF201966471910
TEN199982631913
JAC199869492011
SFO199058382014

Lo and behold, the Bears don’t even have the lowest point differential this year among 3-0 starts. The Tennessee Titans have also started 3-0 against teams that are a combined 1-8, and have won three close games and not covered the spread in any of them yet.

Three of the ten lowest point differentials for a team with a 3-0 start in the last 30 years have occurred this season, with the Bears, Titans, and Bills all winning close games in their perfect starts.

NFL Home Field Advantage in 2020

One of the things we will track this year is how home teams are performing, with many teams playing in front of no fans to start the year.

In Week 3, home teams went 6-9-1 SU and 7-9 ATS. That makes home teams 25-22-1 SU (53.1%) and 24-24 ATS (50.0%).

The home teams have been favored, on average, by 2.1 points through the first three weeks, and the average final score margin so far has been +1.4 points in favor of the home team. Week 3 was the first week where the home teams’ scoring margin was lower than the expected spread on average.

Because the small sample size of 2020 games, we can’t definitively conclude anything yet. So far home field advantage does not appear drastically different than the aggregate of recent seasons, though Week 3 showed road teams performing better than expected, compared to Week 2 when home teams performed well against the spread.

For the 2015 to 2019 NFL seasons, the average point spread in Weeks 1 to 3 was 2.4 points in favor of the home team, and the average result was a home team win by 1.6 points. Home teams won 55.7% of those games straight up and covered the spread 48.5% of the time.

2020 Point Spread Result Splits

Here’s how some of the more standard spilts look after Week 3:

TYPEATS WATS LATS TATS %
Favorites2424050.0%
Underdogs2424050.0%
Home Teams2424050.0%
Away Teams2424050.0%

2020 Scoring vs. Historical Seasons

Scoring continues to rise in 2020, now approaching nearly 51 points scored per game through the first three weeks. 

So far this year, overs have hit 60.4% of the time (29-19). In the previous five years, the overs hit 51.5% over the first three weeks.

Here’s a running tally of how overall NFL scoring so far in 2020 compares to the full season averages of recent seasons, based on average total points scored per game:

20202019201820172016
50.845.646.743.445.6

Turnovers, Miscues & Failures: Week 3 Edition

In this section each week, we list a summary of drives that ended with turnovers, but not only official turnovers like interceptions and fumbles.

We also tally up other high-leverage events that likely led to either loss of points or great field position for an opponent. Safeties and blocked punts are included in turnovers, and blocked field goals are included in missed field goal attempts.

Week 3 Turnovers, Missed Field Goals, and Failed Attempts

TeamTurnoversFG MissDownsTOTALATS Result
Jacksonville2035Loss
NY Jets4015Loss
Washington5005Loss
Chicago2114Won
Dallas4004Loss
Denver4004Loss
Kansas City1124Won
LA Chargers4004Loss
LA Rams2114Loss
Las Vegas3104Loss
Minnesota3104Won
NY Giants3014Loss
Arizona3003Loss
Atlanta1102Loss
Baltimore1012Loss
Buffalo2002Won
Philadelphia2002Loss
Green Bay0011Won
Houston1001Loss
Indianapolis0101Won
New England1001Won
New Orleans1001Loss
San Francisco0101Won
Seattle1001Won
Tennessee1001Loss
Carolina0000Won
Cincinnati0000Won
Cleveland0000Won
Detroit0000Won
Miami0000Won
Pittsburgh0000Won
Tampa Bay0000Won

Teams with 3 or more turnovers, missed field goals or failed attempts went 3-10 ATS, while those who had zero drives end in those events went 7-0 ATS.

The three exceptions were the Bears’ big comeback (where Atlanta blew a lead despite having opponents make a ton of mistakes for the second week in a row), the Chiefs’ win at Baltimore, and Minnesota’s cover (but SU loss) to the Titans.

Drive-Ending Miscues By Team: 2020 Season Tally

Here’s a summary of the full season so far showing the net number of drives ending in turnovers or miscues for each team. As you might expect, most of the teams at the top have positive spread records while the teams at the bottom have failed to cover.

The Titans stand out as a team that has benefited from opponent mistakes and turnovers but has still not managed to cover the spread.

2020 Season Summary, Drives Ending in Turnovers or Other Failed Plays

TeamMistakesOpp MistakesDifferentialATS Record
Baltimore313102-1
Seattle21193-0
Green Bay2753-0
Pittsburgh3852-1
Tampa Bay51052-1
San Francisco5942-1
Tennessee4840-3
Miami4842-1
LA Rams6932-1
Cincinnati4732-1
New England5832-1
Kansas City4622-1
New Orleans2421-2
Atlanta7921-2
Buffalo7702-1
Washington87-11-2
Chicago87-12-1
Jacksonville75-22-1
Las Vegas42-22-1
Indianapolis64-22-1
LA Chargers53-22-1
NY Jets96-30-3
Arizona74-32-1
Carolina62-41-2
Detroit51-41-2
Denver116-52-1
NY Giants94-51-2
Houston50-50-3
Minnesota72-51-2
Cleveland82-61-2
Dallas82-60-3
Philadelphia102-80-3

2020 NFL ATS & Over/Under Performance By Team

Finally, here are updated against the point spread and over/under records so far in 2020. You can check out more trends on our BetIQ NFL betting trends page.

2020 NFL ATS and O/U Records

TeamWins ATSLosses ATSTies ATSStreakOverUnderPushO/U Streak
Arizona210L1030U3
Atlanta120L1300O3
Baltimore210L1030U3
Buffalo210W1300O3
Carolina120W1210U1
Chicago210W1210O1
Cincinnati210W2120U1
Cleveland120W1210O2
Dallas030L3210O2
Denver210L1120U1
Detroit120W1210U1
Green Bay300W3300O3
Houston030L3210O1
Indianapolis210W2120U2
Jacksonville210L1210U1
Kansas City210W1120U2
LA Chargers210L1030U3
LA Rams210L1210O2
Las Vegas210L1300O3
Miami210W2120U1
Minnesota120W1210O1
New England210W1210O2
New Orleans120L2300O3
NY Giants120L1120O1
NY Jets030L3210U1
Philadelphia030L3210U1
Pittsburgh210W1210O2
San Francisco210W2210O2
Seattle300W3300O3
Tampa Bay210W2210U1
Tennessee030L3210O2
Washington120L2210O1
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