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NFL Week 3 Odds Shifts: How QB Injuries, Changes Moved Lines

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 5 mins

NFL Week 3 Odds Shifts: How QB Injuries, Changes Moved Lines

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Nothing can make an NFL betting line move like a starting quarterback being declared out for the coming week. The NFL Week 3 schedule has an unusually high amount of QB replacements, and huge changes to point spreads because of it.

Four games have seen dramatic line movement due to a change at quarterback for one of the teams. A fifth game has been taken off the board entirely at many major sportsbooks because of the uncertainty at QB.

Oddsmakers Not Optimistic At Start Of Daniel Jones Era For Giants

Week 3 Odds: Giants (+6.5)

The Buccaneers (1-1) opened as four-point home favorites against the struggling Giants, who were handled by the Cowboys in Week 1 and then by the Bills 28-14 in a disheartening Week 2 home defeat.

The line jumped to -6.5 after Giants coach Pat Shurmur declined to name a starting QB at a Monday press conference. When rookie Daniel Jones was officially handed the keys to the Giants offense in place of 16-year veteran Eli Manning, the line moved slightly once more, to -7.

By the end of Tuesday, however, the line was back to -6.5. The Giants have circled the wagons away from MetLife Stadium, covering in seven of their last eight road games.

Bettors Love Patriots as Massive Favorites

Week 3 Odds: Patriots (-23)

NFL Week 3 Odds Shifts: How QB Injuries, Changes Moved Lines 1
Third-string quarterback Luke Falk will start for the Jets against the Patriots.

The unbeaten Patriots opened as big 18-point favorites, but that line has skyrocketed to -23 at sites such as William Hill with third-stringer Luke Falk under center for the Jets. Check here for the latest Jets-Patriots odds.

New York (0-2) is without starting QB Sam Darnold (mono) at least one more game, and backup Trevor Siemian suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Monday night’s loss to the Browns.

Statistically, Falk has been the best of the three. On Monday he was 20-of-25 passing for 198 yards, no TDs and no INTs. The Jets couldn’t get in the end zone in the 23-3 defeat.

But that hasn’t meant enough to bettors. A whopping 92% of the public is backing the Patriots (2-0), who have steamrolled their two opponents a combined 73-3 with the NFL’s top-ranked defense and Tom Brady leading the offense.

Uncertainty Clouds Lines for Cam Newton, Panthers

Week 3 Odds: Panthers (-3)

Cam Newton hasn’t looked himself since returning from offseason shoulder surgery. But his new injury involves his foot, and it has him in a walking boot and questionable for Sunday’s matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Panthers opened at -3 at most sportsbooks but was taken off the board when Newton’s status became murky. William Hill still has Carolina at -3.

The former NFL MVP suffered a sprained foot in a preseason game against the Patriots. The injury was aggravated last Thursday against the Buccaneers.

Niners Big Favorites over Big Ben-less Steelers

Week 3 Odds: 49ers (-6.5)

Ben Roethlisberger led the NFL in pass attempts and yards in 2018 for the Steelers. But his 2019 is over, suffering elbow ligament damage on a non-contact throwing attempt in Sunday’s 28-26 loss to the Seahawks. The Week 3 opening line adjusted swiftly.

After opening at pick ’em, the line was pushed all the way to -6.5 in favor of the host Niners (1-1), who rank in the top 10 in total offense and defense following two big wins at the Buccaneers and Bengals.

Now the offense of Pittsburgh (0-2) is in the hands of Mason Rudolph, the second-year pro who had not attempted a regular-season pass until Big Ben went down. He was 12-of-19 for 112 yards, two TDs and one INT on Sunday.

Seahawks Laying More vs. Bridgewater, Saints

Week 3 Odds: Seahawks (-4.5)

The Saints’ season was thrown a monkey wrench when Super Bowl MVP and 12-time Pro Bowler Drew Brees injured his thumb smacking it into the hand of Rams DT Aaron Donald on a pass attempt. The offense couldn’t recover with Teddy Bridgewater in a 27-9 loss in L.A.

The line opened at pick ’em for Sunday’s matchup with the Seahawks (2-0), but that moved to -4.5 for Seattle upon the news Brees will miss this game (he’s out up to six weeks).

Bridgewater didn’t play in 2016 and nearly all of 2017 after suffering a gruesome leg injury in preseason of that year. He went 17-of-30 for 165 yards with no TDs or INTs in Week 2.

That said, Bridgewater hasn’t yet been named the starter for Week 3 . Saints coach Sean Payton also has dual-threat playmaker Taysom Hill in the mix and he’s mum on who gets more snaps Sunday.

New Orleans has failed to cover the spread in its last seven games. Seattle has won both its games but by a combined three points.

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.