NFL Week 3 betting takeaways: Top-end teams take a ratings hit

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Sunday saw things tighten in the ratings. Well, except for the Jets.

The Buccaneers and Chiefs require a small downgrade following losses, while the Lions, and to a lesser extent the Jaguars, showed some life.

The Garoppolo hate has gone too far

49ers fans, and seemingly society as a whole, were calling for Trey Lance to get the keys to San Francisco's offense, presuming Jimmy Garoppolo is what's holding them back. However, these demands are willfully ignoring the play of other NFL rookie quarterbacks.

All of Chicagoland and beyond was calling for Justin Fields last week. Well, be careful what you wish for. They were warned that Fields wasn't ready, and after six completions Sunday, we know it to be true. With Trevor Lawrence struggling, Mac Jones inconsistent, and Zach Wilson consistently overwhelmed, Lance running a complicated offensive scheme for more than a handful of plays seems like baseless hope at the moment.

While certainly not perfect, Garoppolo can't be blamed for an offensive line that folded against a weakened Packers front seven, running backs that were uncertain of where the holes were, a leaky secondary, or, most important for their rating going forward, an overly conservative head coach.

The Packers don't move from their rating of 65 thanks to Aaron Rodgers' connection with Davante Adams. The 49ers dip to 67/100 until the defense can find some chill and not commit crucial pass interference penalties.

Meanwhile, against my better judgment after watching Fields versus the Bengals, I didn't adjust the Bears far enough downward ahead of his start in Cleveland. They drop into the mid-30s until Andy Dalton returns.

Moral victories (not for the Jets)

The Jaguars held some hope for a win, or at least a cover, against the Cardinals. While it was dashed in the fourth quarter, at least there was hope, so I can bump them up from the back end of their range from 30 to 33.

I'll do the same with the Lions after they had the Ravens beat until the referees ignored a delay of game and Justin Tucker ignored what we thought we knew about science.

Then there are the Jets. Yikes. The passing game cranked out 2.98 yards per attempt in Denver, along with two more interceptions to go with four last week. At least the schedule now gets easier for Wilson in October, after facing two quality defenses on the road. Still, the Jets' floor keeps falling, and I have to push them below 25 for the first time. At this point, the idea of New York getting anywhere near 50/100 is laughable.

No runaway candidates

The Buccaneers got worked over by the Rams for a second straight season. Is this just a bad matchup for Tampa Bay? Maybe, but the Bucs' three data points also include close games in the fourth quarter at home to the Cowboys and Falcons. There's no reason to panic, but they can't be given credit as an 80/100 team when they probably should be 0-3 against the spread.

I'm dropping the Bucs to 76, in line with the Chiefs, who get a second downgrade after turning the ball over four times against the Chargers and failing to cover the spread yet again. That's 0-3 ATS on the season. The Chiefs continue to be the worst bet in sports but people don't seem to grasp that, which actually makes them the best betting opportunity.

The Ravens kept a portion of survivor entries alive, but I'll maintain their 73 rating, while the Bills brushed aside the world's most overrated defense and jump into third in my ratings at 75 after a brief dip into the low 70s.

The middle class

The Chargers' win showed there's potential to jump into a higher tier, but anyone who's seen the Bolts play in the last ... forever ... knows consistency is what they're searching for, so we'll hold off.

We've already moved the Steelers down a fair amount, but the next stop is under 50 after another home loss to a mid-tier team in the Bengals.

The Saints beat the Patriots somewhat comfortably, but it's not enough for us to make any drastic changes given the underwhelming box score. The same goes for the Seahawks and Vikings after their matchup.

Lastly, we were right to not move the Dolphins' rating despite them turning to Jacoby Brissett and losing in overtime. Fins bettors were rewarded by cashing on the inflated line that had the Raiders favored by over a field goal.

Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.

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NFL Week 3 betting takeaways: Top-end teams take a ratings hit
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